The emotions a person feels can cause people to do unimaginable things to themselves and other people. Throughout the book, people's emotions bring out the worst of the people of Salem. The people of Salem begin accusing people of witchcraft for their own personal vendettas and gain. In the book “ The Crucible” by Arthur Miller the people demonstrate, When reason fails, emotions control and results in the destruction of what is morally right or good. Before the book begins, Abigail Williams was fired by the Proctors because of her affair with John Proctor, the husband of the Elizabeth Proctor.
When her uncles caught the girls in the woods dancing by the fire, Abigail did not mention they were saying boys' names wishing they could marry them. She also did not mention that she wished for John Proctor's wife to die. Abigail Williams also drank a charm to kill John Proctor's wife, Elizabeth Proctor. In the play, some of the girls yell at Abigail for drinking the charm
Reverend Parris’ slave John Indian called out Bridget after his own wife Tituba repented for being a witch. Most historians believe that Tituba was the only real witch, the other women were accused mostly over the children parents’ revenge. Arthur Miller has a line in his play on the trials that says, “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!” many feel that this is exactly what happened in Salem. Giles Corey was told by a good source that Thomas Putnam was getting his daughter Ann to cry witchery against his neighbors to get their land. Giles would soon be crushed by large stones because he would not give up who told him.
During Act 1 Mary attempted to be righteous, by trying to get Abigail to confess about what the dancing in the forest. She doesn’t want to be hanged for witchcraft and breaks down to the point Abigail smashes her across the face. Mary claims that they’ll “only be whipped for dancing’.” (Miller 18).“Abby, we’ve got to tell. Witchery’s a hangin’ error’.” (Miller 18). Mary was afraid of Abigail Williams and didn’t tell the truth fearing that Abigail would hurt her.
In the end, 25 lives were lost. An example of this is, “For example, Parris’s niece, Abigail Williams, fingered 41 different witches for attacking her; Ann Putnam Jr. accused 53; her servant, Mercy Lewis, blamed 54; and a girl named Mary Walcott, who was Ann’s step-cousin, named an astonishing 69 witches” (Schanzer 56). Most people would have never known if they were going to be accused or not. The Salem Witch Trials were indeed unfair because the accusers had absolutely no evidence. Also, the accusations themselves were just incredibly random, and the judges were so gullible that they would just believe almost anything.
Elia Kazan a Greek-American director once said, “Whatever hysteria exists is inflamed by mystery, suspicion and secrecy” In The Crucible by Arthur Miller the town of Salem gets warped into a loop of lies and false accusations. A group of girls claim to be able to see spirits to avoid being called witches, and accuse others of being witches, starting a chain reaction. Now others accuse people of being witches in order to get rid of those they don‘t like, and so they be hanged. Hysteria and conformity cause an uproar of lies that kill innocent people in Salem. Hysteria makes people become irrational , and innocent people die because of false accusations.
just like today, kids will follow along with their peers or parents. “And Lewis said it was all the fault of Martha Cory, the very same Gospel Woman that Ann had already accused. Like Ann, Lewis claimed that she saw Martha Cory’s spirit roasting a spectral man on a spit inside her fireplace”(Schanzer 45). If one person became afraid of another because they were seen doing strange things or wearing strange vestments, then they might convince others that the person is an imp or a witch/wizard. “Common history has painted Annand her young peers as selfish, vicious fakers who fueled the witchcraft trials out of boredom or spite.
The envy and jealousy that Abigail has toward Elizabeth causes extreme friction between the women. The envy is so strong that Abigail accuses Elizabeth of being a witch. Elizabeth pleads with John, “Spoke or silent, a promise is surely made. And she may dote on it now-I am sure she does-and thinks to kill me, then to take my place” (Miller). In the end, Abigail and John are both hanged and Elizabeth is jailed because she is pregnant and cannot be hanged.
I am discussing how the Theme of revenge in The Crucible make it both universal and enduring. There is a lot of different ways that revenge is expressed in The Crucible. Every time the girls pretended to be taken over by spirits, or see someone send out their spirit to harm the girls and call out witch on an innocent man or woman because they wanted attention or had a grudge they were holding against someone who had wronged them or they just didn’t like. Just as Abbigail having a grudge against Elisabeth Proctor for being Johns Proctors wife. Abbigail still loved John after their affair they had together and John wouldn’t be with her any longer.
What if there was a society where God was loved the same amount as His wrath is feared? Well, in the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the Puritans were a society who loved and feared God equally. They loved and feared Him to a point where they blamed others for their sins. A group of young girls were caught doing witchcraft in the forbidden woods. The girls put the blame on others so they would not be the ones in trouble and the accused Puritans were all innocent of doing witchcraft.