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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes
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Mary Warren is now Proctor's only home to save Elizabeth. He
will do anything; he will sacrifice Mary and himself, but "that
goodness will not die for me!"

There is something almost demonic in the violence of Proctor's
rage. Earlier he had demanded of Hale:

Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as
clean as God's fingers? I'll tell you what's walking Salem-
vengeance is walking Salem.... I'll not give my wife to

Now he goes to Salem to accuse, to "charge a cold and cruel
murder on Abigail." Are his motivations "holy"? Is there no
vengeance in his heart? He seems almost to look forward to his
own destruction, as long as he can bring Abigail down with
him: "...her saintliness is done with. We will slide together into
our pit."

But maybe he sees this as a chance finally to get the punishment
he feels he deserves for his sin of adultery; a punishment
Elizabeth denied him by keeping his secret. If this is the case, it
could be relief he's expressing when he says,

Peace. It is a providence [blessing], and no great chance; we are
only what we always were, but naked now.

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes

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