Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Act 2 Discussion thread (Socratic)

Today we are going to have a discussion thread based on Act 2 of The Crucible. I want you to respond to the comments and questions of your classmates (you must have at least 4 constructive comments, using textual support, and I always want you to end with a question-interpretative or critical.
I do not want one word responses; I expect formal writing and intelligent thought showing your discerning observations, analysis, and interpretation. Please keep in mind the ideological statements and central questions as a means of helping you to analyze further. I would like to see some abstract thought as well.

To start: (each person should answer this question)

How far reaching has this epidemic become? Everyone should start here with comments and then take the thread where it will go.  (Again, make sure you are using specific textual support)

165 comments:

  1. This epidemic has crossed a boundary that holds people together. It has made daughters turn on mothers, neighbors turn on each other, people that have known each other for years suddenly cannot seem to remember that they were once friends. Proctor says "I never knew until tonight that the world is gone daft with this nonsense." He seems to be one of the only people thinking clearly enough to realize that what is happening in Salem is not normal by any means. Should John stand true to his beliefs in thinking that this witch business is nonsense? To what extent?

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    1. Yes Proctor should stand true to his beliefs and in the furthest extent he is allowed. I think a lot of the towns people do believe what is happening was nonsense but John is the only one who is wise and bold enough to speak out against it. He is a role model for becoming more open minded and breaking away from such a strictly ruled community.

      Do you believe there were other people in Salem who thought the events occuring were nonsense? If so, why is it that there were not more people in Salem who spoke out against the witch trails?

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    2. I think Proctor has already been affected by this epidemic the town has created. In some ways he still thinks this is all nonsense and it will pass over, but now that his wife has been accused he is joining will all the rest of the scared people of Salem. So to answer you question his beliefs have already changed, and even if he kept staying true to his beliefs the extent of it wouldn't matter anymore since he is just like the rest of Salem now. Do you think his former beliefs can ever be recovered?

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    4. It's crazy how literally everyone in Salem is convinced that there is witchcraft floating around their town. I agree with you, it seems like Proctor is the only one with his head screwed on straight. I think a big reason for that is because his wife was one of the first women to be suspected, so he has a personal, emotional connection and hatred for the whole situation. He also knows Abigail a lot more than the other characters in the book do. He knows what extent she will go to in order for the blame to not be placed on her. I think that as more and more people start to be personally affected by this disaster, there will be a greater majority of people who stand up and realize it is wrong. How many people will have to be suspected and punished for people to stop this hysteria?

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  2. This epidemic has reached the point where we call it an epidemic. There is not a single person in Salem who this hasn't affected. Proctor even says, "I never knew until tonight that the world is gone daft with this nonsense." Even though we all know this is nonsense, too, how far do you think this will go before the rest of the town thinks it nonsense?

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    1. The town obviously has a huge fear of witchcraft, and they are so focused on eradicating their fear that they have not stopped to consider the consequences (guilt, broken relationships, etc.) for their actions. It makes sense to do this if they are blaming their fear for their actions, and as the cause for their actions. Their actions are simply the result of what they had to do to get rid of their cause of fear. However, what they don't know is that a large part of their fear is based off of vengeance-seeking accusations that have a lot of little white lies blended in. I think that the town will realize the nonsense when they realize the true causes of the accusations, and that they are not in as much danger as they think.

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    2. I think that already people of the town are starting to catch on to what is happening. Granted, there is not many, but there are some who are wary of what is going on. For example, Francis, Giles, Elizabeth and Proctor, are all realizing what these young women are creating. On page 67, all of them realize how crazy Salem has gone when Proctor says "Rebecca's in the jail!" Rebecca is the sweetest ladies in the whole town, as we have seen earlier in Act 1. Going to back to your question is that I think that people are just now starting to realize the spread of lies and rumors going around and they are losing faith in each other as people who have never been involved in witchcraft, such as Rebecca, are now being charged. I think that not really the whole town has grasped what is king on, but it is just a matter of time. Either religion will take over, and Hale and Parris will rule over with the idea of witch's, or sense will be revealed in others enough to overpower the absurdity. Do you think religion is too present in this community? What will be left of the community?

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    3. I don't necessarily think religion is the full cause of the epidemic. It is the huge driving force as the fear of the devil creates tension between the citizens on the outside. Because of their strong religious base the town believed Abigail when she said that "witchcraft" caused her to drink the blood and dance wildly, but it is really an excuse that Abigail has made to cover up her sin. She then gets her cousin and friends to go along with it so she can keep her "white" name in the village, not necessarily because of religion. Paris also hides behind this idea, as he doesn't want to loose the town's trust. His daughter it acting strangely and he needs something to blame it on in order to keep his name. Also Mrs. Putnam’s wish to accuse the devil comes from her insecurity of losing 7 children. This is a very harsh thing for her as children were viewed very highly. Usually losing children made you look inadequate because culturally that meant God didn’t favor you as much. So, she tries to blame it on the devil who killed them and therefore she exaggerates accusations. In many ways the accusers were the ones lacking in morale which is why they tried to make others look sinful. So, to answer you question, I don't think religion was too present in the community but I think that it was manipulated and used for selfish reasons. I totally agree that Giles, Elizabeth, Proctor, and Rebecca all see this hysteria as over exaggerated and I want to point out that all of them were religious. They had their flaws but religion was a huge part of their lives too. As Elizabeth pointed out, “ I surely do. There be no mark of blame upon my life, Mr. Hale. I am a covenanted Christian woman.” Here we see that her values are based on religion yet she sees the fishiness of what is happening. We also see Elizabeths morale in the situation with Proctor. She knows he committed a sin and shes fair about it when she states, “I do not judge you. The magistrate sits in your heart judges you. I never thought you but a good man, John--with a smile--only somewhat bewildered.” Basically she is letting God judge him and herself because she understands that she is not the perfect judge. Here we see where religion is positive and creates fairness. Religion is only dangerous when the people try to take control of God’s job.

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  3. This epidemic has spread throughout the entire town. The way that people behaved in this time is a huge reason why this hysteria has spread the way it did. People are finally getting a chance to take revenge on those who've wronged them, and children are finally getting a say when usually, their voices are seldom heard. On page 77, John Proctor says, "We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys to the kingdom." When Proctor says this, he is illuminating the fact that children are supposed to be seen and not heard in this time in history, but as soon as they are given just a little bit of attention, they take advantage of it. This is why this epidemic of hysteria has spread as far as it has.

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    1. Should the children of this town hold as much power as they do during the trials?

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    2. To Schuyler's question, I think that the children in the town hold way to much power. The Puritanical belief the children can do no wrong and can never lie is likely part of the reason that they have so much influence. All they have to do is scream and wave their arms around and all of a sudden they can change a verdict or have somebody killed.

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    3. The question really isn't if the children should hold as much power as they do but more should the townspeople have let the children feel like they could take so much power. It was the belief that the children rather die than lie that made this whole thing as dramatic as it was.

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    4. The children of Salem very clearly understand despite their young age that the people around them believe that they are innocent and honest every single second of the day. These children are bound to use that knowledge to their advantage. Sometimes children hold grudges for much longer than they should simply because they haven't learned that it's better not to, and now they can call out whomever they desire and accuse them of witchcraft. Should children be taught from the very beginning that holding grudges is wrong or should they rather learn over time?

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    5. @Schuyler. I think that you are completely right. This town isn't used to having children hole the reins. No, of course the children shouldn't have this much power because they can easily manipulate people. Adults are less suspicious of children, especially in this time period, than they are of each other. The children, I think, have realized that and have decided to use that sort of power to their advantage. I believe that the adults should begin to realize that these children aren't innocent or have blackened names. So the answer to your question is no, the children shouldn't hold power in this town especially when they are the ones accusing people and sending them to their deaths. Why aren't the adults stepping forward? Why is it all up to the kids on who dies and who doesn't?

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    6. Children/young adults really do have the most power in this situation. Elizabeth explains to Proctor the power of Abigail by comparing her to a mighty figure in the bible. "Abigail brings the other girls into the court, and where she walks the crowd will part like the sea for Israel." (Miller 52-53) This comparison shows not just Abigail's power, but the great respect/fear the town has suddenly gained for her. To have fear in God is to have a great respect, the same way it is to have fear in the ocean. The ocean has the power to destroy a town with its waves, but instead it does not. You can stand before the ocean, and even find peace in the subtleness of soft waters. Abigail has the power to put the blame on any human she wants, and she has taken advantage of this.
      Do you think the people are afraid of witchcraft and the Devil, or have they become more afraid of one another?

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    7. But why do we have a tendency to rally around figures of power instead of finding our own morality? Isn't it better to follow our own path? Is it that easy?

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    8. Mrs. Comp: I think that people tend to rally around powerful figures because it tends to be easier. I think that its easier to be a follower than to be a leader. In this case, its easier for the adults to say, "Oh its the children accusing these people, and children don't lie, so it must be true." While, its harder for them to actually come up with a solution to the problem themselves. In this book, I think that the adults just stood back and didn't do anything causing the young ladies to spring into action and take control of the situation quickly and effectively. We know that the Puritans were follows of God causing them to tend to lean and depend on others. Of course though, its better to follow our own paths because our decisions are made by ourselves meaning you can't blame another for that decision. Throughout this story, people are contently accusing each other because that's what everyone else is doing. The only person who doesn't seem to be "hypnotized" by the girls power, and knows what they are doing is completely wrong, is John Proctor. Will he say anything and actually speak up and become independent, we don't know right now?

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  4. This epidemic has gone to such far extents that the citizens of Salem have lost there common sense. Reverend Hale on page 64 states, "This is a strange time, Mister. No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark..." The people of Salem are so paranoid that they have become suspicious of their fellow citizens. People are not afraid of even accusing their friends and family. Once hysteria has gotten to a certain point it seems that people loose their sense of common sense because they become suspicious of everything. Fear can make us do crazy things. I think that's why the extent of which the epidemic has reached is so immense.

    Why is it that when we are scared it is so easy to become suspicious of everything?

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    1. I think that some of the scariest things are non-concrete fears. Fears that we can't see or touch and therefore more fears come out of them. Being afraid of spiders is very real for some people but doesn't make them suspicious. However, being afraid of the dark will make you doubt yourself, where you are, and others as soon as the lights go out. Similarly, witchcraft is abstract and the people of Salem don't know a lot about it. They become suspicious because they are trying to control something that they don't fully understand.

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    2. The towns people are so suspicious of everything because everything they know is being questioned. If part of what you build your life on, in this case the fact that you and your neighbors are good christians, than you being to doubt everything. If one neighbor has been supposedly dealing with the devil for so long, even though they have seemed to be good people, than what's stopping everyone else from being evil too.

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    3. When people are scared of anything, most go and find comfort and reason for their fear. The whole epidemic start based on a fear that Abigail had that she would be accused as a witch because she she drank blood to kill Goody Proctor. We become so suspicious of everything and everyone because we are afraid those people will build up are fear. If we find fault in others and other things then something inside is comforted, and says that's the problem now I don't have to be afraid anymore. That is part of the reason people need answers to everything. Why is it easier to fear something than to to trust it?

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    4. I agree with Emmy's idea that people find comfort in their fears, most likely because it is easy to just live with a little bit of fear for people finding out a secret than to deal with the consequences of the secret being let out. Miller uses John Procter as an example of living in fear to be a place of comfort. He fears his reputation in the town and perceived morality being destroyed if the secret of his affair got out. However, he would rather live with this fear than actually face it and the consequences of his actions. This would easily make people suspicious if the truth got out. I think that people become suspicious when in fear because they are truly afraid of being betrayed. They then are more likely to put up a sort of armor around themselves, and are less likely to trust out of fear that their trust will be broken again.

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    5. Fear is a strange thing. It creates something inside of us that we don't quite know how to describe. When we are scared it is so easy to become suspicious of everything because different things stick out to us more than before the fear. For example; the shooting created emotions and fears in us we can't control and because of this, small things we didn't care about before trigger that fear to recreate itself within us. Sometimes we can't control how we act through the fear we have inside of ourselves. The parents in Salem that thought they had lost their child to some crazy disease now have a new fear that brings up new emotions, reactions, and suspicions.

