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Explore the role of Abigail in 'The Crucible'. To what extent do you sympathise with her?

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Explore the role of Abigail in 'The Crucible'. To what extent do you sympathise with her? The play is set in Salem, Massachusetts, America. The town was a relatively new settlement and a 'barbaric frontier' to the European world. Residents believed that they could show the world that their way of life was the correct way to live. The society was very strict; enjoyment was forbidden and not expected. There were no novelists, this meant few people wrote about how they lived at the time and so we can only vaguely interpret how they lived. There was no celebration at Christmas or holidays, only small celebration if a new farmhouse was built. People in the village were very hard working and religious and a holiday from work meant a day of prayer. The edge of the wilderness was close by and had occasionally marauding, Indian tribes living there. They believed there were persecuted as their ancestors were, and that the devils last preserve was the forest. The audience can see why a witch-hunt in the town caused so much gossiping and eruptions between people, as there was little events in the town in everyday life. The witch-hunt allowed those in the village to express their dislike for others; long held hatreds could now be openly expressed and revenge could be taken on members of the society. ...read more.


Abigail starts to get violent in her defence as some other girls say they should tell the truth. She threatens the others, 'Let either of you breathe a word, about anything other than dancing, and I will come to you in the black of a terrible night, with a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.' This blackmail frightens the girls to silence. Abigail assures the girls she could do this as she knows what happened when recalling the night her parents were killed by Indians. After the conjuring, Abigail's cousin, Betty, is taken ill and is thought to be dead in spirit. Abigail's uncle, Reverend Parris decides to question Abigail on the incidents of the woods. He is concerned for the welfare of his daughter who is thought to be dead in spirit and so sends for an expert, Reverend Hale. Even at such a tense moment of life and death, Abigail acts in a selfish way. Abigail defends herself and denies anything soiled in her character when Rev. Parris questions, 'Your name in the town - it is entirely white, is it not?' In this sense, blacks are stereotyped harmful and wrong. Parris is asking Abigail if she has done anything wrong to anyone in the village who may be cursing her. ...read more.


He is not prepared to help and support Abby in such though times at which she needs guidance to the correct direction. She is left with no one to turn to and has to try to find her own way out of trouble. Proctor expresses that he does not want to hurt her yet fails to help when she is thrown out of the Proctor's by Elizabeth. As a young girl, I would feel disappointed as all faith is put into your first love and it is thrown away with no responsibility of the love, Proctor. He is unaware of how much pain he is causing Abby. I feel that I would want him back and would do anything to get at him. This aim of need is so strong that a family could be destroyed if a member is lusted after. Knowing that Elizabeth is sick, Abby has more chance to get at Procter and will take the opportunity willingly with little thought of consequences. Over a period, Abigail and the other girls accuse more people of witchcraft in order that know one finds out what really happened in the woods. They pretend to see the devil and say that the devil is ordering them to conjure people into the devils commands. At these times, they scream religious prayers at God, praying the devil to be destroyed. In her attack on proctor, Abigail accuses Elizabeth in dealings with the devil. ...read more.

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