"The Crucible" A Character That Experiences Growth, Cleansing By Fire And The Universal Lvl/Thematic.

1755 words - 7 pages

The transition of a young boy into manhood is filled with mental and physical challenges. Some of the events that occur during the transitioning can be painful. For example, a young boy may witness a friend who is addicted to drugs and admit himself into a rehabilitation center. It may be a harsh way to realize the negative effects drugs may have on his life if he starts to consume however, it is preferable that he understand the ramifications of such an act before he himself gets addicted. Similarly, in The Crucible by Arthur Miller there are various characters who, as a result of ongoing turmoil, inadvertently have a change in beliefs or actions. John Proctor is a character who develops in a psychological manner. Proctor is seen by the town of Salem as an exemplary citizen; he is a farmer respected for his as hard work and honesty. Regardless of the high esteem in which he is held in by the town, he views himself as a false man for a past mistake he has committed. The view is changed unexpectedly towards the end of the play through a "cleansing by fire." Through this cleansing he endures several arduous trials which allow him to come to a certain understanding; this understand is that he is not really a false man. From his experience we learn that personal acceptance must come before acceptance from society.In his character description, Proctor is said to be a "sinner, a sinner not only against the moral fashion of the time, but against his own vision of decent conduct...Proctor, respected and even feared in Salem, has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud" (20/21). This quote explains the strict moral values of the Puritans at that time. It also reveals to us that Proctor not only has gone against these beliefs by committing adultery and he also goes against his own moral code of conduct which is what causes him to view himself in such a low regard. Further proof as to Proctor's honorable reputation is when Elizabeth says, "There be a thousand names; why does she call mine? There be a certain danger in calling such a name. She'd dare not call out such a farmer's wife (61)." Elizabeth, Proctor's wife ,is wondering as to what could motivate Abigail to accuse her of witchery considering her husband is Proctor; In these times a woman were subservient to their husbands therefore a women's social status would be a reflection of her husbands prestige. By comparing herself with Goody Good she further shows that it is peculiar for a woman, whose husband holds a high moral status within the community, be accused of witchery.Proctor's contempt for himself is undeniable by the end of the play. Proctor himself acknowledges the power that his name holds although he is unable to view himself as an acceptable person. After confessing his crime of lechery he says, "I have rung the doom of my good name."(111). Proctor realized that his confession had robbed him of the good image his name had given him. His constant repudiation of his goodness comes from his...

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