In the drama, how did the witch trials end?

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

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I think that Miller shows the ending of the witch trials as being a result of public outrage.  Miller is able to convey that what happened in Andover and the very idea of public dissent against the trials and those who participated in it are part of where outrage lies is how the trials are shown to have come to an end.  This is significant for while Miller has shown Salem and communities to succumb to the very worst in human nature, the rebelling against the witch trials represents how human nature can be good in the midst of such challenges.  The ending of the trials is not through top down power, but rather power emerging from the bottom up.  Part of the reason why Parris is so discombobulated at the end of the drama is because he no longer enjoys the support of the public.  It is this particular element that helps to show the power of the populace rising up against elected or installed leadership when it senses that the will of the people is absent.  I think that this becomes where Miller is artful in being able to establish how the witch trials came to an end.

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