In The Crucible, what are some quotes that show Abigail Williams being blind to the truth ?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some of the best quotes to show Abigail's blindness to the truth concern her feelings for Proctor.

In Act I, when Proctor and Abigail are alone, it is clear that she is trying to rekindle the spark between them. She shows an inability to confront the truth when she speaks of what she sees as meaningful sexual attraction between them:

I know how you clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I come near! Or did I dream that? It’s she put me out, you cannot pretend it were you. I saw your face when she put me out, and you loved me then and you do now! 

It is clear that Abby cannot see the truth.  She is incapable of recognizing that their affair is in the past.  Proctor has moved on, while she displays an unwillingness to do so.

Once sexual rekindling fails, Miller suggests that Abby uses emotional dependency to block out reality. After Proctor repudiates her, Abigail suggests that she "has seen him" at nights since Elizabeth fired her:

And you must. You are no wintry man. I know you, John. I know you. She is weeping. I cannot sleep for dreamin‘; I cannot dream but I wake and walk about the house as though I’d find you comin’ through some door. She clutches him desperately. 

Miller's inclusion of "desperately" clutching Proctor shows how Abigail is blind to the truth.  She uses tears as a way to create a sense of guilt or sympathy in Proctor.  As a result, she is incapable of understanding that Proctor no longer has feelings towards her.

favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When John Proctor and Abigail speak personally in Act One, he tells her, "Abby, I never give you hope to wait for me."  However, she is incapable of grasping that their sexual relationship, a relationship that ended seven months prior, does not mean to him what it has meant to her.  He insists, "Abby, you'll put it out of mind.  I'll not be comin' for you more."  Again, she is unwilling to accept the truth of what he's said: their relationship is over in every possible sense.  She thinks John is "surely sportin' with [her]," but it is clear to us that he is not.  Her insistence that he must be joking indicates her inability to see the truth.

Though John does confess that he may have some lingering feelings for Abigail -- he admits to looking up at her window -- he has determined to put those feelings to rest and never act upon them again.  He says, "I may think of you softly from time to time.  But I will cut off my hand before I'll ever reach for you again."  She assumes that his statements have more to do with a controlling wife rather than anything to do with herself, and she begins to insult them both, saying, "Oh, I marvel how such a strong man may let such a sickly wife be--," before John cuts her off.  It seems that John was Abigail's first love -- and first lover -- as she says that he "put knowledge in [her] heart" and she insists that he still loves her, no matter if its a sin.  She cannot recognize that this is not true; there is simply no evidence that he ever loved her or that this was anything other than a sexual relationship for him.  

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The Crucible

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