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Abigail Williams deserves 55% of the blame because instead of accepting responsibility for her actions, she lied and let innocent people die. The symbol that I gave Abigail was a snake, because she’s deceiving and manipulative. While being accused by Betty for her actions in the woods, she threatens her by saying “I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!” (Act I). This portrays on the audience Abigail’s narcissistic and fearful personality, because of how she only cares to protect herself. As well as this, she will go to any length to do so. Abigail is in love with John and expects the same because she claims “You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet! John, pity me, pity me!” (Act II). She was lustful of John Proctor and jealous Elizabeth Proctor. She did whatever she could to get with John and get Elizabeth out of the way. That is what began the hysteria of this play.
Danforth deserves 15% of blame because he would always question John and Mary’s word and trust Abigail’s. Danforth gets the symbol of an uneven scale because he values his reputation more than he values the truth. Danforth shows how he really feels about the witch trials he says, “there is fear in the country because there a moving plot to topple Christ in the country” (Act III). Danforth believes that the people of court are people of God. He believes that they are all doing the right thing by putting people on trial for witchcraft. He believes that people are either for the court or against it. When 91 people said that the people blamed of witchcraft were innocent, he wanted to question them too instead of questioning Abigail or the girls about if their claims are true. He believes that witchcraft is there in the town, and it’s his job to get rid of it. When Giles says that his wife was innocent in court, Danforth exclaims, “do you take it upon yourself to determine what this court shall believe and what it shall set aside?” (Act III). Danforth believes that Giles isn’t on his side, he won’t listen to him. He doesn’t let people stand up for what they believe in. Instead of putting Abigail and the other girls on trial, he questions the people who are trying to prove themselves innocent. Danforth cares more about what people would think of him than doing the right thing for the town and for the court. Danforth deserves blame because if he listened to Proctor, Giles and the others, many of the people executed would have been saved.
John Proctor deserves 15% of the blame because Abigail started calling Elizabeth a witch because of a “promise” made by John during his relationship with her; even though Abigail has the majority of the blame, it is John who unknowingly encourages her in the witch trials. John gets the Yin-Yang symbol because even when he is trying to do good, there is still a bad part always in it. When Elizabeth is accused of witchcraft, she says “there is a promise made in any bed, ” and she thinks that Abigail wants that promise to come true now (Act II). Elizabeth realized Abigail was lustful of John and was jealous of Elizabeth’s position in his life. She did what she had to do to get rid of Elizabeth and get with John. If he was honest about his relationship with her from the start, he could’ve avoided the witch trials drama, which started from that. Instead of trying to end the witch trials with the truth, he tries save his dignity and reputation by hiding it; that ended up giving the town an even larger punishment. After months of try to hide his relationship with Abigail, he finally tells the court, “she thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly”.
John gave up on trying to reveal Abigail’s real motive without ruining his name, and he finally confesses the truth. He knew that the witch trials started because Abigail was mad that he ended their affair and chose Elizabeth instead of her. Even though he knew the truth, he wanted to save his reputation in Salem so he did not tell the truth until it was too late. Unfortunately, instead of Abigail being exposed, Proctor’s relationship is shown to the entire town and he is called a witch. John deserves a little part of the blame because if he told the truth about his relationship, the whole witchcraft hysteria would have happened on a much smaller scale or not at all.
Parris deserved 15% of the blame because even though he didn’t accused anyone of witchcraft, he always said that Proctor was against the church and court and wishes to overthrow it so that no one would believe what he was trying to say. I gave him the symbol of badge/medal of valor which shows high rank which he desperately wanted to sustain. When Parris finds out about the witchcraft being done by Abigail and the girls, he asks Abigail to tell him the truth by saying, “Abigail, I have fought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me, and now, just now when some good respect is rising for me in the parish, you compromise my very character”. After he saw the girls dancing in the forest, he realized that witchcraft could have came in his own house. He was worried about the danger to his reputation as the Reverend if people found out that his daughter and niece could be the ones in contact with the devil. From the start, he thought that something was not right about the witch trials, but instead of worrying about the girls, he was more worried about his reputation. When Proctor or anyone else said something about the girls lying, he immediately said, “beware this man, Your Excellency, this man is mischief… they’ve come to overthrow the church, sir” because he was scared his reputation would be ruined. Parris was honorable in town, but he saw everyone as either for the church or against the church. He thinks that everyone either belongs to God or the Devil. Since the court is conducting the witch trials, anyone who goes against the trials, like Proctor or Giles, is the court’s enemy. Parris believes that the court does God’s work, so anyone going against the court is going against God. If Parris’ first priority wasn’t his reputation and he admitted to what he saw in the forest, then innocent people in the town could have been proven innocent.
Mary Warren deserved 5% of the blame because even though she was a big part of the witch trials, she had the opportunity to prove that the witchcraft was all a lie, but she fell bad to Abigail’s side. I gave her the symbol of Pinocchio because she lied in court. When Mary was part of the court, she gave her proof for hanging Goody Osborn, and when Proctor asked for the proof, she said, “I told you the proof. It’s hard proof, hard as rock, the judges said”. In Proctor’s eyes, this proof was not considered justice. In this scene, the court made its decision without any real evidence. Mary is more caught up in the excitement and respect she gets as part of the court that the need for the truth to come out. At this point, Mary is so caught up in all the witchcraft, that she too believes that it is really true, and what the court is doing is true justice; she just listens to whatever the judges tell her and she believes it. When Mary is finally given a chance to prove that witchcraft was a lie, Danforth asked her to prove it by fainting again in court, but she said, “I cannot faint now… I have no sense of it now”. She promised John she would tell the truth and prove that Abigail was a fraud, but she turned against the Proctors and went back to Abigail. Even though, for a moment, she was strong, Mary was again showing the weakness that she showed at the beginning of the play. She had many chances in court to convince Danforth that Abigail was lying, but instead she accused John of forcing her to tell the town that the witchcraft was a lie. If Mary had used her position in court to prove the truth about Abigail and the witch trials, then she could have saved the people who were falsely accused, and she could have gotten Abigail the punishment she deserved.
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