Notes on The Crucible

Some lesson notes on The Crucible.

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Thursday, 2nd December 2010
Objective: Can I evaluate how a character develops throughout a play?
Abigail
What do we think of Abigail?
Arrogant
Self-Centred/ Self Obsessed
Manipulative
Seductress
Powerful/ Dominating
Vindictive/ Spiteful
Abigail's status and background before the play
Used to work for the Proctors
She was a maid (lower status to Proctors)
Got kicked out of the Proctor household after the affair
Elizabeth supposedly `blackened' Abigail's name in the community
When she worked for the Proctors, she was apparently treated like a black slave
She had a bad past; witnessed the death of her parents by Indians
Used to ask Tituba to conjure a lot
What does Abigail think of Salem?
"I never knew what pretence Salem was"
When you scratch under the surface, not everyone is what they claim to be
Everyone in `The Crucible' has alternative agendas/ hidden motives
Putnam: Land, money
Parris: Reputation
Abigail: Take Elizabeth's position in Proctor's life
Mrs Putnam: Revenge
Who is Abigail putting on trial?
Tituba
Sarah Good
Goody Osborn
Goody Booth
Bridget Bishop
Goody Siber
Goody Hawkins
How is Abigail's character portrayed by the Proctors?
Elizabeth: "and where she walks the crowd will part like the sea for Israel"
Abigail is treated like royalty as she has power
Proctor: "it is a black mischief"
Proctor: "it is a wonder they do believe her"
Abigail is manipulative so Proctor is curious as to how they believed her
Abigail is very much a woman scorned
Rejection by Proctor and watching her parents being murdered scarred her for life
All this made her lose any sense of human solidarity and filled her with malevolence

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What is Abigail's behaviour like?
Determined
Cool and calm liar
Dramatic
Pretentious
Merciless
Vengeful
Confident
Strong
Brilliant at acting
Convincing
Manipulative
What is the role of Abigail in the play?
Takes advantage of unholy activities (prostitution, adultery)
Uses Salemites in her short but powerful reign of power
By the end, ends up becoming of a lower status all over again
`Unholy' accuser
Manipulates the solution
Attention seeker…read more

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Wednesday, 8th December 2010
Objective: Can I evaluate the different types of power used in a text and make decisions on which is
most dominant?
Danforth
McCarthyism
Originally coined to criticize the anti-Communist pursuits of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy.
The term is now also used to describe the making of accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason
without proper regard for evidence.…read more

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Thursday, 9th December 2010
Objective: Can I analyse how writers orchestrate character growth, development and interaction
within the play?
Abigail
What allows Abigail to feel she can get away with the lies?
Confident speaker so no reason to doubt her
Affair between her and John Proctor is unknown to the public
She is the niece of the minister, so expected to be truthful and honest
Empowered…read more

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