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  6. Proctor comments: "Is the accuser always holy now?" What hypocrisy exists in the court? What does this say about how power is manifesting? What is corrupting the social order in Salem?

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    1. In court, if you are accused of witchcraft, you have two options. Claim innocence and be hanged or proclaim yourself a witch and be spared. The girls have been granted the power to kill people or ruin their lives. They don't know how much power they have, but this is destroying the social order in Salem. Even the best people, like Rebecca Nurse are accused.

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    2. The decision if someone lives or dies is God's job alone, and giving that power to a human, specifically the judges is giving them a power that they do not have the right to possess. It is an abundance of power like this that dilutes the morals of people who once would of thought that there is no way a devout woman like Rebecca could ever be a witch. This God-like power presented to these judges is altering the social order in Salem to do whatever the judges think is good because townspeople fear for their life. Jonathan Edwards portrayed how much the Puritans feared the power of God, and this is the same fear that drove them mad in the witch trials. Is there any case in which you think another human has the right to take another's life?

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    3. The power that is manifesting in Salem is clearly in the hands of the girls, and to an extent in the hands of the judges. However, I disagree with Kiley and believe that some of the girls, especially Abigail, recognize this power that they have to destroy lives. They are then turning on people like Elizabeth Proctor to seek revenge. However, you do have some of the girls like Mary Warren who do not seem to fully see the effects of their accusations in court. This power leads to fear, fear of one another, of the girls, of the devil, of how other people see one another, and what will happen to their lives. This fear and widespread panic to avoid the noose, the court, and keep their name clean is undoing the social order in Salem. Fear here comes out as one of the most primal instincts humans have, and our response to it can corrupt social order and lead to chaotic hysteria. How do you think that societies can make efforts to prevent this kind of fear for undoing the social order? Is prevention of this even possible? Is a hysterical event like this inevitable? Are there signs of this hysteria that society can recognize and take action to prevent chaos before it ensues?

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  7. The epidemic of hysteria has taken hold of the majority of Salem. There is few who do not believe in the witches. The farm land and outskirts are host to some people who have escaped the mob mentality of the inner town. Proctor is one of the escapees as he states, "I'll tell you what's walking Salem- vengeance is walking Salem" (Miller 77). Although, Proctor does not believe he is still effected by the trials as his wife was arrested.

    What alternative did Elizabeth had to going to jail?

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    1. In my opinion, Elizabeth had no choice but to be taken away for questioning. Throughout the last few pages of act 2, Proctor tried everything in his power to stop them from taking his beloved wife, but in the end, he had no choice but to let her go. While Proctor fights for Elizabeth's freedom, she mostly stays quiet until on page 77 she concedes, "John--I think I must go with them. Mary, there is bread enough for the morning; you will bake, in the afternoon. Help Mr. Proctor as you were his daughter--you owe me that, and much more. When the children wake, speak nothing of witchcraft--it will frighten them." This quote how strong and courageous Elizabeth is. She finally lets go of any hope of freedom and realizes that she has no choice. Instead of being dragged out by her hands, she walks out with honor.

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  8. This epidemic has reached huge heights even just in Act Two. It has become such a huge deal to the entire town and especially the families of the accused. It has gotten to the point that no one really knows what to believe and what no to believe. "He sentenced her. He must. But not for Sarah Good. For Sarah Good confessed y'see". This quotes shows the desperation of this society. They are so desperate to find true "witches" that they spare those who confess. They believe this to be proof, that there are witches among them cursing the girls. If you didn't confess, you were hanged. If you did confess, and named someone else, you were allowed to remain living. This creates a huge gap in who is to be trusted and who is not to be trusted in their society. This epidemic has hurt their town so much that no one can trust anyone anymore. It just a big society of blame and suspicion.

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    1. Do you think that this was a start to what our world is like today, not trusting of each other?

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    2. I think mistrust breeds corruption. It makes us more judgmental and less open minded and it all leads back to fear.

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    3. I think that it 100% was a start/set up to what our wold is today. The whole book was written in a time where people who were complete innocent were being accused of communism because one guy thought they were communist. The book foreshadows a time in history that happen hundreds of years later, and what's funny is the book is non-fiction. In the time of the witch trials, people didn't trusted in each other because of fear and others around then. Today media, our peers, our school, and our communities make us fear what's around us because everyone else is afraid, so why shouldn't we be? Even if the witch hunts never happened just because we are all human I think we would have found fear somewhere no matter what.

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  9. In Act II, it becomes apparent that the "epidemic" has taken over the town. Abigail has all of Salem under her thumb and Hale, the holy man that was supposed to bring reason and authority to the spectacle, has become wrapped up in the hysteria and irrationality. He even stated outright that, "we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!... until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven," (Miller 71). The calm, Bible-worshipping reverend is saying that all accused should be taken for guilty and advocating the viewpoint that no past- no matter how virtuous- is of import in these Trials. The actions of the town show that they are of the same mind as Hale.
    Does Hale see it as his proud duty to be part of the witch hunts, or is he ashamed of himself?

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    1. I think that Hale is extremely conflicted at this point in time. On one hand he's relishing the power that he has, the entire town is respecting, almost worshiping him. People view him as almost a superhero, saving the town from the evil devil. But on the other hand he's beginning to feel guilty for condemning people to jail. At one point he's discussing the arrest of Rebecca with Proctor at one point he tells Proctor that if "...,Rebecca Nurse is tainted then nothing's left to stop the whole green world from burning..." I think that this interesting because it gives a look into the character. He feels Nurse is a good women but he's also condemning her. If she is found guilty then Hale feeling like this "whole green world" will burn.

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    2. Hale is conflicted on his involvement within the witch hunts. He personally believes that there are witches within Salem for,"I have examined Tituba, Sarah Good, and numerous other that have confessed to dealing with the Devil. They have confessed it" (Miller 68). On the other hand, he does wonder whether or not all those who are on trial were accused out of true belief or vengeance. When Cheever discovers a doll he calls a poppet Hale responds,"What signifies a poppet, Mr. Cheever?" (Milller 74). This demonstrates that he does not believe that Elizabeth is a witch because he does not think that the doll is a poppet.

      In your opinion, what signifies a poppet in puritan Salem and modern society?

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    3. In response to Elena J’s comment: Does Hale see it as his proud duty to be part of the witch hunts, or is he ashamed? I believe that Hale is proud of his current endeavors contributed to the witch hunt because he thinks that he is working under God and ultimately saving society from the monstrosities of evil that threaten them in life. Hale believes strongly that he is working for God and that he is an agent to combat the evils in the world in the holy name of God. Not only is Hale incredibly proud of his contributions to the witch hunt, he is boastful in his captures of the so called witches. Miller delineates this by proclaiming: "Nurse, though our heart breaks, we cannot flinch; these are new times, sir. There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships. I have seen too many frightful proofs in court --the devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow the accusing finger points!" (Miller 68). Miller reveals the main focus of Hale: to rid Salem of witches. I without a doubt believe that he has no shame in his actions, but also feels justified to deter members of society and label them as witches. He feels that to save the town of Salem the accomplices of the Devil must be tried and sent to hell for their evil doings. Miller's poignant diction portrays this conclusion by refusing to halter under his initiatives because of the inadequacies shown by individuals.

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    4. Elena: I think in the beginning Hale is very proud to be included in these trials, as is demonstrated by some of his first words to Parris "Mr. Hale! Oh! it's good to see you again! (taking some books) My they're heavy! HALE: They must be; they are weighted with authority" (page 36) Hale seems to believe that just because he has the wives tales about the supernatural down and confirmed by the church in his books he is the authority about and above all. But near the end of act two Hale seems less firm in his beliefs "PROCTOR: I will not have her chained!' There are other men's voices against his. Hale, in a fever of guilt and uncertainty, turns from the door to avoid the sight; Mary Warren bursts into tears and sits weeping" (page 78) Hale now seems uncertain about condemning these women to death and almost guilty about coming to interrogate Elizabeth in the first place.
      Is Hale a blind victim of Abigail's manipulation like the rest of the town or is he doing this because he truly thinks its right?
      What does Hale symbolize in the book? (He came to Salem right before things went sour, he was at the Putman's when the first naming of withes happened, he was at the Proctors right before Elizabeth was sentenced)

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    5. Hale says, "I am a stranger here, as you know. And in my ignorance I find it hard to draw a clear opinion of them the come accused before the court," (Miller 63). This quote kind of adds to your quote, and I think that's because Rev. Hale is trying to figure out himself, like all those in Salem, what he makes of these witch hunts. I find it interesting how Hale claims that all people are guilty if they are accused. Even in my quote he says he doesn't know anyone in the town, but will go out to arrest those "guilty" just because an "innocent" girl says someone is guilty. There is no way Hale is ashamed. He after all is one of the leaders of he church, and he wants to get rid of all the witches in Salem, whom he believes to be of the devil. Hale is proud of capturing devil's because in his mind he's helping not hurting anyone. How do other characters respond to Hale's demeanor? What characters are being benefited by the hunts? Which are not?

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    6. What signifies proof? Even Cheever warrants that the poppet with the needle stuck in it is proof. This motif is a wily one because the truth of what is real and what is a facade is very misconstrued. What people deem as proof and what is actual truth is a fine line. But the people with power are those who get to define what is truth.

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  10. As we already know The Crucible is a parallel to our society today, but right now in the book the fear of witchcraft has reached to people who didn't even know they had that fear. Proctor is a character that I have admired throughout this book, because he is a rebel who doesn't change his beliefs on what others are thinking, but like the rest of the town he has changed. On page 73 he says, "If she is innocent! Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent ,or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God's fingers? I'll tell you what's walking Salem - vengeance is walking Salem." In this moment Proctor is scared, because now that his wife has been accused he could very well be accused as well. This play is showing that the epidemic of witchcraft has spread to everyone in the village, and no one is immune to it. I think people could have avoided this epidemic, but now that it is as big as it is no one is immune to it. Do you think the people of Salem will ever be "immune" to an epidemic like this?

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    1. I think that Proctor's response shows not a change of heart, but his clear view of the events in Salem and his ability to recognize the true motives for and causes of the Trials. When he poses the questions as to the innocence of Parris and Abigail, it is not to accuse them as witches, but to ask why it is that they are so easily seen as innocent when all others must pass stringent tests. Proctor is questioning the dubious morality of the system, and (rightly so) he finds it wanting.

      Just a thought. Now to your question:

      I think that in order to be "immune" to an event like this, Salem would have to develop a just system based not on religion, but on evidence, rights, and logic. The Trials were an explosion of hysteria and fear- what allowed them to have such a devastating impact was that the power in their village lay with teenage girls and religious men searching for the Devil. Since that was the accepted norm of the time, it is unreasonable to think they could have constructed such a system. Therefore, I do not think the Salem of the 1800s could be "immune" to an epidemic like the Trials.

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    2. (It is unreasonable to think that they could have constructed a FAIR system- sorry for being unclear.)

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  11. In Act 2 this epidemic of hysteria has taken over the town. At this point in time everyone is involved in the Witch hunt in one way or another. Most people are going along with it. But some people like Proctor are beginning to dispute it. Those who do dispute it and starting to be targeted and feel the effects of the witch hunt. When Elizabeth and Proctor question the fact that there are witches Hale immediately begins to question them on whether or not they know the 10 Commandments. Mary Warren is a good example of a typical Salem resident. She is enjoying the excitement of the hunt and has found a sense of importance within it.
    Do you think the townsfolk in Salem are enjoying the witch hunt, are they being entertained will all of the excitement?

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    1. I don't think the people of Salem were entertained during the trails. I believe they were truly scared and their fear is what caused the trails to get so out of hand. Fear makes people act out in weird ways and do crazy things. Fear is what made friends and family suspicious of one another. Fear is what caused people to believe the odd behavior of the young girls was witch craft. In a society where there is so much to be feared, this situation was taken very seriously and completely blown out of proportion. To some of the girls who acted out during the trails or accused people based on their own dislikes, maybe they saw it to be some type of a game. But for others I'm sure it felt like what could be the destruction of their entire community.

