The Crucible
The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. It begins with a sense of
witchcraft in the air, when we find out that Reverend Parris (the town minister) and the town are
concerned about Betty, Parris' daughter, who has fallen "a victim of witchcraft." We find out that
Betty, her cousin Abigail, Tituba, a slave, and other girls in the town had been cavorting and
practicing witchcraft, naked in the woods, the night before. Since this occurred, Betty
had been in a coma-like trance that was suspected to be caused by witchcraft. We soon
find out that Abigail has control over the other girls and blackmails them into lying which
eventually leads to unnecessary murders of innocent people throughout the book. We also find
out that Abigail worked for John and Goody Proctor, but was fired after she had an affair with
Mr. Proctor. Since then, Abigail has had it out for Goody and was attempting to kill her with
witchcraft that night in the woods. Her devious and obviously insane state of mind makes the ?if
she can't have him, no one can theory' come into effect, until it suddenly changes into if ?she
can't have him, she'll make his and everyone else's lives miserable'. Also, a vicious circle of
paranoia and self centeredness comes into action, which also leads to the many unnecessary
deaths, when one by one, the innocent are accused, tried, and killed for being witches, even
though there is no evidence to support any of the cases, except for the reactions of Abigail and the
other girls in the courtroom. The play ends with John Proctor being tried and hung for suspicions
of witchcraft, even though he is obviously not a witch. Their reasoning is that all of the others
were unjustly killed, so he had to be killed also. It also says that Abigail leaves town and was
rumored to have become a prostitute.