Abigail in The Crucible

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The character of Abigail is often accused of being one-dimensional. She doesn't express one shred of remorse the entire time, making her seem almost inhumanly diabolical. However, even though Abigail's actions are ruthless, they are in some ways understandable.

Miller slips in an interesting detail about Abigail's childhood that gives us a clue as to where her mercilessness might stem from. When she was younger, Abigail witnessed both of her parents murder. She tells the other girls, "I saw Indians smash my dear parents' head on the pillow next to mine" (I.119). It's no surprise that a person exposed to such brutality at a young age might eventually act brutally herself. Her ruthless, manipulative tactics might also be a result of her low social position. She does have it pretty bad. She's an orphan, she's an unmarried teenager, and worst of all for her (in Puritan society), she's a female. The only person lower than her is probably is the African American slave Tituba. On top of all that, Elizabeth Proctor has been going around dropping hints that Abigail is sleezy, lowering Abby's social status even more. With all this in mind, it's pretty understandable that Abigail might seize any chance to gain power.

Abigail is beautiful, intelligent, crafty, and vindictive. She’s also a skillful liar. She is the leader of her group of girlfriends and is willing to do anything to protect herself. The angelic part of her personality is gone after the first act when it is discovered that she accused Goody Procter of witchcraft. Although Abigail seems like an innocent girl in the beginning of The Crucible, her ruthless, persuasive, and wicked personality leads her to her lustful plot to murder making her the representative of the devil she projects on others. She goes out of her way to get the troubles off of her and on to someone else. Abigail seems to bring the evil to the play. She has the willness to make her self look good and put others down. She interacts with...
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