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Arther Miller's "The Crucible": Proctor's Decision To Not Confess

1163 words - 5 pages

John Proctor is a man destined to hang for witchcraft. The case itself is absurd, and the incongruous evidence does not prove that he had committed witchcraft. One might even argue that there is no such thing as witchery, but nevertheless, John Proctor has been accused and is destined to die. However, a door opens, and a hand is offered. John Proctor can evade death and continue to live with his wife and two children. All he must do is sign his name on a piece of paper decreeing that he did commit the crime of witchery. After all, he knows he was falsely accused in the first place. What harm is there to give the accusers another lie? He has reconciled with his wife, and their future is full ...view middle of the document...

To be saved from sure death is tempting, perhaps as tempting as the forbidden fruit to Eve? But to save oneself for one's own, selfish cause is immoral. John Proctor must stand firm in his sense of truth and be willing to die for truth and goodness. John Proctor was falsely accused of witchery, and he knows himself that he is no witch. To a point, Danforth, the Judge who condemns many in Salem as witches, knows that many are wrongly accused. Still, he cannot back out without losing face. The system of lies and deception engulfs Salem. Must John Proctor, a good man who understands his own sins, be ensnared in the lies? NO! By giving out his signed confession, John is lying to himself and to God. It is truly the devils argument that John should lie and condemn others just to save himself. Thus, John Proctor should not give into the darkness. Proctor cannot live with himself if he "gives them such a lie. It is evil," (138). By standing firm in truth, Proctor knows that his soul is pure.If Proctor were to truly save himself, his action would show that he is a coward, unfit to become a great man. A coward will not, cannot do much good in the world should he keep living. Proctor will not live a happy life with his wife and sons. His cowardly nature will prevent him from denouncing witchcraft. The argument that, were he to live, he could continue on his path of redemption holds no water. Simply, the truth of one's nature will always affect one's actions.The Bible does state that suicide is a sin, a meaningless waste of a life that God has blessed to walk the earth. The key word is meaningless. Is it meaningless if by sacrificing one person's life, many lives can be saved? Is it meaningless if, by the choice of John Proctor, no more people will be convicted of witchcraft, a false crime? John Proctor is not committing suicide. Instead, God looks with favor upon John's action to stand firm for truth. Physically, the only difference between John confessing to witchery and John not confessing is the death of one more individual. However, people will view...

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