Discuss John and Elizabeth Proctor’s Marginalization of Abigail
Columbia International College
Tuesday April 8th, 2013
In the contemporary world, it might be common for men to have affairs with other women, but in the 1690s, America, it was unforgivable for men to do it and they would be punished. In The Crucible, John Proctor has an affair with Abigail, which is condemned in that society, so it is reasonable for John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth to marginalize Abigail to safeguard their reputation and family. For one thing, Mr. Proctor and Elizabeth need to preserve their reputation by marginalizing Abigail. For another thing, they still care about each other and they both want to maintain their family relationship.
To begin with, Elizabeth and John Proctor have to marginalize Abigail because they need a good reputation to live in Salem where gossip is powerful enough to murder. Firstly, adultery is a big sin in a Christian society and John Proctor feels guilty about his affair with Abigail. In the book, Mr. Hale tells John to recite The Commandments, but John forgets one of them. When Elizabeth reminds him it is “adultery”, “Proctor, as though a secret arrow had pained his heart: Aye. Trying to grin it away--- to Hale: You see, sir, between the two of us we do know them all. Hale only looks at Proctor, deep in his attempt to define this man. Proctor grows more uneasy. I think it. Be a small fault” (Miller 67). The affair between John Proctor and Abigail will be condemned as adultery. If someone was caught in adultery at that time, he or she would be sent into jail and then hanged. According to the quotation above, John Proctor is scared and guilty. He is afraid that Mr. Hale has found out the relationship between him and Abigail. He hurries to clarify his fault in order to cover his guilt and the affair. This is the reason why John...
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