Who was most likely to be named to the lists such as those in The Crucible?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Are you asking a more historical question about who might be named to the Witch List?

There is no historical evidence that there were any true practitioners of Wicca in Salem, but almost anyone who was a little strange could have been accused of being a witch. Most of the accused tended to be strange women, senile women, sometimes promiscuous men and women. Some of the people accused were known to tell fortunes, or to dabble in some sort of spiritualism. Somtimes, people were accused because someone didn't like them, or because they didn't attend church or because they expressed ideas that were contrary to Puritanism. Slaves were often accused (as Tituba, in the play) because they were either African or from islands like Barbados or Haiti, presumed to be pagans and practicers of voodoo and therefore in cahoots with the devil. It was really a question of religious fanaticism and hysteria. Once accused, all sorts of people came out of the woodwork claiming to have seen Goody So-and-So dancing in the forest with the devil, just like in the play.

See the link below for historical background.

Now, if you are referring to the Black Lists that were circulated in such places as Hollywood during the McCarthy era, this is another thing entirely. The reason Miller wrote this play was to criticize the witch-hunting hysteria of the McCarthy era. Government officials created such Black Lists of suspected Communists and if your name appeared on such a list, you could not get hired, hence the term "blacklisted".

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mkcapen1 | Student

If we are talking about who would be most likely to be considered to be listed as being possible perpetrators of the supernatural in the play The Crucible, I would have to say the following:

Elizabeth Proctor-  She is accused by Abigail who wants her out of her way so she can have John Proctor to herself.

Tituba-A native woman whom the girls danced with in the woods and who served them chicken blood. 

The girls and Abigail make accusations against the following as well; Martha Bellows, Alice Barrow, Goody Hawkins, Goody Bibber, Sarah Good, and Goody Booth.

Giles and Martha Corey are charged.  Mary Warren and Rebecca are also people who would be on the list. 

There are so many people that the cows and farms end up going deserted.