Our Country’s Good is a play written by Timberlake Wertenbaker, which is based on convicts and Royal Marines that were sent to Australia in the early 1790s as part of the first penal colony. The Crucible written by Arthur Miller in 1953, like Our Country’s Good, were both set in colonial towns in the late 17th Century. During the time, injustice was evident in every day society.
Abigail Williams is one of the characters that Arthur Miller used to demonstrate the theme of injustice. Abigail Williams left the town of Salem confused and crippled in her wake, with many left dead and few to remember the tale. There are several ways that Abigail displayed injustice towards townspeople, her friends, and her enemies. Abigail had a power; a power that could convince anyone that she was right because she was feared. One obvious injustice is that she used this power to kill innocent townspeople because they had to choose between death and damnation. Another injustice is that she was able to accuse people for doing sinful things, when she herself was far from pure. A third injustice is that she used her powers to kill innocent people that she had grudges against. Abigail was a prime example of how Arthur Miller demonstrated his theme of injustice.
Dramatic accusations and confessions are an important aspect of injustice in The Crucible. In the first act, even before the hysteria begins, we see Parris accuse Abigail of dishonouring him, and he then makes a series of accusations against his parishioners. Giles Corey and Proctor respond in kind, and Putnam soon joins in, creating a chorus of indictments even before Hale arrives. The entire witch trial system thrives on accusations, the only way that witches can be identified, and confessions, which provide the proof of the justice of the court proceedings. Proctor attempts to break this cycle with a confession of his own, when he admits to the affair with Abigail, but this confession is trumped by the accusation of witchcraft against him, which in turn demands a confession.
Abigail had the power to accuse and hang virtually anyone she wanted, including John and Elizabeth Procter. Using her “endless capacity for dissembling” she was able to knock anyone she wanted off the face of the earth. She managed to bring about “hard evidence” against John’s wife, so that she could have John all to herself. John Procter knew this, and while he was trying to save his wife, he cried out, “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave!” In this scene, the Judge of course sides with Abigail and the innocent are left to die. Later on in the play, Abigail realises that John will never return to her and she grows tired of playing her game.
In the Crucible, Abby shifts blame for Betty's state by accusing Tituba of using witchcraft to get the girls to go along with the events of the night in the woods. There would be severe repercussions for Abby and the girls being out in the woods and playing with spells in the Puritan society. Her fear for her own safety causes her to throw all blame on Tituba. Abby knows that she will be believed over the black woman, and gets her out of trouble.
Furthermore, in Act II Elizabeth is set up to be arrested to get her out of the way so that Abby will have John to herself. Abby plants a pin in a doll that she has Mary Warren present to Elizabeth. Later, she will feign a pain in the precise area of the doll's pin. Abby considers Elizabeth an obstacle in her quest to have John, and is willing to sacrifice her to get what she wants.
The colony in Massachusetts was set up by Puritans who sought freedom to practice their religion without interference. However, when they set up their towns and villages, they did so with a sense of intolerance for all human feeling and anything that they did not understand. For example, when cattle died, or an infant dies in his crib, or a child is stricken with a strange illness, people blamed it on the forces of the devil among...
Bibliography: The Crucible – Arthur Miller written in 1953
Our Country’s Good - Timberlake Wertenbaker written in 1988
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