Sunday, October 13, 2013

Act 4 Discussion Thread

PLEASE READ THESE DIRECTIONS:
Today we are going to have a  Socratic discussion thread based on Act 4 of The Crucible. Answer my questions first and I want you to respond to at least 2 others, make comments, using textual support, and I always want you to end with a question-interpretative for right now.  I will move us to critical questions later.
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!

To start, please answer the following 2 of the 4 questions; you must answer number 4:

1.  Who is to blame for what happened?  Can the people of Salem's actions be excused by the cultural hysteria, or is it the individual's fault?  Find evidence to support both sides.

2.  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.

3.  How does individual judgment play a role in this Act? Find one example and relay its significance.

4.  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?

When you finish, make sure you ask questions and begin responding to others. Textual support is mandatory! F5 refreshes the page; make sure to respond to different people; challenge one another, question each other; help each other to see the significance of the text.

82 comments:

  1. 1) I feel like there's not just one person to blame for what happened. Everyone in the town played a role, whether they were just witnessing the actions, or directly involved in the hysteria. There are some people who played bigger parts in the action by stirring up commotion. One of those people would be Mary Warren. She played so many emotions, scared, evil, happy, innocent. Mary caused a lot of the commotion because she was scared and was trying to keep her name in the community clean. She was trying to keep the fact that she and the other girls did dance in the forest and that she drank blood a secret, that only caused hysteria in the town. However I also say that it was the town as a whole who should be blamed because no one except those accused of being witches tried to find other reasons for all the commotion. People in the town thought witchcraft was the only answer to the problems and didn't want to seek information from anyone outside of the town. I think the blame falls on the town but also on different individuals based on their actions throughout all of the hysteria.


    2) As I was reading this act I found that when Elizabeth was talking to Procter about Giles death spoke to me the most because of how Giles gave himself another option. On pg. 135 Elizabeth is speaking to Procter “ 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 two words. “More weight,” he says. and Died.” Giles knew he was going to die either by being hung or by the weight of the stones. But when he told the court to put “more weight” Giles is telling them to kill him. Because if he died under the weight he would have won his case. Giles died under Christian Law and knowing his land would go to his son. Which is the outcome he wanted. Giles determined the outcome of the situation because of his courage in choosing death on his own term.

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    1. I also thought that what Elizabeth said about Giles was interesting. I think that it showed truly how strong of a character Giles was. In the face of death he still chose to defy the standards because what he believed in motivated him more so than the fear of his life. As Giles was introduced, he was shown as a cranky old man who just enjoyed stirring up trouble, and would always pick a fight, but at the end, “more weight,” was all he would offer up. He wouldn't confess saying either aye, or nye. He was a face of determination and loyalty.

      Why wasn’t Giles needed as the only sacrifice before things got better?

      How are Procter, Rebecca Nurse, and Giles deaths symbolic to sacrifice?

      Why did Miller chose to end it with the sacrifice instead of whatever came next? Because generally after sacrifice comes something better...

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    2. In the first answer I put Mary but I was talking about Abigail.

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  2. 1) I think that the blame falls on the people as a collective but also the people individually. As Abigail began the hysteria I think that she plays a huge role and a large part of the blame can si on her head. But then the blame would also have to fall on Procter because maybe if they had never had a relationship of any kind, if Procter didn’t revoke his “love”, if Procter didn’t call her a child, she wouldn't have had a reason to act out. So the entire play as Procter is trying to deal with his guilt, as consequences are brought out upon other people, he is rightfully guilty. But with that amount of mass hysteria, the blame is also diluted. It is an instance of diffusion of responsibility. The blame should fall more so on the individual then because as a group, it is diluted and the consequences will not be as severe. In this way no one would ever learn from their actions because they never needed to take the blame as it was shared.

    Would the hysteria have ended quicker or not have been as amplified if everyone took responsibility for their own actions instead of blaming others?

    3) Individual judgement plays a role because people believe their judgement to be superior. For example, Danforth will not create a postponement for all of the hangings about to happen because so many have all been hanged. It was upon his judgement to hang all of these people, and when it comes down to the looming deaths of the most godly, good people, he refuses to prolong the decision. He says, “I will not receive a single plea for pardon or postponement… the village expects to see them die this morning… While I speak God’s law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering… Now draw yourselves up like men and help me, as you are bound by heaven to do so.” He bases his decision on what will save his own neck. If the village expects to see them die then obviously it was divine law that bound them all. In this way the individual judgment was important because it shows how all of the judgements were based off of outside factors, with fear running through them, but hidden behind the mask of “divine standards.”

    What would happen if people started calling each other out on their wrong, hypocritical motives, instead of the fact that fairie tales may be taking place in their town?

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    1. Mandee,

      Why did Miller choose to show that thematic topic of blame? How is individual accountability questioned in this play?

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    2. I think that blame is such a strong theme in this play because reflecting society, blame seems to motivate us all. A fear for our life proves survival is the ultimate goal, and in so many instances blame is the easiest way to deflect the things that come to hurt us. So then why is it that we blame BLAME as the motive? Why do we not man up and take the responsibility for our fear? Because isn’t that truly where our motives come from? OUR fear, rather than the actual instance/thing/experience that MIGHT hurt us.

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    3. Regarding the first question, I not only believe that the hysteria would have ended quicker but that there would be no conflict within Salem regarding witchcraft at all. The salvation of oneself as well as the constant blaming of others in Salem is the single reason for the conflict in the first place. Without the blame on adults from the girls dancing in the woods or Parris trying to hold his good name at the beginning of the play there would be no accusations and no conflict as a result.

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    4. I think that if people started calling each other out on their wrong, hypocritical motives and actions then the world would become a scary place. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes and if we started calling out everyone for their mistakes no one would get anything done. Constantly calling people out on their wrong actions causes hatred towards other and overall isn't the best option. I think there are some situations where people need to be called out like in the play where Abigail instigates the beginning of the witch trials some one should have called her out because she was lying.

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  3. 1) I don’t think that we can blame one specific person for everything that has happened. Everyone in the town of Salem played into the hysteria of the witch trials. I think the people of Salem can be blamed for the hysteria. They all believed it and no one really stood up for themselves and did the right thing. One could also say that this is Abigail’s fault. She starts the witch trials, she is the one responsible for starting the accusations against the other girls. I think that if anyone in this story is really a witch it would be Abigail.

    2) In this act the thing that spoke the most to me was that John Proctor was willing to lie and admit to being a witch to save himself and his family. On page 137 Elizabeth says, “ Do what you will. But let none be your judge. There be no higher judge under Heaven than Proctor is! Forgive me, forgive me, John- I never knew such a goodness in the world!” Elizabeth wants John to lie and confess to being binded with the Devil. She knows that if he does he will not be killed. The only thing that holds John back from doing this is he is afraid of being judged and that he will go to Hell for lying, which is a sin.

    1) What causes people to feel guilt?
    2) What makes people comfortable with the choices they make?

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    1. Can guilt play a role in our actions? Should guilt pressure us to do the right thing?

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    2. In response to your first question,

      I think people start to feel guilt because they either have no been judged/punished for their wrong doings and they feel like they should be or feel like the punishment/judgement is not sufficient enough to make up for what they have done.

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    3. I think that people start to feel guilty because they know that they have done something wrong. They are aware that it could have serious consequences but they went out on a limb and made their choice anyways. I think that guilt is part of John's problem. He knew that he did wrong when he was seeing Abby. That is why he was so nervous around her because at any moment she could have said something about it and he would be in trouble.

