Crucible 6 Essay, Research Paper
The Crucible written by Arthur Miller is a play that deals with the Salem witch trials in the 1690s. The main character, John Proctor, goes through a crucible, or severe test of his own, as the witch trials are taking place. The witch trials occur because a group of girls from Salem accuse some of the townspeople of making pacts with the devil, or becoming witches. These girls were at first charged with being witches when they were caught dancing around a cauldron in the woods. They admitted to being witches to avoid being hung and then told the court a list of names of people in the town who were also involved with the devil. The court then arrested the people on the list and charged them for being witches. If the people charged didn’t admit to being witches, they were hung, but if they admitted they would only spend a little time in jail. The leader of the girls is Abby, and she lusts for John Proctor. After Abby was caught in the woods, she tells John Proctor that the whole thing is an act and no witch craft has taken place. John Proctor knows this as the witch trials get started, but doesn’t go into to Salem to stop them because he fears that Abby will charge lechery on him. The witch trials are a crucible for those who are accused, while John Proctor has his own Crucible to deal with.
John Proctor’s crucible starts with the decision of whether or not to go into town and testify against Abby and her clan of girls to save the people accused or save his good name and stay away from the witch trials. This is a difficult decision for Proctor. Should he go into town and put his good name on the line to save the accused people or stay out of the witch trials and save his name. When John finds out that his wife’s name has been mentioned in court, his wife urges him to go into town and settle this thing for once and all. Proctor decides to wait though, but when his wife is arrested he realizes that he must go to the court and straighten things out. Proctor goes to court and testifies that this whole thing is an act. The judge asks him why he thinks this and he tells him about Abby and how he had “know” her. The judge doesn’t believe him and Proctor tells him to ask his wife. The judge brings in Proctor’s wife, and asks her if Proctor had committed lechery with Abby. Proctor’s wife denies it, trying to cover for her husband, and this forces the Judge to believe the girls over Proctor. Proctor gets his wife free but he ends up going to jail. Proctor did the right thing in going to the court, but he ended up paying for it.
The next step of John Proctor’s crucible was should he admit to making a compact with the devil and save his life, or take his stand against authority and die a saint. At first, John Proctor decides to admit to witchery, and save his life and stay with his wife and three sons. But then they make him sign a confession, which he does. Then they want him to rat out his friends by admitting that he saw them with the devil. He refuses to do that and then they tell him that they are going to nail his confession to the church door. He doesn’t like that idea at all, that will ruin his name forever. He decides to take back his confession and he rips up the papers that he signed. John Proctor takes his stand against authority and dies a man of integrity, a saint to all who know him.
John Proctor’s crucible ends up being a very severe test. A test that takes his life. John Proctor goes through this test and comes out on top in his eyes and in the eyes of his wife. He takes a stand against the authority of the court and becomes an individual against society. He ends up a dying a saint.