Crucible Essay: John Proctor

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Elizabeth Proctor Pages: 2 (851 words) Published: November 6, 2008
There is a quote by an unknown author that states, “Pride is a personal commitment. It is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity.” Now this may not apply to every example of a proud person; however, it directly applies to John Proctor. In the play “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, John Proctor, a well-respected farmer, is confronted with a difficult decision and because of his pride decides to keep his reputation while saving the innocent; unfortunately this is the ultimate cause of his demise.

Because of the pride John Proctor has, it is difficult for him to soil his name. For example, when being coerced into confessing and Judge Danforth asks him to name other people, he exclaims, “I am John Proctor, you will not use me!” (143). The fierceness in John’s expression is most apparent when his name is threatened because of the shame he fears will follow his confession and the accusing of his friends. His conscience and the disappointing looks from his friends have the strength to tear him apart psychologically and eventually physically because the damage to his body is a reflection of the war raging inside his mind. Secondly, when Proctor’s wife confronts him about his past affair, he bellows, “no more! I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion” (55). With any threat to his character, John Proctor strikes up a defense that no one is able to penetrate. Unfortunately, his amore-propre is so, that it creates a flaw which is at the base of any character, and that is the ability to be humble and take criticism. John’s disability in this regard is shown with the chastising of his wife. Through and through John displays what some may call arrogance or stubbornness however the manner in which he expresses the trait shows how he is an honorable man and upholds his repute.

When it comes to keeping the falsely accused out of the gallows, John Proctor goes to many lengths. For instance, after his wife is arrested for witchcraft...
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