In any unfavorable situation, we seek a solution and if there is none, then a way out. When one of main characters of Arthur Miller's The Crucible finds herself in a vulnerable position, she not only manages to escape her problems, but also succeeds in placing the repercussions of her actions on the heads of others. An unmarried and orphaned young woman, Abigail Williams comes from a modest social class. She served in the well-respected Proctor household, but only briefly, as Elizabeth Proctor dismissed her shortly after discovering her husband's affair with Abigail. With no real buttress of any kind in her life, Abigail only has her good name to lose. The niece of Reverend Parris, Abigail not only fears for her reputation if the word of her relationship with John Proctor were to be known, but also the contempt of her only relative in the town and with him, any chastisements the church may administer. Abigail also fears being an outcast, someone on a rung of society's ladder that is even lower than her own. With her reputation ruined, she would be forced to live in shame as a so-called harlot.
[...] Again, she fears being an outcast and expelled from the church although more subtly, in the strict, pious society she lives in, Abigail is reluctant to break from its expectations because without the church she would be venturing into the unknown and therefore she does not want to be without religion. Overwhelmed by all these fears, Abigail divides herself between self-preservation and raising her social status and recognition in the town by manipulating others. Abigail is mainly motivated by her need for power and control. [...]
[...] When already-hesitant and reluctant Mary can no longer stand the pressure of the judges telling her to confess, Abigail claiming to be haunted by her spirit, and John Proctor telling her to go on, Mary decides to give in to Abigail. And though Abigail is the real perpetrator, she manipulates people into thinking she is the victim and her infinite charity, reaches out and draws the sobbing Mary to (119). Her assertive manner with the judges is also intimidating and its strong contrast with the way she uses her helplessness and the fact that she is a victim in all this convince others that she can't possibly be wrong. [...]
[...] Abigail Williams is crucial character in Miller's play and serves to answer the reader's question, could something like this happen?” The main reason the Salem Witch Trials did take place was because people were so latched on to their beliefs that they were blind to the truth. Abigail's momentous role shows that it only takes one person and that one person can be capable of bringing about so much destruction. But what happened cannot be completely attributed to Abigail because she never could have made an impact if the people of Salem didn't believe in witchcraft already. [...]
[...] When Betty Parris, a girl who witnessed the witchcraft in the woods, falls sick, Abigail makes sure that Betty keeps her silence by trying to assure her that she has the situation under control. When Betty is unconvinced by Abigail and shouts for her mother, Abigail makes Betty feel helpless and implies that she's the only one who can help her by saying, “Your mama's dead and buried” (19). This is a cold remark, showing that Abigail neglects the feelings of others to get her point across. [...]
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