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Many people are under the impression that irony is just when something happens that you don't expect (or that you really hoped wouldn't happen).In reality, true irony only happens when a situation is the exact opposite of what you would expect.
Though Danforth is the most powerful official figure in court, Abigail manipulates him easily with her performance as a victim of witchcraft.
He's already accepted her testimony as evidence, so he is happy for any excuse to believe her over John and Mary.
If you can show that you understand the themes of a work of literature, you've clearly mastered the material on a deeper level.
In the next few sections, I'll take a look at a group of broad themes in First off, what is irony?
The importance placed on reputation helps perpetuate hysteria because it leads to inaction, inflexibility, and, in many cases, active sabotage of the reputations of others for selfish purposes.
The overall message is that when a person's actions are driven by desires to preserve favorable public opinion rather than do the morally right thing, there can be extremely dire consequences.The classic example of an incorrect use of irony is in Alanis Morisette's song "Ironic" when she says that "rain on your wedding day" is an example of irony. Sure, you don't expect or want rain, but it's not the polar opposite of getting married.A real example of irony would be if two married guests got into a fight about going to your wedding that ended in their divorce.At the end this act, John Proctor delivers a short monologue anticipating the imminent loss of the disguises of propriety worn by himself and other members of the Salem community.The faces that people present to the public are designed to garner respect in the community, but the witch trials have thrown this system into disarray.Danforth, Hathorne, and Parris become even more rigid in their views when they feel they are under attack.No one will listen to Tituba until she agrees to confirm the version of events that the people in traditional positions of authority have already decided is true, a pattern which continues throughout the play.Though Rebecca Nurse's involvement has already been corroborated by other confessors, Danforth demands to hear it from John to confirm that John is fully committed to renouncing his supposed ties to Satan.Even though there is significant reason to believe Abigail is lying about Elizabeth's familiar spirit stabbing her, the frenzied investigators ignore testimony that challenges their chosen witchy narrative.In her conversation with John, Abigail claims that he helped her realize all the lies she was told by two-faced people in Salem who only publicly adhere to the conventions of respectable society (pg. Hale wrongly assumes that his academic mindset will save him from jumping to the wrong conclusions in the witchcraft investigation.Ironically, he is the first to demand a confession from Tituba based on Abigail's dramatic but false testimony.