How would you interpret Abigail's relationship with the other girls and her relationship with Proctor?

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Abigail can best be described as manipulative, wild, and a touch crazy. Early in her life and before coming to live with her uncle, Reverend Parris, Abigail witnessed the murder of her parents by Native Americans.  This definitely impacted her life. With the girls, she is the ultimate “mean girl.”  She controls them in every way, and they follow her anxiously.  When Betty begins to doubt Abigail “calling out” witches, Abigail threatens her and says she will come in the dead of night to get her. 

The girls will follow Abigail as long as they get the attention they need.  They pretend to see hallucinations and unnatural things when they all realize they have the power to not only get out of trouble for going into the woods with Tituba but also the power to get what they want in town.  For Abigail, that is accusing Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft so she will have a chance with John.  The girls love their new status in the Salem community because they were very repressed by the Puritan values throughout their lives.

Abigail is extremely manipulative with John as well.  She uses her youth and beauty to seduce him during a time Elizabeth is ill.  While the affair is going on, Abigail is Elizabeth's helper or housekeeper, a role she does not cherish.  When John realizes the sin he has committed by having an affair with Abigail, he ends the relationship.  She, however, is not happy, and it is then she starts accusing Elizabeth of witchcraft.

At the end of the play, Abigail runs off when she realizes that the plot to get rid of Elizabeth fails, and John is hanged.

The best words to describe Abigail's relationships with all the characters is  that she uses her manipulative and self-centered ways to get what she wants even at the cost of other lives.