In the play The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, the character John Proctor will not lie and confess to something he did not do. Thus, he is hanged for his principles. Proctor has two main principles he felt were more important to respect and uphold than his own life. The most obvious one was his reputation. In theocratic Salem, where private and public ethics are regarded equally, one’s reputation plays an important role. In such an environment where reputation is regarded so highly many are afraid of guilt by association. Various characters base their actions on the desire to protect their own reputations, in order to keep them in the best light possible. Towards the beginning of the play, John Proctor sought to keep his good name …show more content…
His refusal to give up his false signed confession and even going so far as to rip it to shreds, is a religious stand, but also a personal stand as well. Such a confession would dishonor his fellow convicted friends, such as Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse, who were also brave enough to die as a testimony to the truth rather than satisfy the court with a false confession. Not to mention a false confession would also dishonor him, not just staining public reputation, but also his very essence. Proctor, without reservation, proclaims that the integrity he is showing will convince God to allow him into heaven. Thus when he goes to the gallows to be hanged, he has no fear of death, believing he will be forgiven for previous sins. After Hale begs Elizabeth to continue with trying to convince John to sign the confession, she responds, “He have his goodness now,” and coldly finishes the play with, “God forbid I take it from him!” She realizes that John is now at peace with himself for the sins he committed in the past and feels that he needs to go through with this to get back his goodness and honesty, lost during his affair with Abigail. It is my opinion that, yes, John’s principles were worth dying for. In Salem Village, an individual’s reputation plays an important role due to the fact
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The Salem witch trials was a story of envy, lies, and the danger of the people. Others wouldn’t defend those accused, and if they did, they themselves were eventually charged as witches. In many ways, defending others was condemning yourself. Such was the case for John Proctor in “The Crucible”. John Proctor was someone who had made mistakes, but through his own crucible made peace with himself and defended the honor of himself and the others that would not admit to witchcraft.
In this essay I will talk about two main central ideas. First, some people accuse innocent people for witchery. Secondly, there is a lot of hatred in the town of Salem.
John Proctor sought his wife’s forgiveness to regain her trust and to entitle him to die an honest man. He recognized his actions; he simply wanted his wife to recognize them too. “Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not.” (Miller 55) Proctor’s appeal to his wife reveals his hope for her forgiveness and for her to see the goodness in him. He wants his wife to recognize him as an honest man, because to him that is the only substance that made him feel like a good person. Later in the course of the play, Elizabeth forgives Proctor for his mistakes. She states, “John, it come to naught that I should forgive you… Whatever you will do, it is a good man does it… it needs a cold wife to prompt lechery.” (Miller 136-137) Elizabeth’s statement to her husband exhibits an understanding of his mistakes and acknowledgement of the good man Proctor truly is. Elizabeth’s forgiveness allows Proctor to forgive himself as well. After being forgiven, John Proctor can now die an honest man, a tragic hero - a man with integrity and goodness.
Hook: Crucible is a book filled with mistakes and the outcomes of those mistakes. Every single action that a person commits leads to either a positive or a negative consequence, and this piece of literature provides readers with an opportunity to analyze some causes and effects.
When asked why he will not sign the confession, Proctor dramatically replies, “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (143, Act IV). John Proctor sees no good coming out of a false confession; even death would be preferable to it. He claims his name is more important than his life and even goes as far as to hold it in more favor than his soul. Proctor implies that his name is what gives him his humanity, “Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang!” and his sense of self, “Because I cannot have another in my life!” Furthermore, he attests that, without his name, he would not be able to be a proper model for his sons, “I have three children—how may I teach them to walk like men in the world and I sold my friends?” (143, Act IV). Making a false confession would damage Proctor’s self-worth and integrity enough to make him an unfit father. Yet, as he refuses to betray himself, Proctor sees a glimmer of hope in his conscience, “I do see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.” (144, Act IV). Proctors sacrifice does more than benefit Salem, it relives his burden of guilt and preserves his identity. That “shred of goodness” in him is enough to give him the principles to stand up to the unjust officials of the
Proctor 's decision to tell the court about his affair ironically demonstrates his goodness. He also spoke up for the innocent girls that had their names branded. He willingly sacrifices his good name in order to protect his wife and others who are wrongly accused. Only through his public acknowledgment of the affair does Proctor regain his wife 's trust. At the end of the play, Proctor refuses to slander himself by allowing the court to make him make a false confession. The court told him to lie, and that if he lies that he would not be sent to the gallows. He did the right decision by telling the truth about his affair with Abigail. He honestly told the truth about the affair, and that he was not part of the witchcraft. His response further exemplifies Proctor 's integrity. But John was not guilty. He had nothing to do with witchcraft, he admitted to his own mistakes. Proctor knows that if he confesses that he will be damned himself, yet again, if he agrees to confess, he will also be free from the torment from the demon inside him and set others free too. This realization, along with Elizabeth 's forgiveness, enables Proctor to forgive himself and finally regain his good name and self-respect. As the court
