History Repeats Itself
Over the past 6500 years, there have been numerous world leaders, some intelligent and sympathetic, some incompetent and callous. Many writers have tried to draw similarities and analogies of historic leaders in their novels. One such novel is The Crucible by Arthur Miller. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller depicts Abigail Williams as a cruel, narcissistic, and impassive person. Adolf Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany during WWII. He and Abigail Williams share many of the same character traits. They both used fear as a weapon against other people and they were both incredibly selfish. However, Adolf Hitler was more effective and damaging than Abigail Williams was. Although Abigail Williams was much less effective and damaging than Adolf Hitler, both Abigail Williams and Adolf Hitler were both manipulative and narcissistic.
Both Adolf Hitler and Abigail Williams used fear as a weapon. Adolf Hitler used fear to silence everyone who stood in his path. Using the SS, or the Schutzstaffel, he arrested anyone who dissented against him and killed or imprisoned anyone who disagreed with him. Likewise, Abigail Williams threatens to kill anyone, saying that “I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you” (Miller 1137). Another similarity is that both use propaganda to their advantage. In the case of Adolf Hitler, he used propaganda to distract the German population from what was really happening. An example of this is when Adolf Hitler uses anti-Semitic posters and graphics to convince the German population that Jews were the problem. Similarly, Abigail Williams in The Crucible blames others for witchcraft and pretends to be afflicted in the hope of convincing the judges and the general population that there is actually witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.
Another similarity between Abigail Williams and Adolf Hitler is that they are both narcissistic and selfish. Judging by their actions, both Abigail Williams and Hitler only care about themselves. During World War II and the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler exterminated 6 million Jews with a blink of an eye. He and his Nazi Party set up numerous concentration camps, both in Germany and in conquered territories. These concentration camps imprisoned not only Jews but other “enemies of the state,” such as homosexuals and gypsies. An example of a famous concentration camp is Auschwitz, found in Poland. An estimated 1.1 million people were killed in Auschwitz, by malnourishment, gas chambers, or being burned alive. Adolf Hitler did not care for other people, he only cared for himself. Abigail Williams is similar in this aspect. Abigail Williams only cares about herself, and she only does things for herself. For example, in The Crucible, after she heard that Tituba was being an angel after confessing to witchcraft, she wanted all the attention, so she also confessed to witchcraft so all of the attention would be on her. She did this by saying “I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus!” (Miller 1156). She is also responsible for the blaming of Tituba of witchcraft. This is analogous to Hitler in that Hitler also blamed others for his actions.
Although Adolf Hitler and Abigail Williams have the same personality traits, they differ in effectiveness and damage. First, Hitler’s leadership killed much more people than Abigail’s. Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies ultimately killed more than 20 million people, while Abigail’s witchcraft blaming killed 50 people at most. Another difference is that Hitler is much more well-known than Abigail Williams. An ordinary person would know who Adolf Hitler was, but they may not know who Abigail Williams was. Lastly, the consequences of Adolf Hitler and Abigail Williams are different. While Adolf Hitler ultimately had to shoot himself to a bunker, Abigail Williams manages to get away with it. She steals Reverend Parris’ money and leaves. Reverend Parris talks about his niece that “she has vanished” (Miller 1220).
Adolf Hitler and Abigail Williams have many personality traits in common. They are both narcissistic, selfish, and they both blame others for their mistakes. Also, as a result of their actions, many people are killed. They both have differences, however. Adolf Hitler was much more dangerous than Abigail Williams, and Adolf Hitler ultimately had to pay for his actions, while Abigail Williams did not have to. Regardless, Abigail Williams shows that history will repeat itself and that if nobody takes actions, many people may die.