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Act 1 is a large act... let's look at each character individually:
ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: Miller suggests that Abigail is cunning, sneaky, manipulative and selfish throughout his stage directions of her relationships with the other girls, as well as her relationship with John Proctor. He does this through directions like "grasping his hand before he can release her" and "now beginning to anger - she can't believe it". One of my favorite directions is "winningly she comes a little closer, with a confidential, wicked air." We see this parallel her dialogue with John Proctor as she confidently suggests they get back together.
ANN PUTNAM: Miller paints Ann much more directly through her own words as a woman in support of her husband and as one who is very hopeful that there is indeed witchcraft in the Parris household. However, one striking stage direction has her speaking "with a growing edge of sarcasm". Sarcasm is not becoming of a good Christian Puritan woman. However, Mrs. Putnam's words mock Rebecca Nurse's great bounty of children while insisting that her own failure to multiply weighs mightily on her.
MERCY LEWIS: Upon entry, Mercy is described in stage directions as "the Putnams' servant, a fat, sly, merciless girl of eighteen." Her image immediately portrays itself as when the girls are alone she is ready to beat the pretend out of Betty.
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