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His ten-year-old daughter, Betty Parris, lies motionless.The previous evening, Reverend Parris discovered Betty, some other girls, and his Barbadian slave, Tituba, dancing naked in the forest and engaged in some sort of pagan ritual.
With prompting from Hale and Putnam, Tituba accuses Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good of witchcraft. Putnam identifies Osborne as her former midwife and asserts that she must have killed her children.
Abigail decides to play along with Tituba in order to prevent others from discovering her affair with Proctor, whose wife she had tried to curse out of jealousy.
Abigail still harbors feelings for John and believes they are reciprocated, but John denies this.
Abigail angrily mocks John for denying his true feelings for her.
Abigail coerces and threatens the others to "stick to their story" of merely dancing in the woods.
The other girls are frightened of the truth being revealed (in actuality, they tried to conjure a curse against Elizabeth Proctor) and being labelled witches, so they go along with Abigail. John Proctor, a local farmer and husband of Elizabeth, enters.Miller wrote the play as an allegory for Mc Carthyism, when the United States government persecuted people accused of being communists.Miller was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended.Reverend Hale arrives and begins his investigation.Before leaving, Giles fatefully remarks that he has noticed his wife reading unknown books and asks Hale to look into it. Parris, Abigail and Tituba closely over the girls' activities in the woods.The play was first performed at the Martin Beck Theatre on Broadway on January 22, 1953, starring E. Marshall, Beatrice Straight and Madeleine Sherwood. Miller felt that this production was too stylized and cold and the reviews for it were largely hostile (although The New York Times noted "a powerful play [in a] driving performance").The opening narration explains the context of Salem and the Puritan colonists of Massachusetts, which the narrator depicts as an isolated theocratic society in constant conflict with Native Americans.As the facts emerge, Abigail claims Tituba forced her to drink blood.Tituba counters that Abigail begged her to conjure a deadly curse.Additionally, fears of Satanism taking place after incidents in Europe and the colonies are compared to fears of Communism following its implementation in Eastern Europe and China during the Cold War. The remainder of Act Two is set in the Proctors‘ home.John and Elizabeth are incredulous that nearly forty people have been arrested for witchcraft based on the pronouncements of Abigail and the other girls.