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Old 05-09-2018, 05:27 PM View Post #1 (Link) Historical narrative for school
WordWizard (Offline)
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Everyone walked into the courtroom. I had been one of those in the courtroom that heard Tituba’s confession. The court was in full session.

“Do you wish to confess to being a witch?” Judge Sewall asks.

“Yes, I have had conservations with many evil dogs, cats, and pigs. I have also added my name to the devil’s book.”

“Have you seen anyone else with the devil?,” Sewall replies.

“Yes, I was approached by Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne.”

Soon after, I heard news that people were experiencing symptoms. I, for one, was skeptical of witchcraft which I was brave enough to speak out about it.

The first people experiencing symptoms were Betty Parris. Soon after, Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam Jr., Mary Walcott and Mercy Lewis had experienced symptoms. Later, others including Elizabeth Hubbard, Susannah Sheldon, Mary Warren, and Elizabeth Booth experienced the same symptoms. These symptoms comprised of fits, hiding under furniture and having fever.

I believed these children were just elaborately involved in this witchcraft and didn’t believe in witchcraft. This skepticism of witchcraft led myself, my wife Elizabeth Proctor, my children William, Sarah, and Mary Proctor to be accused of witchcraft. I remember the day we were accused and arrested.

From then on, I had been considering confessing to witchcraft. Then, I reminded myself that if I did, it would show the believers witchcraft existed.
On the day, that I was set to hang with those who had not confessed to Judge Sewall says “This is the last time any of you can confess.”


“I say, I would like to confess.”

Judge Danforth hands me a piece of paper telling me to write my testimony.

I began to write. When I had finished Danforth asked me to sign the testimony.

I replied “Isn’t this writing proof enough of my confession?”

“No, sign it and hand it over so it can be made public.”

Hesitantly, I signed the paper but refused to hand it over.

“I need that paper or you will hang!” Danforth demands.

“There is no need for it. Isn’t the power of your word enough? You have the authority,” I had questioned.

“No, I need the paper. I am inclined to believe the paper is false,” the judge replies.

Ann Putnam Jr’s dog barks loudly. In that moment, I rip of the testimony.

“ Confess John,” Elizabeth yells

But it’s too late because I had already decided.

I am Ann Putnam Jr. One of those who has watched John Proctor’s hanging and have heard news of his families confessing. At those hangings, I remember that we heard news of Giles Corey being tortured to death for three full days! That was the day, my dog was shot and killed for being accused of being a witch.

A few months before Proctor’s hangings, Rebecca Nurse had her trial. I remembered that very few people were there besides me and the other afflicted girls. I, for one was surprised when she was not declared guilty after the trial.

Suddenly, we had fits. We had thought they were uncontrollable. Now, I realize I was wrong and we were all too wrapped up in the talk of witchcraft.

After our fits, Judge Stoughton had asked for Rebecca’s outcome to be changed. Therefore, Rebecca Nurse had been hanged with everyone else. I now have reason to believe this led our Puritan community to believe anyone could be a witch because Rebecca Nurse was a well-respected citizen in our community.

The end of the Salem Witch trials started when the court declared spectral evidence unusable. When this rule had been applied, most of the people accused of witchcraft had been released because of not having enough evidence.

Afterwards, our village had to get back into the routines of our oldways.

Soon after, we felt horrible about the witch trials.

On a day of prayer and fasting Reverend Samuel Willard read out Samuel Sewall’s public apology that said “Samuel Sewall, sensible of the reiterated strokes of God upon himself and family; and being sensible, that as to the guilt contracted upon the opening of the late Commission of Oyer and Terminer at Salem (to which the order of this day relates) he is, upon many accounts, more concerned than any that he knows of, desires to take the blame and shame of it, asking pardon of men, and especially desiring prayers that God, who has an unlimited authority, would pardon that sin and all other his sins; personal and relative: And according to his infinite benignity and sovereignty, not visit the sin of him, or of any other, upon himself or any of his, nor upon the land: But that he would powerfully defend him against all temptations to sin, for the future; and vouchsafe him the efficacious, saving conduct of his word and spirit.”

A few years later, I gave an apology that said “I desire to be humbled before God for that sad and humbling providence that befell my father’s family in the year about ’92; that I, then being in my childhood, should, by such a providence of God, be made an instrument for the accusing of several persons of a grievous crime, whereby their lives were taken away from them, whom now I have just grounds and good reason to believe they were innocent persons; and that it was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time, whereby I justly fear I have been instrumental, with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon myself and this land the guilt of innocent blood; though what was said or done by me against any person I can truly and uprightly say, before God and man, I did it not out of any anger, malice, or ill-will to any person, for I had no such thing against one of them; but what I did was ignorantly, being deluded by Satan. And particularly, as I was a chief instrument of accusing of Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters, I desire to lie in the dust, and to be humbled for it, in that I was a cause, with others, of so sad a calamity to them and their families; for which cause I desire to lie in the dust, and earnestly beg forgiveness of God, and from all those unto whom I have given just cause of sorrow and offence, whose relations were taken away or accused.”

Several years later after our confession our colony passed a bill clearing John Proctor, Giles Corey and most of the other victims.

Years later, our state issued an apology for the trials in which they cleared the other human victims.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:55 AM View Post #2 (Link) My critique
Rebekah (Offline)
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Hi WordWizard,

I enjoyed reading your narrative as it gave good description on what has happened in the past. I especially liked the beginning because you kept it quite mysterious as we didn’t know who was speaking and it wasn’t entirely clear what was happening. This then allowed you to build up the facts and information but in a story way which was great!
I also really liked your use of language, it made the narrative seem more sophisticated and professional and it was like a historical recount.

The only thing I would say though, is that in some parts it is slightly confusing. I think at some point in your narrative the speaking character changed, but after that and nearing the end I got quite confused and wasn’t sure what was happening. (I am mainly confused after the part ‘A few months before...). I think that this could be improved by making everything more clear, stating what is happening and when, relating more to the other events that you have told us.

Overall though, I think your narrative is good because of its fictional and factual information. I can’t wait to read more of your work.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:27 PM View Post #3 (Link) My critique
Rosie1213 (Offline)
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Join Date: May 2018
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Hi Wordwizard!

I really enjoy this story. I’m a big fan of The Crucible so this is awesome.
I really like how you used the historical information and details in the writing. It was pretty smooth and didn’t feel forced, which can be difficult to achieve. I also like the idea of switching between several characters to tell different parts of the story.

I think this story could use a little more context, though. For example, when you say John had been in the courtroom before for Tituba’s trial, you could go into how he’s feeling about that or what he remembers about her case. You could also go more into the historical context. If somebody knew nothing about the Salem witch trials, they might be confused about why confessing could be a good thing, or why Corey didn’t, etc. I would also add a bit more description in between the dialogue to give that section a bit more impact as well. I like the part at the end about the rest of the community regretting their actions during the trials, but I think it needs more emotion. Being partially responsible for an innocent person being hanged is pretty intense, and I think that part would be better if it showed that.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this. Personally I find historical fiction really difficult, so great job.

Rosie
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