How does Rebecca Nurse explain the children's strange behaviour in "The Crucible"?  what reasons does john proctor give for staying away from church?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rebecca Nurse, explains that the children are engaging in silly behavior, or pretending.  She says that Betty will wake up when she gets hungry enough, or tires of playing her games.

"I think she'll wake in time.  Pray calm yourselves.  I have seen them through their silly seasons,  and when it comes on them they will run the Devil bowlegged keeping up with their mischief.  A child's spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it;" (Miller)

John Proctor stays away from the church because he does not like the pastor, Reverend Parris.  He feels that Parris is too concerned with worldy possessions and not really a spiritual man concerned with the salvation of souls.  He feels that Parris spends his Sunday sermons on asking for donations so that he can, for example, buy gold candlesticks for the altar.  Proctor feels that the Pewter candlesticks, are perfectly fine.

Parris has made demands on the congregation, such as, wanting the deed to the house he lives in and demanding extra money in his salary in the form of fire wood.  Proctor believes that Parris is anything but a holy man.

There are other reasons that Proctor gives for staying away from church, he says that he needs to work extra hard on his farm to produce food.  His wife has been sick, and he could not leave her side. 

And, I believe that he feels guilty for having had an affair with Abigail, by staying away from church, he avoids her.