What are some examples of suspicion shown throughout The Crucible?
As was mentioned in the previous post, there are numerous examples of suspicion shown throughout the community of Salem concerning witchcraft. In Act One, Giles Corey petitions Reverend Hale about his wife reading "strange books." Giles tells Reverend Hale that his wife hides and reads books, which he considers to be suspicious activity. Giles also claims that he cannot say his prayers while his wife is reading. Reverend Hale believes that this is a red flag and tells Giles that he will investigate further. In Act Two, Elizabeth Proctor learns that Abigail Williams has been accusing various Salem citizens of witchcraft. Realizing that Abigail views her as competition, Elizabeth suspects that Abigail will attempt to accuse her of witchcraft. Sure enough, the authorities arrive at the Proctors' home because Abigail stated that Elizabeth's spirit tried to kill her. The situation in Salem reaches a fever pitch as hysteria makes neighbors suspicious of one another, which results in a tragic display of injustice.
Arthur Miller's The Crucible depicts Salem's suspicion, paranoia, and use of accusation as revenge. Here are some of the major ones:
- Rev. Paris suspects that most of his congregation hates him. He also suspects that the girls tired to conjure the devil but fears that if his daughter admits this it will only further infuriate his congregation.
- Goody Putnam suspects that her children could not have died of natural causes; rather, they were cursed by some supernatural agent.
- Elizabeth suspects that John still has feelings for Abigail.
- Giles Cory suspects that the Putnams are after more land acquisition.
- Judge Danforth suspects that those accused are trying to overthrow his court. Even he suspects the girls may be lying, but to admit otherwise will cost him control of the court and his reputation as a strict judge.
- Rev. Hale suspects that the girls are lying and quits the court after Elizabeth is accused.