What Is the Importance of Ones Name?

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What is the importance of ones name in “The Crucible”?

The Crucible is a play by Arthur Miller. The play is set in 1692 during the Salem witch trials. During these trials ones name was very important for one’s reputation. In 1692 it was a Puritan way Salem led a Puritan way of life. Anyone who doesn’t agree with the church, or has a stain on his or her name, is disapproved off.

John Proctor didn’t exactly have a ‘puritan’ life. However John was a good man, he wanted to be seen as an honest man, not just a man who lied to protect the town. John didn’t want to be named a liar, he admitted to committing adultery, and the last thing he wanted was his name nailed on the church’s wall because he signed a lie. John Proctor sacrificed his soul because he knew he couldn’t have another name.

“Because it is my name. Because I cannot have another in my life, because I lie and sign my name to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of those that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!!” – John Proctor (Page 115)

John believed that signing his name, was signing a lie. He did not want to be remembered as a friend of the “devil” he didn’t want to have a blackened name. John wanted to be remembered as the man who gave his soul to protect his family and friends. Signing his name would mean he would be remembered for the bad not the good, John did not want his children living in humiliation, John preferred not to live rather than live with a blackened name. By handing his soul over Proctor believed he would regained his goodness, all the good left in him was his name, and he believed that this was the only thing he should leave behind.

Reverend Parris was the opposite to John Proctor, he also feared for his name but not in the same way. Parris was a selfish man, only thinking about money. He was too scared to follow
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