How and Why Does the Relationship Between John and Elizabeth Proctor Change over the Course of the Crucible?

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How and why does the relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor change over the course of The Crucible?

In Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, John and Elizabeth Proctor are introduced as a young, married couple whose relationship had a tense undercurrent. Their actions and reactions towards one another prove that they are at odds with each other. John and Elizabeth seem to be trying to smooth out the bumps in their relationship, but they only seem to succeed in driving themselves further apart. Now at a time when communication is crucial, John and Elizabeth learn the mistake they made is not getting to know each other better.

Act two is when Elizabeth is introduced properly in the crucible. Elizabeth and Proctor have what seems to be an awkward conversation with no sentence lasting more than a few words. The short sentences Miller uses to create the conversation between Elizabeth and Proctor such as “What keeps you so late? It’s almost dark.” And “Aye, the farm is seeded. The boys asleep?” use lots of questions adding suspicion mainly seen in Elizabeth’s speech. This shows the reader there is a lack of honesty in their relationship because if they had complete honesty in the relationship there would be no need for questions. The questions might be a way of them trying to smooth the bumps out in their relationship, attempting to bring honesty back in but neither of them seem to be opening fully, shown by the short sentences. Any attempt to open up to the other person is quickly stopped by some sort of interruption “Now look you – ” “I see what I see John.” Elizabeth suspects a lack of honesty “John, you are not open with me” however Proctor continues to deny it. This all builds up tension and bottles up feelings in the relationship implying that they will burst out later on in the play. This makes the reader feel sympathy for Proctor and Elizabeth because on one hand Elizabeth simply just wants to know the truth so they can get on with their lives and...
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