In what ways might Mary Warren be seen as a dynamic character?

1 Answer | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

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

Posted on

I had to pare down the original question.  There were some great questions, and so reposting them might not be bad a thing.  I think that Mary Warren could be seen as a dynamic character because she is not easily defined from the start.  When she is seen in Act I, sc. i, Mary's role is not fully grasped.  She certainly is not the girl that exerts the most amount of power.  That would be Abigail.  Nor is she the type that is seen as the "sidekick," as this would be more applicable to Mercy.  Rather, she is on the edge of the social power fabric.  She occasionally chirps in to talk about how accepting punishment might not be a bad reality, only to be quickly rebuked into her place of submission.  She joins in with the girls in their accusations and enjoys the power brought out as a result.  In Act II, she is shown to be assertive in standing up to Proctor, yet also recognizes the frailty of her own condition at the end of the Act when she sees Proctor so committed to bring Abigail down and in the dfesire to rescue his wife.  The greatest level of dynamism is in the trial in Act III, when she is shown to want to do what is right in Proctor's defense, but then crumbles in front of Abigail and the girls.  The most amount of dynamic change that is evident when she becomes confident and self- assured in her accusation of Proctor of witchcraft.  In this, it is demonstrated that someone who might wish to do good is bullied into submission by those in the position of power.  In the process, Miller brings out Mary's dynamic complexity, only to draw her as a representation of capitulation and acquiescence in the most critical of moments.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,996 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question