Homework Help

In Act I of The Crucible, which character or characters does the audience find most...

user profile pic

kristenmarieb... | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted March 29, 2013 at 1:23 AM via web

dislike 2 like

In Act I of The Crucible, which character or characters does the audience find most attractive or sympathetic and why?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 29, 2013 at 4:10 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

One might be sympathetic to Mrs. Putnam who says she has lost seven babies. But she does promote the rumors of witchcraft based only on intuition. However, within the context of the first act (she later turns her grief on others, namely Rebecca Nurse), she is a sympathetic character. 

Tituba is, perhaps, the most sympathetic character just within the context of the first act. (Within the context of the entire play, others are equally sympathetic or attractive in character: Elizabeth Proctor and Giles Corey to name two.) Tituba clearly cares for Betty but Parris is quite condescending and dismissive, screaming at her to leave when she asks about Betty's condition. Tituba is an interesting character because, being black, she is already and outsider (this is set around 1692). 

She enters as one does who can no longer bare to be barred from the sight of her beloved, but she is also very frightened because her slave sense has warned her that, as always, trouble in this house eventually lands on her back. 

Also, whatever "devilish" mischief that might be attributed to the girls, who were really just dancing in the woods, Tituba can not be blamed because, if she was conjuring spirits, it was at the request of Mrs. Putnam, who admitted to asking Tituba to find out what person murdered her babies.

When questioned about that night, Tituba is honest but she's eventually pressured into lying. The girls follow suit, charging other women of witchcraft. Abby also blames Tituba to save herself. When Abby says Tituba sent her spirit on her, Tituba replies, "You beg me to conjure! She beg me make charm--" Although Tituba succumbs to the pressure and names Sarah Good and Goody Osburn, she (Tituba) is the outsider and sees no other way out. Also keep in mind that she is from Barbados which, to the Puritan mind, has associations of being exotic and involving strange religious practices. If anyone has to fear accusations of witchcraft, it is Tituba. 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes