Examples Of Individual Actions In The Crucible

Better Essays
Victor Gastelum
Shindler
American Literature (3)
23 October 2016
When One Individual 's Actions Affect Others Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a prime example of the impact an individual can have on himself, other people, and on a whole community or society as a whole. Miller’s play takes place in the small village of Salem in colonial Massachusetts. In this village the reader meets a plethora of interesting characters, some are noble and honest while others are selfish and arrogant. The character who has the biggest impact on herself, others, and the community is Abigail Williams. Abigail Williams is one of the teenage girls who started this witchcraft craze in Salem, and she is also one of the reasons why this craze continued for so long.
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Abigail states to a room of Hale, Parris, Putnam, and a few others “I saw Goody Sibber with the devil....I saw Goody Hawkins with the Devil...I saw Good Booth with the Devil” (Miller 45-46), Abigail realizes that if it is found out that she is lying she will be punished severely because people have already hanged for these alleged crimes. In order to avoid punishment she begins to name many people in the town, many of which nobody would ever suspect, and that causes hysteria throughout the town because if these people are witches anyone could be witch. Abigail made Salem a place where everyone was weary of each other because someone could be witch. Another way Abigail had an affect on the community was when she became a court official and people really started to believe her to have the ability to spot witches. She almost got to choose whether a person who be killed or not Elizabeth states “if they scream and howl and fall to the floor-the person’s clapped in the jail” (Miller 50). She affected the community because she could convict anyone of witchcraft and if that person was a true Christian they would never confess which led to them being hung immediately. This ruined lives in the community because mothers, fathers, grandparents, and even children were convicted and charged so families were …show more content…
Abigail very early in the trials already learns that if she wants to rise to power and not be convicted herself, she will need to play on the fear of others. When Abigail is alone with the group of girls she states “Let either of you breathe a word...and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you” (Miller 19), Abigail is intimidating people. This is getting to her ego, letting her head get too big, and starting to ruin her name in the town. Another way Abigail is affecting herself is by bringing Goody Proctor into the trial based on a whore’s revenge which angers Mr.Proctor and he tells the court about the adulterous encounters with which in a small town such as Salem will get around to everyone very quickly which will bring Abigail’s reputation in the town even lower than it was before. By John telling everyone the real reason for this craze Abigail realizes people will want to get revenge on her for all the lives taken so she leaves town but it isn’t easy to start over in a new community with nothing so she resorts to rock bottom, Miller states “legend has it that Abigail turned up later as a prostitute in Boston” (Miller

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