To Live a Lie or Die with Honor
John Proctor is faced with an irreversible decision that ultimately determines his fate. Should he lie, living with the consequences of being named a witch or should he die, honoring himself and keep his soul free of the devil. The decision faced before him couldn’t have been an easy one. He had been faced with so many trials that his final choice determines if any one of them was in vain. Proctor had to make his own judgment and self-determine his fate. I believe what he had to suffer through was enough to make anyone insane, or even believe they deserved to die. Proctor had so many events leading to his final noble decision to end his life. He first, after Elizabeth forgives him for his affair, decides to confess to stand by her and help raise their children. However, once Danforth requires him to sign his name to an official confession Proctor refuses in an attempt to not blacken his own name. He states, "You will not use me! I am no Sarah Good or Tituba, I am John Proctor! You will not use me! It is no part of salvation that you should use me!" (149) He was adamant not to ruin his own name even if it meant he had to die to save it. “...A man will not cast away his good name. You surely know that." (115) Proctor ultimately chooses to die to save his name and his son’s reputations; he would not subject them to be the children of witchcraft. I believe his choice to die was believable for the time they lived in, their name was everything; it determined their social status and what they were worth. I could understand why Proctor choose the path he did. Refusing to pour the consequences of lechery, witchcraft, and lying over on to his entire family. Not only would their name be ruined, but their life. Today, if a similar situation was occurring, I don’t think anyone would care if their name was ruined, as long as they were alive. Names don’t determine our fate anymore, names have become identification, like barcodes, they...
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