What is John Proctor's reaction when Elizabeth is arrested?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When Elizabeth Proctor is arrested in Act II, Scene 4, John Proctor reacts vigorously.

First, he challenges Cheever aggressively. He asks what the evidence is and derides the relevance of the poppet. He pushes Mary Warren to admit that the poppet is hers.  When Cheever arrests Elizabeth anyway, John goes so far as to rip up the warrant for her arrest.

Finally, after Elizabeth is gone, John tries to get Mary to testify that Abigail was the one who stuck the needle in the poppet. He goes so far as to start choking her when she refuses.

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habuy2k | High School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

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When Elizabeth Proctor is arrested, John is distraught and angry. His first reaction is to lash out at the girls who have caused this tumult in the first place.  He drags his housekeeper into court and demands that she tells the court about the doll she was making and how it came to be in his house.  He then lashes out at Abigail.

Finally, he realizes that it is because of his sins that his wife has been arrested and that he is culpable in all of this.  He struggles with his role in destroying Salem because of his infidelity.  Now he has to decide if he loves his wife and what he can do to save her.

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