It is clear in act 1 of The Crucible that Abigail Williams has the status of a poor relation in Mr. Parris's house and that she has had to manipulate him in order to avoid being treated as a servant. When he asks about her reputation in Salem, she lies...
It is clear in act 1 of The Crucible that Abigail Williams has the status of a poor relation in Mr. Parris's house and that she has had to manipulate him in order to avoid being treated as a servant. When he asks about her reputation in Salem, she lies about Elizabeth Proctor's reasons for dismissing her and then, on the basis that attack is the best form of defense, suddenly changes the subject:
They want slaves, not such as I. Let them send to Barbados for that. I will not black my face for any of them! [With ill-concealed resentment at him] Do you begrudge me my bed, uncle?
A little later, Abigail manipulates Betty and Mary into corroborating her story as to what happened in the woods, reminding them of her traumatic past, and the power and resolve she has drawn from it:
I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!
When John Proctor enters, Abigail cannot quite believe that he means to leave her completely, despite the fact that their affair effectively ended seven months ago. She quickly compels him to admit his continuing desire for her (against his will):
ABIGAIL: I have a sense for heat, John, and yours has drawn me to my window, and I have seen you looking up, burning in your loneliness. Do you tell me you've never looked up at my window?
PROCTOR: I may have looked up.
ABIGAIL [now softening] And you must. You are no wintry man. I know you, John. I know you.
Even halfway through act 1, therefore, we have seen something of Abigail's armory of manipulative behaviors, including her use of guilt, shame, fear, sex, pity and remarkable skills of dissimulation to get what she wants. This armory is about to be redeployed from a petty domestic setting to cause universal terror in Salem.