Upgrade subject to access all content
Miller begins Act IV in the fall, months after Act III concluded. The most likely reason for this is because
In the meantime, the townspeople have begun to fight to kick Parris out of town and they finally do so in the fall.
Miller wants his characters to be haggard and desperate from long months spent in jail while Danforth seeks confessions.
It sets up the rebellions against the court that are revealed later in the act.
The 'fall' is symbolic of the downfall that Proctor is about to endure.
It makes it clear that Elizabeth is pregnant as her pregnancy is apparent to all by this time.