A Crucible for Everyone
Everybody makes mistakes in their lives, but how they react to them, and how others respond, exposes who they really are. In the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the Puritan citizens of Salem are caught in a perilous storm of terror and accusations of witchcraft. The sins and choices of other characters in the play fuel the fire of injustice and cost the lives of many. There are two tested characters who played large roles in the outbreak of witchcraft accusations; they either passed or failed this crucible, or a situation of severe trial. John Proctor passed the trial of his sins, and Abigail Williams failed her crucible.
John Proctor committed the serious sin of adultery and then experienced the trial of his wife…show more content… Early in the play we find out that Abigail and several other girls danced in the forest, which in recognized as the Devil’s territory, attempting to summon spirits. We also discover Abigail’s other motive for journeying into the woods during when Betty Parris, a friend of Abigail’s who has been feigning a comatose state ever since being discovered in the forest, says, “You did. You did! You drank a charm to kill John Proctor’s wife! You drank a charm to kill Goody Proctor!” (Miller 1244). Even before we know a lot about Abigail we find out that she resorted to “devil work” to try and get rid of John Proctor’s wife. She is still in love with Proctor to a point of destroying anyone who gets in her way. In another part of The Crucible, Abigail travels meet Proctor in the forest where she tells him about how tormented she is by the witches in Salem. “Why, look at my leg. I’ve holes all over from their damned needles and pins. (Touching her stomach:) The jab your wife gave me’s not healed yet, y’know. … And George Jacobs -- (sliding up her sleeve) -- he comes again and again and raps me with his stick - the same spot every night all this week. Look at the lump I have” (Miller, Appendix, 139). Abigail’s obsession has caused her to slip into madness. She has fully immersed herself into pretending that she is being hurt by supposed witches. Not only has Abigail’s infatuation with John impacted his and Elizabeth Proctor’s…show more content… John Proctor exemplifies his uprightness when he says, “If [Elizabeth] is innocent! Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were [the accusers] born this morning as clean as God's fingers? I'll tell you what's walking Salem—vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law! This warrant's vengeance! I'll not give my wife to vengeance!” (Miller 1283). Proctor has realized that the court is corrupted. The judges of the court are using the words of the accusers as solid evidence against the accused, and this is extremely unjust. He also mentions how vengeance is walking in Salem, not witchcraft. Many people, including Abigail, have used the fear in Salem to fulfill their own vendettas. Ann Putnam, Thomas Putnam’s wife who sent the girls into the forest to conjure the spirits of her seven dead infants, had Goody Osbourn, Ann’s midwife, accused of witchcraft because the Putnam babies died. Abigail accused Tituba, a slave from Barbados who attempted to conjure the infants’ spirits, to hide her own wrongdoings. There were many other accusations because of grudges held by the citizens of Salem. Abigail shows the root of her heinous acts when she converses with Proctor and says, “Oh, I marvel how