      What caused the girls to act out roles in order to frame people they disliked? Where was their motivation coming from?

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    2. I think to one extent they are. This is a town where very little excitement happens. Purpose is in religion and they seem to look for something more. So for the people looking on I'm sure it might be intriguing but there is an aspect of this that is very hard for the ones being accused. At the end of act one Elizabeth gives in by saying, "John---- I think I must go with them. (He cannot bear to look at her.) Mary, there is bred enough for the morning; you will bake, in the afternoon. Help Mr. Proctor as you were his daughter you owe me that, and much more. (she is fighting weeping)." We see how painful it is for Elizabeth to leave and how it effects her. Although some might be excited by all of this there is something very real and frightening in the events of the time. Some truly believe the devil is with them and that he is causing this and in many ways it was very real. There was excitement but also a ton of fear and sadness.

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    3. I think people are definitely being entertained by the trials; as we learned before the Puritans couldn't do much. They weren't allowed to dance, people married young, and the work ethic (from dawn to dusk until you had blisters) didn't leave them much down time. So the only way they could have a break from the monotony is this sort of entertainment and wild speculation on the culprit and cause. This is shown by the large crowd that gathers outside of Mr. Parris's house once they hear of his sick daughter and they way people, like Mrs. Putman, reaction to Betty's illness " MRS. PUTMAN (full of breath, shiny-eyed): It is a marvel. It is surely a stroke of hell upon you. PARRIS: No, Goody Putnam, it is- MRS. PUTNAM (glancing at Betty): How high did she fl, how high?"

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  12. People are admitting falsely under the pressure of punishment by death-what doe this say about people's moral code and the religious implication of salvation? What does it say about the true moral code of "devoted" Christians? Sorry but I have to ask a critical question: Does personal belief drive people's force more than religious dogma that governs them?

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    1. Yes I do think personal belief drives people's force more than religious beliefs. Proctor is a great example. He puts his own beliefs before the beliefs of the towns. I think that is why he is so wise and one of the only to speak out against the events taking place in Salem. On page 65 when Hale asks Proctor why only two of his three sons have been baptized, Proctor responds with, "I like it not that Mr. Parris should lay his hand upon my baby. I see no light of God in that man. I'll not conceal it." This shows how Proctor has put the love of his child and beliefs of his own mind in front of the beliefs of the towns people.

      Why is it that Proctor sees not light of God in Parris? What traits in Mr. Parris causes Proctor to feel that way?

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    2. This is really interesting... I believe that the false admission to witchcraft under pain of death reveals a lot about the true moral code of "devoted" Christians.
      In theory, they should have refused to confess and had faith that their death would bring them to Heaven- and yet there were few who did not admit to being witches. This is a clear indication that faith in Salem was not nearly as strong as many would have liked to pretend. Not only that, but this is a statement on human nature: our instinct of self-preservation is strong, stronger than ideological beliefs in some cases.

      In response to your critical question: I would hope that the two would be in agreement. I believe that to be a slave to dogma (of any kind) is often dangerous, and rarely wise; but if religious dogma helps one to be a better person according to one's own moral code of what is right and good, then I think it is something worthwhile. I can't speak for everyone, but I would think that it is personal beliefs that govern people-and that belief may even be that religion should dominate your life.

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  13. Fear shadows the town like a blanket. With more and more innocent people being accused and thrown in jail, the doubts that lingered in some people's minds are no longer there. The slightest unnatural or unusual things can be viewed as a sign of witchcraft now as Mary Warren described, "So many time, Mr. Proctor, she come to this very door, beggin' bread and a cup of cider-- and mark this: whenever I turned her away empty, she mumbled" (57). The town has utterly erupted in chaos and fear, for even a frustrated mumbling is viewed as the casting of a curse. The fear has already altered their states of mind causing them to be hostile and quick to jump to conclusions. At what point will people finally realize that they have lost their common sense?

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    1. I think that the people of Salem will realize how foolish they are acting after the epidemic or when someone finally makes them realize how far they have taken this. Unfortunately it will probably be too late when they realize the consequences of their actions. I believe that it will be much like Lord Of The Flies, when at the end the boys were being rescued and they realized how they had been acting and what they had done.

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    2. In my opinion, the people of Salem won't realize how crazy they are being until they are personally attacked. For example; when Elizabeth was taken away, Proctor was hit hard. He kept hearing stories of other people being suspected and he didn't like it, but it didn't cause him to want to do anything about it. Now that his innocent wife was unfairly taken away, he will go after her. Sadly, many people will have to be impacted like this at a personal level for anything to change. Is this how every epidemic of hysteria comes to an end?

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  14. The epidemic is reaching further and further into the town of Salem. Ever since the girls accused people of being witches the whole town is going into a panic mode out of fear of being accused of a witch. The more people the girls accuse the further the epidemic spreads because of fear that's growing in the society. The accusers are not only growing because of fear and revenge, but also the original accusers like Abigail Williams are coming out and accusing those whom they don't care for. Abigail accused Elizabeth only because she wanted her to die, and went to the lengths of even putting a needle in a doll and her own stomach to get Elizabeth accused as a witch. John Proctor questions, "Is the accuser holy now?" (Miller 77). I find it interesting how he is the only one who has asked this thus far, but because of this quote I think the epidemic is spreading, and making people question others morals. Should John Proctor accuse Abigail? What would happen if a person accused an accuser?

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  15. This epidemic has already become too far reaching and intrusive for the town's good. There are many people already in jail, and the accusers get the benefit of the doubt. The phrase "innocent until proven guilty" holds no ground in this situation, and the court system has so much power that it can basically do whatever it wants. Arrest warrants are being given out left and right, as Cheever says that he is "given sixteen warrant tonight, sir..." (page 73). At the pace the accusations are rolling in, it won't be long before the entire town is accused of witchcraft.

    Would Proctor's testimony about Abigail in court have any affect on the cases, or has the hysteria already pushed the court system beyond repair?

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    1. I think it would affect the cases, and possibly help the epidemic to ease away. Proctor demands Mary to confess to the court, but he knows that Abigail will accuse him of his crimes if Mary does confess. He says, "Then her saintliness is done with...We will slide together into our pit; you will tell the court what you know," (Miller 80). Miller uses Proctor's knowledge to show that, if he confesses, the people of Salem may see that Abigail is acting out of vengeance instead of truth. This could potentially ruin Abigail completely, showing that she is dishonest, and thus invalidating the accusations that she has made. This leaves me to question, should Mary Warren confess what she knows to the court or should she side with her friend Abigail? Is it okay for people to side with those they are close to even when they are against what they think is right?

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    2. I agree with Gretchen, that it would have an affect on the cases but I don't know how big that affect would be. Since Abigail has more power than Proctor at this point, she could manipulate the court into thinking that Proctor and Mary Warren were behind this. Even though the court is corrupt and broken at this point, there were intentions of good while it was being formed. This showed signs of humans thinking for the good of the people, the laws that formed our constitution, but yet again fear and hysteria has managed to take over and make people forget about the good. So yes, to some extent Proctor's testimony would have an affect, but unless he has people to back him up the trials will go like planned. Do you think the wrath of Abigail can be broken?

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    4. I have to disagree. I think that since Elizabeth has been accused and arrested for the crime of witchcraft any action on John's part now, especially if that action is to blame Abigail who is Elizabeth's accuser, would look like he is only grasping at straws to try and get his wife freed. This, and Abigail's backlash at John's 'betrayal' when he accuses her, will most likely make John himself seem guilty and may get him sentenced just like his wife. The only affect this would have on the cases would be to make Abigail more trustworthy and let her get away with more and result in many more people getting put in jail.
      Would Abigail lash out and accuse John of witchcraft if he came forward, or does she love him enough to give up her chance at getting rid of Elizabeth and ending the trials?

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    5. I think that the hysteria in this town has already been pushed so far but it still can be pushed even further. To answer Mitch's question I think that Proctor's testimony will have a huge effect on the case but the court is also already been pushed anymore action will just bring the court completely down. Proctor has a huge voice in the town. He has already broke Charity with Paris, and now he is beginning to break charity with his wife. Any of his actions next will make a dramatic difference to the court and to the case. But also to answer Gretchen's question, I think that it is not okay for people to side with those who they are close to even when they are against what they think is right. A huge problem in the book is that people are siding with their friends or family or the head voice in the situation and that causes a loss in personal opinion. On page 80 “ Mary Warren, struggling to escape him: I cannot do it, I cannot!”(miller 80). This quote shows this because Mary cannot testify because she knows that is not how her friends or the court believes and she wants to side with her friends of the town. And that is where we get into problems between characters.
      What makes is so easy to side with people you are close to? How does the book show this reason?

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  16. The epidemic of has become far reaching to a high extent. The epidemic at first was present, however not chaotic, and in the last moments in Act 2, Miller illustrates the complexity and the how the problem has increased significantly. Miller verbalizes: "Aye, it is a proper court they have now. They've sent four judges out of Boston, weighty magistrates of the General Court, and at the head sits the Deputy Governor of the Province. Proctor: Why, she’s mad. Elizabeth: I would to God she were. There be fourteen people in the jail now. And they’ll be tried, and the court have power to hang them, too” (Miller 50). Miller explores the urgency of the problem that the sweeping epidemic has taken over Salem. Elizabeth serves to depict the direness of the matter by saying that fourteen people have been arrested and that they can be severely punished for witchcraft. This shows how the epidemic has been instilled in Salem.

    To what extent will the group of girls carry the epidemic in Salem?

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    1. In response to your question Hayden, I believe the girls are a huge reason why the hysteria in this town has reached this point. They hold all the power in the trials and are manipulating everyone because they don't want to face what they've done wrong. They are finally getting attention where they didn't before, and will do anything to keep the attention on them.

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    2. The girls are truly the main cause of the epidemic. A lot of things have built off of where they started it, but they are the main reason. These girls are selfish and completely self driven. That is why it is so easy for them to put on an act and accuse people without real proof, and sometimes without any proof at all. The girls have no worry for anyone other than themselves. As long as they can save their own skin nothing else matters. As long as they can keep up the act they could take it to as far as an extent as they would like. This is the perfect opportunity for them to get back at anyone they have ever disliked. This all once again boils down to ego, the soul reason for any move someone makes.

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    3. What affect do you think attention has on the girls and us as a whole society? Why do we crave attention? Is it a basic human desire?

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    4. In response to Hayden:
      I think that it is not necessarily attention that most people crave, but the things that come with it- recognition, praise, power, and more. It has certainly given the girls immense power- none more so than the manipulative, cunning Abigail. I believe it is a basic human desire to want recognition and the praise that comes with that, and human history has shown that many individuals greatly desire power as well and will do anything to get it.

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  17. The fear and paranoia epidemic is spreading to the point where it is skewing the perspectives of the people of Salem. It is causing people to not think clearly or logically. Miller shows this through Proctor's attempt to show how ridiculous many of the accusations are. Proctor says, "Is the accuser always holy now? ... We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law," (Miller 77). This is important because it shows how, even when Proctor flat out tells the people that they need to stop and think about how valid these accusations are, because, in reality, a large part of the accusations are for revenge instead of justice. This also shows how ignorant the people of Salem are towards common sense when acting out of paranoia, and how their fear of witches is causing them to go forth in accusing people without thinking through the actual evidence because they genuinely believe they are in danger. What causes fear to skew the perspectives of people, even to the point where common sense is invalid?

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    1. Gretchen, I like the points that you have made in your argument. The quote you pulled asking "Is the accuser always holy now?" (From Miller 77) really brings up a good point. None of us could ever be 'holy', because that is a characteristic of God, and of God alone because as humans we have all sinned. But, I do not think that we are in any place to judge each character and say that they were acting illogically, because the mind of every human works differently. There is no possible way to dissect the mind that God created. He created the Universe, and the stars (each one is different). This same God created humans, and maybe their response was not of God, but they had been reacting in a way they thought was logical at that time. We cannot judge them for how they acted, especially if we have not experienced life from that perspective for ourselves and really been in that position. But, Gretchen, you really bring up a good point about the accuser.
      What would you sacrifice for the good of another person no matter how much they do or do not deserve it?

