Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Parris’s house. Home of the Reverend Parris in Salem. It is symbolically appropriate that the home of Parris, the congregation’s minister, is the site of the first outbreak of witchcraft hysteria. Act 1 occurs in an upstairs bedroom of the Parris house. The room contains only “a narrow window,” a metaphor for the narrowness of Puritan beliefs, through which not much light is allowed to shine. The somber room “gives off an air of clean spareness,” and the “raw and unmellowed” nature of the wood coincides with the nature of Puritan life.
Proctor home. Farmhouse five miles from Salem. Act 2 takes place in John and Elizabeth Proctor’s home. The room where the act is set seems cold; although it is spring, John declares, “It’s winter in here yet,” signifying the emotional distance between John and Elizabeth. Court officials travel five miles to arrest Elizabeth, indicating how widespread the witch hysteria has become.
Salem meetinghouse. Church building in Salem in whose vestrom act 3 is set. It is a “solemn, even forbidding” room with heavy timbers, now used as the anteroom of the court. A symbol of the religion, the gloomy meetinghouse is where people are condemned rather than brought to the light of God. Although churches traditionally offer sanctuary to even the lowest of criminals, the church in Salem is where innocent people are condemned. Ironically, at the end of the act, a bird (not the dove of the Holy Spirit, but a demoniac bird) appears in the high rafters of the room.
Salem jail. Act 4 takes place in a jail cell, a dark place that looks empty even though two prisoners are kept here. All the prisoners are filthy, cold, and weak from hunger. The play ends in the jail, indicating that death is the ultimate outcome of such a cruel and narrow religion.
Forest. Wilderness west of Salem. The forest represents humankind’s pagan instincts, which the Puritans have set out to suppress. In spite of their role in the church, Parris has caught his own family members dancing with the devil in the forest. Although John Proctor cultivates the earth right to the edge of the forest, the forest itself remains wild and uncultivated.
*Andover. Massachusetts town a few miles from Salem in which rebellion against the court is rumored to be afoot. Parris fears it will spread to Salem.
*Boston. Leading Massachusetts city, located about twenty miles southwest of Salem. The judges come from the General Court of Boston, and Boston carries a great deal of weight with Salemites. A witch had been hanged in Boston two years before the opening of the play.
*Beverly. Massachusetts town a few miles from Salem from which the Reverend Hale comes. The town seems to be slightly more enlightened than Salem.