First of all, reputation is a huge issue for John Proctor, both internally and externally. From the very beginning, John is extremely concerned about word escaping about his adulterous acts with Abigail. If anyone were to find out, his good reputation as a respectable farmer in Salem would have been cast away by nasty looks. A lack of willingness to give up his good name also stopped John from admitting anything he knew about Abigail to possibly save lives. He cared more about having a clean name than completely halting the trials to begin with. In the end of the play, John Proctor is put to death
Another tragic flaw that, like most tragic heroes in Greek drama, John Proctor exhibits is pride. Proctor has the choice between life and death on pen and paper, to sign his name means life, to refuse means death. “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because
The second moral dilemma John Proctor faces is to tell the truth and die as an honest man. He has the choice to either lie in order to live or die with his friends in an honourable way. Proctor realizes that if he choses to tell the truth he will no longer be the sinful man he thought he is, but would keep his name in good standing and be a good role model for his sons. “‘I have three children---how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?’” (IV.I). If John chooses to live he will be looked upon by his friends and family as a liar and an unmoral man. He will not be able to function in the Puritan society, so he comes to the conclusion to tell the truth and be put to death. He believes God will save him because he is doing the right thing by choosing to die and he will be remembered for his dignity. His wife Elizabeth watches the hanging and says, “‘He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!’” (IV.I). As Proctor is about to be hanged, sunlight shines throughout the town representing John made the right decision and he will be going to God. After all, John Proctor does give up his life, but he knows he saves his sons from walking around with a tainted name and keeps the names of his friends clean, not betraying them.
To begin, family life and friendship was very important to John Proctor, husband, and father of three. If he lived then he could not possibly raise his kids to be men in the world if he himself was a fraud of a man. He wanted to teach them that they should stand up for what they believe in and not give into pressure by others in life. By dying, he taught his kids that not only was he a honorable man, but he also was a good example of standing your ground and doing the right thing. John Proctor is not a man known to go to church often, but he must of remembered this quote from the bible: "No one has love greater than this that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends"(John 15:13). This quote means that someone who surrenders his or her soul for their friends has lots of love, and by dying and standing up for what he believed in he taught his kids a valuable lesson.
Another quote I would like to use to support John's bravery is, "She looked to dance with me on my wife's grave. God help me, I lusted!" The reason I chose this out of the rest was because it shows how far John will go, even if it means to soil his reputation, just to get Abigail out of control. "Because it is my NAME! Because I may not have another in my life!" This is when John is completely forgiven for all his sins. He has gone through so much that he feels he should at least keep his name. He realizes that if he signs this confession given to him to be posted on the church door, he would never be able to get his life back. After his decision to go on with the truth, you finally see how brave he must be for not lying to the court.
Throughout The Crucible we learn many things about John Proctor. Despite learning about the sins he has committed with Abigail the reader’s tend to agree with his character and support him. John Proctor has committed very intense sins and is clearly not free of guilt which is why his decision to hang instead of falsely confess was noble.
Preserving his or her reputation is a prevalent theme throughout the entirety of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Many characters within the story are willing to risk anything to keep their reputation from being sullied in Salem. Two such characters are Abigail Williams and John Proctor, who both went to extremes to preserve their reputation. Firstly, being someone who holds many dark secrets, Abigail Williams places a great deal of pride in her good name. She is a girl whom is willing to lie to the public as to avoid trouble or scandal. She even goes so far as to say “Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar”(Miller 1240). Although Goody Proctor is presented in the story as one who can tell no lies,
Reputation is extremely important in a town where social standing is tied to one’s ability to follow religious rules. Your good name is the only way you can get other people to do business with you or even get a fair hearing. Of course, reputation meant nothing when a witchcraft accusation was staring you in the face. But reputation is what made the Reverend hale begin to doubt whether the accused individuals were actually guilty. And it was for the sake of his reputation and his friends’ reputations that John Proctor refused to sign a false confession. He would, quite literally, rather die. Although John Proctor goes to his death falsely condemned as a witch, he gains his reputation and respect among those who matter, like his wife, because he refuses to falsely identify his friends and neighbours as witches. The loss of Abigail’s reputation toward the end of the play shows that characters in The Crucible eventually earn the reputations they deserve, despite the personal tragedies that might take place along the way. Having a good reputation is very important in The Crucible. It means you can be accepted by society. If you do not have a good name, you will be completely rejected. John Proctor would no longer be thought of a morally straight and righteous person. Reverend Parris would lose all his respect and not be accepted by society. Judge Danforth would be constantly questioned and lose his job. Keeping and maintaining your good name is an overwhelming theme in The