The Crucible Act I

Identify Tituba Tituba was Parris’ slave from Barbados and was accused of conjuring spirits and being a witch. She later confesses to being a witch to save her life.
Identify Betty Betty was Parris’ daughter. She had a fit and can’t speak or wake. An explanation is the presence of witchcraft.
Identify Abigail Williams Abigail was Parris’ niece. Her parents were killed by Indians so she lived with Parris. She was very involved in the witch hunt and got revenge on many people in the village; especially Elizabeth Proctor because she wanted to marry her husband. She is the “ringleader” of the girls.
Why does Mrs. Putnam believe there are witches in Salem? Many of her babies have died and the only successful child (Ruth) was acting odd.
Parris says, “Oh Abigail, what proper payment for my charity! Now I am undone!” What does that mean? Parris was having troubles before the story began and was trying to keep everything together. His niece’s flirting with witchcraft would give his enemies more ammunition against him. He has taken her in and she has done something which could cause his ruin.
What is Mary’s argument to Abby? She wants her to tell the truth about what happened in the woods. Mary suspects if they lies continue, the punishment could be far worse than it would be now (spanking and reprimanding).
Describe Proctor Proctor is a strong, fit, confident even-tempered man who is in his thirties. He is a farmer.
What happened between Abigail and John Proctor prior to the opening of the play? They apparently had an affair.
Identify Francis Nurse. Francis was greatly respected by people from the village. He was calm and an arbitrator. Married to Rebecca Nurse
Identify Rebecca Nurse Rebecca, his wife, was a good, kind, gentle woman who helped deliver some of the Puritan babies.
Explain the political relationship between the Putnam and Nurse Families. The Putnams didn’t like the Nurses because of some land disputes. Ann Putnam accused Rebecca of bewitching her newborn babies (saying she was responsible for deaths).
What did Rebecca do to Betty? She stood over her and quieted her.
What is Rebecca’s explanation of the girls’ behavior? She believes they made up the whole story for attention and in a few days the whole thing will be forgotten.
“There are wheels within wheels in this village and fires within fires.” Explain There are many political and personal grudges held among the people of Salem.
What is Proctor’s reason for his not regularly attending church? He doesn’t like Paris because he is too concerned with material wealth and doesn’t talk about God enough (he only speaks of fire and brimstone).
What does Parris want? The deed to his house and firewood in addition to his salary.
What do Putnam and Proctor argue about? What does this show? They argue about lumber and the ownership of land. Putnam is a devious, land-grabbing man.
Who is Rev. John Hale, and why does he come to Salem? He is an expert on witchcraft and comes to the town to help rid it of witches.
Hale says, “They [the books] must be [heavy]; they are weighted with authority.” What is the significance of this remark? The people put their faith in a book filled with information that is not well proven about the devil and witchcraft. This is similar to how they place their faith in the girls and the girls become weighted with authority although they (the girls) have information that is not substantiated. An analogy exists between their faith in the books and the faith in the Bible.
To what did Tituba confess? Why? She confessed that she conjured spirits, met with the devil and signed his book because if she didn’t confess she would have been hanged.
What do the girls do at the end of Act One? They admit that they were bewitched and started naming people they had seen with the devil.
What is the setting of the book? Salem, Massachusetts
What is Theocracy? government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided
Who is the author of the book? Arthur Miller
What event(s) prompted Miller to write The Crucible? The Red Scare and the HUAC hearings.

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