Literary Analysis On "The Crucible" By Arthur Miller; Witchcraft Accusations: Childish Game.

1789 words - 7 pages

In the time period of 1692, when the Puritans came to this country for religious freedom, they had a strict moral code which everyone in the village lived by. Religion was especially important. The state was founded on religion, built on religion, thrived on politics, which proved to be a very social life. Witchcraft was looked down upon by religious groups, whom believed that witches could cast spells on people. They had a great fear of defying God and also believed that they should do all in their power to punish people who would do just this.Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" is an excellent example of how all of these morals and beliefs are disassembled simply by the emotion, vengeance and misunderstandings stemming from five seemingly ordinary girls. Each of the characters plays an important role in creating this hysteria known as the Salem Witch Trials. From the beginning, when the girls were caught dancing in the woods by Reverend Parris, until the very end, when John Proctor is accused of being a witch himself, false beliefs keep this big misunderstanding from ending. With these thoughts in mind, one may believe that the whole witchcraft scare was completely fabricated. The evidence to support this conclusion can easily be found by looking a little deeper into the literature.Abigail Williams, who was caught dancing in the woods by Reverend Parris, was a very manipulative person. Portrayed as a leader of the girls who began this epidemic of accusing people of witchcraft. She instills fear in the other girls convincing them to do what she says. Obviously, the suspicion of witch craft isn't proving anything since she threatens the girls so they don't tell the truth about dancing in the woods. Abigail instills fear in the other girls by using past experiences from her own hard life to threaten them. Abigail to Betty and Mary Warren threatens:"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!" (Miller 132).Simple threats like these assist the witchcraft hysteria. This last quote by Abigail can lead one to believe that she may have known what she was doing. She had found a way to use this to her advantage; getting back at the people who had wronged her.Abigail secretly had an affair with John Proctor while she worked in his home. John asserts that he wants nothing to do with Abigail, yet she is still infatuated with him. Elizabeth, John's wife, dishonored her because of this. Abigail held an on-going grudge against Elizabeth. To Abigail, accusing Elizabeth could the perfect revenge. Abigail wanted Elizabeth to die so her and John could "dance on her grave". Quickly she was made aware of...

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