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We preformed scene one between Abigail and Proctor on pages 28 and 29. We thought tracked the two characters throughout the two pages. Both characters thought tracked many things. The important thoughts are: when Abigail touched Proctor's arm and said, "Give me a word John", we can assume that this is the first physical contact between the two after their affair. Two important thoughts from John: "I can't do it to Elizabeth; I have a family" and "She is so beautiful; nobody will find out"- both are opposites showing the division in Proctor's mind.
At this point Proctor's mind is unstable. Abigail is so physical compared to Elizabeth; Procter is attracted to Abigail. The bio-mechanics of Proctor: he has not had sex for 8 months; his testosterone is high increasing his sex drive. Thought tracking helped me understand that Procter is a normal man- his affair is not all his fault. If Elizabeth does not forgive Proctor, you can't help but think about her bad characteristics.
Proctor does seem to have a split mind about Abigail however; his morals (being faithful) are stronger.
Proctor's morals are stronger because as our Proctor thought-tracked he was focusing on the negatives effect of the affair, trying to convince himself otherwise. Abigail most important revelation was when Proctor says-"I have hardly stepped off my farm this seven-month"- this creates controversy in Abigail's mind. Abigail important thoughts: "Maybe he is over me", and "Proctor is going to crack; he still loves me and wants me"- similarly to Procter Abigail is unsure about her feelings and emotions.
Abigail's emotions conflict over the situation, her mind believes that Procter still loves her and that he does not.
"Does John still love me? Of course he does. " However as her thoughts mainly focus on how Procter loves her I can conclude that Abigail strongly believes that John still loves her. I believe that the events that happened in Salem, the witch hunt, was a result of Abigail's belief that John still loved her furthermore, without Elizabeth John would take her back. Task 3- Role play We devised a role-play in Proctor's house- John laid on the bed waiting for Elizabeth. As Elizabeth gets into the bed John makes in attempt to caress her. Elizabeth refuses and starts complaining with Proctor.
The bickering stops when John's temper cracks and he raises his voice. Proctor goes downstairs and sits on his chair. Abigail walks in and they start talking. The role play was an exploration for Act Two- we wanted to find out why Proctor needed Abigail and why Abigail needed Proctor. During the argument Elizabeth says "You have kids now. You can play with your life, not theirs" this really hurts Proctor because he is really trying hard to provide for his family. Proctor is hurt because he feels Elizabeth does not think he is taking their lives seriously.
This leaves him venerable for Abigail to comfort him. Abigail comforts Proctor, a change of mood and attitude after the fight catches Proctor off guard. Abigail bombards him with compliments, "You work really hard John; you really care for your kids", the flattery gives John support when he is emotionally stressed and physically tired. When Abigail is about to go home Proctor says "Abby I don't want you walking home at this time of night, stay the night" this can show that Proctor cares about Abigail's safety.
Abigail's physical attractions and her reinforcing words in contrast to Elizabeth's hurtful ones makes Abigail look so innocent and caring. The role-play made me understand a few things about the play. Proctor loves Elizabeth however, as Elizabeth wants the best for her children she may have put a lot of pressure on Proctor. This could be an attribute to the affair. Secondly Proctor's genuine and caring nature may have been misinterpreted, by Abigail, as love. Task four As a group of four we looked back on pages 97-98- the explosive court scene where Proctor reveals his affair.
While reading the scene we said stopped to mark the moment. Marking the moment is an exercise that involves stopping the action of a scene when an actor feels s/he has realized something important that helps her understanding of the play and character. My character was John Proctor. My three moments: 1 - "How do you call Heaven? Whore! Whore! " 2- "In the proper place - where my beasts are bedded" 3- "My wife, my dear good wife took this girl soon after sir, and put her on the highroad" Moment one is when Proctor can't take the lies anymore. He grabs Abigail by the hair and beats her for all to see.
At this point Proctor realizes a few things and so did I. Firstly that he can not stand Abigail anymore. Proctor can't suppress his rage. Proctor also realizes that he has no other choice. To save his wife and prove that Abigail is a liar he must reveal the affair. The audience has to realize Proctor's selflessness. It can be argued that Proctor ruins his name because he feels guilty however; I think Proctor did it because he loves his wife. The audience has to appreciate that the affair was a mistake and Proctor is doing his best to make it up to Elizabeth.
Moment two is when Proctor can't believe Danforth does not believe him. Proctor has just admitted, ruining his name, that he had an affair with Abigail. What Proctor can't believe is that Danforth is questioning his statement. Proctor thinks that Danforth is mocking him that's why he responds with such a strong line. Proctor realizes that the court is corrupt. Danforth is challenged. Proctor realizes why Danforth acted so harshly towards him, rejecting the deposition. Danforth is afraid that his position as a judge would be at risk.
If grown man can be deceived by teenagers, people will start to question the hangings. The audience has to realize as Proctor has given such a strong answer no one can misunderstand him. The fact that he has told them the time and the place adds more depth to the affair. The affair must be believed: Proctor reveals the time and place and you can hear the self-disgust "Where my beasts are bedded. " Moment three is when Proctor is arguing his case. Proctor is trying to convince the court that the affair did occur. Proctor gives the court more detail explaining the affair and why Abigail was sacked.
Proctor reveals and realizes a few things. Firstly Proctor reveals the girls motives: Abigail hates Elizabeth because she separated her and John therefore, Abigail wants to kill Elizabeth. The audience knows that Abigail wants to kill Elizabeth but the court does not. Proctor realizes and accepts that the affair was his fault. Proctor understands that it was not Elizabeth's or Abigail's fault. It was his own sex drive which resulted in the affair. Furthermore, the affair is possibly why this whole episode is occurring.
The audience has to realize Miller's political message. McCarthyism in 1950 was the justice court in Salem. The similarity between the play and political groups was that in Salem it was a witch hunt. McCarthyism was an attempt to find all communist sympathizers; the way of hunting down the sympathizers and witches were very similar. As Tituba was forced into telling a lie, so were many citizens of America. The citizens were threatened and scared for their well being, the only viable choice was to agree with what the investigator was saying.
A key moment in the play was when Tituba confessed. As one of convicted confessed, there is no doubt in the minds of the court that there are witches or the parallel communist sympathizers. The interrogations are harsh as they really believe the theory, witchery or communism is in the community. At the point of confession there is no hope for any other convicted; everyone is guilty in the eyes of the investigators. Once the confession has been stated there can't be any negotiation. As we witnessed with Proctor's testament- the authorities'' opinions can't be changed.
The play shows how just because one person was forced to tell a lie, many others have to suffer. We also see how blind and heartless justice is; the system has no reason, as they base their decisions on facts. Miller does not believe that communism was a threat. In Salem the girls are lying and the devil is not the threat. Miller is showing us that when we get scared, the result is paranoia; paranoia leads to a lack of rationality and poor decision making. One man in charge is wrong; we witnessed Danforth in charge- he made so many mistakes. McCarthy exploited fear and "The Crucible" is Miller's Protest.
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