Salem Witch Trials and John Proctor Essay

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Pages: 7

The Crucible Socratic Seminar Question

1. Rev. Parris is not just a worried parent. He is worried about his reputation. He repeatedly says that if his enemies find about what the girls did, then they will take him down. He says to Abigail, "There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit. Do you understand that? (10)" He also refuses to talk to the townspeople in his home for fear of his enemies finding out that there is witchcraft taking place in his home. As someone is entering the room he says, "No-no, I cannot have anyone... (12)"
2. A reputation is crucial in The Crucible, acceptation into society solely depends on whether one has a good reputation or not. Abigail has a good reputation in the beginning of the novel, before the affair and her accusation of witchcraft. Abigail struggles with her reputation soon after. When accused of witchcraft, she gets very defensive, “My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soild! Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar!” (18) Although this is false.
3. Thomas Putnam and his wife do have reasons to be bitter about the course their lives have taken in Salem. They lost seven children in childbirth, and their only child, Ruth, is extremely sick. Mrs. Putnam is deeply upset as seen on page 45, “Seven dead in childbirth…softly: Aye. Her voice breaks: she looks up at him. silence.” (45) Mrs. Putnam's brother was turned down as minister of Salem by a faction, even though he had two third's of the votes. If James Bayley had won, he would have helped the Putnams be more reputable. One of the last reasons they could possibly have to be so bitter, is that Thomas Putnam's father seeming favored Thomas' stepbrother, who got more in his father's will then he did. The Putnam's choose to be bitter.
4. After Act I of, "The Crucible," underlying conflicts are already appearing between the characters. Some indicators for the underlying conflicts between Parris and Proctor are shown on page 29. Parris is angered at Proctor because he is not getting payed enough or receiving firewood. Parris stated "The salary is sixty-six pound,... I am a graduate of Harvard college." (29). This reveals that Parris is angered for not being paid a fair wage and therefore is mad at Proctor for not giving him his full wage that he says he should be entitled to. There are also indicators of underlying conflicts between Proctor and Putman. On page 28, Proctor points an accusation at Putman for turning towards the devil. "He may turn his head, but not to Hell!" (28). And because Proctor is accusing Putman for turning towards the devil, Proctor must have some underlying issues with Putman.
5. Reverend Hale’s character is dramatically changed throughout Arthur Miller’s play: The Crucible. In the very beginning of the play, Hale appears strong and resolute. He is seen as all knowing, even holy. As the play progresses, Hale’s own insecurities prompt the citizen’s slow descent of reverence for him. His kindness is one of his most attractive traits, and it is why most citizens of Salem trust him. Hale was possibly the most respected man in Salem.
Finally, in Act Three, Hale reaches his climax. Hale’s conscience finds him, and he begins to openly doubt the court. Reverend Hale has returned to Salem in Act IV. He feels a great deal of guilt about having contributed to the hysteria in Salem regarding the accusations of witchcraft. He states "Why, it is all simple. I come to do the Devil's work...Can you not see the blood on my head!” (132)
6. John Proctor is a honest, independent farmer, seen as an average citizen/Christian in Salem. He stands for a good cause, though his flaw is that he cannot forgive himself over an affair with Abigail. He has great morals and lives a near-perfect life with lone sin of adultery. He is presented as a tragic hero who cannot forgive himself. ”I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man. My honesty's broke. I am no good man. Nothing's