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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

In the Crucible, what were john proctor's adversities ?

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    John Proctor of The Crucible

    Throughout the play, “The Crucible”, a theme of moral choice arouses. This occurs due to the problems, which arise involving the morality of the characters. A focus is placed upon those who face a moral choice in the play, which allows us to witness the development of their character. These characters, when faced with adversity confront a moral and mental dilemma. In order to solve this, they must grow as human beings and attain a level of righteousness, which allows them to make the correct decision. A perfect example of this is John Proctor. Throughout this play John Proctor has to overcome tremendous emotional and moral hurdles and as a result his character develops into a different person.

    In the beginning of the play John Proctor was nothing more than an average man. John was well respected in the community and renown for his honesty. John is initially described as a kind man, not easily led, powerful of body and even tempered. John is described as a very passive person and not known to lead to violence.

    “He was a kind man- powerful of body, even- tempered and not easily led…”

    John Proctor is considered an honest man, but few know that he is guilty of adultery with the teenage servant Abigail Williams. This compromises his honesty in the eyes of his wife and causes him to be doubted and not given the trust he deserves. This also causes John to view himself as a sinner and as someone unworthy of the respect he is given. Even though John gives great importance to his public appearance, John Proctor has a very low view of himself and his worth as a human being, which affects many of his decisions in the outcome of the play.

    “I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man. My honesty is broke Elizabeth; I am no good man”

    After the accusations of witchcraft arouse, John assumes a more prominent role in the community. John assumes a leadership position in the movement to free Elizabeth Proctor, Rebecca Nurse and Mrs. Corey from the prison. John becomes the strong and independent leader many doubted he could be. Although he fails in his motion to free his wife and friends from prison we see different sides to his character.

    When the deposition stating Mary Warren had lied in court begins to falter John displays a very aggressive and violent attitude. John, who is innerved by the lying of Abigail Williams, grabs and shakes her. This displays a very bad tempered individual who won’t hesitate to resort to violence. This is also shown when Ezekiel Cheever comes to arrest Elizabeth Proctor and John tears the warrant. From these events we can learn that when confronted by an issue which involves his loved ones, John is aggressive, bad tempered, unpatient and violent. This shows us a great deal of change from his initial character.

    “You are pulling down heaven and raising a whore”

    John, whom has always been known for being a passive character, developed into a very powerful figure. He, as well as Giles Corey and Rebecca Nurse became very prominent people and were respected in Salem. Because of his role in the court cases, John gained respect .

    After his arrest, John Proctor is presented with a very difficult moral choice. This is when we witness the greatest alteration in his character. John needs to decide wether he prefers to lie and live or be truthful and die. Because of John’s low self esteem and damaged public image he believes that the best decision is to lie and live longer. This means that he would have to live in a lie for the rest of his life.

    John soon adopts high moral principles and decides to be truthfull and die. This also tell us that he wants redemption for his acts of lust with Abigail. These acts inform us that John has accepted the evils of his sins and in order to protect his own self esteem will not commit any more sins. This signifies that he would not lie to save his own life, he would rather die than live in sin. This is his act of redemption.

    John’s character changed from a very kind, passive and level tempered person to an aggressive, powerful leader in the court when confronted by a mental choice. John decided that the lives of his wife, and friends were of higher importance than his own and adopted an attitude of attempting to do all that is possible to have his way. John Proctor sacrificed his public image, something he cherished, in order to assist his friends and family. John believed that by doing this he could discredit Abigail Williams and save his loved ones. John also had a very aggressive, intolerant attitude in court to attempt to intimidate the judges to let him have his way.

    When presented with a moral choice, John Proctor’s character changed from a person with a very low self esteem and a negative realist view on the outcome of his life to a person that believed that

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