Monday, October 6, 2014

Act 4 Blog

PLEASE READ THESE DIRECTIONS:
We are going to extend our Socratic discussion based on Act 4 of The Crucible. Answer my question first and I want you to respond to at least 2-3 others, make comments, and continue questioning one another.  In terms of comments toward one another, make sure you focus on the real world implications of this text, discussing what is significant and what we can actually take away.
I do not want one word responses; I expect formal writing and intelligent thought showing your discerning observations and analysis. Please keep in mind the ideological statements and central questions as a means of helping you to analyze further.  Depth is a must!


You must choose between question 1 or 2 and everyone must do #3.

1.  As you read this act, what spoke to you the most or evoked the most emotion?  What quote was the most powerful and why?  Make sure you really reflect on what Miller shows through the quote and why.


2.  Think about the definition of an allegory; we know this text is an allegory for the time period during which Miller lived.-list 2-3 characters, events, or facets of setting that you think are allegorical from the play and what do they correspond to specifically?

*3.  As a result of reading the play and seeing the movie, are you more interested in what actually happened in Salem in 1692, what actually happened during McCarthyism in the 1950s, what happens when an illicit teenage lover is spurned, the effects of infidelity on a married couple, etc. (these are just ideas, but there are obviously more)?  What is it about Miller's work that prompts your interest? (Question from Margo Burns)  Hence, tell me what you really walk away with in terms of what this play can teach us on a humanistic level.  This is a critical, yet subjective response and  I expect a detailed.

When you finish, make sure you ask questions and begin responding to others. Make sure to respond to different people; challenge one another, question each other; help each other to see more.

87 comments:

  1. Yes the ideas and themes of the book have made me think about the extreme measures people actually took to either eliminate witchcraft or cover up their own issues. I am interested in the actual stories and motivations behind the events that took place. Obviously what Miller created gave insight to what happened which evoked a variety of emotions but what would it really have been like? What accurate and inaccurate moods did the fictitious story line of Abigail and Proctor provoke? By exposing the corruption of the court and victims of the trials explicitly, Miller really makes a case for people who are unjustly accused. This created a passionate frustration within me against the unfairness of what happened. This was a part of Miller’s purpose and he really carried it out well through the diction and characterization he used to create fraud within the court. In this I found myself questioning the system we have today. What bias and corruption goes on in the court? Not only that but what happens in the government and what is done to come to terms personal issues rather than national issues? I also thought about what Miller was trying to connect to with the relationship of Proctor and Abigail. Obviously now, the sin that Proctor committed isn’t looked down upon to the degree that was but it still brings division and mistrust. I think that those desires can definitely cause regret and a lack of morality today, which is why Proctor’s integrity at the end is so powerful. Proctor could have sided with Abby to save his skin but he chose to be committed to his wife. He did falter but later sacrificed to become right with Elizabeth again. Today, it is rare to fight for reconciliation in marriage. Miller brought this issue to light in the midst of others and I wonder what life would look like if men and women were as committed as Proctor to repairing marriage.
    What characters do you view as good role models? Why? What morels do they have that you find admirable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. I find Proctor, Elizabeth, Rebecca, and Giles as good role models. Proctor and Elizabeth seem like the wisest couple in the play aside from Rebecca and her husband. Even though Proctor and Elizabeth do not attend church regularly they seems like some of the best Christians in the book. The are wise and proud. They are not afraid to speak out. This also goes from Rebecca, her husband, and Giles. They were all willing to stand up for what they believed in.

      Delete
    3. I agree with Gentri on this, I found that Proctor, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Giles, and Francis were viewed as good role models. Rebecca is the town elder, and back then elders were viewed as the people of knowledge and ones you should respect, and even though the Puritans disrespected her she still held to her personal integrity and moral values. Francis was always worried about his wife Rebecca and would stop till nothing until he knew she was safe, and that is something so rare in society. Giles and Proctor showed to me that standing up for what you believe in is the greatest deed you can do for God and I admire that. Elizabeth, was the rock for John Proctor when he lost all his strength. She was the one to pick everyone up from their troubles, and what I notice in all of these characters is that they stick to true to themselves and I think the people of today need to stop conforming and start reforming.

      Delete
    4. I definitely agree with Gentri when she finds Proctor, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Giles, and Francis as good role models. Throughout the play, it was clear that these people were the only ones with a shred of reasoning and the presence of their morals. This group of people refused to give in to the hysteria and instead decided to stand up for what they thought was right. They knew that the way the leaders of Salem were going about the conviction process was wrong and unjust, and spoke their mind about it for sure. They showed compassion and forgiveness, and carried out those virtues well. While they must have known that they were the small minority that remained level-headed and declined the possible nagging thoughts in their heads telling them to accuse another to save themselves, they still held on to their dignity and reputation.

      Delete
    5. Gentri brings up the contradiction that is Proctor. He is a stands up for what he believes by risking his personal reputation. He refused to attend Church and was an adulterer but became the protagonist by defending what was good within Salem. Miller use of a contradiction demonstrates perfectly how not only can a person recover from their mistakes but also cause good within the world. This also sends the message that forgiveness is the key to love.

      Delete
  2. In many ways Abigail was an allegory to McCarthy, the communist accuser during the Cold War. Abigail used her innocence and good name to gain power by accusing others of witchcraft; McCarthy used the Red Scare and his political reputation to gain more power by accusing them of being communists. They are both motivated by selfish reasons to accuse others and in this we can pick up the hidden meaning of Abigail’s character. Another thing that comes from this is the idea that witchcraft represents communism. Both are seen as evil and were a huge fear for the citizens during their time of distinction. Also accusing people of participating in either witchcraft and communism was not take lightly. Penalties of death, imprisonment, and deportations followed the convicted citizens if they were found to be guilty.
    What other events in history relate to the injustice of the court and the false or over exaggerated punishments for crimes as a result of dishonest accusation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The red scare relates a lot to the over exaggeration and dishonest accusations. Our government was able to manipulate us through fear and create hysteria with in our own society. The government used false evidence and sometimes had none at all, which is very similar to the Salem witch trails.

      Delete
  3. 1. This act evoked a lot of emotion in me. I felt that it was the most powerful act in the play and spoke to me more than any other. Proctor and Elizabeth's dialogue really stood out to me. The quote that stood out to me the most is on page 144 when Proctor states, "I can. And there's your first marvel that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs. (Elizabeth, in a burst of terror, rushes to him and weeps against his hand.) Give them no tear! Tears pleasure them! Show honor now, show a stony heart and sink them with it! (he has lifted her, and kisses her now with great passion.) The definition of the word marvel is, to be filled with wonder or astonishment. I think Miller used the word marvel in this passage because Proctors decision was truly astonishing. He is a very powerful and opinionated character and was one of the only people who spoke his mind about the witch trails. The color white is also mentioned in this paragraph. The color white is the cleanest and brightest of colors representing goodness. Elizabeth uses the representation of stone to describe Proctors heart. I think Miller used this word because stone is strong and sturdy. That was the way Elizabeth wanted him to die a heart so strong and stable it would sink the others. This passage shows a true character for both Proctor and Elizabeth and how much they love each other.
    3. Yes, after reading the play and watching the film I am more interested in what actually happened in Salem in 1962. I think the reason I am more interested is because Miller brings the stories of Salem to life. We become close to the characters and passionate about the story. Especially now that we know how crazy the Salem witch trials really were. Miller evokes emotions in us by creating a personal connection between his readers and the characters in the play. Millers play holds a truth that is apparent in all societies. During a time of hysteria communities will blame one another out of fear. He creates many universal themes that apply to our lives today. It has become apparent to me that its a part of human nature to act in selfish ways when in fear. Humans are very selfish creatures and when it comes down to it we tend to care more about ourselves than others. Millers play portrays a community of people turning on one another to save their own skin, but that is happening in communities around the world today. Fear and manipulation from government can alone cause hysteria. We’ve seen this in our own society during the red scare.

    How do you think the world would be different if we had more people like John Proctor in the world?

    How does ego/ reputation effect the decisions we make on a daily basis?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The world would be different with more John Proctors because people would finally start to break free of their self absorbed shells. Although John cheated on Elizabeth, he still felt terrible about what he had done and tried to all means do what made her happy because he really truly cared about her and was sorry for what he did. He represents the people in the world who make mistakes and own up to them, and try to make situations right at all costs of himself because he in the moment of being hang was thinking about his family and the sacrfice he making for them because he loved them. If more people did things like this from their hearts maybe our world could stop feeling like a place where people only care what's right for them and not others. When it comes to ego and saving reputation, no one likes to have a selfless spirit because that's to easy, and would ruin them. Life's a rat race and people will do anything to get to the other side alive. All this means is we will risk the feelings of other people to maintain a reputation not even thinking how our decisions effect those around us because humans ego takes over and makes them do things to bring down others and save their selves.

      Delete
    2. I think John Proctor represented humanity and its tendency to make mistakes, but he also was a steady person. Humans naturally make mistakes which is shown through John cheating on his wife. At the same time, he was centered around his family and the love for which he had for them. When Elizabeth had been accused of witchcraft, Miller portrayed just how upset John was over his wife being taken. I believe if the world had more family centered, solid men like John Proctor, the world would be a much simpler place. He stood by what he believed in, and that is quite a valuable quality. The world would look past their own needs and instead look at the needs of others first. When a person’s ego or reputation is on the line, I think that they immediately go into survival mode. Almost nothing is worse than having your name ruined, and this triggers desperation. Desperation leads people to rash decisions and quick conclusions. One’s reputation is something that sticks with them their entire life, and to have that soiled would lead to panic.

      Delete
    3. As I read this I saw that Elizabeth really cared more about who Proctor was then whether or not he really lived, it's the idea that she was married to a good man (stone, sturdy, strong), not just married to a man, for however long. I think if there were more John Proctor's in the world that people would be more stubborn, short tempered, but better people morally. I think Proctor left his mark on human history and development, showing that even in times of hardship and disgusting situations, there are still good people in the world. I think that on a daily basis people are effected by ego, it changes what clothes people wear, how they do their makeup, how they act. Now it has more of a pop-cultural basis but back in 1692 an ego was a man's word, his honor. So how does this effect our personalities? Our goals, morals?

