In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the main character Abigail Williams is to blame for the 1692 witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Abigail is a mean and vindictive person who always wants her way, no matter who she hurts. Through out the play her accusations and lies cause many people pain and suffering, but she seemed to never care for any of them except John Proctor, whom she had an affair with seven months prior to the beginning of the play. John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth used to employ Abigail, until Elizabeth found out the affair and threw Abigail out. Although John told Abigail that the affair was over and he would never touch her again, she tried desperately to rekindle their romance. “Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again.” (Page 23) She claimed that she loved John and that he loved her. Before the play began, Abigail tried to kill Elizabeth with a curse. She thought that if Elizabeth were dead John would marry her. Further into the play, Abigail accused Elizabeth of witchcraft. She saw Marry Warren, the Proctor’s servant, making a poppet. Mary put a needle into the doll, and Abigail used that for her accusation. She stabbed herself with a needle and claimed that Elizabeth’s soul had done it. Although Abigail claimed she loved John, she may have just loved the care and attention he gave her. John cared for her like no one else had. In a way he could be described as somewhat of a father figure to her. When Abigail was just a child, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders. “I saw Indians smash my dear parent’s heads on the pillow next to mine…” (page 20) After her traumatic experience, she was raised by her uncle, Reverend Parris, who is somewhat of a villain. In the play it was written, “He (Parris) was a widower with no interest in children, or talent with them.” (Page 3) Parris regarded children as young adults who should be “thankful for being permitted to walk straight, eyes slightly lowered, arms at the sides, and mouths shut until bidden to speak.” (Page 4) Therefore, it is obvious to see that Abigail grew up without any love or nurturing.
Personal Character Exposed in The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Personal character traits are the attitudes you have toward your activities and the challenges they present. These traits may be positive, negative or often in between, depending on the situation. Many negative character traits were depicted in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. He discussed the guilt of personal private sin, loss of emotional control and the worst of all jealousy. Negative personal character traits can lead to failure or frustration. These characteristics will affect you throughout your life. The story revolves around Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The author converses about witchcraft and displays many issues in the town of Salem. These above traits are still found in our times because we don’t live in an ideal society. What is considered jealousy? Jealousy is a secondary emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity and fear. The Putnam’s were a small family, whose seven children out of the eight did not survive. Mrs. Putnam was a very jealous person when it came to families, and Mr. Putnam was a very jealous person when it came to land. Goody Putnam wanted more children and was jealous of Rebecca Nurse and her large family. So she decided to blame her for witchcraft. The innocent Rebecca Nurse was arrested due to Mrs. Putnam. In the play when Rebecca Nurse is in jail with John Proctor, there’s a moment where she stumbles and Proctor catches her and helps her to her feet. She is a bit embarrassed and says, “I’ve had no breakfast.” (Miller, 144). Rebecca Nurse has much she could complain about. Anyone else in her situation would be consumed with fear, sorrow, confusion, and rage against the evils of society. Yet, Rebecca Nurse merely blames her faltering as a lack of breakfast. In the end of the play she ends up being hanged and dies. On the other hand, one of the main characters that displayed jealousy was Abigail Williams. She has simple motivations and is clearly the negative, evil-minded character in the play, and the leading force behind the witch-hunt. She told lies, manipulated her friends and the entire town, and eventually sent nineteen innocent people to their deaths. She is spiteful, and threatens the other girls if they disobey her. She loves seeking revenge and the Salem witch trials allowed her to do exactly that. Abigail was suspected of committing adultery, because of her affair with John Proctor.