Discuss the changes in Mary Warren in Act 2.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the most evident changes in Mary is that she is more assertive.  In Act I, when Proctor enters and threatens to beat her, she is much more timid.  In Act II, she presents herself as much stronger and assertive because of her role in the trials.  Simply put, Mary has power and she is not afraid to show it.  The fact that she tells Proctor that she is tired and that she cannot be bothered with all that she has to do is reflective of this.  Proctor himself is surprised by her newly found sense of power.  Another change in Mary is that she shows herself to be more aware of the dynamic between Proctor and Abigail.  This comes out in the end of the Act and in doing so, she reveals herself to be more direct and Proctor begins to become more solidified in his belief of bringing down Abigail.  The ending of the act forces an eventual confrontation where Mary has to choose between Proctor and Abigail.  This is something that she did not have to choose in the first Act, and is something that ends the act with her wails and screams.  It is here where another change is evident in that it is recognizable that she is the weak link between Abigail and her circle of "mean girls."  I think that this is another change in Mary in the second act.

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