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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes
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By October, 11 witches have gone to the gallows. On the
morning John Proctor and seven others-including Rebecca
Nurse-are to hang, strange rumors are going around. Other
towns have risen up against their witch courts and overthrown
them. Reverend Hale, who had believed John Proctor's story and
had denounced the proceedings when Proctor was arrested, has
now returned, and he's trying to get the prisoners to "confess"
and save their lives, even if it means lying. Perhaps worst of all,
Abigail Williams has disappeared, but not before breaking into
her uncle's strongbox and stealing all his money. Despite rising
doubt in the town, Danforth and Hathorne refuse to call off the
executions, because such an action will imply that they
murdered the 11 that have already hanged. Their only hope is to
get John Proctor to confess. So they bring in his wife, Elizabeth,
now four months pregnant, to persuade him. At first Proctor
gives in, but when he realizes they want to use his name to save
their own skins, he rips up his confession and goes to his death
with a clear conscience.

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes

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