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Pride In Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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A stain in one’s name is a serious dishonor. Rumors, as well as wrongful actions, affect how the world sees us and how we see the world. Thus human beings are victims of their own reputation. To avoid this, one tends to use pride as a shield. However, instead of protecting us, pride hurts us even more by impeding us from solving our issues. This concept is clearly portrayed in Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible. The play is plotted around the 1690’s during the Salem Witch Hunt in Massachusetts. This sets the stage for excessiveness of pride, thus people would do anything in order to keep their name clean of accusations associated with witchcraft. Through the characters of Parris, John Proctor, and Elizabeth, the author interprets different…show more content…
During conflicts, one places all the importance in one’s name and in how would it affect oneself, instead of worrying about the real consequences. As soon as the play starts, this selfish nature is expressed by Reverend Parris. He discovers his daughter Betty completely immobile, after seeing her sneaking in the woods with his niece Abigail and their slave Tituba. The truth is that these girls have created a fake plot in order to blame malicious occurrences associated with witchcraft on innocent women, for their own benefit. However, this truth remains unknown to Parris, so one has to analyze the situation from his point of view. Disregarding the truth, the first thing Parris worries about is his own name and reputation, instead of his daughter’s wellbeing. Thus, having his estate and daughter involved with witchcraft and unnatural events obviously threatens his rank as a revered. While arguing with Abigail, he says “my ministry’s at stake, my ministry and perhaps your cousin’s life”(Miller, 11), explicitly revealing how he places the importance of his name before Betty’s own sake. Parris is afraid of what others might think of him and avoids facing the congregation in order to evade the topic of witchcraft. He expresses this in a conversation with Thomas Putnam, by saying, “ I know that you-you least of all, Thomas, would ever wish so disastrous charge laid upon me. We cannot leap to witchcraft. They will howl me out of Salem for such corruption in my house”(13). With this, Arthur Miller shows how caring too much about reputation can turn people into cowards. The reader is able to predict that pride will keep holding characters back. This reveals that, aside from social repercussions, holding on to pride affects human beings internally more than
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