A Victim of Society
Abigail Williams is a victim of her society in The Crucible. Many events and traumatic happenings have caused her to possess harsh and ruthless behavior towards others. During the Salem witch trials of 1692, Abigail not only accused innocent people of witchcraft, but also intended to split husband and wife John and Elizabeth Proctor because of her love for John. However, cruel and selfish actions are often influenced by an unpleasant past, as they are in Abigail’s case.
One event in her past that influenced her behavior is her parents’ death. Abigail’s parents were beat to death with a bludgeon by Native Americans. As a result, she carries very scarring details of her past with her and has not been raised in a typical way. Not having her parents in her life deprived Abigail of learning life lessons and taking advice from a mother and father on a regular basis. The fact that her parents were killed right in front of her is also very traumatizing. This applies to her sudden disturbed nature when she is accused of something.
Another influential event is when Abigail moves in with her uncle Reverend Parris and cousin Betty. She goes to live with them after she becomes an orphan. Rev. Parris can be self-absorbed at times and only worry about how things make himself look. An example of this is when he acts very self-protective when anyone suggests the Devil could be present in his home. Bearing in mind her tendency to blame people of pursuing witchcraft to keep herself out of trouble, Abigail could have easily picked up his defensive nature.
Lastly, Abigail’s undying love for Proctor is also swayed by her past. Proctor agreed to have an affair with Abigail behind his wife’s back, which only teaches Abigail that incidents such as this are tolerable. She is smart enough to know that it is morally corrupt, but as long as Proctor continues with it, she will too, as he is much older and more knowledgeable than she is. Later, when she...