Abigail Williams Motives In The Crucible

During the Salem witch trials, the innocent were murdered. The accusers of the supposed witches often wanted to seek revenge, hope for a better life, and have a role in society. Abigail Williams defines this description of an accuser in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Abigail Williams immorally accuses others of witchcraft in order to gain power, which is her motive for vengeance and her desire to be accepted for who she is, contrasting the ideal image of a powerless Puritan woman in society. This rise to power in order to gain attention in society thus creates an outbreak of social hysteria evident in the play.
Women in all societies are submissive to their husbands. There are different levels of submission in different parts of the world.
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Near the end of Act 1, after Hale questions Tituba about who bewitched Betty, Abigail exclaims, “I want the light of God…I danced for the Devil…I go back to Jesus…I saw Sarah Good with the Devil!” Here, Abigail ‘confesses’ to witchcraft by admitting her encounter with the Devil. Abigail imitates the statements made by Tituba, by revealing her meeting with the Devil, attempting to reunite with God, and finally accuses others of witchcraft. By confessing, she proves her ‘honesty’, although Puritan society values false confessions. Dishonesty is in fact prized in Salem, which Abigail uses to satiate her desires. In Miller’s Why I Wrote the Crucible Miller says, “Fear doesn 't travel well; just as it can warp judgment, its absence can diminish memory 's truth” (Miller). Hysteria—a mass of fear and excitement is what leads Abigail Williams to falsely accuse Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft. Abigail Williams selfishly tries to rid Elizabeth Proctor so she can fulfill her dreams and be with Proctor herself. Miller’s motif of hysteria in The Crucible is evident through Abigail’s faulty logic in blindly accusing an innocent woman. Due to fear of the unknown and not being able to have the life she’s always dreamed of, Abigail blames Elizabeth of witchcraft, creating a mass of hysteria that spreads through Salem like wildfire. Additionally, in “Society vs. the Individual in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible” Bonnet describes “selfish quarrels occasioned because the individual’s desires are curbed by the authoritative state” (Bonnet) which illustrates Abigail’s strong desires to fit into Puritan society despite her lower status as a woman and previously a servant. The restriction Puritanism has on Abigail is excessive and burdensome and makes her feel the need to express her opinions. Her motives to get what she wants are communicated

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