Discuss the dynamics of the Proctors' marriage when the subject of Abigail in Act II arises.

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

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The first scene in the second act reveals much in way of where the Proctor marriage is.  While both have remained together in the hopes of working through John's infidelity with Abigail.  The opening moment where John needs to add spice to the food might say a great deal.  Elizabeth tells John that he should go to the authorities about what he knows about Abigail and her accusations. His hesitancy can be seen in a couple of lights.  On one hand, his story that his approach to the authorities would only be hearsay without any unsubstantiated evidence does make sense.  On the other side, Elizabeth reads his reticence to be a reflection of his own lingering feelings for Abigail.  The discussion between them reflects how difficult Miller sees marriage's challenges.  On one hand, Elizabeth does not see John as being entirely honest, harboring secret feelings for Abigail.  On another level, John sees Elizabeth as unforgiving and always holding his mistake over him and never allowing him to forget it.  In this sense, both of them are shown to be struggling with the challenges of marriage.

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