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Explain how miller creates tension in scene 2

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Explore how miller creates tension between john and Elizabeth in this section. The language between the 2 of them stays always quite superficial, not talking of anything too deep. They both are constantly trying to please one another, but there is the everlasting image of disappointment when johns efforts are coldly rejected Elizabeth. She "receives" his kiss. She remains quite passive. John "is not pleased" with the meal, and the marriage is not quite right either [cider?] "It's winter in here yet". The coldness of their household, the lack of warmth John starts on an optimistic note, with the talk of the beautiful spring, as he longs for the new year and the new start to their lives. ...read more.


By her feeble attempts to avoid the tension, by busying herself with housework, it actually emphasises the tension of the situation. "Her back is turned to him" John m is looking out on their future, while she inwardly looks back on the past. "A sense of their separation arises" - the stage directions really put it bluntly for those who haven't yet realised the situation in this relationship. Liz has a direct honesty, which is usually the cause of the friction as she always shows her suspicions to john, he knows that she never forgets his affair, and that no matter how long he has separated himself form Abby, she will always wonder if he has been with her. ...read more.


You can feel his desperation in his attempts to salvage their relationship, and you can feel how much Liz wants to forgive him. But when she finds out about John and Liz being alone together, she cannot help but to "lose all faith in him" "An everlasting funeral marches around your heart" John thinks part of Liz is dead inside, and that is why she cannot forgive him. But really it can be seen as a ploy to get Liz to feel guilty, to make john look like the good guy. He tries to take the moral high ground But as she says so poignantly, "the magistrate sits in your heart that judges you". She can't forgive him until he forgives himself. Elizabeth is so cold that "her justice could freeze beer". ...read more.

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