In "The Crucible" why does Elizabeth refuse to confess to save a life? Explain.

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Elizabeth is a very honest woman.  To confess means that she would be saying that she was indeed a witch that had muderous intentions towards other people.  That is a complete and total lie.  She would rather die than blacken her name and reputation by admitting to committing Satanic acts for the devil.  If she were to confess, yes, she would have her life, but that life would be forever tainted by the lie that she had told.  People would look upon her with distaste and fear; some would wonder if she was a witch, the people would refuse to associate with her and her family, and her boys would grow up knowing either that she was a witch, OR that she was a liar.  It's not really a win-win situation for her.  So, she maintains her integrity, refuses to lie, and will face the gallows (after her child is born, that is) with pride and her reputation in tact.

It wasn't only Elizabeth that faced this dilemma, it was anyone else that was falsely accused of witchcraft.  In the end, a lot of people did end up confessing in order to save their lives.  Many however, didn't, and that is why so many people ended up hanging in the Salem witch trials.  I hope that helped; good luck!

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The Crucible

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