The Crucible is a story of the many wrongs that come from the town of Salem during 1692. The power that is brought fourth through revenge, deceit, paranoia, and sheer naive ness, is enough to turn the town of Salem, Massachusetts upside down. It results with the death of twenty innocent people and the jailing of hundreds more. The surge of power through the young women of Salem, who had never tasted power before complied with the struggle between good and evil are two main points in the play. Abigail Williams is the main instigator in all of the play.
She is the ringleader of all the young women in Salem. The minute she feels or sees a “spirit” all the other girls miraculously see and feel them too. Abigail has her eyes set on John Proctor and uses the witch-hunt to take his wife out of play. She discovers that with her new found power all she has to do is accuse someone and they can be condemned. Her hatred for Goody Proctor is evident as in her quote to Rev. Parris, “ She hates me, uncle for I would not be her slave. It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman, and I will not work for such a woman! (Act 1 PG 11) The power behind the girls accusations is amazingly large, through all their spectral evidence that was taken for by Danforth and Hathorne. “I tell you straight, Mister—I have seen marvels in this court. I have seen people choked before my eyes by spirits; I have seen them struck by pins and slashed by daggers. I have until this moment not the slightest reason to suspect that the children may be deceiving me. ” (Act 3 PG 84) The power these girls got from the court is a monster that is ever present throughout this play. However along with power comes something much worse which is evil.
During the correspondence of the Salem Witch Trials there is a presence of a struggle between good and evil the power of the Puritan Lord and the Devil. Some characters including Danforth and Hathorne who believe they are working on behalf of their lord are actually indeed considered two evils of this play, along with the main instigator, Abigail. “And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.
And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on their pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down! ” (Act 1 PG 19) Abigail is a true work of evil in this play. She decides to go after Goody Proctor who is a pure Christian woman. Even her husband John Proctor knows that his wrongful misleading with Abigail shouldn’t be brought down upon Elizabeth. “My wife will never die for me! I will bring your guts into your mouth but that goodness will not die for me! (Act 2 PG 76) Between John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, Rev. Hale, and Mary Warren there is a force of good to go against the evil of this play. Even though Mary Warren had originally been accusing people and faking illness in the court, half way through she has a change of heart. She discovers the effect that the other girl’s accusations are having on her town and want to stop it before Goody Proctor is hanged an innocent woman. Just as Rev. Hale was all about witchcraft at the beginning but by the end he had denoused the trials and only stayed to try and save John.
Which he wouldn’t succeed at. The struggle is one that is readily very unfair. By the end of the play it is evident that in a way Evil has conquered good. It was an unfair battle, with the high-ranking judges and power of Abby’s words against the farmers and uneducated townspeople of Salem. The Crucible is a teaching of how power gives people a sort of evil and how evil can easily conquer good. These are demonstrated throughout the play. As a message to us all of what power can do in the wrong hands.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 5 January 2017
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