the crucible

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, John Proctor Pages: 7 (2781 words) Published: January 2, 2014

It is amazing how lies told by a young female in The Crucible can start so much trouble in society. In a puritan society they thought of woman as inferior to men, and that they were not capable of doing much. George Orwell who was a author and a critic once stated that,” Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits yet he is the Lord of all animals.” This quote is the perfect summary of women that are in The Crucible. They are forgotten and underappreciated in the play. Though they do so much for their husbands and have such a big part in the men’s lives, they were not given the respect they deserved. Arthur Miller took that idea and broadens it in his play The Crucible. Abigail Williams, Elizabeth Proctor, Mary Warren and many other women portray Arthur Miller’s views on women in the play. His treatment of women throughout the novel is a look at what was thought of women during that time in history. It was thought that a women’s role was to live a holy lifestyle, reproduce, and stand behind her husband at all times. The main women in the play image certain types of women and Miller uses these characters to portray his views and reflect the title of the play. Arthur Miller's The Crucible is a troubled literary work, not only because of the madness surrounded by the hangings but, because of the way that Abigail, Elizabeth, and the other women are treated at that the writing of Miller and by the comments of critics. Many people have come out spoken about their lack of enthusiasm over the treatment of these women in the play. Since the debut of The Crucible very little has been said about the stereotypes that have been involved with the play or any of the sexism.

Abigail seems to have a niche for spreading lies and destruction wherever she goes. She has a gift for manipulating people and gaining control over them to get what she wants. Abigail does not have anything holding her back and she does not know the consequences of her actions. She first takes advantage of John Proctor while his wife is dealing with illness, then she uses witch craft to cover her secret affair. She lacks respect for his marriage and for herself. She represents the secret life of the sinners and the hypocrites in Salem. Abigail threatens and scares all the girls in to silence when she says, “Now look you. All of you. We danced. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam's dead sisters. And that is all. 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. And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down! She goes to Betty and roughly sits her up. Now, you-sit up and stop this! But Betty collapses in her hands and lies inert on the bed”. (1.2.113-132). This quote shows that Abigail possesses all of the power and how ruthless she is. Instead of Miller depicting Abigail as the typical weak creature as most women were seen at the time, he took a different route. He shows her as a deceitful woman who can only get what she wants by being dishonest. Why does Miller use Abigail in this way to represent a woman? Why does he show her as a manipulative monster? Miller could have taken a gone a different way when it came to Abigail. He could have chosen to shown her as respectful intelligent young girl, but instead he chooses to showcase her as a scheming teenager. One of the choices he made was to make Abigail a harlot. It is demeaning to women that he decides to make one of the main characters something disgraceful. Miller uses lust to illustrate how he wanted woman to be seen. Abigail could not have been an honest woman...

Cited: "Feminist Approach on "The Crucible"" Prezi.com. Ed. Isaiah Husted. N.p., 8 Nov. 2012. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, NY: Penguin, 1996. Print.
Murray, Matthew. "Talkin ' Broadway Review: After the Fall." Talkin ' Broadway Review: After the Fall. N.p., 29 July 2004. Web. 16 Oct. 2013
Orwell, George. BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
Reed, Julia. "The Interview: Robert Harling." Gun & Garden. N.p., Dec. 2012. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
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