October 25, 2012
The Crucible: Moral Integrity & Human Dignity
Our names are labels, plainly printed on the bottled essence of our past behavior. ~Logan Pearsall Smith “The Crucible” a 1952 play written by Arthur Miller is an allegory of McCarthyism. The play itself is a dramatization of the Salem Witch Trials which occurred in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. In Miller’s masterpiece we meet a wide array of characters, village people, ordained ministers, judges, and farmers. We have the major characters, John Proctor, Rev. Hale, Rev. Parris, Abigail Williams, and Elizabeth Proctor. Arthur Miller’s 1952 drama The Crucible illustrates that, moral integrity and human dignity are worth sacrifice. The clearest representations of a characters sacrifices for the preservation of their own moral and human dignity can be seen by the actions of three key characters; John Proctor’s sacrifice of his reputation and eventually his life to do the right thing, Giles’s brute force and refusal to save his own life by confessing a lie, and Rebecca Nurse’s will to stick to her moral believes to her grave. Reputation, a man’s image and how he is seen by those around him impacts his whole life, some can say that a man’s reputation is their most prized position if it is good, but can be a curse if bad. For Proctor to sacrifice his reputation, and name in the village to save his wife, and stop the courts trials is a truly selfless act and preserves ones integrity because they are making a large sacrifice to do the right thing. “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave! And well she might, for I have thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance.” – (John Proctor 116) this public confession of John’s affair with Abigail was meant to expose Abigail’s hidden motive for the accusation of Elizabeth. Although this confession destroys John’s reputation he confesses not...