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    2. Jordan, I honestly don't know what I would sacrifice. I may say that I would give up my life for another person when in a dangerous situation, but in reality, I have no idea if I would do that in a dangerous situation. You bring up a great point that everyone has a different mind that works differently. I hope that I would be able to sacrifice for others, but I don't know that, in a time of great stress and pressure, that I would follow through. It is definitely nice to think that I would be able to sacrifice myself for others, but I do not know for sure that I would be able to do that when acting out of instinct. How do you think people change their thinking when put in a stressful or dangerous situation? Do you think this shows a false perspective of the person, or would it bring to light their true intentions and beliefs?

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    3. Gretchen, I think that most of the time it is not a conscious decision to allow fear to skew someones perspective, I honestly think that most of the time this fear of death and the unknown causes people to have tunnel vision and only see what they think will protect themselves and possibly their families. Even though Abigail is a very prominent example of someone not using their common sense and taking the easy way out, even if it gets them in trouble, which is exactly what Abigail did when she started a witch hunt instead of facing the consequences of dancing in the woods.
      Jordan: The answer to your question depends on each person. Some people would give a lot: money, food, compassion, to people they just met and may even be willing to die for their closest friends and family. Others however have different views on life and might be hard-pressed to make even smaller sacrifices for people they are close to, let alone dying for them. I personally would be willing to help anyone who would ask for it, but I might be more than hesitant to die for a new acquaintance.
      In society today do we promote trust in others, and how does this affect how we approach and talk to strangers?

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    4. In response to Grace:
      I believe that, as a society, we send mixed messages. We tell each other to see the good in the people- and yet at the same time we warn our children not to talk to strangers and tell them that they must not trust freely in this dark and twisted world. We are very cynical as a society. The very word "stranger" means danger, unknown, strange, and different, and it carries negative connotation.
      Where is the line between caution and cynicism? What is the difference between being trusting and naive?

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  18. This epidemic has come too far. To me, this idea of having vengeance on another person in your own town is terrifying. Once the girls realized they had power in their hands to spread the idea of witchcraft, they knew they could do anything to split their small community apart. I'm not sure if this was how it turned out in the real event, but Miller depicts it as though the girls knew what chaos they were causing. “Why do you never wonder is Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born as clean as God’s fingers? I’ll tell you what walking in Salem-vengeance is walking in Salem.” (pg. 73) Proctor stated this to Hale and I believe it is a very good idea that he is starting to introduce to Salem. The audience, for the most part, knows what is going on. The actual characters in this book do not though and it takes a lot of courage to say something about the truth. The spreading of witchcraft is getting way out of control and because characters like Hale and Parris believe the first thing they hear, it leads to revenge. Rumors are spread and there is accusations flying around. The girls are likely to get revenge and there is no one, but people like Proctor and his wife Elizabeth, to realize these lies. Like I said earlier, I think it's terrifying how this community is being ripped apart. This epidemic has already come too far, but how far do you think these girls will take it? Will Mary Warren tell the truth about Abigail or save her own life? Is it worth it to turn in your best friend and lose a friendship for a wrong doing?

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    1. I don't really know how far the girls will take it, but from insight into Abigail she has the power to accuse the whole town of witchcraft. She has already turned daughters against their own families and friends against each other and the only reason this has happened is because Abigail has power. Power is a strong motif in this play not only because of how it affects people, but how it works is remarkable. To answer your second question I think Mary Warren will try and save her own skin, even though she wants to be loyal to Abigail. On page 76 Mary Warren says "I cannot do it, I cannot". The fear of witchcraft has gotten to Mary Warren to the extent that she will sacrifice her personal integrity. To answer your third question how is Abigail a best friend to Mary, when Mary fears her? If Mary turned Abigail in, she would be doing herself a favor, that which what would "free" her. The people in this town are so sick and twisted that friendship is the least of their worries. Were these feelings always in the people of Salem or were they triggered from the Witch Trials?

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    2. I think once the girls realize the effects that their actions have had on other peoples lives and that some people are going to die they will come clean about what really happened. I don't think that Mary Warren will tell the truth about Abigail, because the very last line of the book is, "And she is over and over again sobbing, 'I cannot, I cannot, I cannot'" (83) I don't think she will testify and even if she does I believe that she will lie to protect Abigail

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    3. This epidemic, like Cece said, has already come too far. The girls have manipulated the thoughts of their neighbors to spread this fear and have used their power to get revenge on people they share past grievances with. In response to the question of how far do you think these girl will take it- I think they will continue to do it until they have reached their goal. This is different for every one of them, but we can already see that Abigail has a clear goal. Elizabeth tells John, "And she may dote on it now-I am sure she does-and thinks to kill me, then to take my place." We can see that Abigail has a clear goal, and until she attains this goal or someone stops her, she is going to do whatever it takes to achieve it. However, at this point it seems likely that she won't be stopped, as the only people who can stop her are Elizabeth (in jail), John Proctor (no proof), and Mary Warren, who fear Abigail too much to speak up. The threats that Abigail hold over her are so great that they are preventing her from saving a life. This extent of fear is terrifying, and the way that it is controlling these people to turn against one another and not stand up for each other is ripping their community apart. Does self perseverance always overcome the will to do what is just or right? Is the threat of losing one's life a justifiable excuse not to stand up someone else's life? Does anyone in this book hold enough power to stop Abigail?

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  19. The epidemic of witch hunts, along with fear, has spread not only throughout the world but throughout time. Last night I was watching Criminal Minds and they talked about this investigation being a witch hunt and how it's really a guess and check situation, even if the Puritans didn't really check that people were witches. In the book the witch hunt affects everyone because everyone at least knows someone being accused. You can see the fear spread throughout the people and really take over how they live their life I mean on Page 73 Cheever talks about "doing as he is told" and how he has "little time. The court bid me search your house, but I like not to search a house". These people are so obedient and silent now because of the fear of being accused. Some people did nothing because they probably knew what the girls were doing and they wanted to make sure that the person they had a grudge against would get charged. Giles talks about Walcott accusing his wife of bewitching him with her books to never keep a pig alive, so I doubt Walcott was really on bad terms with the girls because if they like the person they would have put a stop to it and denied it.

    So what is it that makes humans so moral one minute and so cold the next? Where is the line drawn?

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    1. I think that what happens is that it takes so little to make us snap as humans. The slightest little action or comment can set us off even if as you said the minute before we appear to be forgiving and honest people. When Proctor and his wife, Elizabeth are talking, she says "John, if it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now? I think not." (p.54). That comment she makes right there infuriates him immediately as he believes that he has done all he can since being unfaithful to make her happy. His demeanor and morals in that moment no doubt changed, and he was on the defensive once she said that. Should we as humans learn to hold back before we snap and quickly become everything we don't want to be? Are we even capable of that?

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  20. Throughout the course of this book the accusations of people against one another have become more and more far fetched. People are being arrested on wild claims that may not have any significance at all. "Hale: Abigail were stabbed tonight; a needle were found stuck into her belly- Elizabeth: And she charges me? Hale: Aye."(76) Abigail claims that Elizabeth stabbed her with a needle which is enough to get her arrested and tried for witchcraft. People will take the smallest things and blow them out of proportion all because of this hysteria.

    Why do people act so irrationally in a time of hysteria?

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    1. Tom, I agree with your statement about hysteria causing people to behave unusually. I think that fear has taken over the lives of the people of Salem and it is controlling their irrational actions. Also, I think that people are throwing around blame in Salem in order to save their own life and reputation. Hysteria brings out the worst in people. It creates, fear, guilt, paranoia, and false accusations. Honestly, if I were in the shoes of someone in Salem at the time, I would not know what I would do because it is human nature to react to hysteria the way that the people of Salem did. Who do you think caused the paranoia and hysteria in Salem?

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    2. Tom I think that this is a great question that can have multiple answers. This question can be looked at in many ways. But to me, people act so irrationally at a time of hysteria because they want to protect there own skin. People in our world will do anything to protect themselves and there name. This type of protection can cause a irrational response and action during that time of hysteria. On page 73 "Elizabeth: Oh! Going for it: Why, this is Mary’s." (miller 73). This quote is a good example of people protecting themselves. Elizabeth is obviously being called out for having it but she automatically places the blame on the next person. And this type of irrational thinking really happens during the time of hysteria.
      Question: What makes it easy to place the blame on someone else, while under pressure? Should you accept the blame or should you act irrationally like Elizabeth did?

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    3. People act irrationally in times of hysteria because they usually do not have any legitimate facts that are proven. People like to find an immediate source of blame so that all of their frustration, confusion, and anger can be placed there. For example, Elizabeth Proctor has been accused, not only because Abigail hates her passionately, but also because she is an easy target. Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn are also easy targets, mostly because of accusations against them in the past, but nonetheless, still an easy scapegoat. Are humans capable of slowing down and trying to find the facts before accusing people so quickly?

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    4. Kira, I think that Reverend Parris is the one who caused the hysteria to spread throughout Salem. He is looked up to and respected in the community and when he is saying that it there are witches it scares the citizens of Salem. Not only is he spreading the hysteria but he has also convinced the judge to punish the "witches" more severely.

      What do you think could've been done to prevent this hysteria?

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    5. Tom, I believe that people act so irrationally in a time of hysteria due to panic. They panic that something is going to happen again and they go to large measures in order to stop it from happening again. People, in these panicked times, tend to believe anything that is thrown at them. They need someone to blame and quickly before it could happen again instead of taking the time to figure out what happened exactly and who did it. Do you think that people should take the time to figure a problem out and begin randomly accusing people so they can try to stop it sooner?

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  21. The epidemic of fear of witches has spread throughout all of the commanding positions(judge, jury, pastor) in Salem. This means that even though some people like John Proctor or Giles Corey know that this isn't a true bewitching and speak out against it won't change anything because the people with the power believe there is something truly wrong that they need to fix. Many of the townsfolk have been convinced by Abigail act that the Devil really is in Salem, which is shown by Mary Warren when she comes back late to the Proctor house "I am an official of the court, they say, and I- ... The Devil's loose in Salem, Mr. Proctor; we must discover where he's hiding!" We can infer Mary means the court officials when she says 'they say' and because they are convinced she is certain it must be true too.
    Is there anything John could have done before the witch hunts started to prevent them from ever occuring?
    Was giving Elizabeth the 'poppet' a plan devised by Abigail to give the court the proof it needed to convict her? How can you tell?

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    1. I do not believe that John had any control over the developing witch trials because as he said, “I never knew until tonight that the world is gone daft with this nonsense” (68). John never even knew that dancing in the woods that Abigail admitted to would go farther than inside her own house. About now in the book, he is quite astonished and panicked. He realizes now that her word is stronger than those who are in doubt of the witchcraft because people are in desperate desire of this scapegoat. Not only is it a witch hunt, people are now using it to confess their innermost opinions, and it is a release that is long overdue. Looking at the poppet, I definitely think that Abigail is using it as a tool to achieve her goal of successfully accusing John Proctor's wife. When Mary Warren discusses the poppet with John she desperately screams, “She’ll kill me for sayin’ that! Abby’ll charge lechery on you, Mr. Proctor!” (80) Abigail is the she in this passage, and Mary is absolutely frightened if Abby is to learn of her telling the court about the poppet and who truly made it. Could there really be an honest court with honorable judges in a time of such panic?

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    2. Answering your last question, I do believe this was just yet another one of Abby's plans to get Elizabeth into court and have her charged. Abigail has always been in love with John Proctor and we saw that in the first Act. Proctor says in Act 2 "I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven months that she is gone(pg.52)" Proctor here is talking to Elizabeth about Abigail and I think that this proves how is no longer in love with Abby. And Abby is still in love with him. Of course, Abby has this power in the town, some sort of hold over Salem, and has Elizabeth come in in a nasty way, thinking that she will get John all to herself. On page 72, Mary Warren states, "Ask Abby, Abby sat beside me when I made it." This make me so angry because now the audience/readers know that Abby saw what Mary Warren was making, and saw her stick the needle in the stomach. When Abby claims that "it were your(John) wife's familiar spirit pushed it in (pg. 71)", we know Abby saw Mary Warren stick the needle in and we know that Abby is very aware that Mary works for John and Elizabeth. Everyone in this claims it is "hard proof", but what is proof? How can we prove these witch's are witch's? The guidelines change everyday. How much power can Abby have?

