The Crucible Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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In this passage, Ezekiel Cheever responds to John Proctor’s curiosity about what a needle in a poppet signifies and why his wife Elizabeth is being accused of using witchcraft against Abigail Williams. Cheever’s response explains his knowledge of how Abigail was afflicted, his possession of strong evidence against Elizabeth Proctor as a court official, and both his and the town of Salem’s tendency to turn to superstition to explain mysterious events. As Cheever explains how Abigail was afflicted by the needles from the poppet, he utilizes a simile when he states that Abigail fell to the floor, after being stabbed, “like a struck beast” (74). Cheever says this to emphasize the abruptness and intensity of the situation and how significant it is that there is no visual perception of anyone …show more content…

Reverend Parris was the only one in the room when his niece was afflicted and has not countered Abigail’s accusations. The only proof the court needed to question Elizabeth was Abigail’s testimony and the proof of her wounds. Also, Cheever continues on to say that Abigail “screamed a scream that a bull would weep to hear”, using personification to show the severity of her wounds and the seriousness of the circumstances (74). These lines all connect back to the idea that superstition is growing in the town of Salem and anyone will blame an innocent person if it means they are not convicted or suspected. The church and the courts during this time period in Salem believed itself to be quite superior and consistently correct from both the factual and spiritual outlook. Thus Cheever is quick to agree with what the courts have told him about Elizabeth and unable to hear why she may be innocent. He has the evidence he needs to make a case, and Cheever has to investigate further. The poppet is said to belong to Mary Warren, the Proctor’s servant, who admits to having seen Abigail making the doll for her. Abigail loves John Proctor and strongly believes that he

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