Nigger: The Crucible and Abigail’s Ability Essay

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Abigail Williams and Her Crucibles in The Crucible Arthur Miller is a master of incorporating multiple allusions and elaborate symbols into his text, but one of the most prominent symbols in The Crucible has to be the title itself. The word crucible has many meanings and connotations, but the one we are focusing on is the “severe test” version. The entire plot revolves and circles the idea of the characters being put through crucibles; trials, accusations, all of which push their morals along with their sanity. Miller depicts these characters as having constant external conflicts, as well as internal. In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, Abigail Williams is forced through multiple crucibles, or severe tests, in her tricky love life, limited patience, and her morals dealing with telling the truth. The Salem witch trials were the product of extreme ignorance, propaganda, and a series of unfortunate events that leads to extreme chaos. This chaos would come to be solely because of the numerous rigged and psychologically corrupt trials, and the chronic false accusations. Abigail was previously undeniably in an unstable relationship with the main character, John Proctor, and the way that this relationship was warped and abused, the further it dug into the psyche of Abigail. Even though Proctor has moved on, gotten married, dropped her completely off of his mind, she is still there, still longing to be with him. Her lost love sticks in her mind the entire way through the progression. We find her constantly flirting and teasing Proctor in an attempt to snare him back into her life, “John-I am waitin’ for you every night.” (148). Her trial of love brings her to perform acts of temptation, “She
000-536 NBAZ Smola 2 kisses his hand” (150), and how she stares at him with a “concentrated desire” (22). This crucible of love drives her to near insanity. Abigail was not able to indulge in this love, which is one of the deciding factors in her fate. Furthermore, Abigail’s patience is batted at by most of the characters in this play. Abigail has a fiery jealousy that affects most of her radical social thoughts, even going as far as to accuse girls of witchcraft. Out of all the girls that she could accuse, she wants Elizabeth to be tried just because she is the wife of John. This brings her in to many of dangerous situations. The whole trial of Elizabeth is a giant mess, and in general angers John, “Now look at you, child, your punishment will come in its time.” (10). Her jealousy for Elizabeth is constantly unchecked, and she often has a, “wildness [that] stirs inside her” (151) when she ponders what love those two have together. Her rational thoughts were under pressure by the massive weight of jealousy that she has, so her already thin patience is starting to crack when she appears in court. The only reason Elizabeth showed up in court is because this jealous being “charged her” (103). When anyone’s patience is put under any sort of stress, it is a real test to try to act normal and flow smoothly; this act proves that her patience is tried to such an extent that she begins to act irrationally. Time also erodes her patience as guilt slowly begins to build. Proctor constantly reminds Abigail of the wronging that she has committed to his wife, and this too is a crucible to her patience and sanity. Proctor realizes what she is feeling and what she is attempting to do with her actions, so he reaffirms her that Elizabeth is his wife, and there is nearly nothing that she can do to change that fact. This tests Abigail’s ability to coop with herself. Proctor as a person is disappointed in Abigail for her radical 000-536 NBAZ Smola 3 actions and makes her feel guilt for her unnecessary actions and for the obvious jealousy she feels towards Elizabeth. This test of patience was one that she knew how to fight, and never did she back down. Abigail’s honesty was brought into question during the accusations and trial process; no one knew if…