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Explain why Cheever is both astonished and afraid when he finds the poppet with the...

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walkenasen | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 14, 2007 at 10:07 AM via web

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Explain why Cheever is both astonished and afraid when he finds the poppet with the needle in it.

the question is in the second act

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 14, 2007 at 10:49 AM (Answer #1)

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Cheever has not once doubted the Proctors. He did not believe Abigail's story that Elizabeth's spirit stabbed her in the stomach. When he finds the poppet, he is astonished, not because he thinks that Abigail has planted it, but because it is evidence enough for him to believe that Abigail was telling the truth and Elizabeth is a witch. He is afraid both by the thought of what will happen to her and the thought of how rampant the witchcraft is in his own town. Cheever is blinded by the town consciousness and is unable to assert his own identity and wisdom into the situation.

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