What is the significance of the poppet scene in terms of what it reveals regarding Abigail and Elizabeth in The Crucible?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the poppet scene truly reveals the level of antagonism that Abigail has towards Elizabeth.  It is also the moment when Elizabeth's suspicions are no longer paranoia.  The poppet reveals the extent to which Abigail wants Elizabeth gone, in order to accomplish her own ends of snaring John Proctor for herself.  The significance of the scene reveals much about both characters.  For Elizabeth, the poppet scene brings to light the fundamental "crucible" that she and her husband must face.  Due to his own transgressions, John has endangered Elizabeth.  He comes to recognize this as she is being arrested, as it is the first moment where we start to see him take an active role in defending his wife and his own state of being in the world.  The poppet scene is also significant because of Abigail, herself, and what it shows.  There is a level of deviousness that is evident in Abigail's planning and machinations in order to accomplish her desired end.  She planned the poppet, was able to manipulate Mary Warren in order to accomplish her end, and proved skilled and being able to take random events and link them in a sequence to make her the victim and Elizabeth the aggressor.  It is through the poppet scene where Abigail's personality is reflected to be quite an intense one, and one where she is quite dangerous.

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