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In "The Crucible" what is the significance of the behind the scenes discussion between...

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napolitanik | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 14, 2009 at 5:17 AM via web

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In "The Crucible" what is the significance of the behind the scenes discussion between Hathorne, Danforth, and the Coreys?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 14, 2009 at 5:36 AM (Answer #1)

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This background sequence, which can be found at the beginning of act three, relays important information about the Corey family.  We learn more information about Martha's arrest, and that Giles is very upset about it.  He comes in, figurative guns blazing, ready to take down the courts to save his wife. And indeed, when Giles walks in, they are in the middle of accusing her of reading fortunes, a charge unrelated to the pig one upon which she was arrested, so who knows what else they are going to bring up.

This conversation is also significant because it reveals the hard-hearted nature of the courts, and their willingness to arrest anyone who causes a disturbance of any kind.  As soon as Giles breaks in, Hathorne demands, "Arrest him your excellency," and all chaos erupts.  The courts don't even pause before deciding that he must be arrested.  He shouts out some pretty significant charges, that "Thomas Putnam is killing his neighbors for their land," and they immediately turn on Giles, not Thomas.  This shows that the courts are predisposed to favor anyone who supports their already-made arrests, and to automatically discredit anyone who is trying to prove truth.  It reveals the snap judgments and prejudiced nature of the judges themselves.

I hope that those thoughts helped a bit; good luck!

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