Crucible Questions 1. Perhaps the Thesis

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Indeed, the arrival of Hale, the specialist on witchcraft, brings with it a
gloomy sense of foreboding. With the sentence of death being the outcome
to such proceedings, I am moved by the remarkable errant authority.
Act III: The courtroom drama in this act is compelling if a little
overstated. Here, the genuine hysteria has set in and the outrageous
turnabout between first Mary and John toward Abigail and ultimately, Mary
and Abigail toward John demonstrates the greatest problem of the play. It
is clear that everybody is on trial.
Act IV: I am most surprised by the reversal of Hale in this act.
Initially, I viewed him as a sinister figure but it is clear by this
juncture that the forces governing Salem had leapt far beyond his intent or
control. The finality of the play here is unforgiving, as the accused are
hanged with no redemption.

4. Two major themes in this work are those of intolerance and justice.

5. The theme of intolerance is presented largely in the
descriptions by Miller, who portrayed the puritans as living in what "was a
barbaric frontier inhabited by a sect of fanatics who, nevertheless, were
shipping out products of slowly increasing quantity and value." (4) Miller
would describe them as a people who 'forbade anything resembling a theater
or 'vain enjoyment.'
Another remarkable exercise of theme occurs when Danforth is
confronted by Proctor and Nurse in Act III. Here, threatening the latter
for accusing Abigail of concocting her accusations, he boasts that there
were "near to four hundred . .
in jails from Marblehad to Lynn, and upon
my signature". (81) He followed this with the boast that 72 of those
would be hanged by his signature as well. This pride induces an
understanding in us of the sense of justice pervading Salem.
We might also finally argue that the theme of intolerance is best
exemplified by the impact which it has on the cruel and hateful children,
made so by the puritan society. A contrary indication, given by the kindly
Rebecca, notes that "a child's spirit is like a child, you can never catch
it by running after; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon
itself come back." (24) Here, we are given an intuition otherwise absent
from Salem, and much to the destruction of its people as it drives the
neglected children to become ripe with meanness.

6. The final section of the play seems not particularly relevant,
recounting as it does the number of resolutions regarding official
recompense for the victims of the Witch Trials which were already noted
with greater eloquence in the introduction.

7. IThe Salem Witch Trials are a notably horrific chapter in American
history, demonstrating the dangers of religious fundamentalism, baseless
moralism and social fanaticism

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