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The Crucible - Witch Trials In The Crucible by Arthur Miller the madness of the Salem witch trials is explored in great detail There are many theories as to why the witch trials came about the most popular of which is the girls suppressed childhoods However there were other factors as well such as Abigail Williams affair with John Proctor the secret grudges that neighbors held against each other and the physical and economic differences between the citizens of Salem Village From a historical viewpoint it is known that young girls in colonial Massachusetts were given little or no freedom to act like children They were expected to walk straight arms by their sides eyes slightly downcast and their mouths were to be shut unless otherwise asked to speak It is not surprising that the girls would find this type of lifestyle very constricting To rebel against it they played pranks such as dancing in the woods listening to slaves magic stories and pretending that other villagers were bewitching them The Crucible starts after the girls in the village have been caught dancing in the woods As one of them falls sick rumors start to fly that there is witchcraft going on in the woods and that the sick girl is bewitched Once the girls talk to each other they become more and more frightened of being accused as witches so Abigail starts accusing others of practicing witchcraft The other girls all join in so that the blame will not be placed on them In The Crucible Abigail starts the accusations by saying I go back to Jesus I kiss his hand I saw Sarah Good with the Devil I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil Another girl Betty continues the cry with I saw George Jacobs with the Devil I saw Goody Howe with the Devil From here on the accusations grow
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