In "The Crucible", how does the hysteria affect the reputations of Elizabeth, John, and Abigail?I need help with my literary paper.

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Abigail is first hailed as somewhat of a saint during the trials. But as people tire of the hysteria, they begin to tire of Abigail. Many begin to question her motives. She feels so uncomfortable that she steals money from Rev. Parris and escapes town.

John is affected in the deepest way because he is actually executed. Ironically, he wanted no part in the hysteria when it began. However, Abigail wanted him and that led to her allegations against Elizabeth. When he finally does get involved, it's too late. He is forced to uncover his adultery with Abigail in order to damage her credibility but he gets caught up in her rage. His wife does not want to hurt his reputation, so she denies the affair. After he is arrested and about to be executed, it is this reputation that he refuses to tarnish. He does not want his name associated with those who committed witchcraft even though it would free him from execution. So he goes to the gallows to protect that name.

Elizabeth fares a little better. She understands her husband's desire to save his reputation and won't force him to sign a confession. She loses her husband but because of her pregnancy, she escapes execution, and history tells us she remarried and had other children.

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The Crucible

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