The Crucible: Abigail Williams is to Blame

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The Crucible - Abigail Williams is to Blame

In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, the main character Abigail Williams is to blame for the 1692 witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Abigail is a mean and vindictive person who always wants her way, no matter who she hurts. Through out the play her accusations and lies cause many people pain and suffering, but she seemed to never care for any of them except John Proctor, whom she had an affair with seven months prior to the beginning of the play. John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth used to employ Abigail, until Elizabeth found out the affair and threw Abigail out. Although John told Abigail that the affair was over and he would never touch her again, she tried desperately to rekindle their romance. "Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I'll ever reach for you again." (Page 23) She claimed that she loved John and that he loved her. Before the play began, Abigail tried to kill Elizabeth with a curse. She thought that if Elizabeth were dead John would marry her. Further into the play, Abigail accused Elizabeth of witchcraft. She saw Marry Warren, the Proctor's servant, making a poppet. Mary put a needle into the doll, and Abigail used that for her accusation. She stabbed herself with a needle and claimed that Elizabeth's soul had done it. Although Abigail claimed she loved John, she may have just loved the care and attention he gave her. John cared for her like no one else had. In a way he could be described as somewhat of a father figure to her. When Abigail was just a child, she witnessed her parents' brutal murders. "I saw Indians smash my dear parent's heads on the pillow next to mine..." (page 20) After her traumatic experience, she was raised by her uncle, Reverend Parris, who is somewhat of a villain. In the play it was written, "He (Parris) was a widower with no interest in children, or talent with them." (Page 3) Parris regarded children as young adults who should be "thankful for being permitted to walk straight, eyes slightly lowered, arms at the sides, and mouths shut until bidden to speak." (Page 4) Therefore, it is obvious to see that Abigail grew up without any love or nurturing.
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