What Were The Changes In John Proctor's Character Throughout The Play "The Crucible"? ( Arthur Miller)

1941 words - 8 pages

In The Crucible, John Proctor initially portrayed a sinful man whom had an affair, struggling toprove to his wife that he should be trusted again. The dishonesty of the betrayal of Elizabeth and hismarriage to her changed, though, by the end of the play. This transition in Proctor's charactershowed he transformed from a deceitful man and husband, to one whom was true to himself as wellas his beliefs. This paper will discuss Proctor's change in character and his struggle with getting tothe point in his life where he was finally at peace with himself.In Act I, John Proctor displayed his guilt about having an affair with Abigail Williams, a young girlof seventeen 'with an endless capacity for dissembling.' Proctor convinced himself he was a sinfulman that had done wrong, and to have respect for himself once again, he must break off all ties withAbigail. When Abigail mentioned to Proctor the relationship she and he once had, he said to her,'No, no, Abby. That's done with,' and, 'Abby, you'll put it out of mind. I'll not be comin' for youmore.' Even when Abigail tried to persuade Proctor to admit his love for her, he still denied it andclaimed he had no love for her any longer. She said to him, 'I know how you clutched my backbehind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I came near! Or did I dream that? It's sheput me out, you cannot pretend it were you. I saw your face when she put me out, and you lovedme then, and you do now.' In all of Abigail's persuasion to try to get him to admit his love for her,Proctor replied, 'Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand beforeI'll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind. We never touched, Abby.' Proctor saying toAbigail that they never touched was his way of trying to get through to her that the relationshipbetween the both of them had to end here. In Proctor's mind, saying that to Abigail was afinalization of their affair and gave him the closure that he needed to truly forget what he and Abigailhad.The affair between Proctor and Abigail also had made his love for Elizabeth grow stronger. Theguilt of the affair made him realize how Elizabeth was a good woman and deserved more than acheating husband, and he refused to allow Abigail to speak maliciously about her. Abigail saidbitterly to Proctor, 'Oh, I marvel how such a strong man may let such a sickly wife be -,' in which heinterrupted angrily with, 'You'll speak nothin' of Elizabeth!' Abigail, realizing the respect he now hadfor Elizabeth as to not let her speak of Elizabeth in such a manner, then tried to convince Proctorotherwise, saying, 'She is blackening my name in the village! She is telling lies about me! She is acold, sniveling woman...' The anger he felt at this time was not only toward Abigail, but also towardhimself. He felt he had sinned greatly and did not provide Elizabeth, a good wife and mother of theirthree children, with the respect and loyalty that one would expect out of a husband.Act II...

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