Power And Lust Essay

1203 words - 5 pages

Unlike other girls, Abigail is a manipulative and “striking beautiful” girl, who, after dancing in the forest naked and drinking blood to kill her lover’s wife, becomes an overnight sensation and starts doing “God’s work.” The Crucible explores the effect of lust, greed, and jealousy of individuals in the tight religious Puritan community of Salem. The protagonist, John Proctor, is a respectable and seemingly righteous man who struggles with sin of committing adultery with his former servant, Abigail Williams. As the first accusation by Abigail comes into effect, the people of Salem begin to exercise their personal and social motives in the community and start naming their neighbors and enemies as witches. In Arthur Miller’s portrayal of the Salem Witch Trials, the personal motives of the characters combined with their social struggles motivate the actions of the characters and the events surrounding the Witch Trials.
Abigail’s lust for John Proctor as well Parris’ desire to maintain his reputation in the society prompt the beginning of the Witch Trails. Abigail, after having an affair with Proctor, she continues to have lust for him and struggles with the fact that Proctor is married to Elizabeth. In hopes to become Proctor’s wife, Abigail drink “a charm to kill Goody Proctor” at night after dancing naked in the forest (18). It is her lust for John causes her be immensely jealous for Elizabeth and thus motivates her to dance in the forest at night, a performance of the forbidden and what is viewed as a sign of witchcraft. When questioned by Hale if she has “call[ed] the Devil,” however, she answers with certainty that she “never called him” but rather it has been “Tituba, Tituba” (40 ). Her denial of performing witchcraft herself and the immediate accusation of Tituba confirm the very existence of witchcraft and plays a significant role in the beginning of the witch hunt as she begin to accuse others, especially Elizabeth Proctor. While Abigail purposes her action of dancing in the forest as an expression of her personal lust for John Proctor, Parris fears that her outrageous action would cause his reputation in the community. After Abigail has danced in the forest, he angrily tells Abigail, “There is a faction that is sworn to drive me from my pulpit. Now…in the midst of such disruption, my own household is discovered to be the center of some obscene practice” (10). Abigail’s action of dancing in the forest proves to be a great personal and social danger for Parris as he has worked three years to become a minister and tries to gain respect of the people. He fears that because his own niece has been discovered performing witchcraft, his political enemies would use it as evidence to take his “pulpit”, meaning that they would ruin his high social status as a minister in Salem. In order to save his good reputation, he supports Tituba and Abigail’s false confessions and accusations of Sarah Good and Goody Osburn for being witches. Through...

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