What is happening in the town Andover in Act IV?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Andover is fairly significance in the last act of the drama.  Andover is a neaby town that experienced the same situation with witchcraft accusations as Salem is.  The primary difference though is that many of the townspeople of Andover were able to look past the trials and recognize them for the political activities they were.  Andover's citizens rebelled and called for an end to such an accusatory practice and called for the removal of the officials who perpetuated such practices.  This is something that Danforth refuses to acknowledge and something that causes terror in Parris.  The idea that Andover's example of rebellion could be mirrored in Salem is not a comforting thought to those in the position of power.  It is especially relevant seeing that the main witness, Abigail, has stolen Parris' money and ran off, almost a confirmation that she read the "writing on the wall" with what is going on in Andover.  To this end, Andover represents a form of hope or redemption in the time period.  The demand for rebellion and change is something that citizens in Andover represent and something that demonstrates how, on some level, people are able to rise above the political fray and embrace that which is fundamentally good.

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