In the book version, which is written to be performed by actors on stage, it is harder to imagine the expression or the tone of their voices just by reading the stage directions. In the book, the scene takes place in a jail cell. It seems that John has been put by himself and is lonely. John is asked to sign a paper to be hung on the church door. He is asked to do this by Paris and the other Judges, including Dansforth. They hope that John will set an example of confession for the other people who were convicted of witchcraft. The judges have blood on their hands, but their reliability would be at stake if they just let everyone convicted go free. John agrees to sign the paper, but does not want it to be hung on the church door. He wants to keep his name intact. In anger, he rips the paper up and he is ordered to be executed. The book ends with the people convicted being sent away. The reader can only assume that they are executed.
In the movie version, the events leading up to the hangings are the same, but the setting is different. John and Elizabeth proctor meet on a windy day outside near the water. John asks Elizabeth for advice, but she wants him to make his own decision. John decides to sign the papers so that he can go back to his family. You can see the upset looks on Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse’s faces. They are both very religious and do not want John to tell a lie. When he is informed that they will be hung on the church door, he is outraged. He wants to have an important bond with Jesus, but he does not want his name tarnished since he only has one. In anger, he rips up the papers. He is ordered to be taken... [continues]
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