In, Author Millers, The Crucible, illusions are understood as reality by all of Salem’s inhabitants. The people of Salem ignorantly believe that a supernatural evil lurks within the world, and that they have to remove this evil by killing those accused of being a witch.
Eventually Abigail Williams is claimed to be a witch, which is the niece of Reverend Parris. She is the most evil character in the play, and also ends up being the instigator of the Salem witch trials. Initially, it was she who was accused of practicing witchcraft with other girls in the forest, including Parris’s daughter, Betty, and his slave, Tituba. Coincidental to her practices, Thomas and Ann Putnam, one of the more hidden families in Salem, come to Parris and say that multiple of the witchcraft events are occurring in Salem. These events include Betty’s illness, their daughter, Ruth, plummeting into a coma, and the deaths of their seven infant children.
Mrs. Putnam says to Parris in relevance to her daughter’s illness, “She ails as she must—She never walked this morning, but her eyes open and she walks, and hears naught, sees naught, and cannot eat. Her soul is taken, surely.” (Miller, p-13).
Without even considering the alternative and natural causes to these illnesses and deaths, Mr. and Mrs. Putnam superstitiously believes that witchcraft is the cause. They are so convinced in a world of untrue dangers, that they have not been able to identify the real dangers that threaten their lives, such as medical illnesses.
Now Abigail begins to falsely accuse innocent people of performing witchcraft, unfortunately resulting in their arrests. By do this Abigail is exploiting the town’s confusion and stupidity. Not only has Abigail to the suspicion from herself, but she has also acquired a high social ranking. All Abigail has to do is accuse someone of performing witchcraft, and the accused will be tried and later on executed at the gibbets.
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