In The Crucible, in what ways has Mary Warren changed, and what changed her?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In outward terms, Mary Warren changes from a rather timid young girl into a much more confident, assertive character. This is because, for the first time in her life, she's now the center of attention. Adult authority figures in court hang on her every word, and this gives her a sense of power and control. It also gives her the confidence to resist John Proctor's impassioned pleas to tell the truth instead of blindly following Abigail Williams.

At heart, though, Mary doesn't change all that much. Her newfound assertiveness is entirely artificial, created by the strange circumstances of the Salem witch craze. Deep down, she remains nothing more than a frightened child, unable to stand up for what's right for fear of what the wicked Abigail might do to her.

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At the beginning of the play, Mary Warren is characterized as a bit of a frantic, whiney, cowardly girl who doesn't have much backbone.  As the girls gather around Betty and are talking about what to do, Mary Warren comes in, freaking...

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