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    3. Abbie: I think its hard to have an honest court in general, and the panicking of the town made it a lot worse but it is the courts job to be the level headed decision-maker in a time when things seem violent and hopeless. I think because the court officials were brought in from a different town as Proctor references in Act two "Reverend Hale! Can you not speak to the Deputy Governor?" (pg 71) (The only way that Reverend Hale would have known the Deputy Governor was if he was from the same town, far from Salem, that the DG was.) is all the more reason for these men to be impartial. They don't know anyone so they don't have any grudges against any family so they should be impartial, but they are still seduced by Abigail's lies. So is there any true way for a court and its judge and jury to be completely impartial or will the justice system always be biased?

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  22. The epidemic in Salem has controlled the actions of the characters in Salem in different ways. For example, On page 61, Elizabeth states "Rebecca's charged!" and in response, Hale says "God forbid such a one be charged. She is, however - mentioned somewhat." Through these quotes, Miller conveys how far the hysteria has come because someone so innocent and friendly like Rebecca is now being charged. These quotes also illustrate the motif of power and manipulation in the town in Salem. Hale realizes that the power no longer lies in his hands, but instead it lies in the hands of Abigail and the other girls. Hale has lost his authority and say of what is going on in Salem. This powerfully demonstrates how far the epidemic in Salem has gone. Relating to the motif of power in Salem, who do you think has the power in our society, and how is that power gained?

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    1. Much like Salem, I believe fear is a driving power in our society which is gained mostly by acts of trauma. For example; after 9/11, a horrific act of trauma, people gained a fear for their safety which eventually led to massive change in the way our society works. That fear was so powerful that people were willing to give up freedoms for their security. Another example is what we all experienced on the 13th. After that trauma, security guards were put around the school, doors were locked, and everyone at this school is on edge. Fear is powerful and unavoidable.

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    2. Diana, you bring up a really good point. Fear has a ton of power over society. People are willing to give up freedoms for that sense of security. I think that this contributes to giving the people who are "in charge" even more power over the people because they have given up that freedom. By controlling the fear, the people in power gain more power. However, there comes a point where people cannot be controlled by their fear any longer, when they overcome their fear. This puts power back into the hands of the people. How do you think the people who have power use fear over their subjects to increase their power? What happens when they loose control to the system they create?

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  23. The epidemic of hysteria in Salem started off as just a few young girls falling ill and blaming it on Tituba, Reverend Parris' slave, however, the accusations are now flying
    from every corner of the village and everyone is suspicious of the other. No one person believes that they are safe from being accused as a witch, creating an atmosphere of hysteria. Every person in the town has a grudge of some form against another person, and this event is the perfect opportunity to blame them. When Elizabeth Proctor says, "She will cry me out until they take me!" (p.60), referring to Abigail Williams, who has a certain kind of resentment towards Elizabeth as she is the one who gets to be Proctor's wife, she is bringing to light how far people will go with their accusations. Should John Proctor admit that he believes Abigail is manipulating others to get them out of her way?

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    1. I think that Proctor should have admitted his knowledge that Abigail was dancing in the forest. I also feel that he should admit his very evident disbelief in witchcraft in Salem, with attempts to persuade others to agree with him. If he had spoken his knowledge about Abigail when Elizabeth told him too, there is a likely chance that the entire situation of Salem would be different. When should humans proclaim what they believe in? When is it okay to attempt to persuade others to believe the same things as yourself?

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    2. I agree with Kiley that Proctor should admit his knowledge of what the girls did in the forest because without a substantial claim against the girls, the town will continue in the hysteria leading to a multitude of lives lost. However, I do not think he should concede his disbelief of witchcraft unless asked, which Hale has done. If Proctor confesses his disbelief of witchcraft, he can be implicated as a witch, too. This can lead to the severe punishment of a hanging. I think Proctor wants to confess his knowledge of Abigail's adventure in the woods, but is afraid of implicating himself as a result of the accusation. Proctor and Elizabeth have a discussion about Abigail and her misdoings: "Elizabeth: You can not keep it, John. Proctor: I know I can not keep it. I say I will think on it!" (Miller 51). Miller depicts the moral dilemma that Proctor faces when confronted with the decision to accuse Abigail of her lies. Proctor fears that by confronting Abigail in court, he will then be implicated because he did have an affair with her. This action is frowned upon by society since he is married and Abigail is a young girl, constituting the act as adultery. Is it worth doing the right thing even though in the scheme of things you can implicate yourself?

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  24. At first, this epidemic may have seen absurd, unlikely, or impossible. Sadly, as the story continues on the readers see an increasing amount of violence come alive on the paper in front of them. In my opinion, this epidemic was taken too far when Parris says, "You will confess or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba!" (pg.42). Arthur Miller includes this quote to reveal to the reader the severity of the situation. It is hard to see, from a modern American perspective, how the events of Salem came to life. Arthur Miller uses diction and timing such as this to help the reader further understand that this is no game. This is in fact a life or death situation. Once the audience is able to wrap their minds around that, it is much easier to see how the event's of Salem spread like wild fire. Ever since Tituba confessed to being a witch, the situation has been taken way too far. Should Tituba have falsely admitted? When is it appropriate or even beneficial to admit to some wrong in which you have not committed?

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    1. In my opinion, the society was already on the edge of an epidemic hysteria. If Tituba hadn't falsely committed I believe that eventually something else would happen to send them off the edge. I actually admire Tituba's courage for admitting. She saw how terrified and confused the rest of the town was, and instead of letting the blame fall on someone she cared about, she made sure that she was blamed. People believed her because in their society, as awful as it is, it made sense for someone in Tituba's social status to be guilty. Although Tituba's courage is appreciated, I believe it is wrong to admit to a wrong doing that you did not commit, no matter what the circumstance. If more people were open and honest about their actions I believe our society would be much less complicated.

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    2. I believe that Tituba was neither right nor wrong in falsely confessing. All she was trying to do was save her life, and there's nothing wrong with her doing that. However, she also destroyed her reputation and will have to spend what I'm assuming is a large portion of her life in jail. Both ways aren't enitrely beneficial to her, as she would either die or spend her life in a cell. Sometimes it can be appropriate to admit to things that you have not committed if you believe it's right. What is the cost of admitting to something you did not do?

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    3. Diana, I agree in that if Adam didn't eat the apple, eventually someone would. But perhaps this situation could have been different had Tituba refused to confess. Perhaps if she had stood up for herself, others would do the same and the domino effect would not come into play. I am in no way blaming Tituba for the events in Salem. I just feel that if one persons actions had changed, we would not be reading about this right now because the events would have played out much differently. And also, you say "If more people were open and honest about their actions I believe our society would be much less complicated." This statement is exactly what I am going for. If Tituba had been honest, the society of Salem would be much less complicated. Do you think that it is okay to falsely admit? What if admitting means it saves your life but kills many others?

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  25. The epidemic has become a chorus of accusations from the girls who have the "sickness" or the power. Abigail is using this to accuse people that she wants gone by putting on a fake look of innocence. Elizabeth sees through this fake image as she describes what Mary said about her, "... she speak of Abigail, and I thought she were a saint, to hear her. Abigail brings the other girls into the court and where she walks the crowd will part like the sea for Israel. And folks one brought before them, and if they scream and howl and fall to the floor---the person's clapped in the jail for bewitchin' them." Even though Elizabeth wasn't at court to witness this, she felt the fraud and power that Abigail brought.
    Should proctor and Mary stand against Abby in court even though its's a lost cause because of Abigail's power?

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    1. Elianna, I do think that Mary and Proctor should stand up to Abigail in court and accuse her for her false accusations because it is the right thing to do. Even though this act will not make a substantial difference in the result of the hysteria, accept more death, Proctor and Mary should uphold themselves to a standard of their moral code and also their religion since they know the powerful influence Abigail has on Salem. Ultimately, speaking out against Abigail and the group of girls would show the irrationality that has overtaken society and perhaps bring them to their senses.

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    2. I absolutely believe that Proctor and Mary should stand up against Abby in court. I do not think that standing up for your beliefs is ever a lost cause, because all that is necessary is to persuade one mind. Once you have convinced someone of your argument, they will surely continue your cause and it will be a chain reaction. I believe that Miller includes both sides of the argument in the text for a reason. Proctor will absolutely stand against Abby even if he is standing alone, and yet Mary Warren refuses to charge Abigail with anything. She says on page 75, "I cannot charge murder on Abigail... I cannot, they'll turn on me." The reason that Miller includes both sides of the argument is so that the reader can relate to both views. I can relate to Mary Warren in that I too would be very afraid of the consequences of standing up for myself. That said, I can also relate with Proctor in that I would stand up for someone that I love. Arthur Miller gives his audience a very clear idea of the dilemma that Proctor and Mary Warren face, yet I hope inside of me that they decide to stand against Abigail.

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    3. I don't think that Proctor should challenge Abigail in court, at least not yet. Abigail and her group have too much power and influence in the legal systems for it to do any good. First, Proctor needs to get some people on his side. He needs to begin showing people how ridiculous they are acting, and turn some of the town away from the fear and hysteria. Once there are some people on Proctor's side, then he can have a fair trial and display his evidence to the court. If he testifies and accuses Abigail now, he will set himself up perfectly to be a victim of the same organization he is fighting against. If Proctor is accused and thrown in jail, then the last hope of Salem regaining its sanity is gone. He needs to make a plan of attack and gather a few allies before he can attempt to take down the catalyst of all this madness.

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  26. This epidemic is going way out of proportion. In this act, act 2, people start to accuse way more than what should be. Any little action can be directly related to this. Like when Marry Warren gives Elizabeth the poppet. A few minutes later Elizabeth is being arrested for having the poppet. And now Elizabeth is being warranted. On page 75 Cheever says " Tis hard proof! To Hale: I find here a poppet Goody Proctor keeps. I have found it, sir. And in the belly of the poppet a needle’s stuck. I tell you true, Proctor, I never warranted to see such proof of Hell, and I bid you obstruct me not, for I -" (miller 75). This quote really shows how far reaching the epidemic has become.They go straight to the idea of witchcraft and they don't think of any ideas other than that. But I also notice how everyone wants to see the proof of the situation either if it is the truth or not people in this town want proof. That is why the epidemic was so far reaching because people wanted proof and they wanted any action to lead straight to witchcraft.
    Question: Why does the people of the town always want to mark or see proof on any comment or situation mentioned? What is the significance of the proof?

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    1. The people of the town are looking for proof desperately so they can justify their actions and the sickness of the children. The town says comments like "'Tis hard proof!" to evidence that makes no sense because they have a sense that what they are doing is wrong, and they want to prove that they are right and it is the right course of action.

      Has any of the proof so far been enough evidence to really accuse someone in a level-headed, rational court of law?

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    2. To respond to Mitch:
      Of course not. They think proof is absence from church, a doll with a needle in it, or a girl falling down screaming. There is no logical evidence for any of the accusations made- which highlights the truth that, in fact, the entire prosecution would never be held up in a proper court of law either. Just as accusing someone of witchcraft is irrational, so too is the "proof" used to support that claim.

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  27. On page 67 after Proctor tries to recall the Ten Commandments Hale scolds him by saying, "Theology, sir, is a fortress; no crack in a fortress may be accounted small." This quote is a metaphor for what happens when people in their society make a mistake in their religion. Hale is saying that any sign of imperfect or mistake is un-dismissable and should be punished. This society already has these ideals, so this epidemic of hysteria creates chaos. People make one mistake and are suspected. After this, their only option is death or prison.

    How does this ideal occur in our society? How are people's mistakes glorified and seen as unforgivable?

