Suffering in the Crucible and Gattaca

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Suffering in the Crucible and Gattaca

By | November 2012
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Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" and Andrew Niccol's film "Gattaca" both present the idea that suffering can lead to growth through their main characters John Proctor (Crucible) and Vincent Freeman (Gattaca) and their very unique experiences . The authors then explore who their characters share the burden of their ordeals with and how they assist in turning their suffering into growth.

Despite the fact John and Vincent live in two completely different worlds over three centenaries apart they both experience the same struggle against society and are both considered failures in their communities but grow by overcoming their inadequacies. Miller uses John who is a man who holds a great belief in holding and maintaining a respectable title within the community to show how his suffering can lead to growth. John suffers through his own actions when his affair with young woman, Abigail Williams, sets in motion a series of events that eventually ends with him being accused of witchcraft. John is given two choices, either lie and offer a public confession to witchcraft and be saved from the gallows or tell the truth and refuse to confess. Initially John signs his confession but not willing to allow to whole town to think he is a witch, ruining the reputation he has worked so hard to earn. He passionately tears the confession in two and when asked why he exclaims "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! ... I have given you my soul, leave me my name!" Miller uses this tearing of the confession to signify the moment in which John's suffering turns into growth as he rallies the courage to stand up to the court and retain his good name. Unlike John, Vincent is born with his inferior genetic makeup and suffers from birth as he "…belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the colour of your skin." The underclass Vincent is referring to is a group of people who are known as the 'In-valids' who posses an...
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