The Crucible Act One: An Overture

In the Overture, Miller provides a history lesson and his own personal opinions regarding Paris and Puritans in general. List three facts about each and three opinions. Facts:-“At the time of these events Parris was in his middle forties.”-“They did not celebrate Christmas, and a holiday from work meant only that they must concentrate even more upon prayer.”-“The edge of the wilderness was close by. The American continent stretched endlessly west…”Opinions:- “To the European world the whole province was a barbaric frontier inhabited by a sect of fanatics…”-“There was a good supply of ne’er-do-wells in Salem”-“It was also, in my opinion, one of the things that a John Proctor would rebel against…”
How are the people of Salem characterized? The people os Salem are characterized as “a sect of fanatics” and follow a strict and religious lifestyle; in fact, their religious lifestyle cause them not to celebrate Christmas nor encourage or celebrate enjoyment in life. In addition, the people of Salem are hypocrites as they left their homeland, England, to escape persecution, yet they practice persecution against nearby Native Americans. One last trait of the people of Salem is demeaning as they instruct everyone to live according to a strict moral code. Source:
How do the Puritans view the world around them? The Puritans viewed the world around them through their own theological views. For instance, the surrounding forest was viewed as “…full of mystery…” and “dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day…”
What does Miller cite as reasons for the witch-hunts? Miller cites the reason for the witch-hunts to be “a preserve of manifestation of the panic which set among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom” and “a long overdue opportunity for everyone so inclined to express publicly his guilt and sins.”
What does the overture imply about human nature? The overture implies that human nature has a tendency to conform as people would rather compromise their principles than to be killed. Also, the overture implies that people fear the unknown; to be specific, members of the Puritan society fear the idea of some members being possessed by the devil or satanic spirit. One last idea the overture implies about human near is people hastily jump to conclusions, like Reverend Parris immediately assuming the group of girls in question were practicing satanic rituals.
Who is Bridget Bishop and what is her “role” in Salem? Bridget Bishop is the owner of a tavern where people play shuffle board in Salem, and her “role” in Salem is to rebel against all of the Puritan ideals.
John Proctor is characterized as a “rebel”…why is this important for us to know before the action beings? It is important for us to know John Proctor is characterized as a “rebel” because his “rebel” status can possibly create conflict in the upcoming trials as well as the tension between his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, and his ex-housekeeper, Abigail Williams.
What changes had occurred in Salem since its founding? Since the founding of Salem, changes that have been made are they have an “unseated the royal government” and they “substituted a junta which was at this moment in power”.
What did the “witch hunt” allow people in Salem to accomplish? The “witch hunt” allow people in Salem to accomplish “long-held hatreds of neighbors could be openly ex-pressed, and vengeance taken” as well as “old scores could be settles on a plane of heavenly combat between Lucifer and the Lord”.

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