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    1. In today’s society, everyone strives for perfection. No longer is earning an A in class or a spot on the soccer team good enough; only an A plus grade with a leading spot on the Varsity soccer team is considered good enough. For the Puritans and people such as Hale back in the time of the Salem Witch Trials, religion was where people strove to be seen as perfect. They wanted to be the perfect prayer or worshipper, anything to be seen in God’s good graces. When John is not able to say his Commandments perfectly, that is seen as a “crack in a fortress”. To Hale this is seen as unforgivable, for the only way to be a good person is to be perfect in religion. This slight mistake may lead to John ending up in a bad way. Are some mistakes bigger than others? Can people truly fix their mistakes once it is done?

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    2. The certain part of this quote that really stands out to me is "no crack in a fortress may be accounted small." Miller includes this in his writing to exemplify the idea of perfectionism. In the McCarthyism era, people were striving for an unreachable state of perfection. A state where everyone shared the same political views. Miller sees that this level of "perfect" cannot be achieved. In the quote "No crack in a fortress may be accounted small," I really think about my own life and the people that I am surrounded with. I am such a perfectionist and I sometimes envy those who don't care because they seem to be flying through life looking at the stars. Multiple times I have told myself to just let go, but that is not who I am. When I make a mistake my entire fortress falls down, and often it takes a while for me to rebuild it. In time, I forgive myself and laugh at my stupidity. But before that, I bathe myself with hate, anger and regret. I think that Miller makes a very strong statement about perfectionism, one that we cannot ignore. If everyone stopped focusing on the cracks, and began to focus on the fortress, the world would be a happier, healthier place. Yet we cannot ignore the cracks entirely or they will someday surely be the cause of our fall. To what extent should we ignore the cracks in our fortress? How do we know which cracks are worth fixing?

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  28. This has been an awful event in history, fear stirs inside these people and motivates them, because high authority has been given to witchcraft and the Devil. But, because of this event, people have seemed to lose themselves; they are blaming one another and finding fault in each other. When asked for proof, those accusing rarely have any. Page 73 says "Cheever: Why, Abigail Williams charge her. Proctor: On what proof, what proof? Cheever, looking about the room: Mr. Proctor, I have little time. The court bid me search your house, but I like not to search a house. So will you hand me any poppets that your wife may keep here?" This event has people questioning one another and breaking each other, but doesn't this happen in our own lives? (just not to such an extreme) Don't we accuse, judge, punish, find fault in other people? Is it possible that rather than the epidemic creating different motifs of broken charity, proof, broken trust, etc, that the character of each person is responsible for the conflict in these relationships? Aren't these people still just like us?

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    1. In my opinion, all people are just like us. All people have the same basic characteristics, the same desires, and that is what makes them human. Most refer to this as human nature, which is seen very clearly in the quote you have above. Some of the characteristics of being a human include self preservation, accusation, and judgement. Although many try, it is impossible to escape from the characteristics of being a human, we all make mistakes and judgments. We all find the fault in other people. This text is based off of something that did happen in real life. Arthur Miller includes this faults in human nature to warn us of ourselves. Mr. Miller is trying to protect us from human nature. Keep in mind the time period in which this was written. During the McCarthyism era, Miller composed this literature to remind us of our past in hopes of protecting our future. So yes Jordan, I do believe that these people are like us. And we are like them, so we must remind ourselves of our past in order to protect our future. Does human nature change over time? Will humans in the future ever alter greatly from the ones we see around us right now?

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  29. Hale pleads to Proctor, "Man, we must look to cause proportionate...think on cause man and let you help me discover it" (73). How do you see Reverend Hale changing amid the chaos? (He ultimately started the charging and helped perpetuate the hysteria)

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  30. In Act II Elizabeth and Rebecca are taken to jail, seemingly two of the most devout women to their religion in the town. Do you think that the court should be taking all of the witch accusations so seriously? Why do you think their judgment on people that have held a high respect in the town for years is being swayed so easily?

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    1. The judges are only questioning and imprisoning these people because of an accusation. I like a quote Elena used coming from Rev. Hale that stated, "we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!... until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven," (Miller 71). She mentioned in her post that Hale and many others were going off of people's word. Pretty much if you were accused a witch the minsters and judges completely agreed because those accusing in their eyes were the innocent ones. I think this was thought because those accusing thus far are only young ladies, whom are still deemed as children, and in a puritanical society children were saints, could do no wrong, and would never lie. So when Elizabeth and Rebecca were accused yes from a inside prospective it's shocking, but from an outsider prospective I can see why they ladies were thought to be witches because an innocent young girl accused them, so it must be true. I think jealousy plays a huge role here on why they were accused. Abigail was jealous that Goody Proctor or Elizabeth was still with John who she loved, and she is thinking at this point in the novel that it is easy to get her imprisoned and killed by accusing her. Rebecca is a saint of God (a real one) and is highly respected in the community by everyone, and maybe people in Salem were jealous of that, so thus they accuse her and others can rise to the most respected in the community. Also, Sarah Goode for some reason people had grudges against her. She seems to also have a pretty admirable persona, and so maybe jealousy was also a factor in accusing her? Why are people hateful towards those who are good people? Why will people do anything to become a better person than them? How is jealousy a huge factor in these trials?

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  31. The hysteria in Salem jarred the people who live in Salem, as well as their judgment and ability to stand up for what they believe to be just. "Proctor: 'And so they condemned her?... But the proof, the proof!'" (58) Proctor, after hearing Mary Warren's telling of the ridiculous court hearing, is bewildered by the lack of hard evidence and people's willingness to just hang people left and right. This passage demonstrates how the epidemic has not only plagued the people, but has infected their minds and their ability to think rashly. The fear of the Devil, their jealousy, and how they are each in turn manipulating the situation has escalated into a huge epidemic. The hysteria has led people to go against their morals, and turn against other people. The reaches of this epidemic are literally controlling people's thoughts and actions, and feeding the chaos of the situation. To what extent will this fear control the people of Salem? What will cause it to end?

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    1. I really like this question and the thought you put into it. The question can have so many answers. But to me the fear will control everything that involves the people of Salem. This fear will take over everybody and everything in Salem. And I don't think that his fear and hysteria will end until the people who started are satisfied with what they got out of it and the overall outcome. The cause of the fear to end is the fear its self. Once everyone in the town is completely fearing of the town and the people in it, the mass hysteria will slowly come to an end. There will have to be peace in the town. On page 81“Proctor, grasping her by the throat as though he would strangle her: Make your peace with it! Now Hell and Heaven grapple on our backs, and all our old pretense is ripped away - make your peace! He throws her to the poor, where she sobs, "I cannot, I cannot.. And now, half to himself, staring and turning to the open door: Peace. It is a providence, and no great change; we are only what we always were, but naked now. He walks as though toward a great horror, facing the open sky. Aye, naked! And the wind, God’s icy wind, will blow!” (miller 80-81). This quote represents the type of peace that is needed for the fear and hysteria to end. And what the town will have to have. Peace.
      Question- Once the fear, hysteria and trials come to an end what will be left of the town? Is there anything left to preserve? What will the town need to change?

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  32. How is John Proctor the one to see things as they are? Why are others in the town so credulous that what they are seeing is real?

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    1. Personally, I believe that John is the only one that sees things as they are because he truly knows Abigail. He knows that she is manipulative and that she weaves her way into situations and causes them trouble. He has already experienced this before so he can see right through her tricks. I believe that the others think everything is real because they are children and they are taught that children never lie because they are so innocent. In reality, I am sure John knows this isn't true. He is the only one that knows what he is saying. How far will John go to defend his belief on the matter, or will he just stand back and let things play out?

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    2. Proctor does not have as much attachment to the bible and the church as the other Puritans do, and does not believe in witchcraft. I would also argue that Giles and Martha Cory, Francis and Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor all see that witchcraft has played no part in anything. Abigail Williams also knows that their is no witchcraft involved; she simply likes the power that comes with being someone who can decide the fate of people by pointing and screaming. The others like Reverend Parris and Goody Putnam are desperate for explanation of something that happened in the past or is happening right now in the present.

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    3. John is not effected by all of the hysteria going on in the town but instead he see's the others as the ones that are acting irrationally and being controlled by this epidemic. After his wife's arrest warrant has been issued John says, "Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God's fingers? Ill tell you what's walking Salem-vengeance is walking Salem." What John is saying is that people are using their own personal grudges to get others into trouble during this time of chaos. If someone accuses someone else no one suspects them when really they are the bad one by falsely accusing someone else.
      How can John cause people of Salem to see the way they are truly acting?

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    4. John, to me, seems like a man of simplicity and humility. He is an honest farmer who does not attend as much church as others would like him to, but he is happy with his life. Besides his home life, John has accepted his sins especially his affair with Abigail as seen in his reaction to Elizabeth saying, “Adultery, John” (67). When he forgot this last commandment, his reaction felt “as though a secret arrow had pained his heart”. He knows he has done wrong, and for that I believe he is more grounded as well as weary of anyone finding out. I believe the others are desperately trying to find a reason to be able to express their true feelings. Even Mary Warren in this act defied Proctor and Elizabeth in saying that she is a grown woman and will not be receiving lashings any more. Before the witch hunts, she would not have dared said that. Now people with no voice are screaming to be heard.

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    5. How will these confessions of people's true feelings affect the town?

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  33. On Page 69, Cheever says, "You know yourself I must do as I am told. You surely know that, Giles. And I'd lief you'd not be sending me to Hell. I like not the sound of it, I tell you; I like not the sound of it. (He fears Proctor, but starts to reach inside his coat.) Now believe me, Proctor, how heavy be the law, all its tonnage I do carry on my back tonight. (He takes out a warrant.) I have a warrant for your wife." In the parenthesis, which is the italics in the text, the narrator states the fact that Cheever fears Proctor. Why is this important? What does this say about the power of fear vs the power of mass hysteria? Which is more powerful in this text?

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  34. In response to Elena J’s comment: Does Hale see it as his proud duty to be part of the witch hunts, or is he ashamed? I believe that Hale is proud of his current endeavors contributed to the witch hunt because he thinks that he is working under God and ultimately saving society from the monstrosities of evil that threaten them in life. Hale believes strongly that he is working for God and that he is an agent to combat the evils in the world in the holy name of God. Not only is Hale incredibly proud of his contributions to the witch hunt, he is boastful in his captures of the so called witches. Miller delineates this by proclaiming: "Nurse, though our heart breaks, we cannot flinch; these are new times, sir. There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships. I have seen too many frightful proofs in court --the devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow the accusing finger points!" (Miller 68). Miller reveals the main focus of Hale: to rid Salem of witches. I without a doubt believe that he has no shame in his actions, but also feels justified to deter members of society and label them as witches. He feels that to save the town of Salem the accomplices of the Devil must be tried and sent to hell for their evil doings. Miller's poignant diction portrays this conclusion by refusing to halter under his initiatives because of the inadequacies shown by individuals.

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    1. Hayden, I completely agree with you on your ideas of Hale. Hale's mission is to rid witches out of Salem, and so far he has been successful with this, but I disagree with you on Hale being a good person all the time. He may seem like the town hero right now, and he should since he has caused a little less fear in them, but I still think he is living in fear and uses that to his advantage. "Let you counsel among yourselves; think on your village and what may have drawn from heaven such thundering wrath upon you all. I shall pray God open up our eyes" (Hale, 73). He may have started our as a good person in the beginning, but now it seems as though all he cares about is the "witches" in Salem. Although what is the meaning of a good person? For me it means having intentions of good and not evil, but most importantly being brave enough to say that I have done wrong and I'm okay with that. Back in Salem, this statement would be irrelevant and a foolish thought, but do you think it is irrelevant today? What is the meaning of "good" person?

