Pride and Reputation in the Crucible
Cicero, a famous Greek statesman, and writer once defined “Morals” as “proper behavior of a person in society, or a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and not acceptable to do.” Morals play a big role in the way people in “The Crucible” live their lives, during our lives we are given certain standards to abide by, and much like the characters in this play, we sometimes come upon situations in which we tend to question the foundation of our morals & values. In Arthur Miller’s timeless classic, The Crucible, demonstrated the struggle between good and evil, through and engaging and appealing theme, with solid characters that perfectly fill the gaps of the story.
Purist Salem, Massachusetts 1692, a time where social standing is automatically tied with one’s ability to follow religious values, and unfortunately if you failed to abide to the requirements of the church, you were through to be dealing with the devil. John Proctor, a father, husband, and middle age farmer who honors honesty and faithful in his religion. Only flaw, was the lust he used to have for his ex-maid Abbigail Williams, who he had an affair with while married to his wife, Elizabeth Proctor being married, in other words a violation to the “Ten Commandments”. A man with so much pride and holds his head up high often prioritizes his reputation above his gratification. The first event in which John unleashed his fury was when and affected his reputation was all started one winter when Elizabeth became ill and John had to take charge of Elizabeth’s roles around the house, that same winter John had an affair with his Abagail, the ex-housemaid, and broke one of the ten commandments, During the witch trials of 1692, Elizabeth was one of the people accused of trafficking with the devil by Abagail Williams, she was willing to do anything to have John to herself, and Elizabeth was the only thing standing in her way. Its infuriating to John that Elizabeth was taking the consequences of his actions, and the outcome of his lust for Abagail.
Furthermore, another example of reputation in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, John Proctor, he craves a good reputation, and doesn’t want his name to get ruined. “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another one in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to my lies! Because I am not worth the dust on my feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” This quote emphasizes the fact that John would like to keep his name, after sacrificing everything else in order to live. It shows Proctor’s desire to keep his good name, and the one choice to make an untruthful confession can ruin him from having a good name. This shows how great of an impact reputation has on Salem.
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