"God in heaven, what is John Proctor? The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

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 “God in heaven, what is John Proctor?

With close reference to the play how would you answer Proctor’s question?

John Proctor is a main character in the play “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller. It is about the mass hysteria that led to the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials. At the same time that Miller wrote the play, it is also clearly a parable for the events of the McCarthy era in the USA of the 1950s, when anyone suspected of left wing views was arraigned for ‘Un-American Activities’ due to the thought that they had taken part in anti-capitalism. The accusations became hysterical and many people were asked to ‘name names’ of people in meetings held many years previously. Miller himself was brought before the committee led by Joseph McCarthy. Miller saw the public confessions required by the committee as parallels with the naming of names at Salem in 1692.

          John Proctor is a down-to-earth hard-working farmer who doesn’t allow himself to be caught up in the hysteria of the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692. He thinks for himself and stands up for his values against all odds.

        In the village most if not all were Puritans. This was a very simple religion that extreme strictness on religion and morals. Under Oliver Cromwell, also a puritan, he even effectively made Christmas extinct and also horseracing while he was ruling England.

        Although the people of Salem see him as a good citizen, he is independent and has a strong opinion about Parris the minister which he demonstrates to the audience many times: ‘I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation.’ ‘Can you speak one minute before we land in hell again? I am sick of hell !’

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         Proctor also is very honest, speaking his mind no matter what. ‘Your father had a habit of willing land that never belonged to him, if I may say it plain.’

         He is certainly not a perfect man though as he is racked with guilt after being lecherous with his wife’s servant, Abigail Williams. This was sinning against one of the ‘Ten Commandments’ so would be a great breach of the Puritan religion as they had extreme strictness on religion and morals. Due to his affair with Abigail he is very remorseful and ...

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