Driving Force In The Crucible

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The benefit of a community is best served through work and contributions from those who make it up. Every successful society has been sustained through the sacrifices of the subjects who survive in it. The idyllic Puritan community is one that is dominated by faith, commitment, and notably, the selfless work ethic that seeks to serve the common good. The Crucible is not only a retelling of horrific injustices of the Salem witch trials, but also a profound deconstruction of the archetypical Puritan city upon a hill. Through civil unrest and selfishness, the community is torn apart irreparably and the name of the town is forever marred by tragedy. Many key events of the play can be traced back to a catalytic two-option choice, that being, the…show more content…
Adultery, being a sin forbidden expressly in the seventh holy commandment, was a crime that was regarded with great shame from the community, as well as the disapproval from God. It was a transgression that not only betrayed the faith of a spouse, but one that demonstrated the priority of an individual (the sinner) over another. Proctor, in his weakness, betrayed his faithfulness to his wife Elizabeth and indulged in an affair with Abigail. Proctor notified Abigail that he will not falter again, telling her “Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I‘ll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind—we never touched, Abby.” (1140) Abigail is denied any further tender treatment from Proctor, fostering the growth of her vengeance and sowing seeds of her fury. Abigail’s jealousy and brewing resentment are highlighted in stage direction and her exclamation decrying Elizabeth. “(With a bitter anger.) Oh, I marvel how such a (Beating her fists against his chest.) strong man may let such a sickly wife be…” (1140). The hatred for Elizabeth by Abigail is a significant factor in her cause for desire to continue the witchcraft accusations. Through several degrees of separation, the decision made by John to only serve himself ultimately led to his own undoing. A selfish choice by Proctor resulted in the…show more content…
After Elizabeth Proctor is taken into custody, John Proctor is compelled to appeal her innocence in a court of law. Even when given the choice by Deputy Governor Danforth to take Elizabeth home for a year to tend to their unborn child, Proctor decided instead to stay and defend the remainder of the accused. Danforth stated “You say your only purpose is to save your wife. Good then, she is saved at least this year, and a year is long… Will you drop this charge?” to which John Proctor replies with “I… I think I cannot.” (1193) Proctor is given the option to delay his wife’s execution but instead strives to go above what is necessary and defend the innocence of his friends and neighbors. Not only are the lives of the accused at stake, but Proctor’s own is as well. His willingness to put himself at risk is an element that is critical to Proctor’s character as a whole, as his pride and need to prove himself an honest man is what results in his

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