The Crucible Act Four Questions Short Response Answer the following questions based on your knowledge of the drama. Write a response on a separate sheet of paper. 1. Where does Tituba think that the Devil is going to take her? 2. Give one example of how Abigail shows her dishonesty in this act. 3. What effect do the trials have on Salem? Use three details from the drama to support your answer. 4. When first arrives at the Salem jail, Danforth complains, “There is a prodigious stench in this place. How might this line be read to mean something besides a comment on the smell? 5. How is Giles Corey’s character reflected in his death? Use one detail from the drama to support your response. 6. What qualities does Proctor find within himself that prevent him from at last saving himself and signing the confession? Use details from the text to support your response. 7. Explain how Proctor is right or wrong for refusing to sign the confession. Use details to support your response. 8. A tragic hero’s fate, according to Aristotle, inspires pity and horror.
Name the tragic hero in The Crucible, and describe how his or her fate inspires both pity and horror. 9. People accused of being Communists had a difficult time getting jobs; some even moved out of the United States in order to try to resume normal lives. How is Proctor’s situation like that of the people accused of Communist activities? 10. Based on the conversation involving Tituba, Sarah Good, and Herrick at the beginning of Act IV of The Crucible, what obsession of the day is weighing heavily on these characters? 11.
In Act IV of The Crucible, Cheever comments on the “many cows wanderin’ the highroads, now their masters are in jail and much disagreement who they will belong to now. ” What does the report of wandering cows symbolize about the effects of the witch trails on the society of Salem? 12. In Act IV of The Crucible, Parris complains to Danforth about the disappearance of Abigail and her apparent theft of his savings, as well as about the signs of growing discontent in the community over the wave of executions. Why does Danforth respond to him with contempt? 13.
In Act IV of The Crucible, what does Danforth’s determination to proceed immediately with the executions symbolize about the nature the legal system? Explain your answer. 14. In Act IV of The Crucible, there are reports that the people of Andover have refused to cooperate with the witchcraft court there. What can the reader infer about the citizens of Andover from these reports? 15. In Act IV of The Crucible, it is evident that Elizabeth Proctor has changed during her imprisonment. How has she changed? Explain your answer, citing details from the text to support your answer. 6. In The Crucible, the line between religious and governmental authority is easily blurred and sometimes nonexistent. How is the relationship between church and state different in the present-day United States from the way it was at the time of The Crucible? 17. In Act IV of The Crucible, John Proctor anguishes over having his signed confession made public. In what respect is Proctor’s determination to preserve his good name, and his resulting tragic downfall, an echo of the McCarthy era of the 1950s? 18. One definition of the word crucible is “a severe test. Use the chart below to identify the key way in which each of the listed characters is tested by the events of The Crucible. Then, in the right-hand column, indicate whether that character passed or failed the “test. ” 19. Thinking About the Essential Question: How does literature shape or reflect society? A classic theme of literature in general—and of The Crucible in particular—is the conflict that can arise between a person’s individual ideals and principles on the one hand and the expectations of society on the other. Discuss this theme as it applies to two major characters in The Crucible.
Support your answer with details from the play. The Crucible Act Four Questions Answer Section 1. ANS: Tituba says that the Devil is going to take her to Barbados where he is the “pleasureman” and there is no Hell (lines 30–32). PTS:10 2. ANS: Responses will vary. Students may use one of he following details to show Abigail’s dishonesty in this act: a. She has disappeared with Mercy Lewis, perhaps on a ship (lines 142–160). b. She has stolen Parris’s money from his strongbox (lines 161–165). PTS:10 3. ANS: Responses will vary.
Students may say that the trials have negatively affected Salem because the trials themselves have raised suspicion, families are being torn apart, work is not getting done, and people are turning on each other over property. Students may use three of the following details to support their responses: a. Cheever explains that cows wander around town because their owners are in jail (lines 108–112 and 298–299). b. Townspeople fight over who now owns the cows (lines 108–112). c. Parris fears that the people in Salem will riot because many people being hanged have not confessed to guilt.
Their friends and neighbors know them as good people, so they think that innocent people are being hanged (lines 190–194 and 203–210). d. Children who are now orphans because their parents have been executed or put in jail wander the town looking for food and shelter (lines 297–298). e. Crops are not harvested because the farmers are in jail or dead (lines 299–300). f. People are afraid because they do not know if or when they will be accused next (lines 300–301). PTS:20 4. ANS: Students should say that the “stench” represents the rotten treatment the innocent people of Salem have experienced at the hands of a court that thinks itself just
PTS:10 5. ANS: Responses will vary. Students should say that Giles’s intelligence and stubbornness as well as his faith are reflected in his death. Students may use one of the following details to support their responses: a. He showed stubbornness when he stood mute to the indictment (line 447). b. He showed intelligence and faith when he died “Christian under the law” (line 450). c. Because he did not answer the indictment, his sons inherited his property (lines 450– 453). By allowing his sons to inherit his land, Giles illustrated intelligence. d. When they pressed him with stones, he only said, “More weight” (lines 457–460).
Giles’ lack of fear shows his stubbornness. PTS:10 6. ANS: [B-Test] Responses will vary. Students may say that in spite of Proctor believing he is no saint, the examples of Elizabeth and Rebecca Nurse force him to look at himself as less than a saint. However, when he must tarnish his own name and abandon his friends, he finds the strength and goodness to refuse their demands. He finally sees himself as having some good. Students may use the following details to support their responses: a. He finds honesty when he says he cannot die like a saint (lines 479–485). b.
