Power In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Having power is the ability to control and influence the behaviors of others. In the small town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, women were kept from having power. They were to be docile and surrender to the authority of men. They were not to have a substantial role in their community - only men could fill the positions of leaders and ministers. However, women found a way to have power anyways, even with non traditional methods. A witch is a person close to God and being close to God is being in a place of high power. So, when rumors of women practicing witchcraft begin to circulate, the town’s biggest fear begins to arise and they quickly tried to put a stop to it, henceforth, the witch trials commenced. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, women are able to take power from their society through various means other than gaining leadership. The ways in which women are able to achieve power include Abigail Williams’ use of dishonesty and manipulation that prompts the witch trials as well as Rebecca Nurse’s refusal of a confession that defies the conventional paradigms of the society. Abigail successfully obtained power through the use of deceit. Throughout the play she continued to lie and manipulate others, thus gaining more and more power. We see her initial acquirement of power as the driving force of the witch trials. Abigail was a part of the group of the girls supposedly dancing in the woods that caused suspicion of witches to arise. However, it wasn’t until Abigail was
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