Crucible Critical Essays

Crucible Critical Essays-65
The reader begins to recognize that more is at play than a surface rendering of “good” versus “evil.” Abigail Williams, the “bad” girl, is introduced in the play as the ringleader who led other girls to a taboo gathering; her primary purpose was so to cast a spell upon Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of John Proctor – with whom she had an affair when she lived with them as a servant.Clearly, what to John was a small detour off the path of righteousness was to Abigail the doorway to a new world.Miller portrayed that such illogical reasoning is dangerous or at the very least, counterproductive.

The reader begins to recognize that more is at play than a surface rendering of “good” versus “evil.” Abigail Williams, the “bad” girl, is introduced in the play as the ringleader who led other girls to a taboo gathering; her primary purpose was so to cast a spell upon Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of John Proctor – with whom she had an affair when she lived with them as a servant.Clearly, what to John was a small detour off the path of righteousness was to Abigail the doorway to a new world.Miller portrayed that such illogical reasoning is dangerous or at the very least, counterproductive.

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Her perspective and existence was a product of that upbringing, though she was likely blind to it herself.

In this respect, Elizabeth’s character was not much different from Abigail’s.

Her husband was willing to give his life, perhaps not exactly or entirely for her, but in a way his act represented that unselfish love.

John Proctor’s love for his wife gave him the strength to confess his deeds with Abigail, and although it cast him in a bad light and brought him death, he chose rather to die for the love of his wife than to live without her.

In the end, Elizabeth discovered that she truly was loved.

Perhaps it was too little and too late, but her husband loved her.One analysis states that, “Elizabeth’s noblest act comes in the end when she helps the tortured John Proctor forgive himself just before his death” (Shmoop).History reveals that Elizabeth Proctor, although accused, was not condemned.In that conversation, the young woman seemed completely convinced of the righteousness of her cause as well as enraptured by her fantasy that she would have John once his wife died: “God gave me strength to call them liars …Oh, John, I will make you such a wife when the world is white again” (150).If the main accuser was gone, having stolen money – which in those days must have been a severe crime, more tangible than sending one’s spirit to hurt another in the night – would it not stand to reason that perhaps her testimony should be brought into question?Yet such an idea never arose and the men who held the lives in the sway of their judgment continued on their oblivious path toward false sentencing and ultimately, murder.It was all judgment and harsh rulings, the very element that Jesus called into question when he exposed the motives of the religious class of his time, the Pharisees.Elizabeth’s character represented, in a way, all those who grew up under the thumb of distorted belief systems.Elizabeth Proctor, by contrast, was the “good” woman.She entered the story fully in the first scene of Act II, a scene almost awkward to read. I counted myself so plain, so poorly made, no honest love could come to me!

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