      Delete
    4. I love what Gentri said about humans being selfish, and how we can be manipulated into chaotic hysteria. We constantly worry about what others will think of us, how they will treat us, and this all affects how we view ourselves and how we act. Our surroundings influence us so much, and it is reflected in the goals and choices that we make, who we strive to be, our personalities, how we treat one anther, and what we value. I think it's sad that things around us play such a huge role in influencing us, but at the same time our name is really all that we have. Miller does such a good job of exposing what lengths people will go to protecting their name and preserving their reputation. We see Proctor die for his, Parris let people die for his, and Abigail lie for hers. We see and experience examples of this same pressure and influence ourselves every single day. Do you think that there is a way to escape these pressures? Is it ever possible to do something that isn't motivated by how we think other people will see us? Do other people's view affect how we see ourselves? Is this good or bad?

      Delete
  4. An allegory is the hidden themes and motifs that are discovered within the text. Fear is used throughout the novel to portray how people go to tremendous lengths to feel secure. The character of Marry Warren is persuaded by fear of Abigail Williams, to lie to the court and claims that John Proctor forced her to sign the Devil's book, and to testify against the girls in court. Marry Warren symbolizes fear in the novel because out of fear of being killed she fell to Abigail's terrifying demeanor, and caused an innocent man to die because he wanted to save his reputation. Another example of an allegory in The Crucible is motif of reputations. A character that the idea of withholding one's reputation is found in is Reverend Paris. Reverend Paris obtains a substantial amount of power in the community because the people of Salem believed the reverend never committed any sin or wrong. Because of his status in the community and because he was an authority figure in Salem Reverend Paris tried to maintain a holy like reputation. When he first discovered the girls dancing in the woods, reverend Paris was appalled and told Reverend Hale of the girls wrong doings, but the moment he came close to being accused of having a daughter who was under the influence of witchcraft was the moment he went along with girls lies at the risk of harming innocent people just to save himself. For example when Proctor and Giles went to the courthouse to give the officials the list of those innocent to witchcraft/being falsely accused of witchcraft Reverend Paris was quick to lie about what he actually saw the girls doing in the forest. He did so to save his reputation because ideally he knew the people being accused were innocent he just didn't want people to know his daughter and niece were among the actual witches or liars out of fear that it would ruin his reputation. The book created an interest in me to think about why people who claimed they are, so religious are truly "fake Christians." The novel makes me wonder how many people in even my own church put on an act for the congregation, but aren't actually upholding any real relationships with God. Also, with my own faith and how I'm using it for the sole purpose of helping others, and my self not for selfish reasons. How many people actually put an act on for others and God? Are all people truly narcissistic at their cores? The book made me wonder those who were affected in Salem. I want to learn more about Salem 1692 because throughout the novel I've really grown curious, as to these people's backgrounds, and other afflictions that caused them to be who they were. The novel also related a ton to the 1950s, when Joseph McCarthy was accusing innocent people of being communists. These people ended up going to jail because the United States Government gave one guy the authority to determine if someone was guilty. Reverend Hale represents the United States Government in that he realized a tad too late that giving power to Abigail and the other girls to find guilty people was wrong. The U.S. government and Reverend Hale truly believed they were saving a ton of people by handing over accusations to well respected people, but later they both regretted their decisions. The John Proctor affair teaches people that good people make mistakes. I use to believe that all people who cheat were terrible people who never really loved their spouse. At the end of the novel, I still to an extent believe they don't really love their spouses, but in sense that they just forgot why they loved them, until they did something that could potentially loose them. I love Proctors passion for fixing his marriage. The idea of cheating, it makes me wonder what lengths I would go to save someone I loved. What do other people go through to save those they truly care about and love? What ideals and morals do you take out of the crucible? How can we be more like Hale and Proctor in our everyday lives?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emmy, I really appreciate what you took away from the Crucible. I admire that you had an open mind when reading this book, and you allowed Miller's ideals to shape a new perspective for you. You also provided a great literary analysis of these characters, and I can tell you put a lot of time into diving into the text and finding the deeper meaning Miller was trying to convey. But, to counter your argument on "Fake Christians," I do not think they exist. I'm wondering in your opinion, what makes someone a "Fake Christian?" I do agree, a relationship with God comes from spending time with Him. But, He is God; God is good and above all things and created all things good, we are not narcissistic human beings. It becomes much more difficult to believe this about a person when you pray for them. I would encourage you to send your heart out to the people of your church, get to know their story, pray for them, just show love for them. Praise God that you have the opportunity to evangelize in His holy structures. Have compassion before judgement. With this in mind, humility is also so so important, because we are all people alike, we have all sinned. We are all, unconditionally loved by God. These sins are all viewed the same in God's eyes, and no righteous acts or good works make us better than our peers. God is just, but more than that he loves by grace. And he loves every single human, regardless. You are a light, Emmy, and I can tell that you have a lot of love for the people in your community.

      Delete
  5. 1. The quote that provoked the most emotion in me occurred towards the end of act three shorty after Proctor has confessed to being a witch. With a cry of his whole soul, he clamors, "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" The name of the character is every earthly possession or feeling they have ever owned. Having a white name in Salem is to many, more important that having a pure soul. Proctor has sacrificed his soul to preserve his life. He has sacrificed any chance that he had of getting into heaven so that his earthly being may live on longer. The reason that this provokes so much emotion in me is because I feel that I can relate to the desire to have a good reputation. Everyone can infect relate to that human characteristic. Nobody wants to be thought about in a negative way. Not a single person strives for their friends and family to disown them, or for people to hate them. This quote also beings up emotions on the side of religion. I feel like in a life death situation such as this, most people would want to live. Religion and self hate are really the only two reasons a person would chose to die. Being a religious person, I would like to think that I would chose to die. I hope that I could stand up for what I believe in even if it meant death. But the reality is that I don't actually know what I would do if someone held a gun to my head and questioned my faith. I feel like my brain wouldn't care about morality, but instead survival. And I also wonder how I would feel after the encounter if I survived. Would I felt guilty for not being honest? Frightened that my salvation was in jeopardy? I don't know. Proctors weeping statement really makes me wind what I would do in his position.
    What would you do in Proctors situation? What factors would effect your decision?
    3. I absolutely want to know more about what actually happened in Salem after reading Arthur Miller's, The Crucible. Before we read this novel I didn't really care much about Salem, and to be honest I didn't really give much effort in activities such as the Witchy Witch WebQuest. After reading this novel, I have been much more intrigued to learn more about what actually happened in Salem and what the actual fates of these characters was. It is still spooky to think that this is a reality of our past, not just a beautiful piece of fiction. Millers work prompted my interests because the people that we hear about in history come back to life through his diction and realistic imagery. I now have a connection with each of the characters that was lacking before, and I want to learn more about each of them. This book definitely made me wonder about my own moral values, and about the society around me and their moral values. I question who would stand up for what they believe in even if it means death. I wonder what I would stand up for when faced with death. Miller has really made me interests in moral values and human instinct.
    What do you believe in strong enough to stand up for when death faces you? What has caused you to believe in something so strongly? Is it the way that you were raised, or did you develop this belief on your own?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kiley, I love how honest you were in your blog post. I admire how humble you are. I agree with you, that in a state of fear, one may not be considering their beliefs over survival. What comes after a situation like that also really intrigues me, because I would be questioning my decision the rest of my life. Not only this, but the world is not a very forgiving place, so messing up means you risk being judged, and that's just the way it is. Proctor knew that this one action he took by claiming his life would change his reputation, regardless of the life he lived before or the good person he was to his neighbors. You also asked amazing questions. I believe in God with my whole heart, and the transformation He is done in my life and in the lives of others assures this belief. I know I would not be where I am today with the miracles He has performed in my own life, and in the lives of people around me. The influence from other people brought me to this belief, but it has becomes something I have developed on my own. I'm so thankful for this also, because it's what keeps me grounded, and when I am afraid keeps me safe/at peace.
      What state of mind are you usually in day to day? Are you at peace with this state? Why or why not?

      Delete
    2. This is a really hard question, but i really like it. I think something that I would put my life on the line for without hesitation is my friends and family. They are such a huge part of who I am, and I wouldn't be me without them. I also think my beliefs are structured both by how I was raised and by my own decisions. I grew up learning what was right and what was wrong, and that hasn't left me. However, I am old enough now to make my own decisions on what I believe. Things such as religion and morals are two things that I am starting to create my own views on.

      Delete
    3. Kiley, I love your questions! They are thought provoking and somewhat challenging ( which is good!). In answer to your first question, I think that I would die for my faith and for the sake/saving of another human being. I think that past experiences drove me to this conclusion. As I have grown up in a faith in which I base every one of my decisions on, I know that it is something I hold close to my heart. In God, I find hope, joy, and love. He is important enough to me that I would die for Him. I also grew up in a house that would be considered privileged to many in 3rd-world nations and I was always aware of this. I know that many people are never shown any love in their lives and I suppose that if I had the chance to be the one person to show them that love, I would ( even if it cost me my life).
      When I was little, all of my decisions were based on what my parents thought and how they lived their lives. However, though my parents contribute somewhat to my beliefs, I feel that most of this decision was made on my own. In recent times, I have questioned everything that was told to me when I was younger and I believe that I have found my answer. This decision was formed from my own ideas and beliefs.

      Delete
    4. I used to believe that I would put my life on the line for the people I love and the people I believe in, but I think I've made that a little more broad, to say that I would put my life on the line for things that I believe in my heart to be right, not things that just sound right, or I'm not sure about, in terms of things I love as well as people. I think that I would die for love and when it comes down to it that's all that matters. I think how I was raised made me believe that so strongly, and the things that I have gone through have really led me to believe that love is all that matters. A lot of the other things I believe in so strongly I figured out on my own, I believe in being treated fairly, and in human rights, I believe that all people no matter who they love have the right to be married if they chose to do so and though my parents raised me to support some of this, a lot of it I decided myself. I think that Miller demonstrates his support for good morals through Proctor's death, and I think that you can really take away the importance of remaining a humble human being from Miller through this. So I ask you what you find to be the most important things in life, what you live for, and how you assert these in your life.

