Circle Girls: Once upon a Witch

1. Although the Salem Witch Trials occurred in 1692, “witch hunts” can occur throughout everyday life. You might learn/have learned about the large-scale McCarthyism in the 1950’s, but what day-to-day experiences can cause finger pointing? Blame-casting? Refusal to take personal responsibility?

2. As an example, say you and your family ate out at a new restaurant in town last week. You, your father, and cousin all ordered the same menu item. That night, you and your father got sick. What is your first thought about the restaurant? What could a realistic reason for the illnesses be?

3. In Luke 16:31, we are commanded to treat others we would like  be treated.  Search yourself: What are times in your life that you did not follow this holy dictum?  How did you remedy the situations? Or did you?  Did you forgive yourself? Did you ask for forgiveness?

4. In Circle Girls, both 1692 and 1992 presented groups of friends caught in tight bonds of peer pressure. How hard is it to buck such pressure and stand your ground? Share an instance where this happened to you or a friend?. Did either of you get “caught” in the pressure cooker and regret your actions later on? How did you, or how will you, diffuse the situation?

5.  In Salem, lack of knowledge due to the time period is said to have caused much suspicion.  We have scientific information now. What present-day circumstances can cause suspicion, or at best, confusion, among friends and family?

6. In Salem itself, and of course Mr. Goodman in the story, parents found it hard, if not impossible, to understand that their children could be capable of such ill behavior. What prompted this attitude in the Salem parents? Mr. Goodman?

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