The Crucible: Plot And Conflict

Improved Essays
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,
…show more content…
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    She is a very self-righteous woman and believes in always doing the right thing. Elizabeth is a protagonist of the story. She is a flat character for she isn’t described by Miller in detail, and she is a stereotyped character: “Whatever the situation is, she is always devoted to John: “… when you come to know that I will be your only wife, or no wife at all!” (59). But she also feels uneasy with her marriage to John since figuring out John’s and Abigail’s affair. Elizabeth fires Abigail and the couple’s relationship goes to strain: “Elizabeth, with a smile, to keep her dignity: John, if it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now?…

    • 1441 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    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. The court will not know what to do because they do not know if what Abigail is saying is true or not. Abigail telling this to her uncle affects the trials by the court jailing and hanging innocent people. When no one knows if the rumors are true they start to accuse innocent people like Giles’ wife. Giles states, “They be tellin’ lies about my wife, sir, I-” (III, i, 79-80).…

    • 1416 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Beware of it!” (108) Abigail had so much with the idea of “power” in her head this made her threaten the head judge which is a reverend. Also, Abigail began accusing her friend, Mary Warren; who betrayed her as a witch. Proctor tries to help Mary, but Mary so terrified about being accused and of Abigail. She cries out, “You’re the Devil’s man!” (118) To John Proctor. Abigail’s actions on accusing her friend that betrayed her made her, Procter, get charged.…

    • 952 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    941). Finally coming forth with the thought that it is nothing but lies from young Abigail and her friends that have been too scared to stand up to her. Even after speaking to Danforth, Danforth then accuses him of being scared to be questioned in Salem. Reverend Hale on countless occasions tries to get Danforth to listen to him to stop the hangings after John Proctor 's wife, Elizabeth, had been accused by Abigail for witchcraft.. “I may shut my conscience to it no more- private vengeance is working through this testimony!” (Hale, Pg.949). Only for Hale to be cut off by Abigail’s false screams of terror to distract Danforth from paying attention to Hales accusations, just to make sure he doesn’t start to question her about lying.…

    • 1197 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Abigail's ambition to be with John created such a conflict that she blamed Elizabeth, his wife, of witchcraft so that she would be hung and Abigail could be with Proctor. If Proctor would have been open and honest with the judges about Abigail, all the accusations would have been prevented. Also, John’s lust can be seen when he talks to his wife after his return home from Salem. Elizabeth faintly remarked, “You were alone with her?” John replies, “For a moment alone, aye” (167). Here, the reader can see that Proctor still has feelings for Abigail even though he knew the trouble it would cause.…

    • 798 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Abigail soon begins to believe that she is invulnerable and that she can cry witchcraft upon whomever she wishes. One day, she attempts to blame Reverend Hale’s wife of witchcraft. Danforth and the other representatives of the court are appalled. They all conclude that a reverend’s wife would not do such a thing (The Crucible). Abigail seeks revenge on Reverend Hale for simply returning back to Salem because she sees him as a threat.…

    • 1030 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He is guilty of his affair with Abigail; however, he is stumped when trying to save both Abigail and Elizabeth. In act one, during his private conversation with Abigail, he is very timid when approaching and condoning Abigail. However, towards the end, he does stand up for what he believes is right. “I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again” (Miller 23). A couple lines down, when Abigail insults his wife, Elizabeth, he rises in anger to defend her (23).…

    • 1161 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Her affair with John Proctor was caused by sexual repression. The feeling of shame Abigail has for herself after her parents have died, she has chosen to make up for with a sexual relationship with a man much older than herself. This act of adultery has negatively affected the town’s people. The town of Salem is now in controversy while discussing the matter of the affair and whether or not, the Devil was an influence. The act of adultery has as well made a victim out of Elizabeth Proctor in the sense that Abigail seeks out Elizabeth’s death, so that she may keep John for herself.…

    • 986 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They accuse a large number of women for witchcraft. A while before Abigail makes such a lie, she acts as a servant for John Proctor and his family. However, she is kicked out once John’s wife finds out Abigail’s has sex with John. Therefore, the Proctor family hires a new servant, Mary Warren. Abigail is furious, so she creates the witchcraft lie in order to have revenge on John’s wife, Elizabeth.…

    • 1317 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jealously can best be seen in the character of Abigail Williams. Abigail is jealous of Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor’s wife, because she believes that John Proctor still has feelings for her after their affair. “I have a sense for heat, John, and yours has drawn me to my window, and I have seen you looking up, burning in your loneliness,” Abigail asserts confidently to John Proctor. This quote suggests that Abigail still believes that John has feelings for her even after he denies his affection. In an attempt to destroy Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail accuses Elizabeth of witchcraft with the hope that she will be tried and hung by the court.…

    • 1007 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays