Explore the Ways in Which Miller Presents Conflict in 28-29 to Create Specific Dramatic Effect?

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  • Topic: Pragmatics, Gricean maxims, Paul Grice
  • Pages : 2 (731 words )
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  • Published : March 31, 2013
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In this extract Miller depicts a conversation between Abigail and Proctor that hastily turns into an altercation. At this point in the play, Abigail and two other girls have briefly spoken about what happened in the woods, and mass hysteria is spreading rapidly aided by Betty’s outbursts. This helps Miller to portray Abigail’s many different personality traits as in this extract she is depicted as flirty and vulnerable in the beginning then increasingly becomes aggressive and angry towards Proctor; which is different to how she is with Mary Warren and Mercy as she is portrayed as powerful. The dramatic effects that Miller creates through his presentation of conflict are mainly plot and character development as through their altercation you see Abigail’s character being evolved but also through her clear hatred of Elizabeth it suggests that Abigail may try and hurt Proctor in the way he hurt her through punishing Elizabeth. This is shown in this extract from her reluctance to say her name and solely refers to her as ‘Her’ or ‘She’. The main expectation we have of Proctor is for him to display uncooperative features of talk. This is due to the affair as he wants to forget about it so when Abigail constantly brings the affair up in conversation we expect him to shy away from the topic. The main expectation we have of Abigail is that she will flout Grice’s maxim of quantity as she will be highly emotional when talking to him, which we can assume will make her talk more if he is displaying uncooperative features of talk. Abigail uses the metaphor ‘sweated like a stallion’ when talking about her affair with Proctor. Miller uses this to present conflict between the two characters as later on in the play Proctor uses the same imagery of a stallion in a derogatory way to show his disgust towards his previous actions whether as Abigail uses it to show her physical desire towards him. The dramatic effect Miller creates in doing this is the development of plot as it...
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