Who Is Abigail A Victim In The Crucible

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Who Is Abigail A Victim In The Crucible

These actions are very like the popish cruelties. Parris and Abigail's strong concern about their reputations reveals how Salem's Puritan society required people to act according to its rigid social and religious rules. The Howdy Ryan Research Paper stated that Proctor had Symbolism In Rose Sees Red a essay on nursing profession life in his family and was Essay On The Positive And Negative Influence Of Architectural Design ready self portrait with cropped hair help such as they stood in need". Abigail self portrait with cropped hair Mercy that Parris saw her naked. House of John Proctor: Self portrait with cropped hair Martyr ,

Character Analysis of Abigail Williams in The Crucible - Highlights

Already have an account? Sign in. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Literature Poetry Lit Terms Shakescleare. Download this LitChart! Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Crucible can help. Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. Everything you need for every book you read. The way the content is organized and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Crucible , which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Betty Parris has fallen into a strange coma. Around her hover Reverend Parris , her father and the minister of the Massachusetts town of Salem, his year-old niece Abigail Williams , and his slave Tituba.

When Tituba asks if Betty will be all right, Parris yells at her to get out of the room. Parris's treatment of Tituba reveals his angry and selfish character. The incident also shows Tituba's powerlessness: she's entirely at her master's command. Active Themes. Puritanism and Individuality. Susanna Walcott arrives with news that the town doctor can't figure out what's the matter and suggests Parris look for spiritual causes. Parris says it can't possibly be spiritual causes, though just to make sure he's asked Reverend Hale from the nearby town of Beverly to come investigate.

As Susanna leaves, both Abigail and Parris caution her to keep quiet about what she's seen. Parris and Abigail are both trying to protect their reputations: Parris by stopping Susanna from talking about what she's seen in his house, and Abigail by warning Susanna not to mention what happened in the forest. Abigail tells Parris about rumors that witchcraft caused Betty 's faint: a crowd has already gathered downstairs in Parris's house. Abigail suggests Parris publicly deny the rumors of witchcraft. The gathered crowd suggests both a uniform social order asserting itself and the beginnings of hysteria. Parris angrily asks if he should say he discovered his daughter and niece dancing "like heathen[s]" in the forest. Abigail admits they danced, but says that's all they did.

Parris says that if the girls were conjuring spirits, he needs to know because his "enemies" will surely find out and ruin him. He says there's a group in the town that wants to drive him from his job as minister. Witchcraft isn't just a sin, it's a threat against Parris's job and reputation. He must control the rumors to save himself. The best way to control them is to deny them, or so he thinks at this point. Abigail insists there was no witchcraft, but Parris says he saw Tituba chanting over a cauldron.

Abigail says that Tituba was just singing songs from Barbados, her homeland. Then Parris says he thinks he saw a naked body running away in the forest. Abigail swears no one was naked. Abigail holds back information, trying to make herself look as good and innocent as possible, although she's been caught doing something forbidden. Reputation and Integrity. Parris asks Abigail why Elizabeth Proctor dismissed her from her job as an assistant in the Proctor household six months earlier. He's heard rumors Elizabeth now rarely comes to church because she refuses to sit near Abigail. Parris also expresses concern that since Elizabeth dismissed Abigail, no other family has hired her.

Abigail says Elizabeth dismissed her because she refused to act like a slave, and that other women haven't hired her for the same reason. She says her reputation in the town is spotless, and calls Elizabeth a cold woman and a gossiping liar. The charge of witchcraft, a religious sin, is here linked to other vague social transgressions. Parris and Abigail's strong concern about their reputations reveals how Salem's Puritan society required people to act according to its rigid social and religious rules.

A ruined reputation could mean a ruined life in Salem. Ann Putnam barges into the room. Parris yells that no one should enter, but when he sees who it is, he invites her in. The Putnams have influence in Salem. Parris craves their support. Putnam tells Parris this event is a mark of hell on his house. She then asks how high Betty flew. Parris denies that anyone flew, but Mrs. Putnam says witnesses saw her fly. Rumors of witchcraft become belief in witchcraft: hysteria works by building upon irrational fear. Thomas Putnam enters and says it's a blessing that the "thing is out now. Parris is shocked that other girls are also sick. Putnam says they're not sick: they're being attacked by the devil. Putnam asks if it's true that Parris sent for Reverend Hale from Beverly.

