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Book Analysis: Wonders of the Invisible World

In Wonders of the Invisible World, Cotton Mather gives a view on the witchcraft and some of events that surround Salem in the year 1692. Mather’s literary work becomes relevant even in this 21st century as much as it was solely meant to discern the filth in the Salem society early in 1960s. Mather gives an implausible explanation to the causes of bewitchment that happens in Salem. The author posits that the witchcraft which is seen in Salem in the year 1962 was just a consequence of miasma of events that were falling in place unintentionally; furthermore Mather says that certain actions were just done consciously and deliberately. The author among other scholars posits the bewitchment in Salem was as a result of devil action on people as he tries to draw their closer to hell. Cotton Mather though that the cause of witchcraft was as a result of descending of the God’s kingdom on earth to destroy the evil ones. Mather took a great interest of what was going on in Salem so that he could record an illustrious providence of what was happening. He would later use these documentations to point out to the people the righteous step that they should take so as the devil spell could get out of them. Cotton Mather’s book found its ground when the judges and magistrates of the court started to question whether the proceeding that they were conducting had wisdom in them. At this point he was called to go and testify what he was thinking of the undertakings of the court.

Nobody doubted the innocence of the wife to Mr. Hale, minister of Beverly as she was accused of witchcraft. Some people argued that the devil can also assume the face an innocent person so as to bring destruction to the people and being the fact that Mrs. Hale hailed from an upper class did not exempt her from being possess with the devil spirit. Mr. Hale was more than convinced that his wife was innocent and being the fact that she had been called witchcraft, they started to question whether there were justice practices in the government and the judiciary. For this matter, therefore, they had to act in quick response of the same so as to rescue the fate of the man who would be and the already victim of the circumstance. There was conflict between these two personalities when at fist Hale could not fathom what underlies witchcraft and he took an active role in convicting and arresting those were victims of evil spell. This happened until that time when his wife was also said to be witchcraft is when he knew that they was no seriousness in the issue. This was a lesson well learnt. Hale was one of those people who were talking ill about the religion which was being presented by Mather. He said that those who were found in possession of this evil spell were to be killed, convicted and arrested.   The event followed publication of the book that furthered the case of consciousness related to the witchcraft and the evil spirits personating the human generation. This brought an overhaul in the thinking of the right- minded man in the society as to whether those who had been convicted and jailed were under the spell of devil or some of them were just causing destruction to the people intentionally and consciously.

The difference in the personality between Mather and Hale is that Hale had to get the first hand experience through his wife so as to doubt the existence of witchcraft. In this case, Hale has a feeling for the humanity following what he has experienced while Mather thinks that whatever happens is a sign of the descending of the heaven’ kingdom. According to Mather, this should act as a lesson to people so that they can change their behaviors. The scenario however alludes to the judgmental nature of human being. Most of the people, more so those in a higher class were found of judging others whom thinking that they were far from the evil spell while in real sense they also later became victims as well. Both Mather and Have contributed towards bringing glory to Salem. Hale, having the experience through his wife could realize that there was no justice in dealing with the people who were said to be witchcraft. This made the judges and the magistrates to confess that they were not being genuine in dealing with these victims. On the other hand, Mather brought light from the onset over the suffering that most of the people were going through because some were even killed in the process. Hale could only know the truth after he became the victim of the circumstance

God uses human being in different ways so as to spread the word of salvation in different ways

In the Wonders of the Invisible World, the author gives explanation of the seven trials at Salem and he seeks to show the divide between the actions of the witches in England and those ones which take place in other parts of the world. Besides that the author addresses the issues witchcraft in general. The delusion of witchcraft was thoroughly dispelled so as to bar the recurrence of the persecution which was common in the society. For the case of these who still believed in such superstition were reduced to nothing less, they no longer had any position in the society and they also had no defense to their opinion. Later on the people of Salem became humbled and most of them repented. They went to the extent of driving away their hypocritical ministers from their places of residence so that they remained a consolidated society. As the remorse continued for several years, those who were in the judiciary carrying out the prosecution started to regret their actions to the extent that most of them had to confess in public. The jurors signed a paper whereby they were showing their repentance and they also confessed that whatever they were doing was because of the pressure. Notably, there are those who were witchcraft yet they were the very people who were in the fore front of persecuting other alleged witchcraft. For them they made it clear that whatever they were doing was because of the influence of terror. God has used the human knowledge so wonderfully in bringing the light to the rest of New England and Salem. Those in authority did not believe in the words of Mather until that time when they also started to be the victims of the circumstance. In most cases they were pretending that witchcraft was only meant to the confused class and those from a lower class in the society. However, when they started to be victims, some of them confessed that humanity should be practiced.

It is not in seeing and having a firsthand experience is when one should believe, as Mather would allude to the doubting Thomas of the bible. Most of people in this particular society made a confession for their action as some posited that they were acting out of pressure and terror. Mather did not directly get involved in the proceedings of the Salem but he would more often than not use letters when addressing the magistrates and the officials of the court while advocating that they should not only use spectral evidence in handling the cases of the victims. He posited that the devil can use the shape and the outlook of an innocent person like some of them were pretending to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Bürkle, Wolfgang. Cotton Mather’s “The Wonders of the Invisible World” and witchcraft in Salem. München: GRIN Verlag GmbH, 2007. <http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:101:1-2010082219434>.

Benes, Peter, and Jane Montague Benes. Wonders of the Invisible World 1600-1900. [Boston]: Published by Boston University, 1995.

 

 

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