Act I, Scene 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What do we learn in the opening narrative that is important to the events that follow?

2. What happened in the woods the night before Act One -begins?

3. How did the events come to light, and what was the effect on Betty and Ruth?

4. Why is the town so stirred up by these events?

5. What is Reverend Parris’ first reaction to the crisis?

6. What reason does Ann Putnam have to be resentful?

7. What reason does Thomas Putnam have to be resentful?

8. Why do the girls argue about whether or not to tell the truth?

9. How does Abigail eventually get her way?

10. What is a crucible?

Answers
1. We learn that Parris thinks everyone is out to get him and that he has a need to be in control. We also learn that the citizens of Salem mind each other’s business and are unforgiving.

2. Several teenage girls of Salem were in the woods dancing, some of them naked. Tituba was trying to contact the dead, and Abigail was trying to put a curse on Elizabeth Proctor.

3. The girls were caught by Reverend Parris, and the shock caused Betty and Ruth to fall ill.

4. The town is stirred up because the girls cannot be healed, and they suspect witchcraft.

5. Parris’ first reaction is to save his own name and reputation.

6. Ann Putnam suspects someone has been killing her babies in childbirth.

7. Thomas Putnam resents the fact that his candidate for minister of Salem was not elected.

8. To admit the truth means severe punishment for dancing and conjuring; to be found guilty of witchcraft means -hanging.

9. Abigail forces the others not to tell the truth through intimidation and threats.

10. A crucible is a container in which metals are burned at high temperatures to burn off impurities; it is also defined as a severe test or trial.