      Delete
    5. I can't think of anything right this moment that would answer your first couple of questions but to your last question: when you are raised with an ideal or belief from a very young age it's hard to think or believe any other way, but because this ideal is put upon you by others it's easier to break than an ideal or belief that you found for yourself.
      I totally agree with your choice of quote, Proctors last speech was very moving and deep.

      Delete
  6. 1. The stage direction in this play subtly evokes so much emotion, and shows so much characterization of these good people. The actions these humans take to bring comfort to one another from the touch of the hand, or a glance in one's direction should not be skipped over. Miller does an amazing job of literally, placing the reader into this heartbreaking scene by saying, "Alone. Procter walks to her, halts. It is as though they stood in a spinning world. It is beyond sorrow, above it. He reaches out his hand as though toward an embodiment not quite real, and as he touches her, a strange soft sound, half laughter, half amazement, comes from his throat. He pats her hand. She covers his hand with hers. And then, weak, he sits. Then she sits, facing him" (33-34). The love, security, and safety in the embrace of two souls joining together in their purity amazes me. The moment described in this passage releases all mistakes, regret, and shame away from their physical bodies as a connection between two people entangles them into one being. I admire the love Proctor and Elizabeth share, because while they had been surrounded by bitter fear, their love endured. It gives me hope, and reminds me that our hearts are capable of loving so much. The amount of compassion I see people have for one another, and the overflowing goodness in dark times I see keeps me content.

    3. After reading the Crucible, I feel inclined to learn about the Salem community after the witch trials had passed. It may not be answers I can receive, but it would be fair to those people to hear the rest of their story. It reminds me of the Single Story video, where the speaker says, "It's not that those stereotypes are wrong, they are just incomplete." I only know Proctor, Hale, Parris, Abigail, off their heart in fear. I would love to learn about their heart in a state of peace. It's unfair to judge a person based off their hysteria or who they were in a time of darkness. Abigail's actions during the witch trials do not make her a bad person, Parris' pride does not make him an ungodly pastor. We are simply human, and we are all sinners. We are in no authority to look down on another person for their sins, when in they eyes of God every sin is viewed the same, yet He still loves us all.

    What do you place your identity in, and how does that make you who you are? What makes this life worthwhile, and what is our purpose on this Earth? What gets in the way of you becoming who you want to be, and if you are who you want to be what keeps you grounded?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I place my identity in the things I do every day, no matter how small. I am still not sure yet exactly what my identity is as I am only sixteen years old, and I have time to figure it out. In the meantime, I want to be the best person I can be and leave a lasting impression. Even if it is something as simple as helping someone with their groceries or possibly spending five minutes out of my day to ask my neighbor how they are doing just to show that I care, that is what matters to me. I believe that everyone can make an impact on this world either good or bad. It is all up to you on what kind of footprint you choose to leave behind. That is our purpose, and that makes life worthwhile. Life is not something that we can always control, but we can influence. We can either choose to stand aside and let someone else deal with it, or we can stand right up and take control. It is amazing because we hold the power to do incredible things, things we do not always realize. Materialistic things such as grades, parents, money, and location may stand in the way sometimes which can be hard to overlook. It is in our control, however, to decide that those things do not matter, and we can do just about anything if we set our minds to it. Instead of reacting to a situation take the time and act first. For me, sometimes all it takes to keep me grounded is simply looking up. When I take the time to look up at the stars or the ever changing sky, I realize just how utterly small I am in the grand scheme of things. Something as simple as the sky holds the power to make me take a step back and think for just a moment about how incredible this particular life is and how lucky I am to live it.

      Delete
    2. To answer your question Jordan, I think my identity is made up of the people I meet, the things and places I've seen, and all the simple things that make me happy. My friends and family have taught me so many things over they years that have truly helped shape who I am as a person, and without them I wouldn't be the same. I've experienced a lot of good and bad things in my life, and even if those bad things are horrible, it helps me to appreciate all the good things. These experiences have just shown me that good things don't last forever, so I need to enjoy them while they last, and also not to worry too much, because bad times don't last forever either. my purpose on Earth is simply to just live in the best way I can. Life is a constant circle of ups and downs, and nothing can survive without its opposite. So it is so important in our time on this Earth to learn to cherish the opposites in our lives. I think at a such a young age it's impossible to know exactly what you want to be in life. Things are constantly changing and roadblocks and not uncommon. For me personally, I need to learn to accept the lessons these roadblocks are trying to teach me ,that is the only way I will find out who I am.

      Delete
    3. I've always thought the idea of identity was interesting. What creates a person identity? Is it a persons view of themselves or others view of the person? It also makes me think of legacy. Does it matter how you live your life or how people think you lived it? If a bad person has a good legacy are they a good person because that's how everyone remembers them? And what makes a good person good and a bad person bad?

      Delete
    4. Jordan, I love how challenging your questions are. I think that I place my identity in many things, but they are always changing. Who I am today is a reflection of many things, my family, friends, what I have learned, what I chose to do, etc. I have no idea what my purpose on this Earth is, and honestly I am not sure if I am ready to find out. That seems like such a huge moment, but at the same time what if we find out that we were only meant to be here for a specific moment that lasts 30 seconds? What if we have no actual meaning for being here at all and it's up to us to make our own choices about what we want to do and who we want to become? I mean those are some big questions that have some answers that might be a tad overwhelming. However, I do believe in trying to see the beauty of life. I think that while this play reveals a lot of super depressing things about society like how we are probably all manipulated by fear and how we are super narcissistic/care a ton about what others think about us, he is still able to reveal a sort of silver lining. I think it is important to try to recognize the bad in ourselves, but also try to shed some light on the beauty of life. He uses Proctor's struggle, Elizabeth's love, Giles' courage, and Rebecca Nurse's wisdom to reveal that there is still some light in the darkness. And so to answer one of your questions, among all of the chaos of this vicious circle of life, I think that some peace lies within how we see things. And obviously don't be naive and just see happy rainbows everywhere, we have to recognize the bad stuff, but we can't forget about the good stuff. What are some of the positives you see in this play, and how do they reflect some of the good in our world? How does our general focus in society mirror what we see in ourselves and those around us? How is this image influenced by others? Do you think that our society likes to focus on the bad or the good? Who do you think impacts that mindset? Who holds the most power over how we view life?

      Delete
  7. Reading Act 4, I was actually surprised by the intensity of the emotion it produced in me. I did not think that a play such as this could actually drive me to feel pain or heartbreak, but it did. As John is about to confess to witchcraft, I felt the most emotion: disappointment. Danforth comes forward and says, “Now then, Mister, will you speak slowly, and directly to the point, for Mr. Cheever’s sake. Mr. Proctor, have you seen the Devil in your life? Proctor’s jaw locks. Come, man, there is light in the sky; the town waits at the scaffold; I would give out this news. Did you see the Devil?” with Proctor’s reply, “I did” (Miller 139). John’s two words tore me apart, as it shows just how broken he is. He went from the rock in the play not bothering to trouble himself with something as ridiculous as witchcraft to soiling his name to live a while longer. I was disappointed to see the character that I had so admired throughout the play succumb to pressure. Miller shows that everyone has a breaking point, even the people we never see coming. John confessing to being a witch just shows the total downfall of Salem and their shame in the witch hunt. The passage got to me because it made me realize that one can only be strong for so long until those cracks begin developing. Once the cracks appear, it is all a matter of time before the foundation crumbles taking down anything it is supporting. The fall of John Proctor is the fall of Salem. Could John’s fall been prevented? What is your breaking point or do you know yet?
    The Crucible by Arthur Miller really brought out an interest of the effect that chaos has on a group of people and how they react to it. Through Abigail Williams and the support she received from Danforth, I saw the entire town fall to hysteria. Watching the ever growing fear and chaos, it aroused questions in me of our society today. What would push our society over the edge? Is there someone or something that could produce enough chaos to topple a city, a state, a nation? Miller wrote the play in such a way that it is easy to connect back to present day life. Watching a few girls work together to work a nonexistent threat to their benefit, I was horrified. How could the Salem Witch Trials ever have occurred? How could we be so naïve as to believe the squalling of a few girls claiming to see something invisible? Miller shows that to an extent, people are willing to believe anything to deal with their sufferings. Is it right? Probably not, but at the time, I am sure it must seems like the only option. Look at your life today. Is there something that would lead you to go into a state of unimaginable fear? At what point in a society driven by fear would people succumb to chaos?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Abbie I like your thinking on fear and hysteria. I feel like whenever people are in a situation in which their life is in danger they will react fearfully. The fear for ones life makes people react irrationally. Another thing that makes people succumb to chaos is mistrust of their peers. The feeling that anyone, even those closest to you could be the enemy make people turn on one another a lot.

      Delete
    2. I believe that if there was a threat of nuclear war and World War Three would put me into a state of unimaginable fear just the thought of someone being able to wipe out an entire city without anyone able to do anything about it is scary. In society driven by fear would succumb to chaos fairly quickly because their fear is so great that they just want to feel safe again.

      Do you feel we are safe?

      Delete
    3. People would succumb to the chaos when they become vulnerable and have nothing left to lose. I think I would be driven into a state of fear when I loose all control over my life. I am afraid of the unknown, and of not being prepared. I am afraid of loosing the people I love, family and friends. If I was to face an event in which these fears became a reality, I think it would be very easy to fall into a state of denial so that I would be able to go on with life, as a distraction. This is why I believe it is important to build a strong foundation in my beliefs so that even when change happens that I am not prepared for, I can be flexible to the situation and figure out how to cope/ adjust. Do you think we can avoid chaos? How can chaos be resolved?

