Essays About John Proctor In The Crucible

Free Essays on The Crucible: John Proctor

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The Crucible - John Proctor, a man with pride

 

John Proctor plays the leading role in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. He was persistent, honest, and full of integrity. He was simply, a man with pride. A wise woman once said, "Do what you feel in your heart to be right--for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't." (Eleanor Roosevelt). Proctor was the protagonist of the dramatic piece of literature.

 

When the play sets in to action, John has had a past affair with his servant Abigail Williams. His wife, Elizabeth Proctor is very forgiving of his sin, but John has his mind set that he will not confess to anyone else, in fear of ruining his good name, and reputation. The affair between John and Abigail caused the start of chaotic witchery and accusation. After the affair, Abigail became horribly jealous of Elizabeth Proctor. Proctor realizes there is only one way to stop all the witch hysteria in Salem, and that would be to confess his sin of adultery. Although he knows he should, he continues to be determined not to confess. Also in the beginning Reverend Paris is new to town, and John insist continually that he is only speaking of hell, and hardly ever of God, as Proctor goes on to say to Parris, "Can you speak one minute without we land in Hell again? I am sick of Hell!" (Miller 30). In the drama, Mary Warren places a needle in a poppet she gave to Elizabeth; John firmly demands that Mary Warren tell the courts that she really put the needle in the poppet that day. Proctor says to her, "You're coming to the court with me, Mary. You will tell it in the court." (Miller 80). Furthermore, at the end of the play Proctor is persistent by saying that no matter what anyone says to convince him differently, he would rather die an honest man and save his name. John Proctor took pride in his thoughts, feelings, values, and his name. It took persistency to make his intent clear to others.

 

For many reasons, John Proctor is an honest man. By no means is Proctor afraid to tell you what is on his mind.

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In the beginning John truthfully tells Parris why he has not be at church recently, "I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. Take it to heart, Mr. Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God any more." (Miller 28). John realizes that he must confess his sin of adultery to the courts, only to stop the frenzy in Salem. After he confesses, he encourages his wife to do the same, "Elizabeth, tell the truth! Elizabeth, I have confessed it!" (Miller113). He confesses his sin, and speaks those words, only because he is looking out for the good of the community, and others around him. He hates that his name is tarnished, but feels that God will forgive him for it. Later, his honest shows again when he tells Abigail his true feelings by saying that he would cut off his arm before reaching for her again. * Proctor accepted the truth for what it was, not because he had to, but because speaking words of truth are actions of an honest and prideful man.

 

Proctor is given the chance to confess himself of witchery. The courts want him to sign a legal statement of his actions, to post on the church doors. The court feels that if the community sees that an honest man confessed, they will feel that it's all right to confess also. Of course John refuses to sign. He knows that a false admission would not only dishonor him, but also strain his public reputation and his soul. He has high levels of integrity, by refusing to give up his personal integrity, he feels he will be rewarded eternal life in heaven. John would rather die knowing that he did not give in, and that he stood up for what he knew to be true. John also declined to give the names of innocent community members. He is taking a hit for the team. Proctor realizes that if he gives the names of innocent citizens they will be hanged. So instead he feels he has no choice, but to do the right thing, and die for the good cause. Proctor respects and stands up for his fellow neighbors. "I- have no knowledge in that line. But it's hard to think so pious a woman be secretly a Devil's bitch after seventy year of such good prayer." (Miller 64). Proctor's decision is not an easy one to make as a famous man once said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.). John is saving others lives, saving his name, keeping his pride, and his integrity.

John Proctor died for his name, and many other reasons. He was a man of pride. He possessed the qualities of persistency, honesty, and integrity. With those attributes, I am sure he was rewarded his prize in heaven

 



John Proctor: Hero Of The Crucible


John Proctor, a character in the play written by Arthur Miller, The Crucible could be depicted as the tragic hero. According to the philosopher Aristotle, a tragic hero undergoes a reversal of fortune from happiness to misery caused due to some flaw or error of judgement on his part. This flaw or error when combined with ill-fate or some negative external influence results in tragedy. In this play, John Proctor’s flaw was his lust for Abigail Williams coupled with a series of unfortunate events which ultimately proved to be fatal and led to his tragic death. Abigail’s jealousy and evil intentions brought suffering on his loved ones who were either jailed or executed. However, John Proctor fought bravely for his loved ones and his reputation even in the face of death. Proctor was not born into luxury but he was a common man who displayed remarkable courage, dignity and confessed to all his misdeeds. Despite his flaws, Proctor is able to evoke sympathy from the audience thus qualifying himself to be a tragic hero of this play.

John Proctor works as a farmer and lives a dignified life with his wife and three children in a Puritan town. As the play unfolds, the audience learns that Proctor hides a dark secret, his affair with a young girl named Abigail Williams. Abigail tries to get rid of his wife, Elizabeth through witchcraft with the help of a few girls from the town. However, as the town discovers their intentions, the girls cry foul and name others to escape punishment. John faces his wife’s distrust and the town carries out a series of witch trials fueling hysteria in this otherwise peaceful town.

Lust isn’t John’s only fatal flaw; pride too gets in the way of confessing to adultery. He is faced with a dilemma between choosing his wife and pride when Elisabeth gets arrested. John confesses to adultery to save his wife and preserve his pride. The audience feels sorry for him as he is trying to set things right but there seems to be no end to his misery. John was a good human being who made attempts to correct his faults. John faced death bravely knowing that he would die peacefully as he had put the interests of others before his needs. John proctor is thus the true hero of The Crucible, albeit a tragic one.

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