The Crucible: John Proctor's Search for Identity

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In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, John Proctor is a good man. He is a puritan, a husband, and an all around valuable member of the community. All of this is represented by his name. The name of John Proctor could be considered his most prized possession. Proctor is very strong-willed and caring; however, he has committed adultery and had absolutely no intentions of joining in the witch trials. After his wife got involved, he feels that he can't sit back and accept what is happening to the town. John Proctor is a good and noble man and because he comes to believes that he can't be hanged and die a victim when he has this sin hanging over him. Early on in the play, the reader comes to know that John Proctor has had an affair with Abigail Williams while she was working in his home. Abigail believed that if she got rid of Proctors wife, Elizabeth, then John Proctor would become her own. John Proctor’s affair with Abigail, for him it was just lust, while Abigail believed it to be true love. She told John Proctor that she loved him, and once she destroys Elizabeth, they would be free to love one another. John is horrified at this, but can do nothing to convince Abigail that he is not in love with her. Because of Abigail's twisted plot to secure John for herself, Elizabeth is arrested. John Proctor has to wrestle with the decision of what to do. He knows that he has sinned; yet he does not want to hurt his beloved wife. This is partly why he is willing to die. He knows he has already sinned. One of the most significant scene in the play was where John Proctor is able to talk with his wife, Elizabeth, for the last time. He decides that he will confess to the crime of witchcraft, thereby avoiding being hung. He says to Elizabeth: “My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing's spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long before” (Miller 126). However, to accept what he said, the judge also requires him to sign a written confession which...
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