John Proctor in the Crucible

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The main character in Salem is John Proctor, an outspoken, successful, and well-respected farmer who chooses to stay away from the church.  Religious at heart, this man who has sinned openly, condemns the witch trials while hiding a secret that could ruin the main accuser, Abigail Williams.  Proctor is a man full of guilt, who uses the love of his wife, and his need to take responsibility for his actions to gain the strength to openly confess his sins, denounce Abigail Williams, and save his soul. As soon as Reverend Parris is appointed to the church in Salem John Proctor begins to resent his superior attitude and greed. Proctor takes every opportunity to criticize Reverend Parris and the now corrupt church.  This dislike leads John to use Elizabeth's illness as an excuse to stay away from Sunday services, a decision that will hurt Proctor in the future.  On the very first day that the town starts buzzing about witches, John questions Reverend Parris' motives when he learns that Parris has sent for John Hail without calling a town meeting first. John uses this situation to let everyone know that he feels talk of witchcraft is ridiculous and that the minister is over stepping his bounds.  The confrontation leads to a discussion about the reverend's demands for money and housing, a conversation that Proctor resumes with Reverend Hale when he visits the Proctor as home.  Led by his desire to punish any one who would oppose him, Reverend Parris directs Reverend Hale to the Proctor home.  In his search for devil worshippers, Hale questions the Proctors about their absences from Sunday church services.  John eagerly responds to the inquiry stating, “…since we built the church there were pewter candlesticks upon the altar; ... but Parris came, and for twenty week he preach nothin' but golden candlesticks until he had them.  I labor the earth from dawn of day to blink of night, and I tell you true, when I look to heaven and see my money glaring at his elbows - it...
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