The Crucible: Evil and Greed In Man High personal, acquisitions, evil desires and massive greed took part in shortening the fuse of the chaotic corruption of the Salem witch trials. Amidst the quiet and peaceful period of the Puritan era in America, not everything seemed as they were. Disorder and sin heightened the animosity and deteriorated the very center of a solemn and strong virtuous society. The Puritan belief in the basic evil of man is evident in Arthur Millers The Crucible through the actions of Abigail Williams and Reverend Parris. The main character who first brings forth this ruckus is Abigail Williams.
Her desire directs towards John Procter, a married man, and she does anything to win his heart. She even tries to put a hex on his wife, Elizabeth Procter. When Betty awakens and confronts Abigail, about the spell, 'You did, you did! You drank a charm to kill John Procters wife' (Miller 19). This quote allows the reader to become aware of the severity of Abbas ruthlessness. Her loathing of Mrs. Procter goes to such great lengths that she would go beyond the point of extremities.
An example of her demonic acts, is when she mutilates her stomach with a sewing needle and claims it to be Elizabeth Procters voodoo spell. 'and struck two inches in the flesh of her belly, he draw a needle out she testify it were your familiar spirit pushed it in.' (Miller 71). From this, it can be conceived that she would disastrously knock down any obstacle to get what she wanted. Another character who brings greed upon themselves is the Reverend Parris. Houses his high social status as a priest as an excuse to obtain that of which he considers is a requirement for such a prestigious man as he believes to be. I nan argument between Reverend Parris and Giles Cory, Giles disagrees on Parris having ownership of the chapel house and the amount of money he gets for his services.
'Mr. Cory, you will look far for a man of my kind at sixty pound a year!' (Miller 28). His selfish self-centered ways are so perverse that he would take advantage of the Lord for his own prerogative. Reverend Parris voracity overtakes him so much that it consumes him into callow motives. In a quarrel between John Procter and Reverend Parris, John brought up past preachings of Reverend Parris repeatedly demanding things of small detail.
'But Parris came, and for twenty week he preach in nothing but golden candlesticks until he had them.' (Miller 62). This shows how arrogance can make a person stoop to petty greediness. Both characters, Abigail Williams and Reverend Parris best exemplifies the sinister and basic evil of man. Their repulsive greediness was the root insetting off the great explosion of the Salem witch trials. The Salem witch trials was the epitome of the insanity and mass hysteria conjured up by a lie. From this, Puritan society withered away almost to the extent of nothingness, only alive as a reminder of how one thing can lead to another..