"The Crucible" By Arthur Miller; Character Analysis Of John Proctor

1024 words - 4 pages

The history books all describe the Holocaust and slavery, but they never really explain the horrors of the Salem Witch Trials. All of these tragedies in history have one thing in common: many innocent people were killed due to prejudices against others. The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a play that entertains while at the same time educates, by telling the story of this horrible time of the Salem Witch Trials in a small village in Massachusetts. Set in 1692, it is a story of several girls who decide to accuse many innocent people of witchcraft. Many of the townspeople, although they know it is wrong, go along with the girls anyway, in fear of being convicted. One character in particular, though, stands out from these people because he defends what he knows is right. John Proctor, a small farmer in Salem, stands up for what he believes in, while nearly everyone else in the village of Salem gives into the mass hysteria.In Act I of the play, the reader learns that Reverend Parris's daughter has fallen ill, and the village believes that it is an act of witchcraft. When Reverend Hale comes to the Parris's home to see if he can help, he, Giles Corey, and John Proctor begin discussing the current issue at hand. When Hale inquires Proctor on his thoughts, Giles jumps in with, "He don't believe in witches" (Miller 35). While Proctor does not agree to this statement, he does not deny the fact either, like others would do given the circumstances. "I never spoke on witches one way or another" (Miller 35) he responds. While most would become very defensive when faced with this situation, Proctor coolly states that he never said this. Although he is not outright saying this statement is true, he does not disagree to it either.Next, in Act II of the piece, Reverend Hale comes to the Proctors' home to discuss a few matters with them. Since Elizabeth has been accused of witchcraft by Abby, Hale comes to question she and John to see for himself if the presence of the devil really is in their home. Following many questions, Elizabeth finally tells John to tell the Reverend the truth. John informs Hale, "I have no witness and cannot prove it... but I know the children's sickness had naught to do with witchcraft" (Miller 64). While the rest of the town was agreeing with the accusers, Proctor knew that the townspeople were wrong and stood up for his beliefs. This was especially courageous, because it was his word against the rest of the town's, seeing as he didn't have any witnesses. Yet he still told Hale what he knew was the truth.Act III starts the climax of the story. Because his wife, Elizabeth, had been sent to jail on charges of witchcraft, John Proctor brings his servant, Mary Warren, to the court, to confess that she and the other girls had all been lying the entire time. The other girls are...

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