Abigail Williams in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

analytical Essay
767 words
767 words

It seems unbelievable that Abigail Williams could have caused so much

horror in Salem. How does Millar present the situation as believable

to an audience?

The horror in Millar's novel 'The Crucible' is based on the

accusations of witchcraft in Salem in 1692. A woman called Betty

Parris is caught dancing naked in the woods and goes into a coma like

state. This affects the reader by making them think that Abigail is so

scared about getting caught, she goes into a coma. The reader may feel

sorry for Betty and even shocked by the effect on her.

The story is set in the times of Puritans. Puritans are very

religious, very superstitious people. They basically go to church

every Sunday, do not sin and lead perfect lives. I feel that because

the story is set in times when these people were like a 'cult', at one

mention of witchcraft, the superstition got the better of them and

they were willing to kill whoever was necessary to drive the devil out

of their village. This adds to the horror that Millar was trying to

achieve when writing the story.

The book was set in 1692, and America had just been discovered. As a

new colony had just arrived to America, times were hard and everyone

expected everyone to work to earn their keep and keep their village

running. As people were just discovering this new land, I feel that

the village would have been very religious because people had moved

away from their families and friends, and the only person they could

turn to for help was God. People would also be very weary of anything

out of the ordinary, and the 'satanic ritual' witnessed in the forest

would have definitely got alarm bells ringing.

The first turn of events was a group of girls dancing around a fire,

in the forest, naked. The girls get spotted by Betty's father,

Reverend Parris. After this, Betty falls into a coma, which I feel is

out of fear of being caught. The dancing is next speculated to be a

satanic ritual and a Black nurse named Tituba is blamed as she is

black and stands out (people believe that there is a connection with

voodoo involved).

Soon the neighbours hear rumours of what happened and the first

mentions of Witchcraft are bought up. I think that this scared Betty

even more and this is why she stayed in her 'trance' longer than

necessary. She would have to face the court and the sentence would be

some kind of cruel death. One character in question is Abigail

Williams, she plays on the idea of witchcraft, telling everyone how

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the story is set in times when these people were like a 'cult', at one.
  • Explains that she was forced to sell her soul to the devil but wants to be with god.
  • Explains that abigail had lots of motives to keep the rumour alive and bring it to a conclusion.
  • Analyzes how proctor has a high status in the village, and to ruin john and his family.
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