The Hero Within Essay, Research Paper
Within the Hero
John Proctor plays the ultimate hero role in the book The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, because he chooses to protect himself, his friends and his community from ridicule, humiliation and tyranny. John does this by devoting to his beliefs, breaking with the community, and dying with his own self-respect.
John Proctor was a farmer in his mid 30?s. He was married to Elizabeth Proctor, a cold, childish but upright woman who first cannot forgive her husband?s frailties, they together have three children. John was a good Christian for the most part. He was a very proud man, who was considered a leader by many of the townspeople. John made one large mistake and it was having an affair with their servant Abigail Williams. Although he confessed the affair to his wife, she never fully forgave him. Even though Abigail still lusted for Proctor, he said that he would “Cut off his hand before he?ll ever reach for her again” (89)
In the book there is struggle within to have a sense of belonging to society. Proctor is a very good example of a struggle to find a place in society. He?s the type of person that wants to plow his fields on the good days even if the good day is only on Sunday. The issue to make a living with his crops gets him into trouble with the very religious Puritan community of Salem. If there were one thing wrong about John it would be that he is too much of an honest man. John Proctor only got involved with this whole witch trial that is going within this small town, because of Abigail Williams. After Abigail came into his life he started to not believe in himself; therefore, he tries to ignore the events in Salem.
After being tried for witchcraft and condemned to death, John refuses to confess. But he doesn?t want to die because of some witches that are just making lies. Hale, a minister who is a recognized authority on witchcraft, doesn?t want Proctor to be put to his death. In this town, more or less, the townspeople were told that if they were just to confess to something that they were being tried for they would get away with it. In John Proctors case he did just that at the end. Hale talked John into signing a confession to the witchcraft. John sat thinking after signing this confession that he didn?t want to do this, hes name was going to be known all around the town if he were to sign it. When Proctor grabbed the paper and tears it up, Hale pleads with him not to do it and that if he doesn?t give it to them he is going to be hanged. Hale is wondering why he isn?t going through with the signing. Proctor then remakes “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul: leave my name!”(143) This is when he doesn?t want to sign his name away to get off with the witchcraft changes against him. Elizabeth is in awe she rushes to him and they embrace. As Proctor and Rebecca Nurse, accused witch, are led to be hanged, Hale begs Elizabeth to plead with John to save himself, but Elizabeth cries, “He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!” (145) John, by coming forth on his own view of himself cannot live with the lie if he had signed that confession, so he dies with because of his own honesty. He didn?t want his name to be ruined by people in the community. John also didn?t want his sons to see their father being ignored by the community. All this man wanted to do was to be loved and respected by others. This hero didn?t get what he wished because he did what he knew was right.
The Crucible, by Aruthur Miller. Paper on John Proctor