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The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller took place in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. A small group of girls began accusing villagers of making deals with the devil and casting spells. The girls experienced hallucinations and seizures when faced with the people accused. Within a few weeks, many people were jailed on charges of performing witchcraft. John Proctor, a local farmer, stood up against the group of girls and the court insisting that his wife, Elizabeth, is innocent of witchcraft. He claimed that "vengeance is walking Salem" because he believed that there is nothing supernatural occurring in Salem but instead accusers were only taking the opportunity to accuse anyone they had a grudge against for personal gains. This gave the people a chance to get back at those they didn't like.

Reverend Parris, the minister of Salem's church, had a niece living with him at the time of the trials. His niece, Abigail Williams, was part of the group of girls that accused people of witchcraft. At one point, she was a servant for the Proctors. During her time as a servant in the Proctor household, Elizabeth discovered that Abigail was having an affair with John. Elizabeth fired her from her services and John had to live with the sin of adultery he had committed. During the trials, Abigail accused Elizabeth of using a doll to send her spirit to harm her. Once John knew that Abigail made the claim that Elizabeth was a witch, he knew that Abigail was only looking to seek revenge on Elizabeth. She wanted vengeance on Elizabeth for kicking her out of the house. During the court hearing to prove the group of girls were pretending, John says, "She thinks to dance with me on my wife's grave! But it is a whore's vengeance, and you must see it." John revealed his secret of committing adultery to the court even though it would have ruined his good name.

Abigail had a desire for violent revenge. She wanted to see Elizabeth suffer because Abigail believes she deserves John. Abigail wanted Elizabeth dead so she could run away with John and start a new life. Abigail still loved John and wanted to do anything to get him to be with her. John knew revenge was her only motive and she was never possessed by anyone's spirit. She was jealous of Elizabeth and wanted to John to herself. She also wanted vengeance because Elizabeth kicked her out of her house. Since Abigail was jealous and seeked revenge, this validates John Proctor statement of vengeance running the court.

One of the wealthiest landowners in Salem, Thomas Putnam, used revenge as a method of accusing people. He was a bitter man that held a grudge against the Nurse family for preventing Thomas's brother-in-law from being elected to the office of minister. Putnam felt that the honor of his family was ruined by the village and he wanted to make things better as much as he could. Putnam also pushed his daughter to charge George Jacobs because if he is executed,



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