.. m the natures of the characters. The fact that the story isnt contrived, and even more that it is based on a true story is interesting. The result is so unbelievable. The incident begins with the girls dancing in the forest and snowballs into a huge witch hunt.
The plot was exciting. There was sufficient conflict to keep my interest aroused. There are a lot of tension and suspense in the story. It covers basic human instincts and qualities. It shows the human necessity for survival, and the lengths at which a person will go to save his life. There is the idea of honor and truth.
Proctor tries to keep his reputation but gives it up to reveal the truth. Through his struggle he achieves righteousness. All these things keep the plot moving. Proctors relationship with Elizabeth can be seen to grow and mature. He continually grows more pure in Elizabeths sight until she is able to forgive him in act four. Proctor character also improves.
He doesnt want to get involved in the court proceedings in act two but stands up for the truth in act four. Characters Each character has his own distinct quality. Most characters are distinctly good or evil though few characters are really developed. The reader is only able to see one side of each character. Even John Proctor, the main character isnt as developed as it could be. This is probably due to the restrictions of time and narration of this particular genre. Parris – A minister in Salem who is more worried about his own reputation than the town or the truth.
Betty – Parris daughter. She is faint in the beginning of the play and later accuses various people for witchcraft. Abigail – Parris niece and Proctors mistress. She is the leader of the girls who accuses people of witchcraft during the trial. Tituba – Parris slave from Barbados. She is the first accused with being accused by Abigail.
Mrs. Putnam – Wife of Thomas Putnam. She first plants the idea of Betty being bewitched. Ruth – Daughter of the Putnams. She is one of Abigail’s friends who accuses people at the trial. Mercy Lewis – Putnams servant.
She is also involved in the accusations of the witches. John Proctor – Main character. He is a good man, but has committed adultery with Abigail. Elizabeth Proctor – John Proctors wife. She is an upright woman who is accused of being a witch.
She couldnt forgive Proctor for adultery until just before he died. Mary Warren – Proctors servant. She is one of Abigails friends and plants evidence on Elizabeth. Reverend Hale – Self proclaimed expert on witchcraft. He is a minister who at first believes the girls accusations but eventually sees the evil in the court. Deputy Governor Dansforth – Deputy Governor of Massachusetts who believes the testimony of the girls despite evidence to the contrary. He works more to keep the reputation of the court than to seek justice.
Judge Hathorne – Judge presiding over the witch trials. Rebecca Nurse – Respected, upright wife of Francis nurse. She is accused of witchcraft. Francis Nurse – Rebeccas Husband. He had land disputes with the Putnams. Giles Corey – Old cranky villager who accidentally causes his wife to be accused.
Sarah Good – She is an accused witch who becomes insane while awaiting her hanging. Susanna – One of Abigails friends who takes part in accusing the villagers. Cheever – He arrests the witches. Herrick – Also arrests the witches. Is the jail keeping. Hopkins – Messenger.
Setting The play takes place in Salem, Massachusetts during the 17 century. Since this story is based on a true story, the setting is real. The fact that the story takes place during the 17 century is important. The community needed to be superstitious and gullible in order for this incident to actually happen. Also, the event needed to be in a Puritan society to have such an aversion to witches.
People in the twentieth and even the nineteenth centuries would be too skeptical about the supernatural to believe the girls. Also, they would be likely to dismiss the act of dancing in the forest as just a little game. Style Millers style is very simple. He uses simple sentences and words which are easy to understand. He brings out the evil quality of Abigail and the other girls and also the gullibility of the judges.
His style is easy to understand and should be in order to be successful as a play. While using the simple style, Miller doesnt take anything away from the suspense in the plot. The dialogues of his character are like actual speech. His words are used effectively and doesnt include anything not necessary for making a good play. Many clever figurative devices are used.
For example, Abigail says that John “sweated like a stallion.” The writing is really that memorable since it was not really written as prose or poetry. However, certain images as the one previously mentioned are hard to forget. Theme The theme of the story was rising over adversity, and standing for the truth even to death. This is the theme for many stories and is always an exciting one. John, in the beginning, wanted to keep distant from the trials.
He did not want to have a part, whether good or bad. When Elizabeth was arrested, he was forced to become part of it. He went to court first to set his wife free but after watching the proceedings, he saw that the evil was not only being done to his own wife but many others like his wife. As a result, he worked even harder to free the other innocent people, getting himself arrested. Despite this drawback, he did not give up.
He had the chance to free himself if he testified against the others but he realized that this would be wrong, and even though he wanted to free himself, he would not if it meant bringing trouble upon others. He cleansed himself at the trial, standing for what he knew was right and died a righteous person. Though he stayed away from church, he became more pure than the common Puritans, dying as a martyr like the original apostles. He learned what truth meant through his suffering. Through Proctors struggle, Miller displays the struggles within each of our own hearts.
Many times we have witnessed some wrong happening to some other person and wished not to get involved. However, sometimes, like Proctor, there might be something that forces us in. Would we be quit after only saving our wife like Proctor could have done, or would we go for the entire community as Proctor did? Conclusion The story reminds its readers of an ugly blemish on human history. It reminds us that man is not perfect, and that we can make mistakes. However, even with these mistakes, we can cleanse ourselves and purify ourselves by making what is wrong right. The sufferings become to the sufferer like a crucible.