The Characters Of Selfishness In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

914 WordsNov 3, 20174 Pages
Every human that has ever walked this earth has had a fatal flaw, whether it’d be greed, lust, or anger. This is commonly said in the phrase, “nobody is perfect.” In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible a town called Salem is in the middle of a witch problem. People blaming people with no evidence to support their claim; among them is a man named John Proctor and a woman known as Abigail Williams, the girl John had an affair with. Mr. Proctor is the protagonist, he is very easy to like and the reader tends to overlook his fatal flaw: selfishness. Throughout the four acts of the play John Proctor demonstrates his selfishness in different degrees, and by the end it escalates to a new level. He becomes too selfish to be considered a hero.…show more content…
He is angry at his sweet wife for mentioning the affair, and his anger is waking his selfishness up from hibernation. He is letting his emotions get the best of his judgement, and therefore cannot control himself. So far he is only selfish when he is alone in his own home, revealing his true identity. Not only that, he is selfish towards his reputation. This is understandable given it doesn’t affect only himself, but rather his wife and three kids. If his reputation is bad, so is theirs. In this act John is not narcissistic enough to be considered self-centered, but it can be concluded he is on the path to this distinction. Act Three is also very interesting in the eye of Proctor’s character development. In the beginning John is still on the path to selfishness, he want’s to end Abigail’s vengeance to save himself trouble. Then something unexpected happens, John confesses to his sins with Abigail. “You are pulling down heaven and raising up a whore… I have seen her,” (Miller, 126). This is the most altruistic thing John does throughout the play. He destroys every crumb of good in his name to end Abigail’s lies and vengeance. This is very unexpected and introduces the idea of this protagonist being the hero of the story. In Act Four, however, John is no hero. In fact, this is where his narcissism is witnessed the most. In this act John is now considered impure and loyal to the Devil and he has two choices: confess to
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