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    4. I'd have to agree with both Kristen and Ethan. When you experience the feeling of guilt, its usually when you've done something wrong, or you know that the reason something isn't the way it should be and its your fault. And going off of what Kristen said John did feel guilty, but after he confessed to his lechery how did he feel? Did he still feel guilty? After you tell the truth, do you still feel guilty for what you did?

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    5. I think when we do something wrong and are expecting to get caught but don't it buts fear in the back of our minds. Like did anyone see me do it but say anything? or does everyone know what I did and judging me? I think the little things just break us down and we feel guilty the entire time unless were caught.

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    6. Mrs. Comp, guilt is one of the biggest emotions that impact someones decision to do the "right thing", so I believe that someones actions will be determined by what the person feels.

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    7. Guilt absolutely can play a role in our actions. When you feel like the world owes you something or you owe something to the world you act a different way. You either give or take. Guilt doesn't always play a bad role for other people, it can but not always. Sometimes you go out of your way for people because you feel as if you owe them something. But you are making yourself absolutely miserable. When you feel like you have to do something its normally out of guilt.

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  4. 2. The quote that was most powerful to me was on page 143. While speaking with Danforth, Proctor says, “Because it’s 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 really stuck out to me because I kind of thought it was interesting how Proctor wouldn’t sign his name. He just gave a full confession, so why won’t he now sign his name saying that the confession was true?

    It makes me start to wonder… was his confession truthful? Or did he confess to get everyone off his back basically and to make everyone hear what they wanted to hear?

    3. Individual judgement plays a role in this act a ton. Everyone is just trying to find someone guilty for this act of witchcraft, so that is what they are going to get. I think Danforth is the most judgemental out of all of them. On page 133, Danforth says to Proctor, “...I see light in the sky, Mister; let you counsel with your wife, and may God help you turn your back on Hell.” Danforth is determined to get the confession out of Proctor, so he will strive until he does. Hathorne is also determined to get the confession out of Proctor, so when Proctor says he will give his life, Hathorne is nothing but excited. They don’t care if Proctor is really innocent, they will do whatever it takes. On page 140, Danforth says, “Proctor, you mistake me. I am not empowered to trade your life for a lie. You have most certainly seen some person with the Devil…” This proves that Danforth is just telling Proctor and Rebecca what he wants to hear. He is judging Proctor by what he wants to hear, not by what he knows.

    Is Danforth being a good judge? Or is he deciding the results to his own case by pinpointing others?

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    1. What do you see in Danforth in Act 4? How is he overcome with power?

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    2. In response to your first question-
      I do not think that his confession was truthful. I think that he confessed because he believed that by admitting to being in contact with the Devil would save his life. He thought that if he took full responsibility for everything that had happened then the witch trials would finally end. So yes, he was basically just saying what everyone wanted him to say.

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    3. In response to your question about Procter, I definitely think that Proctor had only confessed to appeal to the judges sense that he was confessing. But the entire play Proctor has been struggling with the fact of his “goodness” and when he confesses you can almost just see him starting to twitch under the pressure. It is a battle of will his soul and mind win out over the influence others are causing him to act like?

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    4. Procter also originally started out as guilty for his actions and he has been struggling with that the entire play. He wanted to live and be with his family as shown through his confession, but you see that internally he won’t be able to live with himself. He asks Elizabeth, “would you give them such a lie?” And when Elizabeth doesn’t answer he starts to struggle even more so than before, because he has trying to redeem himself after his affair and can’t ever seem to. It brings back up the quote, “it’s winter in here yet.” The entire play he struggles with the guilt, not because he is afraid or cares about the physical consequences that land on his head, but rather that he cares about the people around him that his guilt, and pain is being brought down upon. In this instance you see that even as Elizabeth says, “John it come to naught that I should forgive you if you’ll not forgive yourself,” as he tries to make up for all the wrong by committing the lie that will guarantee them be able to be a family again, he can’t do it. In this way I think that he finally made it up to Elizabeth. Even though he could not continue to live with her as a good man, he told the lie, but took it back and went down as the man he truly tried to be, giving her the greatest gift of all. He couldn’t forgive himself, but he learned what he could live with himself doing, (or not live in the sense that he then was hanged… but still.)

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  5. 1. Who is to blame for what happened? Can the people of Salem be excused by the cultural hysteria, or is it the individuals fault?
    I think that all together everyone is to blame in this problem. Because maybe it is the individual who began the idea of witchcraft, someone like Abby, but then everyone else began to keep it going. They continued to talk about it, to continue its hysteria. Abby is a leader, and maybe she is to blame, because she at the beginning started this all. But no one else put a stop to it. So therefore everyone could be at fault. Everyone can take part of the blame. Because everyone decided to carry out this idea of witchcraft. The whole idea of it seems absurd, and it would bring up some curiosity but the fact that no one wanted to stop it, and they carried the idea out makes it fall on each and every individual.

    3.How does individual judgment play a role in this Act? Find one example and relay its significance.
    I think that the individual judgment plays a large role in this act, because you can see the way that a person is thinking. Judgment on them or their judgment of others is a way to see how they are thinking. Take Elizabeth for example, all throughout the play she has been betrayed by John. But her judgment on him is light. On page 138 she says, “ I am not your judge, I cannot be. Do as you will, do as you will!” You can clearly see that she has let him go. Yes, she was upset over what happened, of course she would be. But she couldn't undo what happened. She had to let it go. We see that throughout Act 4. Her judgment is light, you could even say it was nothing. She couldn't change what happened, so she had to give up. This is significant because I think it shows us how truly good her heart may be.

    My questions:
    1- How do you think the plot would've played out if Abby and John never had an affair? How would things change?
    2- Why do you think that this hysteria spread so fast in Salem? What if these happenings were to happen elsewhere, what would be different?

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    1. 2) I think the hysteria spread so fast in Salem because they had no reason not to believe that these people were lying to the about the girls being witches. No one wanted to be accused of being a witch so I think they went on the other side and started accusing people of being witches so they would seem innocent. I do think that this could happen some where else, maybe not witch trials but something similar. People tend to jump on the bandwagon because no one wants to be left out so it would be easy for something like this to happen elsewhere. If a credible source told the public something like this then I think they would believe it because they have no reason not to.

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    2. 3- I agree with the fact that Elizabeth almost gave up on John. I think that at this point she was just so exhausted from everything that she didn't really care enough to judge him. It shows how strong she is compared to the others. The majority of everyone else was harshly judging proctor, especially Hale and Parris. They were not thinking about the happiness of John but only themselves.

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    3. 1.) I feel like if Abby and John never had an affair then Abby wouldn't have blamed Elizabeth for the things she did such as the scene when Abby is at dinner at Reverend Parris's house and her little act she put on "Without a word nor warnin' she falls to the floor. Like a struck beast, he says, and screamed a scream that a bull would weep to hear. And he goes to save her, and, stuck two inches in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle out." And this was blamed on Elizabeth. I think that Elizabeth might have still been accused eventually but maybe not as fast if Abby didn't want to get revenge on John Proctor and Elizabeth Proctor.

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    4. I feel that Abigail would not of had a grudge on john and would have not targeted ELizebeth. Proctor may not have went against Abigail as much as he did. He knew she was liying and who she was. If he didnt he may have believed her.

