Personal And Social Struggles In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

1101 words - 5 pages

Although a strict society composed of high morality and disciplinary laws may be necessary for safety, it causes internal conflicts within the individuals. In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller a theocracy in Salem rules and guides the citizens into doing what is “right”, but eventually backfires due to issues of reputation and jealousy. Society has a lot of influence on the citizens, and with a bad reputation, it is nearly impossible to live in a Puritan society. Salem’s strict Puritanical social structure causes personal struggles for the individuals involved in the events of The Crucible, and then eventually these personal struggles affect the society overall.
Abigail’s struggles come from many of her personal desires that are forbidden in her society, causing her to lie. However, this also creates further social problems, such as the initiation of the witch trials. After Betty is stuck in a coma, Reverend Parris questions Abigail about the night in the woods, because he is suspicious and she denies that it had anything to do with witchcraft. Abigail replies to Parris saying, “ We never conjured spirits” (24). Abigail lies to Parris, denies the statement that witchcraft ever occurred, and says that all they did was danced. Witchcraft and dancing both are sins in the society, and she knows that her reputation is at stake and finds the need to lie to look innocent. Parris wants to be sure and calls Reverend Hale to look further into the issue. Once Reverend Hale comes into town, he questions Abigail about the night, and she once again denies everything he asks her. Abigail is being questioned by Hale, and once Tituba enters she screams, “ She made me do it! She made Betty do it! She makes me drink blood!” (45). Abigail denies everything that Hale says and immediately puts the blame on Tituba to make herself look innocent, once again to preserve her reputation. Tituba is forced to lie to save her life and confesses to being involved with the devil, which inspires Abigail to do so as well. This creates hysteria and panic throughout Salem, consequently initiating the witch trials. Abigail’s longing desire for John Proctor cannot be fulfilled because he is a married man and due to the rules in the Puritan society. Once the trials have started, Mary Warren informs Elizabeth that she had been accused of witchcraft. John and Elizabeth both know its Abigail, and Goody Proctor fears that , “ she thinks to kill [her], then to take [her] place” (64). It is evident that Abigail is the one who lies, and accuses Elizabeth because she wants her to be dead so she can have John all to herself. Consequently, this affects the trials because the issue of lechery is brought up when Elizabeth is called to the stand but she denies the affair, while Proctor confesses to the affair. The Puritan society forbids Abigail’s personal desires which causes a struggle for her, causing many social problems.
Mary Warren is a dynamic character who fears her peers, and faces the...

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