SETTING This book took place in the 1600s in Salem Massachusetts
POINT OF VIEW The crucible is a play so the audience and reader are entirely outside the action The narrator actually inserts himself into the play several times to describe characters and tells us what we should think about them
MAIN CHARACTERS John Procter: protagonist, prideful in his name, late 30s, and married to Elizabeth Abigail: antagonist, vengeful, selfish, manipulative, liar, teenager, rebel,17 years old Elizabeth: married to John, honest, mid 30s, has children with John, accused of being a witch Mary Warren: worked for the Procter's, 17 year old, she's very guilty for making Elizabeth doll Rev. Parris: a priest, has a daughter that is very sick, very greedy,
CONFLICT Abigail gets into an external conflict with Reverend Parris about why Betty is inert in her bed. Abigail gets into an external conflict with Elizabeth Proctor when she accuses her of witchcraft. Elizabeth Proctor gets into an internal conflict within herself because she doesn't know whether or not to tell the truth or lie in court. John Proctor has an internal conflict with himself because he doesn’t know if he should sign the paper for Danforth or keep pride in his name and family.
FORESHADOWING When john proctor tore up his contract about confessing he’s a witch the author gives us a hint that MR. proctor will be executed because of that.
SYMBOLS The judges found a doll in Elizabeth’s house. The poppet symbolized the witchcraft she was accused of.
IRONY When abigail was blaming Elizabeth proctor for being a witch everyone else blames someone for being a witch and that was unexpected
PLOT SUMMARY Act I of The Crucible opens with Salem’s minister, the Reverend Parris, watching over his sick daughter Betty, wondering what is wrong with her. We soon learn that the entire town is buzzing with rumors that Betty is sick because of witchcraft. Rev. Parris had seen both Betty and his niece Abigail dancing in the forest with his slave, Tituba, the night before. That evening in the forest, he also saw a cauldron and a frog leaping into it. When first questioned, Abigail denies that she or Betty have been involved in witchcraft, but she admits that they were dancing in the forest with Tituba. Act II opens in the Proctors’ kitchen. Proctor and his wife Elizabeth mourn that their own household helper, Mary Warren, is caught up in the frenzy of accusations. Elizabeth is afraid. They know that Abigail is behind these accusations, and Elizabeth urges Proctor to go to town and reveal that Abigail basically said it was all a hoax. Elizabeth makes an allusion to the affair Proctor had with Abigail, and catches him in a lie – he told her he was not alone with Abigail at the Parris home, but in fact he was.
THEME The theme of the crucible is that it’s easier to do bad things then it is to do good things. Also, it’s much easier to lie than to tell the truth.