“Does this dress make me look fat?” It’s a typical conception; women inform each other to wear black since the contrast is slendering. Politicians run attack advertisements on components to make themselves look much better in contrast. The literary technique of contrast was evidently not unidentified to American playwright Arthur Miller. In The Crucible, the juxtaposed characters Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor are foils of each other. While the two women’s functions are comparable in their relation to John Proctor, Miller also contrasts them in three significant ways: social position, activity or passivity of character, and morality. Provided in contrasts, these three central themes are highlighted to highlight the numerous aspects at play in the events of the Salem Witch Trials.
Elizabeth is a primarily passive character while Abigail is at times practically the sole assailant within the events of The Crucible. First of all, even the background info that sets the scene -the driving friction between Elizabeth and Abigail that leads to accusations of witchcraft– would not exist if it weren’t for Abigail’s actions with John Proctor. In Act I, Abigail gets Betty to increase “from the bed, a fever in her eyes …” and shout falsities about typical names in Act I, in front of Putnam and Parris (Miller 44). From then on, she controls the town in a puppeteer’s screen of manipulation, rumoring, and false allegations come to life. Abigail’s was the pointing finger towards so many of the implicated, attacking, destroying, and frequently taking their lives. All along, the unsuspecting Elizabeth Proctor is interested in her domestic affair and has no participation up until her allegation. When provided the possibility to offer her stepping in word in her partner’s fate, she remains passive: “I can not judge you, John” (Miller 125).
A second considerable distinction is that Abigail and Elizabeth originate from varying social standpoints. The information of which set the phase for the envy and revenge that took place in The Crucible. Elizabeth Proctor has a homestead, a spouse, and basically, more credibility in Salem to lose. Abigail Williams is simply a lady of 17, young and un-married– yet able to lure John Proctor. Abigail attends church everyday, staying up to date with her Puritan image. Nevertheless, she has actually conveniently driven Elizabeth to rarely go to. Because Abigail was in cahoots with the other servant girls, she had a way of indirectly damaging Proctor’s home. When chance emerged, the details came together, and it was all too easy for Abigail to convict Elizabeth of witchcraft, in hopes of taking her security. “She thinks to dance with me on my better half’s grave!” John exclaims in court (Miller 102). The 2 ladies preserve this department to the end, Elizabeth going amongst the innocent and Abigail constantly maintaining her function as the persecutor
Finally, in contrast to Abigail, who has ended up being ethically corrupt, Elizabeth Proctor serves to represent the social and ethical requirements and expectations of the setting. She is a true Christian woman. While Abigail is exploiting the fears of Christianity for her own selfish desires, Elizabeth is on a more wholesome mission to fix her marriage. In the end, she is able to overcome John’s sin by enabling him to forgive himself, although Abigail rested on his other shoulder and motivated him to sin again the entire time. That is, while she wasn’t busy worshipping the devil and wishing harm on other individuals in the woods. “You did, you did! You consumed an appeal to kill Goody Proctor!”, Betty strongly keeps in mind from her sickbed. It also is worth keeping in mind that Elizabeth was said to have actually never ever lied; “In her life sir … my wife can not lie” (Miller 103). When she finally disproved that belief it was just with the objective of bailing out her partner (whom she actually condemned). At this point, one might want to Abigail and her long stream of lies versus individuals around her, and judge one’s morals against another’s.
A village breaks out into hysteria, twenty individuals end up dead at the hands of Massachusetts State, and two ladies captured up in the very same love affair can be found at the heart of everything. The events of The Crucible show how an individual conflict can grow to touch a neighborhood and the impact we can choose to have on other individuals’s lives. Overall, the actions of Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Proctor add to the play’s styles of morality and social standing, and communicate a message about those who try to trade one for the other. Even today, Miller’s drama maintains its relevance, like a historical allegory, as human habits repeat.