The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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In The Crucible, how do the witch trials empower individuals who were previously powerless?

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Puritans believed that children were to be seen and not heard, and they expected to hear from female children even less than male children.

The witch trials and accusations made Abigail Williams and the other girls rock-star famous. Suddenly, people were hanging on their every word, breathless with anticipation (or fear) to see who they would point the accusing finger at next. Abigail seems to feel especially powerless prior to Betty's apparent illness; her parents have, evidently, been killed by Native Americans, and she now lives with her uncle, the Reverend Parris. She does not seem to be his biggest fan. Further, she had an affair with John Proctor, for whom she still has feelings, but his wife fired her seven months ago, he has declared their relationship to be over, and someone has been spreading rumors about her in town.

By accusing the women who Tituba has already named, and by professing that she is anxious to return to God herself, Abigail can capitalize on the fact that others...

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