What do you think are the major conflicts in act 1?

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favoritethings's profile pic

favoritethings | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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There is a conflict between Reverend Parris and much of the community, including John Proctor and Giles Corey.  Parris is especially nervous about learning what Abigail, Betty, and the other girls were doing in the forest the night before because he believes his "enemies will [know], and they will ruin [him] with it."  Further, he believes that his "ministry's at stake, [his] ministry and perhaps [Betty's] life." 

There are also hints of a conflict between Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor.  Parris asks Abigail about her reputation in the town, implying that it might not be as spotless as it should be.  Moreover, he says he's heard that Elizabeth has said that "she will not sit so close to something soiled" and this is the reason she doesn't attend church. 

Likewise, we also see the conflict between Mrs. Putnam and Rebecca Nurse (though it is really a one-sided conflict).  Mrs. Putnam is angry with Rebecca because, while Putnam has lost seven of eight babies, Rebecca has never lost either a child or a grandchild.  It seems colossally unfair to Putnam, and she holds a grudge out of bitterness, claiming that there must be some conspiracy working against her, that "There are wheels within wheels in this village, and fires within fires!"

byanyothername's profile pic

byanyothername | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

- The teenaged girls of the village have been caught dancing in the woods, which is very much against the religious beliefs of the town.
- Two young girls are in trances, seemingly unable to see or hear the outside world.
- Some of the girls want to tell the adults the truth, but Abigail keeps them from doing so.
-Abigail and John Proctor have had an affair. She still wants to be with him, but he tells her that they can never be together again.
-Proctor and Putnam begin to argue over wood being taken off land.
- Many of the villagers become sure of witchcraft.
- Abigail accuses Tituba of witchcraft who in turn accuses other women of the town.

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