in The Crucible, Specifically, how does John Proctor become an inspiration for Miller?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Crucible - Arthur Miller
Through Proctor’s struggle, Miller displays the struggles within each of our own hearts. Many times we have witnessed some wrong happening to some other person and wished not to get involved. However, sometimes, like Proctor, there might be something that forces us in. Would we be quit after only saving our wife like Proctor could have done, or would we go for the entire community as Proctor did?
Man of Action
John Proctor is a passive protagonist; for the first two acts, he does little to affect the main action of the play. (Read more on this in "Character Roles.") By the time Act Three rolls around, however, he's all fired up. Spurred by his wife's arrest, he marches off to stop the spiraling insanity of the witch trials and to hopefully regain his own integrity in the process.
Proctor goes to court armed with three main weapons. There's Abigail's admission to him that there was no witchcraft. Also, he has Mary Warren's testimony that she and the other girls have been faking. Last, but not least, he's prepared to admit that he and Abigail had an affair. This would stain her now saintly reputation and discredit her in the eyes of the court. Between the wily machinations of Abigail and the bull-headedness of the court, all of these tactics fail. John only ends up publicly staining his good name and getting himself condemned for witchcraft.
Even though John doesn't achieve his goals of freeing Elizabeth or stopping the overall madness, he does take two significant steps toward regaining self-respect in Act Three. One: he doesn't stop fighting the false accusations even after he finds out that Elizabeth is pregnant and therefore safe for a while. He feels a greater duty to his community and proceeds anyway. Two: by openly admitting his adulterous lechery, he is no longer a hypocrite. He has publicly embraced his sin.
In Act Four, Proctor conquers the final hurtle on his path to redemption. This is no easy task; he stumbles a bit along the way. In order to save his life, he is tempted into admitting that he is indeed in league with the Devil. He justifies this lie to himself by saying that he's a bad person anyway. What's the difference? At least this way, he'll be alive. Of course, by doing so he's telling a terrible lie and is also blackening the names of all the other prisoners who've refused to give in.
However, when he's asked to actually sign his name, John refuses. The act of putting his name to paper is just too much. By signing his name he would have signed away his soul. Though he would have saved his life, his goodness would've been forever out of his reach. With this final valiant act, John Proctor comes to a kind of peace with himself. He says, "I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs" (IV.298).
Read John Proctor's Timeline >
- MariaLv 44 years ago
A reluctant hero. Can't think of anyone in particular that he would be similar to. Mid act two is when there is evidence of his reluctance to get involved with witch trials but by the end of this act he magically switches into hero mode once his wife is arrested.
- 1 decade ago
that book sucked...Source(s): personal experience of having to read it twice...