The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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What do we learn about why Mary Warren gives the poppet to Elizabeth in Arthur Miller's The Crucible?

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Brayan Effertz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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We see Mary Warren giving the poppet to Elizabeth, supposedly just as a present in the early stages of Act II. At first sight, therefore, it seems that Mary Warren gives her the poppet simply as an act of goodwill.

 However, this seemingly innocuous and generous gesture turns out to have sinister consequences when the poppet is taken as evidence that Elizabeth has used witchcraft to harm Abby. Mary Warren left the needle in the poppet after she finished making it, and Abigail is later discovered with a needle in her belly. This is enough to make the court believe that Elizabeth has deliberately harmed Abby from a distance, although the accusation is denounced as completely ridiculous by the rational and sceptical Proctor. 

We can guess from the rapidly unfolding events culminating in Elizabeth's arrest that Abigail deliberately uses Mary Warren and the poppet as part of her fiendish plan to frame Elizabeth. Mary remarks that Abigail saw her make the poppet in court. We can infer from this that Abigail hatched her plan then and there to get Elizabeth convicted, later stabbing herself in the body, just as Mary Warren's needle remains in the poppet which ends up in Elizabeth's house. What we cannot be sure of is whether Mary was a party to any of this scheme. It seems likely that she wasn't, however, as she appears as a very naive girl in comparison to the sly, conniving Abigail. However, she also appears to be in awe of Abigail and easily led.

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Lizette Eaves eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Act II ofThe Crucible, Mary Warren returns from court and brings Elizabeth Proctor a poppet (or doll).  Mary Warren, when she presents the gift to Elizabeth, tells us that she made it in order to make peace with Elizabeth.  Mary Warren that she made the doll in court for Goody Proctor because "We must all love each other now...."  

Later in the act, when the Proctor household is being searched, John Proctor brings Mary Warren in to again explain where the doll came from.  Mary Warren reiterates that she made the doll in court for Elizabeth; she even tell Cheever and Hale that Abigail Williams saw her making the doll.  All they need to do is ask Abby.

Here is where Abigail's diabolical plan comes to fruition.  Abigail claims Goody Proctor's spirit stabbed her with a needle, so when they find the sitting on the mantle, they believe they have the evidence needed to arrest Elizabeth.

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