Crucible Act 4 Questions

Act Four

  1. What is the effect of Sarah Good’s and Tituba’s talk about flying south? Why does Miller include it?
Miller includes this conversation in the opening of Act Four to illustrate the difference of opinion regarding the devil and what is considered “evil”. In the text, Tituba was bought by Parris from Barbados to the Puritan society of Salem, and is then forced into slavery. Therefore, Tituba’s view on what is “evil” is different to those in Salem. Being forced into slavery is what she considers to be more evil than anything she could pretend to confess to. Moreover, due to her heathen practises, she doesn’t consider the Devil coming to return her home as something evil or horrible. Given her circumstances, she would likely to be glad to get out of Salem.

  2. How has Parris changed? Why doesn’t the news that Abigail and Mercy have left town affect the decision of the court? How is Danforth a victim of his own logic?

After Abigail and Mercy robs Parris and leaves town, Parris is left penniless, sorrow-stricken, afraid, and a broken man who breaks down and sobs, as opposed to the proud, wealthy, and highly positioned man in the first few Acts. Losing all his money has devalued his place in Salem, and it also makes him look foolish due to Abigail’s actions. Because of this as well as other setbacks, Parris was eager to put an end to the trials but fears the retribution from the whole town as a result of the executions of innocent people. He has already received non-verbal threats and wishes to find a way to make the accused confess in order to spare their lives. This change of heart is clearly self-motivated, as he is still solely concerned for himself. Abigail and Mercy’s disappearance has no significance affect to the decision of the court because of Danforth’s stubbornness. He believes that any change in his agenda is a sign of weakness and an admission of error because he has already had twelve people hanged, and is too late to look back....