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The Crucible - Is Abigail a girl or a woman?

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Abigail, a major character in Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible is clearly the villain of the play. And although her character seems less complex than other main characters, the question is often asked whether she is in fact a girl or a woman. There are many factors that argue that Abigail is just a girl such as her age and the way she selfishly manipulates her memories to make even herself believe that John Proctor is actually in love with her but must suppress his emotions because of his wife Elizabeth. This childish fantasy definitely reflects Abigail's actual age and shows her immaturity. But her mental capacity to manipulate not only her friends but a whole town of adults into believing every word she says reveals an older, much more mature side of Abigail. Throughout the play Abigail uses adult language many times. This shows a very adult side to Abigail and proves that other than Abigail's lust for power, she is also very driven by her sexual desire. ...read more.


Lying for this reason is childish and immature but as the play continues and the trial goes on Abigail takes a more adult approach and realises that she can manipulate the situation to her advantage by getting her own way and harming those she dislikes such as Elizabeth Proctor. Another implication of Abigail's apparent adulthood is the fact she is so much more sexually mature than any of the other girls. This sets Abigail miles apart from other girls in Salem due to the repressive theocracy that takes place in the town. She knows how to seduce John Proctor and has done so many times. She uses language that is definitely not childlike or innocent. However, it may have been John Proctor who originally took advantage of Abigail and made her become sexually ready before she may have felt comfortable feeling so. Proctor is very clever when being seductive and complimentary. Another point in the play where John Proctor's nature is shown is when he adds salt to the soup is wife is cooking when she is out of the room and then tells her it is perfectly seasoned. ...read more.


"I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine", Abigail tells her cousin Betty. This experience obviously scarred Abigail badly and could be responsible for the sinister side present in Abigail. This experience may also have caused Abigail to grow up faster than her age and reach adulthood far before any of the other girls in Salem. The fact that Abigail uses her language differently in these three situations may also prove she has a very clever streak that allows her to manipulate her words and actions to get her way. This makes me think that although Abigail by law is a child, has been forced to grow up faster than her age because of reasons such as seeing her parents die, growing up on her own and having an inappropriate relationship with John Proctor. So because of this things Abigail has acquired many traits that many people may never had or at least would not have until adulthood which arguably Abigail has reached. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nathan 1/2/2009 The Crucible - Is Abigail a girl or a woman? - 1 - ...read more.

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