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The Crucible Essay

1318 words - 5 pages

Life in the town of Salem is very monotonous and claustrophobic. The only thing people do in the village is work hard all day long and pray as they believe they will go to heaven for their good deeds. However gossip is rampant, in fact it is the biggest turmoil the town relishes in. Gossip creates some light and excitement in the town and is the people's only escape from the seemingly pointless lives they lead. One night, some of the young girls of the village are caught by Parris in the forest, dancing, one of them in the nude, this is definitely not appreciated in town. The following morning Betty, Parris' daughter, does not wake and so mass hysteria and accusations of witchcraft evolve claiming she is possessed by the 'devil'. Someone must be blamed and so it leads to the ending of Act 1 with the girls Abigail and Betty (waking from her supposed coma) yelling out people's names who are guilty of consorting with the devil, the girls do this to save their own skin and for Abigail it is a chance for revenge.Abigail has a bad name around town. She has had an affair with John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth has soiled her name in revenge for this. Proctor has made up his mind that the affair with Abigail is over and he shows strength of character in refusing her. He has treated her badly. He has abused Abigail's and his wife's trust and taken advantage of Abigail. When found out he got rid of her. She is only behaving naturally, though misguidedly, in wanting him back. When the opportunity arises and she is able to start naming names of supposed witches, Abigail sees the potential for revenge. She takes on the role of repentant sinner, confessing that she has consorted with the devil, but now seeks salvation "I want the light of God…I want the sweet love of Jesus". She is taking full advantage of the blind ignorance of those around her and she is now relishing in the role of being expert witness to the witchcraft. All of a sudden, Abigail's previously poor reputation has been forgotten. Her manipulating ways has won her a chance to save her skin and blame others for her actions.The children of Salem are seen as non important within the society. They must abide by the moral code "walk eyes down and not speak unless spoken to" which they truly hate. Life is very meaningless to them as having any sort of recreational fun is frowned upon. The kids must do what they are told and so in time rebellion will grow till the breaking point.When the accusations of witchcraft occur the kids can not believe their luck. For once in their lives they can talk about their true feelings without being shunned away. They have control of the situation as so many times they have not before. The spotlight is on them now and they love the attention they are given. To make it even more appealing is also a chance to save their skin from punishment. They are no longer the scapegoats and have the power to blame others. Abigail and Betty, in their partly controlled...

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