She demonstrates over powering characteristics such as when she threatens the girls to keep quiet about the events in the forest: “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. ” Abigail said this when Betty, another girl involved, wishes to admit they have done wrong but Abigail flies into her now well known furies and threatens all of the girls to silence. Furthermore she manipulates the entire town and eventually sends nineteen innocent people to their deaths.
On the surface Abigail’s motives seem simple, that she has simple jealousy and the will to have revenge on Elizabeth. Abigail is driven only by lust for John Proctor and the need for power. The trials allow Abigail to seize her power and pretend to act as though she has a direct connection to God; this empowers the previously powerless Abigail. Abigail now finds that she has a power over people, and so takes full advantage of it, even a mere accusation from Abigail and the girls is enough to convict even the highest and well-respected occupant of Salem.
She now has the opportunity to accuse people who accused her of adultery; she accuses them of the most evil sin, devil worship. Abigail does this for the sole purposed of separating John Proctor from his wife Elizabeth Proctor and taking her place as his wife. Lastly, Abigail points the finger at Tituba of Witchcraft, and wrong doing. Tituba grudgingly gives in to the claim after the understanding that it was essential in order to save her life. “No, no, don’t hang Tituba! I tell him I don’t desire to work for him, sir” Tituba concocts lies and sends the witchcraft fear further into a sense of fear for the Puritan community.
This event is another mark of Abigail’s character, her ability to manipulate those around her as she sees fit. Abigail surfaces from act 1 of the Crucible as a malicious, manipulative young girl. She saw her parents being murdered by Indians at a young age and was orphaned as a result which could add to her personality as it is now. “I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the pillow next to mine. ” However this does not exclude her from her violent nature as she is clearly shown to be a complex and intriguing character devised by Arthur Miller.
In seventeenth-century society, it would have been uncommon for a man to commit the sin of adultery while he has a family and an average stable lifestyle. The context within the story relate to both John Proctor and Abigail Williams and their relationship behind Elizabeth and in secret. Miller managed to include a different type of language which created a historical feel to the play. This makes it easier for the reader to imagine what the community would have felt like during the 17th Century. Miller is trying to establish a society that is unfamiliar but one that we can believe in.
He combines various features of language to help do this; a few of them are: Changing the normal word order, “I like not to search a house,” “What say you now? ” Using old-fashion styled words, “Aye” and “Nay,” (Meaning yes and no) “Hearty” (Well) Creating an informal, laidback style by dropping the final ‘g’ from words, dreamin’, carryin’ and nothin’. The language of the play therefore is an essential aspect of its power. Salem is ruled by the church, everyone’s beliefs lead back to the church. Strong religious rules are enforced by the church and its people to ensure no evil would take over Salem.
Arthur Miller mixes both the 17th Century Salem and the 20th Century U. S within the Crucible. As the United States also have strong laws enforced by the government and has a fear of communism just as Salem has a fear of the Devil taking over. Most of the play relates to McCarthyism in a different context as Miller saw the similarities between McCarthyism and the Salem witch trials which create two very different but almost the same parallel situations; Involving all four main criteria, Hysteria, Paranoia, Panic and Suspicion.
The history which Arthur uses deals with many elements such as false accusations, fears and humankind nature. He includes many historical events, facts which allow people to see McCarthyism in a different view as they might have had before. McCarthyism was a movement involved in the hunting down and exposing of people who were communist or communist related; those found guilty were not executed like they would have been in the other situation of Salem witch trials but many suffered damage to there reputations and lifestyles.
The Crucible tells about people who have lived in a social society where authority needs to be questioned and where opinion leads to punishment and rejection. It is in human nature for greed like it was for Putnam’s greed for land and the suspicion of foreigners like Tituba in the time of Salem. These are still carried on to this day but are not as serious as they would have been previously. In conclusion as John Proctor feels strongly about his reputation and moral status he still feels like he has admitted he has done wrong, as a lie, but would not take the full responsibility of losing his livelihood and pride.
The wider political contexts are to do with McCarthyism and how America was affected during that time just as Salem was during its Witch Hunts. Arthur Miller refers back to facts and tries to involve many different aspects of Salem while comparing them to America. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gary Chew 10A Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section. Download this essay Print Save Not the one? Search fo