Discuss Giles' death.

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

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Corey's death is a powerful moment in the drama.  We really don't know much of it.  Elizabeth and John are our eyes in it.  She tells him about how he died.  Corey's death is a moment of honor in a time of relative shame in Salem.  Corey is unable to "name names."  He simply refuses to reveal the name of his informant and he refuses to dignify the court's sham of a prosecution.  Even though Corey is not a witch, he refuses to speak in either manner.  Elizabeth tells John this and the pressing of him to death with stones is what lingers in our mind.  Corey's last words of "More weight" represents much about his death that can only cause John, Elizabeth, and the reader to strive to be more in their own lives.  The idea of "more weight" helps to bring to light the idea that Giles will not capitulate and will not surrender to the repressive techniques of the court and of Salem society.  Giles stands tall in the face of brutal repression and only demands "more weight."  At the same time, Giles also represents how honorable human beings can be.  His death is a moment where John looks with admiration at the mere mention of Giles.  It is also a point where to which he can only hope to aspire.  When he says that he is not worthy of the "dust on the feet of those who hang," he is making direct reference to Corey's death, for while he did not die by hanging, John recognizes Giles' instant glory through his death.

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