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  6. 1) I feel that stupidity had a lot to do with what happened. The people hinged all their decisions on emotion and logic was no where to be found. Another thing that caused the events was certain peoples' addiction to power and control tag teaming with revenge and their fear of facing judgement for their wrong doings. This led the people to blame others that were innocent so that they did not get in trouble for what they did. I feel that it was not only one persons fault specifically but it also cannot be excused just because everyone was in on it.

    4) I feel like the whole situation was an allegory of how people fear facing judgement enough to indirectly kill many others to get away from it. It shows that people think only of themselves and will use any chance they have to get revenge on some one that has possibly done something against them (even if it hasn't actually happened).

    1. Why do people act on emotion rather than logic?
    2. Why do people hurt one another even if they have no reason to?

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    1. 1. I believe that people act on emotion rather than logic because our head tells us to listen to emotion more. If we see a bunch of people blaming us for something we didn't do, most of the time we will cave and confess to the actions that they are blaming us for. Also, people have different terms for the meaning of logic. What we know is the truth in our heads doesn't mean others are going to believe us and I think that is what Proctor did. He refused to sign his name on his confession, so I believe he confessed based on his emotions and not on his logic.

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    2. But let me ask: where was the "logic" in these court proceedings? What is amazing is the judges' willingness to believe that what was happening was true. The belief in witchcraft and the devil was apparent by this culture, no doubt, but when does superstition/belief superseed logic? Is belief most powerful?

      Based on the second question-look at what the town of Salem did to each other-they used their petty grievances to get back at one another; just as people to day hold grudges for the things that happen to them. I feel there is always a motive behind people's betrayal unto others-small or large; but that is the evil that exists in humanity-even for a devout, pious Puritan culture, these people enacted revenge and it caused one of the greatest levels of hysteria. The extent to which people will go to survive amazes me. People's ability to be cunning, manipulative, and evil has been ever-present in our society. I would like to think that most people are good, but within human nature dark sides exist.

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  7. 1) Put yourself in Giles shoes how would you have handled the outcome of the situation?
    2) How come they aren't going to kill mother and child (Elizabeth)? But are willing to kill the father (Procter) because don't the men support the family? Should they keep the family as a whole?

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    1. I think how they saw it was he is just the father and he doesn't carry the child and the child is innocent even thought she many not be but they can not punish the child. So maybe in that time they said the father doesnt need to live because he is also accused and would influence the child in a bad way.

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  8. 2. Throughout Act IV there is so much expressed emotion in quotes and blocking but I think Elizabeth’s lack of emotion is the most powerful. Hale and Danforth speak with Elizabeth before her husband’s hanging and she is very quiet and reserved. On page 133 Danforth proclaims, “A very ape would weep at such calamity! Have the devil dried up any tear of pity in you?” This quote stands out the most to me because Danforth is unable to comprehend how the accused people of Salem have changed and have a deeply wise attitude about them. Danforth also mentions the Devil in a mocking way which expresses the disbelief of witchcraft and Elizabeth Proctor.

    3. There is a lot of judgement in Act IV being passed around from character to character. Danforth and Parris have a dispute on the time period to hang the remaining accused townspeople and judgement between one another and the affects they have on each other is vast. I believe that the most important individual judgement is the one that John Proctor has on himself. When Proctor speaks with Elizabeth in private on page 135 he says, “I have been thinking I would confess to them, Elizabeth. What say you? If I give them that?” Elizabeth replies by saying that she cannot judge him and doesn’t give him a straight answer. The internal turmoil that John Proctor has with himself to confess or not is evident between his wife and himself as well as with Parris and Danforth. Proctor’s final decision to hold his confession is a completely personal choice that he makes as a judgement towards himself.

    How should Elizabeth influence Proctor’s decision about confession regarding the affair he had with Abigail as well as the accusations they had to deal with together?

    How would postponing the seven hangings affect the outcomes of the accused and the others involved in the trial?

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    1. In response to your second question, I don't think postponing the trials will change any of the outcomes. Everyone knows what they want to be true so no matter what others have to say, they won't listen to it. They will believe only what they want to hear. Danforth knows what he wants the answer to be, so no matter what Proctor has to say, he is going to make sure he gets the answer he wants. Postponing the hangings won't change anybodies thoughts on who is guilty and who is not.

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    2. To respond to the second question, I think it would have been beneficial to postpone the trials. There must have been someone, like Elizabeth was for John Proctor, to soften them up. And even if they still wanted to end there lives like Proctor, it would have been worth a try, even to restore their sanity, because some probably would have confessed.

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  9. Her's a question for you all:

    Why is Proctor's name so important to him? How does Miller reveal the idea of one's personal integrity in this play?

    What does a name represent? Does yours matter?

    What can this play teach us today? What ideologies are present that we can learn?

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    1. I think that your name not only represents you but all of the decisions you make and what you do with your life. I believe that everyone's name matters, because someday with whatever you decide to do with your life, it goes back onto you. People remember you by name. You write your name on anything important, I think that regardless your name will always matter.

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    2. I feel like a name is a name. It doesn't define who you are or what kind of person you are. It's something that people call you by. But if your a well known person and people know or have heard of your name because you either did great things or not so great things they put a face to the name and expect certain things out of you. But you can't just meet someone named Sarah (example) and assume that their an awful person because someone else you knew was named Sarah and now is in jail. You can't judge anyone by their name.

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    3. Procter also originally started out as guilty for his actions and he has been struggling with that the entire play. He wanted to live and be with his family as shown through his confession, but you see that internally he won’t be able to live with himself. He asks Elizabeth, “would you give them such a lie?” And when Elizabeth doesn’t answer he starts to struggle even more so than before, because he has trying to redeem himself after his affair and can’t ever seem to. It brings back up the quote, “it’s winter in here yet.” The entire play he struggles with the guilt, not because he is afraid or cares about the physical consequences that land on his head, but rather that he cares about the people around him that his guilt, and pain is being brought down upon. In this instance you see that even as Elizabeth says, “John it come to naught that I should forgive you if you’ll not forgive yourself,” as he tries to make up for all the wrong by committing the lie that will guarantee them be able to be a family again, he can’t do it. In this way I think that he finally made it up to Elizabeth. Even though he could not continue to live with her as a good man, he told the lie, but took it back and went down as the man he truly tried to be, giving her the greatest gift of all. He couldn’t forgive himself, but he learned what he could live with himself doing, (or not live in the sense that he then was hanged… but still.)

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    4. In response to LinsiAn, yes, people should not judge you by your name, but they do. Whether you do something great, or you do nothing, your name is your label.

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    5. I feel that a name doesn't define who the person is at all. A person chooses who they want to be. In, Farsi, a very well known name is Parsa, meaning holy, devout and pure. Just because someone can have a name that means something doesn't mean at all that they will be the person in which their name describes them. Someone who wants to keep a good name is different. If someone is known for being a good man, taking care of others in need, then yes, he will be known for many good things and all those good things can be taken away by one thing, one bad thing that happens to them. So I feel like even if someone that has a good reputation to there name, even if something as little as being related to a witch back then would ruin their whole families "name".

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  10. Integrity is one of those ideals that you do not commonly see in people; most play the game; many are too afraid because they fear backlash and the repercussions. I admire a John Proctor because of his ability to be a man who admits his wrong doings, who almost succumbs but stays strong and in the end dies for something that he didn't even do. I wonder what we would die for in the face of adversity. Or would we admit falsely to something to save our own selves? We live in such a selfish world, but staying true to thyself is where your character shines through.

