The Role Of Gossip In The Crucible

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Gossip’s role The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller is set in The Salem Witch Trial. During this time in history, religion was far more important than actual law and reason. In this book’s case, legalistic Christianity decided the devil himself was roaming the streets of Salem. Anyone who seemed as though they had bumped into the devil was killed. The Crucible is a good example of when people’s religion and social expectations turns speculation and gossip as evidence that people are possessed. The first encounter the book has with gossip is in Act One. The town is bursting with news about Betty Parris being unresponsive after dancing in the woods with Abigail, Tituba, and Mercy. Reverend Parris is scolding Abigail, claiming the incident with Betty happened because the group of girls met the devil. Parris has no idea what the town will think of him, the reverend, after this. Just then Mrs. Putnam energetically comes in the scene. She had heard a piece of gossip that she was sure was true, “Mrs. Putnam, glancing at Betty: how high did she fly, how high?
Parris: No, No, she never flew—
Mrs. Putnam,
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One example of this is when Sarah Good was accused of witchcraft in Act One. She was a poor and often mumbled under her breath when people did not give her the money she was asking for. After many conversations it came out that Sarah was cursing people when she mumbled. When Abigail was putting on her big “repentance show” she brought up that Sarah Good was with the devil. Obviously since Abigail is manipulating and a liar, she knew people would fall for what she was saying. She herself must’ve heard the rumors about Sarah and used them to benefit herself, “Abigail: I want to open myself! . . . I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the
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