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How much is John Proctor responsible for his own death.

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Katie Macdonald 10HA How much is John Proctor responsible for his own death "The Crucible" is set in 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts. It is written by Arthur Millar in the early 50's. It follows the lives of a gang of teenage girls, meddling with witchcraft. Stifled by the crushing pity of their elders they end up doing strange things in the woods. The chief of the group of young ladies is a girl called Abigail Williams-her innocence lost in the bed f John Proctor, a married farmer who is the soul of the play. Suddenly the devil is let loose in Salem. The girls are discovered, spurred on by their terrified accusations and the entire village is consumed by cries of witchcraft. One by one, the blameless victims of mass hysteria are torn from their homes until, inexorably, Abigail's vengeance is turned on Proctors wife. A timeless tale of truth on trial, the Crucible relentlessly a suspenseful drama of collective evil and personal conscience. It's centre is a vastly moving story of guilt, love and redemption. Proctor is responsible for his own death in many ways, the main reason is infidelity in relation to Abby. The other contributing factors are morality, pride, religion, law and local grievances. This is the first time we see Proctor and Abby interact with each other, "Since Proctors entrance, Abigail has stood as though on tiptoe, absorbing his presence, wide eyed. ...read more.


Abby still has a flame for left for Proctor and is determined to win him over by accusing his wife of witchcraft, but Proctor gets in the middle of the feud and the tables turn and he, himself is accused of being in league with the devil. Another aspect of the build up to Proctors death is his pride. This is the human defence system coming into action, when we are threatened we feel we must create a certain image to gain respect and most of the time it works, the problem that Proctor faces is if he can sustain his pride. Proctor is a very honest, upright and bluntly spoken person and hates hypocrisy, he is also a good man, but one with a secret, his fatal flaw. In Act four, Proctor utters these lines when he is wrestling with his conscience over whether to confess to witchcraft and thereby save himself . "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 my name!" (pg 115) The judges and Hale have almost convinced him to sign his life over to them, but the last stumbling block is his signature on the confession, which he cannot bring himself to give. ...read more.


Overall, "The Crucible" is quite a deep and meaningful play, even though the play itself has very few examples of symbolism beyond the typical witchcraft symbols (rats, toads, bats etc) the entire play is meant to be symbols with witch trials standing in for the anti-communists "witch hunts" of the 1950's. Proctor is the protagonist, one of the chief contenders where as Abby is the antagonist, his opponent. I think the main issue that lead to his death was in the name of Abigail Williams. If Proctor didn't get involved with Abby, then the finger wouldn't have been pointed at him and his wife, it would have been directed at someone else perhaps even Parris, her own blood and flesh. Abigail strikes me as a very misleading character, at the start I got the impression she was just a girl who had made a mistake and was sorry for it, but as the play unfolded her character had a dark, malicious side it to it that was sharp and uneasy. The tone of the play is quite serious and compressed, as the language is almost quite biblical. The way they use "goody" for the name of their women and "mister" for their men is unusual and creates a flavour of period. It gives a sense that church dominates their lives. Proctor decided to die for Salem, in doing so he had finally purged his guilt, his wife said, "He have his goodness now". ...read more.

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