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The Nature of Abigail Williams
Reputations are important. Or at least that’s what most people think. I mean, you don’t want to be known as a loner for your high school life, but being an overachiever wouldn’t be all too great either. But in my opinion, being known as a bratty, mean person would be the worst of them all. Humans all have natural feelings of jealousy, want, and need. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Abigail Williams illustrates the evil manipulation in human nature as she plots to end Elizabeth Proctor’s life.
Well first off, I’d like to point out that all this witchcraft stuff is faked. Abby wants attention, so Abby gets attention. But when you tell an entire town that there are bewitched children living among them all, even though you know it’s not true, you aren’t just begging for attention. You’re lying. Abigail Williams is an expert liar, and her cousin, Betty Parris proves this when she “wakes up” from a supposed bewitched sleep and suddenly chide Abby for leaving part of the story out. She says:
“You drank blood Abby! You didn’t tell him that!”(Miller 19).
Now wait a minute! So Abby is telling her uncle what “really happened” in the woods, and she just so happened to leave out the fact that she drank blood for a charm to kill Goody Proctor. This is where it all begins.
Here’s another thing about Abby. From first glance, you would never guess that she can be so mean. She can turn her personality on and off light flipping a light switch. Here’s what I mean. Abby says to Mr. John Proctor:
“Gah! I’d almost forgotten how strong you are, John Proctor!”(21).
Oh. My Goodness. Now see what Abby is doing? She is flirting with this married man, who has a wife, three kids, and another on the way. Who does that?! Apparently, Abby does, and right after doing that, she goes off and yells at her friends! This girl is bad!
Once again, our dear sweet Abby, can switch her personality at the drop of a hat. She goes from being all sweet and flirty with John Proctor, to yelling at him and sounding stupid and desperate. In the second scene of Act 2, Abby says:
“You are at this moment singing sweet hallelujahs that your wife will hang!”(152).
Wow Abby… That’s harsh. Let’s rewind for a second. So, Elizabeth Proctor has been accused of witchcraft and is on trial to hang. Elizabeth happens to be the wife of John Proctor and the happy mother of 3 boys. So why would she be condemned to hang? Because Abigail wants to be John Proctor’s wife. And the only way to make that happen is to get Elizabeth out of the way.
Fast forwarding to Act 3, Abigail makes it seem like Mary Warren is attacking people with her spirit. But here’s the catch: Mary isn’t doing anything! She is so confused! But Abby is relentless, she yells at an imaginary Mary spirit:
But God made my face! You cannot want to tear my face! Envy is a deadly sin, Mary…” (115).
So now, to back up her accusation against Elizabeth Proctor, Abby is accusing her friend. But, Mary eventually goes crazy! Abigail is causing innocent people to lose their minds, and their lives! Over what? Jealously. And even worse, jealousy of a guy!
Now we’re at the very end. Abigail finally snaps. She yells at Proctor about his wife, finally admitting that she wants her dead. Abby knows that she has messed up, so she runs off and leaves the town. She’s manipulated and ruined people, and is leaving them all to die. If she can’t get her way, then neither can anybody else. This is the personality of Abigail Williams.