Sociological Analysis of the Crucible

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Who Has the Power?

Sometimes, the person who should be the one wielding the power has none at all. In Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, he recounts the events of the Salem Witch Trials. As he tells the events that occurred, he clearly paints out who held the power and who should have been in power during the trials. In Miller’s play, the person who holds the most power in Salem during the Witch Trials is Abigail Williams. Despite being a child and an orphan, for her parents had died and she was sent to live her uncle Mr. Parris, she was able to gain unlimited power during this short span of time. When Mr. Parris caught her and other local girls out dancing at night, she threatened the others, “Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, or I will come to you in the black of some terrible night…” (20), and they listened to her. None of the girls would speak against Abigail, and when Mary Warren did, the other girls did not join Mary; they protected Abigail and listened to her every word. As the play goes on, Abigail gains more and more power, accusing people in the town as witches. At the end of Act 1, Abigail cries out to Reverend Hale, “I want the light of God… I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil!”(48). Unfortunately for the accused, they were arrested and were tried by Judge Danforth, and were found to be guilty of witchcraft. Abigail becomes a saint in Salem, saving the villagers from the witches; however, little do they know, Abigail is using her newfound power for her own good. When she accuses Goody Proctor of being a witch, no one questions her; Abigail is helping the town out. But, the reason she accuses Goody Proctor is because Abigail secretly wants to be with John Proctor, Goody Proctor’s husband. When John Proctor defends his wife in court, he confesses to adultery with Abigail, and tells them that is why Abigail accused Goody Proctor in the first place. John Proctor tells Judge...
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