Cold Mountain John Proctor Character Analysis

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The Author Charles Frazier wrote in his book Cold Mountain “[No] matter what a waste a man has made of ones life, it is ever possible to find some path to redemption, however partial” John Proctor is a prime example of this quote. Towards the beginning of the play Miller gives the reader an impression that he is a selfish and immoral man that does not care about his family or the feelings of his wife, Elizabeth. As the play goes on however Miller’s representation of proctor can sway the opinions they have of John when he decides to let himself be hanged for good reason. Within the short timeline of the story John Proctor was able to look past his mistakes and restored his morals. John Proctor was denounced in the story when he was seduced…show more content…
He doesn’t give in when asked to sign on his admitting to being a witch, “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! … leave me my name” (Miller 143)! During the witch trials being accused of witchcraft and which route you chose to go down was a double edged sword. Either you confess to being a witch and soil your name and disgrace your family, or you plead not guilty and hang for your alleged crimes. So knowing which ever position he held they would both hold life altering affects from there on out, he chose what he thought was right and showed everyone to stay true to yourself in life. Proctor says he could not sign his name away because it would show a bad example for his children “I have three children--how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends” (Miller 143)? Proctor was caught in a catch 22 scenario where either he lives with his kids knowing he was convicted of witchcraft and sold out his friends, or he dies and leaves his children without a father completely. But John Proctor does not take his whole family down with him and decides that just he should suffer the consequences of his own mess. Proctor transforms from a tempted, sinful man who cheats on his wife into a man who dies for the truth and…show more content…
During the beginning of the play he fails to realize how much he hurt Elizabeth when he committed adultery. John was criticized and treated with a very much deserved cold reception from his wife. But John lacks empathy as he asks her to look sometimes for the goodness in [him], and judge [him] not” (Miller 55). He’s asking her to look past his affair as if this would be an easy task for his committed wife. But however John is able to redeem himself, and change himself for the better. As once he was a immature selfish man he’s able to transform into a decent and more morally sound one. In the beginning of the play, John seems to only look out for number one, himself; he gives into times of temptation with Abigail and does not pity his wife and mother of his children when the affair is brought to light. In contrast, when he hangs, he does so for the sake of Elizabeth and his children. When speaking of his family, Proctor says, “I blacken all of them when this is nailed to the church the very day they hang for silence” (143). John’s sins and temptations have been forgiven by this point of the play. He proves he can be selfless and put other people in front of him when it means the most. Also, by not signing his name on his confession he showed that he did not want his legacy to be tainted or known for doing something that he did not
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