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Authority And we’re not talking about the Commander.

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Presentation on theme: "Authority And we’re not talking about the Commander."— Presentation transcript:

1 Authority And we’re not talking about the Commander

2 Within The Crucible… Corruption of authority within Salem – Personal reputation – Inability to determine rightful entrenchment of authority Sources of authority within Salem Links to theme – Religion – Justice – Relationships and Social Hierarchy Blatant connections to the Red Scare

3 PARRIS -As a male chauvinist with a strong sense of entitlement -As a religious leader

4 Parris’ Authority as a Male Citizen “Go directly home and speak nothing of unnatural causes… Child. Sit you down.” (9) [Parris to Susanna, Abigail]

5 What do these mean? Parris’ attitude towards the children has the ability to be more forceful than his attempted ability to have authority as a religious leader, so he exerts it. It is a similar reaction to that of John Proctor and Abigail, as it was a typical relationship between a child/helper and the male figure

6 Parris’ Religious Authority “In meeting, he felt insulted if someone rose to shut the door without first asking his permission.” (3) [Introduction] “You people seem not to comprehend that a minister is the Lord’s man in the parish; a minister is not to be so lightly crossed and contradicted-” (28) [Parris] “There is either obedience or the church will burn like Hell is burning!” (28) [Parris]

7 What do these mean? It shows the strength of the theocracy… where God, working through certain men, dictates law Parris seems to have a sense of entitlement to authority, but at the same time feels extremely insecure of his position. This is likely because he does not trust the people and know they are not as obedient and ‘good’ as they pretend to be. He speaks as if his reputation is on the line if he does not have obedience from the people, similar to his fears over Betty and witchcraft. It is not the religion is seeks to uphold but rather himself, which ironically makes him one of the least religiously inclined of all.

8 HALE -As a seemingly educated individual

9 Parris’ Authority as an educated individual “I have sent for Reverend Hale of Beverly, and Mr. Hale will surely confirm that.” (9) [Parris] “I have no answer for that crowd. I’ll wait till Mr. Hale arrives.” (16) [Parris to Putnam] “They are weighted with authority.” (34) [Hale, regarding his heavy books]

10 What do these mean? Parris seems to place strong faith in Hale’s knowledge of witchcraft. His education and ‘experience’ in the field seems to be valued This, coupled with the fear of books because of learning and witchcraft, possibly suggests that books and knowledge are the source of authority… especially in a society with limited education (ie. Martha Corey)

11 PROCTOR -As a tough guy

12 Proctor’s Authority as a Male Citizen “I forbid you leave the house, did I not?” (20) [Proctor to Mary Warren] “Gah! I’d almost forgot how strong you are, John Proctor!” (20) [Abigail to Proctor]

13 What do these mean? Proctor seems to place authority based upon the employment hierarchy. Since he has hired Mary Warren, he knows that he has a high level of power over her, and so exerts it. He does not say these things very often to prominent members in the community, ie. Danforth or Hale. -Although Abigail is teasing, it is clear that Proctor has the “faintest suggestion of a knowing smile on his face”. This does two things: firstly, it hints at some sort of prior relationship between the two. But furthermore, it insinuates that this were something he were teased about often, probably having some truth to it (especially since Abigail was his hired help and would know firsthand his authority).


15 Danforth’s Authority as a Source of Justice “Mr. Hale, you surely do not doubt my justice.” (92) “Indeed. That man have no authority to enter here, Marshal. Why have you let him in?”

16 What do these mean? Danforth here is challenging another to doubt his authority by backing him into a corner. By doing so, he is essentially provided a very distinct choice- either ostracize yourself as a black sheep and suffer, or admit he is right and conform. He recognizes this power and exploits it often.

17 THE GIRLS -”I knew you were trouble when you walked in”

18 The girls’ (perceived) authority “I would have you speak for civilly to me, from this out.” (57) [Mary Warren to Proctor] “I’m an official of the court, they say!” (56) [Mary Warren to Proctor]

19 What do these mean? Mary Warren is able to recognize her power as an accuser, and makes sure that the Proctors realize it too. She threatens by reminding them of her status as a witness. We as the audience know that she is even more dangerous as a liar and consort of Abigail. However, this is not true authority- especially as characters are able to see through her guise, such as Proctor and later, Hale.

20 AUTHORITY (in a greater context)

21 Where does authority come from? “You cannot command Mr. Parris. We vote by name in this society, not by acreage.” (27) [Proctor to Putnam] “My name is Corey, sir, Giles Corey. I have six hundred acres, and a timber in addition. It is my wife you be condemning now.”

22 What do these mean? This is interesting because Proctor directly calls out the issues of authority in the village, which is that different individuals believe that have authority based upon different values. It is clear he believes in some kind of authority, but he wants something fair and by the people, rather than by divine appointment or economic status. Unfortunately, as few else think as he does, this makes him a black sheep of the village, and consequently and easy target.

23 How well is authority recognized? “I like not the smell of this “authority.”” (29) [Proctor to Rebecca, in front of Putnam and Parris]

24 What do these mean? Proctor did not trust nor believe in the religious authority of Parris; he almost seems to sense the ingenuine nature of Parris’ leading.

25 Final thoughts… Danforth’s authority seems to override all others’… – What does this say about Salem’s values? Theme of weight Shifts in power – ie. Proctor, Giles Corey

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