English Assignment
1.The first act is subtitled “The Overture.” Why did Miller give it that subtitle? How does it fit the title?
  • In operas, the Overture introduces the major themes and sets the tone and mood of the upcoming scenes. Miller subtitles the first act, "The Overture", because it acts just as an operatic overture does. The first act introduces the conflicts of forbidden love, fear of the truth, and jealousy. These themes build the characters and sets the grim and chaotic tone of the rest of the play. - Sophia
2. What does the "spareness" of the purtian setting reveal about the lives of the townspeople of Salem?
They work hard as a communtiy and have no time for fooling around they live in humble ways
3. Read the description of Betty’s bedroom. What does the “spareness” reveal about the lives of the townspeople of Salem?
Betty's room is described as being very clean, small, and organized with very few furnishings. This spareness reveals how the people of Salem live in humble ways. Their rooms and houses generally do not have more items than are necessary. The townspeople seem to not take their things for granted and use only what they need. This helps establish the strict organization of the community.
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4.Explain the significance of the forest to the Puritans.
It is described as the devils playground, therefore to the Puritans anything associated with it cannot be good.
5. Explain the irony in the Puritans’ pilgrimage to Salem to escape persecution.
The puritans had originally sought pilgrimage to escape persecution of their religious views, but when they arrived at Salem they were persecuted and accused of being witches.

5. To what twentieth century situation is Miller referring when he declares: “They believed, in short, that they held in their steady hands the candle that would light the world. We have inherited this belief, and it has helped and hurt us.”

He is referring to the situation of distrust of Communists in the United States. He is saying that the Americans think that they know the answer and have the only way to function, not allowing for the possibility of other 'candles', or other points of view.

6. In your opinion, what situation in Twenty-first century American could relate to the Salem Witch Trials and the HUAC?

In my opinion, the situation that would best fit the theme of the Salem Witch Trials and the twentieth century House of Un-American Activities Committee would be America’s increasing fear of terrorism since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011. The persecution of Communists and Pagans in America parallels the persecution of American citizens of Middle Eastern descent. There are many parallels between the Salem Witch Trials and HUAC to the present day War on Terrorism. A similarity between the War on Terrorism and the previous “trials” is the powerful influence religion plays on the situations (or lack of religion for Communism). Another similarity between the three events is the widespread fear stemming from society’s beliefs during the particular time period (Paganism, Communism, and Terrorism). A third similarity is the persecution of innocent individuals in the name of the event (SWT, HUAC, War on Terrorism).

7.When Abigail enters, she is described as “a strikingly beautiful girl...with an endless capacity for dissembling.” What does the phrase an “endless capacity for dissembling” suggest? The following sentence says ‘”Now she is all worry and apprehension and propriety. Use those details to form a character sketch of Abigail.
Abigail is very manipulating throughout the play, she has the ability to hide her feelings from everyone else. So when it states, "Now she is all worry and apprehension and propriety" you don't her true feelings because she hides them. She uses her beauty to her benefit her personality trait and the audiences doesnt know if she truely feels apprehensive about Betty.

8. When Susanna exits, Abigail makes a confession to Parris, which she recants near the end of the act. What is the confession, and why does she change her mind?

A: After Susanna exits, Abigail and Parris talk about the rumor that is going around. Abigail then confesses that yes they did dance, but they did not use witchcraft and Betty is not bewitched. She recants this confession near the end of the act because Hale frantically tells her Betty may be dying so she does not want this to happen to her cousin. She then tells them that it was Tituba so they might have a chance at fixing Betty. -Scarlett Davis

9. Based on his words, who does Parris’s blame for his problems? Based on his words, what is his real problem?
-Based on the text, Parris seems to blame Abigail for everything. He has caught her with his young daugther Betty and blames her for her current condition. Although he refuses to believe that his daughter's condition may be due to witchcraft; (example:"no-no It cannot be witchcraft"(Miller Pg9); but he still considers it the possibility. This can be seen in his tone when he speaks to Abigail, and how worried what the label of a 'witch' might do his daughter and his reputation.-kunal

