The Significance Of Redemption In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Good Essays
The main point of The Crucible, which was written by Arthur Miller, was to show the irony of the time period it was written during, which was the red scare. The origin of the story leads to it containing an abundance of unreasonable ignorance and hysteria. At the middle of all of this societal chaos is a character who is willing to sacrifice not only his reputation, but his life, in an attempt to show the truth and save the innocent, bringing the justice in the eyes of the ignorant. This character is John Proctor, and because of his sins in the past he is able to learn from them and redeem himself. John Proctor’s actions at the end of the play are believable because of this previously-mentioned redemption, and his actions further prove how …show more content…
You forget nothin’ and forgive nothin’. Learn charity, woman. I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven month since she is gone. I have not moved from there to there without i think to please you, and still an everlasting funeral round your heart. I cannot speak but I am doubted, every movement judged for lies , as though I come into a court when I come into this house!” (Act 2, 157-164). With each line, the guilt and regret within John Proctor becomes more and more apparent. He is fully aware of the severity of his past actions, and all he asks for is a miniscule amount of mercy. The cold shoulder he receives from his wife is understandable, but it’s apparent that he still has love for his wife, or he wouldn’t be trying everything in his power to make Elizabeth happy again. At this point, John has held his resent in, and he lets it out when saying “I see now your spirit twists around the single error of my life, and I will never tear it free!” (Act 2, 416-417). This reveals that John’s anger isn’t only toward his wife, but the core of this outlash is aimed at himself, and the fact that he isn’t really able to fix what he’s done only adds fuel to the fire. This anger that he has becomes motivation to further himself towards redemption of his sins, showing his progress towards becoming a better …show more content…
In the trial that inevitably leads to John Proctor’s arrest, he gives the ultimate sacrifice, revealing his actions with Abigail in an attempt to prove his wife’s innocence. “Beguile me not! I blacken all of them when this is nailed to the church the very day they hang for silence!” are some of the last words to come from the mouth of John Proctor near the end of the play (Act 4, 707-709). In the end, an ultimatum is given to John, either save himself and confess, condemning his friends, or do not and be hung for witchcraft. In this moment is when the true good in John Proctor comes to the light. After realizing that the truth will cost him his life, but the lies will cost his friends’ lives, he reaches true redemption and tears the confession that would’ve saved his life into pieces. These two moments are what define John Proctor as a character within this story, the man who admits his sin, but refuses to let others be punished for sins they did not commit, and in doing this he redeems himself of his own

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    It is done now. Will you drop this charge?” (Miller 1296). After a moment of thinking, John knows that he cannot simply leave with a jail cell full of innocent people. He must fight against the court for what he thinks is right. Even though all seems to be going well toward the beginning, Mary Warren ends up convicting him of also being a witch.…

    • 1598 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He knows the shame he feels due to his transgressions with Abigail and will not put that upon himself again, and this time worse. He chooses to die. He chooses to fight for the morality and integrity he believes in. His experience in shame and his fear of it worsening leads him to self forgiveness and a noble and righteous…

    • 705 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He feels he does not deserve to stand next to Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey, and this almost causes him to save himself by confessing to lies. He confesses and even signs the confession, but he is unable to hand it over. Nevertheless, the judges continue to beg him for a confession: “You will give me an honest confession, or I cannot keep you from the rope” (Miller 1333). The persistence of the judges and John Hale does nothing to waver John Proctor’s beliefs. He knows that if he does not confess to lies he will lose his life; however, the threat of death and the insistence of others do nothing to hinder his morals.…

    • 1018 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Crucible Love Quotes

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages

    He values his dignity and reputation as much as life; however, love has forced him to criticize himself. Likewise, when Elizabeth is asked to confirm his treachery, her love for John Proctor drives her to go against her integrity to always be honest. When asked if Proctor committed lechery, she lies for the first time and responds “no” (Miller 113). Soon…

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This is because he chose to stay with his statement which said that Abigail was a fraud and he chose that which would get him hung. John Proctor’s transformation is significant because it shows how he eventually forgave himself for being a sinner and becomes a good, noble and imperfect man. John refused to let the whole town find out about his affair and further embarrass his wife, as well as the loss of the respect he received in his village. John couldn’t handle living with his sin which was why he chose to die than…

    • 1272 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Scarlet Letter Sin

    • 1134 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Dimmesdale faces less of a public punishment but internally harms himself for the sin as well, feeling regretful about his past action. He is very well respected by his peers and is challenged throughout the book as to whether or not he should admit to his sin before people discover that he fathered Hester 's child, Peral. The book focuses on the lives of Hester and Dimmesdale after they commit their sin and how…

    • 1134 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Secret Closet Analysis

    • 1891 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Of course, no one except his God sees his penance, yet Dimmesdale hopes his suffering will count toward something. No one was aware of the minister’s crimes, so they remained unpunished. Dimmesdale felt the only way to resolve his crimes was by repentance and absolution. Therefore, he punished himself to show how regretful he was for having sinned and express his desire to be forgiven. Dimmesdale yearns to find a reason to forgive himself, but being familiar with what is considered moral and ethical, he found it difficult to excuse his actions when he knew the sinfulness of his affair and hypocrisy; thus, attaining purification seemed impossible to him.…

    • 1891 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Elizabeth hears of this and demands that he go to court to tell the authorities the private conversation when Abigail admitted that she was lying. Proctor admits that he cannot tell the authorities that because he would hurt Abigail (61-62). He is torn because he does not know whether to tell the court about the lies and hurt Abigail and save his wife, or not tell and hurt his wife but save Abigail. This tells one that he has a conscience, which would demonstrate the superego, but he also has a desire to save both women, which would support the id. Overall, Proctor demonstrates the ego because knows what is right and what is wrong, but is driven…

    • 1161 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the Readings on The Crucible, Thomas Siebold states, “-he sacrifices himself in order to save others and to stage a protest against his persecutors. He is driven by the impulse to preserve his integrity as well as by the need to expiate his sin” (Siebold 71). The importance of John’s reputation to himself directly ties to the guilt felt by him daily due to his poor decision he made in the past that lead to a reprehensible…

    • 1251 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “It takes many good deed to build a respectable reputation, but only one bad deed to lose it”. Benjamin Franklin illuminates the idea of a good reputation as he emphasizes how fragile it can be, knowing that one’s reputation can be taken away from you just by committing one bad action. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, John Proctor is a truthful, respectable, and a religious man who safeguards his reputation from being tarnished. He hold one secret within him which constantly haunts his every move. The adultery he committed with Abigail is a sin that leaves a weights on his back throughout the novel as it causes him to not forgive himself.…

    • 627 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays