Abigail Williams in the Play, The Crucible

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The Crucible Essay
English III

Abigail Williams is often viewed as conniving and evil; however, she was an unmarried, adolescent, orphan living in an oppressive puritan society that left her victimized. Abigail is an orphan and a single girl. John was the only one who showed her love and compassion. Abigail was a young teen having an affair with a grown man, John Proctor. He influenced her to be rebellious. She had no one else to put knowledge in her heart. Abigail was also living in an oppressive puritan society. She felt weak due to her gender and age. The court cases allowed her to feel power and strength for the first time in her life. But while none of these reasons justify her actions, they do make them more coherent and allow readers to comprehend Abigail’s reasoning for committing such catastrophic acts.

Early on in the play, readers quickly learn that Native Americans murdered Abigail’s parents. Which Abigail had to witness first hand. Such a bizarre and dreadful event leaves Abigail scarred, and strips her from her childhood innocence. She is then adopted by Reverend Parris. After the adoption, Abigail must bear the title of an unmarried, orphan teenage girl. This title puts her at a low rank in Salem society. The only people that would be below her were slaves or indentured servants (Tituba). But then when she met John Proctor, he gave her a sense of love and compassion. Abigail before never experienced this affection. She did not want to loose it. And even though it is evident that the relationship is over in John’s eyes’, it is not in Abigail’s’. In fact, in Abigail’s’ mind, the only person that stands in the way between her and John being together is Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor’s wife. So to eliminate Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail starts a mass hysteria that will, ironically enough, eliminate her true love instead, John Proctor.

“I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart!” (Miller 24). After...
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