Pride And Emotions In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

740 Words 3 Pages
Have you ever been overcome with an emotion or a temptation? John Proctor dealt with this all throughout The Crucible. The play focuses on the town of Salem, Massachusetts during a few months in the 1600’s. During this time period, a group of insidious girls accused fellow townspeople of witchcraft. This was known as the Salem Witch Trials. While the play is not an accurate representation of what happened, it is still a classic nonetheless. John Proctor -- the average Puritan farmer -- had an affair with his underage servant girl and set into motion events that killed at least twenty people, including John himself. John Proctor’s flaws of pride, rashness, and difficulty with emotions have led to his ultimate downfall of his death by hanging …show more content…
He spends the rest of the play regretting his decision to partake in the affair. “Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind. We never touched, Abby,” (Miller Act 1). His affair with Abigail lead to her jealousy and anger towards Elizabeth. Building up credibility, Abigail accused people of witchcraft until a case against Mrs. Proctor would be believed. She pretended to be bewitched and convinced other girls to play along, making it seem like witchcraft was real. Witnessing Mary Warren store a needle in her poppet, Abigail stuck herself in the same way to frame Elizabeth. She went to the court under the guise of an innocent girl against the devil. Since John gave in to his desires, Abigail began making her fraudulent claims and nearly got his wife …show more content…
The law required confessions to be nailed to the church’s doors for the whole village to see. When he made a false confession, he refused to allow the court to display it for all to see. Therefore, his refusal would render the confession false and John would hang. He pleaded when Judge Danforth asked him why he would make such a cursory decision. “Because it is my name!... How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller Act 4). He would rather die than live a lie; John valued his reputation more than life itself. He desperately wanted to live, but if living soiled his good name, he would rather die. Refusing to give the names of other accused witches in his confession, John wanted to free anyone he could from the gallows. When Danforth wanted Proctor to allow him to display his confession, his pride got in the way and Danforth believed the document was a lie. John ripped it up and allowed himself to die to retain his good name.
Egotism, emotional weakness, and insufficient self discipline all lead to an average Puritan farmer’s tragic downfall of losing his good name and a trip to the gallows. His pride kept him from freedom, his difficulty with emotions hurt his marriage and put his wife in danger, and his impulse was the catalyst that started the trials in the first place. John Proctor was unlucky in his circumstances. Though John was a servant to the community, he made bad choices and suffered

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