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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 207

Strictly speaking, as an argumentative text that presents a great deal of historical research in order to support its claims, this book does not really have "characters." Norton discusses several keys players, and these are the individuals who had major roles in the trials themselves. For example, all of the accusers are named, and their relationships to one another and to the accused are analyzed. These individuals include Betty Parris, the daughter of the Reverend Samuel Parris; Abigail Williams, Parris's niece; Mary Warren, employee of John and Elizabeth Proctor (two of the accused); Ann Putnam Jr., another accuser and daughter of Thomas and Ann Putnam; Abigail Hobbs, a girl with links to Maine and some connection to the conditions created by the two Indian Wars that took place at the end of the seventeenth century; and a few more. Among the accused, Norton discusses, at length, the Proctors, Rebecca Nurse, Martha Corey, Philip and Mary English, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne, and the Reverend George Burroughs, along with a handful of others. Norton also presents her findings concerning the powerful men in charge of the trials: the magistrates (like John Hathorne, Jonathan Corwin, and Samuel Sewall) and ministers (like Reverend Parris, Nicholas Noyse, and Cotton Mather) mostly.

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