      Delete
  8. The quote with the most emotion and purity is when Proctor reveals his personal integrity to Salem. "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!"(Miller 133). A name is the basis of life in Salem. It dictates how the town thinks of this individual, what this person will become, how much power they obtain, basically everything about a person is dependent upon a name. A name is everything to the people of Salem, and this is why Proctor wants his name to be pure and leaves his soul with the devil. This passage shows honesty and purity that didn't seem capable of being in Salem. Miller uses an explanation mark after every sentence which shows the passion Proctor has about his name, and I think we have lost that good side of passion. Giles Corey was a great character throughout The Crucible, since like Proctor he would not forfeit his name in order to survive. He died with integrity and courage of a hero which you don't find even now 300 years later. I don't know if I would have been able to go through with what Proctor and Giles did since in a way I am afraid of death because death is an unknown. Miller's words bring up sadness in myself, thinking why am I not like Proctor and why do I conform to society? Like the common saying we must realize the problem to fix the problem, and I am starting to realize my problem of conforming to modern society. It is a flaw that all humans are created with, but it can be overcome by the originality of the person it belongs to. Miller wanted to convey that society as we know it is corrupt in the sense that we have lost the good affects of the Puritans even though they are viewed as evil and harsh. This made me think, Is there still good in the world, and if so where is it traceable. Good can be found in everything whether it be obvious or not. This makes me feel as though we have not lost the personal integrity and purity in people, it is just hidden beneath power and the idea of a name. Children have the most purity and personal integrity and Miller wanted the people of America to turn to our next generation and experience how they look at life. The simple life of a child, is the key into our future. Will society ever be able to look past conformity and focus on originality? What is the definition of originality to you?
    I absolutely would love to know about the actual events of 1692. If I had a time machine I would go to Salem first, because there is such a mystery still hovering around Salem. I didn't know much about Salem, all I knew was that Hollywood used it in their Halloween movies and that witches still roam around Salem but who knows if that's true. Miller created a novel that showcased the events of Salem in an interesting and thought provoking way. I never thought a simple play about witches could turn into moral values and insight into what our society is like. I would love to meet John Proctor, and Giles Corey, and even Abigail Williams just to get the real impression of who they really were and to see if my beginning impressions are the same after I meet them. Miller made me think about my personal values and my personal integrity and related it back to the real world. He made me question myself and made me think that I might need to change as well as society. Do I stand up what I believe in and die or live with the fact that forfeited my personal integrity? I still don't know the answer, but I will eventually. How can we show personal integrity throughout our lives? If we were to meet the characters of Salem, would they relate to the people of today?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe that we can show personal integrity throughout our lives by, no matter how cheesy they may sound, always telling the truth, keeping in line with our morals that we set, identifying aspects of our behavior that need to be changed, find the obstacles that weaken us, and respecting others. If we were to meet the characters of Salem in a setting like today, I definitely believe that they would not relate to us at all. They would most certainly find us to be 'scandalous' and 'improper', and would be bewildered as to how society has changed since their time.

      Delete
    2. This is a really challenging question Sarah and there's really not going to be the same answer for two people, but for me I view integrity by standing by your morals no matter what, but also being willing to admit when I'm wrong. When I say no matter what I'd don't just mean in life or death situations, I mean having the strength to say 'no' when someone asks if they can copy your homework, or persevering through a study session when everyone else has quite. And even though it may seem simple to admitting to yourself when your wrong it's a lot harder to do the same when other people, especially those you respect, are involved. What would the people of Salem think of our country, society, and morals today?

      Delete
    3. Ciara, I think that if we were to meet the characters of Salem today, it would be really interesting. I think that if we met anyone for a different time period, it would be weird. With the Puritans, I feel like they would believe that everything that we do would be considered witchcraft, even as children or teens. Also, I feel like if we were to meet Abigail Williams, it would be so weird because she would try to manipulate us but through the technology that we have today, the laws, and the intelligence, she wouldn't get anywhere. I feel that today our society is completely different from others. It would be really different to meet anyone from a different time period but especially the Puritans because we know the main events that have happened in their lives but they don't know ours.

      Delete
  9. 1. As I read this last act, the quote the prompted the most emotion in me was on page 144 when Proctor is told he will hang. "His eyes full of tears: I can. And there's your first marvel, that i can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs. Elizabeth, in a burst of terror, rushes to him and weeps against his hand: Give them no tear! Tears pleasure them! Show honor now, show a stony heart and sink them with it. He listed her, and kisses her now with great passion." One line from Proctor really stands out to me in this short speech. When he says he see's a shred of goodness in himself. Proctor has been battling with his honor throughout this entire play. This line illustrates that he has finally started to forgive himself, and relieve himself from these feelings that are haunting him. I also think the stage directions envoke a lot of emotion. When Elizabeth starts crying and runs to him, she isn't holding her feeling in anymore. Earlier she was described as holding back her tears, but now she is letting her true emotions show. When Elizabeth and John kiss, it describes the kiss a passionate. This shows that she had forgiven John, and also herself. They have found that love for each other again, but it's at a horrible time. Thats why this quote is so emotional. It shows a great rekindled love between two characters before they are torn away from one another. This was one of the points Miller was trying to get across, he wanted his readers to feel the passion and love between these two with as little words as possible.

    3. Now that I've read this play and seen the movie, I am much more interested in what happened in Salem back in the 1600's. It was a time in history where the characteristics of humanity itself are questioned. We as a race can learn from this period of time, because this, like all other history, can repeat itself. A very similar thing happened during the 1950's during the McCarthy era. There was a hysteria spreading about who were communists. Trials were similar to the witch trials in the sense that people were almost forced to admit they were communists and forced to point out others as well. However,what we must learn from these two similar periods in history is how not to repeat them. Thats honestly what history is all about. We must learn from our mistakes in order to not make them in the future. This play also deals a lot with honor and how people will go to great lengths to redeem themselves. Abigail was angry after John wrote her off, so she took out her anger on him, Elizabeth, and other innocent people of the town. To redeem his honor, John did everything he could to prove his love to Elizabeth, even if that meant sacrificing himself in order to do so. what is really interesting to me about Miller's work is that he is not afraid to call out societal rules that are ruining us as a people. He wrote this play in a time where he was targeted by the government and by society, but he didn't care at all. What I really walk away with after reading this play is that it's impossible to be a good person all the time, but it's so important to be true to yourself and to love and forgive others, even if it can take time.

    So overall, do you think it's better to be honest and tell the truth, even if it could cost you your life, or do you think it's better to lie to save your life?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your question, because it is something I still have questions about myself, but I would be honest and tell the truth no matter the consequences because I couldn't live with the fact that I conformed myself just so I could live. I wouldn't be able to go on with my life, and death would seem like the best option. I think before reading The Crucible I would have said to lie and save your life, because no body really wants to die. Death is an uncertainty that nobody knows about and that scares many people including myself, but after reading this novel I realize that staying true to myself is better than lying and living with it. Like everyone I have lied many times in order to better myself, and once I went through with it I realized that it was wrong and that I would have to live with the guilt. I feel this every time I lie, because I think of how this event would have been different if I just told the truth. Society does this all the time to better itself, but is it really beneficial when our history is recorded as a lie? So I would be honest and tell the truth even if it cost my life.

      Delete
    2. I think your question can evoke a lot of debate. It really depends on the situation and how important telling the truth is to your morals. Proctor was lying to save his family and his children, but it got to be too much so he decided to tell the truth. I can't really say what I would choose, as it would depend on the situation.

      Delete
    3. I think it would be better to tell the truth and risk death than to live with a lie. To live with a lie would mean living with a false identity. This is exactly why Proctor ended up taking back his confession. If he chose to live with a lie as the basis of his identity, his identity would not truly be him. My question to you is if you think it would be worth it to give up your identity to yourself and others to live in a situation like that. What do you think Elizabeth Proctor thought of John's decision to save his identity? Do you think she would rather have him alive or know that he died with honor to his identity?

      Delete
  10. 1. Act 4 was without a doubt the most emotional and powerful act of the play, and I remember feeling anger, sadness, and disappointment throughout as a result of the actions of the people within Salem. The quote that attracted the most attention to me was from John Proctor just before he is about to be hanged: “You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor.” (p. 144). The reason I found this quote to be so intriguing was because of the fact that Proctor believes that by standing up for not only his beliefs but his integrity, he has gained back some of the goodness he says he has lost. Proctor knows that a great deal of his integrity and virtue were lost when he cheated on his wife, Elizabeth, with Abigail Williams. Abigail is very much responsible for the accusations against John and his ultimate fate, and words he says before he goes off to be hanged are in direct defiance of her and her manipulating ways. He is defending his righteousness along with setting a good example for his children as well. Proctor does not want his children to believe that he is a witch or terrible person, and instead he portrays the lessons of standing up for his beliefs and the value of integrity and honor.
    3. I would love to know more about the Salem witch trials of 1692. This is such an important event in history that any person can learn so much from, no matter their intent for readin it. Lessons are learned from those who stood up to the theocracy in Salem and refused to admit to ‘crimes’ that they certainly did not commit, and it is also important to learn how to prevent such mass hysteria from occuring. It teaches people that it is never beneficial to accuse without something valid and credible to back it up. I think that Miller’s work brings the characters to life in a way that would be hard to find just through research. He gives them emotion and depth, and that makes you feel for their circumstances and for the cards they have been dealt.

    What ideals, values, or morals can we take from John Proctor in our own life?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What we can take from Proctor is to stand up for what you believe in. Today people are so caught up in trying to fit in or be "normal" that they sometimes lose their values or beliefs. We need to stop worrying about these sort of things and just focus on what we believe.

      Delete
    2. John Proctor his life with integrity, especially at the last moments in his life. When given the chance to escape death, he refused because his name would be tainted by the lies of the confession he would have to sign to. Despite given the opportunity to live life he chose a different path that was right for him in order to forgive himself of his wrongdoings in marriage, profess his love for Elizabeth and to die in the grace of God. Proctor lived his life on the ideal of truth. He demonstrated this by not signing his life away by falsifying his name in pretense. Also, by sacrificing himself in court by admitting to lechery in order to save his wife and Salem of the hysteria of witchcraft.