He says it is a fraud for him to go like a saint like the others (lines 543–549). c. He says that if his action is evil, it is appropriate for him to confess his guilt (lines 555–559). d. He finally signs his name because he feels he is not good enough to die with the others but refuses to condemn his friends (lines 674–719). e. Proctor is too honest to accuse anyone else of witchcraft (lines 653–655). f. He finds strength when he says he has given Danforth his soul but will not give the court his name (lines 725–730). g. He tears up his confession, finally sees goodness in himself, and is ready to face death (lines 745–761).
PTS:20 7. ANS: [C-Test] Responses will vary. Some students may say that Proctor is right to refuse to sign the confession because it is a lie and it may condemn others. Students who support Proctor’s decision may use the following details to support their responses: a. He knows that confessing to witchcraft is confessing to a lie (lines 488–489) and he does not want to give in to the evil men who force him to choose. b. Danforth tries to force Proctor to name other people as having pacts with the Devil, but Proctor knows that he cannot condemn his friends or other innocent people (lines 637– 638). . He refuses to let Danforth and the others use him as an example in the village (lines 699–701). Other students may say that Proctor is wrong to refuse to sign the confession because he gives up his life and possibly ruins the lives of his family members in return. Students who do not support Proctor’s decision may use the following details to support their responses: a. His wife Elizabeth is pregnant and needs his help with another child (lines 272–273), especially as she may still be executed after she delivers the child that she is carrying. b.
He is leaving behind children who cannot take care of themselves, especially because his wife is in jail (lines 419–421). c. He only seems worried about his pride. He lets pride stop him from going all the way and signing the confession, explaining that he cannot face his children if he turns his friends in, though it would be better if he was alive for his children (lines 688–689, 699–701, and 703–704). PTS:20 8. ANS: Answers will vary. Following is one possible answer: Mr. Proctor is a tragic hero. After Mr. Proctor’s indiscretion with Abigail, he refuses to yield to temptation again.
He turns his attention to his wife and is faithful to her. When he is doomed, no matter what decision he makes, one can only pity him. Proctor is led by honorable principles and motives. When this innocent man dies protecting his and his family’s honor, the audience is horrified. PTS:21KEY:analyze | character | The Crucible, Act 4 9. ANS: Answers will vary. Following is one possible answer: During the height of the McCarthy era, many professionals, including numerous writers and entertainers, were refused work. Careers were shattered and talented people went without a livelihood. Like those innocents, Mr.
Proctor seals his fate should he sign a false testimony. To discuss his confession is one thing; to see his name signed to lies is another. Would he be able to make a living? Would he have the trust of his community? His name, like the names of many of McCarthy’s victims, would evoke distrust and disgrace if he signed a false confession. PTS:20KEY:analyze | character | The Crucible, Act 4 10. ANS: All three of the characters speak of the Devil and/or Hell. PTS:1 11. ANS: The wandering cows symbolize the chaos and disintegration of the social order of Salem that has resulted from the witch trials.
PTS:1 12. ANS: Danforth regards Parris as a selfish man, someone who is interested mainly in his own well-being and his own reputation. He sees that Parris is now wavering about the executions not because of any principle, but because there is evidence that there is dissatisfaction with the witch hunt in the town that could cost Parris his reputation and job. PTS:1 13. ANS: Danforth’s determination to proceed immediately with the executions symbolizes the imperfection of the machinery of the law. It shows that the legal system can sometimes enforce or perpetuate injustice. PTS:1 14. ANS:
The reader can infer that the citizens of Andover are resisting the kind of hysteria that has befallen Salem. PTS:1 15. ANS: She has become less harsh in her judgment of others. Her final comment of the play exemplifies this change. PTS:1 16. ANS: Now the separation between church and state is much clearer and better defined than it was at the time of The Crucible. In fact, it is a basic part of the U. S. Constitution and legal system. PTS:1 17. ANS: During the McCarthy investigations of the 1950s, reputations and lives were ruined by people who “named names” or confessed to irresponsible allegations just to save themselves.
PTS:1 18. ANS: Sample answers: Reverend Parris–whether he is true to the Christian ideals of his calling as a minister–fails, (because he promotes a hysteria of lying and death, and proves more concerned about his own welfare than the welfare of others). Reverend Hale–whether he is true to the Christian ideals of his calling as a minister–passes (because he struggles with his conscience and comes down on the side of truth and justice to resist the hysteria of the witch trials).
Judge Danforth–whether he is an impartial and fair judge and enforcer of the law–passes and fails (shows a minimal amount of respect for proper legal procedure, but proves more interested in swift justice than finding out the truth and attaining true justice). Elizabeth Proctor–whether she will value the truth over her personal well-being—passes (because she refuses to admit to being a witch to save herself and with good intentions lies at the end to try to help her husband).
John Proctor–whether he will risk his life to uphold true Christian ideals–passes (he refuses to admit to the false accusations against him; even though he wavers at the end, he triumphs by refusing to sign a public declaration, even though this act of conscience costs him his life). PTS:1 19. ANS: Students might note that John refuses to implicate others despite the intense pressures from the court to do so. Students may also say that he is ashamed of his actions earlier in the play and is trying make up for her earlier lack of moral courage.
They might also note that Elizabeth resists pressure from Hale to try to persuade John to save his life by falsely confessing to the charges, for she realizes that standing for honor and conscience are too important to trade in at any price, even one’s life. Students might also note that the Reverend Hale is torn between his loyalty to the court and official religious doctrine and his understanding that many of the witchcraft accusations are unjust and based on lies—a conflict between loyalty to church/community and individual conscience. PTS:1