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  11. 1) I don’t think anyone is to blame, but the entire town. Abigail started it, but after that each individual of the town played their own part in the madness of the Salem Witch Trials. The reason it’s not just one persons fault is because in the play many characters were accusing other of witchcraft. Mrs. Putnam, accuses Rebecca, Abigail accuses Elizabeth, etc. but the whole town takes in this chaos. Everyone wanted to be apart of trials, but no one wanted to be the victim of them. This was/is a great example of cultural hysteria.

    4) Allegory is a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one. When Miller was writing this piece, it was the time of the Red Scare. The Red Scare was in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when hysteria over the perceived threat posed by Communists in the U.S. (People thought communist were ruling the United States). Many parts of the book can easily be related to events during the Red Scare. On pg. 93 in Act 3 of the Crucible, a deposition with 91 names is given to the judge and those on it are part in for questioning, just like the Blacklist of Hollywood in the 1950’s (Red Scare). Also when both of these people, from the Blacklist and the deposition, were accused they didn’t have much say in what was going to happen to them. In both cases the “jury” had a facet view on them, that they were guilty. In my eyes both were created by the same thing, fear. The witch trials all began because the girls were in fear of be hung for dancing in the forest. And as the fear began to grow so did the trails. The same thing happened in the United States. People were scared of Communism in America that we would blame anyone to rid of it.


    1) Did you like the way the play ended? Was it what was expected or was it what should of happened?
    2) What was John Proctor’s purpose in the play? What did he stand for? Why did Miller make him the hero?

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    1. In response to your first answer, I think madness kind of plays into madness, like a catch 22. I thought what happened in Salem was basic human nature exaggerated by extreme circumstances. Humans are social by nature, and are taught to base their opinions off of what others say (even more so in the time of the Puritans). And so when something ipso facto like witchcraft can be instilled to the minds of some, they cans spread it to the minds of many just by humans following their psychological urge to conform. So once the whole town started to believe in witchcraft then no one in the town could convince them witchcraft isn't real because everyone already believes it. It's cyclical basically.

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    2. John Proctor's purpose in the play was to be that one person that stood out and went against the grain. He was the only one who truly had his head on straight and yet he still suffered. His role brought out how all of Salem was wrong. It showed how the people were not thinking clearly because what was once a strong and respected man, was so easily turned into someone that people feared and judged. While everyone else was under Abigail's spell, John saw through her and didn't get sucked in.

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  12. 2. During this Act the part that spoke to me most was when John Proctor was arguing with Danforth about signing his confession. I could feel his emotion and his desperation through his words. On page 143 John 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 quote wraps up the theme of having a “good name”. He is acknowledging his sins and he is saying that he is not perfect. In the type of society that they live in, a name is everything. It covers who a person really is and and hides their faults. But at this point its not about him not wanting the town to see that he weakened and confessed because it would ruin his name. He is more afraid of his name being ruined for him and he rather die with self respect than to live with the respect of others.
    Is a life without pride and dignity worth living?

    1. The hysteria in Salem was originally started by Abigail and the rest of the girls, but the fact that the town was so easily shaken by young girls shows that it is to blame as well. The Puritan culture in Salem is so strong, and because it teaches them that they are harshly judged, when a person is questioned or judged they go into complete hysteria. Abigail was the first to question Tituba and she got the ball rolling on the whole matter. You could say the Abigail is the one to blame just because she was the source of the problem, but she was given such an easy target. All she had to do was accuse one person and it created a chain reaction because the town is so terrified of being judged. It was Abigails fault for starting the panic, but it was the people of Salem’s fault for letting it get so out of hand.
    Could the town have prevented this situation from escalating? Or did Abigail have enough power to cause it all on her own?

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    1. I think that if these series of events were to happen anywhere else that everything would've changed. i think things escalated so quickly because the idea of witchcraft had never been mentioned before, no one knew what it was. It was new and it seemed scandalous. Everyone wanted in. But I think if this would have happened, say in Colorado, everyone might look around think, "Okay so you're a witch, cool." But nothing would blow up as it did it Salem.

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    2. In response to question #2, why has the value of having a "good name" changed? As Sarah said, back then your name told everyone who you are and what your like. And isn't that way today? Don't we know somebody for who they based on their name? But why do we not fight for our name to be good, do we just not care, or is it because we believe that something else defines us?

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    3. My thoughts on the second question is that I don't believe Abigail could have caused the uproar of the situation on the own. From our background knowledge we know that the children of Salem were not supposed to hold any power in society and follow what their elders ordered them to do. The only way Abigail could use power to escalate the situation was by having adults hand it to her. When the people of Salem accepted Abigail's accusations of others they ultimately handed her the power so she could create conflict.

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    4. I believe that all of Abigail power came from her ability to harness fear. She is the one character in the entire story who doesn't seem motivated by her puritan culture. She uses that culture against the rest of the towns people, and because they are all so devote in there religion they are not only afraid of the witchcraft, but they are also afraid of arguing with the proceedings. They will do what ever they can to not be doomed for eternity. Because of these strong religious backgrounds, there was no way the town could have stopped Abigail from causing havoc.

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  13. 1. Who is to blame for what happened? Can the people of Salem's actions be excused by the cultural hysteria, or is it the individual's fault?
    There is obviously a bit of corruption in both the people and the culture of the people. Personally, I blame the way the Puritans religiously brought themselves up. The Puritans never accepted what the universe had given to them. Instead, they worked hard and stuck to rules that were given to them from a tradition handed down through a book of legend (the Bible), so that they could die, and then continue to live in a place of pure bliss which has never truly been seen or experienced with proof or report back from the dead. The Puritans never tried to explain what was around them through worldly logic, and make judgments off of basic human morality, they always referred to a book that has been changed time and time again to keep somewhat of the same central message but adapt to the public's to beliefs in morals. In this sense, if you knew how to strike the public with a supernatural hysteria that can’t be proven or disproven because of the nature of the hysteria, then you could trick them into believing, following, or doing close to what you want them to. Now and individual has an inborn sense of right and wrong, their conscience and morality. Some may think that something is right when it is clearly wrong because some “bigger cause” is influencing the decision. Some, like when John Proctor is pleading his guiltiness to Judge Danforth in order to stay alive, just take the circumstances that are given to them and make a decision off of those and their own conscience when determining what’s right or wrong.

    3. How does individual judgment play a role in this Act?
    Individual judgement plays a role throughout the entire Salem witch trials. Individual judgement plays a role in basically every second of life itself. What someone thinks about a situation, is the entire reality of the situation to them, because it’s what their own mind is coming up with based on events it’s witnessed and processed. So the way people view things is extremely important. Look at Judge Danforth’s responses to John’s pleas on page 142-143. John is confessing to a lie which Danforth is somewhat aware of but cannot fully believe through his logic and reasoning. He is trying to find the truth, but has a cloudy vision of what the truth actually is anyway due to all the events in the trials which have taken place that he’s witnessed. How can me make the right decision if he’s looking through a wrong perspective?

    Questions:
    Does emotion affect the fine line of right and wrong, or change a perspective of good and evil?
    If we make our own decisions based on what we think is right and wrong, then who stands out as the actual judge?

