How does Hale's response to Parris and Putnam show he may have a bit more sense than some of the other characters?

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

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Hale does possess more sense that most of the characters in the first act.  He does not necessarily embrace the idea that the town is doomed because of witchcraft, nor does he automatically presume that there is a state of being in Salem that cannot be rectified and redeemed.  Hale is a man of books and letters, and one that believes that problems can be addressed through a sense of inquiry and analysis.  His entrance into the drama with a load of books is consistent with his character.   While these realities do show him to be more sensible than some of the other characters in the story, this does not make him as one who leads the story towards redemption.  Precisely because Hale is more knowledgeable and more "on the ball" is he maligned.  He is silenced and marginalized precisely because he has more sense than the other characters.  Miller might be trying to make a point that in times where those who are in the position of power do not have the general welfare of others in their own mindset, individuals who possess common sense become the biggest of threats.

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