How Is John Proctor Justified In The Crucible

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In the beginning of The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, speculations of witchcraft spread around the town of Salem like wildfire, after Reverend Parris’ daughter is put into an unexplainable coma-like state. The town is thrown into an uproar and the trials begin after Tituba, who confesses to communing with the devil, and Abigail Williams accuse numerous townsfolk of consorting with the devil. “Long-held hatreds of neighbors could now be openly expressed, and vengeance taken, despite the Bible’s charitable injunctions. Land-lust which had been expressed before by constant bickering over boundaries and deeds, could now be elevated to the arena of morality; one cold cry which against one’s neighbor and perfectly justified in the bargain. …show more content…

Both Abigail Williams and the Putnam’s took advantage of this frenzy, and carried out their desire for revenge. In the recent past, Abigail had an affair with John Proctor, but John cut all their ties when his wife, Elizabeth found out. Abigail hates Elizabeth for taking John away from her. “It’s a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman, and I will not work for such a woman!” (12) It seems as though she would do anything for John’s affection, since we know she attempted to take Elizabeth’s life by drinking …show more content…

She sows the seeds of panic in the minds of the townspeople, which makes them suspicious of one another. Abigail then adjusts this madness to work to her advantage. Mr. and Mrs. Putnam are a bitter couple, one that never hesitates to point their fingers. Mrs. Putnam blames Goody Osburn for the deaths of her seven children. “Goody Osborn were midwife to me three times. I begged you, Thomas, did I not? I begged him not to call Osborn because I feared her. My babies always shriveled in her hands!” While Mr. Putnam is a man with many grievances, “who’s vindictive nature was demonstrated long before the witch-craft began” (14) “So it is not surprising to find that so many accusations against people are in the handwriting of Thomas Putnam, or that his name is so often found as a witness corroborating the supernatural testimony, or that his daughter led the crying-out at the most opportune junctures of the trials, especially when—”

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