During the Puritan time’s women had been thought of as less than men, of being inferior, weak, and lacking intelligence. In the poem, “Half-Hanged Mary” by Margaret Atwood the speaker tells the poem from Mary Webster’s point of view. This poem goes into depth, and it gives chills to the reader. This poem is about Mary’s experience of herself being executed by being hanged for not “fitting in as the other local townswomen’s” for being an outcast, and as well as witchcraft accusations. Mary was hanged from a tree and was left there overnight, she explains to the reader very thoroughly her thoughts hour by hour, and it is known that when she was cut down she was still alive and lived for another 14 years. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller the women of the town, Salem were being hanged for being the outcasts and being thought of as witches. Things got out of hand in Salem and any finger that was pointed to someone else was just in revenge and selfishness. Punishment came to all those that men wished upon, without explanation or testimony. As in the poem “Half-Hanged Mary” and the anthology The Crucible it is proven that a women can stand up for herself against men and the expected gender roles.
In the poem “Half-Hanged Mary” and in The Crucible women have very specific gender roles set, especially as a woman, they must carry forward after each fall. Mary is an outcast in her hometown in Massachusetts. No one agreed with the way she carried herself independently without