Outline

I. Introduction
Thesis: The Crucible is filled with an ongoing battle between the forces of good and evil and how they pertain to two very drastically different characters, Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams.


II. The relationship between Elizabeth and Abigail shows a great literary foil.
*I did a little summary of the plot but need to completely rework this paragraph to fit proper essay requirements


III. In the analysis of characters and how they complement one another, Elizabeth Proctor is the innocent little farmer’s wife.


a. Elizabeth was in the process of healing from her previous encounter with John and Abigail.
b. “She’d dare not call out such a farmer’s wife but there be monstrous profit in it. She thinks to take my place, John.” (Miller, II, 1274)
c. She knew Abigail was after her all for the wrong reasons.
d. “Question Abigail Williams about the gospel, not myself!” (Miller, II, 1279)
e. At the end when John and Elizabeth were finally on right standings with each other, Elizabeth realized that no matter what she said to John he would still accept the death punishment.
f. “He have his goodness now...God forbid I take it from him!” (Miller, IV, 1334)


IV. On the other hand, Abigail Williams is the treacherous helper that ruined Elizabeth’s life.

a. Her power came from the accusations that she made against others
b. Her true motive was to get rid of Elizabeth so that she could be with John
c. “I am but God's finger, John. If he would condemn Elizabeth, she will be condemned.” (The Crucible, Dir. Nicholas Hytner, 1996)
d. Abigail was driven by the jealousy she had for Elizabeth, and throughout the play her actions towards John reveal that
e. She was the "queen bee" of her lying band of followers and kept them by her side using threats.
f. “And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!” (Miller, I, 1244)


V. Finally, The Crucible has many roles and characters, but the two that really stood out were the ones with the differing attitudes, mentalities, and characters as a whole.




The Crucible
By: Alina Chekanov

Have you ever watched a movie, read a book, or saw a play and had a burning hatred for the antagonist? That one character that just ruins the “perfect little ending” that we all want to see? Then we run across the innocent character that we come to love and appreciate; the one whose life gets twisted and turned because of that horrid antagonist. When reading and watching The Crucible, feelings of deep abomination developed towards one single character. The character that was selfish enough to take people’s lives for her desires; the character that ruined that “perfect little ending” not only for others, but for herself as well. On the other hand, feelings of awe developed when coming across the innocent individual that exhorted many admirable virtues. The great foil that was unfolded between these two characters was evidently shown through actions, speech, and background details and helped to distinctively separate the two contrasting feelings that were developed towards both characters. The Crucible is filled with an ongoing battle between the forces of good and evil and how they pertain to two very drastically different characters, Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams.

In the analysis of characters and how they complement one another, Elizabeth Proctor happened to be the innocent little farmer’s wife.. She was on an emotional roller coaster throughout the entire play because she was still in the process of healing. She questioned her husband, John, q
uite often but still did not fully trust him. When the scandals began in their town and Elizabeth was accused, she knew right away what her enemy was up to. She concluded, “She’d dare not call out such a farmer’s wife but there be monstrous profit in it. She thinks to take my place, John.” (Miller, II, 1274) This quote shows that she obviously still cared for her husband and was not fond of somebody attempting to steal him away from her again. Being the Christian woman that she was though, she handled the situation accordingly. But it did upset her when others questioned her knowledge of the Christian faith. In one such instance she snapped, “Question Abigail Williams about the gospel, not myself!” (Miller, II, 1279) Elizabeth revealed her insecurity at the end of the play. She thought she was too plain and not good enough for John. When she uttered those words, the invisible wall of misunderstanding and bitterness came crashing down. They both finally realized how much they truly loved each other and cared for one another. This point in the play resolved much unspoken conflict that was hinted at through actions. When John was sent away to be hanged, Elizabeth was torn apart by her emotions. She was thankful that they were finally on better terms than ever before, but at the same time full of grief that he was going to be hanged shortly. When asked to talk John into confessing in the last few moments, she replied, “He have his goodness now...God forbid I take it from him!” (Miller, IV, 1334)

On the other hand, Abigail Williams is the treacherous helper that ruined Elizabeth’s life. Her power came from the accusations that she made against others. She pretended to be the “holy” one that was so intently worried on ridding Salem from the practices of witchcraft. Her true motive was to get rid of Elizabeth so that she could be with John. When he confronted her about the situation she responded, “I am but God's finger, John. If he would condemn Elizabeth, she will be condemned.” (The Crucible, Dir. Nicholas Hytner, 1996) Abigail was driven by the jealousy she had for Elizabeth, and throughout the play her actions towards John reveal that. The rest of the band of girls that were playing along with Abigail saw her as the “queen bee”. She controlled everything in the courtroom, and in a larger sense the entire village. People were gripped with fear, even her own clan of girls. When warning the girls of their importance to the town she snapped, “And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!” (Miller, I, 1244) The way Abigail treated even her closest "friends" reveals her inner character, which is the total inverse of Elizabeth's, and therefore the two complement each other.

The relationship between Abigail and Elizabeth in The Crucible created a great and effective literary foil that served as one of the key components to comprehending the heart of the play. The tension between these two characters made for a livelier and juicier play. Abigail's sole purpose was to rid Salem of Elizabeth. Elizabeth's purpose, on the other hand, was to keep Abigail away from her dear husband and make it out alive. Selfish desires drove Abigail's missions. Morally good desires drove Elizabeth. Even the emotions felt towards these women are not even related. No matter what aspect or situation is analyzed, the motives and actions of these two distinct characters are opposites.

Finally, The Crucible has many roles and characters, but the two that really stood out were the ones with the differing attitudes, mentalities, and characters as a whole. The good that is seen in Elizabeth completely rebukes the evil that is caused by the antagonist, Abigail. The reverse roles that these characters play makes The Crucible an admirable and enjoyable play to read and reflect on. If searching for a play that truly brings out your emotions and deep feelings, you have found the perfect choice.