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Despite their being total opposites, Abigail and Elizabeth are Clearly Products of a Puritan Society. How far do you agree?

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Introduction

Despite their being total opposites, Abigail and Elizabeth are Clearly Products of a Puritan Society. How far do you agree? Both Abigail and Elizabeth are products of a Puritan society but they are both total opposites. Abigail is young, cunning, rebellious, and very authorative and does not go by the rules of a Puritan life whereas Elizabeth is a dedicated housewife who cannot be judged on her Christian life and is perfectly happy with the Puritan code. Although their way of life might be totally different, they do have some kind of similarities and this can be seen as the play goes on. The Puritans have very strong beliefs about conduct and if the people of that society go against the beliefs they are thought to have a connection with Satan or witchcraft. Non-conformity leads to suspicion and severe punishment. The Puritans have a strong belief in the presence of Satan and also believe in witches. Being in a Puritan society they need to follow religious practices, read the Bible and accept authority of the church and its minister. They don't believe in entertainment or dressing up because this might cause people to become vain and this will tempt sinning. ...read more.

Middle

This is the only thing in the whole play where the audience can actually feel sorry for Abigail. As the play goes on this feeling for Abigail by the audience changes because she becomes more and more manipulative and vindictive. Her attitude to Mary Warren is very cunning as she makes the people in the play believe that Mary Warren is scaring her in an indirect way. This can be seen in the yellow bird scene. This makes the audience's hatred for Abigail to grow. 'A wind, a cold wind, has come.' (Her eyes fall on Mary Warren). When the girls shout and get louder, Mary gets weaker but at the same time angrier too. Mary bursts out and starts crying because of the torture that she was going through, she had no choice and this was all because of Abigail's wickedness. Abigail does no think about anyone but herself and she makes innocent people to be the 'criminals.' Elizabeth has all the values that a woman of the Puritan society admires although she is not without personal flaws. John chooses Elizabeth over Abigail because Elizabeth an excellent Puritan women and he is aware of her goodness; she is a perfect role model for the Puritan society. ...read more.

Conclusion

Elizabeth, once again, does it for a good cause and Abigail, once again, does it for a bad cause. Elizabeth does it to prove that she's a good woman and Abigail does it to get John. The causes for their misdoings have been the same throughout except that Elizabeth does it for a good cause and Abigail does it for a bad cause. Elizabeth is a model Puritan woman and although she shows some coldness of spirit, it can be understood in terms of Puritan repression of discussing emotions. Abigail's attitude towards the Puritan society can be understandable if she had done something far less cunning than this but what she did was unforgivable as it cost so many innocent peoples lives. At the end of the play Abigail runs away and this is evidence for her guilt and then she becomes a prostitute, which is evidence for lust for sexual freedom. I would conclude that Abigail is a definitely not suitable for a Puritan society and that Elizabeth definitely is. They do have some similarities but that can hardly make both of them the same because Abigail is full of evilness and Elizabeth is full of goodness. ...read more.

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