October 29th, 2013
Literary Snapshot 2 Rewrite:
How does Miller develop the character of Abigail?
In what way is the character of Abigail a foil to Elizabeth Proctor? In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, he develops Abigail by using her actions to make our view of her character change as she starts to act differently throughout the play. Abigail is a foil to Elizabeth Proctor since she uses lying as a tool to manipulate people as she ﬁnds it especially effective. Abigail gradually becomes inhumane in the witch trials as she gains power through lying skillfully and manipulating people. Miller establishes sexual rivalry between Abigail and Elizabeth Proctor to create dramatic irony as Abigail attempts to eliminate Elizabeth Proctor and seize her place. Miller uses Abigail’s actions to change the readers’ impression of her character. In Act One, Abigail manages to pin all her accusations onto Tituba. As she tastes a bit of sweetness, she takes a step forward to bring a false charge upon Elizabeth Proctor that eventually sees Elizabeth Proctor in jail in Act Two. This ﬁrst time she lies, we think it’s logical and normal since we ﬁnd her urge was only to protect herself. In Act Three, Abigail’s manipulation of people and the spread of death becomes insane and inhumane. She has lodged false charges on countless villagers already, but she doesn’t seem to be satisﬁed. As John Proctor tries to stop this insanity going around Abigail, she slanders him and accuses him. It is ironic since she states earlier that she loves John Proctor, but just after a few months she is able to turn her back against John Proctor. The whole thing starts with Abigail’s background. She is an orphan, and she has a low social status. Abigail is not complex, but rather one dimensional. Because of her low social status and poor family background, it is logical to think that she will control other people and lie, or simply at all costs, gain power. At ﬁrst,...
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