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    2. Ciara, I appreciate your insight on this. I do not think that Hale is a good person, I believe that Hale thinks himself to be a good person since he assumes that his initiatives are serving God. Hale, despite the society of Salem’s presumptions, is not the town hero. In fact, he has manifested the outbreak of hysteria after fear begins to develop in the town. Hale takes advantage of the questioning society and claims that there are evils in Salem. I disagree with you on how Hale ‘has caused a little less fear’, when ultimately he is one of the central characters to contribute to the growing hysteria in Salem, he strikes fear into people’s hearts by assuming that every accused member of society is most likely guilty. It is not my place to label Hale as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person, however I can comment on how he does care about exposing the witches in Salem. Even though revealing the witches in Salem is his main goal, it ties to his attempt to be a God fearing man and a good Christian. At the end of the day, is Hale just trying to save himself?
      An innumerable amount of people, the majority of society, would like to be considered a good person and people often aim to surround themselves around good people. But what really makes a good person? When you ask me, or multiple other people you would most likely receive the answer that a good person is generally seen as someone who is virtuous, who has character, who conducts themselves with dignity and respect for others. Honesty, integrity, strong values, kindness, and compassion are all words I would describe the ‘good’ people in my life who I admire. A person does not need all of these characteristics to be considered a good person, and may not need the majority of adjectives listed. A person can do bad things and still be considered a good person. There are numerous reasons why people do what they do and a key factor is behind every decision a person makes. Now, I am not saying that this is an excuse for heinous crimes or actions committed in The Crucible or in today’s world, but if you look at a person and question, with the intent to understand, one may find why a person acts the way they do. For instance, Abigail has not lived the greatest life. Her parents were killed by indians when she was just a child and her plea for attention illustrates the lack of love shown to her by her family members, friends, and neighbors. She is desperate for love and attention, and in the scheme of things is hurt by her lover Proctor who she thought truly loved her. The betrayals that have occurred to her plays a role in why she has developed into such a manipulative person. Another example to support my stance: Hale, a reverend, a man of God and fierce practice of the puritan religion commits what I can only describe as an injustice to humanity because of fear. He fears God and believes it is his place to serve him by ridding of evil in society. Fear of God is his motivation throughout the play. Miller vocalizes: “This is is a strange time, Mister. No man can no longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered in monstrous attack upon this village. There is too much evidence of it to deny it” (Miller 61. Miller uses his language to portray the indecision Hale has with others because he knows that there is evil in the world. Ultimately, Hale’s trust lies in God, which is why he shows a distrust toward people and their intentions. Is a person’s background relevant in the decisions they make? Do people commit heinous crimes? Is Abigail and Hale good people? What is your definition of a good person?

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    3. Wow, you wrote a lot but anyway I agree with you on your definition of a good person. To me a good person shows personal integrity, confidence, love, kindness, compassion, honesty, dedication, self-admiration, and something to look up to. But, really this is different for everybody for instance I read The Secret Life of Bees as my Summer ALIS book and you could say that every character even the abusive father T-Ray, or you could say that only a few were good people. I feel as though there is too much negative contradictory in our lives, even though I'm using it right now. People think I'm a loving person, but being too loving will hurt me, or I like this outfit, but what if others hate it? Should I change my outfit? My most important characteristic of a good person is someone who loves who they are because how can you be a good person if you don't know even know who you are? Abigail might be a cruel person, but at least she knows who she is. And with Hale even though his actions might come out as harsh, he knows what his beliefs are and he sticks to them. I think you can find the silver lining in every person. In the end it doesn't matter what happened in your past of the heinous crimes you committed, people were made to be good so all of us as individuals are good people. How do we distinguish a good person from a bad one?

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  35. What do you see as the root causes for what is happening? What do you think Proctor means by, "We are only what we always were, but naked now...Aye, naked!

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    1. The people of this town are finally being given a chance to take revenge on those who have wronged them or just simple people they don't like. The reason this is happening is because these people have bottled up their feelings for so long because it is part of their believe system to do so. So now, when the amount of hysteria is rising, they are letting go of all the feelings they've held on to for so long. Now, it is obvious that the people of Salem are taking revenge on one another, and there is nothing to hide it anymore.

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    2. Schuyler: I agree that some people are taking revenge or accusing people that they simply are not fond of. Abigail is the best example of this. However, I think that the rest of Salem simply believes that the Devil is actually among them and they are scared and controlled by a type of mob mentality. The only people accusing their neighbors of being witches are the girls that surround Abigail. The others in the village simply go along in a haze of fear and uncertainty.

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    3. One of the causes for this happening is the culture that restricts the people of Salem so much. For example, Abigail would have been whipped if she had admitted to dancing in the woods, and Giles is concerned that his wife is reading, just to name a few. The people have been from restricted from expressing emotions for so long that it all built up and had to be released somehow. The witch trials gave the people freedom from their normal strict religious routines, and everyone took advantage of the situation. Proctor was saying this through his quote. However, he meant not only the religious values, but partially the people's humanity and respect for each other. They had been covering up their feelings for so long, and when they had an excuse to release these feelings, they left themselves naked and not covered up by civilization and proper manners. The manifested feelings now had an outlet, thanks to the new culture of accusations.

      Is there any way Proctor can persuade people to see his side of the story, and not get caught up in emotions?

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    4. By naked, Proctor means that the people are finally showing their true colors. The people of the town have always feared each other, or wanted vengeance, or wanted to rebel against the status quo, and now that they are, they don't know how to really handle it. Since image seems to be everything to these people, once they shed that facade they put on, they flipped out.

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    5. In my opinion, the root cause for what is happening is Abigail. I really don't like her as a character and Miller does a great job by creating her into something that nota lot or readers/viewers enjoy. she, to me, is one of the main reasons why this is happening. She is always making mischief and is constantly taking small, little things, and turning them into something blown up and crazy. For example, on the top of page 71, Cheever is telling about how Abigail stabbed herself with a needle to charge Elizabeth with witchcraft! That is what is really causing this problem. I also think that when Proctor says we are naked, he means that Salem has always been deceiving and full of vengeance, but now people have opportunity to really shout it out. Salem will always have the reputation, and I think that it did before witch craft came into play, just the whole town was not aware of what they had created. They are now "naked", meaning they are finally exposed to their true idendity. Can Proctor convince that it is not religion, but it is the people and their blame? Is there any way this community can be brought together again?

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  36. In act 2 the hysteria has spread like wildfire, seeming to reach into the homes of almost everyone. "Oh, the noose, the noose is up!"(Elizabeth, 60). This epidemic has spread to a point where people, like the Proctors, who don't want to take part in the trials, are forced to fear for their lives. Furthermore, the hysteria in Salem has torn apart the community. Since the talk of witches started, the townspeople fell under scrutiny of their everyday actions, leaving them vulnerable to judgement by their peers. At this point the epidemic in Salem is no longer contained. Not only has the hysteria taken away the security the villagers have in their faith and autonomy, it has gone so far as to make them fear for their lives.

    When to to the justice system( in Salem or elsewhere), should there be a place for one's reputation?

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    1. Reputation should not have a role in justice. Perhaps you can suspect someone because of their past, but you can never sentence someone because of their reputation. Evidence and proof are needed for that, but sadly in Salem they don't have either.

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    2. A person's reputation should and does have place within any justice system. A person's reputation is created by their previous actions. If an inmate who is applying for parole has a clean record behind bars then that inmate would have a much better chance is earn parole than an inmate with the reputation of fighting and violence. That said, what should determine the factors within a persons reputation. In Proctors case,"I falter nothing, but I may wonder if my story will be credited in such a court. I do wonder on it, when a steady minded minister as you..." (Miller 69). Proctor fears that his reputation will prevent the court from accepting his testimony.

      What background information do you think should be allowed to create a person's reputation during professional activities like trials and job interviews?

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    3. @Kylek2017 is their anyway to create a justice system were prejudices such as reputation or even sterotypes from racism and sexism are not factors in deciding a sentence? Even in today's society how many people are condemned not by fact or proof but by prejudice? Is their anyway to rid the justice system from prejudice?

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    4. Reputation is always taken into consideration when in the justice system. Despite my personal opinion, I think there is a reason why reputation is used as a basis when in court because past actions initiated or committed by a person shows a pattern, and a pattern is the best way to determine what a person is capable of/what they can or did do. In many cases, reputation should not be used when in court because past actions should have nothing to do with a sentencing of a person. However, there are situations like domestic violence in a relationship when a reputation may come into place. For instance, the man has a history of abusing women, or the women shows a history of lying and manipulation. Ultimately, it is up to the justice system whether to use reputation in court.
      Can reputation serve as evidence in court? How is evidence and reputation different (-reputation can have factual evidence about a person)?

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    5. Like Steven said, reputation has a lot to with the verdicts of courts. Just the way that a victim looks, talks, and acts can be the deciding factor on whether the jury finds the innocent or guilty. I think that while we may want to prevent the influence of reputation from affecting these decisions, it is incredibly hard to do that, especially in a place such as Salem where everyone knows everyone. Mary Warren says, "When she come into court I say to myself, I must not accuse this woman, for she sleep in ditches, and so very old and poor." (57) We can see here that even before anything begins, Mary Warren has this preconceived notion of Goody Osburn. This reflects what happens in society also. The minute we see someone we begin to draw conclusions and judgements about who we think they are. It's just part of human nature. And no matter how badly we may want to change this, this automatic and subconscious judgement plays a role in our judgement system, job interviews, etc. What do you think the effects of these judgements are? Do you think that people in Salem feared the judgments that others made of them? Do you think that fear fed into they hysteria of the Salem witch trials? How can we attempt to not be to quick to assume and judge one another?

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  37. At what point does fear erupt into hysteria? Is their a defining moment or is it a gray area?

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    1. I believe that fear erupts into hysteria when there are consequences attached to those fears. I think people are more afraid of dying or being socially outcast then witches and that is what causes the hysteria.

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    2. I think hysteria is almost a side effect of fear and not so much a change. Fear continues even after hysteria has died down. The amount of trust and tolerance from people changes, xenophobia takes over peoples emotions and trust is either overused or ignored. On page 76 Elizabeth starts screaming "Why--! The girl is murder! She must be ripped out of the world!" Elizabeth really shows the tolerance for these accusations, which is little. Some of these people don't know what to believe in.

      So what is scarier hysteria or fear? Or are they the same.

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    3. In this play, the point when fear turns into hysteria is more of a defining moment. I think this moment was in Act 1 when Tituba confessed to being a witch, and everyone started calling out names of other possible witches. This is when the fear had reached so many people it became sort of like a disease. Soon after this everyone was apart of the fear and hysteria, and there was no stopping it. I do think that more realistically, there is more of a grey area where this fear transforms. There isn't a defining moment for all fear. If enough people share a common fear, it will turn into hysteria.

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  38. As you look at this situation you really see the obvious situtations that demonstrate an overuse of trust from the adults towards the girls in Salem. Reverend Parris found the girls disobeying rules, and acting out. It's easy to blame something bad on the ultimate criminal (the Devil), but to think that the girls would rather die than lie was so trusting that the girls manipulated it until the point where people's lives were on the line, and for some that was still to save their own skin but for others, like Abigail it was to get back at someone. The idea of anyone stabbbing themselves in the stomach with a needle, on purpose really perplexed most of these people, but because of how well Proctor knows both Abigail and Elizabeth he knows that she could have easily done it herself. On page 74 Proctor says "Why she done it herself! I hope your not aking this for proof, Mister!", demonstrating his lack of tolerance for such an iffy situation.

    To what extent do you think the adults trust the girls? Do they know that the girls are making it up?

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    1. The society believe fully in the girls. Salem is blinded by there Puritan beliefs. The children would not or could not commit such a sin. This fact is demonstrated by Miller technique of using Proctor, an outsider, to state,"If she is innocent! Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail?" (Miller 77). Proctor who has fallen out of mainstream society and shares a similar view to that of the reader, can see that deception may be present.

      How do you feel that Salem and our society handle trust?

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  39. During Proctors monoluge on page 80 he claims that "... Peace. It is a providence, and no great change; we are only what we always were, but naked now..." He is telling Mary Warren how the witch hunt has made them naked by allowing the town to show its true colors and desire for vengeance. What in our world makes us naked? What events make people see us for who we really are?

