Abigail is an ambitious and shrews opportunist who knows how to turn the tide to her advantage. She worked in a woman’s household and soon developed feelings for her husband, John Proctor. Rather than confess this and walk away from it, she seduced him and was thrown out as a “harlot,” but has managed to keep her reputation intact. She encourages a servant to cast spells for her, and recruits the other girls into satanic activities in the woods, then lies about her involvement when her guardian catches them at it. Seeing how she could save her own skin by playing into local paranoia about witchcraft, Abigail creates hysterics centered around her false testimony that she has seen the devil, been visited by projected spirits, etc. She tests out how effective she is in getting people convicted by targeting the town drunk and other locals, in order to amass enough influence and credibility to go after Proctor’s wife. She shows no concern for other people, but instead treats them like chess pieces in a game to take out the woman standing in-between her and the man she has become obsessed with having; life is a game, and she intends to win it. Once John hurts her feelings by rejecting her and threatening to do her harm, she goes after his wife to punish him with a vengeance. She ranges between being blunt, shrewd, and tactical, and easily charming and manipulating people into believing her hysterics and accusations are real, all without having the emotional maturity to realize even if she succeeds, John will hate her for the rest of his life—never want her again. She easily intimidates and bullies the other girls, leading the way into over-inflated “reactions to the devil” (screaming and fainting). One excellent example of opportunism mixed with tert-Fe is her diabolical ability in court to turn the charges around on someone else; when a former friend tries to thwart her, Abigail accuses her of having a familiar and then repeats everything the girl says, causing them to assume she is being “controlled.” Abigail uses guilt-tripping to make people believe her (“is this the reward I get for risking my life?”) and threats she knows will scare the other girls into obedience. Abigail shows her true colors at the end of the story, when she steals all the money in the house and skips out, rather than sticking around to face the social consequences of her decisions. Abigail often pushes too far, and oversteps her authority—she tries to accuse Reverend Hale’s wife of witchcraft because he knows her to be a liar, only to get firmly put in her place. She has a romantic idealist mindset about John and is delusional about their future life together, clinging to this as her goal throughout the story until his refusal to escape with her proves her wrong.

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Abigail cares immensely about her reputation, more so than she does about whether what she is doing is wrong – she instantly rushes to protect and defend her “good name” and accuses anyone else of slandering her who calls her words into question. She vehemently denies any wrongdoing, tries to downplay their dancing and witchcraft in the wood, and deflects things off onto other people. She skillfully knows how to appeal to the Witch Finders and get them to believe her, using whatever tactics she can think of to convince them she is telling the truth. She is quite clever and unscrupulous and manages to salvage her reputation, but cannot stand anyone thinking ill of her, and can be underhanded in her vindictive behaviors. She is doing this all for a warped idea about love, and she becomes wrathful when she isn’t allowed to have what she wants. Abigail assumes she is doing John a favor by getting rid of his wife, so they can be together. Rather than mope about it, however, Abigail gets even… and then she walks away from the man she supposedly loves.