John Proctor

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John Proctor

In The Crucible, Arthur Miller portrayed John Proctor as a dynamic character in the story. John was a rural farmer in his thirties. John was an honest man who could not stand for hypocrisy. He isolated himself from the issues of Salem, Massachusetts by staying on his farm. Despite his hatred for hypocrites, John held a deep secret that would ruin his reputation if it was uncovered. This secret was his affair with Abigail Williams, who was once a servant to the Proctors and was the niece of Reverend Parris. John Proctor transforms from being minding his own business to becoming the center of the witchcraft trials in Salem.

This dilemma started when Reverend Parris stumbled upon Abigail Williams, Betty Parris, his daughter, and his slave Tituba in the forest. Reverend Parris believed that they were practicing witchcraft. Witchcraft was not tolerated under any circumstances in Puritan religion and the consequences would be severe if convicted. In the forest, Abigail drinks a potion that would kill John Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth “Goody” Proctor. Goody fired Abigail when she discovered that John was having an affair with her. John’s termination of the affair was the catalyst for Abigail’s jealousy towards Elizabeth.

The Proctor’s lived a couple of miles outside of Salem and they were kept out of many of the towns issues. Reverend Hale questioned John Proctor about his faith. Hale noticed that the Proctor’s did not go to Church very often and that their youngest son was not baptized. John says that he does not care for Parris’s theology. Hale then asks Proctor to repeat the Ten Commandments. He remembers all of them except for one, adultery. Elizabeth is accused of witchcraft by Abigail because a rag doll was found in the Proctor home. Abigail rationalizes that she had found a needle in her abdomen and that there was a similar needle in the abdomen of the doll. This accusation infuriates John and leads him to ripping apart the...
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