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    1. Maddie, I think that in tragic and traumatic situations, like the Salem Witch Hunt Trials, brings out the worse in people. When Proctor says, "We are only what we always were, but naked now...Aye, naked!" I think that he means that they are the same people, but the true colors in the town of Salem are more visible because of the hysteria. At least for me, I was probably the most "naked" or vulnerable after December the 13th because fear and trauma took over my emotions. I think that this is the way that the people of Salem felt when they first heard about witchcraft. When a person is fearful, it can completely dominate their actions and take over their emotions.

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    2. Times of chaos and controversy expose our true selves today. I know today when people are placed in high intensity situations that bring out their innermost anger, one finds out what they are truly like. It depends on the situation and the emotions that are brought out in people that determine what they are like “naked”. In Act 2, John Proctor’s wife is arrested, and this event brings out his true frustrations. He demands to know whether or not the accuser is completely innocent or not which is his first real outburst considering the trials. When the situation is tense, that is when one tends to see the true side of people.

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  40. What must Proctor do now? Who is going to be the voice of reason? How does fear have an impact on the ability for people to speak the truth and do it for the greater good?

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    1. I think that Proctor will be the main voice of reason, but other people like Giles Cory and Francis Nurse will support him. Proctor will succeed if he can get the people to overlook the hysteria and take a step back to see what they have done.

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    2. We fear humanity because we fear ourselves. God knows what we are capable as human beings on this Earth. We are capable of murdering another person, destroying countries and life and creating chaos in the world we were born into that is not ours to take. We can shoot someone down, we can cause corruption and confusion, we are the next generation but it scares me to know that our minds all have the ability to compose destruction. Communities are traumatized, one action can change our character, our life and our heart completely. Why speak the truth when corruption could erupt in our lives or in the ones we love because of it? Why risk becoming the creator of unavoidable darkness? People say, “we must all love each other now, good proctor” (Miler 56), but who are we as humans? Fear is such a powerful state of mind and it seems impossible to drive yourself into a state of peace. There is no human on this Earth, possibly other than my mother, who can make me feel so safe and secure like the Lord can. And I respect all who do not believe in God or in His works, but in my life, how can I not have God? I need God so much so so so much. God is the only one who makes me different and gives me satisfaction, and gives me peace. Fear makes me capable of creating destruction, and where you are vulnerable, the Devil may come. This scares me, but in the arms of a holy God I know the Devil has no power against me. This world really breaks my heart, but there is nothing to compare to the wonders of the wonderful God who loves us. I cannot imagine who I would be if I did not know God. He is so real. Speaking the truth for the greater good, is always the right decision. It's so hard to think about that in a state of fear, but just as you are worth it, so is the person next to you because we were all made by God, He loves us all.

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  41. "Man, remember, until an hour before the devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven." This takes us back to their beliefs in Christianity. The devil began as an angel and God believed him to be beautiful until he turned against God, then he was damned. This stands to show that no matter who the person is, they could be the most perfect and trusted person but they could make a decision leading them to be cast out from the others. Someone may give the appearance of beauty and kindness but inside they are not pure and are evil/bewitched. Hale, didn't know when he said this that he would be describing Abigail more than any of the accused "witches." Will someone eventually uncover and display proof that the girls are lying and crumble the entire scheme? What evidence, proof, or statement would be needed for this kind of accusation?

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  42. I took Mrs. Comp's advice on dissecting the quote on page 49 where Proctor and Elizabeth are talking with tension rising. To refresh your memories on the quote it states, "It's winter in here yet. On Sunday let you come with me, and we'll walk the farm together; I never see such a load of flowers on the earth. Lilacs have a purple smell. Lilac is the smell of nightfall, I think. Massachusetts is a beauty in the spring!" It's winter in here yet talks about the tensions between him and Elizabeth are dealing with and how hard it is to face them. Purple lilacs symbolize the first emotions of love. Now I think Proctor still loves Elizabeth and he wants to feel that love again with her, and Miller using purple lilacs to describe that is genius. Also when proctor goes from talking about nightfall to spring, this again symbolizes the change he wants in their relationship. This quote is almost like a plea to Elizabeth saying he still loves her and wants to erase the tension that is between them. Can love be forced upon someone? To what extent?

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  43. When Proctor is defending himself against Elizabeth he pleads, "Spare me! You forget nothin' and forgive nothin'. Learn charity, woman....I have not moved from there to there without I think to please you and still an everlasting funeral marches round your heart. I cannot speak but I am doubted every moment judged for lies, as though I come into a court when I come into this house!" We see an interesting connection to the court room here and I wondering, what do you think Miller meant be this? What connection between Elizabeth and Abigail is he making and how is their situation different. What point is Miller trying to prove with this correlation? Why did he make this relationship a part of the story?

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  44. We watched a video in the beginning of the school year called "The Single Story." The speaker claims that we all have created 'single stories' for the people and events around us. I want to encourage you all not to create a single story of the events that occurred in Salem in 1692, because this is one event in their history. If we began the story from years prior or after, you would have an entirely different story. What if we got to know Reverend Parris before the witch trials? What if we could read about the wonderful things these humans have done or aspired to accomplish in their lifetimes? I believe one cannot base judgement on a character whom they do not know, especially since these are nonfictional characters. "Let you look for the goodness in me and judge me not." (Miller 55) I want to encourage you to look for the goodness in people, and not to create a single story and simply classify this event in history as a horrible time. Remember these are people who are capable of also loving so much.

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    1. Jordan, I always enjoy hearing the positivity that you have to say in class every day. I agree that we cannot judge these characters based on a single story. The Crucible definitely highlights the negative and horrifying parts of history, but I think that it is important to realize that there is so much good and love in the world. Miller illustrates a silver lining during such an awful event through the character of Rebecca Nurse. She symbolizes the hope and light in the town of Salem. She speaks of kindness and virtue: "I think she’ll wake when she tires of it. A child’s spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon itself come back" (Miller 32). I value Rebecca's faith and peace during a situation of chaos and I believe that all of us can be more like her.

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  45. As Act 2 progressed I think you see Elizabeth's trust towards Proctor grow, or at least her faith. She starts on page 67 reminding John that adultery was the last commandment he was forgetting, really hitting him while he's down. Later you see her longing to be with him and trusting that he will come for her on page 79. Character development is a big part of Act 2 for Elizabeth and Proctor, you see Elizabeth come out of her shell, and Proctor trying to be the best husband he can and it made me admire the characters quite a bit more.
    So is Proctor a bad guy? Is what he did forgiveable?

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    1. I think that everything is forgivable. What Proctor did is something that ruins many marriages, because it is so hard to forgive. That said, I do not think that Proctor is a bad guy. Proctor is just a human being, and we all make mistakes. The most important thing is to learn from the mistakes that we have made and to grow as a person. Miller obviously includes this affair for purposes other than just to grasp the readers attention. What do you think Miller's purpose is in including this mistake?

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    2. I agree with Kiley in that I think everything can be forgiven if the offender is truly sorry. I don't think it makes him a bad guy, but I think what defines the situation is how he handles it and what effect it takes on his life. What Proctor did hurt his relationship with Elizabeth, but I think she also really wants to forgive hime, and he really wants to be forgiven. John and Elizabeth say to each other, "Proctor: 'Spare me! You forget nothing' and forgive nothin'. Learn charity woman... I think to please you...' and Elizabeth replies, 'I do not judge you. The magistrate sits in you heart that judges you. I never thought you but a good man, John-with a smile- only somewhat bewildered.'" (55) Here we see that John is trying to figure out how to act so that Elizabeth will forgive him, and is asking her to forgive and then put it behind them. She I saying that she really wants to, and he is probably feeling guilty in his own heart. I think Miller's purpose in including the part where John forgets the commandment of adultery is to show that they both are dwelling on his affair, but how they both need each other to succeed. Do you think that both Proctor and Elizabeth are able to recognize that they both want forgiveness? Does Elizabeth getting arrested change anything? Will Proctor be able to successfully (as in not die during the process) prove that Elizabeth is not a witch and "dethrone" Abigail? How do relationships affect our decisions? Does an affair change that effect? To what extent will people go to protect those that they love?

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    3. I agree with Kiley and Sarah's comments that anything and everything can be forgiven. A huge key to life is forgiveness. But I truly believe that nothing can be forgotten. I also believe that one bad act can not define you and who you are. Even though proctor has done some bad things in his life, this does not characterize him as a bad guy. It just means he has had some bad choices. It looks like Elizabeth is realizing this herself throughout act 2. It also looks like Proctor is learning and accepting these mistakes and is trying to move on and put in the past. I believe that what he did is forgivable as long as he realizes the mistake and the is trying for forgiveness. So overall Proctor is not a bad guy he has just made bad choices. On page 77 "“Proctor: I will bring you home. I will bring you soon. Elizabeth: Oh, John, bring me soon!” (miller 77). This quote shows how Proctor has changed his ways and is not a bad guy. And Elizabeth is beginning to believe that and put her trust back in him.
      Question-What qualifies someone as a bad person? Is there really such a thing as being a bad person? What are the limits of classifying someone as bad?

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  46. Throughout Act II we see many examples of how the girls are holding all of the power, and obviously abusing it to get revenge and what they want. We even see educated people, such as Reverend Hale, falling for their lies and believing that the people they accuse are witches. Hale even tells Francis Nurse, "Nurse, though are hearts break, we cannot flinch; these are new times, sir. There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should deb criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships. I have seen too many frightful proofs in court- the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!" In this quote he literally says do no hesitate to follow wherever the girls say there is a witch. This control that the girls have is so gripping and so many people are folioing them. Why do there only appear to be a handful of characters like John and Elizabeth Proctor who seem to be able to resist the trap? What traits allow them to defy the lies and general hysteria of Salem? Why do people (in general) tend to follow someone else's way of thinking or do what they do? Why is is so hard for humanity to create it's own path? What keeps us from branching out? How does this affect our society? Is our inability to easily think on our own good or bad? How does following someone else's footsteps affect who holds power?

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  47. Near the end of the act, after hearing Proctor's absolute disbelief of what is happening to Salem, Hale seems to begin doubting the legitimacy of the accusations. Some of the stage directions include "Hale, in great uncertainty...", and his final speech to Proctor and Giles contains the quote, "Let you counsel among yoursleves; think on your village and what may have drawn from heaven such thundering wrath upon you all. I shall pray God open up our eyes." It seems like Hale is beginining to question if witchcraft really is causing the ilnesses, and he hopes he will figure out what is causing them soon.

    Who will be the first of the townspeople to notice the hysteria is out of porportion and join Proctor's side on the issue?

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    1. I think that the first to join Proctor in trying to stop the hysteria will be the people who have loved ones/friends that they know for sure not to be witches. Francis Nurse and Giles are beginning to see the hysteria of the trials. Giles tells Proctor, "John- tell me, are we lost?" (79). He is able to see past the chaos and look at what is really happening. Whomever joins Proctor, do you think that more people will be able to make a more powerful statement? How does the amount of people for/against an issue affect how people react to the issue/see legitimacy in it? Can humans be persuaded to an issue simply by being drawn to the side with the most amount of people?

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    2. The effects of majority rule are a proven science. It has many different names such as mob mentality or jumping on the band wagon. When humans are in a crowd they act extremely different than themselves. This is why it was not surprising that the entire town of Salem fell victim to the witch trial's brutality.

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  48. Throughout this entire act, Elizabeth Proctor is suspicious and very gentle with her husband. She almost ignores him the majority of the time, because she knows that he is a cheater. When they are quizzed about the ten commandments and Elizabeth has to remind John of one, its proves that that commandments is the least important to him. "Adultery, John." (67). The fact that John forgets "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is a big deal because that's exactly what he did. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is still not the biggest fan of John and believes that he would possibly do it again or still contains feelings for Abigail. "John, if it were not Abigail that you must hurt, would you falter now? I think not" Elizabeth is still hurt about John's affair and she believes that if any other girl or young woman was accusing people of beings witches then he would speak up to them or speak up about them. Since it is Abigail, Elizabeth believes he would/will hesitate. She feels that he still loves her and doesn't want to turn her in for being a fraud. John might be scared or not want to make it worse but he is by not treating her like would treat another lady.

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  49. Should a court system be able to hold double jeopardy or retry people who have already faced trial in order to prevent unjust convictions?

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