In The Crucible, how does Arthur Miller use the setting to create mood in Act I?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Arthur describes the room as spare and raw. There seems to be a chest, a chair, and a small table in addition to the bed that Betty Parris occupies. Wood colors fill the room.

This setting creates an empty or barren feeling in the reader. This mood mirrors what the reader begins to experience in the relationships between the Puritans, but particularly between the members of the Parris household.

The setting also includes a narrow window and a candle burning near the bed. These small instances of light give off the ambiance of intimacy in many situations, but in this situation, combined with the barren and empty feeling, they portray the feeling that there is little hope, or little purity in this situation.

The rafters are "exposed" according to the stage directions. This further develops the simplicity with which the Puritans lived. It feels like anything that is not essential is not there.

Mood is the feeling created in a reader. The setting that opens to the reader feels cold, dark, empty, and simple.

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