The Crucible takes place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. It begins with a sense of witchcraft in the air, when we find out that Reverend Parris (the town minister) and the town are concerned about Betty, Parris’ daughter, who has fallen “a victim of witchcraft.”We find out that Betty, her cousin Abigail, Tituba, a slave, and other girls in the town had been cavorting and practicing witchcraft, naked in the woods, the night before. Since this occurred, Betty had been in a coma-like trance that was suspected to be caused by witchcraft.
We soon find out that Abigail has control over the other girls and blackmails them into lying which eventually leads to unnecessary murders of innocent people throughout the book.We also find out that Abigail worked for John and Goody Proctor, but was fired after she had an affair with Mr. Proctor. Since then, Abigail has had it out for Goody and was attempting to kill her with witchcraft that night in the woods.Her devious and obviously insane state of mind makes the if she can’t have him, no one can theory’ come into effect, until it suddenly changes into if she can’t have him, she’ll make his and everyone else’s lives miserable’. Also, a vicious circle of paranoia and self centeredness comes into action, which also leads to the many unnecessary deaths, when one by one, the innocent are accused, tried, and killed for being witches, even though there is no evidence to support any of the cases, except for the reactions of Abigail and the other girls in the courtroom.
The play ends with John Proctor being tried and hung for suspicions of witchcraft, even though he is obviously not a witch. Their reasoning is that all of the others were unjustly killed, so he had to be killed also.It also says that Abigail leaves town and was rumored to have become a prostitute.