Honesty in the Crucible

791 WordsMar 13, 20134 Pages
The phrase “honesty is the best policy,” applies to Arthur Miller’s history-based drama, The Crucible, in a variety of ways. The accusations throughout the story build on lie after lie after lie from those trying to protect their own name, thus putting the whole town in a state of confusion and chaos. Nobody in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts knows whom to trust anymore, after all of the false allegations made. There are three characters in particular in the story that, if they had told the truth from the commencement, the town would have been in a state of peace rather than mayhem. If Abigail Williams, John Proctor, and Elizabeth Proctor had been honest, many innocent lives could have been spared and Salem would not be in such…show more content…
John Proctor also lies throughout The Crucible. Although he has come clean to his wife, Elizabeth, about his love affair with Abigail, it is still a secret to the rest of the citizens of Salem. John is severely ashamed of his act of adultery, and has trouble admitting it to himself. When Elizabeth suggests early on,”I think you must tell him[Hale], John” (Miller 67), Proctor evades admitting the truth to Reverend Hale of his affair even though it could have been a valid excuse for the Proctor family’s lack of attendance at church and John’s inability to say the commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” In Act III, when John finally is forced to admit his clandestine affair with Abigail to the court, nobody believes him. Because John has waited so long to confess his affair, it just looks like a poor attempt to save him and Elizabeth from the indictments. If John had divulged the secret of his affair earlier on, people might scorn him for his sin, but he would have evaded the allegations of witchcraft. Although John Proctor and Abigail Williams are dishonest throughout the majority of The Crucible, Elizabeth Proctor remains truthful for most of the story. She does make one very grave mistake that sets the precedent for her husband’s future. When asked, “To your own knowledge,

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