The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, what are the consequences for individuals who choose to belong or not belong? For EACH scene you must A) Block the scene and explain why you have positioned the characters the way you have. B) Explain how these key scenes support or challenge the above question.

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For the blocking, this is something that you will need to complete on your own; but here is some help with the rest of A and B:

Act 3 presents excellent examples of what happens to those who choose not to belong or go along with the court.

First Scene: In Act 3, Mary Warren goes before the court to expose the girls' accusation as farce.  As she tries to present the truth to the judges, the girls turn against her, accuse her of sending her spirit upon them in the form of a bird, and scare her into lying again.  Mary Warren's consequence is that she is falsely accused just as she and the girls have done earlier in the play, and even when she returns to the accusers' side, she must live with the fact that she sent an innocent man and others to their deaths.

Second Scene: John Proctor's confession of lechery to the court is his last opportunity to expose Abigail as a liar.  When he does so, the whole court turns against him.  He costs his wife her reputation for honesty; he is marked as the devil's man, thrown in prison, and most importantly, seems to lose all faith in God.  In the end, his decision to go against the crowd, costs him his life.

Third Scene (from Act 4): Giles Corey, whom many do not take seriously, refuses to give the name of his informant to the court.  He is found in contempt of court and tortured (through pressing) because he will not cave to the pressure of the judges.  His consequence--his life.

If you're looking for a character who goes along with the crowd and still has to pay the consequences, Rev. Parris is a good example.  You might use Act 4, the opening scene, as your example.  At this point, Rev. Parris is going throughout the jail trying to get people to save themselves by confessing to witchcraft.  Up to this point in the play, Parris has stood firmly with the court (because it suits his own selfish goals).  Still, his niece Abigail absconds with his most precious possession--his money.  Parris, even though, he has been striving throughout the play to belong, loses his money, his reputation, and eventually his position.

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