Motives In The Crucible Essay

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Motives in The Crucible Arthur Miller's The Crucible describes the hysteria surrounding the witchcraft trials that take place in Puritan Massachusetts at end of the seventeenth century. Many of the witchcraft accusations that swept through Salem during this time contained hidden motives that would directly benefit the accuser. Whether one gained land, power, or status by a false accusation, these trials turned neighbors and the whole community against each one another. The incentive of vengeance, desire for wealth, and demand for power fueled the Salam witch hunts of 1692. Fueled by vengeance and jealously of Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams determines that the only way she can have John Proctor to herself is by killing Elizabeth, or accusing her of witchcraft. In The Crucible Abigail Williams is the main advocate for the group of young girls who falsely accuse others to protect themselves. When Abigail Williams along with the other young girls of Salem are caught dancing in the woods, she immediately places the blame on Tituba and other women in the community. This continues throughout the trials until she has webbed a web of intricate lies that even she cannot get out of. Abigail's underlying motives are, “a blend of vengeance and desire” (“Introduction” xix). Throughout the book she longs to kill Elizabeth Proctor so she can continue her relationship with John Proctor. She goes about this by blaming innocent people until it is too late and John Proctor is dead. In addition to her longing for John, Abigail may also have been fueled by the desire for wealth. Puritan children in the seventeenth century were without much power, especially young girls who were forced to work for families as a servant until old enough to be married off. “ To be a young girl in Salem was to have no role but obedience, no function but unquestioning faith, no freedom except a

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