Personal And Social Struggles Essay

1283 words - 6 pages

Personal and Social Struggles Within Salem
Although a strict society composed of high morality and disciplinary laws may be necessary for safety, it causes internal conflicts within the individuals. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, , a theocracy rules in Salem and attempts to guide the citizens to do what is “right,”, but this eventually backfires because of issues of reputation and jealousy. Society has a lot of influence on the citizens, and when one has a bad reputation, it becomes nearly impossible to live in a Puritan society. The personal struggles of John Proctor and two deceiving girls in the Puritanical society of Salem affect the society overall through the hysteria of the witch trials.
Abigail’s personal desires are her struggles and are forbidden in her society, causing her to lie. However, this also creates further social problems, such as the initiation of the witch trials. After Betty is stuck in a coma, Reverend Parris questions Abigail about the night in the woods because he is suspicious but she denies that it had anything to do with witchcraft. Abigail tells Parris that she and Betty “never conjured spirits” (24). Abigail lies to Parris by denying that witchcraft ever occurred and by saying that all they did was dance. Witchcraft and dancing are both sins in the society, and thus she knows with her reputation at stake, she lies in order to appear innocent. However, Parris wants to be sure and calls Reverend Hale to look further into the issue. Once Reverend Hale comes into town, he questions Abigail about the night, and she once again denies all of his accusations. When Abigail is being questioned by Hale, Tituba enters and Abigail screams, “She made me do it! She made Betty do it! She makes me drink blood!” (45). Abigail denies everything that Hale says and immediately puts the blame on Tituba to make herself look innocent, once again attempting to preserve her reputation. As a result, Tituba is forced to lie to save her life and confesses to being involved with the devil, which inspires Abigail to do so as well. This creates hysteria and panic throughout Salem, consequently initiating the witch trials. Abigail’s longing for John Proctor cannot be fulfilled because he is a married man and having a relationship with him would defy the rules in the Puritan society. Once the trials have started, Mary Warren informs Elizabeth that she had been accused of witchcraft. John and Elizabeth both know it’s Abigail, and Goody Proctor fears that, “she thinks to kill [her], then to take [her] place” (64). It is evident that Abigail is dishonestly accusing Elizabeth because she wants her to be dead so she can have John all to herself. Consequently, this affects the trials because the issue of lechery is brought up when Elizabeth is called to the stand but she denies the affair, while Proctor confesses to the affair. As a result, this makes Abigail look strong and makes both of the Proctors look like liars. The Puritan society forbids...

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