John Proctor Character Analysis Essay: The Crucible

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The Crucible is a 1953 play by American writer Arthur Miller. It is a dramatised and in part fictionalised story of the Salem witch trials that occurred in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692–93.

John Proctor is a hardworking moderately aged farmer, husband, and father. He values genuineness and has extraordinary scorn for hypocrisy. Incidentally, John is concealing a scandalous little secret of his own. His wife Elizabeth Proctor adores and regards him even though she realises he isn't without human failing. This blog is based on John Proctor and his internal conflicts along with all the drama surrounding him.

The setting happens in the autumn Salem Massachusetts, Reverend Parris' Home, John Proctor's home. The time-span was around 1692, the time of the Witch Hunt. The setting influences the traditions of John Proctor by how he acts and how he should act. His job is specific and his duties as the man of the house are simple.

Legit, upstanding, and gruff spoken, Proctor is a decent man, however, one with a mystery, fatal flaw. His desire for Abigail Williams led to their affair (which happens before the play starts) and created Abigail's jealousy of his wife, Elizabeth, which sets the entire witch hysteria in motion. Once the trials begin, Proctor realises that he can stop Abigail's rampage through Salem but only if he confesses to his adultery. Such an admission would ruin his good name, and Proctor is, above all, a proud man who places great emphasis on his reputation. He eventually attempts, through Mary Warren's testimony, to name Abigail as fraud without revealing the crucial information. When this attempt fails, he finally bursts out with a confession, calling Abigail a 'whore' and proclaiming his guilt publicly. Only then does he realise that it is too late, that matters have gone too far, and that not even the truth can break the powerful frenzy that he has allowed Abigail to whip up. Proctor's confession succeeds only in leading to his arrest and conviction as a witch, and though he lambastes the court and its proceedings, he is also aware of his terrible role in allowing this fervour to grow unchecked.

Proctor makes up for himself and gives a last revilement of the witch trials in his last demonstration. Offered the chance to make a public confession of his guilt and live, he almost succumbs, even signing a written confession. His immense pride and fear of public opinion compelled him to withhold his adultery from the court, but by the end of the play he is more concerned with his integrity than his public reputation. He still wants to save his name, but for personal and religious, rather than public, reasons. Proctor's refusal to provide a false confession is a true religious and personal stand. Such a confession would dishonour his fellow prisoners, who are brave enough to die as a testimony to the truth. Perhaps more relevantly, a false admission would also dishonour him, staining not just his public reputation, but also his soul. By refusing to give up his integrity Proctor implicitly proclaims his conviction that such integrity will bring him to heaven. He goes to the gallows redeemed for his earlier sins. As Elizabeth says to end the play, responding to Hale's plea that she convinces Proctor to publicly confess: 'He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!'

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John Proctor's Internal Conflict is that he had an affair with Abigail Williams. He is an extremely religious man and the way that someplace in him needed to be with other women still haunts him and his wife. John Proctor would be the perfect puritan husband and man if he would not have slept with Abigail. He has the problem with coming to terms with the fact that he did this to his wife and his family while she was sick.

John Proctor generally is a tormented person. He accepts his undertaking with Abigail hopelessly harmed him according to God, his wife Elizabeth, and himself. True, Proctor did succumb to sin and commit adultery; however, he cannot forgive himself. John refused to destroy his reputation and instead Proctor chose not to testify against Abigail during the trials. Although he knew it was the right thing to do, he didn't want to hurt and embarrass his beloved wife by exposing his shameful affair in public.

Therefore, he decided not to testify against Abigail. This is additionally halfway why he was eager to bite the dust coming to the end of the play. Proctor felt that he was unable to have continued living when he had this sin looming over him every day. This causes the crowd to see Proctor as a noble and honourable man.

Another motivation behind why Proctor decides to kick the bucket is because he couldn't double-cross his friends. He felt that by selling out his friends, he would submit an extra sin which would then darken his name further. He would have then needed to live everyday beating himself for what he did. He wouldn't have been able to live with himself knowing that other innocents had died while he got away with living by lying. The fact that he had three children additionally impacted by his choice. Proctor couldn't bring up his children to walk like men on the planet if he was certifiably not a genuine man. Family life and friendship were very important to John Proctor and he felt that if he had lived, he couldn't possibly have raised his children to be men in the world knowing that he was a sinner who chose to sell out his friends. He wanted to teach his children that they should stand up for what they believed in and not give in to unjust courts or any other injustices in life. By dying, he thought that he would teach his children that he wasn't a sell-out and also that he had paid for the sins that he had committed. He wanted his sons to know that their father had died with honour and integrity.

Arthur Miller was attempting to change the ideal of accusation based on just feelings rather than reasonable suspicion. He was accused of being a Communist because he refused to tell on other Communists. He compared his accusation to that of the Salem Witch Trials, which was a rather larger-scale version of these actions. Miller was trying to change the way people acted when it came to suspicious times

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John Proctor Character Analysis Essay: The Crucible. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from
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