The Crucible

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Witchcraft Pages: 16 (7088 words) Published: May 2, 2006
interpretations of the word crucible as there is for the theme of Arthur Miller's, The Crucible. Closely related to the word "crucifixion", The Crucible is about a man put in a crucible situation, who is forced to choose between life and morality, just as Jesus Christ did. Miller interweaved these scenarios to form the main themes of the play – the problem of making the right moral choice and the necessity of sacrifice as a means of redemption. Both of these themes can be abridged to form one main theme, good versus evil and Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams are a microcosm of what happened in the story because they are opposite of each other, which makes their characters vital to the plot of the story. Their roles are determined by the dichotomy of their characters and what each women represents, what motivates them, and how there decisions and actions influence the conclusion of the story. Based on the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century, The Crucible explores the vulnerability of a society and the difficulty of doing ‘good' in the face of evil and tremendous social pressures. The story takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, were residents go through a high level of hysteria and delirium because of witchcraft accusations made by Abigail Williams and countless other people of the region. This is where good versus evil takes place. Abigail Williams plays a character in this book who caused all the problems. What problems? Well, she told a white lie to keep her and other girls out of trouble, because they were caught dancing (which is not permitted) in the forest. One thing led to another and soon the whole town of Salem was crying, "Witchcraft!" Without Abigail, the book wouldn't be the same. She took advantage of the witch trials to accuse others. She threatened people with their lives to save her own, and also lied to save herself. Abigail Williams was a manipulator, liar, and a cruel person. Abigail Williams was a manipulative person, but the court wasn't observant enough to notice. First of all, she used the Salem Witch Trials to her advantage. She used the situation to get back at people who she thinks threatened her, like Elizabeth Proctor who made Abigail leave her home, because Abigail "…dissatisfied [her]." Abigail pretended to be with the devil and " …saw Sarah Good with the Devil… saw Goody Osburn with the Devil…[and] saw Goody Sibber with the Devil…" Secondly, she was very slick in her ways. She made everything look like some one else did it. Abigail had figured out how to accuse people and "see" their spirits so they would be put on trial. She would be the first person of the afflicted girls to see a spirit. Then all the others would follow along, so the court would automatically believe that they were seeing a spirit. Finally, John Proctor was the only one who didn't believe Abigail was bewitched and seeing spirits. He knew her personally and he wanted to prove to the court that she had been lying. John approached Abigail in the forest and told her that "[he] will prove [her] for the fraud [she is]." She had told him that she lied and that she wanted to see all the hypocrites in the town hung. She wasn't just manipulative, but she was a liar, too. Abigail Williams did not just tell white lies, she told lies that affected the whole town of Salem. For one thing, she wouldn't tell the whole truth. She didn't tell Parris everything that happened in the forest. Abigail didn't tell Parris about the girls running around naked and the drinking of blood. And another thing, she lied to save herself. She lied about being with the devil so she wouldn't get in trouble with her uncle. She also lied about seeing spirits so people wouldn't know she was a fake. In the vestry room of the Salem meeting house, the court was there asking Abigail, questions when all of a sudden, she "saw" a yellow bird that "…[wanted] to tear [her] face." The other afflicted girls followed along and mimicked whatever Mary Warren (an...
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