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Examine how a pyramid of the Puritan social order in The Crucible would look.

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ivetteee1234 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 19, 2012 at 5:55 AM via web

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Examine how a pyramid of the Puritan social order in The Crucible would look.

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

Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:48 AM (Answer #1)

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This is tough because the structure of the pyramid does not reflect the fluidity of power in Salem.  This becomes one of Miller's primary points.  Power in Salem, and in general, is not a static quality, so it is really impossible to demonstrate it in a pyramid.  For example, one could argue that Giles Corey would be at the near top of the pyramid because he is a land owner in Salem.  Yet, by Act III, it becomes evident that he has no power and is thrown in jail because of it.  Parris could be seen as occupying the top level of power as a minister, but also because he so closely associates himself with the trials and their outcome.  However, by Act IV, he is nearly without power, clinging to figments and fragments of something that once was.  Hathorne and Danforth could certainly be seen as holding power in that they are the apparent arbiters of legal justice.  However, it becomes evident that they are clinging to their power by the end of the drama, believing that the rebellions in Andover have little effect on their power, when in reality they know otherwise.

Certainly, children in Salem have little power.  This is evident.  They would have to be located on the bottom rung of a pyramid of social configuration.  Yet, Abigail and the girls experience great power because of their ability to launch accusations. This would demonstrate how the notion of power is a fluid one, showing that the pyramid might not be able to effectively display how power is fluid and constantly changing in the drama.  In the end, this becomes where constructing a pyramid is difficult in terms of how Salem society is shown in the drama.  It is one in which there is an established order, but is also one in which the desire for power and the coveting of it is one in which there is a constant fluidity associated with it.

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argentum447 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 19, 2012 at 1:01 PM (Answer #2)

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The priest, who is also the head of town, would be at the top.

People who own a lot of land would be next.

Near the bottom would be the young, single females.

At the bottom would be slaves.

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