In this society, the lower rungs of the social ladder are occupied by young, unmarried girls like Abigail, Mary Warren, and Mercy. Powerless in daily life, these girls find a sudden source of power in their alleged possession by the devil and hysterical denunciations of their fellow townsfolk. The Salem Witch Trials played a major role in giving the people a sense of power. It gave them a voice which they previously didn’t have. The Witch Trials were a sign of rebellion from the people; it was something to believe in.
In 1692, the only reasonable explanation was that specters were hurting them. Specters can be initiated by witches, and that means that there are witches in this village. Before long, more girls from the age of 6-20 were being attacked by specters. People were worried. At last, they concluded that there are witches in their society, and they were strong-willed to find the witches.
There were many people that were women, older, widowed, and on the brink of poverty. But not all these women were put on trial for witchcraft. The problem with the stereotype is that it breaks down once the actual trial starts. If a person who doesn’t fit the stereotype confesses to witchcraft and more importantly for elites, to dealing with the devil than the person is going to be convicted as a witch. Unfortunately for Françette Camont she did fit many of the stereotypes for being a witch and therefore when it was time for her trial it made it that much easier to convict
Events and characters in Millers play reveal the dramatic, anxious, and hysterical actions and allegations that came with The Red Scare. A parallel between McCarthys world and The Crucible is how the people reacted to the thoughts of witches or communists infiltrating their societies and how that resulted in hysteria throughout towns. In Salem confessing and giving up others “witches” was a way to get out of your noose, but was also a way to augment the rumors of witches in Salem. Tituba was forgiven because she confessed to dealing with the devil and for giving up Goody Osborne and Sarah Good. Then Goody Osborne and Sarah Good were known to be witches, proving witches had come onto Salem, and seeding doubts of others innocence and purity.
Many crucial events lead to the Salem Witch trials. The trials ended in a gruesome manner, and conflicts were at the root of the cause. The Salem Witch trials were the result of illogical-mass hysteria, and were induced by grudge holding people who used the trials to harm their foes. The play opened with the girls doing something considered taboo in Puritan society, dancing in the woods. The girls involved in this were Abigail Williams, Betty Parris, Mary Warren, Ruth Putnam, and a few others.
Important to the major development of the plot is the fact that in the forest, Abigail and the others were just playing like witches. But they were following Abigail because she wanted to try to put a curse on a lady named Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail was in love with Mrs. Proctor's husband, John Proctor, and she wanted to some how get rid of Elizabeth. The problem was that as the rumors spread about the devil Abigail went along with it and blamed the slave woman Tituba for forcing her to join the devil. The rising action begins when Tituba out of fear of death starts naming people that she says were with the devil when the devil came to her.
1. In The Crucible, two characters that serve as a foil for each other are Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail. Elizabeth Proctor is known as an honest woman, while Abigail is consistently seen as a dishonest person whose lies result in the widespread paranoia of the Salem witch trials. For instance, after she dances in the forest with other girls, she forbids them from telling the townsfolk about it and accuses other people of witchcraft, which leads to their deaths. Another example is the fact that she had an affair with John Proctor, Elizabeth’s husband, and tries to conceal it because she does not want her reputation to get ruined.
In Salem, around the early 1600’s, witch hunts broke out to try and determine the underlying reason for the twitching and ticking of the citizens. Though, perhaps witchcraft was not the reason for the abnormal ways in which these people acted, but there was a more radical explanation. In the play, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, many young girls of Salem, including Betty Paris, Ruth Putnam, Abigail Williams, and Mary Warren were accused of going into the woods with Reverend Parris’ slave, Tituba, where she apparently had them conjuring Ruth’s dead sisters. To do this, the girls danced around a fire, some naked, all while Tituba sang songs from her native country, Barbados. This, evidently was not something these Puritan girls were to be doing,
As said, it is believed that with little to do in the town and strict Puritan beliefs, the girls had a wide variety of things that could have urged them to do this. One girl, Abigail Williams, niece of Reverend Samuel Parris, was one of the main accusers in the event. When Tituba, the slave in the Parris’s household was trying to tell the girls of a fabricated witch story that ended up causing a huge hysteria that never mean to happen. When word got around about witchcraft in the town, people started getting accused. When Abigail realized what an outcome the hysteria uplifted in the town, it became an obsession.
The confessions bring the case of witchery from the court to the homes of the villagers. Tituba, Reverend Parris’ slave, is one of the first characters to confess, after being falsely accused by Abigail Williams. Tituba ‘is in her forties, from Barbados’ (Act Ι, pg. 6), she is an intelligent woman who observes that if she were to confess to being an agent of the devil, the village, Reverend Hale and members of the church would forgive her and try to find other agents of the devil within the community. Abigail ‘a strikingly beautiful girl, aged seventeen and an orphan with an endless capacity for dissembling’ (Act Ι, pg.6) notices this and decides to follow Tituba.