Even by just looking at this short extract it can be seen that Abigail still cares for Proctor and she still thinks that deep down he cares for her. She doesn’t believe that he would travel five miles to see a ‘silly’ girl fly, so she thinks that he has another motive, namely her. Also in this extract you can see that Proctor got to know her well, as rather than calling her Abigail, he refers to her as Abby. Both of Proctor’s comments in this extract are to try and convince Abigail that he no longer cares for her.
The entire scene with Abigail and Proctor is more of the above, Abigail telling Proctor that he loves her and then once again Proctor denying this and saying he doesn’t care for her any more, Proctor still finds Abigail exciting and attractive. This entire scene shows Proctor’s remorse and the fact that he wants to now stay with his wife and be honest and loyal to her. However this has left an emotional scar, and we shall explore how the events of the play move to bring reconciliation between them, a little later.
Further on in the play Proctor shows another sign that he has once been an adulterer. This is when Hale asks Proctor to recite the Ten Commandments, when saying the commandments Proctor forgets the commandment that, “thou shall not commit adultery”. Perhaps Proctor deliberately wishes to forget this commandment. Certainly it would be better for himself and his wife if his adulterous affair could be put behind them. Proctor is powerful and assertive. He doesn’t “suffer fools gladly” and is not afraid to speak his mind. Proctor has offended many people; the first person he offended was Mr Parris.
Proctor does not like the way in which Parris preaches as a minister and he thinks that Parris talks to often about Hell, damnation and what could happen if the people are bad, but he does not talk kind words as a minister should; Parris: “Man! Don’t a minister deserve a house to live in? ” Proctor: “To live in, yes. But to ask ownership is like you shall own the meeting house itself; the last meeting I were at you spoke so long on deeds and mortgages I thought it were an auction. ” Throughout the play Proctor shows many signs that he does not like Parris and also I think these signs show that really, Parris doesn’t like Proctor either.
One of these signs is the fact that Proctor talks badly of Mr Parris to other people, for example, when he talks to Hale about ploughing on the Sabbath, he says that he ploughs in the fields only because he does not like it in the church as Parris preaches Hell and damnation; Hale: “Mr Proctor your house is not a church; your theology must tell you that. ” Proctor: “It does, sir, it does; and it tells me that a minister may pray to God without he have golden candlesticks upon the altar. ” Hale: “What candlesticks? ” Proctor: “……………..
But Parris came, and for twenty week he preach nothin’ but golden candlesticks until he had them. I labour the earth from dawn of day to blink of night, and I tell you true, when I look to heaven and see my money glaring at his elbows – it hurt my prayer, sir, it hurt my prayer” etc Soon after the above declaration Hale questions the fact that only two of Proctors children are baptised, once again it is the fact that if he wanted his third and youngest child to be baptised, then it would have to be Parris who performed the service. This is something that Proctor does not want.