In The Crucible, how does Abigail change her town?  

In The Crucible, how does Abigail change her town?

 

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Abigail changes Salem for the worse by confirming the villagers' worst fears: that there are witches among them who have been working toward the town's downfall.  Before Abigail admits to any connection with the Devil, rumors are already circulating that Betty Parris has been witched and can fly, and Mrs. Putnam has already sent her daughter to conjure the dead Putnam babies' spirits with Reverend Parris's Barbadian slave because Mrs. Putnam thinks that witches murdered them. 

The townspeople are so willing to believe in witches, so eager to find a scapegoat for their own problems, that as soon as Abigail accuses Tituba of witchcraft, they have no trouble completely swallowing her story.  Further, when she confesses that she, herself, has been with the Devil and seen several other women in his company, she confirms all of the townspeople's suspicions, and it allows them to pin the responsibility for any of their problems on those "witches."  Therefore, she changes her town by confirming their fears and thus igniting the hysteria that enabled the Salem Witch Trials. 

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The Crucible

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