The Crucible John Proctor Character Analysis

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In seventeenth century Salem, Massachusetts, the Puritans enforced strong moral beliefs of purity and the prohibition of sin. In a magazine article published in The New Yorker just prior to the release of the movie version of The Crucible, Arthur Miller comments, “In any play, however trivial, there has to be a still point of a moral reference against which to gauge the action. In our lives, in the late nineteen-forties and early nineteen-fifties no such point existed anymore…. for anyone needs to feel right to declare someone else wrong. Gradually, all the old political and moral reality had melted like a Dali watch. Nobody but a fanatic, it seemed, could really say all that he believed…That John Proctor the sinner might overturn his paralyzing…show more content…
Despite the need for a constant principle of the Puritan life which included the need to purify and cleanse the church of all sin, John Proctor’s affair with Abigail Williams leads him to restrain from questioning and accusing others due to his extensive guilt and hypocrisy, while in contrary Abigail amplifies her sin by using her interminable love for John Proctor to manipulate the court and create a witchcraft hysteria in the town of Salem, in which many innocent people were accused. Although the affair has greatly affected both Abigail and John Proctor’s lives, there is no greater destruction that dwells upon them than the culmination of sin that their affair creates in opposition to the principles of the…show more content…
Admitting John regrets his affair with Abigail; his weaknesses occasionally overpowered him towards her as he had been mentioned to stare up at her window during the night. Through the anger he had developed through his conversation with Abigail John Proctor declares, “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” (Miller 23). John’s affair has been put behind him, but he still travels with the guilt and sin of committing adultery. He is unable to address the situation involving witchcraft in the town of Salem due to the amount of hypocrisy it would involve. He has truly learned from his sin and aims toward reaching goodness. John’s mission to reach redemption is tested in the conclusion of the novel as he has to choose between honesty and death or the culmination of his sin and the salvation of his
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