Why has Mary Warren disobeyed her employers and gone to Salem?

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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In Act Two, Mary Warren returns to John Proctor's home after a long day in court and explains how she plays an important part in identifying who is involved in witchcraft throughout Salem. Mary Warren takes pride in being an official in the court and even retaliates whenever John insists that she not return to Salem. There are two main reasons as to why Mary Warren has disobeyed Proctor and gone to Salem. Mary Warren is a young female living in a strict, intolerant society that is dominated by males. Being an official in the court gives Mary a sense of power, confidence, and self-worth. Mary is also extremely vulnerable and identified as a weak person throughout the play. She fears that Abigail Williams will harm her if she does not play along and falsely accuse certain citizens of witchcraft. 

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teacherscribe's profile pic

teacherscribe | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Mary Warren is also gaining a sense of power, as part of the court, that she has never had before.  As a simple servant, she has been at the mercy of the Proctor's, but now, as part of the court, she is the one wielding the power.  After all, when she returns and is nearly whipped by John, she tells them that Elizabeth has been accused of witch craft but she stood up for her good name.  Like the other young girls in the court, Mary is now getting power and attention that she never had in her life.

renelane's profile pic

renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Mary Warren claims that she only wanted to see the "great doings in the world", but she is really nervous that her participation in last night's activities might be revealed. Mary Warren is visibly nervous at being caught by Proctor, and it is easy to see that he finds her unreliable, at best.

Mary Warren would not be likely to tell her employer the truth behind her coming to the Parris household.

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haha545's profile pic

haha545 | Student | eNotes Newbie

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She wants to helped Jonhn Proctor to saved her wife.Because his wife was got accused. She was there to told Danforth that those girls were just pretending. They were all liars. There wasn't any spirits were flying. She was there to speak the truth but unfortunately Danforth didn't trust her. Girls were pretending again while Mary Warren was speak to Danforth.

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