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During the play the audience is aware of a number of changes and developments in the character of John Proctor. What are these changes? How and why do you think Arthur Miller achieves them?

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Introduction

The Crucible- A Character Study During the play the audience is aware of a number of changes and developments in the character of John Proctor. What are these changes? How and why do you think Arthur Miller achieves them? I believe the Crucible to be a political statement expressed by Arthur Miller in 1953, during the American, 'hunt for communism'. His works, 'The Crucible', reflected this with 'the hunt for witches' in 1692. These two time periods clash, with their same fear that their particular 'way of life' was at a certain risk, if communism supporters and devil worshipers (i.e. witches) were not sought out and destroyed. The two identical situations were allowed to get out of hand. Families waged war in the simplest way, by throwing accusations at one another, we wittiness a clear analogy of this in the play. Arthur Miller jeopardised a lot when he wrote the crucible. It was noted as a criticism against The House of UN American Activities Committee. Anybody that posed a threat against the safety of the state was swiftly dealt with. John Proctor, an important character in the play, is a blunt outspoken man who readily gives his opinion on someone or something. For example, his denunciation of Reverend Parris's greed - 'Parris came, and for twenty weeks he preach nothing but golden candle sticks until he had them'. ...read more.

Middle

He is an independent man, so this allows him to remain sane, while others panic. Unfortunately, this also restrains him from taking effective action to save his wife, and the rest of the town. It is not until Elizabeth is taken away, that we notice any particular change in Proctor. He gathers up any evidence and anything legal (e.g.: a partition of those who speak good of those charged). Proctor is at first accused of contempt of the court, but the judges, Hathorne and Danforth, give him a fair chance and let him speak. Proctor is gentle; encouraging his witness, Mary Warren, to explain all about the lies and deceit that Abigail has invented. But the girls, (lead of course by Abigail), pretend that Mary's spirit is attacking them so Mary denies everything Proctor has put forwards as evidence. Proctor is attempting to keep calm and uses his knowledge to the best of his ability. He tries every means possible, he pleads with the court, but everything he says or does, Parris insists upon his lying. Exasperated, Proctor sees only one way to save his wife. He must overcome his guilt and shame to testify against the biggest witch of them all, Abigail Williams. To save the community, his personal problems must be dashed aside, his good name included. The court hears of Abigail and Proctor's affair and the ending of the play, is on the brink of this confession. ...read more.

Conclusion

He very subtly changed a piece of Proctor's character every so often. When this occurred, there was usually a change in Proctor's mood or attitude. For example, when Proctor and his wife were together in the house, he was rather nervous, but when she came to be taken away, (after being accused), he was angry and very determined. Proctor changed more than any other character in the play. We figure this is because he has so much to come to terms with. (His wife and himself being accused, Abigail being the cause of it all and the whole town being intent upon self destruction). Arthur Miller changed Proctor so much as he was the secondary character, it was he and Abigail that had caused the majority of this trouble in the first place. Miller wanted to portray Proctor as the character that becomes the hero, the hero that admitted his sins and paid his due for them. The audience's reaction to John Proctor originally, was at first one of mistrust and insecurity at what this man might do or be capable of. During the second act we grow to know him better and we discover just ho deep his character is involved in the crucible. Towards the ending, the audience, surely, no longer feels mistrust or insecurity over this man, but instead respect, honour and bravery at what this man will do to save his wife, friends and of course, his good name. The Crucible - A Character Study 23/03/2004 English Essay Page 5 of 5 Samantha Tibbs ...read more.

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