10. Explain the relationship between Abigail and Goody (Elizabeth) Proctor. Imagine that relationship in the 1692.
A: In Act I of “The Crucible,” the relationship between Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor is rather hostile. Abigail was a housekeeper of the Proctor’s until she was fired by Elizabeth. Elizabeth suspects and later finds out of the affair between Abigail and Proctor and fires Abigail. While Betty and Abigail had alone time, the truth comes out about what actually occurred in the woods. Betty cries out, “You did! You did! You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!” (19) -Calvin DeMott

11.What are Putnam’s motivations for his actions in Salem?
- His brother-in-law, Bayley, lost the election to Parris as the minister. Therefore he held a grudge against anyone who voted with Parris but he had to work alongside him. His wife had lost her first 7 children within a day of their birth and his lone surviving daughter was incredibly ill and was assumed to be under the control of a witch. This lead him to work with Parris in trying to find the cause of this tragedy.
12.Explain the dramatic irony when Parris says, “I know that you—you least of all, Thomas, would ever wish so disastrous a charge laid upon me.”
Reverend Samuel Parris basically asked Thomas Putnam to avoid accusing him, or members of his household, of anything relating to the supernatural. He pleads, “Thomas, I pray you, leap not to witchcraft,” (14) continuing to describe how such a man would never want to change a man of such. However, in actuality, Mr. Thomas Putnam is often found accusing people of witchcraft and other supernatural offenses, acting as a “witness corroborating the supernatural testimony.” (15)
The irony comes with the fact that Parris is asking a man, who has a reputation for accusing others of witchery, not to charge him with such, saying “you least of all, Thomas, would ever wish so disastrous a charge laid upon me.”
13.What role did Ann Putnam play in the dancing in the forest?
Ann Putnam did not play a role in the actual dancing in the forest. Abigail, Tituba, Mary and Betty were the only people in the forest. However, Ann Putnam sent her daughter Ruth to Tituba to summon up the spirits of her dead children. She was the catalyst behind the dancing scene.
14. "Explain briefly how Putnam coerces Parris to declare witchcraft."
At first, Parris is determined to not talk to the town about the rumor of witchcraft. Yet after some convincing, Procter convinces Parris to speak to the congregation in the town, saying “I’ll lead them in a psalm, but let you say nothing of witchcraft yet” (Miller 17). Yet Putnum explained to Minister Hale of Beverly how his wife lost 7 children, and how unnatural it was. So this bit of information, along with Tituba professing her desire to kill Parris, convinced Parris that inviting Hale was the right thing to do.
15. "What does Betty’s information about dancing in the forest reveal about Abigail’s true motivation?"
Abigail has feelings for the John Proctor the farmer, and that her intensions were centered on getting rid of the farmer that she loved but would never love her entirely in return even though they had an affair. By dancing and drinking blood in the forest it shows that Betty is showing how Abigail wants to get rid of the people that have made her angry, John Proctors wife because she was suspicious of a possible affair and Goody Proctor himself because he is not returning her advances.
16. "How does Abigail's character change when the adults leave the room?"
She was very conservative and very sweet and innocent like, but when the adults leave she becomes very wild, and obnoxious and beats up Betty. Its like she is two faced. Sweet and daddy's little girl when the adults are in the room, when they all leave she turns into the devil and very violent. (Krystal Hill)

hi 17. What does the threat of a “pointy reckoning” reveal about Abigail’s true nature?
When Abigail physically threatens the other girls in a visually descriptive way, the reader
learns that she is a driving force in the plot and in the hysteria. Furthermore, the audience learns that the other girls are afraid of Abigail, and they will not dare to cross her.
18. Describe Mary Warren's personality.
Mary Warren is a very timid and naive girl. She is the first girl who wants to confess to what happened in the woods. She does not want to be a liar and is not manipulative or as strong as Abigail. - (Amber Wolabaugh)
19. Contrast Proctor’s verbal excuse about why he has come to Parris’s house with what his actions indicate may be his true motivation for coming.
His own daughter is sick and so he pretends to come check up on Rev. Parris’s daughter in order to compare their situation. But he is truly eavesdropping on the affairs so that he can show that Parris and his family are not truly religious. That is why the daughter Betty is sick. If he can prove that Parris cannot handle the situation and that Reverent Hale of Beverly has to be called, then he can say that Parris is incompetent. Therefore he would make the town believe that his wife’s brother-in-law James Bailey should get the job as the town pastor. He’s hoping to get Parris fired. He is persistent in saying that here is witchcraft involved. But Parris begs him “I pray you, leap not to witchcraft”(14).

