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Both the 1692 Salemites, and their Mayflower predecessors lived in communities in which religion dictated their lives. Differences in their beliefs are not notable, but differences in their communities are. The Mayflower Pilgrims depended upon each other for survival; they needed to work together, and they needed to have common goals. Without a strong sense of community, and a desire to work for the whole their colony wouldn't have been able to survive.
The Salemites, on the other hand, had established their colony, had established firm rules, organization, and leadership, all based upon their religious beliefs, but they didn't need each other. They didn't need their neighbors, they weren't dependent, and they weren't worried about the people down the road. Note, I am not describing our society here......... the Salemites were a closely knit community, but unlike the Pilgrims the Salemites found themselves with more time to pass judgment, more time to "watch" the next guy. Whereas the Pilgrims were too busy building their colony to spy on each other and gossip........ the Salemites made themselves their brother's keepers. People hold grudges, former dangers no longer exist on a large scale....... the difference being that the Pilgrims were frightened and threatened by outside forces and the Salemites by inner.
This question does come from Act I, correct?
yes, its from act 1 :)