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

Is John Proctor a hero in his stand against evil in his society or do you see him as a foolish when he might have easily saved his life?

Extracts from this document...


The Crucible Literary Essay ________________ Is John Proctor a hero in his stand against the evil in his society or do you see him as foolish when he might easily saved his life? John Proctor is the protagonist of Arthur Miller?s ?The Crucible? as he battles against the puritans of Salem who are determined upon ruining a ?witchery? they recognize to exist in their daily lives and little town. The author wrote the play in 1953, after observing the start of the modern witch persecution appearing in the United States. Miller wrote the arguable play as an indirect representation of something, which symbolizes a much deeper meaning. In this case, the play is about the Salem witch-hunt of the 1690s, but criticizes of history repeating these tragic and insane events in the fifties, where there was a communism trial. In that period, who was communist would be considered ?un-American?. This was called McCarthyism and was born to kill the tension between Russia (the communists) and America, the contenders of the ?Cold war?. While Proctor may be defined as a hero in his efforts to fight the manifestation of unfair treatment in his society, he can also be considered a defective hero. ...read more.


All the court wants to put him in the responsibility of judging. However, he ?speaks [his] own sins; [he] cannot judge another. [He] has no tongue for it? (P113). Miller, in this phrase, uses the role of Proctor as the ?complainer? against the idea of judging. In these protagonist?s few phrases the author intention is to say that the position of evaluating someone, on the good or bad side, is neither Proctor?s role nor Danforth?s. Only God has the right to say His opinion on others. Proctor is supporting this point and opposing against theocracy and the judges in the courtroom. On the other hand he might well be seen as foolish because he might had easily saved his life. He would have lived with his wife and children a happy life, possibly. Even though he would have lost his authority of sympathy and respect that he gained through the population of Salem, he would have left his wife pregnant on her own. ?Mr Proctor, have you seen the devil in your life? ... I did? (P111). In this quote, Miller made Proctor confess to make the reader think that the farmer did the right choice to sacrifice his name for his wife and children. ...read more.


As it stood, the protagonist did not tell the truth until it was too late, therefore costing many innocent souls, including his own. Following on, what caused the story to his eventual downfall was his affair with Abigail Williams. The girl accused blameless people of witchery in order to competently eliminate and erase Proctor?s wife Elizabeth from his life, supposing that if the farmer did not have his wife he would love Abigail instead. ?[Elisabeth] is blackening my name in the village! ? She is a cold snivelling woman, and you bend to her!? (P19) To finish, John Proctor is a honourable of his acknowledgement as a hero, even if having a few imperfections. He can be considered a hero because he decided to get executed instead of bringing dishonour upon himself and to the other prisoners. However, his major imperfection is his pride and the obsession with his fine name and account. If he had confessed to adultery, right at the start, maybe the whole event could have been avoided. John Proctor is not also a fool; even though what he does may appear so at the start, there are also other justifications behind his actions. His pride may be defined foolish, but the protagonist himself is not a nonsensical man. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. In the novel Heroes, Robert Cormier attempts to deconstruct the rationale we all have ...

    The instant Robert Cormier introduces the character of Larry LaSalle the reader is acutely aware of the immediate outpouring of idolisation bestowed on him by the children. For instance, when he tells the children his name they question whether it is real or not, exuding charisma he answers 'That's right,

  2. The writer of Unman, Wittering and Zigo, and Giles Cooper criticises the educational system ...

    When John tries to take full control to take back his authority, then the students make it look so easy of how easy it is to take away authority. The students use the death of their former teacher, Mr Pelham, as a threat to kill John if he does not cooperate with the students.

  1. Did She See the Life of the Lost Generation Coming?

    She dates all these young men and never settles down and gets married. Plus she does not have a job. She is thirty-four years old and she spends all her time drinking and going out just like a teenager.

  2. The review of the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

    Atmosphere of the film is very jolly and natural. In spite of the detective plot with murders and pursuits, we watch it with smile and laugh. Costumes of the forties, old cars, buildings and music transfer us to the postwar time. Show of hats, which is performed in one of scenes, demonstrates to us topical fashion trends of the forties.

  1. Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare constructs the characters of Don John and Claudio ...

    The intentions of Claudio can be seen to have no effect on the actual outcome of his actions. That is, whether he wants to marry Hero because of money and status, because of his love for her or because of both reasons, does not alter the consequence as the result still leads to him marrying her.

  2. Macbeth as a Tragic Hero.

    To secure his kingship, he decides to kill Banquo and his only son, Fleance. When Macbeth orders murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance, he goes the closest to the rim of totally losing his conscience. Macbeth totally deviates from an honorable noble soldier; he now is not only a pathetic king but more a tragic hero.

  1. Treatment of escapism in A Street car named desire by Tennessee Williams ...

    It is here in New Orleans that people of mixed races thrive in poor and clumsy lodgings. It is obvious that the one time owner of Belle Reve cannot cope up with the harsh realities of life. Moreover, the action takes place on the first floor of a two-bedroom apartment, a place without any privacy.

  2. Notes on Clarice Lispector (1953 - 1977):

    surrealistic nature to them Zeitgeist: -1950-1954: Brazil experiences inflation and growing national debt under Getulio Vargas' dictatorship. Discontent among the army and people. -1964-1985: Brazil under military rule with some moments where democracy seems to have returned. In the beginning, there was a lot of media censorship and trade unions were suppressed.

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