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How would you describe the most important character traits of the Abigail williams,...

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jamarcusjohns... | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 5, 2010 at 5:55 AM via web

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How would you describe the most important character traits of the Abigail williams, John Proctor, and Reverend Hale?

use textual evidence from the story to prove your point. Ideas & explanations should be insightful,thorough,convincing, and strongly supported by compelling evidence

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 6, 2010 at 3:03 AM (Answer #1)

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The Crucible is the story of human beings from every point on the human spectrum.  Each of the three characters you mention is on a different spiritual journey, and the primary characteristics of each reflect that. 

Abigail is self-absorbed and unrepentant about the trouble/damage she's caused.  She has, according to Miller, "an endless capacity for dissembling," and she lies with regularity and conviction.  Her lies are motivated by selfishness and they cause great destruction--something she wants to escape only because it might cost her something to stay.

John Proctor is a sinner who is perfectly aware of the blackness of his soul.  He is strong and straightforward, supportive of the church but not of hypocrisy.  When faced with a choice to, in his own mind, "sin" again, John chooses to die instead, having made peace with God before he does.

Rev. Hale is a man of God who seeks only to serve Him the best way he knows how.  He is a crusader for right, and his only swerving is to encourage Proctor to lie to save his life--understanding what that means but thinking God would forgive a lie in the face of a worse lie.  He is just and passionate and  fervent in his faith.  He eventually loses faith in man (the court) but not in God.

Lori Steinbach

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