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John Proctor is a very flawed man. How, in spite of this, does Miller develop his character so that

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John Proctor is a very flawed man. How, in spite of this, does Miller develop his character so that we admire him more and more as the play progresses? "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller parallels McCarthyism in the 1950's. McCarthyism took place during the cold war, where Senator Joseph McCarthy was pressured into taking part in a communist witch hunt. Anyone who was believed to be taking part in "left wing" events, or having left wing opinions was called up before the makeshift court and threatened with further trouble, unless they named anybody else who may be involved. This was very similar to the witch trials held in Salem, where "The Crucible" was set, where the accused risk being hanged unless they named others, often their closest friends, who may be involved with witchcraft. Arthur Miller was accused of having left wing opinions, and engaging in left wing activities, therefore he was called up in front of the court. He was given the opportunity to walk free if he named some more people who he believed to have left wing views. However, like John Proctor he refused to name his friends. Fortunately for Miller, McCarthyism came to and end soon after this, and nothing else happened to Miller, however in "The Crucible" John Proctor wasn't so lucky and was hanged for not confessing to witchcraft, or confessing other people. ...read more.


In Act Three the Irony of the witchcraft is revealed as Judge Danforth shows he is doing exactly the opposite to what he believes. He says, "We burn a hot fire here, it melts down all concealments". What they are doing is the complete opposite, disguising the truth that there is no witchcraft in a shroud of lies and accusations. At first, Danforth is completely unaware of this, but as he listens to Mary and Proctor, he starts to have doubts about the trials, however by this time it is too late for Danforth to back down and dismiss the case, as this would ruin his reputation, and he it not willing to sacrifice his reputation to save these innocent people, showing he is completely different to Proctor. Shortly after this it is discovered that Proctor's wife, Elizabeth, is pregnant, this therefore means that her life will be spared for a year so she can give birth the child. At this point Proctor could walk out of the court with Elizabeth, and leave the rest of the accused to save themselves, as he realises that one year is a long time, and even Danforth hints that things may have being forgotten. ...read more.


Proctor feels that it will not do him any good if he doesn't confess and die, as he has already sinned in his life, and he feels another sin will make no difference now. Danforth, expectedly is ecstatic at this, him and Parris have been waiting for a high-profile villager to confess. However Danforth still isn't happy at what he has, and tries to make Proctor accuse Rebecca, his close friend, of witchcraft. Proctor refuses without hesitation, as did Miller when he was asked to name his friends for engaging in left-wing activities. As Danforth realises Proctor will not accuse anyone else, he makes Proctor sign a confession to put on the village church door, so everyone can see Danforth found Proctor guilty of witch-craft, and that it was not all a "hoax". Proctor signs the paper, and then almost as soon as he has given it to Danforth, he snatches it back. Proctor cries, "You have my souls, leave me my name!" Proctor, at this point realises the unavoidable, the inevitable; he must hang. As John Proctor emerges from the Crucible, he is now purified; he has confessed his sins and burned down all concealments. Danforth now sees "A shred of goodness in John Proctor", as we come to the end of the crucible. ...read more.

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