Review Of The Crucible

2594 words - 10 pages

Review of The Crucible 'The Crucible' was set in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692. The government
was a theocracy, ruled by god through religious officials. Hard work
and church consumed the majority of a Salem resident's time and within
the community there were simmering disputes over land. Matters of
boundaries and deeds were a source of constant, bitter disagreements.
The Puritans lived a strict, rigid and somber way of life, and had a
predilection for interfering in other's affairs to guard against
immorality. Power was so easily obtained by some because they knew how
to manipulate people, or had power from being in a religious status,
or was simply a male, who were considered god's earthly
representatives.

Abigail is the vehicle that drives the play, she is smart, wily, and
vindictive when crossed, and she has a talent for deception. It is
obvious from the start of the play that she is the villain of the
play, even more so than Parris and Danforth. Abigail is low rung on
the Puritan Salem social ladder, the only people 'below' her are
slaves and social outcasts. For young girls in Salem, ministers and
other males, especially adults, are god's earthly representatives,
their authority derived from on high. So her power in the play is
gained from her beauty, her forcefulness and her ability to manipulate
everyone. Abigail's character is the exact opposite of Elizabeth's,
and represents the repressed sexual and material desires that perhaps
all of the Puritans possessed, but she does not suppress her desires.
And this, along with her willingness to discard Puritan social
restrictions, sets her apart from the other characters, she sees no
folly in her affair with John Proctor. She resents Elizabeth because
she has convinced herself that Proctor is in love with her and not
Elizabeth and in Abigail's eyes Elizabeth prevents her from being with
Proctor. For the first and only time in the play we see Abigail as her
age, Abigail's fantasy reflects her age, she is a young girl
daydreaming about the ideal male, but all other times in the play, she
is projected as older than she actually is.

Abigail bears most of the responsibility for the girls meeting with
Tituba in the woods, when Parris discovers them she attempts to
conceal her behaviour because it will reveal her affair with Proctor,
and if she confessed to casting a spell on Elizabeth this would no
doubt have started herself being charged of Witchcraft. So in order to
prevent these charges and the discovery of her affair as well of the
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