The characters in the play were based upon real people who judged or were judged in hysteria. You'll close the book with a comma-like state, as there are a lot of ambiguities in it. But be sure to read it to the end, don't lose this superb possibility.
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“John Proctor, then, in being driven to confess not to a metaphoric guilt but to actual sex with an identified teenage partner, might save the community in the only way possible – by raising to consciousness what had been suppressed and in holy disguise was out to murder them all” (Timebends, 341). “The political question, therefore, of whether witches and Communists could be equated was no longer to the point. What was manifestly parallel was the guilt, two centuries apart, of holding illicit, suppressed feelings of alienation and hostility toward standard, daylight society as defined by its most orthodox proponents” (341) Specifically, the liberals or “left leaners” were shamed for having seen Russia as a kind of spiritual condition.