How Does Arthutr Miller Create Tension and Conflict Between John and Elizabeth Proctor at the Start of Act 2

Topics: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, John Proctor Pages: 2 (793 words) Published: April 17, 2013
''The Crucible,'' is a 1952 play written by Arthur Miller as an allegory of Mcarthyism. The play follows a theocratic society in which the church and the state are one, and reputation plays an important role in Salem where private and public moralities are the same. In act one, the secret affair of John Proctor and Abigail Williams was revealed that led to conflict between John and his wife. Divorce was not permitted in the late 16th century, hence, the Proctors had to maintain their marriage causing discord within the Proctor household. At the start of Act 2, Miller creates a tense atmosphere of animosity portrayed by John and Elizabeth Proctor in their lack of affection, awkwardness, appraisal and guilt leading to affliction.

In the beginning of Act Two, Miller portrays the tension in the Proctors house by the awkward atmosphere between John and Elizabeth when John returns home late. John is desperately trying to maintain a light atmosphere in the house by complimenting Elizabeths cooking saying that '' It's well seasoned,'' although we know that in fact it is John who in attempt to conceal Elizabeths bland cooking, had seasoned it himself. The author makes the audience feel the lack of natural affection between the Proctors by their forced attempts to please each other. Throughout their conversation, John tells Elizabeth that he is planning to buy George Jacobs heifer, saying '' I mean to please you Elizabeth,'' as he tries to mend their relationship and seek her forgiveness. However, it is obviously hard for her to welcome his attempts as he have had an affair with Abby, and her actions towards him are detached. It is clear that the atmosphere in the house is blank and tense, by Millers constant use of questions and short replies.

In addition, the tension between John and Elizabeth Proctor is accentuated by Elizabeth's distrust and suspicion towards John, based on her knowledge on the affair between John and Abby. Elizabeth questions John's honesty...
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