What is Elizabeth Proctor's insight into herself?  

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is a difficult question.  Part of this reason is because there is little in way of rumination offered in the character.  In the midst of so many intense characters who inwardly reflect as part of their own being like Corey, Hale, and her husband, Elizabeth does not offer much in way of insight into herself.  Probably the most amount of insight we get into Elizabeth into her own sense of self and her husband would be in the last scene.  The fact that she does not stand in the way of her husband's decision and sends him to his death with a love that shows both respect and admiration.  At the same time, a great deal of insight into herself is revealed when she is able to stand against Hale in light of her husband's "goodness" and that she refuses to take that away from him.  This shows insight into herself as a wife that is able to transcend her own hurt and shortcomings and move into a realm where she is Proctor's soul mate, bound to him in the most spiritual of ways.  At the same time, we also see insight into her where she understands the need for a greater good in acknowledging Proctor's need to make right that which is horrifically wrong in Salem.  In this, insight into her own sense of character and dignity is revealed.

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