Read, Reflect, Analyze: The Crucible Act 3
Read the prompt carefully and respond to the task in a short answer paper response of approximately 500 words
1. Read and Reflect: How is the central conflict of Act 3 obedience to the Church/Ideology vs. the individual's freedom of thought? Consider how the action of the play centers around the Puritan's belief of obedience to the church is obedience to God and the English common law right to freedom of thought? Read and reflect on what Hale argues with Danforth and how Danforth's speech on how the court treats witchcraft differently than ordinary crimes like theft or murder. Consider the effect Mary's testimony has on Danforth and the effect Proctor's confession has on him.
2. Then respond to this question:
a. Analyze and Write: In Act 3, Danforth seems conflicted between the strength of the spectral evidence and the strength of Proctor's tangible, hard evidence and the line of reasoning it creates around Abigail and her motives. Summarize this conflict in Danforth and identify which evidence he finds more convincing and why? Then explain how Abigail is able to manipulate Danforth and determine why Danforth finally finds the spectral evidence more compelling. What does your understand suggest about the power of ideology?

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The central conflict in Act 3 revolves around the relationship between obedience to the church/ideology and an individual’s freedom of thought. Act 3 demonstrates how quickly and easily a conflict might emerge and intensify when a group of individuals develops the fear that ideology might undermine the one adopted and accepted by the majority within society. The fact that a group of individuals, seeking power and augmenting people’s anxieties with baseless evidence and mob mentalities, emerges victorious...

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