'Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer!’
How does Miller present the relationship between Elizabeth and John Proctor at the beginning of Act 2, and how does it change by the end of the play?
Miller depicts the relationship between the Proctors as being "cold" and having little passion. There is a sense that Proctor does not enjoy life with his wife - he stays out until late, when it is "almost dark". This suggests that he is almost trying to avoid his wife. This may also suggest that Proctor prefers to be outside as there is the sense he is at one when with nature and wants the farm to be "seeded". This contrasts with the character of Elizabeth, who seems to enjoy homelife most ;at the start of Act 2 she is "softly singing to the children". This clash between the the two emphasises the idea that they have very little in common and as a result are both unhappy in a relationship that is not very passionate or loving.As well as this, Miller highlights the lack of any reals sense of love between the two through the use of short monosyllabic dialouge - "Are you well today?". This language and the tone of the conversation suggests that there is little passion between the two and there may also be the sense that there is discomfort between the pair, as the conversation is based on small talk, which seems to be more appropriate between two people that resent each other and urgently want to get out of each others presence. This sense of being trapped is echoed in Miller's description of their home - a "low, dark and rather long living room." This may be mirroring the couple's relationship. As well as this, the idea of the room being "low" evokes the idea of repression, as well as entrapment. This is interesting as Miller focusses on how the theme of how repression of the society's emotions has led to them behaving in an odd manner. The repression has led to Proctor rebelling and as a result he has outpoured his emotions by "sweating like a stallion" with Abigail, whereas Elizabeth has restrained her emotions to the extent that she is portrayed as being "cold" and detached. As well as this the repression of emotions, may have also made her appear this way as she may not know how to be passionate and loving as very few of the villagers display their affection for one another.
*!urgent!* mark the start of my answer (the crucible) aqa english lit section a
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