Betty Parris

The Crucible vs. Real Life by Amanda Parnigoni

Betty Parris in The Crucible

In The Crucible Betty Parris is Reverend Parris daughter and Abigail Williams cousin. Betty was one of the first girls in Salem to show signs of being afflicated with the Devil. Her main symptoms shown in the book were not being able to be woken up and when she did, she was crying out for her mother. In the book Betty accuses Abigail of wishing death upon Proctor's wife Elizabeth, but this did not happen in real life. In The Crucible Betty stays in Salem all throughout the trials up until the end.

Real Life Betty Parris

In the actual Salem Witch Trials, Betty Parris story was actually very different compared to how it was portrayed in The Crucible. In real life Betty never actually accused Abigail of wishing death upon Elizabeth Proctor, but she was afflicated by the devil. "Elizabeth Parris and her cousin Abigail Williams began to undertake experiments in fortune telling, using a device known as a "venus glass". A venus glass consists of an egg white suspended in water in which one could see shapes and figures." (Walsh) Unlike in the book it was only shown that the girls were dancing in the woods, in real life they did other types of witchcraft. "Her symptoms in real life included hiding under furniture, fever, barking like a dog and crying out in pain." (Brooks) Also unlike in the book Abigail Williams also started experincing these kind of symptoms. In the book Betty is present during the whole trials but in real life she was sent to live with Stephan Sewall to get away from the Witch Trials.


Walsh, Sarah-Nell. Important Persons in the Salem Court Records. Sarah-Nell Walsh. 2001. Web. 20 Dec 2013

Brooks, Rebecca-Beatrice. Betty Parris: First Afflicted Girl of the Salem Witch Trials. Rebecca-Beatirce Brooks. 2013. Web. 20 Dec 2013.

Linder, Douglas. The Witchcraft Trials in Salem: A Commentary. Douglas Linder. N/A. Web. 20 Dec 2013.