The Crucible: Plot And Conflict

1490 Words 6 Pages
Kieran Press-Reynolds AP English Language
August 20, 2015
Novel Analysis Assignment
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Plot and Conflict
The Crucible is a story about the power of theocracy and how hysteria corrupts it. It takes place during the seventeenth century in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts. Initially, the young girl Betty Parris, who is acting unusual and bedridden, is rumored to have been bewitched. Her father, Reverend Samuel Parris, does not want his daughter to be called a witch, because it would taint his name and career. However, he saw his niece Abigail and Betty doing suspicious activities the night before, so he questions Abigail. Abigail blames the witchcraft on Tituba, Parris’s slave. Tituba eventually confesses to witchcraft,
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Initially, she comes off as lonely, cold, and sad as she knows that her husband cheated on her with Abigail. She tries to pressure John into revealing Abigail as a liar and false accuser, “John, if it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now? I think not.” (52). However, it is too late: Elizabeth has already been accused, and now men have come to arrest her. Throughout the story, she fights both internal and external conflicts - the internal conflict of forgiving her husband, and the external conflict of being accused for witchcraft. She is a flat character and somewhat complex, because although she remains loyal to John throughout the novel (loyal wife stereotype), she also learns to forgive him at the end. However, her continuous faithfulness makes her static, and it also backfires against both her and John. During the climax, when Danforth questions her about whether John is a lecher, she denies it, making John exclaim “She only thought to save my name!” (105). However, it was too late. She sealed the fate of herself and her husband. Eventually, her husband was arrested and, because he did not want to lie, he did not confess to witchcraft and was hung. Four years after his death, she remarried. Her purpose in the book was to invoke John to attempt to disprove Abigail and the other false accusers. (255

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