The Crucible: Troubles in the Proctor Household

Topics: Marriage, The Crucible, Family Pages: 3 (893 words) Published: March 24, 2013
Emotions Run High in Proctor Household
In the beginning of Act II of Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, the story presents an interaction between John Proctor and his wife, Elizabeth. The interaction between the couple emphasizes that their relationship is anything but normal than that of a married couple. The main cause of their awkward relationship stems from Johns wandering lust. John Proctor has conflicting emotions towards Elizabeth because both of them are trying to avoid the huge fact that he committed adultery. The conflicting emotions are present when John Proctor tries to avoid confrontations with his wife, the small talk between them where John constantly tries to please Elizabeth, and the lack of mutual agreement between them.

Throughout the scene, John Proctor tried very hard in order to avoid altercations with his wife. In a patriarchal society of the 1600’s, it would be very common for a woman to be subservient towards her husband. In the Proctor household, it is no different since Elizabeth quietly questions her husband’s authority because she “fear(s) to anger him” although she has all the leverage she needs in an argument by simply stating the fact that he cheated on her (Miller 53). However, John displays the complete opposite behavior of what is expected of a male in a patriarchal society. Firstly, when John comes home and tastes the soup his wife prepared, he is “not quite pleased” with it for it was not seasoned well (Miller 49). After adding more salt himself, John notices that Elizabeth is intently watching him taste the soup. Instead of being a typical husband back in the 1600s by criticizing such a small mistake about how his food is seasoned, he compliments on how good-tasting the soup is while knowing that it was the product of his handy-work. By holding his tongue, he avoids a confrontation between him and his wife over a very small issue of not putting enough salt in the soup. Additionally, John seems not to be the...
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