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The crucible self preservation essay

the crucible self preservation essay

the crucible self preservation essay Selfishness in The Crucible by Claudia Papke on Prezi

The Crucible Thematic Essay - Essay - ReviewEssays.com

| selflessness vs. novel in preservation self the AP.

- Abigail CliffsNotes Williams

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mahein38 Avatar

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Post by mahein38 on Oct 10, 2011 16:59:25 GMT -5

The concept of self-preservation largely influences the actions of the characters in The Crucible. In many situations, characters look for the best way to help protect themselves, despite what consequences it may have for others. In Act I, as Hale tries to determine what actually occurred between Tituba and the girls in the forest, the evidence begins to point toward Abigail performing witchcraft. As Hale persistently asks her, "Why are you concealing? Have you sold yourself to Lucifer?" (Miller 43) Abigail comes to the realization that the only way to protect herself is to shift the blame upon other citizens of Salem such as Tituba and Goody Good. As she "confesses" to knowledge of these other people's witchcraft, Abigail is in turn condemning them to death. However, Abigail is so focused upon her own survival that she does not care for the consequences that he actions may have upon others. This attitude toward self- preservation is ironic as the Puritans were a people more focused upon the progress of society over the progress of the individual. On the opposite side of the spectrum, John Proctor sacrifices his reputation as he tries to help acquit his wife and the other accused. As the court begins to turn in favor of Abigail and the girls, Proctor realizes that the only way to prove the illegitimacy of Abigail's claims is to confess to their affair. As Proctor begrudgingly tells Danforth in reference to Abigail, "I have known her sir, I have known her," (Miller 110) he gives up his power and reputation in order to try and achieve justice for those under accusation. What other characters in the novel exhibit either selflessness or self-preservation? What are the consequences of their actions?

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karembi38 Avatar

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Post by karembi38 on Oct 10, 2011 17:32:04 GMT -5

Mary Warren displays both selflessness and self preservation in act III. At the beginning of the act, she is prepared to confess that she had never been a victim of witchcraft, and thus had lied in court, selflessly saving the accused witches. However, when it becomes apparent that Danforth does not believe that the other girls were also false, Mary Warren instead displays self preservation. She then claims that Proctor had forced her to lie, threatening, "'I'll murder you... if my wife hangs! We must go and overthrow the court"' (Miller 119). In act III Mary Warren follows the same pattern as Abigail, resorting to self preservation when she realizes that she has no power, and falsely accusing those beside her.

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dagalla35 Avatar

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Post by dagalla35 on Oct 16, 2011 19:49:10 GMT -5

I think there is also a question of pure self preservation vs straight out selfishness present throughout the play. When Tituba helps spark he crisis by confessing to witchcraft and making up a story about the Devil in act One, she does so out of self preservation, as she would be killed otherwise. Characters like Abigail and Parris support the crisis simply to advance their position in the society (or for Abigail in act one, to avoid getting a few lashes). As opposed to putting others in harm just to survive, Abigail blatantly accuses others, knowing they will probably be hanged, just to give herself more power, saying, "I saw Goody Sibber with the Devil!" (Miller 48) Marry Warren is interesting, because while at firt she manipulates the crisis just to advance herself, especially in act two, where she threatens to let Elizabeth get accused as a witch, saying, "I would have you speak civilly to me, from this out." (Miller 60) However, in act three, when she tries to confess, she switches back to Abigail's side out of self preservation, as she realized that Danforth believed Abigail and she could be hanged.

- Essay Crucible - Act OtherPapers.com one


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