The Symbolism Of Names In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

1006 Words 5 Pages
Over 6.5 billion people in the world today and who knows how many you share a name with. Our world consists of thousands of languages and numerous cultures, resulting in an innumerable amount of possibilities for names. Names are so much more than a bunch of letters grouped together that sound pleasant. They are more than just a convenient way for us to communicate. Names are a gift, they define things and more importantly they define us. What makes a name so important is the sense of personal identity and uniqueness that comes with it. Ever since we are born, a name is given to us by the people that matter the most to us, people who will support and love us. Our names are a symbol of their love because every name has a deep meaning or value …show more content…
Through the play’s Puritanical setting, Miller emphasizes the need to maintain a good name and reputation. Because of his prior sin of adultery, Proctor believes himself to be beyond redemption, already lacking in integrity. John believes that if he’s already damned, then there should be no harm in telling a lie at this point. In his opinion, he cannot be more damned, so he might as well live. He says that others like Rebecca Nurse, are untainted by sin, so it would actually be a lie for him to be hanged looking like he is sinless too. When Danforth requires him to sign his “confession” so that it can be hung on the church door for all to see, John signs it, but immediately snatches it up and refuses to hand it over. Early in the play, Proctor’s desire to preserve his good name keeps him from testifying against Abigail. Now, however, he has come to a true understanding of what a good reputation means and what course of action it necessitates- that he tell the truth, not lie to save himself. He feels that, in confessing a lie, he has not only cemented his own lack of integrity, but also that he has confirmed his own moral worthlessness. His lie, though it will save his life, will appear to confirm the guilt of the others who will not confess, and this brings him even lower in his own eyes. Without integrity, all he will have left in his life is his reputation, and his reputation will be blackened by the appearance of his name on the dishonest confession. It doesn’t really make sense that his name, his reputation, and what others think of him, should seem to be worth more to him than his own integrity, what he thinks of himself. After he tears the confession, he seems to realize that his prior sin of adultery does not mean that he cannot redeem himself in the moment. He may have made the wrong decision then, but he can make the right

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