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Kennedy Martin

Mr. Jefferson

English 3P; Period 4

9 May 2017

Deception leads to Disaster

The Salem Witch Trials are trials held in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 that led to the

execution of twenty people for allegedly practicing witchcraft. The play, ​The Crucible​, written

by Arthur Miller depicts these trials and how they came to be. Abigail Williams and Ann Putnam

are the characters most responsible for the events of the Salem Witch Trials, their actions further

show the idea that deception leads to disaster.

Abigail Williams is the niece of Reverend Parris and leads the groups of girls into the

forest. Abby took the girls into the forest so she could drink a spell in order to kill Elizabeth

Proctor, because of her [Abigail’s] affair with Elizabeth’s husband, John.

John Proctor: I have known her

John admits to the court that he has had an affair. By telling this to the court he is giving reason

for Abigail’s character to be questioned by Judge Danforth. If Elizabeth hadn’t lied about her

husband’s affair there would be no chaos about the situation. To continue, Abigail uses deception

to diverge the attention off herself:

Reverend Hale: Why are you concealing? Have you sold yourself to Lucifer?

Abigail: I never sold myself! I’m a good girl! I’m a proper girl!

Abigail: She [Tituba] made me do it! She made Betty do it!
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By blaming their actions on Tituba they are not receiving any of the blame or punishment for the

situation. Abigail uses Tituba as a distraction that leads to them causing a disaster and blaming

everyone of witchcraft because they hold grudges against them.

Ann Putnam is also to blame for the Witch Trials because of her children or lack there of

except Ruth. Ann sent her only daughter, Ruth, into the forest with Tituba to conjure the spirits

of her dead children and ask who killed them. Ruth was not going to go into the forest without

being forced. She told Ruth what she was going to do after finding out who killed her children

but did not stay true to her word. Ann Putnam also misrepresented Rebecca Nurse and blamed

her for the murder of all of her children with no evidence to back up her statement. By telling the

town that Rebecca Nurse was a witch she was falsely accused. Goody Nurse is seen as guilty

until she can prove herself innocent, the false accusation is a disaster that ultimately ends with

her death.

The characters in the play ultimately lie about all of the things that they have seen and

experienced in the duration of the trials. When the characters are misleading things become very

misfortunate. If there was no such thing as lying would any of these events have happened?