In the novel The Crucible, author Arthur Miller uses varying degrees of goodness and evil to control the flow of the story while showcasing a Puritan town's superstitions and fear of the devil to justify the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The central character in Salem is John Proctor, an outspoken, successful, and well-respected farmer who chooses to maintain a certain distance from the church. Religious at heart, this man who has sinned, openly condemns the witch trials while hiding a secret that could discredit the main accuser, Abigail Williams. John Proctor is a man consumed by guilt, who draws on his contempt for Reverend Parris, his love for his wife, and his need to take responsibility for his actions to gain the strength of character it takes to publicly 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 the minister's superior attitude and greed. An outspoken man, Proctor takes every opportunity to criticize Reverend Parris and the now corrupt church. This resentment leads John to use his wife Elizabeth's illness as an excuse to stay away from Sunday services, a decision that will come back to haunt the Proctors in the future. On the very first day that the town starts buzzing about witches, John questions Reverend Parris' motives in front of several of Salem's most prominent citizens when he learns that Parris has sent for the Reverend John Hale, an expert on witches, without calling a
town meeting first. A firm believer that the citizens should decide on Salem's course of action; 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 home at a later date. Led by...
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