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  14. 2. In my opinion, the most powerful quote is on page 143 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 quote shows the conflict that is occurring inside Proctors head. Should he admit to witchcraft, even though he is clearly innocent, in order to save his life, or should he tell the truth, deny the claims, and be put to death. Miller is revealing something about the human condition in this quote. He is showing proctors will to live versus his need to be seen as pure in his community. However, if he admits to witchcraft he will be exiled in the town of Salem, and even when the hysteria passes, his life will never be the same. His name will never be clean again. There puritan culture would still cast John as an outcast, and see him as doomed in the eyes of god. I argue that this would be a worse fate then death.

    4.Miller lived in a time of the red scare, and communist witch hunts. Therefore, when Miller wrote the story about the Salem witch hunts he was creating an Allegory. In the small town a Salem neighbors are turning on neighbors, and friends are turning on friends. In both the Salem witch hunts, and the communist witch hunts the masses are motivated in two main ways: self preservation and societal beliefs. In the crucible the societal beliefs is the puritan culture, and the fear of becoming doomed for eternity. In the communist witch hunts, the societal beliefs is that everything communist is bad and scary. This fear lets the witch hunts grow, and grow, and grow. When reading the crucible, its easy to think, “This could never happen in the modern world.” What the allegory proves is this is not the case. During the Cold War people were thrown in jail for accusations of communism. Fear can make a society do crazy things. In the end Miller’s message may be just that. He is showing us how quickly a society can turn on each other, so we can prevent other “witch hunts” from occurring in the future.

    How important is a name in todays society, and can people re-purify their identity?

    How can fear, revenge, and hypocrisy take over a society? What “witch hunts” exist in todays society?

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    1. In society today names are extremely important when you look at our government or the people around us they are all fighting to keep a good name. If a teacher did something wrong at Arapahoe how do you think other teachers would act to that? Some of them would be understanding but alot of them would judge their character on one little mistake. Even Obama right now is trying too keep a good name so people dont riot around the U.S. People can re-purify their name if the action they did is proven wrong. We live in a world where so many people have different opinions and some people are going to be alot more head strong about an action they thing is wrong. Where some people may not even care. A good name is important but you cant seem to keep it with everyone.

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    2. I look at something like Miley Cyrus...a girl just trying to find her identity and do her own thing and she sticks with it. But the groups and people who came through the webwork, after her VMA performance, to call her out as a bad role model, slutty, provacative, etc.-to blame her for lack of morality, decrease in teen values, increase in sexual promiscuity, is just a small example. People want reasons; they want to blame-as Oliver Stone said in his rebuttal, witch-hunts have been around to explain society's ills for ages. We will always look to the abnormal and place blame instead of taking individual accountability.

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  15. 1.) I think that there isn't one specific person to blame for the witch trials or how it started but I do think that everyone played a part and should be to blame. Everyone followed along in the idea that there were witches and that the Devil was a part of it that's why I think almost everyone is to blame for the outcome of this event. Ever since Mrs. Putnam says “He has indeed; and found a witch in Beverly last year, and let you remember that.” (pg.14) It sort of started the whole idea that they could be witches and everyone followed along. Even though it wasn't right away people slowly believed that it was witchcraft eventually. One person who did control a lot of the outcome and the ending to this event was Abigail. Right when everyone turns to Abigail for answers and to tell the truth about what happens she is the first person to throw someone under the bus. “I never called him! Tituba, Tituba…” (pg.42) First Abigail blames it on Tituba then she starts to act up and tell people lies to help support her “evidence” that it’s Tituba. “Sometimes I wake and find myself standing in the open door way and not a stitch on my body! I always hear her laughing in my sleep. I hear her singing her Barbados songs and tempting me with--”(pg.44) This shows how much Abigail acted up and started a lot of the suspicion about witchcraft and got people to start interviewing each other and to start accusing other people to get themselves out of the situation. I think that everyone played their part in the actions that happened but I also think that Abigail caused a lot of it.
    2.) A quote that caused some emotion and thoughts was “Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words “more weight” he says. And died.” (pg.135) I thought this quote was powerful because it shows how caring some of the people were for their families. The reason why Giles refused to speak was because he knew he would get hung and if they hung him they would sell his land. Giles wanted his land and farm to go to his sons so that they would have some place to stay and have a way to get money so that way they aren't wandering around the streets like the other kids who have lost their parents. This was powerful because it showed what some people would endure just so that other people wouldn't have to suffer like them. This quote also shows how cruel their punishments and the torture methods they would use just to get people to talk and confess.

    1.)Why was John Proctor so against signing the paper when he knew it could save his life and let him live with his wife?
    2.)Why did Elizabeth just let John Proctor die?

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  16. 1. The blame for the witch trials is all the people of Salem.. It isn't just one person they all seem to continue with the conspiracy of witches with little evidence. You didn't see any of them stand away from the crowed to see how this all could be a gigantic lie. They use the term “witches” to bring out the “evil” in their enemies or to at least make them look bad. They could have an excellent person with a fantastic name in the town like Mary Warren, who had never actually done anything wrong and if someone screams out she is a witch then everyone around them will do everything to prove them right. They use the wrong actions people have done in their life like not attending church to show that they are a witch. But all the people in Salem dont look at the reality of it till it happens to them. They fail to realize the good in people once someone has been called out a witch. The people of Salems actions can not be excused by anything. If they were their own person they would have realized how ridiculous it is to believe such a preposterous thing! The people of Salem chose their own actions. Hysteria may have a huge aspect in the way people acted though. Every Time someone has been accused of being a witch hysteria played a huge role in how the girls acted. One was cold, seeing spirits, and would have random pains and seeing them do that made people catch the emotion around them. They made a huge impact on the society around them. But no one asked the question why no one else felt the unusual feeling these girls were having except them.

    3. Individual judgement plays in this act by how people are seeing what's around them. It would be fairly easy to see that the people around them are lying if they looked a little closer. The little girls seemed too in act one by seeing how Abigale is lying and they go along with it. In act four when Tituba is acting with Sarah good it would be easy to see that they both are lying if the people of Salem looked a little closer at the circumstances like how you don't die if you tell the people the “Truth” the truth that they made up for people anyways. If people looked a little closer their town wouldn't be falling apart as much at the end of act four. People would've actually been taking care of it. The only thing people seem to care about is to preserve their reputation but if people had good judgement anyways they would see that everyone in that town is fairly good. If people went away from the crowed it may make them look a bit better rather than worse because they wouldn't be telling lies.

    Q1- How does John proctors problems change throughout the play?
    Q2- How do you think people are feeling about their actions at the end of play? Especially the people that were in court like the judge and everyone with a high place in the justice system?

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  17. 2. In act 4 there is a lot of emotion that is going on. But, the most emotion was played out during Proctor's confession to DanForth. He was originally trying to save his life by confessing but he could not go through with it. He has made the choice in the end to not save his own life and to die with a good name. A very powerful quote was said by Procter “Damn the village! I confess to God, and God has seen my name on this! It is enough!”(Miller,142) Right before Procter says this he has just signed his confession but will not hand it over. He is saying that the village does not need to see his confession. That God has seen him confess so it does not matter who sees it. But, since Procter knows he is lying and he knows God saw him lie. This is why it is a powerful quote. He knows he will be sent to hell for his lie so he says it in a powerful way.

