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The Crucible: Characterization of Mary Warren

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Following behind someone can only lead you to calamity. Would you rather lead your own way or follow someone else’s lead? The best way to be is to follow your own way, because being amenable with trouble will lead you to trouble. Likewise, in Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible” the character Mary Warren follows behind Abigail Williams(Abby). She lies, throws people under the bus, and fakes seeing spirits. Mary Warren is a girl that doesn’t have her own identity; she always follows Abigail and the girls. Mary Warren is a follower and duplicitous person as shown through her words and actions.

Through Mary Warren’s words she shows herself to be a follower. John is trying to cajole Mary to come clean to the court about the lies her and her friends are telling, but Mary knows that if she tells the girls will turn on her and she doesn’t want to charge Abby with murder. Therefore, she tells Proctor she can’t do it, “She’ll kill me for saying that!”(955). Mary knows that if she snitches on Abby she will come for her life. Mary is a weak girl, and Abby is much stronger; Abby is stronger mentally. Abby is the leader and whatever she does or says goes. Abby threats the girls, she tells them if they tell she will come and kill them herself. Mary is standing before Judge Danforth to tell him that her and the girls are lying.

He does not believe that the whole thing is fake, so he asks her to cry and fake seeing spirits before him if it is all a lie. Mary couldn’t bring herself to do that, because the other girls were not being fake and carrying on; she had no one to follow behind to make it look real so she just stood there, “It were pretense, sir.”(960). Mary uses the word pretense, which means to show falsely. Mary is showing false actions, because the other girls were. By saying that it’s pretense, she lets Judge Danforth know the hooping and hollering is all an act. Mary would not have been able to pull off the fake actions if the other girls were not doing and Judge Danforth didn’t believe them. Thus, it is clear through Mary Warren’s words she has the trait of a follower.

On the contrary, through Mary Warren’s actions she shows herself as being duplicitous. Mary elucidates on the false actions her and the girls are pulling. She commits perjury right before the Judge and he does not believe her but he is willing to listen. Abby and the girls are saying that Mary is sending spirits over them. Judge Danforth believes them, because they are good pretenders, “I cannot lie no more. I am with God, I am with God. She breaks down into sobs at the thought of it.”(968). Mary is tired of lying and accusing people of witchcraft. Mary switches from being on the girls side to snitching on them. She was being duplicitous, which means to be two-faced and switch sides. When she says “I am with God now.” And she switches sides then. She basically is going back to the side of goodness and she knows what they were doing is wrong. Mary switches back on the girls side, because they are saying that Mary is a witch.

They start copying everything she is saying, and she tells them to stop, but they don’t; so she turns to Proctor and starts calling him out as a witch like the girls are doing. She runs to Abby’s arm and she consoles her, “Points at proctor. You’re the Devil’s man!”(976). Calling Proctor the Devil’s man makes it all obvious that Mary switches back to Abby and the girls’ side. Mary couldn’t take the accusing and being on Abby’s side was much easier than being on her own team. By her actions of pointing at Proctor and calling him the Devil’s man Mary no longer feels the need to be truthful about what really is going down in the court room. One can clearly see through Mary Warren’s actions she has the trait of being a duplicitous person. One minute she’s on the side for what’s right and the next she switches back to the wrong side.

In conclusion, Mary Warren is a follower and duplicitous person as shown through her words and actions. Having your friends back and them turning your back on them; Mary shows her duplicitous ways. Fake crying, seeing fake spirits, and blaming people of witchcraft just because someone else is doing it shows her being a follower. Mary Warren is a switch out and a follower that remains in a web of trouble. Being a duplicitous follower is never good way but in this play that’s the way Mary Warren saves her own skin.

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