      Delete
    3. John Proctor lived his life trying to be pleasing and fair to those around him. Some people might argue that him taking back his confession was a sign of weakness, but I believe the opposite. It would've been so easy for him to say he had dealings with the devil then move on with his life, but instead he chose the most honorable thing - honesty. He chose to die for a purpose and with honor instead of rotting his life away in a jail cell wishing he's made a different decision.

      Delete
    4. John Proctor most definitely shows the power in standing up for what you believe in. As a Christian, my beliefs are what guide me in life, and I find my identity through God. Through my beliefs I find my purpose and what I live for. To stand up for my beliefs would represent standing up for my life purpose, and keeping true to myself and God. John Proctor shows this power by showing that his life was not insignificant, and that he lived for a reason. He stood up for his identity to be one of truth and set an example for others, and that one can stand up for themselves and their beliefs even when the majority is against them. He shows how no matter what the circumstances are, people can still speak out and stand up for what they think is right.

      Delete
  11. Allegory, to me, is a symbol that has deeper meaning. I think that figures like Abigail and the courts in Salem had direct representations with people or things in the Red Scare. Abigail seemed to me a lot like Senator Joseph McCarthy. Both used fear of a particular idea or enemy to rise into power, but both of them lost power in the end. The courts in Salem were just like the courts during the Cold War. People were called in by the hundreds and forced to answer grueling questions. Often, people would accuse their neighbors, friends and co-workers just to save their own skin. Act 4 is full of allegories, but these two stand out the most to me. The thing I took away from this book was how the fear and hysteria seemed to separate people into three different groups, whether they wanted to be there or not. Obviously there are some grey areas, but generally everyone belonged to one particular category, except for Hale who seemed to switch in Act 4. The categories were the watchers, the accusers and the protesters. The watchers were the group that the protesters and accusers tried to win over. The watchers mainly consisted of the general population of Salem, who had little or no opinion at first. The accusers were people like Abigail, Putnam and Parris. The protesters were people like Proctor, Rebecca and Giles. Hale switched from an accuser to a protester in Act 4. Overall, I took the separation of peoples as the main motif of this book.

    Here is my question for you:
    How does political, social and/or economic power affect the spreading of fear? What kind of people tend to promote fear? What kind of people tend to try and disperse it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Political, social, or, economic power can all be accelerants to fear. Although, the people who instill fear upon others are those who are fearful of losing one of the above powers. Still others with power try to calm fear for the same purpose. These principle allows us to understand that those in power can use to fear as an answer to their fear.

      Delete
    2. Political, social, and economic power affect the spreading of fear in a major way, especially when leaders use the fear for their own purposes. The main promotors of fear are people who feel that is the only way to control a poplulation or crowd. This is not always the case but fear can be a very effective motivator, as shown in the Puritan beliefs and culture. People that disperse of fear are the citizens that know it is wrong. When a person can sense that and stand up for their beliefs, they can promote powerful changes.

      Do you think that fear is the best way to rule? What are other methods employed by leaders?

      Delete
    3. I believe that the power you have can effect the way fear spreads drastically. If it is something that someone in power is afraid of than they can easily spread their paranoia to others in hopes of uprooting whatever is causing them fear. It is mostly people who are insecure and in so much fear themselves that they need reassurance of their fears from others.
      What makes someone listen to others? How is that kind of power obtained?

      Delete
  12. 1. Over the course of Act 4 of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the one quote that reined over was Proctors line in response to Hale's plead for him to lie: "I can. And there's your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs" (144). The powerful excerpt delineates the ability of the human race to have someone stand against the darkness in the world. When evil is set upon the world there is those who will fight tell their breath is extinguished. Proctor will not have his name thrown about the town as a motive to others give in to the court. He understands his name has been ashamed but he will not let someone else tarnish it again. He decided to hang before he submits to evil.

    3. As a result of the literature presented regarding 1692 Salem I am not compelled to further my knowledge of the witch hunt or McCarthyism because I do not find these subjects personal compelling enough to shape my understanding of the world. These pieces of literature are invaluable to the average voter in the United States but I not a voter nor do I consider myself average. I may or may not do something great in this world but as a 16 year old middle class American I do not intend to depart from this Earth without making an impact. Regardless of the magnitude of this difference if I can save one life or guide one person they will continue the trend and eventually lead to a positive change in human society. The day I die is either the day I let myself release this motive or the day I have finished my goal. That said, what I can take from the text is the knowledge that is the darkest times there is light. You may be that light and not survive the night but when dawn comes again you will have lead someone else through the night in order for them to carry the torch forward. Miller's work impressed this idea upon me by becoming Miller's way of guiding us through the dark. At a time when McCarthyism was causing a hysteria throughout America Miller used the story of Salem to guide us at great personal risk.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think that John Proctor taught us that even though people make mistakes, they can regret them and come back from them to do good. Proctor cheated on Elizabeth with Abby, though he immediately regretted it. Elizabeth forgave Proctor in the end, and he did a good thing, and fixed his morals right before he died. We can take Proctor and Elizabeth's example and forgive those who have wronged us.

    ReplyDelete
  14. PART 1
    For me, the quote in which Elizabeth reveals Giles Corey's death to Proctor spoke to me the most as it forces the reader/audience to ponder what they would die for. More importantly, it makes people wonder what is worth dying for and why dying for something is so significant in our culture. After reading why and how Corey died, I had to step back from the book for a moment and reflect upon what I would have done if I were in his place. I wondered extensively why Corey had chosen to give up his life for something so seemingly insignificant as a plot of land and a name. However, upon further analysis, I found that Corey not only died for his own land but for freedom and truth as well. Even Corey's last words during his torment ring with courage and the message that I believe Miller tried to get across: even in the darkest of hours, it is important to stand up for one's own beliefs. To Corey, his witness's name and his plot of land meant more than just survival. These things signified the freedom in which he rooted himself. When he recognized that someone was trying to take away this freedom, Corey fought for the truth and for justice. His courage and stubbornness in his ideals motivated him to inspire others with his last few words. Maybe this quote is so powerful today because our culture has become one of conformity ( sometimes through nonconformity) and cowardice. Even the most minuscule details of our good deeds need to be praised and almost nothing in society is seen as "worth dying for". However, Corey exhibits true nonconformity, loyalty to his beliefs and, courage, integrity, and humility-- all of which are lacking in modern culture. Through this quote, Miller suggests that not only is it good to stand firm in what one believes, but necessary. During the time that Miller wrote this, many people became disloyal to their friends and family members in order to protect themselves from accusations and punishment. Though they might have become safe, their morals were put in danger. Miller promotes putting the safety of one's morals before the safety of one's skin.

    ReplyDelete
  15. PART 2
    Miller made many incredibly true statements in his play, The Crucible. However, this idea of how quickly people will forgo their own morals in order to find temporary safety intrigued me the most. The fact that this book takes place in a highly religious sect of America testifies to the shaky faith that many of these people had because they willingly lied ( which is a moral sin) to a person in power in order to save their own life. It is possible that these people only acted like they had true faith in what their society believed in because they faced constant threat if they did not conform. Being locked up too long in the confines that their society put on them probably made it easier for them to lie. Their lack of hope due to their extreme fear of God might also have been a contributing factor for why so much chaos erupted However, when the faith factors are taken away, the same sort of event happens nearly 300 years later. This begs the reader to question if what caused the massive scapegoating had more to do with fear and control and less to do with the type of culture. As Miller progresses through the play, it becomes more and more clear that what drives these people is fear, brought on by years of distrust, paranoia, and trauma. Even as Miller wrote The Crucible, people were living in fear of their past, present, and their future. Perhaps what the author wants everyone to realize is the impact that fear can have on us. In his play, each character, especially Abigail, willingly caves into fear and abandons their morals for a slice of security. I think that this verifies the intense grip that fear had on everyone in the community because it is not moderated by the government or people as a whole. In fact, it was promoted. This type of promotion, founded upon intense fear of God, led to many of those accused confessing to witchcraft ( or Communism). It amazes me how easily one decision that goes against every personal belief, that is confessing/lying, was so commonly made in attempt to gain safety. I realize now that confessing oneself to a false crime is a form of relinquishing freedom to people of higher power. Ultimately, Miller suggests through his play that if fear is endorsed by leaders, be it fear of God, fear of others, or fear of ostracism/death, then morals will be abandoned in order to salvage one's life/reputation. Can this be stopped? How?

    As I read the quote about Giles Corey's death, I was reminded of a saint who, grilled as a punishment for standing firm in his faith, shouted to his torturers, " Flip me over, I'm done on this side!". A few moments after, he died. Why do you think that it was important for Corey to die the way that he did? Why did Miller choose to have Corey say those words as his last? What is the significance of martyrdom?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel it was important for Giles to die the way that he did because it definitely had an impact on Proctor's final decision. Giles died for what he believed in and John didn't want to give in and be used as an example and stood up for what he knew was right even though it meant his own death.

      What might have changed if Giles hadn't died and had confessed?

      Delete
    2. It was necessary to the play to have Giles die in this manner. He was one of the "good guys", and one of the few characters the reader could root for. His death was a sign that there were still good people back in Salem who fought for what they believed. If Giles hadn't died like he did, Proctor might have confessed and given the court even more power.

      If Proctor had signed the sheet saying he confessed, how much longer would the trials have continued?

      Delete
    3. I think it was important for Corey to die such a horrific death because Miller needed show the audience that the witch hunt was no longer silly girls pointing fingers, it's started to kill people and have real consequences.Corey's last words really seemed to sum up his character as a whole to me; simplistic but with great weight behind them and truly made a lasting impact on the people who watched or heard of his death. I believe that martyrdom provides an untarnished symbol for which people can fight, and can really do a lot more for a cause than anything else. The death of an important figurehead can also make people very angry and get them involved when they otherwise would have been impartial.

