Help with "Crucible" Chronology?In "The Crucible" the chronological order:Abby's parents' death,dispute over minister, Nurse's land war,death of Putnam babies.I cannot find the actual...

Help with "Crucible" Chronology?

In "The Crucible" the chronological order:Abby's parents' death,dispute over minister, Nurse's land war,death of Putnam babies.

I cannot find the actual chronological order of the events so should I list how they were mentioned in Act. 1?

Asked on by loramyers

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auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

These events are all part of the antecedent action--things that happened before the play begins.  The Crucible is unique to most plays, because Miller interposes himself in prose form as he introduces each of the primary characters, and that means we get more information than we would under ordinary circumstances.  In actual dialogue, we hear few specifics about the land thing, the dispute with the minister, or Abigail's parents; we hear the most about the Putnam's babies.  That tells me it's important that they happened but only as an undercurrent and motivation for the rest of the story.

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

Posted on

Upon reviewing the play, it is nearly impossible to correctly guess the order that those events occur.  Miller talks about them, but doesn't list when, in time, they occurred.  He  uses the past tense, and that is the only clue that we have.  So, I would go with listing them in the order that Miller reveals them in the Act.  If you go that route, the order is 1-dispute over electing the minister, 2-death of Putnam's babies (Ann reveals this pretty early on) 3-Abby's parents dying (she reveals this early on also), and then 4-Francis Nurse's land battle. 

I would clarify this with your teacher, to be exactly sure what is being asked, but the above is the order that Miller reveals them in the play.  Good luck!

ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Abigail was fairly young when her parents were killed by Indians. Therefore, I would put that as #1. The death of the Putnam babies had to occur over some length of time, so I would say that is probably #2. The Nurse's land war probably occurred sometime during the deaths of the Putnam babies, so I would list that as #3. Finally, with the animosity between the Putnams and Nurses still growing because of their land dispute, I would put the dispute about the minister as #4. I agree that Miller does not list these events chronologically, but this list would be a likely scenario. What's important is really to understand that all of these events figured into the Salem Witchcraft Trials, not simply the girls' accusations.

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