The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Witchcraft and demons. Satan has come to the town of Salem. Everyone is afraid and accusations are flying around like moths drawn to a flame. Is Goody Proctor a witch? What about Goody Nurse? More hang each day for these supernatural crimes. Those who say it is nonesense must be witches too of course, so hang them as well. The idea of witchcraft is terrifying. What if there is a woman controlling your soul or your family? What other reason could there be for the madness of those young girls when you've no knowledge of modern medicine? The mere thought would drive a mother mad with worry. Could your neighbor be a witch? But Salem was not affected by this witchcraft of legend. The town was however afflicted with a much more powerful disease. A case of full blown paranoia. It's understandable of course that a mother or other family member would seek to know the reason their child is going mad. Doctors have no answers and you've heard of witchraft before so of course you assume that there must be a witch in town. Court is in session and suddenly the whole town knows of your worries so what do they do? They start seeing demons in every corner. The fear of witches combined with a feeling of resentment against certain townspeople creates one big mess. The town didn't want to admit their paranoia, it was embaressing after all so they didn't listen to those who stood up and denounced the presence of witchcraft in their town. So many people were killed in order to purge this imaginary evil that had penetrated a seemingly flawless Puritan life. "How much pain have caused us the evils that have never happened".


The Village ; M. Night Shyamalan -
Do not leave the village. Those we do not speak of are out there and waiting. You have seen them and you fear them. Everyone does. It is part of life, living with their presence. We do not speak of them and they will leave us be. Red is bad and Yellow is good. Remember that. For years the villagers live a calm life in a seemingly perfect society. The creatures in the forest are seemingly the only thing that jeopardizes this peace. What the villagers do not know however is that those they do not speak of are actually helping to keep the peace as well.

"IVY: Those We Don't Speak Of!

EDWARD: Do not be frightened. It is only... farce. Do not be frightened. "

It is only farce and those who dwell in the forest mean no harm at all. To keep their lives safe the villagers lived in a constant fear. Animals were killed when things got out of hand and it seemed suddenly that maybe this method of protecting everyone was unnecessary. Fear can control. It is a fact of life. Whether it is for a righteous or evil purpose fear is an iron hand that can hold back even the strongest man from continuing his life. Thought the village did indeed accomplish their goal of keeping their members out of the forest they also created a fearful environment for their families and friends to live in. Fear may seem like a weakness to many people but it is something that everyone possesses. Not one person in the world is completely devoid of fear. Even though Ivy was strong and knew the monsters of the forest were not real she still fell victim to a deep fear when in the woods. "Paranoia the destroyer".

Gothic Short Stories -

It grew louder -- louder -- louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. Was it possible they heard not?" A guilty consience grates against ones nerves. Might someone know what I've done? Could I be found out? Beads of sweat begin to drop down your face and you are suddenly uncomfterable. Was that a noise in the hall just now? What could Ms. Emily be doing up in that house all alone? The human mind is naturally curious. Sometimes even morbid curiousity is simply normal and expected of us. This curiousity, morbid or otherwise, will always lead to some level of paranoia. Most often prominent in a gothic setting is a very high level of paranoia that can even cause hallucinations. Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell Tale Heart is a perfect example
of a paranoia that grows so intense that it endangers the mental health of the stories unamed narrator. Do guilt and paranoia go hand in hand? Gothic literature at the least says yes. Whether this paranoia stems from an actual evil or is simply superstition it is still damaging to all. We will never know what was beneath the Black Veil in The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne but one thing is sure, the paranoia is stirred up in the town changed the way he was viewed forever and not even before death were their worries put at ease.


Romanticism -