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What are some examples of the specific theme of ignorance vs. wisdom in Act II of The...

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gmor51 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:48 AM via web

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What are some examples of the specific theme of ignorance vs. wisdom in Act II of The Crucible?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 5, 2011 at 6:46 AM (Answer #1)

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Regrettably, I had to pare this question down from its original form.  Act II features some fairly powerful elements of ignorance vs. wisdom.  I think that one of the strongest examples of this is within the dynamic between Elizabeth and John Proctor.  Both of them start off in the scene as demonstrating a great deal of ignorance regarding one another.  Elizabeth shows herself to be fundamentally unable to move past the relationship that John had with Abigail.  For his part, John feels that he is constrained by his marriage in being constantly judged by Elizabeth.  Yet, a gradual element of wisdom becomes apparent when both of them become aware of the social climate of Salem.  Hale's visit exposes John's ignorance on institutionalized religion, but also begins the process of bringing a sense of wisdom to how a married couple has to end up taking up for one another and defend one another in the face of challenge and adversity.  When Elizabeth is arrested, John promises to stand by her and to get her released.  In this, one sees ignorance replaced with wisdom, a step towards the eventual redemption that will mark both his character and their marriage by the drama's end.

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