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Focused on maintaining public reputation, the townsfolk of Salem must fear that the sins of their friends and associates will taint their names.Various characters base their actions on the desire to protect their respective reputations.
As Danforth says in Act III, “a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it.” The witch trials are the ultimate expression of intolerance (and hanging witches is the ultimate means of restoring the community’s purity); the trials brand all social deviants with the taint of devil-worship and thus necessitate their elimination from the community.
N the end Elizabeth was arrested for possessing the poppet with the needle.
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Abigail even forces the other girls, by threatening them, to lie also: “And mark this.
Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.” She does not kill anyone directly, but she and the other girls persuade the court with their lies to convict 19 people of witchcraft, which eventually leads to their hanging, and there were still others sitting in prison, who were most likely hanged at a later time.