act 4 of the crucible by arthur miller
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Salem is a tight-knit community where there is no such thing as private business. Individual activities like church attendance or book reading or keeping poppets become admissible evidence in court. Miller speculates that the community of Salem sought to keep itself together by casting out undesirable individuals, and in so doing created the atmosphere necessary for the witch hunts. The court itself was an extension of this principle, desperately in search of external validity – Danforth cannot possibly exonerate some when others have already perished for the same crime.