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In act one (scene one) of Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible," Reverend Parris and Abigail, his niece, are speaking about the rumors of witchcraft which are already erupting around the town of Salem. His daughter, Betty, has come down with an unexplainable illness and rumors about her flying over barns have begun (speaking of witchcraft). Parris, worried about his reputation, begins to question Abigail about what happened the previous night and the purity of her name.
Abigail, denounces the talk of witchcraft and states that the rumors he has most likely heard were started by Elizabeth Proctor. Elizabeth had released Abigail from her position as the Proctor's servant because of the affair she had with Elizabeth's husband, John. Abigail does not admit to her uncle that Elizabeth let her go because of the affair. Instead, Abigail tells Parris that she was not let go--she quit. Abigail says that she would not work for Elizabeth any longer based upon the fact that Elizabeth is "a bitter woman, a lying, cold sniveling woman." She also states that Elizabeth wanted her to be a slave, and Abigail would not be a slave to her.
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