Although many characters are prone to cracking under extreme pressure, Mary Warren is the least alike to a crucible, because she is unpredictable, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Mary Warren is very easily manipulated/persuaded/influenced by the other girls. She is described as”a subservient, naive, lonely girl” (Miller 18). This is how she is introduced. This quote is straight to the point, telling us that she is timid and naive.
The way that this portrayal is given outlines this is Mary Warren’s actual character, as opposed to Abigail, who puts on a show as an honest person. Mary’s interactions with Abigail highlight Abigail’s manipulative nature. One example of this is when Abigail says, “I say shut it, Mary Warren!” (Miller 20), and Mary immediately obliges, listening to whatever Abigail says.Mary Warren is often over dramatic and anxious/perturbed which makes her difficult to believe as she has high, overwrought emotion.
This causes her to nervously ramble “What’ll we do? The village is out! I just come from the farm; the whole country’s talkin’ about witchcraft! They’ll be callin’ us witches, Abby! …. we’ve got to tell. Witchery’s a hangin’ error,” (Miller 18). This is also depicted through her stage directions “Mary Warren, utterly confounded, and becoming overwhelmed by Abigail’s – and the girls’ – utter conviction, starts to whimper, hands half raised, powerless, and all the girls begin whimpering exactly as she does” (Miller 116), which highlight Mary Warren’s docile nature.
It also portrays her character, because of her inability to stand up for herself and maintain control of her emotions. It is clear that Mary Warren is not only confused, but also horrified by what is happening, and by what the consequences of what she did may be. The hysteria within the society is growing, as represented in this scene that Arthur Miller writes. There is obvious foolishness (as many of these things are unbelievable). Mary often lies and admits/lies about lying, and her opinion changes based on what may keep her safe (self-preservation).
This causes her to seem very suspicious and mistrustful (she also continues to accuse others, e.g. John Proctor). In an outburst, Mary cries, “No, I love God; I go your way no more. I love God, I bless God. Sobbing, she rushes to Abigail. Abby, Abby, I’ll never hurt you more! They all watch, as Abigail, out of her infinite charity, reaches out and draws the sobbing Mary to her, and then looks up to Danforth.
” (Miller 119) This quotation clearly illustrates how impressionable Mary Warren’s character is, because even with her knowledge of Abigail lying, she completely revokes her confession. She is able to reverse her statement so quickly, which helps exhibit her lack of independence, and an apparent need for approval, be it from Proctor or in this case, Abigail.