The Crucible – Act 1

Why did the Salem settlement need a theocracy? The Puritans chose a theocracy to maintain unity in their settlements.
Why had the settlers begun to turn toward individualism? The rules of the settlement were extremely strict which in some senses they needed for survival, but after living under such strict law for so long, people began to crave freedoms that were denied to them by the theocracy. Anyone who broke the rules, however, was not only seen as a lawbreaker, but as a heathen because law and religion were considered one entity.
How does Miller characterize Parris? He is a man who symbolizes the particular quality of moral repression and paranoia that drive the trials. Miller immediately establishes Parris as a man whose main concern is his reputation and status in the community, rather than the well-being of his daughter.
How does Parris feel about his parishoners? Parris showed an obsession with damnation and hell in order to strike fear into his parishioners.
Why is Thomas Putnam willing to speak of witchcraft? Putnam demonstrates that his motivation involves his longstanding grudges against others; the witchcraft trials give Putnam an opportunity to exact revenge against others, and, as will later be shown to profit economically from others’ executions.
How does Mrs. Putnam know what Ruth was doing in the woods? Mrs. Putnam knows what Ruth was doing because she asked Ruth to go to Tituba to raise her children from the dead.

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