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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: Re: another version of Cliffs Notes handout

From: Margaret Freeman (MargaretF@darlington.k12.sc.us)
Date: Fri Mar 31 2000 - 12:43:00 EST

Thanks for re-sending the Cliff Notes handout.....I read chattings daily...learn much .....

>>> "Cindy O'Donnell-Allen" <cindyoa@lamar.colostate.edu> 03/30/00 05:37PM >>>
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Hi, all,

For those of you who found gibberish when you attempted to open the Cliffs Notes
attachment I sent last week, I've cut and pasted it in below. The format isn't
exactly the same, but you can play around with it to make it fit your purposes.

- Cindy

"Cheryl A. Schober" wrote:



You have experimented with many kinds of writing this year; now it is your
turn to try a new formùwriting a Study Guide (SG). In addition to giving you
experience with a new kind of writing, this assignment will allow you to
create your own custom-designed study guide for the unit assessments, so do
yourself a favor and do a good job!

Total possible points: 20 pts. per act/SG

You will turn in one SG for each act. Each SG should include the following

a. a list of scene numbers, a title for each scene (youÆll create these), and
each sceneÆs setting (time & place)

b. a summary of events. ûWhat significant event occur in the act. Sum up
the action in a paragraph of so.

c. character sketches for each character in the act û Who ôgets inö on this
act? List the characters in the order they appear in the act. After each
characerÆs name, briefly describe the character, her/his function in the act,
and any important personality characteristics or changes. These personality
characteristics and changes will become more important as a character appears
more than once in the play, for they will allow you to trace changes within
characters as the play progresses.

d. a major conflict in the act û What is the conflict and who is involved in
it? Every scene in a play introduces a conflict or adds fuel to the fire of
a previous one. In a few sentences, briefly describe what you see as the
major conflict of the act and the persons who are involved in it.

e. a significant quotation û Write this section of the SG ôreading-journal
style,ö listing your choice of the most important quotation for the act on
the left side of the page and your insightful response to this quotation on
the right side of the page.



Act One

SETTING: 1692, Salem, Mass., Reverend ParrisÆs house

SUMMARY: As the scene opens, Samuel Parris is praying over his daughter
Betty who lies motionless on the bed. His niece Abigail enters and they
discuss the girlsÆ meeting in the forest with Tituba. Parris warns Abigail
about messing with spirits. The Putnams arrive and inform Parris of the
latest rumors about Betty and TitubaÆs involvement with the girls. While he
goes down to see his congregation, Abigail organizes the girls' stories and
threatens them if they tell what really happened. Later, Abigail confesses
her love to John Proctor, but he denies any feelings for her. When Betty
begins wailing during the singing from downstairs, everyone runs up. Rebecca
Nurse calms her, but Putnam demands an investigation. Proctor is against it
because he thinks it is all nonsense. Reverend Hale, an expert on
witchcraft, arrives to examine Betty, and Abigail accuses Tituba of being a
witch. Upon threat of hanging, Tituba confesses, and she, Abigail, and Betty
name many names of women they have ôseen with the Devil.ö

Samuel Parris: reverend of the Salem congregation; a widower and father of
Betty; believed he was always being persecuted by the community; more worried
about the effect of BettyÆs illness on his career than he is about her

Tituba: ParrisÆs slave from Barbados; accused of conjuring the dead;
confesses under pressure and names names to avoid being hanged

Abigail: ParrisÆs 17-year-old niece whose parents were killed by Indians;
like to cause trouble; fired by Goody Proctor; organizes the girlsÆ cover
story about their forest ôactivitiesö; in love with John Proctor; names women
she supposedly saw with the Devil

Susanna Walcott: messenger for the doctor

Mrs. Putnam: a 45-year-old woman who lost seven babies in childbirth and now
has a sick daughter Ruth; accuses Betty of flying; dislikes many of the women
of the community; seems bitter and envious

Thomas Putnam: feels wronged by the community; a bitter man; wants to ruin
Parris; dislikes John Proctor

Mercy Lewis: the PutnamsÆ 18-year-old servant; sly and merciless; danced
naked in the forest

Mary Warren: John ProctorÆs 17-year-old servant; also involved in the
conspiracy; urges the girls to tell the truth about what happened in the

Betty: ParrisÆs daughter; tries to fly out the window; accuses Abigail of
drinking blood as a charm to kill John ProctorÆs wife

John Proctor: respected, honest; knows heÆs imperfect; regrets his former
involvement with Abigail; thinks the witchcraft business is a hoax

Rebecca Nurse: 72, gentle, sent to calm Betty; very practical; prays for

Giles Corey: 83, inquisitive, powerful for his age; asks Hale about his
wifeÆs reading habits

Reverend Hale: witchcraft expert; pressures Tituba into a confession

CONFLICT: One of the major conflicts of this act is Abigail vs. the other
girls who danced together in the forest. BettyÆs extreme actions in this act
are clearly in response to her fear of Abigail, and I donÆt blame her for
being scared. Abigail seems ready to go to any lengths to save her own name
and to get what she wants, even at the expense of innocent lives.

QUOTATION RESPONSE (on the original, these are configured as a
double-entry journal)

ôàand in America any man who is not reactionary in his views is open to the
charge of alliance with the Red hellàand the main role of the government
Changes from that of the arbiter to that of the scourge
Of Godö (p. 1190).

Here Miller is making the comparison of Salem to 1950 America more explicit.
Just as the people of Salem are accusing anyone they dislike of being a witch
(in many cases to keep the finger from being pointed at themselves), during the
McCarthy era, many informers used the Red scare as an excuse to make examples
of those whose views were not identical to the ôrightö political views (pun

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