Mary Warren Character Analysis
Mary Warren is an embodiment of human weakness and fear. She ultimately gets swept by the wave of hysteria caused by the witch trials. The focal point of these trials is Abigail and her group of girls. Though Mary is among the oldest in that particular group, she is sadly also among the most fearful and weakest members. This can be observed at the beginning of the play when she appears on the stage. She is described as a seventeen-year-old girl who is lonely, naive, and subservient.
On the night preceding the trials, she gets caught in the company of Abigail and the girls dancing deep in the woods at midnight. Dancing was a sinful act in the Puritan town of Salem. This caused much worry in Mary. The punishment for this act was being placed within the stocks or whipping. In the course of the play, the reader can observe that this character is ready to go to extreme lengths in order to avoid persecution or punishment, despite the misfortunes she causes to others.
Mary bursts out on stage about the fast-spreading frenzy caused by the witchcraft trials. Therefore, she desperately pleads with Abigail that they should confess their sins. Mary states that by confessing, they will only be whipped. What’s more, she claims that she did not dance, but only observed. This was a convenient method of avoiding repercussions.
In the case against Sarah Good, Mary refused to accuse her since she was merely a poor and homeless woman. However, after Sarah denied her some bread, she mumbles and claims that the mumbling was the course of her illness. Mary also claims that she could now remember everything Sarah ever did to her. This is an act of vendetta.