What does Elizabeth Proctor's pregnancy symbolize in "The Crucible?"

Expert Answers
amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Crucible," Elizabeth is one of the most honest, forthright characters. She only lies when she denies John Proctor's affair with Abigail which she does so only to protect him. When it is revealed she is pregnant, Proctor backs her up, saying, "But if she say she is pregnant, then she must be! That woman will never lie, Mr. Danforth." Indeed, she does lie later in Act 3 but only to protect John. Therefore, what her pregnancy symbolizes is first, quite simply, the truth. Elizabeth has too much integrity to lie even if only to save herself from hanging. I think the child of the pregnancy can symbolize two conflicting meanings. One is that, since the child was created during this time of hysteria, the Salem citizens might look upon it and all such children as if they are the products of a socially (and for the witch fanatics, a spiritually) corrupt generation. On the other hand, the child could represent new life and hope that the next generation will be comprised of honorable and logicalcitizens.