Homework Help

I know that Abigail hates Procter because he left her and married someone else but how...

user profile pic

msaifee | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:15 AM via web

dislike 0 like

I know that Abigail hates Procter because he left her and married someone else but how does that tell you about her hatred for the city of Salem as seen in the quote below?

This is the quote that I'm referring to:  ''I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men!''

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

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

Posted October 13, 2012 at 1:42 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

I think that there are a couple of elements in the question that might need to be separated out from one another.  Indeed, Abigail has a complex relationship with Proctor.  Anger and hatred is a part of it.  She does feel angered that Proctor goes back to Elizabeth and is more committed to assembling back together his marriage than wishing to leave it for her.  He did not "marry someone else" as Proctor was married to Elizabeth when his infidelity with Abigail took place.  Yet, Abigail does still have feelings for Proctor which she sees as "love."  Consider the first line of the quote featured in that she does see Proctor as one who has "put knowledge" into Abigail's world of being.  This indicates that she does not fully "hate" Proctor.  

The complexity of Abigail's emotional quotient is enhanced because of her feelings towards Salem.  Being one who never enjoyed a "traditional" parenting unit and one who never enjoyed a "conventional" family in a town where convention and tradition held more value than anything else, Abigail displays a unique position towards Salem.  Abigail resents the hypocrisy that she sees in Salem.  In her own experience this is evident, as she was ridiculed and spoken about in a demeaning manner for her actions and her own being as an orphan.  However, when the accusations begin to fly around Salem, she sees her own stock rise in the town.  Abigail speaks to the idea that the "Christian" and "covenanted" women and men in the town are actually quite earthly in how they carry themselves.  Abigail sees Proctor's returning to Elizabeth as a part of this hypocrisy, something that she brings out in her discussions with him.  In this, Abigail holds hatred towards the hypocrisy in Salem, something that she sees Proctor as capitulating to in his refusal in being with her.  There is disdain for Salem, and a complex form of pity that she sees in Proctor as a result of it.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes