Salem Is Coated In Pride In "The Crucible" By Aurthur Miller

1701 words - 7 pages

Pride: noun: a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. Although some might not believe it, today's society is filled with pride; from being proud of your heritage to being proud of your life in general, pride is all around. But the Catholic Church believes that pride is the absolute worst of the seven deadly sins because all a prideful person thinks of is only himself, and that is the exact opposite of what the Catholic Church teaches. In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts is coated in pride, like gasoline, just waiting for someone to light a match and start the flames. It moves the plot, it pushes the characters through ultimate tests, and thus it drives the characters to do what they do. Pride is one of the most important themes in The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
John Proctor, the protagonist, the average man, The Crucible’s own tragic hero, lost everything due to his own pride. Proctor is a proud man, he held himself with an air of indifference. On the inside, Proctor considered himself a fraud. He believed he was unworthy of his wife, Elizabeth. But of course, no one could tell from the outside. He seemed the same, strong, powerful, and overall intimidating. His excessive pride keeps him from unleashing his greatest secret. “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”(133). To such a proud man like Proctor, if he told his secret, it would ruin his name, the one thing he will always have, the one thing everyone will remember him for. If he gave up his name, he would have given up everything he is. Before the play began, Proctor had a brief, however significant, affair with the soon-to-be-antagonist Abigail Williams. This act was brought on by a desperate Proctor, seeking the attention his cold wife did not deliver. This affair began the whole Salem Witch Trials, because Abigail was jealous of Elizabeth’s being Proctor’s wife, and thus wanted revenge on Elizabeth. Abigail believed if she got rid of Elizabeth, she could take her place as Proctor’s wife. Because of this, Elizabeth pleaded with her husband for him to tell the truth to the courts to have the trials ended. Proctor refused her. His pride kept him from seeing that if he told them, he could have saved lives and stopped the witch trials much earlier. He finally spoke up after Elizabeth was accused and was brought in to be tried and hanged. “[Proctor’s] wife must be well on with child now”(120). Elizabeth only survived because she was pregnant. Only now, the trials had gone on simply too long. It was too late to change anything. The judges refused to let Proctor go, because that would make the previous hangings invalid. The judges, Hathorne and Danforth, showed their own pride...

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