Mary Warren

Mary is a key character who displays a moral ambiguity missing in many of the other characters, especially the girls at the center of so many of the accusations of witchcraft. In an early scene, she suggests telling the truth about the dancing in the woods, but she is shot down by Abigail and the other girls and is identified as the most likely weak link in the group. She gets caught up in the witch trials and in her own “official” role in them. She feels a new sense of self-importance and accordingly stands up to John and Elizabeth in a way she clearly hadn’t before. However, she also seems genuinely moved and disturbed by the fact that people are actually being sentenced to die, and so we aren’t entirely surprised that she is later the only accuser to come forward and question the witch-hunt. Though in the end she succumbs to Abigail’s pressure tactics and rejoins the accusing girls, she is a moving and sympathetic figure.

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