In one of the most well-known quotes in the play, John Proctor angrily insists that “the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom” (pg.73), meaning the girls are testing out the extent of the chaos they can create with their newfound power.In her conversation with John, Abigail claims that he helped her realize all the lies she was told by two-faced people in Salem who only publicly adhere to the conventions of respectable society (pg. Hale wrongly assumes that his academic mindset will save him from jumping to the wrong conclusions in the witchcraft investigation.
Though Rebecca Nurse's involvement has already been corroborated by other confessors, Danforth demands to hear it from John to confirm that John is fully committed to renouncing his supposed ties to Satan.
Even though there is significant reason to believe Abigail is lying about Elizabeth's familiar spirit stabbing her, the frenzied investigators ignore testimony that challenges their chosen witchy narrative.
He believes that “Postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of them that died till now.
While I speak God’s law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering” (pg. In the final events of Act 4, John Proctor has a tough choice to make between losing his dignity and losing his life.
The petition he presents to Danforth is used as a weapon against the signers rather than a proof of the innocence of Elizabeth, Martha, and Rebecca.
Abigail's version of events is held to be true even after John confesses to their affair in a final effort to discredit her.The ruthlessness with which the suspected witches are treated is aimed at purifying Salem, but it achieves the opposite outcome.The town slips further and further into chaos and paranoia until it reaches a point of total devastation. The court's attempts to preserve Puritan morality by arresting and executing accused witches ironically lead to the removal of the most virtuous people from society.And he goes to save her, and, stuck two inches in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle out." (Cheever pg. The idea that a witch's familiar spirit is capable of stabbing people is too scary for the superstitious and now hysterical people of Salem to give Elizabeth the benefit of the doubt.No one even considers Mary's statement about sticking the needle in herself.The classic example of an incorrect use of irony is in Alanis Morisette's song "Ironic" when she says that "rain on your wedding day" is an example of irony. Sure, you don't expect or want rain, but it's not the polar opposite of getting married.A real example of irony would be if two married guests got into a fight about going to your wedding that ended in their divorce.Danforth, Hathorne, and Parris become even more rigid in their views when they feel they are under attack.No one will listen to Tituba until she agrees to confirm the version of events that the people in traditional positions of authority have already decided is true, a pattern which continues throughout the play.If you can show that you understand the themes of a work of literature, you've clearly mastered the material on a deeper level.In the next few sections, I'll take a look at a group of broad themes in First off, what is irony?