• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine Arthur Miller's Presentation Of John Proctor's Moral Journey - The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Extracts from this document...


Examine Arthur Miller's Presentation Of John Proctor's Moral Journey "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller is a play based upon an American settlement during the late 1600's. It is centred around actual events from history to try to portray the way of life in this era. Miller has chosen the confusion of the witch trials of this time, to provide a base for the struggles of his main character, John Proctor. At the beginning of the play the focus is laid mainly on introducing the main characters and storyline, but as the script unfolds, it becomes clear that John Proctor is the main character, something not immediately obvious from the beginning. It is how Miller presents and demonstrates Proctor's moral journey throughout the play, and the different channels he uses to do this that I will focus on. Act One really only sets the scene for the play by portraying the different characters in the Salem and how their ways of life revolve mostly around the 'church' and their religion. The inhabitants can for the most part be sectioned off into three groups; the established figures, eg. Rev. Parris; the citizens, and people who have in theory 'earned' their status, eg. ...read more.


now he says and does everything and anything he can to please his wife. An example of this in Miller's script is in the scene involving Proctor and Elizabeth where John praises his wife's cooking, when just seconds before he had tasted it and added extra seasoning. The most plausible explanation for this is that Proctor believes that by 'keeping things sweet' with Elizabeth, he will have more space to come to terms with the situation he is in. If he has to go to court, he would obviously want her on his side. A good point to make is 'why did Miller choose adultery as Proctor's sin?' Why not stealing or even murder? Both would be capable of causing the same moral dilemma and feeling of guilt, so why adultery. The answer is, because it fits in better with the events in Salem, and the fact that it could be caused only by a fit of desire on Proctor's part, there was no chance of it happening 'accidentally'. This adds many complications to Proctor's dilemma, one being that the whole fraud-based witch trials are centred around Abby, with whom John had his affair. It also provides good ground for juxtapositoning on Miller's part, as he can set Abby 'against' Elizabeth in Proctor's mind. ...read more.


To show any sort of positive moral outcome, it is not the confession, or even the sin committed that is of interest - it is whether or not Proctor comes to accept it, and take his punishment as it comes. The true outcome of Proctor's journey is that in the end, he was courageous in dying, even though it was for something for which he was innocent. At the very end, when he knew what would happen to him, Proctor refused to publish a lie about himself, or admit to a sin he did not commit. This shows at least some remnant of pride was left, even after everything he had been through - and this is what saves him in the end. It makes him realise that John Proctor wasn't as evil as he had thought, that, like everyone else, he was a mixture, and now with absolutely nothing to hide. Possibly, this act may cancel out John's adultery, especially as there is a lot of confusion around what are actually 'evil acts', and what are just natural flaws and instincts. Elizabeth says right at the end of the play, "...He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!.." This suggests goodness and reconciliation in Proctor's act, as the once shallow and indecisive John, is finally decisive. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Miller section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Miller essays

  1. Why Did Arthur Miller Call His Play 'The Crucible'?

    pure characters were people that stood up for their own view and the impure who went with the majority of people. A text I think is alike with this, according to the moral of the story is 'Romeo and Juliet'.

  2. Discuss How Miller Presents The Theme Of Greed And Envy within 'The Crucible'.

    notes in order to gain a better understanding of the play and characters. At the beginning of the play we are first introduced to the main theme of greed and envy when we meet the characters Elizabeth and Abigail.

  1. Explore The Idea Of Moral Responsibilty In "All My Sons" by Arthur Miller

    He not only cares for himself and his family but also for others. "You're a considerate fella," which is how his father describes him and also why people in his neighbourhood seem to like him, Arthur Miller however, says he is "like his father, solidly built a listener."

  2. "Societies often tend to suppress individual freedom in order to maintain social order" 'Examine ...

    By the time Hale realises the injustice going on it is too late for him to have any influence. The most significant question the audience ask is; why does Proctor confess and then tear up his confession?

  1. Crucible confession

    This is shown by the many attempts that she makes to look at Proctor for guidance. Each time Danforth stops her until she sees that it is impossible to receive an answer from her husband. Repeatedly Elizabeth strays from the subject to try and show how her husband is a

  2. The crucible: "Proctor is a guilt-ridden individual struggling to find his true self." To ...

    To some extent, this quotation is ironic, because even though Giles has said this innocently, Proctor ends up been accused of actually being a witch himself. In act two, the audience can feel a sense of tension between Proctor and Elizabeth.

  1. How Does Arthur Miller Present The Characters of Abigail and Elizabeth and Shape Our ...

    In Act Two, Hale requests for Proctor to recite the Ten Commandments, like every true Christian should be able to, yet the dramatic irony that the one commandment Proctor forgot was the one on adultery did not panic Elizabeth, instead she spoke (delicately)'Adultery John'.

  2. Look at Miller's presentation of Abigail in 'The Crucible'. How realistic is his presentation ...

    Abigail's relationship with John Proctor is one of mixed control. On one hand, it is obvious that John still desires Abigail and at one time she had almost complete control over him ('sweated like a stallion whenever I came near'), but on the other hand he now refuses her advances

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work