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In The Crucible, what is Abigail's motivation for concealing what the girls did in the...

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mylett72496 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 19, 2012 at 3:30 AM via web

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In The Crucible, what is Abigail's motivation for concealing what the girls did in the forest?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 19, 2012 at 1:41 PM (Answer #1)

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The girls were dancing naked, drinking blood, and calling on spirits in the forest.

While to us these antics may seem harmless and rather silly, they added up to serious charges in Salem.

In Salem, this is witchcraft.

Any of these activities could have gotten them all into quite a bit of trouble. Put together, these actions will be seen as dangerous and dangerously taboo by the community. Abigail knows this and, like Parris, she knows the punishment for such actions is extreme. 

Parris strongly suspects the girls are involved with witchcraft. He knows not only that witchcraft is punishable by death...

Abigail lies to cover for these taboo acts, smartly, diverting attention from the girls so that they might avoid being punished for witchcraft. Her motivvation for lying, then, is primarily to avoid the pain of punishment. 

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