John Proctor: The Threat Of Death In The Crucible

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Threat of Death During the witch trials around 1693, people were faced with a deadly internal conflict that often times came down to their morals and forced them to evaluate themselves. In Salem alone, 200 people were accused of witchcraft and 20 were executed. The question that the accused had to constantly ask themselves is where their dedication lied; their self-interest, or the larger community. In the distorted town of Salem, Massachusetts, opposing opinions caused its inhabitants to turn against each other. What drove them was trying to save their own lives, the possibility of gaining something for themselves, or rarely, to save someone else’s life. In literature and real life, a character or person that agrees with the ideals of a community is likely to stand with the group because they want to show their…show more content…
He refuses to lose his honor by confessing to a crime that he did not commit and will not allow his lie to go on public display:“Because it is my name! … Because I lie and sign myself to lies”(Miller 1232). His main concern is preserving his reputation and he is willing to undergo any punishment in order to feel like he has done so. He would rather be hanged than have the community think that he is a dishonest man. John Proctor is willing to rebel against the community officials in order to be at peace with himself: “Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God’s fingers”(1243)? He suggests that the individuals that accuse everyone are being treated like they are not capable of being dishonest, but they are still human like everyone else. He challenges the idea that the accusers are more reliable than the accused. Because his only intention during the trials is to preserve his honest character, Proctor is serving his own
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