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Theme Of Reputation In The Crucible

Decent Essays
Reputation; what significance does this one word have that a Spanish proverb states, “He who has lost his reputation is a dead man among the living”? According to the townspeople in theocratic Salem, an individual was to become prestigious and sacrifice everything for a good name. There was no such thing as private moralities, instead, a person’s reputation was a public matter showcased for the town to judge and discern. Nothing is more unimaginable than having to lose an influential position. Throughout the play “The Crucible”, individuals base their actions on safeguarding or earning a standing. Miller uses the characterization of Reverend Parris and John Proctor to demonstrate that when one exclusively focuses on the preservation of their reputation, one is more likely t o use outrageous actions and deception to hide one’s faults. Reverend Parris’s main motivation is to preserve his reputation at any cost, whether by unbelievable behavior or through falsehood. For example, when Reverend Parris discovers the girls dancing in the forest, he hastily warns Abigail that his reputation is in jeopardy by conveying, “Now look you, child, your punishment will come in its time. But if you trafficked with spirits in the forest I must know it now, for surely my enemies will, and they will ruin me with it” (10). Since Abigail is family, Parris has no tolerance when it comes to his reputation so he willingly enforces discipline to maintain his status. Also, as a minister, his role is
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