What Conflicts Do We See In Act 1 Of The Crucible

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What conflicts do we see in Act One of ‘The Crucible’? There are many conflicts immediately introduced to the reader in Act One of ‘The Crucible’. The scares of witchcraft in the small village of Salem suddenly create hysteria between the villagers and the characters become deluded with themselves and one another. When a young girl becomes sick and shows signs of witchery, people in the village begin to argue about the cause of it. This obviously creates strong conflicts at once, and we also see background conflicts beneath the surface of the outrage like that of Abigail and John Proctor. In this essay I will look at how these conflicts are used to introduce characters and key ideas, and how Arthur Miller interests his audience to prepare them for the events later on. Straight away we are introduced to Reverend Parris, in a fury about his ill daughter Betty. We see him at once as quite an angry and desperate man whilst he sits by Betty’s bed, shouting at Tituba, the slave, to get out of his sight. Although he is introduced as a loving father trying to care for his daughter, he does not want anyone bothering him and seems like an unfriendly person. With his powerful position in the village he is worried about what may be the cause of Betty’s illness, whilst many are assuming it is the cause of witchcraft, which he refuses to discuss. Abigail, Parris’ niece, enters the room and starts arguing with her uncle – however our first impression of this girl is that she may be truthful whilst Parris is unnecessarily angry at her, wanting her to confess all that happened in the woods. He says ‘I cannot go before the congregation when I know you have not opened with me’; he does not trust her and cannot lie to the village about the events that night. This makes us sympathise with him more. Parris then goes on to accuse Abigail of having a bad name in the village, mentioning

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