The Crucible-Novel Setting

The story takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1692. In this time period, Salem
is predominantly Puritan. Puritans fled England to escape religious persecution and to
establish their own colony where they would be free to worship as they pleased. Growing
numbers of non-Puritan English merchants also populate the village, however, and this
leads to tension and insecurity. Puritans do not believe in recreation for amusement and
are rather strict in their belief. Wilderness borders Salem on the west. Fear of Indian
attacks, wild animals, and the other unknown evils that the Puritans believe inhabit the
forest lead to a climate of unrest and fear. You may notice the seemingly
grammatically incorrect speech in the play. Forms of the verb be were used differently in
the 1600s than today. In addition to grammatical changes, the title “Goody” may seem odd
to you.  “Goody” is equal to our modern day title of “Mrs.” and does
not indicate the moral integrity of the character mentioned.

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One Response to “The Crucible-Novel Setting”

  1.   emmammkayon 24 Jul 2012 at 6:00 am     Reply1

    1. How much time has elapsed between Acts One and Two?
    Eight days has passed between Act 1 and Act 2.

    2. What has happened in this time period? What role does Abigail play in the
proceedings?
Abigail has set up a court in Salem and is accusing women of witchcraft. Fourteen have been put in jail. Abigail is using this as a way to get at Elizabeth Proctor.

    3. Describe the relationship between John and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth and John are in an awkward stage of their relationship because they didn’t know how to mend the rift created by John’s affair. Elizabeth is obviously jealous and afraid that John will go back to Abigail.
    
4. Why does John hesitate in exposing Abigail as a fraud?
 John is afraid that Abigail has proved herself as too much of a saint that the town would not believe that Abigail had been involved in witchcraft.
5. Upon returning from town, Mary Warren is visibly upset. What, in the day’s events,
may have caused such distress in Mary?
 Mary Warren was in court and claims to have witnessed that Goody Osburn must hang because she made a pact with the devil. But Sarah Good will not be sentenced because she confessed.

    6. What does Mary give to Elizabeth? Why?
Mary gives Elizabeth a doll while saying that everyone must love each other, but I believe it to be a voodoo doll that will bring harm. 

    7. Why does the court decide to hang Goody Osburn but not Sarah Good?
    Sarah Good confessed to have signing a pact with the devil, but Goody Osburn denied it so the town decided to hang her.
    
8. On what evidence does the court convict Goody Osburn? 
Goody Osburn could not recite all ten of the Ten Commandments and so therefore she had been with the devil and must be hanged.

    9. Describe Mary’s reaction when Proctor forbids her to return to court. What news does
she share?
She shares that sixty year Goody Good is pregnant.
    
10. Who accused Elizabeth of witchcraft?
It is assumed that Abigail accused Elizabeth of witchcraft because she wants to have John to herself.

    11. What does Abigail stand to gain if Elizabeth is found guilty of witchcraft?
Abigail would have the chance to have John again because he will be single.

    12. Why does Reverend Hale visit the Proctor household?
Hale comes to inquire about the accusations made about different women in Salem because some he finds ridiculous.

    13. What “softness” does Reverend Hale find in the church records regarding the
Proctors? What explanation does John give?
Hale finds that the Proctors rarely go to church because Goody Proctor has been sick. Also, John questioned by his not going to church by himself. Also he could recite all theten commandments for Reverend Hale which caused some suspiscion.

    14. When asked to recite the commandments, John remembers all but one. What is the
significance of the forgotten commandment?
He forgets audultery. He was an adulterous man towards his wife with Abigail.

    15. What are John and Elizabeth’s feelings on the existence of witches? How does
Reverend Hale react to this?
John and Elizabeth believe that there are no such thing as witches. Reverend Hale tells them that because they do not believe in witches, they are secrety bound to Satan.
    
16. Why do Giles Corey and Francis Nurse arrive at the Proctor house?
They come to tell John that they took Rebecca Nurse and Good Corey.
    
17. What charge has been brought against Rebecca Nurse?
Rebecca Nurse is charged with murder of Goody Putnam’s dead chilren.

    18. On what charge is Martha Corey arrested?
Martha was arrested because she sold a pig to Walcott that died too shortly after being moved to Walcott’s home.

    19. Who is Ezekiel Cheever? For what reason does he arrive at the Proctor household?
Ezekiel Cheever is the clerk of the court and comes to take Goody Proctor.

    20. Why is the presence of a poppet in the Proctor house an important piece of
“evidence”?
A poppet represents a voodoo doll that can be used to harm other people by pretending to hurt them and it actually happeneing.

    21. Who watched Mary sew the poppet? What does this reveal?
Susanna Walcott watched Mary sew the poppet. Thus revealing that maybe Walcott had actually been the one talking with the devil.

    22. Describe Reverend Hale’s reaction to the evening’s arrests.
Reverend Hale leaves in a humble way saying he will pray for God to open the eyes of the town. 

    23. Why doesn’t Mary willingly go to court and tell what she knows?
Mary knows that Abigail will hate her and kill her for telling the truth because she doesn’t want to be found out.
    
24. Does Mary know about the affair between Proctor and Abigail? How do we know?
On page 76 Mary says, “ …She’ll ruin you with it…”. She is referring to the affair between Proctor and Abigail because Mary is directly talking to John about court and Abigail.
    
25. How does Proctor plan to bring Elizabeth home? Does he think this will be easy?
He wants Mary to tell the truth about Abigail to clear his wife’s name. He thinks it will take alot of confessing and guts to be able to tell the congregation about what had happened.

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