Puritan Society in The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

Puritan Society in The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

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The play The Crucible is set in a puritan society; a society which is a theocracy, where priests and church figures have all the power. Abagail; a servant girl becomes the antagonist of the story. Abigail’s character is the victim of the Puritan society in which she rebels.
Abigail’s character is one of extreme manipulation; however it does not start out like this. In the beginning Abagail is an unwedded “orphan” (1.8) who lives with her uncle. This means she is only a little higher than being deemed a slave. This low social status is what drives her lust for John Proctor. Abigail’s main goal is to marry John Proctor and doing so displace his current wife Elizabeth. Abagail and John become seduced by each other and have an affair. “I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge into my heart.” John however has tried to move on from his mistake with Abagail “And now you bid tear me the light out of my heart” (1.24) and redeem his marriage. This hurts Abagail, but then the witch trials begin. Abigail like other towns folk uses these trials to their advantage. Motivated by her lust for John she begins manipulating others around her and eventually schemes a plot to get Elizabeth hanged for witchery. “Abagail Williams, sir. She sat to dinner in Rev. Parris house tonight and without a word she fall to the floor, stuck two inches in the flesh of her belly he draw a needle out. She testify it were your wife’s familiar spirit pushed it in.”(2.74) this shows Abigail’s manipulation of deceiving the people around her and planting false evidence to get Elizabeth accused of witchcraft, so that she may be with John.
However on the other side John Proctor the stories protagonist portrays “the kind of man, even tempered, ...


... middle of paper ...


...w. Ultimately all order is lost and cannot be redeemed by the high court because Danforth “cannot pardon when twelve are already hanged for the same crime” (4.129) Chaos wins the battle against order and thus breaking the power of theocracy in Salem.
Abagail in the end is the victim of Puritan society. She rebelled against the order that gave her no worth, her conflict was individual vs. society. She is told to follow the Ten Commandments, told to “walk straight, and mouth shut until bidden to speak.”(1.4) Abagail who no longer wants to be submissive to Puritan society becomes driven by selfish motives which allow her to rebel. She puts on the mask of deceit and wreaks chaos on her society all in the name of her self progression.
Workscited:
1. Bowers, Kristen. The Crucible by Arthur Miller: Literature Guide. San Dimas, CA: Secondary Solutions, 2006. Print.

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