In "The Crucible" how do you explain Mary's visions?

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gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Mary is presented as a shy,young and very impressionable girl, qualities which make her all too susceptible to the mass hysteria that surrounds the witchcraft court. The allegations appear to be deliberately started by Abigail and her cohorts, as a means of deflecting blame from their own activities such as dancing in the woods at night which is strictly frowned upon in that community, but the situation spirals out of control. It is not surprising that a gullible young girl like Mary might actually start believing in the reality of spirits and having visions of them. In the atmosphere of sheer excitement and drama she started to believe that she really did see spirits, because everyone else seemed to believe in them too. She confesses all this, but goes back to Abigail in the end out of fear of being punished by the court. Therefore, we can point to a psychological explanation for her visions. We might also add that she also goes along with Abigail and the witchcraft pretence out of her need to belong to a peer group.
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The Crucible

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