Is there a specific quote or scene in The Crucible that illustrates the impact of conformity on the village?I am trying to write about how the conformity of the theocracy prevented people from...

Is there a specific quote or scene in The Crucible that illustrates the impact of conformity on the village?

I am trying to write about how the conformity of the theocracy prevented people from thinking independently or gaining self-awareness.

Asked on by nobodyo6

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Abigail, although quite the villian in the play, does have some pretty thought-provoking things to say about conformity in the village, and how it leads people to hypocrisy and blindness.  In the opening act, when she is speaking to John, she rages,

"I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men!"

In this quote, she is saying that in the village, all of the people preach righteousness, but hold wickedness in their hearts.  That stifling of unaccepted thoughts and behaviors actually fuels the accusations, and people let out long-held temptations and feelings against other people.

One last quote from Abby comes in a scene that isn't always included in the play, so I don't know if you have it in your version.  It falls under Act Two, Scene Two, when it is added.  She meets John in the woods and states,

"I used to weep for my sins when the wind lifted up my skirts; and blushed for shame because some old Rebecca called me loose...I saw them all--walking like saints to church...God gave me strength to call them liars."

She again rails against the mindless righteousness of the women, and sets herself up as knowing more, knowing her own mind.  Abby, who goes against the rules of society by being with John, IS a very self-aware character; unfortunately, she is driven to attain what she wants at any costs.  But at least she knows herself and what she does want.

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