How Does Miller Portray The Relationship Between John And Elizabeth Proctor In Act 2?

660 words - 3 pages

Elizabeth is shown as a very kind-hearted, gentle woman through her treatment of her children, however when John Proctor enters the house he hears Elizabeth [singing softly to the children]. Miller shows her maternal tenderness and her gentle motherly nature and her kindness is shown when she exclaims how, 'it hurt my heart to strip her, poor rabbit'. Miller uses juxtaposition to convey her complete contrast in character upon seeing John, and how her treatment of John greatly differs to how she treats her children. Her first sentence to John is a question,'What keeps you so late? It's almost dark' and Miller uses an accusatory tine to show the separation in their relationship and the coldness between them. Her manner with John is reserved and frosty, showing the lack of warmth, we saw when she was with her children. Miller shows how badly John's infidelity has affected their relationship and he uses ...view middle of the document...

Her lines consist of brief agreeing terms such as 'Aye' and 'I will'. The atmosphere between them, therefore, is very awkward because of their difference in opinion of the situation. Miller also makes the dialogue quite formal, an unusual speech between a married couple and not as it should be.

The relationship between the Proctors is very strained and taut. Elizabeth is cold and unfeeling towards John's attempts to right what he has done. In Act 2 john [goes to her, kisses her. She receives it.] Miller shows how she does not kiss him back or give him some warmth for his gesture but only receives it, as if she has to but does not want to. Her feelings are shown clearly through this action and the atmosphere between them remains frosty. She could have kissed him back, but obviously did not want to and the both of them, know this, making the atmosphere between them even more difficult. After this he speaks to her [as gently as he can]. Miller uses this direction to show that John is very tentative and wlks on eggshells around his wife, not wanting to put more strain on their relationship or push her further away. He is also shown to be uncertain as how to approach her because he doesn't wish to further worsen their already fractured marriage.

Miller shows John's dissatisfaction with Elizabeth and how he is being treated by her, because his polite tentative manner suddenly explodes as if something snaps inside him and releases his anger and vehemence. He shouts 'I'll not have your suspiscions anymore' conveying his frustration at being treated coldly and not as a husband should in his eyes. He exclaims, 'I'll plead my honesty, no more' showing his anger at Elizabeth's actions and her unforgiving nature. Miller uses imperatives and exclamatory sentences in John's speech to show his anger and his dialogue becomes elongated, showing he has much to say but has not been able to say it because of their situation and now it is all pouring out, as he tries to explain his feelings and thoughts to Elizabeth, desperately trying to persuade her to oust her doubts of him.

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