The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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How does the relationship between John and Elizabeth reflect the conflict within their community

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The relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor reflects the greater conflict in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Things look good on the surface, but underneath the facade, there is deceit and suspicion.

We first see the Proctor marriage around dinnertime at their home. John comes in from a day in the fields on his farm and checks to see what is cooking.

Then he lifts out the ladle and tastes. He is not quite pleased. He reaches to a cupboard, takes a pinch of salt, and drops it into the pot. As he is tasting again, her footsteps are heard on the stair. He swings the pot into the fireplace and goes to a basin and washes his hands and face, Elizabeth enters… She sits and watches him taste it.

Proctor: It’s well seasoned.

At first blush, it looks like an amusing moment in a happy marriage, where the husband tells a “white lie” to protect his wife’s feelings. But very soon we see it is one part of a larger picture of deception and distrust. We discover that Proctor has had an...

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