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In Salem during the time of the witch trials everyone is either
politically motivated to believe the girls wild antics are the
work of the devil, or they are so gullible that they think no
child could ever impishly scorn the holiness of the church.
Those are the two main reasons the girls get away with accusing
people of witchcraft at first, later new reasons are introduced.
After the first victims of the girls malignant joke are hung two
new reasons to continue accusing people arrive. The new reason
that most of the girls continue to accuse people is because if
they don't then it would be the girls' fault, not Satan's that
the "witches" died. One girl doesn't fit the mold of just trying
to save herself, and that girl is Abigail. Abigail doesn't want
to be blamed for the deaths of innocent people, but she also has
her own twisted agenda of vengeance and greed that forces her
to continue accusing people. For one thing she lusts after John
Proctor, and she thinks that if Elisabeth is dead he will love
her. Also she was somewhat of a henchman to Mrs. Putnam, and Dr.
Parris, for she is eliminating Parris's enemies, and she accuses
Rebecca Nurse for Mrs. Putnam. Of course Parris doesn't know her
murder of innocent people is for him, but she does it out of a
somewhat obsessive sense of faith to him.
Of course the other girls aren't totally innocent, but they
don't have much of a choice. If they were to speak out like Mary
Williams, the others would accuse them of witchcraft, just like
they did to Mary. In my eyes the main reasons for the continued
accusations were fear for their own life, and in Abigail a need
to have John Proctor love her, and to serve Parris.
When the girls involved in that madness grow up I believe that
most of them will be normal if somewhat less naive about children
than the average housewife. As for Abigail I see her as
committing suicide, when someone else catches her at her little
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Salem witch trials, The Crucible, John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Witchcraft, Abigail Williams
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