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What are some of the grudges and the personal rivalries in The Crucible?

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tumo305 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 11, 2011 at 6:03 AM via web

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What are some of the grudges and the personal rivalries in The Crucible?

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sarahc418 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted May 11, 2011 at 9:52 AM (Answer #1)

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There are numerous personal grudges in the play, and actually is one of the causes of the witch trials.

The most central person rivalry is between Abigail and Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail had an affair with Elizabeth's husband John. John ended the affair, but Abigail is not willing to take no for an answer. Her jealousy for Elizabeth's role in John's life leads her to accuse Elizabeth of witchcraft.

Other grudges occur between very prominent members of society. Francis and Rebecca Nurse are of a family with lots of children and grandchildren. They own over 300 acres of land, but Thomas Putnam, another prominent member of Salem, disuptes with him over land boundaries. Francis also went against Thomas Putnam's brother in law for the position of minister to Salem.

It is quite a conicidence that Ruth Putnam is an accuser of Rebecca Nurse later in the story. There also seems to be an insinuation that the Putnams are jealous of Rebecca Nurse's numerous children. Mrs. Ann Putnam herself miscarried and lost many of the children she bore.

The Coreys, Giles and Martha, are an older couple. Martha Corey is accused of witchcraft because she sold a pig to a neighbor and the pig died two days later. Since then, the neighbor cannot keep a pig alive on his farm.

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