John Proctor's Reputation In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

672 Words3 Pages

Living in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1600s, reputation was extremely significant in a town where social standing is tied to one’s ability to follow religious rules. In Salem, having a good name is the only way to have a good reputation among other people, or to receive a fair trial. In the play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, character’s actions is influenced to keep their name pure. Arthur Miller uses John Proctor and Reverend Parris to elucidate how preserving one’s reputation is a prevalent theme throughout the play.
Initially, Miller argues that characters who are most concerned with their reputation are dangerous to society; they are willing to let others be harmed and fuel hysteria in order to protect themselves. Reverend Parris is one …show more content…

John Proctor, among a few other characters, is willing to die to keep the reputation of his name. In the beginning of the play, Proctor is constantly struggling with the weight of his sin and the fact of revealing his transgression to the public torments him. However, when his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, is accused of witchery and is being tried, he voluntarily sacrifices his name to protect her (3.110). Even though he gives his reputation up by acknowledging his affair with Abigail, he also preserves his integrity by being honest for the life of his wife. Another example is seen towards the end of the play when Proctor is given a second opportunity to confess to the court of committing witchcraft to save himself, but instead, he refuses to “lie and sign [himself] to lies” (4.143). Proctor realizes “the goodness in [his name]” therefore, it is “white enough to keep it” so, he must go through with the hanging because escaping death is not worth poisoning his name for the rest of his and his children’s life. This action further exemplifies John’s integrity because he is compelled to blacken his friends’ reputations, as well as “[his] name” for his children (4.143). Overall, Arthur Miller reveals how compelling keeping you notoriety can be throughout the

Open Document