THE CRUCIBLE: ABIGAIL WILLIAMS

  So, I am doing a GCSE English Language CA on 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller and I have to decide whether Abigail Williams is viewed as a villain or a victim. My question is, 'How is Salem society reflected through the character of Abigail Williams?'

Answers
Whilst I haven't personally read 'The Crucible' I would suggest approaching the question in the following way:-Make a mind map ofhow you see Salem society based on what you have read, consider gender roles and such-Now think about Abigail as an individual, her dialogue and actions, what do they tell you about HER role in Salem society?-Consider whether she fits/doesn't fit expectations of Salem society and whyRemember to follow a Point-Evidence-Explain structure for each paragraph.Best of luck :) Rad
radkitsune
26 June 2014
I'm not an English Lit teacher but I both read and watched a Crucible a number of times, just for fun!Arthur Miller who wrote the Crucible wrote it against the back drop of the anti communist movement which was prevalent in the US at the time (called McCarthy-ism) Such was the paranoia of the time that the author had to write a 'fiction' in order to disguise his political message.  Understanding this helps us to understand the nature of the characters within the story... as with McCarthy-ism, everybody who was caught up in the paranoia of the time was potentially both a villian and a victim, society was so fearful of being mis-targeted that it was safer to join 'the crowd' so to speak, so false accusations were rife, and once accusations were made, denial was futile. As with McCarthy-ism the frenzy accumulated to such a degree that accusations were often routinely used for frivolous reasons and merely to 'punish' or achieve 'revenge'
Orla M.
16 July 2014
Contact me for Quality work......................Waiting, thank you
07:29 on 30/06/14
16 July 2014
Hi 'theelexir',It's an interesting question to answer, because on the face of it within the book Abigail is clearly portrayed as one of the text's villains. There's plenty in the text you can support that position with, basically everything she does can work for you here.But! If the question is asking how society is reflected, I think it would be great to take a look at how Abigail is simultaneously a villain within the narrative, but also a victim of her own circumstances - which are a result of Salem's society. Her own story and history don't really allow us as readers to consider her a true victim, and they don't really take away from her crimes and villain status, but it does allow us to perhaps understand why Abigail becomes who she becomes. She is very much a product of the Salem society, which abused her terribly and can be seen as a very clear pathway to the villainous Abigail shown in The Crucible.I hope this helps a little. If you want to discuss it further, I'm available :)-James.
James H.
17 July 2014
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