Holding Integrity At The Cost Of Life

Essay, Research Paper Holding Integrity at the Cost of Life Essay by *Your Name Here* derived from thoughts on Arthur Millers’ The Crucible In some situations, where people know that they are right, they will

Essay, Research Paper

Holding Integrity at the Cost of Life

Essay by *Your Name Here* derived from thoughts on Arthur Millers’ The Crucible

In some situations, where people know that they are right, they will

compromise their beliefs in an effort to save their own life. Others will

stand up for what they believe and stand rigid in their thoughts of how

something should be taken care of. At times the rigid may feel

compelled to sway from their beliefs but then stand strong and accept the

judgment that has been put upon them. This is why the character of John

Proctor in Arthur Millers’ play The Crucible chose to loose his life. He

had been accused of witchcraft and kept his composure and claim to

innocence until the end of the play when he decides to confess to the

accusations, which would mean that he is lying but then he would have

his life. He, however, regains his poise and tears up his confession because

he believes that the town should not have to see it that only God should

have to. By doing this he condemned himself to death but I believe he

made the correct choice by standing firm in his view.

When Proctor finally decides to go to court it is because he knows

that all of the accusations of witchcraft are just a game being played by

the vengeful girl named Abigail. Her motive for claiming people were

witches was only so that she could save her own skin and not have to be

whipped. She has told Proctor, but he waits too long to go and tell this

too the court which has already hanged a number of people for

witchcraft. This causes the court to have disbelief in his claim that it is all a

hoax, for if the court goes back and changes their judgment they would

have committed murder in a sense. Now Proctor feels that he himself is,

in a way, responsible for the deaths of several people. This would be

ample reason for one to deny the court the confession that would make

the other deaths seem justified and true in cause. He knew that if he

confessed that that would be like giving evidence that witchcraft was really

rampant in Salem, but he denied them this.

Another reason that Proctor chooses to die rather that letting them

have his confession that he has compacted with the devil is that they are

asking names. He knows what they are doing is wrong and that they want

further proof on other people so that the court can make their claim hold

firm on the already condemned. Proctor knows that the courts are

playing out what they have already started and trying to get more proof

of witchcraft to make their sentences of execution look like they were

authentic. He thinks asks them why they should take his confession and

hang it on the church door. They tell him it is so that village will have

proof. He thinks that if God has seen it and that they have seen it it

should be sufficient and that the village doesn’t need to see it for that

would only further prove that the accusations are true.

A third reason he doesn’t choose to confess and therefor lie is that

he has pride and will not compromise his pride for the satisfaction and

gain of others. He knows that if he confesses he will not die, but since the

motives of the people who started all this were not pure he decides to die

proud and not lie like a coward to save his life. The Puritans believe that

God is the judge of them and Proctor kept this belief and took faith that

God would judge him auspiciously in heaven and then send the judges to

hell for murder. Proctor already feels partly responsible for the hangings

and he decides that he would be even more guilty of sin if he would have

confessed.

Proctor made a courageous choice in giving his life up for what he

believed in. He stood firm in what he knew as true, even to the point of

giving his life so as not to harm anyone else, take away his pride, or

further support the courts unjust judgments. A person would hope that

all could keep such a firm stand in what they think as true. It takes great

fortitude for one to give his life for a point. Anyone that does something

similar to what Proctor did has an incredible tolerance for pressure even

though they may sway from their stand at times. They should be models

for what to do if times like this come upon us in the future.