Manipulation In Abigail Williams

1344 Words 6 Pages
The Salem witch trials in the late 17th century exposed the flawed structure of the Puritan society in which women, especially young women, held very little power; however, a conniving and mischievous young woman, despite the misogynistic system of the village, rose to the top of society through manipulation and harlotry. Abigail Williams realizes that under normal circumstances, she holds no influence in Salem, but giving in to the irresistible desire for power, she seeks to change this by making a series of baseless accusations against the other citizens in town. The only way for Abigail to move up the social hierarchy in Salem would be to prey on the intense piety and fear of the Devil held by the townspeople and to use it against Salem …show more content…
These actions clearly prove that she has manipulated all of Salem and has participated in harlotry by initiating an affair with John Proctor, a married man. Abigail gets what she wants, regardless of the cost or damage inflicted, which is why she ruins the lives of Tituba, Marry Warren, Sarah Good, Goody Osborn, Bridget Bishop, as well as a marriage, all in her ruthless, lustful quest for power and sex. While some of her ill behavior can be attributed to her tragic upbringing, ultimately, Abigail Williams is a manipulative harlot because she accuses others of witchcraft for personal gain, aggressively exerts her control over the other citizens in Salem, and purposefully attempts to wreck John Proctor’s …show more content…
Her own greedy ambition and lustful desires cause her to soil Goody Proctor’s name in an attempt to break apart the marriage so that she and John may live undisturbed for the rest of their lives. Throughout the story, Abigail continually reminds John Proctor of the affair. When John tries to resist Abigail’s advances and tells her “we never touched, Abby,” Abigail slyly remarks, “Aye, but we did.” She manipulates John Proctor’s psyche by reminding him that he “loved [Abigail], and whatever sin it is, [Proctor] loved [Abigail] yet!” Abigail constantly and manipulatively reminds Proctor of the affair because she wants to keep the scandalous romance alive to fulfill her own lecherous desires. Only a truly selfish and narcissistic person would attempt to manipulate a married man into having a repeated affair. Abigail does not concentrate her efforts only on John Proctor, but also focuses on ruining Elizabeth Proctor’s reputation so that the affair may proceed. While talking to John Proctor, Abigail belittles Goody Proctor by referring to her as a “cold, sniveling woman,” and rebukes John for “bend[ing] to her” instead of to Abigail. Angry that Proctor keeps defending his wife, Abigail spits out that “Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar” who is “soil[ing] [Abigail’s] name in the village!” The selfish and manipulative Abigail cannot stand that John Proctor loves someone else besides her, so she repeatedly

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