The Crucible Love Analysis

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Love serves at motivation for characters in a vast array of literary works in a variety of settings from the magical forest in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the barricades of the French Revolution in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. But is there room for love in the rigid Puritan society of The Crucible? In the hysteria and paranoia of the Salem Witch Trials, emotions and tensions are high, relationships become strained, and trust is virtually nonexistent. Do these conditions leave characters with an unfulfilled desire for love? Elizabeth Proctor is motivated primarily by her desire for love, and uses social and moral uprightness to try and earn it, giving her a cold and pious air. When forces beyond her control, namely Abigail Williams, …show more content…
Even as Elizabeth is being cold towards her husband, the subtext of her dialogue seems to be pleading with him to fight for her. In act two, Elizabeth prompts John to alert the courts of Abigail’s treachery. While the desire could have been result of Elizabeth’s value on justice or strong moral compass, it was more likely her burning need for love. Elizabeth’s pleading to John to alert the courts is the only time that Elizabeth loses her composure. It would take much more than a desire for justice to spark such an emotional response from such a rigid woman as Elizabeth. The nature of her request to John reveals that she is jealous for him and needs him to be the strong man that he has been telling her that he is trying to be. Upon his original refusal to reveal Abigail, Elizabeth pleads, “Then go and tell her she’s [Abigail] a whore. Whatever promise she may sense-- break it, John, break it” (170). Elizabeth uses many tactics, chiefly moral and social correctness, to try to earn love. Elizabeth tries so hard to earn love because she has never truly loved herself. She reveals this to John in act four, saying, “John, I counted myself so plain, so poorly made, no honest love could come to me. Suspicion kissed you when I did; I never knew how I should say my love.” (Miller, 208) Elizabeth tries so hard to live the perfect life and largely succeeds at it, but her reasons for doing …show more content…
Elizabeth changes when she realizes that it is through loving that she can be loved. In act three, Elizabeth must choose whether to uphold her moral values, or protect the man she loves. She chooses to lie in an effort to protect John, revealing that her ultimate desire is love rather than justice. Until this decision is made, Elizabeth had simply been letting the tactics of moral uprightness, justice, and social standing overshadow her deeper intention of earning love. When Elizabeth decides to protect her husband, an emotional barricade is broken down between John and herself. The conversation in act four which reveals much of who John and Elizabeth Proctor are is able to happen due to the removal of the wall between them. The couple is able to have closure thanks to Elizabeth’s finally choosing love over all else. After John is sent to be hanged, Elizabeth states, “He hath his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!” (212). She allows her husband to make his own decision because she loves him and understands now that perhaps his values should be her own. In this moment, she is fulfilling the one duty of a wife that she had been neglecting. She is finally supporting her husband and valuing the things he

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