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The Crucible: Act 1

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  1. The Crucible: Act 1

  2. Short Answer Question: Act 1 What reasons does John Proctor have for no longer attending church? How have others affected his view of religion? REMEMBER TO USE THE A.R.C. METHOD TO ANSWER

  3. Bell-Ringer • Which do you prefer most: freedom or order? Why? What is the consequence of taking them to the extremes? Must be at least four sentences?

  4. The Crucible: Act 1 • SETTING: A bedroom in Reverend Samuel Parris’ house, Salem, Massachusetts, in the Spring of the year, 1692. As the curtain rises we see Parris on his knees, beside a bed. His daughter Betty, aged 10, is asleep in it. Abigail Williams, 17, ENTERS.

  5. ACT 1 • Characters • Reverend Samuel Parris • Betty Parris- Daughter of Reverend Parris, 10 yrs old • Abigail Williams- Cousin of Betty, currently living with the Parris’s, 17 yrs old • Susanna Walcott- 15 yrs old, • Ann Putnam- “She is a twisted soul of forty-five, a death-ridden woman, haunted by dreams.” • Thomas Putnam- “a well-to-do, hard-handed landowner near fifty” who dislikes Reverend Paris • Mercy Lewis- a fat, sly. Merciless girl of eighteen • Mary Warren- She is seventeen, a subservient, naïve, lonely girl. • John Proctor • Rebecca Nurse • Giles Corey

  6. Act 1 • Betty Parris is stricken with a disease that Dr. Griggs cannot diagnosis • Samuel Parris, the town’s reverend, found the girls dancing in the forest. This is what sent Betty into her cataleptic state • He questions Abigail about what they were doing in the forest. (Remember that the Puritans view the forest as a place of untold evils.) • Parris points out that there is a faction of people who want him out of the church (not all people in Salem are Puritans and not all Puritans approve of Parris)

  7. Act 1 • Parris questions Abigail about Tituba waving her arms over their dancing, someone running naked in the forest, and why Goody Proctor fired her, causing the rest of the village to spurn her. • Ann Putnam accuses Betty of witchcraft, claiming she saw her fly over a barn • Parris notes that Ann’s daughter, Ruth is also sick • Ann says she sent her to Tituba so she could talk to the spirits of her dead children, now she is dumb struck • Ann Putnam blames witchcraft for the loss of seven stillborn children • Parris worries how Betty’s illness will effect his preaching career

  8. Act 1 • Mary and Mercy plead with Abigail about what they should do for the witchcraft charges • Mercy ran naked through the forest • Abigail drank blood as a way to kill Goody Proctor • Abigail threatens the girls with death if they tell more than they danced in the forest

  9. Act 1 • John Proctor enters to find out what the trouble is • The rest of the girls leave so he can be alone with Abigail • After some initial flirting, John is resistant to Abigail’s exultations • Abigail recalls their affair and claims to still love John; John claims that he may think of her from time to time but will never touch her again • Abigail claims that John is too strong to love a weak wife like Elizabeth Proctor “You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is you love me yet!”

  10. Act 1 • Rebecca Nurse attempts to call everyone’s fears of witches claiming that it is just children being “silly” • “If so she is, then let us go to God for the cause of it. There is prodigious danger in the seeking of loose spirits, I fear it, I fear it. Let us rather blame ourselves and…”- foreshadowing

  11. Important Argument • PROCTOR: You cannot command Mister Parris. We vote by name in this society, not by acreage. • PUTNAM: I never heard you worried so on this society, Mister Proctor. I do not think I saw you at Sabbath meeting since snow flew. • PROCTOR: I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. There are many others who stay away from church these days because he hardly ever mentions God any more. • PARRIS: I am your third preacher in seven years. I do not wish to be put out like the cat, whenever some majority feels the whim. You people seem not to comprehend that a minister is the Lord’s man in the parish; a minister is not to be so lightly crossed and contradicted • Proctor claims that power should be handled equally and democratically • Putnam wants power to sit with the wealthy landowners • Parris wants power to sit with the church- THEOCRACY

  12. Act 1 • Parris demands he be given the deed to the house, given free firewood, plus an additional six pounds. • He shows that he is more interested in his reputation and his money that his ailing daughter • He claims it must be the devil that meets the people treat him so • Putnam criticizes Proctor’s cutting firewood in land he claims belongs to him. • Both Giles and Proctor claim that Putnam and his family have a history of trying to take land that does not belong to them. • Putnam shows he more interested in land and money than his ailing daughter, Ruth.

  13. Act 1 • Proctor has no patience for the Parris and Putnam or any ridiculous accusations • PROCTOR: I mean it solemnly, Rebecca; I like not the smell of this “authority,” I have a crop to sow, and lumber to drag home. What say you, Guiles? Let’s find that party. He says there is a party. • Proctor purposely angers both of them out of spite

  14. Act 1 • Hale, the witch hunter, arrives • Proctor is still unconvinced of witches or Hale’s necessity leaves • “I’ve heard you be a sensible man, Mister Hale-I hope you’ll leave some of it in Salem.” • Hale strives to be a reasonable, scientific man. While everyone has already jumped to the conclusion of witchcraft he is reticent. • “I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no trace of hell in this.” • Giles Corey asks Rev. Hale about his wife’s strange books. He dislikes her secrecy.

  15. Act 1 • Reverend Hale questions Abigail about her actions in the forest. • Abigail, when backed into a corner, puts the blame on Tituba, the person of lowest rank in the village • (Ann enters with Tituba.) I did drink of the kettle!She made me do it! She made Betty do it! • Tituba in turn confesses and accuses two others of witchcraft (Goody Good, Goody Osburne). These are the two people suggested by the crowd. • Abigail joins in the act, and the rest of the girls follow her lead • Remember: the Puritans considered by confessing your sins you were placed in the hands of God. Therefore, you were no longer pursued by law; however, their accusations were taken more seriously.

  16. Act 1 Quiz • 1. When the story opens who is lying sick in the bed? • 2 .Who is the town’s reverend? • 3. Why does he accuse Abigail of toying with witchcraft? • 4. Which character does the following description fit? • “a twisted soul of forty-five, a death ridden woman, haunted by dreams.” • 5. Why do the Puritans fear the forest? • 6 Why did Ann Putnam send Ruth to see Tituba? • 7. Why did Abigail Williams drink blood at the séance? • 8. What is Parris’s biggest concern in his conversations with the townspeople?

  17. Act 1 • 9. Why does Thomas Putnam want Parris to confess there is a witch in his house? • 10. What is Rebecca Nurse’s warning about searching for witches? • 11. Who is sent for to search for witches? • 12. What reason does Proctor give for not going to church? • 13. Why does Putnam claim that Proctor has no say in their meetings? • 14. Who does Abigail blame for their actions in the forest? • 15. What does Giles Corey question Reverend Hale about?

  18. Act 1 Quotes • Who said the following quotes: • 16. “I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no trace of hell in this.” • 17. “I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. There are many others who stay away from church these days because he hardly ever mentions God any more.” • 18. “If so she is, then let us go to God for the cause of it. There is prodigious danger in the seeking of loose spirits, I fear it, I fear it. Let us rather blame ourselves and…” • 19. “You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is you love me yet!” • 20. “A wild thing may say wild thing.”