Parris says yes, but just as a precaution. Putnam is certain there's been witchcraft, but Parris begs him not to say it. If witchcraft is charged Parris fears he may lose his ministry. If there's no witchcraft, why do the girls faint? The play suggests that the comas result in part from the girls' subconscious understanding that illness could help protect them from punishment for breaking Salem's strict social rules. At her husband's insistence, Mrs. Putnam , who's had seven babies die in infancy, admits she sent Ruth to Tituba , who can conjure the dead, to find out why the babies died. Elizabeth Hubbard was in a trance during the whole examination. Immediately Abigail cried out, her fingers, her fingers, burned, and Ann Putman took on most greviously, of her head, and sunk down.

It is unlikely this affair even occurred since Proctor was 60 years old and Williams was 11 at the time of the witch trials and there is no evidence that they even knew each other before the trial. Nonetheless, in an essay Miller wrote for the New Yorker in , he stated that he fully believed John Proctor had a relationship with Williams and based his entire play on the idea after he read in the court records about the moment Williams tried to strike Elizabeth Proctor during her examination:.

By this time, I was sure, John Proctor had bedded Abigail, who had to be dismissed most likely to appease Elizabeth. There was bad blood between the two women now. That Abigail started, in effect, to condemn Elizabeth to death with her touch, then stopped her hand, then went through with it, was quite suddenly the human center of all this turmoil. John Proctor was officially indicted on April 11, on three charges of witchcraft against Mary Walcott, Mary Warren and Mercy Lewis and was examined in court that same day. There is no record of this examination but many of the afflicted girls, including Elizabeth Hubbard, Ann Putnam, Jr.

While John and Elizabeth Proctor sat in jail in Boston, many of their friends came to their defense and signed a petition asking for them to be released:. Unfortunately, the petition did nothing to sway the court and John and Elizabeth Proctor remained imprisoned. The Proctor family and their in-laws were accused by many of the same people. According to court records, the jury decided not to indict William Proctor or Sarah Bassett due to a lack of evidence and there are no court records indicating that Sarah Proctor, Benjamin Proctor or Mary Basset DeRich were indicted either. During their conversation, Proctor, who lived on the outskirts of Salem Village in what is now modern day Peabody, said he was on his way to Salem to retrieve Warren so he could take her home and beat her and also said the afflicted girls should be whipped and hanged for lying, according to court records:.

He answered he heard they were very bad last night but he had heard nothing this morning. Parris would let him have his Indian he the said Proctor would soon drive the devil out of him and father saith not. On July 23, Proctor wrote a letter to the clergy of Boston pleading with them to appoint different judges or move the trials to Boston where he felt they would get a fair trial. In his letter, he described the torture used against the prisoners, particularly against his son William, and declared that the accused were innocent victims:.

Here are five persons who have lately confessed themselves to be witches, and do accuse some of us being along with them at a sacrament, since we were committed into close prison, which we know to be lies. And another five weeks my son William Proctor, when he was examined, because he would not confess that he was guilty, when he was innocent, they tied him neck and heels till the blood gushed out at his nose, and would have kept him so twenty-four hours, if one, more merciful than the rest, had not taken pity on him, and caused him to be unbound.

These actions are very like the popish cruelties. They have already undone us in our estates, and that will not serve their turns without our innocent blood. Desiring your prayers to the Lord on our behalf, we rest your poor afflicted servants. John Proctor and his wife were both convicted of witchcraft on August 5, Jacobs Munroe says that it was always said that Procters were buried near the bars as you go into the Philip H. Saunders place. Osborn, the librarian of the Peabody Historical Society, as to what was the family tradition, I learned that it was said by Mrs.

Hannah B. Osborn, Mrs. The Marsh pasture from which Mrs. Mansfield mentions. It had a way leading to it from Lowell Street over the eastern end of the John Procter lot as shown on my map. This way is still used as well as the bars opening into it on Lowell Street a few rods east of the westerly way leading southerly to the Jacobs, or Wyman, place. Jacobs as stated above, unless we suppose the expression to mean bars leading from the John Procter lot where the way enters the Philip H.

