The Crucible: Abigail

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  • Abigail
    • Biblical Characters.
      • Jezebel
        • Fabricated false evidence.
        • Caused the death of an innocent landowner
        • associated with false prophets
        • associated with sexual promiscuity, fallen or abandoned women and immorality.
      • Salome
        • thought to be the killer of john the baptist.
        • sexual promiscuity
        • how women are the downfall of man.
    • Victim
      • repressed society- she can't be a normal girl
      • John gives her hope of comfort and security, but then throws her aside
      • Mislead by John- she thinks he truly loves her, when she was just an attractive distraction from his boring married life.
      • Her parents death.
      • Orphaned, unmarried teenage girl- only Tituba is below her in the town hierarchy
      • Elizabeth supposedly spreads rumours about her around Salem, although this is unlikely.
    • Empowered
      • Once she begins to spread the witchcraft lies she begins to become more powerful.
        • People see her as a direct saviour from God, there to remove the Devil from Salem.
        • In a way she begins to believe her own lie- obviously she knows it's not real, but when she speaks to Danforth it's obvious that she believes that her power gives her authority.
        • Opposite to most of the of the women in Salem Abigail knows that her sexuality and her confidence can get her what she wants.
      • She gets the attention that she craves through her accusation of other women.
    • Powerless
      • Women have no power in Salem.
      • John still doesn't want her.
        • In fact. John despises her more after her accusation of Elizabeth.
      • She wants to be loved.
        • Her affair with John made her believe in love, even her sole carer- Parris- is more interested in his reputation.
      • People insinuate that she has had an affair with John- she has no respect from the community.
    • Heat and Fire Imagery.
      • Opposite to Elizabeth.
      • Could represent sins and hell.
      • Could represent passion and lust.
      • "I have a sense for heat, John"
        • "looking feverishly into his eyes"
        • "her concentrated desire destroys his smile,"
          • foreshadowing
        • "burning in your loneliness,"
    • Manipulative
      • tells the girls what to do.
      • their elected leader; probably because of her experience, having had sex with John, and because of her supposed wisdom.
      • makes Tituba cast spells to kill Goody Proctor and makes the girls dance naked in the woods.
    • Contradictory
      • Abigail has been a victim of persecution- mainly because of the fact she is female and alone, and rumours are flying around about her in the village.
        • However, this doesn't stop her persecuting others, such as Tituba because of her race. This is reflective of the Puritan ideas of the time- they fled England because of persecution, but persecute others that don't comply with their set ideas.
    • Irreligious
      • Abigail commits many sins, such as (but not limited to)...
        • Adultery
        • Vanity
        • Jealousy
        • False witness
    • McCarthy
      • Abigail excites the town into a frenzy much the same way Joseph McCarthy did- she plays on people's fears and their secrets, threatening the girls and pressuring John about their affair.
      • Although people in the 17th century were afraid of many things, Abigail seems to understand that their fear of the Devil is so acute that they'd be willing to murder their own friends.
      • Abigail understands that it only takes one person to confess and the rest of her story will seem plausible- and when people are threatened with a hangin', likelihood is that they'll confess.
    • Miller questions whether the townsfolk capacity to forgive is lessened by their fear.


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