What do we learn about Abigail from her reaction to her friends?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the most profound insights gained into Abigail is how manipulative she truly is.  Abigail controls the group of girls.  She is the one who attempts to piece together a story and is able to find a story that works.  Her force of nature in demanding that the girls follow her lead is representative of her power.  It is also representative of how duplicitous she really is.  She embodies the idea that the "worst are filled with passionate intensity" and the manner in which she bullies the other girls to follow her lead is indicative of this.  Her threat to all of them that she will kill them if they do not do as she says is also reflective of this.  Additionally, Abigail is shown to be one who uses her own past and her watching the death of her parents as a galvanizing force in her own life.  I think that being able to display this in such a brazen manner is something that we, as the reader, gain from this particular section of the text.  It is here that the full implications of Abigail as a character and as one who is able to wield power in Salem allows one to recognize how truly warped the moral compass of the town is.

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