Crucible Questions #1

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Please answer the following reading questions about The Crucible

  • Beginning with “A small upper bedroom…”
  • Ending with “suspicions and the envy of the miserable toward the happy could and did burst out in the general revenge”
  • (pp. 3-8 in The Crucible and Related Readings)
  1. Draw a small stick-figure sketch of the opening scene. What does it look like when the curtain rises?
  1. Describe Reverend Parris in a complete sentence or two (or three) in your own words.
  1. What are some things the town of Salem didn’t allow?
  1. What does the author say is going to “feed the coming madness”?
  1. “In unity still lay the best promise of safety.” Explain this sentence in your own words. What is the speaker trying to say about Salem?
  1. Why do you think the Puritans’ view of the forest was so negative?
  1. Why couldn’t Massachusetts “kill off the Puritans”? What helped their community succeed?
  1. How does the narrator define a theocracy?
  1. What was the purpose of this theocracy?
  1. A paradox is a contradiction. Why was Salem’s theocracy contradictory or paradoxical? (What was hard to balance?)
  1. According to the narrator, in what multiple ways did the witch hunts change the Salem community?

Word Definitions Crucible 3-8

  • Spareness: The state of being simple or plain
  • Unmellowed: Not fully matured
  • Inert: Unmoving, still
  • Villanous: Relating to wicked or criminal behavior
  • Persecuted: Punished
  • Creed: A belief system or faith
  • Conceived: imagined
  • Province: A division of a country
  • Barbaric: unsophisticated
  • Fanatics: Someone filled with excessive passion or zeal
  • Ordinances: Authoritative orders, laws, decrees
  • Magistrates: Someone who administers the law
  • Predilection: A bias, a special liking for something
  • Marauded: Roamed in search of things to steal or people to attack
  • Heathen: A person who does not belong to a widely held religion
  • Parochial: Having a limited or narrow outlook
  • Citadel: A fortress, typically on high ground
  • Homage: Honor or respect shown publicly
  • Defiled: Spoiled, dirtied
  • Ingratiating: Intended to gain approval or favor
  • Communal: Shared by all members of a community
  • Autocratic: Relating to a ruler who has absolute power
  • Ideology: A system of ideas and ideals
  • Antagonistic: Showing or feeling active opposition or hostly toward someone/something
  • Differentiation: distinction
  • Insoluble: impossible to solve
  • Paradox: A situation that has contradictory features or qualities
  • Repressions: Subduing something or someone by force

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