Elizabeth is the victim of Abigail’s heartless actions and affair. These two women are almost complete opposites. Both characters struggle and fight through the story in their own ways. Abigail is the villain in this play.
Gender roles are present everywhere and are more and more prevalent the further back you go. They define relationships and heavily influence people's actions. Gender roles can hurt those that are trapped in them because they are not allowed the freedom of living like they want. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, one key relationship in the story is wrecked by gender roles.
In its society, there is the assumption that the male gender is superior, therefore holds more influence over others and gather more power. It is also assumed that females have slight power over men to manipulate them into doing things or believing things by using their femininity and innocence. These powers are displayed quite evidently in The Crucible which is set in a patriarchal society. In The Crucible, women were nothing without a husband or a father, no rights to own property, no rights to have a job and make a living, no rights. Yet when Abigail Williams convinced her friends to lie and falsely accuse others of being witches, the male judges had no qualms about believing them.
The Deep Roots of Sexism: Preconceived Sin and Weakness In the Christian bible, when the first woman commits the first sin she creates an enduring image of her gender; she is drawn away from god and purity, to evil and sin. The book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller both deal with not only sin in Puritan times, but the ignominy stemming from women’s wrongdoings. The Scarlet Letter follows Hester Prynne, a woman who, after committing adultery is forced to wear a scarlet A to punish her for her sins. The Crucible is about the Witch Trials in Salem, which are brought on by the beautiful, manipulative and jealous Abigail.
In the book The Crucible by Arthur Miller takes place in 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials and it shows an abundant amount of examples of how puritans are not pure. Arthur Miller has made many detailed characters that showed how being a pure Puritan is not capable of a human. One of these characters is John Proctor, John is an average person in this time period just living his Puritan life; but is broken by a horrible sight in the woods. John Proctor also has a wife named Elizabeth, and she had her life changed greatly shortly after breaking news was passed throughout the village. The main cause to this news was caused by a housekeeper of John Proctor named Abigail Williams; Abby was caught dancing in the woods with other girls performing spells and witchcraft.
Hysteria spread throughout colonial Massachusetts during the Salem Witch Trials. This was a time where people were being condemned to death after being accused of witchcraft. Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible about these times. Miller developed personalities for the people who were in Salem during the Witch Trials throughout this play. Arthur Miller created many personalities one of these were individuals who felt a strong sense of duty often make unpopular choices because they felt that the choice they made was their responsibility.
Who is to blame for the deaths and lies in The Crucible? The girls were some of the people who influenced the people to think and believe that witches were in their town. The town of Salem was horrified with the idea of the spirits being among the people. In this story many people were killed by the people because they believed they were witches making evil in their town. The girls were accused of dancing in the forest and made people believe they had special abilities that would help them see spirits inside people.
In accordance with the time period and theocracy within The Crucible, it is not difficult to suggest that this is a time and setting where women were oppressed, and expected to be
The novel’s most prominent point of the cruelty of Puritanism can be found in the fact that women are portrayed as weak creatures, who are expected to submit to men, and whose only access to power is through deceptive methods. None of the females in The Crucible possessed extreme power, but the truthful, transparent, and unadulterated women seem to be even less powerful than the rest of the female roles. Elizabeth Proctor and Rebecca Nurse are two of the less powerful women in The Crucible. “Both of their lives are driven by the desire to protect and serve their families and communities” (Alter 1).
It seems that throughout the life of literature, authors paint women and men to look and behave in certain ways; often they portray these characters with extremely positive or negative traits. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible shows this element throughout its entirety. The Crucible is the inspiration from the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, where the women were seen as exceptionally strong and feared members of society, and men were seen as weak. This novel illustrates what an incredible power that the women could obtain all in the name of fear and lies.
The Crucible is a book mainly about witchcraft. In the crucible witchcraft is not allowed. Reverend finds Abigail and the girls outside in the woods “singing and dancing to barbados”. Abigail gets accused of doing witchcraft when she drinks the blood. Abigail is trying to get rid of Elizabeth Proctor because Abigail is in love with John Proctor and he had an affair with her even with him being married.
Mary knew this and she is distraught. Mary and Abigail’s relationship is contingent on the fact that Mary helps Abigail with her plans. Mary argues with herself many times, such as in the trials and she tells the truth to help John Proctor. However, she still switches sides and conforms back to Abigail’s ways. Even though she feels guilty, Mary still goes to great lengths to save herself from being punished, regardless of the consequences to others in the play.
She help but many to death, along with the others following Abigails unholy agenda. In act two, the reader can see a change in Mary's attitude. She starts to stand up to John Proctor, seeming to have a new found confidence. She is still naive about Abby and what she is doing, but with the help of John Proctor, she begins to understand whats happening and admits she was pretending to be choked by spirits in the court. She goes before the court to testify the evil Abby is commiting.
(Miller 461) all this shows how Mary let Abigail rule her. Mary lost her sharp edge and pompous attitude. There are times in the play were Mary gets put down by others and cant fully be herself at times because sometimes she accepts that, and I sure know I wouldn’t except that! But everyone’s different and obviously Mary was raised different.
Mary is a servant of the Proctors and one of the girls caught in the woods with Abigail, who can be seen as a protagonist and an antagonist of the play. She is a flat character who simply seeks for the approval and reliance of others. Particularly, Mary liked the power she was receiving from the court as she says “I am an official of the court, they say” (59) and brags about saving Elizabeth’s life at the court. In contrast, she is not a stereotyped character because she is constantly persuaded by others, which also adds to her dynamic characteristic. Her stance constantly changes as she first started on the side with Abigail and the rest of the girls, but later claims that it was a pretense.