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Putnam and Francis Nurse had been enemies for years and eventually Putnam gets his revenge on his adversary by accusing his wife, Goody Nurse, of killing his wife’s seven babies. Abigail is the most obvious character who uses the situation to her advantage the most. Whenever she looked in trouble or when things were looking deplorable for her she pretended to be possessed in order to force the judges to forget the previous allegations and strengthen their belief in what she was saying.
Basically, the hysteria grew in Salem because people could benefit from it.
(Sparknotes. com) A quote: “It suspends the rules of daily life and allows the acting out of every dark desire and hateful urge under the cover of righteousness”. We find out that the accusations are false as we have a privileged spectator position. This is a dramatic device which gives us an insight into the truth of the characters and allows us to know what is true and what is false.
Miller uses this to show us who is telling the truth and who is lying. As a result we are shown how out of hand the accusations have gone and also the character’s motives for their actions.
Reputation was very important in Salem. As a result the fear of being branded a witch publicly was immense. Miller uses Proctor, in Act 4, to show how morally important a person’s reputation in the village was: (with a cry of his whole soul) “Because it is my name! Because I can never have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name! ” There are many examples of how much the characters care about their reputation throughout the book.
Reverend Parris makes a remark to Abigail in Act 1 stating that he could be forced from the ministry. “… But if you trafficked with the spirits in the forest I must know, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it. ” This quote tells the reader that Parris is more worried about his reputation than the welfare of his daughter and niece. The word trafficked could be important here. Despite meaning ‘trade in something illegal’, it could also suggest that there were other people present too. I get this impression because of the words alternate meaning of there being slow moving traffic or there being a lot of cars.
In this case there could have been a lot of people. This may not have been Miller’s intention but it could be important none the less. There are more of these statements from Parris throughout the book. Miller uses the final action of Act 4 to show the significance of a characters ‘name’ in the village by using Proctor. Proctor makes the controversially heroic choice to be killed in order to save his reputation. The pace of a speech really emphasises any action in the play and it is used when Proctor makes his final speech.
Every sentence in the articulation is around seven words long. Miller also chooses to begin most of the sentences with the word because. This repetition and the sentence length make his speech sound more heroic and poetic. In the video version, Proctor delivers this speech in a loud voice. By doing this Miller is making us think of Proctor as more of a man yet by Proctor crying we are shown his emotional side and we are also able to feel sorry for Proctor and allows the audience to really believe what he is saying.
Also, because of the fact that The Crucible is written in a play format we can really feel as if we are one of the characters living at that time. The stage directions give you all the imagery you need and you can really imagine how the whole affair would have happened. Another theme of the book would undoubtedly be the want of power. This is made apparent by Miller by using the young girls to be the accusers. In 1692 Salem, women were inferior to men by way of jobs etc. The only job which females generally undertook was a servant for other inhabitants of the town.
They did this until they were old enough to make it in the world on their own. Children also had no authority or real importance in the village at this time so the fact that Miller chooses the accusatory figures to be both young AND girls is extremely important. I think that Miller really gets across how the whole trial had gotten out of hand and promotes the level of hysteria well by doing this. Usually nobody would have paid any attention to such wild allegations especially coming from young girls.
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