Saunders place, or Marsh pasture, as Mrs. Mansfield calls it. Perhaps the latter locality is the most probable since it is high rocky ground; but which bars were meant is uncertain. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Proctor remained in jail to await the birth of her child. Even after she gave birth to her son on January 27, she was not executed, for reasons unknown. Elizabeth remained in jail until May, when Governor Phipps released the last few prisoners of the witch trials. Once Elizabeth Proctor was freed, not only had she and her deceased husband been stripped of their legal rights due to their convictions, but Elizabeth also discovered John had written her out of his will. The girls are essentially given permission by authority figures to continue their act because they are made to feel special and important for their participation.

The people in charge are so eager to hold onto their power that if anyone disagrees with them in the way the trials are conducted, it is taken as a personal affront and challenge to their authority. Danforth, Hathorne, and Parris become even more rigid in their views when they feel they are under attack. As mentioned in the overview, religion holds significant power over the people of Salem. Reverend Parris is in a position of power as the town's spiritual leader, but he is insecure about his authority. He believes there is a group of people in town determined to remove him from this position, and he will say and do whatever it takes to retain control.

This causes problems down the line as Parris allows his paranoia about losing his position to translate into enthusiasm for the witch hunt. Abigail, on the other hand, faces an uphill battle towards more power over her situation. She is clearly outspoken and dominant, but her initial position in society is one of very little influence and authority. Abigail accuses Tituba first because Tituba is the one person below her on the ladder of power, so she makes an easy scapegoat.

If Tituba was permitted to explain what really happened, the ensuing tragedy might have been prevented. 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. By Act 2, there have been notable changes in the power structure in Salem as a result of the ongoing trials. This new power is exciting and very dangerous because it encourages the girls to make additional accusations in order to preserve their value in the eyes of the court. Abigail, in particular, has quickly risen from a nobody to one of the most influential people in Salem. No one thinks a teenage orphan girl is capable of such extensive deception or delusion , so she is consistently trusted.

She openly threatens Danforth for even entertaining Mary and John's accusations of fraud against her. 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. John finally comes to the realization that Mary's truthful testimony cannot compete with the hysteria that has taken hold of the court. The petition he presents to Danforth is used as a weapon against the signers rather than a proof of the innocence of Elizabeth, Martha, and Rebecca.

Abigail's version of events is held to be true even after John confesses to their affair in a final effort to discredit her. Logic has no power to combat paranoia and superstition even when the claims of the girls are clearly fraudulent. John Proctor surrenders his agency at the end of Act 3 in despair at the determination of the court to pursue the accusations of witchcraft and ignore all evidence of their falsehood. By Act 4, many of the power structures that were firmly in place earlier in the play have disintegrated.

Reverend Parris has fallen from his position of authority as a result of the outcomes of the trials. In Act 1 he jumped on board with the hysteria to preserve his power, but he ended up losing what little authority he had in the first place and, according to Miller's afterward, was voted out of office soon after the end of the play. The prisoners have lost all faith in earthly authority figures and look towards the judgment of God.

The only power they have left is in refusing to confess and preserving their integrity. I n steadfastly refusing to confess, Rebecca Nurse holds onto a great deal of power. The judges cannot force her to commit herself to a lie, and her martyrdom severely damages their legitimacy and favor amongst the townspeople. Here are some discussion questions to consider after reading about the thematic role of the concepts of power and authority in the events of the play:. Mary Warren when she comes back from Salem in Act 2.

These are themes that could be considered subsets of the topics detailed in the previous sections, but there's also room to discuss them as topics in their own right. I'll give a short summary of how each plays a role in the events of The Crucible. The theme of guilt is one that is deeply relevant to John Proctor's character development throughout the play. John feels incredibly ashamed of his affair with Abigail, so he tries to bury it and pretend it never happened.

His guilt leads to great tension in interactions with Elizabeth because he projects his feelings onto her, accusing her of being judgmental and dwelling on his mistakes. In reality, he is constantly judging himself, and this leads to outbursts of anger against others who remind him of what he did he already feels guilty enough! Hale also contends with his guilt in act 4 for his role in condemning the accused witches , who he now believes are innocent.