    3. In this act individual judgement plays a huge role. At the end of the book it is still night out and it is just a few hours before sunrise. Procter is to hang right at sunrise. But, he wants to live. To live though he will have to falsely confess. This is a problem for him because this is a lie and if he lies he will be sent to hell. He is talking to Elizabeth about what he should do. Procter says “Spite only keeps me silent. It is hard to give a lie to the dogs. I would would have your forgiveness, Elizabeth”(Miller, 136) Elizabeth responds “It is not for me to give, John, I am-” (Miller, 136) She is telling him that if he lies he is the one who is going to have to live with the lie. He is the one who will be punished in the afterlife for his lie. It is his judgement on himself that is all that matters.

    Questions:
    When Giles is killed, does being crushed to death show more power and strength of the court than being hung?
    Does it matter what others think? Are you the ultimate judge of yourself?

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    1. I personally think it doesn't matter what other think but you need to take what they think into account. If you live your life worried about the things around you the things around you will control your life. We are the judges of ourselves because how often do we find ourselves judging ourselves over little flaws in order to try and make ourselves accepted to the standards society has set for us.

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    2. It really doesn't matter what people think at all, but a lot of people have not figured that out so they let that control there life and who they are. Like Preston said you judge yourself. Others can judge you but nothings going to happen and it wont change anything.

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  18. 1) Is Danforth disagreeing to postponement only because of his reputation? He argues that it is not just but, isn't this what would be most beneficial to saving lives?
    In the same way, are things today done too much because of what is "fair", rather than what is right or best?
    2) Why is it that proof of innocence is continually ignored? Why wouldn't they want to accept innocence and free people?

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    1. Replying to your first question. I feel that Danforth is staying true to his religion, and won't see see it any other way. Danforth's views on Christianity might not be the same as say Giles view on Christianity. That's where problems start to happen.

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    2. In response to the first question, I do think that Danforth is disagreeing to postponement solely because of his reputation despite what he says. The reoccurring motif of the importance of one's name proves this to me because Danforth shares no other opinion of why there should not be postponement.

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    3. In response to your second question I do not think that proof of innocence was ignored. I think because there was more than one person saying stuff of witches and such that that was what they were looking for. They did not need to hear or see anything else and just went with that.

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    4. For the second question I think that the people of Salem were scared to have someone be not guilty and free. They just wanted to make sure they were safe and not have a witch in the town and I think they just wanted to get this whole situation over with.

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  19. 1. I think that Abigail is to blame for what has happened. She wanted Proctor all to herself and she was willing to do anything to get what she wanted. She was the one who basically started all the lying to Reverend Hale and everyone else in the town. She also coerced the girls not to speak of anything that happened in the woods. I also think that you can’t just blame the culture of the town Salem for what happen in this play. It all started off with lies and people believing everything people told them. People just didn’t think for themselves. In my opinion it’s more the individual’s fault, then the towns culture. If Abigail wouldn’t of started telling lies about Tituba and Mary Warren, and she would’ve admitted to what happened in the woods, all this would have been avoided more or less. Every just got too far into their lies that the only way they wouldn’t get caught is if they keep on lying, and they did get away with it.
    2. What stood out to me the most is how much Hale wanted to save Proctor. He did not want to see Proctor get hanged for a crime he did not do. On page 145 Hale says to Elizabeth, “Woman, plead with him! Woman! It is pride, it is vanity.Be his helper!-What profit him to bleed? Shall the dust praise him? Shall the worms declare his truth? Go to him, take his shame away!” Hale tries so hard to get Proctor to admit to witchcraft and save his life but Proctor, unlike Abigail and the others, will not lie to save his life, he want to die an honest death. on page 143 Proctor defends his choice when he 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 my name.” Hale is distraught with the fact that Proctor will not admit to witchcraft.

    Do you think that John Proctor should have admitted to witchcraft?
    If Abigail and the other girls admitted to what had happened in the woods; how would the story played out?

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    1. In response to the first question, I agree 100 percent that this is all Abigail's fault, if she and John Proctor haven't had this affair I don't think that there would've been such a major conflict with Elizabeth being accused for witchcraft - or even at all.

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  20. 1. I believe Abigail is to be blamed mainly because she used witchcraft not only as a way to control people but as a way to get to John Proctor since his good name matters so much to him it becomes a double standard because if he does expose Abigail it ruins his good name but if he doesn't the hysteria continues this is shown on page 150 when Abigail says, "If I live, if I am not murdered, I surely will, until the last hypocrite is dead." The people of Salem actions can not be excused at all they murdered each other off a believe that couldn't even be proven the only actually hard evidence they had of witchcraft was religious evidence which still can be swaded by the person who preaches the teachings. It's not necessarily all the individuals fault, it was the individual who started to get the ball rolling but it was the society they lived in that allowed them to even have a ball to roll. Evidence for how this society created an environment for hysteria is shown on page 150 when Abigail proclaims how ignorant the society they lived in was and how easy it was for her to create this conflict. On page 150 Abigail says, "Why, you taught me goodness, therefore you are good. It were a fire you walked me through, and all my ignorance was burned away. It were a fire John, we lay in a fire."

    2. As I read this act what evoked the most emotion was on page 150 when Abigail talks about how she has awaken from her ignorance of this society and began to see things for the truth. This was so powerful to me because it shows how easily as a society we could be manipulated with our own very beliefs. Abigail and all the girls at one time would follow the rules of Salem and obey everything they were told but as soon as they stepped out of there box (mainly Abigail) it creates hysteria among their society. I think Miller is trying to show how bliss ignorance truly is and as soon as someone tries to go beyond what society has told us to be capable of they are quick to be rejected and called a witch in this case. He shows how our own narrow mindedness can lead to our own deaths.

    Questions:
    To what extend is our capacity for greatness tarnished by the society we live in?

    Is it right to take action to break the ignorance of society even if that means going to catastrophic measures to get there?

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    1. In response to question 1, what is greatness but what society perceives greatness to be? if we try to achieve something, and when we achieve it feel great, are we great? So what i'm saying is that if you base your views on society's then you have to live up to them, if you have your own views, then stand by them no matter what.

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  21. 1) The person to blame for the Salem Witch Trials, well there is no specific person to blame for the events that happened in Salem. Everyone is Salem is to blame for their assumptions and lies against each other. Although we can say that it was the community that really made the Salem witch trials begin. I felt that Abigail was the one who started the suspicion of witchcraft because she wanted to believe in it. In act one we see that Abigail is having an affair with John Proctor and she wants him to love her back as she loves him, she asked tichiba to do a ritual that was only bonded by drinking blood. If Abigail wouldn't have been foolish enough to actually believe in that sort of magic then she would never have made such a big deal of simply wanting a man she can not have. In conclusion I think that the puritan culture and their beliefs really where the cause but Abigail played a big role in the uprising of “Witches” in the town.

    3) Individual Judgment plays an extremely large role in this act because people believe that there word is what is right. People aren't capable of taking someone else's word and following it without questioning what, why or how. People in a sense are always going to be like teenagers, they will always believe that they know everything no matter if proven wrong. Because I said it I am right is the mentality of many, it takes guts to accept that you are wrong and those who can accept that they are wrong, whether it be there doing or thinking, are those who will not fall. In the book John Proctor admits to himself first that he has committed adultery, he is showing to us that he is capable of accepting that he is wrong. He is then faced with his wife telling him that she knows his word is no word anymore because of what he has done and in a sense he accepts that.



