An 'A graded' Essay Example

Those studying the Aqa board, this is an A graded essay answer to section A of the english literature exam.

A useful guide to how to plan your answer :)

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CRUCIBLE PRACTISE QUESTION
HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO MILLERS PRESENTATION OF DANFORTH IN THE CRUCIBLE?
Miller represents Danforth as a powerful, authorative figure who has little tendency to mercy.
Danforth is boastful about his work as he emphasises "72 condemned to hang by that signature". This
clearly shows Danforth is proud of his work. Despite his stubborn character he is also perceived as
broadly sincere as he wants to restore law and order.
At the end of the play, we portray Danforth as a powerful and threatening character, through the
relationship he has with Parris. Danforth clearly hates Parris as several times he exclaims "Mr Parris I
bid you be silent". This clearly connotes how annoying Parris can be and Danforth is not afraid to
show this in public. Also, it could be hinting that Danforth is showing who is boss. Moreover,
Danforth's rage with Parris even leads to the extent of calling him a "brainless man". This denotes the
idea that Danforth doesn't think highly of Parris and there is a clear distant relationship between the
two characters.
Furthermore, the relationship between Danforth and Reverend Hale also demonstrates similar
messages. Danforth refuses to accept any conclusions from Mr Hale as he questions him, "Unless you
doubt my probity?" Mr Hale knows he is "defeated". This is a revelation of the power Danforth
upholds, as he even takes control of Mr Hale's mind. It could be an implication that Danforth fears his
reputation and status, thus allows takes immediate control when he is in doubt.
However, Miller also depicts another dimension of Danforth. The relationship with Abigail portrays
Danforth as a "frightened" judged who also seems to be "growing hysterical" from the power of
Abigail. Despite, the difference in status, Abigail easily influences and empowers Danforth making
"Danforth seem unsteady". This could be suggesting that Danforth's belief in witch trials has
completely brain washed him as he doesn't even realise Abigail is "weakening" him. As well as this, it
portrays Danforth as a judge who is scared, unsure and twisted between his own beliefs and the
influence of Abigail.
Ultimately, Miller presents Danforth as a stubborn and boastful character who is more concerned
about "loyalty to cause and position and cause". Despite his authorative figure he falls into the traps
of Abigail and is easily influenced by the "lies". His fear of Abigail is "weakening" his own status and
character and he is easily let to even realise his mistakes.

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