Discuss the implications of Mary Warren's involvement in the court proceedings as it changes her position regarding the Proctors.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Mary Warren's role as a court official is significant for a couple of reasons.  Her position as both a member of the court that sits in judgment of others as well as her role in initiating the rumours of witchcraft give her a sense of power.  This is an experience that she enjoys and is able to use in terms of her own view towards the Proctors.  When Proctor threatens to beat her for going into town and neglecting her duties as their servant, Mary Warren almost dismisses both of them suggesting that her power is transcendent in comparison to the contingency featured in cleaning their home.  At the same time, Mary Warren directly tells both Proctors that Elizabeth's name was mentioned and because of her "pull," she was able to defuse a potential threat from being identified.  It becomes clear at this point that Mary Warren enjoys the power that she holds and is able to view the Proctor through this lens.  Whereas she lacked power, she now recognizes that she possesses it.  This power is where she was deficient, but now is able to demonstrate it abundance and it is through both the accusations and her involvement with the court where she is able to use this power.  In her characterization, Miller is able to suggest that the use of power and the exercise of it from people who previously lacked it is where some of the most dangerous uses of power can be evident.

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The Crucible

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