Describe Sarah Good in Act IV.

2 Answers | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

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

Posted on

I think that Sarah Good is extremely important to articulating where Salem is and where it is heading.  At the start of Act IV, she is seen imprisoned, waiting for her execution, and rambling on in an incoherent manner.  Her imprisonment and eventual death is a representation of how far Salem has gone in the hysteria and emotional contagion that has overtaken the town.  Her death is also a representation of how the Witch Trials were used as an opportunity to negate or eliminate those who were different from others.  Sarah Good was not one of the power brokers of Salem.  She was not one who commanded social respect.  Her execution, therefore, is without much in way of consequence.  Part of Miller's inclusion of her death is to suggest that when one person's rights are vitiated, the rights and entitlements of others are not that far off behind.  Parris tries to make the argument that the death of Sarah Good will not carry immediate consequences, unlike the deaths of Proctor or Rebecca Nurse.  However, Miller's purpose in including her is representative of the idea that no society can function when all participants, no matter how different or non- conformist they might be, are not defended and included in the social pursuit of justice.

We’ve answered 319,197 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question