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Later in the introduction, Miller writes:

But the people of Salem in 1692 were not quite the dedicated folk that arrived on the Mayflower. A vast differentiation had taken place, and in their own time a revolution had unseated the royal government and substituted a junta which was at this moment in power. The times, to their eyes, must have been out of joint, and to the common folk must have seemed as insoluble and complicated as do ours today.

It is not hard to see how easily many could have been led to believe that the time of confusion had been brought upon them by deep and darkling forces. No hint of such speculation appears on the court record, but social disorder in any age breeds such mystical suspicions, and when, as in Salem, wonders are brought forth from below the social surface, it is too much to expect people to hold back very long from laying on the victims with all the force of their frustrations.

Miller uses this passage to suggest


That the lives of the people in Salem were just as complex as ours are today.


That during the period of the witch trials, a great social upheaval had taken place.


That when people are frustrated, they take those frustrations out on others.


That the Puritans lived in a simpler time.


That superstition leads to great societal strife.

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