Abigail's Struggles In The Crucible

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Abigail’s Unspoken Innocence

In Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, written in 1953 explains the mass hysteria of the Salem witch trials. The play took place in Salem, Massachusetts; a small puritan town. One night a group of young girls decided to go dancing in the woods; one of which was the 17 year-old Abigail Williams. In the Puritan Religion, dancing is considered a sin, so when Abby’s uncle discovered them he was appalled. The next morning, Reverend Parris’ daughter, Betty, was afraid of getting punished, so she pretended to be sick. Since she partook in dancing the night before, the town concluded that the sickness was witchcraft. Abigail decided to take advantage of the situation and began accusing other people of witchcraft, causing
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Her young age has a lot to do with her actions and even John Proctor refers to Abby as a “child” (Miller 145). By Proctor calling Abby a child, he blatantly acknowledges her immaturity and youth. This is a sign that Proctor took advantage of her for his own selfish reasons, which is another traumatic experience the she is yet unaware of. As a result of Abigail’s adolescence, she fails to see that Proctor continues to take advantage of her and she eventually interprets their situation as love. Even when Proctor tries to tell her that it is over, she denies it and says, “...whatever sin it is, you love me yet!” (Miller 146). Abigail thinks that John is confused when it is really she that is in denial and is unable to see that because of her lack of experience especially when it comes to love and relationships. John Proctor is the only romantic partner that Abby has ever had, so it leads her to believe that their intimacy could be devotion. Abby thinks that Elizabeth is what is blocking John from seeing his true love for Abby, so she has her eyes set on getting Elizabeth out of the picture. Abigail tries to shame Elizabeth’s name every chance she gets and even calls her a “snivelling cold woman” (Miller 146) to her husband.This is a petty attack on Elizabeth which is another display of her childishness. Her unreasonable jealousy is a result of her immaturity because she hasn’t obtained the life lessons she needs to understand the complexity of love and life. Abby’s young age and lack of life involvement defends her actions when it comes to the witch

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