    What do you think would have happened if it wasn't the puritan culture that had the Salem Witch Trials?

    How would people who lived in a community be affected today if we lived by the puritan way?

    Would we end up in the same boat or would we just run?

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  22. 1. I feel as if the blame of this event can be put on both a person and the peoples hysteria. The peoples hysteria first brought the idea of witchcraft being a possibility. When they had no explanation for what was going on the idea of witchcraft first came about. Abigail is the one who kept it going. When Mary Warren is in court saying that there is no thing as witchcraft Abigail screams and says, “You will not! Begone! Begone, I say.” Abigail is continuing to bring the idea of witchcraft and shows the power she has in this scene. She ends up getting proctor killed and was one of the reasons for the crisis.

    2. Individual judgment plays a big role in this play. Most people only seem to care about themselves and not others. When Mary Warren realizes that if she stays on proctors side she won't win, Mary warren points at Proctor saying, “You’re the devils man!” Mary Warren wanted to do the right thing and show that there is no such thing as witchcraft, but when Abigail accuses her and she realizes she will be convicted, she blames Proctor for the mishap. This shows that even the people trying to do good will stop everything they're doing and try to clear their name no matter the cost. Danforth may also be the cause of Mary Warren's decision. Danforth will have everyone hang and has put fear into peoples eyes. He may be one of the reasons everyone will try to clear their name and put burdens on others names.

    If Abigail did not see the “bird” in court would she be put in jail or even hung instead of Proctor?

    If Abigail did not exist would the town have been as bad as it was?

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    1. Responding to question 1, I don't think that the major blame goes on everyone or anyone, I do agree though on you saying Abigail is keeping it going. Without Abigail threatening the girls to be quiet about dancing in the woods, none of this would've happened, the girls would've gotten their punishment and moved on.

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  23. 1) There is almost not one person to blame for all of this. What happened in the town wasn't even witchcraft; of course they didn't know that but you've got to put yourself in there shoes. When someone freaks out in a mass group of people like this town, it sets a trend and the town starts to feel this way soon after. It is the whole town to blame, if someone says something that sounds good or someone that sounds good, then the town goes crazy. hysteria ran through this town and individual hysteria for that matter. Everyone knew deep down inside that they only wanted closure and happiness for their town, so they turned to anything to get them there. In the end it hurt them because they ended up killing their loved ones and friends and family that really mattered. It was never witchcraft, it was just a disease that no one had ever seen before and it has symptoms of witchcraft, so we called it that. Some people would say it is an individual's fault. There is no right or wrong answer from these people. The hysteria people were having was a disease, and they didn't know that; they didn't ever know that.




    3) Judgment is something i think some of us don't understand. In the town of Salem, all the people wanted was closure; they just wanted an answer. They probably didn't mean to judge as many people as they did, but thats how it appeared. Imagine the position they were in. They had no recollection of anything like this happening to them in the past so they didn't know what to do. If it hadn't involved such important people in their lives, they wouldn't have cared. Humans have this sense of security when it comes to loved ones and they would do anything for them; thats what happened in salem. They all had loved ones involved and so judgment came about. Judgment is a very harsh thing and can almost kill someone without saying a word. A certain look can give someone an awful feeling. When Proctor says,” I will prove you for the fraud you are!” things get to be serious. Proctor is judging Abigail for something she didn't do, yet that doesn't excuse her from lying about it. She knew she was wrong so at last she was judged and judged correctly. Abigail was caught, and she knew she was. She was trying to convince proctor that he couldn't have any evidence on her, but he did. He didnt want to see his wife die, he wanted to see Abigail die. She made his life an awful one at that. After the Affair she thought they were in love; but that was far from the truth. So abigail was finally put in her place not by judgement, but by the truth.


    1) What makes people judge people when they are in doubt?

    2) How does feeling guilty drive someone to blame it on someone else?


    -----Taylor Seyfer

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  24. 1. The person that I feel is the most to blame would be Abigail. Through this play you constantly see Abigail instigate problems and try to arise hysteria. I believe she does this all for one reason to get back at Proctor and to get him to notice her so he will give in. She was outraged when he turned her down and she had to get what she wanted so, being the smart girl she was she saw an opportunity to cause some real trouble. Using the cultural fears the puritans had she was able to strike fear and paranoia throughout Salem. I believe it is both Abigails fault yet the Puritans beliefs and fears allowed her to cause such hysteria and thats exactly what she did so she could make Proctor pay.

    4. There are many allegories throughout this play, the play itself is even an allegory for the time period Arthur Miller was living in. An allegory that stood out to me was Proctor is really the idea of level headed thinking, living outside of the hysteria and not buying into rumors a child made up. Proctor likes to hear the facts and to not jump to conclusions because someone doesn't like another so they cry witch craft. “She’ll only pretend to faint, Your Excellency. They’re all marvelous pretenders.” Proctor. The next allegory is quite the opposite of John Proctor, Abigail to me stands for personal vengeance. Throughout the play I believe her motive was to have Proctor back, to stand out to him and make him pay. Such as all hysteria may contain a personal vendetta. In the red scare which was during Arthur Miller's lifetime perhaps all the suspected or framed of being communist supporters were accused by others who were out to get one another which then caused great hysteria and paranoia, knowing your neighbor can make you or break you.

    questions:
    1) If you could go back into time to the Salem witch trials what is one thing that you would say to stop this hysteria and paranoia?
    2) Without Proctor (hero) how would the play have turned out differently?

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    1. If it were possible to go back in time to Salem I would not say anything. I know it is very wrong what they are doing but, if I were to say something then there would be a chance that I would be accused. Then I would have to hang for it. So really there is not much a person could say especially when the courts gain lots of power in the trials.

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  25. 2. For me I think the most powerful quote for me is on page 137 when Elizabeth says, “whatever you will do, it is a good man does it. To me it showed that Elizabeth really didn’t blame john and she saw that he was a good man overall. And also I give a different perspective on the things people do when they’re in tough situations. Because a lot of the time we see the easiest way out and we immediately think that that course is the right course to take and that it’s the best thing you can do. But its not, most times the road less traveled by is the road that should be used the most. And I think miller was trying to convey that; the idea that the noblest things to do are the hardest acts to follow through with because it often involves having to contradict yourself. Somehow in someway you end up dirtying your name in societies eyes. But if an outsider were to see it they would see that courageous thing you did.

    3. How does individual judgment play a role in this Act? Find one example and relay its significance. I think individual judgment has a lot to do with this play. I think a lot of the time people are willing to accept the accusations of people because they seek a personal vengeance on them. Or have generally don’t like them. And also the opposite people don’t believe accusations because they know the true character of that person and they know they would never do that. For example when goody nurse is brought into the room and john is about to confess. She is astonished and can’t believe it. I think things like that really set the tone of the play because they show the true perceptions of people.

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  26. 2) What spoke to me the most was the acceptance of what was happening. Specifically, by Tituba and Sarah Good. On page 123, is one of the most important quotes. Tituba says, "Take me home, Devil! Take me home!" Then, Sarah Good says, "... Now you tell him Sarah Good is goin' too!" This quote represents the motif of "going mad." In the beginning, everyone was still looking to God for answers and solutions. For example in Act 3 Mary Warren insisted she was with God and she loved God. But, now, God isn't a part of it. Like, in Act 3 when Proctor says on page 119, "I say- I say- God is dead!" Everything that had been happening in the trials had been chipping away at the sanity of the town. This quote on page 123 shows the result. They have let go, completely lost hope and have turned to the Devil. But, is this acceptance or defeat?

