What are some gaps and silences in The Crucible that could be used to write a dialogue?
I think there could also be a space for some dialogue early on, between Mr. and Mrs. Putnam. He knew that she was sending Ruth, their daughter, to Reverend Parris's Barbadian slave, Tituba, to try to conjure the spirits of her dead babies. In Act One, Mr. Putnam orders his wife to tell Parris what she has done, and then he vehemently defends her when Parris his horrified by her actions. Putnam argues that there is a "murdering witch among [them]" that has been hiding herself in plain sight. One wonders if he actually believes this to be the case, especially given Giles Corey's later claim that he heard from a man who overheard Putnam say that his daughter gave him "a fair gift of land" when she accused George Jacobs of witchcraft. Does he agree with his wife that there really is a witch, or does he simply see an opportunity to get some of his personal enemies out of the way?
Come to think, that would be another dialogue the audience might like to hear. Did Putnam really say this? Is he really a murderer? Or, does the man who reported that he said this simply have it out for him because he is so disliked in the community?
Miller does not give an extensive voice to the accused. Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor are given a voice throughout the play, but Miller could add additional dialogue to the characters of Martha Corey, Goody Osborn, and Sarah Good. Despite being considered social outcasts in Salem, Goody Osborn and Sarah Good's dialogue between the judges would provide additional insight into how the court functions. Also, there are gaps of silence between Giles Corey and his wife, Martha. The audience is aware that Giles feels extremely guilty for casting suspicion upon his wife, but there is no dialogue between the couple to give insight into their relationship. Miller could also provide dialogue between the girls who are under Abigail's control and accuse innocent citizens of witchcraft. Other than Mary Warren, these characters are never witnessed interacting with other characters away from Abigail. There is no dialogue between the girls to provide insight into their thought process and relationships with other community members of Salem.
Certainly there could be more dialogue between John Proctor and Abigail. Her obsession with him and her willingness to destroy his wife to try and create a life with him has very rich dramatic potential, but the play does not offer a great deal of dialogue between them. This seems especially important since their connection underscores the nature of the petty, juvenile emotions that motivated the accusers. Jealousy or hurt feelings over being spurned by a lover are portrayed as sufficient reason to accuse neighbors of witchcraft and condemn them to public excoriation and execution. Along these lines, more dialogue among the young women revealing their petty jealousies and crushes could show how ironic their power and influence was. The film adaptation by Nicolas Hytner does explore this material somewhat further.
A conversation could be imagined between John and Elizabeth Proctor after the debacle with their servant, Mary Warren, at the end of Act II. They must be worried and confused at the turn of events in Salem town.
Tituba, the slave woman from Barbados, could definitely use a bigger voice throughout the text. She is the first person accused of witchcraft in the play and, once whipped, immediately confesses to witchcraft to avoid further punishment. This is completely different than John Proctor and other Puritans, who are willing to die to maintain their credibility and reputation in the town. Giving Tituba a voice through dialogue would highlight her cultural differences and give readers a different perspective of the hysteria since she is not a Puritan. Ironically enough, many modern readers find it difficult to identify with Puritan characters because of their extreme beliefs and willingness to endure such pain for "truth." Giving Tituba more dialogue would allow readers to more appropriately assess the Puritan culture and compare it to other cultures and religions. This comparison would likely highlight the extreme nature of Puritan beliefs and culture.
thank you :)