The Crucible Opening Scene Analysis

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In the scene from The Crucible, Arthur Miller gives the reader some useful insight. Miller provides the reader with understanding into the relationship between John and Elizabeth Proctor. One of the most concealed insights into the relationship is in the first of the stage directions: “A fireplace is at the left, and behind it…” This placement shows warmth not felt direct, but indirect or lack thereof. This theme continues throughout the scene. The fireplace, as in the movie, shows a large area with only a small flame burning inside. This is representative of the tension between the Proctors. This also shows the prominent theme of emotional separation between the couple. This theme is also continued through the physical distance placed between the two. This idea is visible through both the stage directions, and the camera angles in the movie. It shines through in the beginning half of the movie scene. John sits close to the fire, with Elizabeth on the cold half of the room. This helps to show their positions in the relationship. The table they sit at is long and narrow, separating the two. Both in a figurative and literal sense, Elizabeth is distant from John. While they…show more content…
Miller says in the stage directions, “He is not quite pleased.” He also shows the relationship to be both harsh and cold on both sides. “It is winter in here yet.” John makes a comment about lilacs to Elizabeth as she promises to bring some flowers into the house. “Lilacs have a purple smell. Lilac is the smell of nightfall, I think.” Purple lilacs have a symbolism of the feelings in early love. John wants to bring back those feelings of love. With Elizabeth’s response of, “Aye, it is,” she seems to want it too. Even so, the relationship is tense still. The ending of the scene shows Elizabeth 's internal conflict. As though she “…doesn’t want friction, and yet she
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