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At the beginning of this act, John Proctor says, "It is winter in here yet."...

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kevy20 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 27, 2007 at 7:43 AM via web

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At the beginning of this act, John Proctor says, "It is winter in here yet." Why is this pertinent to what is going on?

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teacherscribe | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted November 27, 2007 at 8:03 AM (Answer #1)

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Proctor is in a dispute with his wife, Elizabeth.  He is referring to how cold and distant she has been.  This is pertinent because it is one reason he was driven to have an affair with their then-servant, Abigail. 

Proctor and his wife are arguing over the fact that John told her he saw and talked with Abigail.  He told her originally that he had met her in a crowd.  However, he reveals that they were alone.  This causes Elizabeth to be suspicious and cold to him.  John laments that he has tried to make up his sin to her, but he feels no warmth or forgiveness. 

She acknowledges this later in the play by telling John that she has been cold toward him even before his affiar, implying that she is partly to blame for driving him to Abigail.

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lensor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted November 27, 2007 at 9:31 AM (Answer #2)

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John Proctor has a tense relationship with his wife, for she suspects him of having "improper relations" with Abigail.  She treats him coldly, since she cannot forgive his infidelity.  The coldness to which Proctor refers is the wintry attitude his wife shows toward him.  

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