The Crucible By Arthur Miller: Why Abigail Williams Is To Blame For The Witch Trials

October 23, 2020 by Essay Writer

In the play The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, a group of teenage girls begin accusing people of witchcraft. Abigail Williams, the girl who is in charge, likes the popularity that she gains from her accusing and she is willing to do anything in order to make sure she keeps it. Everyone accused by the girls becomes a victim of society because their friends and neighbors turn against them. Therefore, Abigail Williams, a character in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, is to blame for the witch trials because of past and present experiences. She cannot be excused from her actions since she is not a victim of society.

Abigail Williams is to blame for the witch trials as a result of accusing others. Abigail constantly lies throughout The Crucible to make sure she does not get caught. When one of the girls, Mary Warren, testifies against the others, they turn on her. The girls act as if Mary has sent an evil spirit onto them and Abigail exclaims, “But God made my face; you cannot want to tear my face. Envy is a deadly sin, Mary”. Abigail knows that if she accuses someone, the court and adults will believe her. She feels in charge when accusing since people truly believe her. However, Abigail blames others due to the fact that she is selfish and self-centered. Judge Danforth takes Abigail and the other girls’ side by stating, “Mary Warren! – Draw back your spirit out of them!’. This suggests that the girls, especially Abigail, are to blame since they always accuse others and made the accused victims. Abigail is not a victim of society because she initiated everything. She blatantly knew that it was wrong but did it anyway since it benefited her. Towards the end of The Crucible, Abigail’s uncle, Reverend Parris’s “strongbox is broken into”. The group of girls stole from Parris and fled Salem considering they knew their secret was going to be discovered eventually. Abigail’s past and present experiences fueled her actions and allowed her to gain power from those actions.

Abigail’s past affects her as a result of witnessing her parents’ deaths. In act 1 after Betty, Abigail’s cousin, is calling out for her dead mother, Abigail yells, “I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the 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!”. Abigail witnessing her parents’ deaths makes her change in a negative way. She constantly threatens others to make sure they listen to her and trust her. Even though her past affected her tremendously, current experiences affect her too. Abigail and a man named John Proctor have an affair, which makes Abigail feel more powerful and convinces herself that he is equally as in love. Abigail continually tries to get rid of those who are in her way by accusing them. When Elizabeth, John Proctor’s wife, gets accused, Abigail tells John that he is “singing secret Hallelujahs that your wife will hang!”. Abigail Williams cannot be excused for the purpose of her actions since she caused chaos and affected hundreds of lives. She is at fault for the witch trials that occurred since she began the accusing. As a result of her actions, many people were murdered, hundreds were accused and almost everyone’s lives were negatively changed. An abundance of people lost property and their reputation because of Abigail and her group. Nonetheless, Abigail’s past and present experiences caused the witch trials and consequently, she is to blame for it.

The Crucible’s Abigail Williams is to blame for the circumstances that occurred. She had past and present incidents that generated her actions. However, she cannot be excused and is not a victim of society. Abigail saw her parents’ deaths, had an affair with John Proctor, and threatened those who stood in her way. In spite of Abigail’s hard beginning, she should not resort to accusing people of being witches. Abigail Williams, overall, is a manipulative, self-centered person. Even though she is only seventeen, she still was able to make right, good decisions yet chose negative actions. Overall, Abigail’s life experiences affect her in a negative way, which prompted her to make terrible decisions.

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