Causes Of Fear In The Crucible

Improved Essays
Fear is what motivates people's actions. No matter what your social status you are in you fear something. The feeling of fear can lead to the feeling of hysteria. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Around the late 1690’s, A little town in Salem, Massachusetts started to fear everything that was going on with witchcraft, hanging, and losing power especially Mary Warren, Thomas Danforth, Samuel Paris, and the low class women . This fear caused hysteria in Salem which led to the deaths of 20 innocent people. If they thought rationally and didn’t let the hysteria get to them, they could have spared all the innocent lives of the citizens. Throughout the story, a group of young girls led by Abigail Williams accuse others within the …show more content…
Mary Warren, a maid for John and Elizabeth Proctor, participated in the accusations of civilians. Not only did Mary Warren know that her actions were wrong, but she also knew the reasoning behind Abigail's actions as well. Abigail’s actions were due to the fact that she had sexual relations with John Proctor and wanted to get his wife out the picture. Additionally, Abigail was thought of as a whore and was essentially an easy target to blame. Instead of telling people all of Abigail's motives, Mary stayed quiet out of fear. Mary Warren feared Abigail Williams. She feared Abigail because she thought that Abigail would kill her. “She’ll kill me for sayin’ that!” (Miller 930). Mary believes that the group of girls will turn on her and shame her. “I cannot, they’ll turn on me” (930). In a time when women were treated as a second hand citizen, Mary truly cared about the group's opinion because they made her feel as if she had an important role in society. Mary was generally afraid of people and how they felt about her. She would finally speak out against Abigail's lies because she now was afraid of John Proctor after he abused her for not telling the truth. Struggling to escape him... grasping …show more content…
People with higher power usually do what's best for them and not for everybody. They fear losing their power and respect and hysteria builds up where do they would do anything to keep their power and respect. This is exactly what happen with Reverend Parris and Judge Thomas Danforth. They were both high class citizen as Paris as a reverend and Danforth as a Judge. Reverend Parris could have ended the witchcraft rumor right when it started to come out. He was the one that discovered the girls dancing with Tituba in the forest. One of the girls fainted while being discovered which made the town wonder what were they doing in the forest. Abigail said they were dancing but no one believed her and with the hysteria of witchcraft spreading they chose to believe that Tituba,black slave, was conjuring spirits. Reverend Parris could have confirm that they were dancing but he was more concerned about how people would look at him now since his daughter Betty and niece Abigail was one of the girls dancing. ”Uncle, the rumor of witchcraft is all about, I think you'd best go down and deny it yourself...And what should I say to them? That my daughter and my niece I discovered dancing like heathens in the forest” (887). Parris feared that no one would respect him if someone found out the truth since dancing is forbidden in their society. For

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    She initially tried to go after Elizabeth Proctor to get her true love John Proctor. She felt manipulated and wanted the blame put on other people’s shoulders that she felt was targeting her. They abuse their power in the court convicting their critics. Not only should the girls be blamed for all the convictions, but so should society and the judges for being so gullible into believing the girls. Even at the end, Abigail and Mercy Lewis stole Parris’s money and fleeted, the judges knew they had been lying but also didn’t want to take the blame or lose their pride for killing so many people and standing on the girls side.…

    • 1032 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    There are many different rumors going around about the witch trials so it was hard to see if they were right or not. Abigail confronts to Parris, “We did dance, uncle, and when you leaped out of the bush so suddenly, Betty was frightened and then she fainted. And there’s the whole of it” (I, i, 92-95). Abigail is telling her uncle a lie that they do not have anything to do with witchcraft. When Abigail tells her uncle this she is causing a problem with the witch trials because she is stating that Betty just fainted when she could be cursed with witchcraft.…

    • 1416 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    She was afraid the people of the town would hurt or kill her for her actions. To conclude, the rumors that were created and spread by the people of Salem, affected them, their families, and how they lived greatly. There were many people that started these rumors and were affected by them, but I believe that Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor, and Abigail Williams, were negatively affected the most out of everyone else. The Crucible was all about these rumors and the affects they had on the people and town. The Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism were the root of all fear and evil in this time in US history, by spreading rumors of terrible things that caused chaos across many…

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Abigail seeks revenge on Reverend Hale for simply returning back to Salem because she sees him as a threat. This backfires on Abigail because it alienates her from the court and they become skeptical of her and her actions. She soon realizes that she cannot stay in Salem after this accusation, and makes plans to leave. Reverend Parris experiences the same kind of hate from Abigail: “I cannot think they would run off except they fear to keep in Salem any more. Mark it, sir, Abigail had close knowledge of the town” (Miller 1322).…

    • 1030 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “ She’ll kill me for sayin’ that! Abby’ll charge lechery on you, Mr. Proctor.” (Miller 38). Mary Warren is so scared to tell the people in the court that Abby is lying and that Elizabeth is not a witch. The last characteristic of Abby’s is she will lie and she is angry. She is angry at Elizabeth, John and Parris.…

    • 1160 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Soon everything started getting so bad that Abigail hurt herself to accuse some women of witchcraft because she wanted revenge with what happened with her. Damaging society is easy with a hive mind mentality. Salem was caught in the midst of evil even being a religious community. Their way of life made things the domain of evil. False claims of witchcraft by Abigail Williams and her group cause Salem to have hysteria, it ruined families, it caused havoc, and killed innocent people.…

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “Excellency, does it not strike upon you that so many of these women have lived so long with such upright reputation, and-”(Proctor, pg.938) Proctor from the beginning knew that all of the girls were merely scared of Abigail Williams and scared of losing their good reputations. But while the girls were trying to keep their good reputations they were damning the reputations of everyone that people were accusing in Salem. While most believed and took advantage of the hysteria, John Proctor did not believe or accuse anyone. As the lies and hangings grew, John could no longer stand by, he got his house maid,Mary Warren, to confess that Abigail had been lying the whole time and got her to go into the court to testify against them. While Mary had attempted that the girls had been lying.…

    • 1197 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She did something she shouldn’t have done, doesn’t allow others to tell the truth about her, and she creates mass hysteria with the other girls. At the beginning of the book when Abigail was having a relationship with John Proctor, the past guy she was a servant for, she thought nothing was wrong. Later on in the book she was able to use it against him. When she was accusing a lot of people of witchcraft, John Proctor didn’t appreciate it but because he knew he would get in trouble if he admitted anything, Abigail had power over him. Yes, Abigail might get in trouble but so would he.…

    • 434 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Part of the reason Abigail is such a nasty person who clearly has emotional issues could be because of the horrors that befell on her parents 9which she was forced to watch). Response- Mary Warren was also one of the girl 's to call out witchcraft. Despite being a good and caring person who feels guilty about spreading lies about witchcraft, she continued to go along with it. She is spineless, and allowed Abigail to intimidate her and scare her into going along with Abigail 's games. Her primary motivation for accusing people of witchcraft is so that she does not get punished by Abigail and the other girls.…

    • 1334 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Fear In The Crucible

    • 1001 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The Salem Witch Trials in the 1690’s brought sweeping fear across the state of Massachusetts. The fear that satan could be lurking around every corner plagued many, but there was no greater fear than that of being accused of witchcraft. The crime of witchcraft was so horrendous that it was punishable by death. This constant scare caused many to turn on one another, in the hopes of saving themselves. Arthur Miller 's play, The Crucible highlights this deceitful society, and portrayed how many characters responded to fear.…

    • 1001 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays