How Did Proctor Change Throughout The Crucible

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John Proctor is an integral character in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible; he serves as the play’s common man tragic hero, often adding bursts of clarity and reasonable thought to the incoherent chaos of constant accusations and cynical attacks in Salem. In Act II of Miller’s play, Proctor’s obstacles and flaws become more apparent than ever as his relationship with his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, is strained even further in the wake of Abigail’s controversial actions. In response to these events, among others, Proctor’s reputation, relationships, and overall character are completely altered as he adapts to his environment. Before describing the change that occurred during the second act, it is important to characterize Proctor before these events …show more content…

Interactions between Proctor and his wife make it seem as if the two are strangers, both fearful of accidentally offending the other. In the subtext, however, Proctor’s tormented state of mind is revealed; he wholeheartedly believes that he was wrong and sinful in his affair, yet he is unable to forgive himself for the irreparable damage that he did to his marriage. This is further exacerbated by his wife’s often passive-aggressive and uncomfortable behavior in their conversations. This is best exemplified when Proctor says, “I mean to please you Elizabeth”, and Goody Proctor responds, “[it is hard to say] I know it, John” (Miller 48). While affection is present in their relationship, there undeniably is a barrier caused by Elizabeth’s reluctance to believe her husband. This entire interaction only makes Proctor feel more helpless and guilty since he is an innately good man as aforementioned in the Act …show more content…

At the end of the act, he is left with a decision that could wholly change the course of his life in Salem as both he and his wife are in danger of being accused because of Abigail’s childish actions. He, overall, goes through four stages: minor awkwardness with Elizabeth Proctor, moderate internal and external conflict about whether or not to share Abigail’s lies, the loss of power in his own house, and – coup de grace – the arrest of his wife as a part of the Salem Witch controversy. What this ultimately means in the context of The Crucible is that in the following acts, Proctor needs to make a decision and devise a plan to expose Abigail’s twisted game while also maintaining his own credibility and respect in

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