The Crucible Act 2 part 2 Summary

     As Act 2 continues, Reverend Hale shows up at the Proctors' house to ask John and Elizabeth some questions. First, he tells them that Rebecca Nurse, like Elizabeth, has been mentioned during the court proceedings. Hale admits he finds it hard to believe that someone as pious as Rebecca could be a witch, but he knows the devil is tricky and will not deny that it's possible. He questions the Christian character of the Proctor household by inquiring as to why they don't attend church every Sunday. Proctor makes some excuses about his wife being sick then ultimately admits that he does not care for Reverend Parris as a minister. Hale asks Proctor to recite the Ten commandments. John is able to recite nine of them, and then Elizabeth reminds him of the one he missed, "Adultery, John," which is ironic since that is the one he has clearly broken. John then admits to Hale that he heard from Abigail that the children's initial sickness had nothing to do with witchcraft. Hale is astounded by this information as he has personally questioned Tituba, Sarah Good, and others who have confessed to being witches. John points out that it makes sense for them to confess to it to avoid being hanged. Hale agrees that this thought has crossed his mind before. Hale asks Elizabeth about witches, and she makes the bold statement that she doesn't believe in them. This belief goes directly against the Bible and shocks Hale. He tells them to make sure they baptize their third child, and then he turns to leave.

     Just as Hale is exiting, Giles Corey and Francis Nurse burst into the house with news that their wives, Martha and Rebecca, have been arrested. Rebecca has been charged with the supernatural murder of Goody Putnam's babies. Mr. Walcott accused Martha of bewitching his pig. Mr. Cheever then enters with a warrant for Elizabeth's arrest. Abigail Williams charged her with having supernaturally stabbed a needle in her stomach. Cheever then searches the house and finds the poppet that Mary Warren gave to Elizabeth with a needle stuck in the stomach. He takes it as proof of what Abigail said. Proctor calls Mary Warren in to have her explain that she gave Elizabeth the poppet and that Abigail saw Mary stick the needle into it. Elizabeth is disgusted and says Abigail must be "ripped out the world." John is also angry and rips up the warrant. Elizabeth sees that this behavior isn't helping her cause, so she agrees to go peacefully with the deputy.

     Elizabeth says she is not afraid as they take her out and chain her to the others. Proctor is disgusted by the proceedings. Proctor tells Giles and Francis to go home. They will discuss plans on how to free their wives the next morning. Proctor turns to Mary Warren and says that she will come with him to court the next day to accuse Abigail of lying. Mary Warren is afraid of going against Abigail and she tells Proctor that Abby will charge lechery on him, which means that Mary Warren knows about the affair that they had. Proctor is initially surprised that Mary Warren is aware of his indiscretions, but then he decides to use that information against Abigail. He will not let his wife face punishments for his wrongs. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure these false accusations stop.

     In this section Proctor is emerging as the hero of the story. He has information that can prove Abigail is not the saint that the court believes that she is. He is ready to embark on a journey to free his wife and return her home safely. This part of the story least resembles the actual witchcraft trials, which did not involve an affair between Abigail and John, who were much further apart in age in reality.

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