      Delete
    4. In many ways the last words that Giles spoke were the image of integrity. As most of you have mentioned he died horrifically but with a cause. He knew he wasn't a witch and he wasn't going to confess to something he knew wasn't true. In his last breath he showed that no amount of prodding and torture was going to make him surrender to the pressure of the corrupted court. He was going to die with the knowledge that his sons would inherit the land and not the accusers who brought deception to the town. This shows that he was willing to die in martyrdom to stay true to himself and what he believed in. This ultimately brought a picture of integrity to the book in order to contrast with the corruption.

      Delete
  16. As I read Act 4 I found myself getting quite emotional over Proctor's actions and decisions as he is confessing. Not only this but his reactions to things, like the news of Giles death. This would evoke a very raw, painful emotion in most people, but because of what he' s been through for three months the news just left him sort of cold and unsure how to handle the news. The fact that Elizabeth is so in awe, so pleased with the goodness in John's heart just for telling Danforth that he retracts his confession leaves me a little annoyed. John's basically begging for Elizabeth to tell him to stay, that his life and his being there to raise their children is worth more than damnation for telling a lie. I just felt very emotional and saddened by this, I think it reflected how strong ans stubborn these people were about their beliefs, their morals. Even to the end of his life Proctor makes it clear how important loyalty is to him, even with everything that he has done, "I have three children-how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?" (Miller 143). Guilt, loyalty, this obligation Proctor has to raise his kids to be good people is so important to him that he'll give his life to not dishonor his friends his neighbors. This was the most important quote to me because this shows Proctor's devotion to being a good person, to shed all his sins, everything that he has done wrong and say no more. Proctor doesn't give up like most people, including me are guilty of, figuring that things were already horrible and what could make it worse. Miller uses this innocent, idealistic image of children to demonstrate Proctor's appreciation of the things he has, to demonstrate how life really means nothing without something to appreciate, love, and care for. Also using the idea of growing up, progress, and change Miller protrays these life goals, and achievements, to create an even sadder scene since most people know that Proctor is going to die. What gives Proctor this sudden bravery to stand up for himsef and his friends? Do personal grievances make certain dialogue and situations more emotional? Can a scene mean something to a wide variety of people without these personal connections and relations?
    Reading The Crucible inspired an even further interest in me about the 1692 Witch Trials. I've been fascinated with them since about first grade and going to Salem two summers ago was the best part about Massachusets. I think I've always been intrigued by McCarthyism in the 50's but I don't think that this book changed that at all, I've always just figured that the situation was extremely similar to Salem and that people never learn or change, which disgusts me. Love can do terrible and great things to a person. You see this when relationships bring out the best in people, like Elizabeth when she forgives Proctor. You see the bad about love when Proctor cheats for whatever reason, absence, lack of love, etc. Today you see how harmful love is, especially in teenagers in suicide rates, stabbings, shootings, unrequited love can be a deadly, horrifying tragedy. What I take away from this book is the idea that what life is really worth, what people desire so much cannot be obtained from hate, lies, guilt, though you have to work for it, and these things can be changed, you can't achieve the things you want dishonorably. Leave life feeling fufilled, and respect the people you care about, it really all comes down to morals. So what are the things that you live for? What makes something worthwhile, important? Do you think Proctor left his life feeling fulfilled?

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  18. 1. In the last act of The Crucible, my heart broke for Proctor and Elizabeth. Proctor made the courageous decision of dieing for his name instead of confessing about something that he didn’t do. Miller portrays the pain that Elizabeth has to go through when Proctor made this decision: “Herrick escorts them out, Hathorne and Cheever behind them. Elizabeth stares at the empty doorway” (134). Miller uses the empty doorway as a symbol of the loss of Elizabeth’s good husband, Proctor; however there is still hope for a better future on the other side of the door. Miller uses the adjective “empty” to describe the door because Elizabeth feels lonely without him and although she may feel empty inside, hope still remains. The doorway also symbolizes an end to conformity because of Proctor’s decision to die. Proctor chose to go against the crowd and stand up for his name, instead of confessing about an act that he did not commit. To me, this was a very powerful quote because it elucidates Elizabeth’s love and it also shows Proctor’s courage. Although Elizabeth does not want him to die, she still does not judge his decision either way and she demonstrates self-control by letting him die, no matter how hard it would be for her.

    3. When I first started reading The Crucible, I was intrigued by the events that occurred in Salem in 1692 because I had never heard about them before. It is interesting to hear about the lives of those in Salem and to understand why people react the way they do when put under certain circumstances. In the play, I admired the Rebecca Nurse’s actions during the witch hunt trials. Rebecca remained faithful to her beliefs, no matter how hard the situation was. She expressed love and compassion to everyone in the town, and when she was asked to confess to her sins, she chose to die as an innocent in order to stand up for her beliefs. Although the Salem Witch Hunt Trials were terrible, Rebecca symbolized the hope for a better future. This play can teach us that even in the darkest of situations, a silver lining still remains. In difficult situations, we can react the way that Rebecca Nurse did by not worrying what others think and standing up for what you believe in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how despite the negativity displayed in the book and the corruption Salem the puritanical society displays you are still able to comprehend the goodness within the play. I absolutely agree that Rebecca Nurse is amazing and serves as a positive reinforcement to support that people are willing to die for what they believe in and will refuse to succumb to society's pressures, knowing that she will die in the grace of the Lord.

      Delete
  19. 1 While reading act four, what spoke to me the most was when Elizabeth was asked to persuade Proctor to change his mind about signing the confession but she states, "He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him"(Miller 145). What Elizabeth is saying here is that she doesn't want to try and change his mind about what he believes is just. She doesn't want to try and sway her husband from what he believes is truly right even if that means his death.This can relate to modern times because people need to stop worrying about what others think and figure out what they truly believe in. Everyone is concerned with trying to fit in and be "normal" that they don't really stop to think what they want.

    3 After reading the play I am more interested in what actually happened in America during the McCarthy era because it shows how we really haven't changed that much. When we look back at the events of Salem it's easy for us to say how foolish they were acting but the same thing happened not too long ago in the 1950's. Miller lived through this and was even persecuted himself and he put all of this into his writing to show how crazy some people were acting. Since this happened so recently it shows how even though we think this would never happen again, people can still behave erratically during a time of chaos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you think of the ending of the book? What would you have done differently if you were the author?

      Delete
    2. Your thinking is nice and I connect with some of your thoughts since the same quote touched me. I felt like Elizabeth, in order to show the love she has for him and that she has forgiven him of his wrongdoings of a husband to her, let him sacrifice himself because she believes that John is a good man and that what he chooses to do will therefore be good. Ultimately, I think that Elizabeth does not want to ruin his chances to die in the grace of God. By sacrificing her husband to a greater cause it depicts the incredible strength she possesses because it is unbelievably hard to let go of someone you love, yet she does it to profess her undying love for him.

      Delete
    3. I completely agree with the importance of that quote from Elizabeth, but I also think it is amazing how she can still love her husband after everything he put her through. She has every right to refuse to talk him into confessing. She could just cut herself off from him completely and make him deal with his mistakes, but instead she chose to forgive him. Too many times in our society today we decide to take the easy way out and cut ourselves completely off from people who hurt us instead of taking the mature route and forgiving them.

      Delete
    4. In response to Tom's question: I believed the ending of the book to be fitting for the story. Had everyone been saved and Abigail thrown in jail (first of all it would not have been historically accurate but also) it would not have fit in with the character of the story. What occurred was horrific-when we see such good people as Proctor and Rebecca Nurse hang, it brings the events onto a more personal level as no long list of the names of those executed could.

      Delete

  20. As I read Act 4 the emotion shown between Proctor and Elizabeth when they professed their love for each other provoked a powerful reaction in me. The particular part that unnerved me was when Elizabeth and John were speaking in his last moments and he was bidding her to tell him what to do. They say: “Proctor: ‘I have been thinking I would confess to them, Elizabeth. What say you? If I give them that?’ Elizabeth: ‘I cannot judge you, John.’ Proctor: ‘What would you have me do?’” (Miller 125). I found this passage absolutely heart wrenching because you can feel the love and the sadness within the text. Proctor desires to do anything to make Elizabeth happy because he loves her and is willing to do anything to show her that. He wants to make Elizabeth happy and make up for his wrongdoings as a husband. I was overcome with emotion due to the initiative filled with compassion and love. Another passage that added to my emotion whilst reading was when Elizabeth dispels that Proctor need not to seek forgiveness from her but from himself. She disseminates: “John, it come to naught whether I should forgive you, if you’ll not forgive yourself. It is not my soul, John, it is yours. Only be sure of this, for I know it now: Whatever you will do, it is a good man does it” (Miller 126). Elizabeth depicts the power of forgiveness within this remarkable scene. Even though Proctor wants to earn his forgiveness from Elizabeth she tells him that it is only important that he forgive himself. This scene was so intense and powerful. Elizabeth ultimately reveals that she has forgiven John, but he does not realize that because he still needs to forgive himself. Another powerful passage of Act 4 is when Proctor is going to hang since he refuses to give his name and Hale pleads Elizabeth to convince Proctor to confess so that he can live. Elizabeth states: “He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!” (Miller 134). By Elizabeth refusing to convince Proctor to save himself with a lie, she lets him sacrifice himself in the name of the lord. Elizabeth’s action to let Proctor go depicts the love she has for him because despite her desire to have John alive she willingly lets him die since it is the right thing for John to do. As I read this I imagine the incredible amount of strength Elizabeth possesses to let the man she loves die because I can not envision myself letting someone I love go, no matter how selfish that concept is. Ultimately, Proctor and Elizabeth both sacrifice something, John his life and Elizabeth her love.
    Upon reading The Crucible I have become strongly interested in human affairs and exploits in life. I was first intrigued about the events that occurred in Salem of 1692 and what motivation truly inspired the occurrences. I look at all characters with love and compassion because no matter how callous the acts they committed I, on some level, understand their exploits and why they could have participated in such heinous accusations. I empathize with many of the characters and connect with the love and strain of hurt demonstrated by characters Elizabeth and John, as a result creates a better understanding of me and the world. I do believe that I am interested in the corruption in society and sources of inspiration for people. I admit that positive changes have been made due to my analyzation of the book, but must confess that I now question people’s motives more often as well as their intent, which I think is quite disappointing, however, quite necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  21. 1. Mr. Miller, throughout The Crucible, has countless revelations and quotes that reflect a purer truth. Especially in Act 4, he leaves his readers with a lot to think about. I personally really liked John Proctor's line, "(with a cry of his whole soul): Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul, leave me my name!" This quote holds so much truth and power. We are born into this world with nothing, and really the only thing that we are given that encapsulates everything we are is our name. We see the preservation of one's good name as a driving force behind many actions in this play. Paris bends to the notions that there are witches in Salem and lets innocent people hang just to save his reputation in the village, Danforth clings to his name as an affirmation of authority and power that he "holds", and John Proctor dies to save his good name. It reveals so much truth about what people will do to protect their name, and how valuable and precious our names are. It held a lot of power for me because throughout the book we can see many ways in which this value in a name drives people to extremes, and it made me wonder if this is a reflection of society today? Are people so driven by the value they hold in their names that they will lie, let others die, or die themselves to protect their name? Is it worth it? Is it justifiable? What does this say about our society?

