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Comparison ("The Crucible" & "In The Name Of The Father") ; "The Audience Admires The Hero For His Sturggle To Confront And Resolve His Conflicts."

1148 words - 5 pages

Arthur Miller's allegorical play, "The Crucible" set in Salem 1692, and Jim Sheridan's film, "In the Name of the Father (1993)" set in 1970's Belfast, are two texts in which the protagonists, John Proctor and Gerry Conlon respectively, uphold the traditional notions of a hero. Proctor is a farmer, struggling to sustain his morals against a parochial authority, and Gerry is a turbulent youth, seeking purpose in life. Despite the different contexts, they both embark on a similar journey involving conflicts concerning a corrupt authority, having been unjustly incarcerated, and their character - self-hatred and lack of self-respect. Ultimately, these heroes are respected for enduring a difficult journey and for their determination to resolve their conflicts following an intense struggle.Proctor enters the play a "sinner" with a perpetual conflict, searching a remedy for his contrition and self-hatred caused by his lechery. Believing he has betrayed his "own vision of decent conduct" and having a "biting way with hypocrites", John condemns himself no less harshly than he condemns others. In Act 2, this struggle is clearly established by Elizabeth's words, "It is the magistrate in your heart that judges you." Also evident, with his initial reluctance to confront the courts to avoid publishing his sin, "I know I cannot keep it...I'll think on it," is the value John places on his reputation. His reaction to this contest between his "name" and his morality, "[he turns away a little, in great agony]" also implies the difficultly it poses. However, Proctor overcomes this struggle, thereby publishing his adultery, with the realization that his reputation is worthless compared his wife and his morality, "my wife will never die for me,"These inner struggles culminate to a crucial dilemma; to either retain his life by falsely confessing or preserve his principles by adhering to innocence. His subsequent line to his initial confession, "What is John Proctor?" reveals the aguish he suffers as he feels he has lost his integrity and honor. The line, "How may I teach (my children) to walk like men, if I have sold my friends" demonstrates that Proctor scrutinizes his confession as a detriment to his reputation in Salem. He knows that a consequence of this damaged reputation will be an inability for self-respect. And so, believing a life without integrity is not a life worth living, "Proctor tears (his confession)." The line, "now I do see some shred of goodness in John Proctor" indicates his perception of his sacrifice as redemption for his sin. Through his selfless action, he has recovered a sense of self-worth and a reprieve from his self-loathing conscience.In comparison to Proctor, Gerry's struggle to find purpose and respect becomes a foremost challenge. Initially portrayed as a flippant, self-destructive youth, with no "faith in himself", it is clear that Gerry lacks a defined purpose in his life. This is reinforced by his journey to London to make some "honest...

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