Betty Parris

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The character Betty Parris plays an important role in the story of the Crucible. As one of the girls who danced in the forest she is part of the play’s central conflict. She is the cause of the townspeople blaming witchcraft in the first place and she is also part of the reason that most of the characters are killed by the end of the fourth act. Through her actions over the course of the play, Betty is shown to be fearful, easily-manipulated, and an attention-seeker.

In the Crucible, one of Betty’s main characteristics is her fearfulness. When her father catches her in the woods, she immediately faints to avoid any punishment and continues to pretend to be in a coma for a while after. Abigail convinces Reverend Parris that “Betty was frightened and then she fainted” (pg. 833) but it seems like what really happened was she was clever enough to avoid being reprimanded. She is also fearful of Abigail. After Betty wakes up, Abigail tells her that Reverend Parris knows everything and this causes her to “springs off the bed, and rush across room to window” (pg. 837) because she is afraid of what might happen. She is harassed and struck by Abigail after talking about Abigail’s charm to kill Goody Proctor and this causes her to submit to Abigail’s demands that no one speaks of what she did in the forest. Her fear of Abigail leads to her joining Abigail and the other girls throughout the rest of the play even though she seems to resent them.

Another main characteristic of Betty is her tendency to be easily-manipulated. As one of the members of the group of girls who danced in the woods, she becomes a part of Abigail’s web of lies and deceit. At first she resists Abigail until Abigail threatens to come to her “in the black of some terrible night” (pg. 837) if she says anything about the charm. After that, she follows Abigail and the rest of the girls as they condemn the people of the town as well as when they lie in the courthouse and pretend to see Mary’s spirit...
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