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In The Crucible by Arthur Miller and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the value of bystanders’ lives is well beneath all personal achievements and gain, resulting in greedy and jealous motivations for inequity while the downfall of others inflict and strengthen undeserved power, leading to their own destruction.
Arthur Miller uncovers Abigail Williams’ motivations throughout this era as selfish and purely for self-gain. Accusing innocent people and encouraging the rest of the girls to accuse others when they were the only ones involved with any sort of witchcraft, they sent hundreds to their death sentence without any remorse or a second thought. This shows that she ignores the value of anyone’s life that may stand in her way of protecting her own life and replacing Elizabeth Proctor’s place as John’s wife. Abigail has no empathy for the accused, tried, tortured, and hung, because of her greed and jealous-filled motivations. While Abigail, once the accused now becomes the accuser, her position is strengthened to the point of total control in the court. The people are left completely powerless and brought to their knees begging and pleading to stop the madness in Salem, Massachusetts. Abby’s manipulative and devious ways also put her in control over John and Elizabeth Proctor. After separating them mentally after Abby and John commit lechery, Abby continues to threaten their marriage by finally going to the extremes and accuses Elizabeth and sends her to jail and to be tried in court, which separates them physically.
Victor Frankenstein is another main character, from the novel Frankenstein, who shows motivations and want of power for pure self-gain and personal achievement. His greed leads him to take for granted his entire family. When others mention anything of their pain and suffering, Victor is not shy when he expresses his disbelief because he believes that he has it worse than anyone shows that even when his family is hurting, worrying, and being killed by the monster he created, Frankenstein remains a self-centered man. Only focusing on his misfortunes and poor fate. By bringing others to a downfall, Frankenstein gains undeserved over the monster and the ones who love him. Victor has control over his creation’s moods. Instead of caring for the monster, and giving him his simple wants and needs, like a companion of similar features, Victor ignores him. This causes the monster to feel lonely in the world he has been brought into and unaccepted by his own creator. The monster is restricted from both mental and physical growth, unable to move up on the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, making him vulnerable and powerless over his own life.
Abigail Williams and Victor Frankenstein were both normal civilians, weak with no power, who gained undeserved power by devaluing the life of innocent bystanders who they once were admired by and let their greed and jealous motivations for injustice get the better of them, which in the end lead them to their own destruction. These characters rose and they fell. They became imperial and took control, however, after many deaths and time that has passed since, the people realize the destruction of their self-centered actions and Abigail and Victor are looked down upon.
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