How is Mary Warren used by both sides?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mary Warren strikes me as a rather sad character.  On one hand, she is manipulated by those in the position of power in Salem.  She sits on the trial jury, is part of Abigail's gaggle of girls, and is someone who did not have an identity before the Witch Trials.  At the same time, Proctor knows very well that she is the weak link in the group of Abigail's associates.  If he has any hope of bringing down the momentum that Abigail has developed, it will lie in forcing her to confront to Abigail and testify against her.  The courtroom scene is extremely telling in that Proctor is pulling on one side of Mary Warren and Abigail, the other.  Mary Warren is sort of tossed from side to side, unable to focus, unable to commit.  Her desire to have some semblance of power turns out to ruin her emotionally and physically.  This process is complete with her recanting everything and accusing Proctor of witchcraft.  Interestingly enough, after this, Miller sort of airbrushes her out of the drama.  It might be to indicate that she served her purpose, and once the machine of political consolidation is done with people, it spits them aside and marginalizes them until they are silent and no longer valuable.  In this, Mary's role is clearly seen in a sad and silent manner.