Why has Mary Warren been absent from her job at the Proctor household in The Crucible?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mary Warren's job at the Proctor household is a combination of housekeeper and nanny.  She takes care of the Proctor children at times, and at other times she helps Elizabeth with all of the cooking and cleaning.  

Once Reverend Hale and judges Hathorne and Danforth show up, the witchcraft suspicions move from back room talk to actual court proceedings.  Because Mary is a member of Abigail's group, she is treated like she is an eye witness to a crime.  

"You must see it, sir, it’s God’s work we do. So I’ll be gone every day for some time. I’m--I am an official of the court, they say..."

Mary must be present in court every day, because she serves as an official eye witness to supposed witchcraft and evil spirits.  At first Mary is very proud of her position, but then she begins to experience self doubt as the number of accused grows to an obscene number.  Mary feels that she must continue though, because she fears repercussions from Abigail.  

Mary Warren: She’ll kill me for sayin’ that!

Read the study guide:
The Crucible

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