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The crucible: "Proctor is a guilt-ridden individual struggling to find his true self." To what extent do you believe this is true of John Proctor, and how is it conveyed to the audience in the course of the play?

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Introduction

February 2007 GCSE English Assignment: Twentieth Century Drama The Crucible "Proctor is a guilt-ridden individual struggling to find his true self." To what extent do you believe this is true of John Proctor, and how is it conveyed to the audience in the course of the play? John Proctor is a key character within The Crucible, displaying great emotion and immense passion for what he believes in. He has sinned and he knows it, but that does not mean that his sins have gone forgotten. As the play develops, the audience can see that he repents his sins and will fight until the end for his wife's forgiveness and the real truth to be spoken. Some people may say he is "guilt-ridden", after all, he does hold a secret, but as the play draws to a dramatic end, John Proctor's "true self" hangs for all to see. At first glance, John Proctor is a farmer in his middle thirties, and appears to the audience to be a strong manly figure: "respected and even feared in Salem" This quotation partly contradicts with the essay title quotation, as usually someone who cannot find their "true self" is afraid to voice their true thoughts and yet, other people within Salem, are scared of him. This may be because he is envied in the village; he has a wife and children and appears to be comfortable with his high status life style. ...read more.

Middle

Proctor does not have a negative view on the church, although he certainly does not like the way it is being run by Reverend Parris: "when I look to heaven and see my money glaring at his elbows - it hurt my prayer," This quotation highlights that Proctor feels as if his good money is being used to benefit Parris instead of the interests of the church. He feels as if that can hurt his prayer and Parris has not got his priorities in the right place. Proctor believes that Reverend Parris is more interested in money than he is with the importance of God. In some respects Proctor is conveyed to the audience to be a stubborn man, but others could see him as being a man of principles, a man who sticks to what he believes in. Even though Proctor may be "struggling" he still demonstrates great bravery, audacity and strength of character. Not many people in Salem would speak so openly of their opinions as John Proctor does - others may feel threatened by Proctor's individualism. In the final speech of act 2, Proctor shows immense emotion for justice, he tries to make the truth come out by any means necessary: "make your peace with it!" He shows aggression and wants to put an end to Abigail's childish games; he wants the whole ordeal to be over. ...read more.

Conclusion

To some extent the audience could say that Arthur Miller is trying to get an important point across through the character of John Proctor, which may reflect Miller's own life: "John Proctor the sinner might overturn his paralysing personal guilt and become the most forthright voice against the madness around him was a reassurance to me, and, I suppose, an inspiration." In some respects Miller's own life is similar to the situation of the character of John Proctor; Arthur Miller had an affair in 1951 and, in 1957 was found guilty of a crime. But, unlike John Proctor, his conviction was overturned, ruling that Miller was misled by the chairman. During the first three acts of the play, John Proctor is conveyed - through the text, body language and stage directions - to be "a guilt-ridden individual struggling to find his true self." But as the play develops into act 4, the audience can really see John Proctor's "true self" emerge from his "guilt ridden" casing. The "true" John Proctor is kind hearted, caring and considerate to others. If he feels something should be said, he will not be afraid to say it. His true character demonstrates bravery and solemnity; this is conveyed to the audience - mostly in the act 4 - through his strong words and his bold actions. This is shown when Proctor rips the signed papers, because his morals and principles get the better of him, he will not have his dignity taken away from him. He is a good man. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - ...read more.

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