Elizabeth, sometimes referred to as Betty, Parris was only nine when the witchcraft
epidemic broke out in Salem.
Elizabeth was often referred to as a sweet young girl. She grew up in a period where the economy was very uncertain of where it would go
next, and ,just to add to the suspicion of her involvement in the witch trials, she had hard times accepting her father’s,
Reverend Parris’, sermons about predestination and damnation. Due to her
economic uncertainties, Elizabeth was interested in seeing
where she would be in years to come. This curiosity sparked her and her cousin,
Abigail Williams, to take part in the use of a “venus glass”, as device used to tell the future from shapes. Out of this act many other young girls, all interested in their future social status
and that of their husbands’, caused the outbreak of witchcraft in Salem.
Some months later Elizabeth’s affliction was
started when she began to forget errands and seemed to be uninterested in what others had to say or do; on the contrary she
was very preoccupied in personal sessions, unknown to others in the town. In
church she was out of control and seemed outraged whenever and reference to God, The Holy Spirit, or Jesus was made. Often she embarked on tantrums, screaming in a seemingly foreign tongue.
To sum up the affliction trial of Elizabeth “Betty” Parris, she was a nine year old girl who was interested
in what she would become and also somewhat disturbed by her fathers sermons of predestination.
The sermons of course only added to her motives to see the future. As
for reasons to lie about her having contact with the devil I personally don’t believe that she had a choice to lie about
it, the signs were apparently extremely visible.
I believe that Elizabeth should be charged as innocent
to the crime of witchcraft. This is because she had no intentions to contact
the Devil nor even an idea that her actions would have any relation with the Devil.
Given the plea of innocence and her only intentions being to see the future and not to conjure the Devil, Elizabeth is not guilty of witchcraft.