Who is to blame for the tragic events in The Crucible?

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When asking this question, the first instinct is almost always to place the entirety of the blame on Abigail Williams and her group. However, Miller's play was largely a criticism on McCarthyism, and a political climate wherein a person's life could be completely ruined simply by being accused being affiliated with communism. For such an environment to function and flourish, it requires the ignorant and spiteful actions of many more, as well as the ignorance and apathy of more still.

That being said, Abigail Williams certainly did her part. A string of lies that are motivated by protecting herself as well as winning her place in the heart of John Proctor eventually lead the community to ruin. It is clear that Abigail will do anything and hurt anyone to get what she wants or to keep herself from punishment.

The Putnams are also heavily to blame, as they use the witch trials as a means to increase their estate. While they did not create the hysteria, they made it much worse by exploiting...

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