The local physician is unable to determine the cause of Betty's illness. Day-Lewis eventually persuaded Miller to make further contact with his adult son, who had been able to establish a happy life with outside support. Miller relates the intense paranoia over the integrity of the Puritan community to their belief that they are in some sense a chosen people, who will forge a new destiny for the world. She and the other local girls spent the previous evening performing a ritual while dancing in the wilderness. Perhaps the most important theme that Miller develops in this act is the propensity of accusations to snowball. . Elizabeth urges her husband to denounce Abigail as a fraud; he refuses, and she becomes jealous, accusing him of still harboring feelings for her.
As it turns out, earlier that day, Abigail Williams claimed to have been mysteriously stuck with a needle, and accused Elizabeth Proctor of being the culprit. However, this conflates Danforth with the historical and extremely influential figure of , who is not a character and is only briefly mentioned in the play. Hale and Parris are both devastated. The affluent Miller family lost almost everything in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and had to move from Manhattan to Flatbush, Brooklyn. He thinks that Tituba was screeching gibberish when he found the girls, but Abigail says they were only singing Barbados songs. John attacks Abigail's character, revealing that she and the other girls were caught dancing naked in the woods by Rev. Abigail takes advantage of the chance to eliminate Proctor's wife by accusing her of witchcraft, giving Abigail the opportunity to marry Proctor, while elevating herself within the Salem community.
Parris asks whether they drank anything in it, and Hale asks Abigail if she has sold her soul to Lucifer. Francis Nurse has brought a signed declaration of the good character of Goody Mrs. Betty suddenly sits up and cries that Abigail drank blood to kill Goody Proctor. Mary Warren arrives and gives Elizabeth a poppet that she made in court. As Proctor and Abigail have this conversation, it becomes clear that the two of them had an affair.
Judge Danforth informs Proctor that Elizabeth is pregnant. She is bitter towards Hale, both for doubting her earlier and for wanting John to give in and ruin his good name, but agrees to speak with her husband, if only to say goodbye. Because Elizabeth does not want to condemn her husband, she lies and says he is not a lecher. As the men argue, Reverend Hale arrives and examines Betty, while Proctor departs. When the devil came to you did you see Rebecca Nurse in his company? Parris is unhappy with his salary and living conditions as minister, and accuses Proctor of heading a conspiracy to oust him from the church. Abigail warns her friend Mercy Lewis and the Proctors' servant Mary Warren, not to reveal that they were all casting spells in the woods. After graduating high school, Miller worked a few odd jobs to save enough money to attend the University of Michigan.
With prompting from Hale and Putnam, Tituba accuses and of witchcraft. Sure, on the surface this play appears to be totally about the Salem Witch Trials. John Proctor returns home late after a long day planting in the fields, and Elizabeth suspects that he has been in the village. He questions the girls' apparent ringleader, his niece , whom Parris has been forced to adopt after her parents were brutally killed in. Rebecca claims that Betty's illness is nothing serious, but merely a childish phase.
This often caused for false accusations against innocent citizens. By the fourth act, she has been driven mad by the harsh conditions and her ending is unknown. Elizabeth says that she has her own sins, for only a cold wife would prompt lechery. The first use of darkness Abigail and the girls dance in the dark woods. This was a time when paranoia, hysteria, and deceit gripped the Puritan towns of New England. Proctor obliges but forgets the commandment prohibiting adultery. They considered material and physical wants — especially sexual desires — as the Devil's work and a threat to society.
Betty suddenly rises and begins mimicking Abigail's movements and words, and accuses. Unsourced material may be challenged and. In 1698, Hale finished composing a lengthy essay about Salem that was reprinted by Burr in 1914. When another couple, Thomas and Ann Putnam, arrives at the Parris household, they admit that they actually consulted Tituba, hoping she could conjure up the spirits of their seven dead children. Shamed by an affair with Abigail, John tries to stay out of the trials, but when Elizabeth is charged, he tries to reveal Abigail's deception in court. Proctor grabs her by the hair and calls her a whore, finally admitting his affair.
Proctor reveals his affair with Abigail to show that she's dishonest. At the Putnams' urgence, Parris reluctantly reveals that he has invited , an expert in witchcraft and demonology, to investigate and leaves to address the crowd. One of these that Miller develops throughout the first act is the speed at which gossip can spread in a close-knit society like Salem. Jacobs so they can take his land. They hear the burst of drums. At Elizabeth's urging, John tells Hale he knows that the girl's afflictions are fake.
She says it takes a cold wife to turn a man into a lecher. The books are weighted with authority because they are used to express the authority in witchcraft. The people of Salem have summoned him as an expert in witchcraft to determine if witchcraft is behind the children's illnesses. The particular quality of Parris that renders him dangerous is his strong belief in the presence of evil. Abigail denies the accusation of adultery. The community is one that promotes interference in all personal matters and intensely frowns upon any sinful conduct, without allowing for any legitimate expurgation of sin. Hale is a famed witch expert from a nearby town.