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Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Mysterious Unknown

"The edge of the wilderness was close by. The American continent stretched endlessly west, and it was full of mystery for them. It stood, dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day, for out of it Indian tribes marauded from time to time, and Reverend Parris had parishioners who had lost relatives to these heathen" (Miller 5).

What role does this "edge of the wilderness" play in the lives of the characters so far?

13 Comments:

Blogger clay w said...

The edge of the wilderness represented the fact that many of the townspeople were on the verge of where they wanted their religion to be. The girls who played in the woods performed witchcraft, which was representative of the fact that if you crossed over to the wilderness side of life, you were in witchcraft. Those who stayed in the town and what the town believed were normally safe from accusations, but those who were questionable or went against the beliefs of the town were the first targets. The wilderness was very close to the town, as were the worries of being accused of witchcraft.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Sarah P said...

I think that the edge or the wildness plays a big part in the story, it is a symbol of the unknown and it represents fear. In the reading last night the reverend was really angry that the girls were dancing in the forest, it is something that is really frowned upon in that society to be in the forest. The forest is not some place that you are just allowed to go play in, its not OK in their society to be there. I think the reason for that is because what roams in the forest is unknown, and that scares these people because they feel like they have to be in control 100% of the time, and if they aren't they are out of their comfort zone.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Sarah P said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:11 AM  
Blogger shannon a said...

I feel that the role of the "edge of wilderness" is the unkown for them. It's the piont at whitch the darkness scares them and they don't know what is out there. I think that this wilderness is the place where the evil lives and this is place where they will scapegoat to all their problems.

10:13 AM  
Blogger nathan a said...

The mysterious unknown symbolizes the Puritans’ fear. The Puritans were afraid and intolerant of the unknown. They feared what they didn’t understand (Like the Native Americans). Because they don’t understand the unknown they have a hard time dealing with it. They become lost in the metaphorical wilderness.

10:14 AM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

The Puritans of Salem fear anything that is not in accordance with what they have been taught to believe. Their community emphasizes orderliness, hard work, and religion. The edge of the wilderness represents the "heathenish" world of those not yet converted to their way of life. The devils and demons that the Bible mentioned are realized in the form of the hostile Indians, who attempted to end their society.
Witches and witchcraft were the heathens in their community that threatened to destroy the order and godliness they had created. The Puritans feared things that they didn't understand, and they considered such mysteries to be of the devil. They believed the wilderness threatening because they didn't know what dangers were lurking within the forests; they feared witchcraft because they didn't understand it; it was like nothing they had ever known.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jordyn S said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jordyn S said...

This "edge of the wilderness" represents the future. It is everything that the people living in this time have not discovered yet. The land that they will explore and develop, the people they may meet and the new discoveries they will make along the way. However, it is portrayed as being dark and threatening, as the future often is. These people do not know what lies ahead for them. They have no idea what is beyond their own small settlements on the East coast, and that is scary. Not knowing if anyone may emerge from the edge of the wilderness. I think this essentially torments the characters. Just simply the unknown factors that could make them better, or tear them down causes an impressive internal conflict and manic state. The fear of what happens to you if you go forward and into the wilderness, or worse, the greater fear of what will happen if you dont move on. Then it is purely their own decision. This edge of the wilderness really helps set up many possibilities and opprotunities for these characters to come accross throughout the rest of their existance.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jordyn S said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:17 AM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

The Puritans of Salem fear anything that is not in accordance with what they have been taught to believe. Their community emphasizes orderliness, hard work, and religion. The edge of the wilderness represents the "heathenish" world of those not yet converted to their way of life. The devils and demons that the Bible mentioned are realized in the form of the hostile Indians, who attempted to end their society.
Witches and witchcraft were the heathens in their community that threatened to destroy the order and godliness they had created. The Puritans feared things that they didn't understand, and they considered such mysteries to be of the devil. They believed the wilderness threatening because they didn't know what dangers were lurking within the forests; they feared witchcraft because they didn't understand it; it was like nothing they had ever known.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jordyn S said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:17 AM  
Blogger erinl said...

I think the edge of the wilderness represented the Puritan's fear of the unknown. During the Salem Witch Trials, the courts did not accuse the "perfect" Puritans, they chose those who did not follow the Puritan way as close as they could have. The perfect Puritans were somewhat afraid of the other townspeople because they were different. The Puritans disliked change, so decided to accuse these people of witchcraft just because they were not "perfect".

8:27 PM  
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6:35 AM  

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