Hegemony through Terror
Lost, terrified, and not in control of their own thoughts, Mary Warren and Shawn Hornbeck strive for the life they once lived. In 1692, The Crucible character, Mary Warren comes under the control of foil character, Abigail Williams. In a similar, more recent story, Shawn Hornbeck’s normal life of video games, hanging out with friends, and dirt biking, is ripped away from him with Michael Devlin forcefully kidnaps him with the intent of murder. Everyday coerced by their fear, constantly reminded death reigns imminent. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, character Mary Warren, threatened by Abigail Williams not to release they are pretending, lives a lie; just as missing child, Shawn Hornbeck, manipulated by Michael Devlin, cannot release his true identity.
Falling into great peer pressure while facing threats from Abigail, Mary makes the courageous decision to tell the truth, but Abigail strengthens her grip and the truth crumbles. Mary knows the girls are lying but struggles with the imminent threats from Abby in her rebuke to Proctor, “She’ll kill me for sayin’ that!” (Miller 80). Mary gets this idea from the death threat imposed on her by Abby “and mark this. Let either of you breathe a word or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you” (20). Abigail scares not just Mary, but all the girls with threats. After trying to tell the truth, Mary succumbs to the torment of Abby. “Abby, Abby, I’ll never hurt you more” (119). The “pointy reckoning” that Abigail threatens Mary with does its justice and Mary morphs back into a powerless silenced girl.
Similarly, from Shawn’s abduction on October 6th 2002 to his discovery on January 12th 2007, Devlin forces Shawn into living a lie. Shawn spares himself from the wrath of Devlin as he remains powerless in a glass case of emotions. “From...