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The Crucible Notes - Characters & Quotes

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Introduction

Ways to introduce points: * Arthur Miller makes us aware... * Miller presents... * The author makes it clear that... * Arthur Miller evidently sympathises with... * Miller makes (character) say... * Miller tells us through (character)... * Miller wants the reader to know that... Herrick * Arrests Elizabeth with "somewhat shamefaced" General: * Spring sunlight streams through the window. The light contrasts with the dark, oppressive events. * The sunlight puring through the windows symbolises the light that the court hopes to shine on the accused but its also ironic as the court never discovers the truth or chooses not to rather. * The court sees itself as doing God's work so undermining the court would be perceived as an attack on God. * The jail is dark and dirty, symbolising how events in Salem are driven by malice. * Morning sun symbolises hope, that the deaths will end the witch trials and eventually lead to the fundamental change in theocratic society that allowed these 'murders' to happen. * The simple, more or less identical appearance of the characters creates a mood of drabness and conformity that reflects the strict moral code of their theocratic community. ...read more.

Middle

* Never received any love from Parris. Parris had "no interest in children, or talent with them" * Description of Abigail shrouded in a "pearly light" is ironic as she is far from angelic. * The "new sun" pours onto Elizabeth's face symbolises change dawning on Salem. Miller states the "power of theocracy...was broken" by the witch trials. John Proctor: * Relationship with Elizabeth lacks passion and is cold. Elizabeth "receives" Proctor's kiss rather than embracing it. Proctor complains "It's winter in here yet". The lack of warmth and joy in the house reflects problems in their relationship. * Proctor's house is "low" and "dark", which gives a feeling of being trapped. But there's a door which opens to the fields, which gives a sense of hope for the relationship. * Ironically Abigail's attempts to break up their marriage bring them close together. * They're not honest with each other Elizabeth "would speak but cannot". And Proctor lies about seeing Abigail alone. This lack of openness could symbolise the lies and secrecy within Salem. * Ironic he forgets commandment about adultery. The sin he's most guilty of. * Won't sacrifice his reputation to save women like Goody Osburn only when Elizabeth is accused he acts. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Described as an "eager eyed intellectual" * "There is blood on my head" * Rather than trying to protect his reputation he admits his mistakes and tries to stop the hysteria. Putnam's: * When Tituba confessed to dealing with the Devil Putnam asks "Did you ever see Sarah Good with him?" He encourages to accuse her, this is the power of suggestion. * Glad the girls are ill. Goody Putnam is "shiny-eyed" and describes Betty's illness as "a marvel" Mary Warren: * Talks to Proctor with "impatience" * Is a "subservient, naive, lonely girl" Rebecca Nurse: * "If Rebecca Nurse be tainted, then nothing's left to stop the whole green world from burning" * Uses her wisdom and foresight to foreshadow later events, which builds tension. The Girls: * Describes each girl in a few words: Susanna Walcott is "a nervous, hurried girl", and Betty Parris is simply "aged ten". Their personalities and youth explain how Abigail intimidates them so easily. * Mercy Lewis is described as "fat, sly, merciless girl" - her personality is opposite of her name which is ironic. Ezekiel Cheever * "I must do as I'm told" His respect for the court is so unconditional that he can't see the bigger picture ...read more.

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