The Importance of One's Name in the Crucible.

Authors Avatar

The Importance of Ones `Name´ in the Crucible

One of the most central motifs within Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible is the importance of one’s name. A person’s ‘name’ was equivalent to their reputation and how they were known by everybody. Having a good name had become especially important in the town of Salem, due to the witchcraft trials, where the untrue accusations made in court could easily end a person’s life. Therefore, many of the characters within Salem are concerned with the perception of their name, as a person with a blackened name is far more likely to be accused than somebody with an untarnished one. There are a number of examples of the obsessive attitude to maintain a healthy name throughout the play. An example of this would be John Proctor and Abigail who would rather lose their lives, than live them with a burdened name.

During the beginning of the play (Act One), after the girls had been caught dancing in the forest, Parris appeared to be worried and questioned Abigail about her good name and if she were entirely innocent. He asked "Your name is entirely white, is it not." Abigail then replied 'There be no blush about my name.' and when further questioned about her stature Abigail flew into a temper “My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soiled!” These statements show how Abigail would not tolerate having a blackened name and how important it was to maintain an unblemished one.

Join now!

Once the citizens of Salem believed that Abigail had a good and trustworthy name, she had the power to accuse anyone of performing witchcraft. This quote is stated by Elizabeth and shows how Mary Warren spoke of Abigail, “She speaks of Abigail and I thought she were a saint, to hear her. Abigail brings the other girls to court, and where she walks the crowd will part like the sea for Israel.  This is exactly what Abigail had wished for, to have a name so trusted that she could accuse and hopefully condemn Elizabeth Proctor, so that she could be ...

This is a preview of the whole essay