The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Please give six sentences that will summarize Act One of The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a play in three acts, and Act One is divided into three scenes. I assume your assignment is designed to make you distill all the action of these three scenes into six sentences, so that is all I will provide (in addition to an apt quotation, of course).

Some girls were in the woods last night; to avoid trouble today, one of them plays sick and many presume witchcraft is to blame. Most of the adults believe them and call for some outside help (Reverend Hale); however, the audience knows it is all a hoax. Enemies are revealed and sides are taken in the witchcraft debate. One of the girls, Abigail, is a practiced liar and has had an affair with John Proctor, one of those who does not believe witchcraft is attacking the town. Abigail has the power to make the other girls do just as she wishes (see quote below), and she wishes everyone to believe they are the victims of witchcraft. The hysteria has begun.

ABIGAIL [to the other girls]: Now look you. All of you. We danced. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam's dead sisters. And that is all. And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down! 

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