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The Devil in the Shape of a Woman

Essay by   •  November 21, 2018  •  Book/Movie Report  •  580 Words (3 Pages)  •  372 Views

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Women today face many challenges, and i'm not trying to discriminate or hate, but the challenges of today don't seem to be nearly as hard or frightening as they were in the sixteen hundreds, The devil in the shape of a woman, witchcraft in colonial new england 1620 - 1725, is by Carol F. Karlsen, she wrote it about new england's beliefs about witchcraft. Personally, i didn't like this book, but from a student perspective, it was pretty good, she was in-depth about how new england saw and treated witches, she examines a few different cases closely and thoroughly, and also looks into how the puritans looked at woman in general and their feminine rights.

In chapter one, Karlsen writes about new england's beliefs about witches, she talks about Ann Hibbens, Ann was a widow who had a large plot of land that she gained from her husband. In may 1656, she was accused of witchcraft and “five weeks later, on June 19, Ann Hibbens was executed as a witch”. Chapter two is written about the “demographic basis of witchcraft”, I researched the meaning of demographic basis, and i found that it means the same thing as demographic analysis, “Demographic analysis is a technique used to develop an understanding of the age, sex, and racial composition of a population and how it has changed over time through the basic demographic processes of birth, death, and migration”

The next three chapters look at different cases of witchcraft and look at what made people thought of as a witch.

“The Devil in the Shape of a Woman”, this book was much more interesting than I expected it to be. Starting it I thought I knew the main reasons of why the witch trials happened, but this book explains that there's more to it than "the Puritans were sexist." There were a lot of different kinds of economic, religious, and social pressures that i had no idea about.

This book explained how a person that won a fight or dispute over property would often be accused of witchcraft, the same thing went the other way around, if the person who was seeming to win was suddenly afflicted or harmed during the dispute. This piece from thehistoryofmassachusets.com is an example of this. “After Henry Rich died, sometime between 1684 and 1690, Martha married Giles Corey on April 27, 1690. Martha was Giles Corey’s third wife. Giles Corey was a wealthy farmer who had a troubled past himself

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