The Crucible by Arthur Miller takes place in Salem of Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692. The colony was governed through theocracy and was very patriarchal. Puritan ethic and devotion to Protestantism shaped the colonists' everyday life.
In the middle of the night, a group of young girls sneak out into the forest and dance around a fire with Reverend Parris's slave, Tituba. Among these kids are Reverend Parris's daughter, Betty, and his niece, Abigail. The girls perform rituals in effort to get the men each desired. While they are dancing, Reverend Parris stumbles upon them, but they run away before he can tell who was present.
There be no witchcraft here!
Rumors of witchcraft begin to spread throughout the colony. When Reverend Parris finds Betty in a unresponsive state, he questions Abigail of participating in witchcraft. Abigail denies of any association with the devil.
Witchery's a hangin' error!
Mr. and Mrs. Putnam enter the room. They talk of their own daughter, Ruth, who is not eating at all. Mrs. Putnam gives reasons for why she believes that witchcraft is among the people of Salem. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Putnam instigate the hysteria by telling Reverend Parris to declare witchcraft in the colony.
Reverend Parris calls for a town meeting to placate the hysterical colonists' concerns about witchcraft; he simply states that there is no witchcraft in the colony and that he asked Reverend Hale of Beverly to travel to the colony and confirm this.
The girls meet up in Betty's room during the town meeting. The girls are afraid of being hanged due to witchcraft. Mary Warren suggests to immediately confess. Abigail demands the girls to keep it a secret and threatens to hurt anyone who confesses about the witchery in the forest.