The Crucible Act 3 part 2 Summary

     Since Mary Warren is testifying that they are liars, Abigail and the girls start pretending that Mary Warren is witching them, so Proctor jumps in and calls Abigail a whore. The court is astonished by this accusation and wants to know how John knows this information. He admits that he is the one committed lechery with Abigail. They ask if anyone else knows this statement to be true, and John says that his wife fired Abigail because she knew what Abigail and her husband had done. Abigail, of course, completely denies this accusation, so they decide to bring in Elizabeth.

     Elizabeth stands between her husband and Abigail, both of whom have their backs to her as Elizabeth faces Judge Danforth. He asks her if her husband ever committed lechery, and Elizabeth lies and says no. As they remove her, Proctor tells his wife that he already confessed it, and Elizabeth realizes the mistake she made by lying. Reverend Hale tries to support the Proctors, saying he could understand why Elizabeth would lie to try to protect her husband's reputation, but Danforth won't listen. Abigail then points up to the beam in the ceiling and claims that she sees a yellow bird sitting there. The other girls jump in pretending that Mary Warren has sent out her spirit as this little bird to attack them. Mary Warren knows what the girls are doing because she has done it many times herself, and she realizes that if Abigail calls her a witch, she will end up going to jail. Proctor knows what Abigail is doing too, and he tries to encourage Mary Warren to stay strong and hold to the truth, but Mary Warren can't do it. She doesn't want to go to jail, so after having the girls imitate her and scream at her, she relents and accuses John Proctor of having compacted with the devil. John is devastated as Mary Warren walks into Abigail's open arms, having returned to the girls' side. Proctor is completely fed up and screams at the court about how they are the ones that are destroying Salem by believing in Abigail's lies.

     This entire play is an allegory for McCarthyism and the Red Scare that took place in the 1950's in America. The author, Arthur Miller, was well aware of the accusations made against many people in the United States accusing them of being Communists with no real proof. Joseph McCarthy led this "witch hunt" as they termed it against mostly celebrities. Arthur Miller was good friends with many of these actors and singers who were wrongly accused only to be released a short while later, and he wanted to show Americans that this behavior remarkably paralleled another historical event, the Salem Witch Trials. Many of the characters in this play equate to people who took part in the Red Scare. This play does an excellent job of showing how quickly events can get out of control when people believe the accusers without any evidence of their accusations.

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