    4) One example of individual judgement is Hathorne and Danforth judging Parris. On page 126, Hathorne says, in response to hearing the news about Abigail, “ Mr. Parris, you are a brainless man!” He goes on to disregard every idea or thing Parris mentions. Parris proposes there might be a rebellion and Danforth says, “There is no rebellion in Andover!” Then, Hathorne says, “Riot! Why at every execution I have seen naught but high satisfaction in the town.” Parris suggests postponing the hangings. To this Danforth replies, “ There will be no postponement.” Everything Parris asks for, turns into a disagreement and a decision disregarding the idea. This is significant because it shows the unjustness of the judges, and the whole event of the trials. Danforth says that not hanging them would be unjust but, the things that Parris was proposing were reasonable and possibly beneficial. Although, were not considered. The minds of the judges had been made up based upon selfish pride and reputation. The outcome of the witch trials could have been completely changed, had there been different judges, like Parris.

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  27. Just to bring up another quote that caused a thought, I thought that it was interesting that Danforth said to Proctor, “your soul alone is the issue here, and you will prove its whiteness or you cannot live….” To me, focusing on the other people that were with the devil does not seem to be just a matter of “your soul alone.” And when he wants Proctor to “whiten” his name by telling him the names of others with the devil isn’t that really just blackening your name? If one is putting others down to lift themselves up, that seems as if it would be the kind of rule that Puritan culture would have frowned upon. It brings up the questions, if people were using vengeance as a motive to bring others down, and did this in the way of blaming others, why would they overlook these small crimes that would normally be so bad? And how does hysteria mask things a man ordinarily could be charged with?

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  28. 1.) The person to blame for all of this is Abigail and the girls. Abigail mostly, because once they were all caught the other girls were going to confess and come clean but Abby is the one who swore them to secrecy. In the first act Abby threatens all the girls that if they don’t keep their mouths shut and stick to the story she would hurt them. For the people of Salem, it is also partially their fault also. They may not have started the witch trials but the people egged it on and kept it going until the end and 19 people of the town were hanged for witchcraft.

    4.) This story is an allegory to say the least, almost every event that happens has a hidden meaning and is conveying a totally different idea. Also even the characters, for example, Elizabeth Proctor in the book is known to be a very sweet and innocent woman, although that may be true but she also has some other traits. I think Elizabeth was very jealous of Abigail, she was young and pretty and had the attention of her husband. She fired Abby from working for them for reasons not directly known, I believe it was because she knew about the affair and wanted her gone, which is an understandable reason to fire her of course. Although divorce and separation are considered sins in their beliefs, I still don’t understand why she stayed with him after he confessed to the affair and also when he could’ve stopped the whole witch trials thing to begin with by speaking up and telling the courts that Abby had confessed to him that it was all a lie. He was protecting Abigail and Elizabeth knew and in the end she was very close to getting hanged, thanks to her own she said she was pregnant and saved her life.
    John also seems to be a bit of a mysterious character, his intentions seem to be straight but his actions don’t match it. Hiding the affair with Abby for a long time, lying to his wife, withholding evidence that Abigail was lying.

    Questions

    1.) With Abigail screaming in court about the bird, it saved her life in a sense. Do you think that if she hadn’t, she would’ve been hanged?

    2.) If you were in the girls situation(all but Abigail), would you have defied Abby and told the truth to save yourself even if you got shunned or majorly punished?
    If so do you think you would’ve been hanged for dancing and trying to contact spirits, do you think Abby would’ve gotten ahold of you first?

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    1. If she hadn't screamed i think she would not have been hanged because from the beginning we know that she has been controlling everything and they all think she is innocent and that it is others who are trying to hurt her.

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  30. 1. I think the most powerful quote was when Danforth said “Them that will not confess will hang.” Think this quote is really powerful because it shows how the whole trials went. You would think that the people of Salem would have a way for someone to be not guilty and actually get out of being accused without a punishment. To either be hung or put in jail is pretty unfair to the people that got falsely accused. It shows how uncomfortable they all were with this and they just wanted to get over it and not prolong it. I think Miller was showing that the Witch Trials were not assessed probably how they should have been.


    4. When Proctor agrees to confess about what he has done it shows how guilt was eating him alive and how their religion influences them so much. When Elizabeth says their be no higher judge under Heaven than Proctor!” This makes proctor feel so bad he doesn't know what to do. Guilt has so much allegory in this whole play. Mercy lewis and Abigail leaving and taking all of parris’s money. Parris says “I am penniless.” Represents how everyone wanted to leave or get out of this whole situation and it took everything they had to deal with it and once it was over they were left with nothing.


    Questions


    Why do they give the people accused just options for two different consequences?

    (Hanging or jail)


    If the almost 100 people that got accused all pleaded not guilty would they all have really been hung?

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  31. 2. When reading act 4 what spoke to me was when Proctor started to confess and towards the end he ripped the paper up. Proctor was conflicted, he didn't seem to know if he should lie to save his life or if he should tell the truth. Confessing means he would save his life but losing his soul. What he did do was that when he did finally decided to confess he didn’t mention anyone’s name in his confession. When Danforth asked “Did you ever see anyone with the Devil?” Proctor replied “I did not” (pg.140) In the end Proctor was not willing to sacrifice his name by singing the paper. “Proctor, with a cry of his whole soul [said]... How may i live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”(pg.143 and 144) He ripped up the paper and was killed, but with possession of his soul and his name.

    3.In act 4, individual judgment plays a role in this act, I think Danforth’s judgment plays the biggest role because he is the judge. The judge is the one who is making all the decisions and determining someone's future. So he has all the authority in this play and maybe too much that everything has to go his way or not at all. An example on page 131, Danforth says, "Pray be at your ease, we come not for your life. We-- (stage direction)*uncertain how to plead, for he is not accustomed to it.* Mr. Hale, will you speak with the woman?" This quote shows just how much authority he has and how its his way or the highway. Another example of how Danforth's judgment came into play would be on page 142 when Proctor doesn't want to sign his testimony, Danforth says,"Do you sport with me? You will sign your name or it is no confession, Mister!" This quote show how stubborn Danforth is and if he didn’t push Proctor so much to sign the papers and post it out for everyone to see, i think Proctor would still be alive. Danforth in act 4 he is very stubborn to care and still seemed mad at Proctor for not confessing. A question I had was how did Elizabeth survive if the only way the other people survived was to confess? Because on page 69-70 she said how she doesn't believe in witches? Do you believe that Elizabeth took the easy way out and confessed to save her life?

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  32. 1) Usually, I would say that everyone is to blame for the cause of most situations. In this case however, it seems that the individuals who had the most influence on the occurrences of the Salem witch trials were the young girls. I say this because they were the ones who were responsible for making the adults in Salem believe that they were bewitched. Of course it’s irrational for any adult to believe that children are incapable of lying, but just because the Puritan’s were ignorant in this sense, does not make them ultimately responsible for the hanging of the men and women tried for witchcraft. The girls knew they were manipulating the Puritan way of life to prevent themselves from facing consequences for dancing in the woods. If they knew that they were not allowed to dance in the woods, they should not have done it. Just like today, if someone is caught doing something they are not suppose to be doing, they will be punished.

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