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Crucible essay

In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, there is one character who, because of her

selfish and evil ways, causes the destruction of many people in the town of

Salem. This character is Abigail Williams. In the play, jealousy, and self-

interest are the two characteristics that are seen constantly throughout the

play. These characteristics pertain particularly to Abigail, and give a graphic

description of her life, and how she deals with things in it. Throughout the

play she gets worse and worse each time something major happens.

After her affair and failure with voodoo, she was overcome by love

and jealousy, and she was willing to do anything to get John back to her own

self. Since she was overcome, she had no concern with morals, and starts to

sin heavily by starting the witch trials, which causes the deaths of many

people in the town. Abigail doesn't want anyone to find out that she was in

the forest so she harshly threatens Betty Paris and Mary Warren not to say

anything. "Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the

other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I

will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you... And you know I can do

it... I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down."

She fell in love with John Proctor after their affair, her morals and her

whole life began to fall apart. She started to be overcome with her feelings of

love, and her passion for John was enormous. After she was denied these

things she could no longer control herself, and her whole reason for living

became to get back John. This shows that when a person is given something,

which they enjoy, and even love, and they are denied it, they feel distraught

and they will many times do almost anything to get it back.

She was very desperate and she felt willing to do anything to get back

John for herself. She had been brought up to believe that magic worked, so

she turned to Tituba and her voodoo. Abigail begged her for her help in that

matter, This is shown when Tituba says, "You beg me to conjure! She beg

me to make charm-" Abigail was so desperate to get back John that she even

drank chicken's blood to get him back. She drank this blood charm so

Elizabeth would die. Abigail's progression of evilness and her looking for

help from witchcraft shows that love and jealousy in large quantities can

cause a person to go to what they hate most for help. Abigail goes from her

goodness with internal turmoil, to what she was brought up in Salem to fear,

and despise: witchcraft.

After some thought Abigail realizes that she can use witchcraft to get

back John, though not in the way that she had thought before. She believes

that the only reason that John is not giving in to her is because of Elizabeth.

She realizes that the people of the town are so afraid of the devil, she can use

that fear to discredit, and eventually get rid of Elizabeth, thereby getting

John for herself. She also realizes that if she right away accuses Elizabeth,

the people would not believe her because Elizabeth is too pious. She decides

that if she starts with evil people, and works her way up to the more pious

ones to, finally, Elizabeth she will be believed. This chain of reasoning

causes the deaths of many of the townspeople in Salem. Many people in the

town of Salem think Abigail's doing the right thing by accusing all these

people. They don't know of Abigail's scheme and encourages that these

witches be given their due punishment. Reverend Hale has a conflict with

Abigail's doings but not for the same reason as John Proctor. Hale knows

that Abigail is purging and he really tries to prevent innocent lives being

wasted. John wants to stop Abigail so he can save his wife. Hale wants to

save innocent lives from being unreasonably killed. Hale is a great man who

tries to save lives but John was the opposite and is selfish by just caring

about his wife's life. At the end of the play, however, John realizes his

selfishness and dies while saving his honesty.

Abigail's actions show that once a person begins to do evil things, and

sins, it becomes almost second nature, and they don't really mind it so

much. In time they even don't care at all, and they may even continue to do

sins just for the fun of it. This is shown when Abigail continues to sin, and

continues the witch trials even after she realizes that the plan she hatched to

kill Elizabeth didn't work, and she had not planned to have her love, John,


From Abigail's actions we learn that a person shouldn't base their

whole life on one love or a feeling of jealousy. If they do they can change

their whole life for the far worse. For example, Abigail started to become a

complete villain and the whole course of everyone's life in Salem was

changed for the worse or terminated all together because of her selfishness.

We should all learn to not hook onto any one individual because there are

many other fish in the sea. Besides the fact that it can ruin your life on a

personal level it can ruin many of the people that you deal with on a

everyday basis.



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