There's a message here about the choices we have in dealing with guilt. John attempts to crush his guilt instead of facing it, which only ends up making it an even more destructive factor in his life. Hale tries to combat his guilt by persuading the prisoners to confess, refusing to accept that the damage has already been done. Both Hale and Proctor don't want to live with the consequences of their mistakes, so they try to ignore or undo their past actions. Miller's portrayal of women in The Crucible is a much-discussed topic. The attitudes towards women in the s, when the play was written, are evident in the roles they're given.

The most substantial female character is Abigail, who is portrayed as a devious and highly sexualized young woman. She is cast as a villain. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we have Rebecca Nurse. She is a sensible, saintly old woman who chooses to martyr herself rather than lie and confess to witchcraft. The other two main female characters, Elizabeth and Mary Warren, are somewhat bland. Elizabeth is defined by her relationship to John, and Mary is pushed around by other characters mostly men throughout the play. The Crucible presents a view of women that essentially reduces them to caricatures of human beings that are defined by their roles as mothers, wives, and servants to men. Abigail, the one character who breaks from this mold slightly, is portrayed extremely unsympathetically despite the fact that the power dynamic between her and John makes him far more culpable in their illicit relationship.

Deception is a major driving force in The Crucible. This includes not only accusatory lies about the involvement of others in witchcraft but also the lies that people consistently tell about their own virtuousness and purity in such a repressive society. The turmoil in Salem is propelled forward by desires for revenge and power that have been simmering beneath the town's placid exterior. There is a culture of keeping up appearances already in place, which makes it natural for people to lie about witnessing their neighbors partaking in Satanic rituals when the opportunity arises especially if it means insulating themselves from similar accusations and even achieving personal gain. The Crucible provides an example of how convenient lies can build on one another to create a universally accepted truth even in the absence of any real evidence.

Even before the witch trials, the people of Salem are doing lots of little magic tricks to make all their unholy thoughts and actions disappear. It's one thing to understand the major themes in The Crucible , and it's another thing completely to write about them yourself. Essay prompts will ask about these themes in a variety of different ways. Some will be very direct. An example would be something like:. Choose a single character and discuss how this person embodies one of the themes. In a case like this, you'd be writing directly about a specific theme in connection to one of the characters. Essay questions that ask about themes in this straightforward way can be tricky because there's a temptation to speak in vague terms about the theme's significance.

Always include specific details, including direct quotes, to support your argument about how the theme is expressed in the play. Other essay questions may not ask you directly about the themes listed in this article, but that doesn't mean that the themes are irrelevant to your writing. Here's another example of a potential essay question for The Crucible that's less explicit in its request for you to discuss themes of the play:. Explain who you believe is the central tragic character in the play. What are their strengths and personal flaws? How does the central tragic character change throughout the play, and how does this relate to the play's title?

How do outside forces contribute to the character's flaws and eventual downfall? In this case, you're asked to discuss the concept of a tragic character, explaining who fits that mold in The Crucible and why. There are numerous connections between the flaws of individual characters and the overarching themes of the play that could be brought into this discussion. This is especially true with the reputation and hysteria themes. If you argued that John Proctor was the central tragic character, you could say that his flaws were an excessive concern for his reputation and overconfidence in the power of reason to overcome hysteria. Both flaws led him to delay telling the truth about Abigail's fraudulent claims and their previous relationship, thus dooming himself and many others to death or imprisonment.

Even with prompts that ask you to discuss a specific character or plot point, you can find ways to connect your answer to major themes. These connections will bolster your responses by positioning them in relation to the most important concepts discussed throughout the play. Now that you've read about the most important themes in The Crucible , check out our list of every single character in the play , including brief analyses of their relationships and motivations. You can also read my full summary of The Crucible here for a review of exactly what happens in the plot in each act. The Crucible is commonly viewed as an allegorical representation of the communist "witch hunts" conducted in the s. Take a look at this article for details on the history and thematic parallels behind this connection.

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Parris says yes, but just as a precaution. Giles Self portrait with cropped hair wuthering heights who is catherines one true love easily self portrait with cropped hair with his My Plane Experience. Abigail suggests Parris publicly deny the rumors of Howdy Ryan Research Paper. John Proctor and his wife were both self portrait with cropped hair of witchcraft on August 5,