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Psychological Analysis of "The Crucible"
Transcript of Psychological Analysis of "The Crucible"
(Lawrence Kohlberg's Theory)
The society of the Puritans itself is basically stuck in the Pre-conventional stage of Kohlberg's theory. The laws are permanent and absolute with no exceptions or loop-holes. Their punishments are harsh; laws stand even when society evolves past the need for them.
Abigail Williams is the head accuser in "The Crucible". I would put her in stage 4 of Kohlberg's theory, becauseshe understands society as a whole. She knows how her actions and judgements will affect others in the community, and she uses that to her advantage. Instead of her maintaining the order, she uses this knowledge to create chaos in the community.
Abigail Williams Cont.
She set up Goody Proctor knowing that society's laws would force her to go to court. And with the way to community was operating, Goody proctor would be sentenced to death, which played right into her personal interests; being John Proctor.
Mary Warren is fully developed in Kohlberg's theory of social development. This is because she "willingly" went with John Proctor to court to bring down Abigail. This shows that even though its against her social contract with Abi, it was for justice. This shows her internal ethics overrule external laws and limitations.
Mary Warren Cont.
Unfortunately, Abigail brings Mary down to her level with sheer fear. It's amazing how easily someone's resolve is broken by someone else's selfishness.
Miscellaneous other girls:
We did not see the other girls in depth enough for me to profile each of them separately, but I can clump them all into a group. I would place the group at around a two, because they are only looking out for themselves and either don't understand how others feel or they don't care. All they do throughout the story is make sure Abi doesn't kill them.