Proctor as a Moral Vehicle in 'The Crucible'

1255 Words6 Pages
No person can entirely avoid the trials and tribulations of his or her society. Any person who attempts may be susceptible to severe allegations. If a man is to be fully excepted into the social order in which he lives, he must participate in all facets of his culture or he is allowing himself to be vulnerable to undesirable accusations. In Arthur Miller's, The Crucible, John Proctor's lack of participation in the Salem Witch Trials eventually leads to his capital punishment. Proctor's reason for attempting to avoid any involvement in the Salem Witch Trials is provoked by his earlier mistake of committing adultery with Abigail Williams. Proctor's guilt results in moral questions he must answer for himself in the midst of the town's hysteria, creating a wedge between him and his society. Miller displays this separation through the use of indirect characterization, internal conflict, and external conflict. Proctor's otherwise principled life is haunted by his mistake, eventually leading to his demise. Procter's guilt, stemming from his lechery, causes him to become hesitant to speak publicly because of his fear that he will reveal himself as an adulterer. He tries to avoid making an appearance in the primary proceedings, saying to Reverend Hale: "I've heard you to be a sensible man, Mr. Hale. I hope you'll leave some of it in Salem" (185) Proctor tries to wash his hands of the whole issue, choosing, instead, to deal with his own private troubles. His wife, Elizabeth Proctor, continually pesters him about his adulterous affair and he retorts with "Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not," (194). Rather than get involved in the witch trials Proctor continues to defend himself in the treacherous love triangle. Proctor endeavors to withdraw from the secluded universe of his farm and continue to be entirely unaware of the dealings taking place in
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