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Who Is Proctor A Sinner In The Crucible

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller is set in Salem, a small town in Massachusetts Bay in colonial America. As Puritans, the people of Salem were faithful, but close-minded and judgmental; they believed they were to be a “City on a Hill”. The more negative qualities of the people of Salem caused them to believe that the darker side of their faith—witches and demons— were always walking among them. Additionally, the Puritans’ strict and conservative faith led to the suppression of “sinful” feelings such as lust and violence. The fact that the people of Salem had no process for washing away sins, thus letting hypocrisy fester and grow, was one of the major causes of the Salem witch trials. The witch trials would test the moral strength and qualities…show more content…
When Proctor first appears in the play, Miller introduces Proctor as a respected and powerful public figure, but a fraud and hypocrite in his own eyes. Miller describes, “He is a sinner, a sinner not only against the moral fashion of the time, but against his own vision of decent conduct… he has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud”(21). By repeating the word sinner, Miller emphasizes Proctor’s immense guilt over his adultery and his inability to believe in his own goodness. Stuck in a vicious cycle of guilt and repudiation, Proctor is unable to forgive himself of his sins, and has almost given up on redeeming himself. In Act IV, Hale tries to convince Proctor to falsely confess to witchcraft in order to save his life. However, at the very last moment, Proctor decides to die as a martyr: “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”(143). Proctor reiterates the word because at the beginning of each sentence in order to convey his desperation to save his good name; at this moment, Proctor realizes that his good name does not depend on what others think of him, but on the actions he takes to preserve his own morals. Thus, Proctor finally redeems himself by acknowledging that he cannot sign himself to lies if he is to be a man of integrity. By holding on to his religious and personal integrity, Proctor’s initial facade of moral righteousness has now become real and unbreakable, thus achieving redemption in his own eyes and the eyes of
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