Feminism by Minda Wu

Essay by hu_r_uHigh School, 11th grade April 2005

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In 1619, the first colonial women set foot in Jamestown. They were shortly followed by Puritan women, who landed in Massachusetts in 1620. Yet, men had been there since the early 1600's. Women were brought over to the New World when they realized that women did have a function in life and that they needed that in order to have a successful colony. Despite this salvation, women were treated similarly to household servants, there to clean the house, cook, wash, sew, and raise children. Men were dominant and were the head of the family. However, during the Salem Witch Trials, women got a taste of the power they had. Then, as each war arrived and left, women gained more power, more say, until it reached the current momentum of feminism, which is leaning toward a radical reversal of the early colonial days.

Women were the predominant accusers and accused during the Salem Witch Trials. However, these accusations seemed almost to work into the palm of Samuel Parris the rather new minister of Salem. After the village decided to stop paying Parris and to drive him out of town, his daughter, Elizabeth Parris, and her friend Abigail Williams began to exhibit strange behavior, similar to those of Martha Goodwin and her siblings' four years earlier. Back then, Goody Glover was hanged for witchcraft and a book was written on how to find witches and the telltale signs. Now, these two girls accused Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne. Two months later, Ann Putman, Jr. and several others also exhibited similar strange behavior and accused Martha Cory of being a witch. Not long thereafter, one of the former accusers, Mary Warren, who had accused her mistress, Elizabeth Procter, admitted to lying and accused the other girls of lying, too. However,