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John Proctor's Pride in the Crucible

  • Date Submitted: 01/22/2012 03:45 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 72.7 
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Amber Whitzell
Mrs. Graziano
English 11 CP
9 November 2011
Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, takes place in the spring of 1692. In the city of Salem, Massachusetts, the characters are fighting to overcome cases of witchcraft. The accusations of witchery have gotten out of control, forcing Salem’s citizens to fight if they want to maintain their pride as well as their lives. Many innocent characters are accused of being witches on little to no evidence of any wrong doing. One of Miller’s main characters, John Proctor, lets his pride motivate his decisions, ultimately leading to his death.
John Proctor’s pride creates many problems for him and others throughout the entire play. Towards the beginning, Proctor finds himself having an affair with Abigail Williams. This shows that he thinks very highly of himself and that he has a large amount of pride. He seems to believe that he can go against his vows and disrespect his wife, Elizabeth. Abigail proves their affair when she says, “I know how you clutched my back behind your house and sweated like a stallion whenever I come near…I saw your face when she put me out, and you loved me then and you do now” (838-839). Only when Elizabeth grows suspicious does he stop seeing Abigail. If Elizabeth had never found out about the affair Proctor would not have ended his relations with her. It is very obvious that Proctor’s affair was a result of his pride, and this event triggered his tragic downfall.  
In an attempt to save his wife from being hanged, Proctor then confesses to the affair in court. He explains that he is giving up his innocence and tries to convince the judge that Abigail
is making up lies about the supposed witch craft events. “I have made a bell of my honor! I have rung the doom of my good name”, Proctor declares (873). When asked if her husband did indeed have an affair, Elizabeth states that he is innocent of any wrong doing. As a result of her lies, she makes him look like the liar. In making...

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