The Crucible: John Proctor and John Hale - Good Citizen vs. Good Person
In The Crucible, Arthur Miller portrays the two main characters, John Proctor and Reverend John Hale as "good men". The term "good men" in this play is ambiguous. Reverend John Hale was a good man in the sense of being the perfect and good citizen of Massachusetts in the 1600's. He was pious, adherent to the laws and beliefs, and a good Puritan Christian. John Proctor, on the contrary would not be considered the greatest citizen. He was not so religious, nor the perfect Christian, and was not so adherent to the Puritan's laws and beliefs. However, he was still considered a "good man", as a person rather than being an ideal Puritan citizen. He was very honest, moral, loyal to his friends and family, and was generous. The major difference between the two are good citizen vs. good person.
The most important trait to prove that John Proctor was a good person was his honesty. In every scene in the play that John Proctor is in, his commendable honesty stands out. It didn't matter how much trouble he would bring himself into, his philosophy was "I may speak my heart" (Miller, p.30). Proctor's honesty eventually lead to his downfall and death.
The first incident in the play where we see Proctor's honesty is after the affair he had with Abigail. He realized his mistake and was honest and admitted it to his wife Elizabeth. In the next situation where Proctor is involved he tells the Reverend Parris why he does not like him, and it also gets him into trouble. He tells him, "Can you speak one minute without we land in hell again, I'm sick of hell! (p. 30). He is honest, yet disrespectful to his reverend. While in court, John Proctor is too honest to the judges. He admits his guilt of not being a religious Christian and says " I have once or twice plowed on Sunday" (p.91) and he also admits not going to church every Sunday. He also admits that he committed adultery and had an affair...
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