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A Dynamic Proctor Essay

763 words - 4 pages

World problems are something that affect everybody, but not everybody cares. Only people who have something to lose or have lost something because of those problems will advocate to solve them. In a similar sense, John Proctor from Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” began caring about a situation only after he had something to lose. In the play, young girls from the village of Salem began accusing neighbors of being witches to avoid their own allegation. When one of the girls, Abigail, accuses John’s wife, Elizabeth, the audience can notice a great deal of change in John’s involvement of the situation. This was no coincidence. Miller had a purpose to include Proctor’s character change in his play, but what was this change and why did it happen?
In the beginning of the play, John Proctor did not care much about the situation. Upon hearing Rebecca’s statement that Betty will be ok when she gets through the “silly season”, Proctor agrees with her. This is proof that he wasn’t buying all the witchcraft nonsense. Later in the story, when his housemaid, Marry Warren, comments to him that the Devil is loose in Salem, he tells her, “I’ll whip the Devil out of you.” While still a jest, the audience can sense he still doesn’t care, but now he is starting to keep it out of just his own household. He knows that the situation is affecting a lot of people, but he still hasn’t chosen to step in. However, when Abigail accuses Elizabeth of sending spirits to stab her with a needle and Cheever, the deputy, discovers a poppet with a needle in it in Elizabeth’s possession and arrests her, John’s involvement escalates. He tells Mary that she will go with him to the court and tell the judge that is was all a bluff and to testify his wife’s innocent. Now the audience knows he will be devoted to stopping the problem. His wife has been accused, and he will do everything in his power to stop her from the noose. Unfortunately, it would cost Proctor’s life to save his wife. In the heat of hysteria, Mary disregards her testament and accuses John. He refused to say he was...

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