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The Three Sided Abigail Williams Essay

  • Submitted by: bthomusc
  • on November 13, 2012
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 774 words

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Below is an essay on "The Three Sided Abigail Williams" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible a young, Puritan woman named Abigail Williams sends the whole town into an uproar. The interesting thing about Abigail is all of her different personalities that appear throughout the play. One minute she is sweet Abigail speaking to her uncle, next she is manipulating Abigail telling the girls what to do, and finally we see the lustful Abigail flirting with John Proctor. The true question would be which side to Abigail is the true side, and the exploration to this answer brings up many new questions throughout the play.
When Abigail first appears on stage, she appears to be an obedient girl to her uncle. She almost has a little girl essence about her that gives her a sweet and naïve look. However, a few exchanges of words with her uncle seem to show that Abigail may not be so sweet after all. As Abigail tries to get her uncle to believe her story of that night in the woods, it seems that she is not getting her way, and he believes the truth is not being told. In anger of not getting her way, Abigail yells, “You mistake yourself, uncle!” (Miller 9), something a well behaved, Puritan girl should never do. If Abigail were as sweet as she makes herself appear to be, it would seem that she should not let herself get quite so upset and so suddenly. Her uncle is not believing what she wants him to believe; therefore, Abigail breaks her character and becomes manipulative even with her elder.
The second side of Abigail worth exploring is her manipulative side. It is obvious throughout the play that Abigail is very accustomed to getting her way with things. It is just as apparent that when she does not get her way, her group of followers, the teenage girls, also must suffer until she finds a way to get what she desires. The text that shows this side to Abigail most accurately occurs in the play when Mary Warren speaks up and says she believes they should tell everyone the truth:

Now look you. All of you. We danced. And Tituba...

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