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The Crucible - Characters Hidden Motives
The Crucible is about Salem during the witch trials of 1692. People living in and around the village were greatly affected by the hysteria, which had horrible consequences including the hanging of many innocent people. Some of these people had motives other than the ones they revealed. Many looked out for themselves in greed, while others looked to make things better for people that were suffering from the dire consequences of the mischievous girls.
Reverend Parris and Abigail Williams are examples of people looking to benefit themselves. Reverend Parris would always ask what he was getting from situations. In the beginning of the play, he was arguing about how much wood he was getting and how much he was being paid. This is an example of his self-absorbency and greed. One of the true motives of Abigail Williams was to be with John Proctor, a married man she had an affair with a year before. When the opportunity arose, she took advantage of it, naming Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor?s wife, a witch. She did this without thinking about anyone except herself and did not realize whom she was hurting. This is an example of her selfishness.
Other people in the book demonstrated motives of kindness and caring for other people. John and Elizabeth Proctor were a couple that looked out for the good of the people. Their true motives were to correct the witchcraft hysteria taking place in Salem that that time. When John realized what Abigail was up to, he tried to reveal the truth to save the people on trial. Even when he knew he could be named, he tried to shed light on what was really going on in Salem. He admitted to adultery because he thought I might rectify some of the problems. Even right before being hung, he wouldn?t confess to witchcraft- he did what he thought was right and wouldn?t conform to what other people thought.
Not all of the characters could fit into one of these categories, like the Putnams and Reverend Hale. At first, the Putnams wanted their little Ruth to get better, as she was suffering the same symptoms as Betty Parris. Later in the play, we see their motive change as we discover reasons why they would want some of the accused to be committed. Their farm bordered others and if their neighbor was put in jail, they could move onto the land that wasn?t theirs.
Reverend Hale?s character is harder to analyze. In the beginning of the play, he didn?t seem to have a motive, he was their to do what he does best, look for witches. The whole situation could be blamed on him, but back then most people believed in witches and he was the top of the ladder in that field. As the story progresses, Hale starts to realize exactly what has happened and tried to make the others see it, too. Unfortunately4, he couldn?t convince Danforth and the court and people were hung unjustly.
The Crucible contains many complex characters that aren?t always what they seem to be. Many of these characters had hidden motives that would benefit themselves, rather than the people in Salem. This doesn?t in only happen in books, it happens in real life, too. We hope to only meet up with people looking to do the right thing, rather then people who look to do the best for themselves.
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