1.1.1 Used as a tool by Miller to convey the extent of the hysteria in Salem during
the witch trails-conveyed through her subservient nature. She begins doing as
Abigail tells her to, however when Proctor is angered after Elizabeth's arrest,
she agrees to confess to lying about the witchcraft. Later still in the play,
Abigail accuses Proctor of witchcraft,a and manages to convince Mary Warren
to revoke her confession. Mary Warren's malleability emphasises how weak
most people in Salem are, buffeted first one way and then another by
whichever is the most powerful force at the time. The fact that Mary also
seems to really believe in witchcraft reveals how deeply ingrained in people
the nonsensical belief in witchcraft (the Communist threat) is.
1.2 FOIL FOR ABIGAIL
1.2.1 She is also used as a stark contrast to Abigail in
order to emphasise her manipulative nature.
The fact that Abigail has such a strong control
over Mary Warren highlights how scheming she
really is. Mary does, however, also share some
similar traits to Abigail in that she uses her
'authority' from the witch trials in an attempt to
defy Proctor. She asserts the fact that she
helped Goody Proctor from being arrested in an
attempt to undermine the existing social
hierarchy. However, this power is superficial.
Nonetheless, Mary Warren is different to Abigail
as it is clear that she does become very
confused during the course of the play.
Additionally, unlike Abigail, her intentions are
not to exact revenge upon people in the town,
but rather to do the 'right' thing.
1.3 Possess character traits similar to Reverend Hale. She
is similar to Hale, in that she has good intentions but is
merely misinformed about events occurring in Salem.
She is also a torn and confused character, like Hale,
trying to figure out what is true and what is false
amongst all the hysteria. Additionally, like Hale, Mary
Warren gets a status and sense of purpose (although
superficial) from the witch trials, and she enjoys this
status, as prior to the trials she was near the bottom
of the social hierarchy as a young servant girl.
However, unlike hale, Mary Warren appears to be
unable to ultimately make the realisation that the
accusations of witch craft are a false plot by Abigail to
exact revenge on Proctor and his wife,
2 [she is seventeen, a subservient, naive, lonely girl]
2.1 First introduced. Extremely timid and naive. Stage
direction-so illustrates Mary Warren's true character, as
opposed to Abigail who puts on a show of an innocent girl.
Contrasts to Abigail-maniupulative, especially taking
advantage of Mary Warren.
3 'i will not be ordered to bed no more…I am eighteen and a woman'-59
3.1 Key as it illustrates the superficiality of Mary;s status and power in society. Again similar to Hale, as his books
are described as 'heavy'-ironic as books should represent knowledge, however they are judged by their weight
as opposed to actual content. This interaction between Mary and Proctor illustrates how superficial her status
actually is, as she tries to exert her authority on Proctor, but ultimately ends up doing what he originally tells
4 'You're the Devil's man …Abby I'll never hurt you more!' -104
4.1 Illustrates how malleably Mary's character really is, as
she has completely revoked her confession, even though
she knows that Abigail is lying. It also again shows how
deeply the hysteria is engrained in her mind, as she able
to completely reverse her statement so quickly.
Furthermore it demonstrates her lack of independence,
and an apparent need for approval, be it from Proctor or
in this case, Abigail. Also good example of how many
people respond under the real pressure of the
Communist Witch Hunts in 1950s America: under threat
and in fear of imprisonment, people side with those that
they know to be wrong to avoid the condemnation of
the rest of society.
4.1.1 Can't withstand purification process of 'The Crucible' as she is weak
5 [not understanding the direction of this] and [bewildered]-71
5.1 These two quotations clearly separate Mary from Abigail. Although they both
enjoy the power and status they appear to be getting from the witch trials,
Abigail is manipulative and takes advantage of this power. On the other hand,
Mary is just misinformed, and so wrapped up in the hysteria that she can't see
the ridiculousness and superficiality of the events that are occurring before her
eyes. It also allows the audience to feel sympathy for Mary Warren that would
not be felt for Abigail, because of her blatant vulnerability.
6 [she looks up at Abigail who is staring down at her remorselessly.]-94
6.1 Stage direction depicts Mary as vulnerable and subservient.
Never seems to be fully confident in what she is saying, which
again highlights the extent of the hysteria in Salem.
Furthermore, the fact she is looked [down] on, emphasises
her powerlessness in the situation. Also portrays her as
reliant on others. She doesn't seem to be able to think for
herself, always needing the approval fro another (firstly
Abigail, now Proctor). Quotation also illustrates the social
hierarchy in Salem, in that Mary Warren looks to Proctor,
someone of a higher social standing than her for guidance
7 102-interaction with girls
7.1 clear example of both the extent in which hysteria seems to have engrained
itself into society, but also of Mary Warren's childish nature. Firstly, fact that
Mary gets os involved in interaction with girls shows how deeply the hysteria
appears to have engrained in her mind. The interaction confuses and scares
her, which leads to her immature actions of shouting and stomping her feet.
The interaction is ridiculous and also extremely childish with the screaming,
stomping of feet and the back and forth repetition. Highlights the absurdity, of
the witchcraft accusations , and also the childishness of all this involved,
including Abigail's intricate plan for revenge on John and Elizabeth Proctor.
8 [she breaks into sobs]91
8.1 Highlights docile nature. Depicts her as childish and naive because of her failure to stand up for
herself and maintain her composure. Seems to sob at almost anything, generates a sense of sympathy
in audience, because unlike Abigail, Mary is not only confused but also horrified by whats happening
and consequences of what she did may be.
9.1 Extremely passive and meek. Extremely frightened of confessing to
lying about witchcraft. Could be because she fears the consequences
of her actions , but it is also likely she fears what Abigail will do to her.
This further emphasises the difference between the two characters.
Thus, exaggerating Abigail's relentlessly cruel character.