The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

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The government in the 1950s used the fear in the community to their advantage, as do the characters in The Crucible. Therefore, proving that The Crucible is seen as a social protest against the American government during the 1950s.

In the book, multiple characters use the fear in the community to their advantage, one of them being Abigail Williams. The character, Abigail Williams, has motives against Elizabeth Proctor, and uses the fear of witchcraft in her community to her advantage. Abigail proves that these are her motives when she sticks a needle, "two inches in the flesh of her belly,"(71) and says that it was Elizabeth's, "familiar spirit,"(71) that put it in. As you can see, Abigail has a large dislike for Elizabeth Proctor. She wants Elizabeth out of the picture so that she can have John Proctor for herself. She will only play the game as long as she has to, which for her is when she finally gets Elizabeth in jail.

Another character that uses the fear in the community to their advantage is Walcott. Once the whole town goes mad with the thought of witchcraft, simpletons, like Walcott, see that they can use it to their advantage. They see that they can get revenge on people who they dislike or thought have done wrong to them by accusing them of witchcraft. Walcott does this by getting Martha Corey in jail. Martha Coreys husband, Giles Corey explains the whole situation.
"That bloody mongrel Walcott charge her. Y'see, he buy a pig of my wife five or four years ago, and the pig died soon after. So he come dancin' in for his money back. So my Martha, she says to him, "Walcott, if you haven't the wit to feed a pig properly, you'll not live to own many," she says. Now he goes to court and claims that to this day he cannot ke...


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...the floor- the person's clapped in the jail for bewitchin' them." (50)
It is clear that Abigail has the power here, and likes having it. People are treating her like she is Moses, leading them to a peaceful safety. When in fact she is digging a hole for Salem, and no one knows it but the Proctors. John even says that the town has, "gone so silly,"(51), using the same adjective Abigail used in the beginning of the book. This is curious, because now it is known that at some point Abigail thought the situation was stupid, but now she may not. She probably knows that it is silly, but she just wants to get something out of it while she is in control. What she wants is John Proctor to herself, and Elizabeth out of the picture. With her position, she could probably achieve her goal, but John Proctor would never let that happen.




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The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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