He asked the question in such surprise and disgust, the author has been very extreme in many every day situations that we would think ordinary, another example is, ‘Martha my wife. I have waked at night many a time and found her in a corner, reading a book. Now what do you make of that’ this tells us how the people of Salem cry witchcraft at anyone different, that something so ordinary to us may be deemed evil to another. Arthur Miller shows us how different there morals lie and this in turn contributes to our understanding of how Abigail lets things spiral so far out of control.
When realizing the cultural difference and conversely the vast similarities that, though sometimes unnoticed, effected both the McCarthy trials and correspondingly us today; it makes the reader draw detections from there own lives and feel empathy for the characters and there unfortunate circumstances. The puritan rules add to the hysteria, as it makes simple life choices so dramatic, Marriage is a main pillar of the puritan lifestyle an example of how marriage becomes more imperative is shows this is the name ‘goody’ this is the name given to puritans who are married.
This shows us that to puritans class married women above others. In puritan realign one is not considered an adult until they are married, this also puts pressure on children to find a husband, this status is shown in an argument between john Procter and Marry Warren ‘I’ll whip the devil out of you… go to bed’ -‘I’ll not be ordered to bed any more, Mr. Procter! I am eighteen and a woman, however single’. Marry Warren is generally a timid charter but she wants to be classed as a women despite the fact she is not married and because of that she is forced to speak out.
This quote shows that a The whole of the puritan lifestyle in focused on marriage and church, both of which Abigail is tampering with, and to understand part of the reason as to why the people of Salem were so distort over whelmed and bewildered at how to cope with the accusation of witchcraft is that puritan people live a sheltered life restricted by the enforcers of there realign. An example of this is ‘uncle we did dance…
I’ll be whipped if I must’ to our modern day society and people in the 1950’s this would seem outrageous and over barring that they want to control your life, but author miller is drawing links between capitalism and Puritanism, both trying to control peoples idea and way of life. It proves that the majority of people believe in what there told by there elected authority, capitalists say communism is bad; they then go round destroying the life’s of those who challenge them.
In Salem they say all you must have in your life is church and marriage people that try a devoid from their rules e. g. supposed which’s, were prosecuted and eventually killed. But there comes a point where a person must stand up for what is clearly and ethically wrong, in the McCarthy trial it was Arthur miller through writing this play, and in Slam it was john Procter, the protagonist in this tragedy, the main character, author millers own creation. The author perceptively wrote Abigail’s fictional self based on that of a real person, whose identity adds to the depth of the character; a young girl named Abigail Williams, aged 10 in the McCarthy trials was Arthur Millers foundation for the fictional character that was later formed.
At first the most noticeable feature is there difference in age however when looking at the fictional Abigail Williams immaturity insinuates this make them more similar than first perceived this is shown in the quote ‘[with a flash of anger]: How do you call me child’ this shows her irrational unstable emotions and insecurities and as a result her actions make her seemingly more childlike as she seems to be oblivious to the damage she causes throughout Salem.
This is also displayed in the way she talks to her friends an example is in the quote ‘I say shut it, Marry Warren! ‘ this demonstrate how immaturely and impatiently she deals with people. Another example is though the way she talks to the reverend about others “It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold sniveling woman… Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar! ” she is talking to her uncle a senior and supposedly respected family member refer more a man of highest authority within Salem.
Yet despite this fact she is still rude, unforgiving and disrespectful whilst in the presence of a man of the church Abigail doesn’t refer to her as a person with feelings rather uses the words, ‘it’s’ and ‘woman. Moreover she uses lying, cold and sniveling, three descriptive words to emphasize her point, this repetitive technique is a demonstration of how grammar and techniques like this contribute to her subtle yet calculated persuasion.
Finally even the grand judge of the court Danforth, ‘if you make me answer that question I shall leave and never come back! ‘ this show that even when the truth is shown she is so stubborn that she will deny it until she is blue in face, even when she is about to be proved wrong she stands her ground as she cannot handle anyone challenging her self authority like a child having a temper tantrum. Abigail is determined in her will to acquire john Procter so much so she comes across as spoilt and stubborn.
This is shown in the quote ‘you love me John Procter an what ever sin it is you love me yet’ This childlike character trait is very important as her stubborn and irrational ideas are what drive her to continue accusing witches. Abigail’s sharp mind helps her convincing overpower the people around her. The other girls look up to Abby, she is always sure in herself ‘insert quote’ this makes them idolize her and consequently this prompts the girls do what she wants, an example of this is said by one of the girls Marry Warren ‘what’ll we do?
The whole country’s talking witchcraft! They’ll be calling us witches Abby’ this show that they confide an trust her, she uses Abigail informal name ‘Abby’ this suggest she sees Abigail as a friend, this is supported as they turn to her for advice as she seems more mature, but her scheming mind uses this admiration to force them to do as she demands. Her controlling nature is also apparent in the quote ‘Betty? Now Betty dear wake up now. It’s Abigail. I’ll beat you Betty! …
My you seem to be improving’ she’s uses a rage of different devices to suit the target audience, in this case Betty is a small child, and so she play’s on her dependence on Abigail, by instilling fear this is done through using changes in approach such as variations of tone at first gentle then angry and then comforting, she even resorts to threats till she gets her to talk, she takes the audience through emotional ride with unexpected twists this makes her good not just as a fascinating character but as a device on stage. Secondly innocent people within the village, ‘I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss his hand.
I saw Sarah good with e the devil! I saw goody Osborn with the devil! I saw Bridget bishop with the devil! ‘ this also shows she has no remorse as she continually accuses and as a results has them killed. Thirdly Abigail is clever this adds to her manipulation she works out how to get around people, a quote which shows this is, ‘we danced… that is all… breathe a word about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and’ however although Abigail sees her self in a higher status to the other girls and as such comfortable in making them experience weakness so they feel reliance upon her.
Arthur miller wrote ‘the Crucible’ as a Tragedy this adds to the drama created by the charters, as we know they are destined for a disastrous and untimely end. The author has included typical themes used in a tragedy. Firstly he is describing the downfall of a great man in this case john Procter. What makes him grate is that he is the only person that sees through the high courts for what they really are however he gave in to temptation ‘insert quote about john sleeping with Abigail’ this quote tells us his hubris, his weakness it was that he lusted after Abigail and committed adultery.
She is his weakness an as such is a hamartia, the person that causes the downfall of the protagonist. Abigail’s importance as a hamartia is so vital to the play, so much if she hadn’t of slept with john, the chain of events that led to his death and the many others in the witch trials, wouldn’t have happened. Consequently it’s Abigail’s lust for john that causes her to go to the woods, that starts the witchcraft suspicions that Abigail uses to her vindictive advantage. The start of the Salem witch trial was initiation by Abigail Williams, with the soul purpose of accusing Elizabeth and gets her killed.
She did this because she is assumed with love for john and wants to believe her feelings aren’t unrequited, ‘give me a word, john. A soft word. ‘ (Her concentrated smile and desire destroys his smile)’ the remembrance of the affair makes john uncomfortable and unhappy, this shows that where as Abigail is still hopeful, shown through ‘concentrated desire’ those words show us how unrelenting her love is, she is desperately searching for some reassurance that her feelings are not unrequited.
However Abigail says ‘you loved me, john proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet! ‘ this shows us how insecure she is, that she tries to convince someone to love her, and by saying it out loud she’s almost trying to convince herself. This unrequited love makes us feel sorry for Abigail as she’s desperately trying to make excuses for him. In his quote she says loving her is a sin, this is an important in the puritan lives, as they are meant live for god. If she is a sin it is understandable that he does not show his feelings for her.