    3. This play held a lot of good walk-away ideas, but one that really has stuck with me is the way that fear perpetuates in a society. Every society has a 'panic button', or something that is universally feared among a group of people. When someone or something pushes this button, it sends a society into hysteria and chaos. Through this play Arthur Miller demonstrates what this turmoil looks like, and how people respond to this mass fear. We see the fear of the devil, and maybe a deeper fear of the destruction of a social image, tear their community apart. One group of girls was able to use a fear in people that eventually ended up with over 20 people dead. People gave into their fears, power was corrupted, and ultimately they all broke charity with one another. However, we know that this wasn't just a one-time deal in Salem in 1692, as Miller wrote this to be a reflection of the Red Scare in the 50's. We see this sort of perpetuated fear throughout humanity, and every time it has the same chaotic effect. It made me wonder, what is our society's panic button? How have we protected ourselves from the pushing of that button? Is there actually any way to defend against this sort of fear and hysteria? Is it inevitable that every society's trigger will be pulled? How do people recover from things like that?

    ReplyDelete
  22. 1. The part of this act that stuck with me the most was towards the end when Proctor took back his confession of dealing with the devil. In my opinion, the most important quote is when Proctor says, "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" This whole section of Act 4 confused me. At first, Proctor is all for confessing in order to stay alive, but, he didn't really have time to really think it through. Once he realized that the confession would be in permanent records and give his family a bad name. At first I though this was Proctor just being selfish, wanting to keep his own good name rather than staying alive. But as I thought about it more, this is actually a very selfless decision to make. He is willing to die to make sure his children don't have to grow up dealing with a bad name their father gave to them. Proctor dies with honor, as do all the people hanged. They chose to be honest and not confess to a crime they did not commit.

    2. As a result of reading the play and seeing the movie, I'm very interested to learn more about what actually happened in Salem in 1692. I am fascinated to dive into more of the behind the scenes stuff that went on. In this play, Miller gave no personal opinion in the whole situation, and I appreciate that. I would like to read journal entries or anything from the people in that time to give more of an explanation for everything that happened. I think it would be interesting to also see other peoples' opinions on the matter. After reading this text, I will walk away with an idea of what crazy things fear can drive a society to do. I think it will make me more conscious of why I make the decisions I do and how personally fear causes me to do things. In this text, Proctor taught us all that living but regretting the decisions you make and creating a bad name for your family isn't worth it. I want to make an impact on the world. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Just like Proctor, when I'm older, I want to die with honor and without any regrets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can a society recover from a hysteria like this one?

      Delete
    2. Diana, I love how this is such a thought provoking question. But to me I feel like it is truly hard to recover from hysteria like this one but it can happen .I think that it will take a very long time until the town will ever go back to "normal". What ever that new "normal" is. After such a catastrophic event it is is hard to find normality in society again. Once a crazy event, such as this one, takes place in society. The town or society needs to create brand new laws, norms, and types of people. This does not just happen over night. This type of action takes time. So I believe that a society can recover but it will take long time to return to normal.
      What is normal in society? Can a society ever reach "normal"?

      Delete
    3. Diana, to answer your question, I think that the only solution to such hysteria is by showing love and compassion to others. I believe that people are capable of so much good in this world and compassion is contagious. Although you cannot change a person's heart, you can still have a positive influence on others by showing acts of love. Like Nicole said, it takes a long time to recover for hysteria and who knows it will ever get back to "normal," but I think that sharing compassion in love with others helps to heal.

      Delete
  23. 1) The quote that struck the most emotion with me is when Proctor discusses his name and his legacy. "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!". This quote is important to me because it discusses mortality and the things that we leave behind. In these moments Proctor is thinking about what he is going to leave behind, the legacy that he is going to leave. He trapped in a corner. If he lives he lives as an outcast, if he dies he dies a failure. No matter what happens to him it’s against his beliefs, and he terrified and desperate. Looking for anyway to save himself and the legacy he leaves behind. Another thing that makes this quote so heart wrenching is at this moment he doesn’t have any control over his future, no control over his future or his legacy. This is an interesting concept to me because it makes me wonder how much control we have over our legacy, and how much is decided by outside forces.
    2) After reading the play and seeing the movie I am definitely more interested in what happened at Salem. In Miller’s story the catalyst that created the hysteria was Abigail and most of her motivation came from her feeling of unrequited love towards Proctor. In the real Salem none of this actually occurred. It makes me wonder what the real motivation or catalyst in starting the Salem witch trials was. The complicated and conflicted nature of Miller’s character is what draws me to his work. None of his characters were morally pure, most of them were sinners and had a complicated past. Even Proctor, the hero and moral compass of the story had an affair with an underage girl. These people were complicated and realistic, you rooted for them even when you knew they may or may not have been 100% moral. An a humanistic level this play can tell us that people will do anything to save their own skin, and to protect what people think of them. The human ego is a powerful thing and injuring it, or threatening reputation can cause chaos within a society. From this book one could almost argue that to some people their reputation is more important to them then there life and maybe even the lives others.

    ReplyDelete
  24. 2) Merriam Webster's Dictionary defines allegory as "the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence". Following this defintion, The Crucible is full of allegories. For example, Giles Cory is used to symbolize the defiance and fight in the human spirit. The story of his death is explained by Elizabeth: "Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. With a tender smile for the old man: They say he give them but two words. “More weight,” he says. And died." (135). Giles knew that he could not be convicted if he didn't answer any questions in court, so he used that knowledge to defy the judges and give them no satisfaction. Miller uses him to show that some people will always fight for what is right, even at the cost of their own life. Miller also uses Abigail Williams as an allegory for everyone who used the Red Scare to their advantage in the 1950's. Throughout the play, she used her power and the hysteria of the town to dispose of anyone who annoyed her, leading to the imprisonment of many innocent people Her ultimate goal was to kill Goody Proctor and marry John, but she never quite got that far. Her abuse of power and use of public hysteria was an almost direct analogy to the leaders of the Red Scare during the Cold War.
    3) This play leaves me wanting to know more about the actual occurances of that spring in 1692. There is so much mystery wrapped up in Salem, and not even the actual particpants of the trials could explain their own actions. The crack in sanity and strange behaviors of the town is one of the scariest events in American history, and I wish there was more information about how the trials first began and what sparked the town into a crazed accusing machine. Miller's disclaimer at the beginning of the book about the amount of fiction vs fact he used is a main catalyst for my interest. He had to modify some information and simply make up other facts to turn his play into a full story. Not even he had a full understanding of the events that spring. This play can teach us that society is still not far from insanity and mob mentalities. This strong, faith based town fell apart and turned on each other in a heartbeat, and even in the 1950's people resorted to this madness. Society has to be careful with everything that happens, and we will always need people to go against the tide and stand up for what is right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you think the play would have had a different message if Miller had included another act that showed the conclusion of events?

      Delete
    2. Mitch, No personally, I don't think that the play would have had an entirely different message if he had added another act. I think that the play already has a distinct message and another act wouldn't wouldn't change that course. All that I think another act would have done would be clarify the ending and resolution to the problem.

      Delete
  25. Like many of us, the thing that evoked the most emotion in me during this act was John Proctors final speech. Specifically the quote "Beacuse I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang!" (Miller 143). This quote struck me because it's like the final reveal of Proctors true self, and we finally see the depth at which this whole ordeal has hit him. It's sort of a final plea for forgiveness to those that he failed by not stopping the witch hunts and a last confession to get everything off his chest before he is killed. The main thing Miller shows in this quote is that Proctor has finally given up trying to save himself and is just so tired and just wishes to be done with the whole situation.

    Miller obviously put a lot of deeper meaning and symbolism into his book, but I'm curious how deeply he's connected his play to the events of the 1950's. Of course there is the obvious cross-over of people scapegoating and the terrifying mob mentality but were any of his characters representative of people he saw/knew? Was there anyone like Mary Warren who switched sides trying to do the right thing but eventually returned to the accusers to save themselves? Or was Mary just a character to further the story? Did the Rosenberg's make any heartfelt and broken speeches like John Proctor before they died, or was the final speech just a way to keep the audience interested until the end? Overall I think Miller work has given me a more subjective view on human behavior, like mob mentality and how we all play into it one time or another or neighbors testifying against each other to save themselves. It's made me more curious about the causes about human behavior and whether the people around me would do the same thing if in a similar situation.
    Is Proctor implying that the judges are with the devil in his final speech?
    Would you have done what John did? (either lying to save yourself, or confessing to remain 'pure')

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, I love these questions they really make you think. For me,I would have confessed to remain 'pure'. If I had to choose between living and knowing that I lied to live or die knowing I told the truth. I would pick death, knowing I told the truth. It always kills me when I lie. I can not think of anything else accept that lie. I think what John did though was the right choice for him. It really falls back to how you want everyone to remember you as. And how you would want have your reputation be in society.
      Is death worth it, knowing you did the right thing?

