What literary techniques can be found in this quote from The Crucible by Arthur Miller?I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and...

What literary techniques can be found in this quote from The Crucible by Arthur Miller?

I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Abigail says that quote after John Proctor ends their affair, which Abigail does not want to end. Although John has not touched Abigail for seven months, she claims he still wants her and she wants him. John replies that he thinks of her from time to time but the affair must be over. He tells Abigail to pretend they never had an affair in the first place. 

John is older, making him at fault for taking advantage of the younger, vulnerable Abigail. When she says he "put knowledge in my heart," this is a metaphor about love and experience. Usually, knowledge is said to be in the mind. Since this experience of love is a mixture of knowledge and emotion, though, Abigail says this knowledge is in her heart. It is a way of saying her heart cannot unlearn the affection John showed her. Her heart cannot simply forget. 

The "light" in Abigail's eyes represents the passion she feels for John. Although he started the affair, John now expects Abigail to stop having feelings for him. Abigail is still so taken with John, however, that she cannot do this. Her need for affection shines out of her. This is symbolized by the light in her eyes.

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The Crucible

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