20.Explain Proctor and Abigail’s relationship"
Abigail was once the Proctors’ house maid; however her service was discontinued by Mrs. Proctor because she was
suspicious of the affair that Mr. Proctor and Abigail had. Abigail still has feelings for Proctor and is certain that he still
loves her, however he denies any feeling for her and wishes for them to both forget they ever had any relations. Due to the
fact that, at this time, the government of Massachusetts is a theocracy and sins are unlawful, if the town heard of what had
happened between these two they would both be punished and, because Abigail was dismissed, her reputation is already in
21.What does Abigail say to lead Parris, Putnam, and Mrs. Putnam to believe Betty is bewitched?
On page 24, Abigail says “She heard you singin’ and suddenly she’s up and screamin’”. This leads them to believe that she is bewitched because to scream during the song, would mean she could not bear to hear the Lord’s name. To them , that classifies as her being bewitched. (Duuna)
22.Describe Rebecca Nurse physically and by reputation.
Rebecca nurse is 72, white hair, quite fragile, uses a cane for transport. She was the wife of a respected man who acted as a pseudo-justice official for a period of time. A feud began between her family and the Putnam’s due to accusations of witchcraft. (Bjorn)
23.What three grudges could the Putnams have against the Nurses?
The Putnams hold grudges against the Nurses because Francis Nurse did not allow Thomas Putnam's brother in law to be part of the ministry of Salem. Francis Nurse is also involved in a land dispute with the Putnams and they believe that Rebecca Nurse was responsible for the seven stillbirths of Ann Putnam.
24.In Proctor’s argument with Rev. Parris, the theme of authority arises. What are the two points of view?
-The theme of authority arises from proctors connection with God and his ability to put people in Hell. But also the power lends itself to the people of the church and important people in town because their law is based around a religious aspect thus they can use that power in an unlawful way If they wish.
25. Describe Giles Corey both physically and personally.
A ridicously muscular old farmer. He is easily angered by small things(filing lawsuits against the smallest of offenses), often divulges information , has a wife named Martha.
27.What is Reverend Hale’s motivation?
Reverend Hale's motivation is to "put to use at last" the knowledge that he has acquired over the years. He feels "the pride of the specialist whose unique knowledge has at last been publicly called for." Miller informs us of this in the narration. While he writes that Hale's goal is "goodness and its preservation," it seems clear that he is also eager to exhibit his abilities and receive recognition for them.
29.What question does Giles ask Hale that shows his comical, innocent personality.
"Mr. Hale, I have always wanted to ask a learned man - what signifies the readin' of strange books?" This is comical because it shows that Giles has never encountered a "learned man" before, but he considers Reverend Hale one so he is going to take the opportunity to ask his question. It reveals his innocence because where to others it might seem like a stupid question, Giles is asking it genuinely because he truly has no idea about the "strange books."
30.What effect does Miller create by lowering the curtain for this act during the girls’ cries of witchcraft?
Miller creates a sense of suspense by lowering the curtain for this act during the girls’ cries of witchcraft. It keeps the audience at the edge, as Miller has successfully captured the attention of the audience by revealing that Abigail indeed did participate in witchcraft, and she is adamant that Betty not reveal that. It keeps the audience wondering what happens next, thus keeping their attention into the next act.-kunal
31. Abby and Betty begin denouncing everyone in order to save themselves from being persecuted for witchcraft. By doing so, the spotlight is taken off of them and moved towards the other villagers.--Calvin D
32. ?
B.Take one main character (Please – some of you choose someone other than Parris) and write a brief summary of the motivations of this character?
Reverend John Hale of Beverly is driven by his interest to uncover the truth regarding witchery. He feels pride when called to “ascertain witchcraft” and enjoys the idea of “being publicly called for.” The overall motivation behind his actions is the pride he feels in his work and his thirst to uncover the truth regarding “the invisible world.” (33) This thirst is described when stated that, as an intellectual, he has “spent a great deal of time pondering the invisible world.” (33)