      Delete
  26. 1) While reading this act, one passage stood out to me as being the most powerful. After Proctor struggles through confessing a lie, he fights for his confession to not be nailed to the church: “with a cry of his whole soul: Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name!” (Miller 143). I was emotionally dumbfounded while reading this, feeling inside of me the same tension and suspense that Miller portrayed through Proctor. Miller uses imagery, describing Proctor as speaking out with his entire being and soul, to show how desperate he is to save his identity. When Proctor says he signs himself to lies, he really is changing his identity to be part of a lie, and his identity is lost in the process. This impacted me because it shows that if Proctor keeps his confession, his true identity falls to the lies, whereas if Proctor revokes his confession, he will be hung. There is no way for Proctor to win. The tension is revealed when Miller shows that Proctor will either loose his life or identity; He will die, be it in flesh or in identity. This passage shows how Proctor is accepting that there is no way out. He is trapped and must either succumb to the system or die with honor to his name. It is the struggle he feels, the internal conflict, that shows the power of the moment, and the power in one crucial decision: life or honor?
    3) After reading the play and seeing the movie, Miller’s work has interested me in the effects of peer pressure and mob mentality on the Human mind, and how people are so easily swayed into believing lies by not questioning the things around them. It baffles me how people will turn a blind eye to the paths to truth when shrouded in the comfort of lies of a mob. Yes, lies can most definitely be a place of comfort. Living in a lie can be much easier than to speak out against the majority .Once the mob defines its own truth, when something or someone goes against their decided “truth” (no matter if it is morally just) it justifies why these outsiders to the mob are the enemy to the mob. The mob does not have to take responsibility for its actions because it was just doing what it thought were right to uphold the truth. People are easily turned to the mob because it would be better for them to go along with it than the risk with going against the mob, and potentially being killed for their “wrongdoings”. This leads me to wonder why people who question the actions of the mob are so quickly disregarded. The mob has an inability to compromise what it believes to be right. This inability to compromise makes those who speak out against the mob an instant enemy, discrediting anything they may have said to change the mob’s potential actions against human morals. What other dangers do you think come with mob mentality? How might they affect us as a society when mob mentality is present?

    ReplyDelete
  27. 1. This act evoked a lot of emotion and feeling for me toward the characters and the town. It is absolutely heartbreaking to read a play about people just losing their minds and the town/society just crumbling beneath their feet. And the worst part is if someone tries to do soothing about it they fall along with everyone else. Watching people fall in front of your very own eyes is disheartening and unhuman. Miller does a fantastic job depicting this aspect of emotion and the power this emotion has over you. In act 4 there are a lot of emotion evoking quotes but this one on the second to last page of the book evokes the most emotion in me. This is when Proctor is saying his final words of the play and leaves you wanting more. “Proctor, his eyes fully of tears: I can. And there’s your first marvel that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs. Elizabeth, in a burst of terror, rushes to him and weeps against his hand. Give them no tear! Tears pleasure them! Show honor now, show a stony heart and sink them with it! He has lifted her, and kisses her now with great passion.” (Miller 144). This quote was the most powerful for me because it shows the final feeling and personal emotions between Proctor and Elizabeth. It shows that no matter what love will always make you more personal and more caring. It shows that Proctor, even though they have been through so much, their love is still there and the conflict between them is gone. This quote not only shows Proctor and Elizabeth’s conclusion but the stories conclusion. Miller was trying to show how Proctor is like the representation of the town. And the conclusion of the whole play. It shows the total collapse of society but still you can have your dignity. That is just amazing to me and shows so much emotion.

    3. After reading the play and seeing the movie, The Crucible, the whole concept of the play sparks interest on how people of today’s society take their reputation and egos and use them for their benefit. It also makes me look around and see where this type of blame is being used in our culture and society today. But it also wants me to look more in detail of the actual events. I want to go through the real articles and passages from the real-life trials and analyze them and see what really happened. Arthur Miller does a fantastic job depicting the story but I want to see more into it. So much of this story lies with the people who were there and the town itself. If only walls could talk. But overall I walk away learning that your reputation to the town may be important but its how you see yourself and how you want to be remembered overcomes any reputation people have for you. This play has so many different aspects that you can take away and so many messages. This is only one that I personally want to learn more about.

    Question: Do you think that if we knew even more about the characters, their past, and who they truly were, the overall outcome of the message would be different? Would we feel different about the end result we received from the play?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think if we knew more about the characters, especially their past, it would be easier to pass judgement on them and understand the story better. Although we saw the injustice in the play, we only saw one period of time with these people and people are so complex that it is hard to say we know who they are just from this book. I think knowing background on people would make us look at all the characters differently, but since I don't know this background I don't know how. What could you learn about a character in this book that would change your view of them completely?

      Delete
    2. Nicole, that is a really thought-provoking question. I definitely think that if we had more background on the characters, then it would better understand why they did what they did. The past shapes us into who we are, and it shapes our decisions and mindset. I believe that wrongdoings always have a cause. For example, Abigail's actions were caused from the loss and pain of losing her parents when she was little. I can imagine that an event like that has made her insecure and accusatory toward other people. However, I do not think that we should judge others based on their past because as everyone is capable of doing bad, they are also capable of doing good. Mistakes do not define who you are, and I believe that we should not judge the characters based on their single story.

      Delete
  28. 1. "with a cry of his whole soul, 'Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!'"(Miller 133). Proctor wanted to keep his life, so he signed the paper. He realized that it isn't worth it. It isn't worth signing his name on a piece of paper and having everyone remember him as a witch. I feel like he knows that everything that is happening isn't true and eventually others will catch on and know that no one was actually witches. If he signs his name to the paper and allows it to be hung then it will eventually show that he is liar. He doesn't want his name to be blackened after he has died. He would rather die and maintain a decent name than die and have a bad one. His name is all that he has once he has died, no one is going to care about what he had, all anyone is going to care about is what stories and accusations are linked to his name. That is why his name matters so much to him and it is really inspiring how that is what he chooses to say in the last minutes of his life. Miller is attempting to show the hardships of what really happened during this time period and how people did what they had to do to get themselves into heaven. They had to tell the truth and maintain a good name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe as well that this is a very powerful quote. It is a strong statement as to the nature of our human identities and how we are remembered after we are gone.
      Why do we attach so much importance to names? Is it more important to have your reputation or your neck intact?

      Delete
  29. 3. I think that this story had a ton of special meanings hidden inside of it, that isn't technically stated directly in the text. While reading this story I spent more time analyzing the data then I used to because I was more interested in this story. I think I was mainly interested because of the background knowledge I knew before we even began reading the book. McCarthyism was basically when Senator McCarthy accused tons of people that he didn't like of being Communist. It was a way that he got to get rid of people that he didn't like or didn't get along with. Also, reading this book has interested me in actually doing research on other "witch hunts". I know that last year there was an actual witch hunt in Papua New Guinea. They were searching for actual witches. While another main one would be the search for Christians in the Middle East. Officials in the Middle East are searching for Christians because they are supposedly bad people. It basically teaches people that everyone should have their own opinions and no go with the flow of other people or the situation could get worse and unbelievable. Also, it teaches us that no matter what we are going through everyone fears something and people will do anything to keep their name great. People are very egotistical!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Question: Do you think that if the story was set in a different time period, your reaction to the text would be different?

    ReplyDelete
  31. 2. Abigail is a clear allegory for McCarthy- the false accusations, the leading of their respective crowds into hysteria, and their eventual fall from power all show this.
    Salem itself is an allegory for America- our country was founded on the Puritan principles embodied by Salem. Miller uses the town as a microcosm of our country and its people as representations of the different parts of American society.

    3. After reading the play and seeing the movie, what interests me the most is the truth of what happened in Salem in 1692. I read explanations of the hysteria that cited a fungal disease- and yet it doesn't really seem to fill in all the gaps as to why the rest of the town was swept away with the madness of the girls. Miller, on the other hand, provides a more theatrical perspective- but, as his work is fiction, his view cannot be seen as fact either. I would be greatly interested in learning the true motivations of the girls and the townspeople of Salem; Miller's work led me to question the scientific explanation and wonder if there was something more than rye behind the witch-hunts.
    What I walk away with from Miller's work is to be less trusting of others- or to be more intelligent in our placement of trust.
    This is, of course, not a very popular concept, nor is it necessarily the message Miller was trying to convey. However, what I see as the root cause of the murders of "witches" in Miller's play is blind trust- in this case, of teenage girls that claimed to be tormented by the spirits of those they had quarrels with. This is also the cause of the murders in real life, whether the fits of the girls were real or imagined; one cried witchcraft and Salem fell to madness. I believe that, while we must be open minded towards others, we should also approach life knowing that there are manipulative people in the world- we must seek the truth and place our trust in good hands. Had the people of Salem opened their eyes to the true nature of the situation and formed their own, logical opinions rather than blindly following the religious dogma of the time, many innocent people would have been saved. My interest in what really happened in the Salem Trials is a result of my curiosity, my search for the truth- had the people of Salem had that same curiosity, perhaps the Trials would never have occurred.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is involved in gaining someone's trust? Can the Trials be traced back to a disease, or do you believe that Miller's story is closer to the truth of events?

      Delete

  32. 1. As I read Act 4, it really spoke to me how Proctor always stayed true to his beliefs of not judging other people. The quote I found most powerful and backed up my belief was Proctor saying, “I speak my own sins, I can not judge another.” When Miller has John Proctor be the voice of truth and strength I think it is incredibly important that these beliefs stay intact the entire play. Proctor is clearly moved by his own strength because he begins to cry after he says this and eventually it is these beliefs that lead him to die.
    3. I think that this book taught me the complexity of human’s personalities. It made me realize how quickly peoples emotions can change and how little loyalties mean in the end. It left me wondering what truly defines people in terms of your own opinions versus other people’s. Miller explored the idea of relationships and how easily they can be broken. What is the most common thing that destroys relationship? Is it fear as was so often said in the book? Or is it something else Miller didn’t explore

    ReplyDelete