The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Download this LitChart! Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. Themes and Colors Key. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Crucible , which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Eight days later, John Proctor returns home late from planting the fields. He and Elizabeth talk about the coming crop as he eats the dinner she prepared for him.
A sense of separation exists between them. Proctor asks his wife what's wrong.
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She says he was out so late she thought he might have gone into Salem. Proctor ignores the implications of her comment. Elizabeth thought Proctor went into town to see Abigail, but they've yet to discuss their feelings about his affair. This bottling up of resentment to preserve order mirrors what goes on every day in Salem's Puritan society.
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Active Themes. Puritanism and Individuality. Elizabeth continues: Mary Warren is in town, as an official of the court. Proctor is astonished: what court? Elizabeth explains: judges have been sent up from Boston to try people for witchcraft. Fourteen people are in jail, and will be hanged unless they confess. Proctor can't believe it, but Elizabeth assures him it's true: Abigail leads the other girls in identifying witches. She urges a resistant Proctor to go to the court and tell the judges what Abigail told him: that it was mischief, not witchcraft. It's now clear that hysteria is gripping the town, extending even to the authorities.
Proctor can no longer dismiss or ignore it. Yet Proctor still resists going to the court because he fears for his reputation. As Elizabeth continues to push Proctor to go to the judges, it comes out that he was alone with Abigail at Parris 's house. Proctor had left that part out when he told Elizabeth the story earlier.
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Elizabeth is hurt and angry, while Proctor quickly becomes furious that his wife is still suspicious of him, even after he confessed his affair and ended it. He tells her to stop judging him. Elizabeth responds that she's not judging him: he's judging himself. Proctor's anger at himself over his affair with Abigail makes him mix up his integrity and his reputation. His sense of lost integrity, his anger at himself, makes him fear what others think about his reputation.
Reputation and Integrity. Mary Warren enters. Proctor , already angry, threatens to whip her for disobeying his order not to go to town that day. Mary does not resist. Instead she goes to Elizabeth and gives her a poppet a doll that she sewed for her during the court proceedings. Elizabeth, though puzzled by this odd gift, accepts it. As Mary heads up to bed, Proctor asks if it's true that fourteen people are in jail.
Mary says that now thirty-nine are in jail: Goody Osburn has been convicted and will hang, while Sarah Good confessed to witchcraft and thereby saved herself. Hysteria feeds itself and grows: now people have confessed to non-existent witchcraft!
But Sarah Good's confession was the only way for her to save herself. By the way: the Fifth Amendment to the U. Constitution is designed to eliminate this sort of forced confession. Download it! Proctor says that Sarah Good is just a "jabberer. Mary adds that she now realizes Good had tried to kill her in the past: whenever Good came begging and Mary turned her away, Good would mumble, and one time Mary felt extremely sick just afterwards.
But when Hathorne asked her to recite them, she didn't know even one. Hysteria isn't just a bunch of people lying: it's a blinding force that changes people's conceptions of reality. Fourteen people are now in jail. If these accused witches do not confess, they will be hanged. Whoever Abigail and her troop name as they go into hysterics is arrested for bewitching the girls. Proctor can barely believe the craze, and he tells Elizabeth that Abigail had sworn her dancing had nothing to do with witchcraft.
Elizabeth wants him to testify that the accusations are a sham. He says that he cannot prove his allegation because Abigail told him this information while they were alone in a room. Elizabeth loses all faith in her husband upon hearing that he and Abigail were alone together. Proctor demands that she stop judging him.
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He says that he feels as though his home is a courtroom, but Elizabeth responds that the real court is in his own heart. When Mary Warren returns home, she gives Elizabeth a doll that she sewed in court, saying that it is a gift. She reports that thirty-nine people now stand accused.
John and Mary argue over whether Mary can continue attending the trials.
Proctor instructs Mary to go to bed, but she demands that he stop ordering her around. Successfully reported this slideshow. We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads.
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