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In Act One of The Crucible, you began to see how various events and personalities made...

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heartyou16 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 26, 2013 at 10:37 PM via web

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In Act One of The Crucible, you began to see how various events and personalities made the conditions ripe for the witch accusations to occur. Tituba, Abigail, and Betty admit they were in the woods together. Using the details they provide, imagine what Miller might have written about that scene.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 15, 2013 at 12:36 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that a key insight into how Miller envisions both the first act and the entire drama can be seen in his extensive stage directions which end up operating as more of a background into Salem.  I think that it comes across that Miller sees Salem as an example of how people in the position of power were able to recognize the opportunity in front of them to seize control and wield it for their own benefits.  In the stage directions, Miller details how the people of Salem were convinced of their own authenticity, "lighting the torch" that others were to see.  At the same time, Miller speaks of "the predilection for minding other people's business" as well as how children were not permitted to truly be children.  

In these examples, Miller is able to see how the conditions were ripe for charismatic individuals to seize the moment for their own benefit.  Abigail, if nothing else, is charismatic enough to see how she can generate an entire town's hysteria through the accusations of witchcraft.  Miller is able to recognize the disparity between the accusation and the desire to maintain power as a result of making it.  In this, Miller is able to view the gap between political rule constructing fear in the body politic and immensely benefiting from it as a result.  In this, Miller is able to construct the first act as something in which the scene helps to illuminate this condition of political and social being.


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