Throughout The Crucible many of the characters experience changes to their
personality. The change in John Proctor is quite prominent
In Act IV Proctor says, ‘I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It
is fraud. I am not that man.’ At the end of the play he goes to
execution saying, ‘Now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John
Proctor.’ What has made this change come about?
Throughout The Crucible many of the characters experience changes to
their personality. The change in John Proctor is quite prominent and
extremely important in the play.
When John says, ‘I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is
fraud. I am not that man’ he is sure that he does not want to die.
Later on, while waiting for execution he says, ‘Now I do think I see
some shred of goodness in John Proctor which shows he is now ready to
die to state his worth. This drastic change from sinner to martyr is
provoked in a number of ways.
John loves Elizabeth greatly and her opinions mean a lot to him.
Towards the end of the play, Elizabeth forgives John for his sins,
which allows him to forgive himself. Elizabeth tells John that she’s
never seen so much goodness in the world; he realizes he is Elizabeth’s
example of perfection so accepts what has to be done, so not to loose
this ‘perfect’ view. We can also see that John cares about Elizabeth’s
thoughts as he asks her if she thinks he should confess. This also
shows that he is a weak man, who cannot act by himself. John is
forced to make up his own mind, when Elizabeth will not help him.
John thinks about only himself and agrees to confess. When Danforth
pressures him to name any other guilty parties John will only speak of
his own sins.
John is a religious Christian and lying would be going against his
religion. Truth plays a large part of being a Christian as he would
be going against the 10 commandments. Being forgiven is also part of
being a Christian and he had been forgiven by Elizabeth, but if he
were to lie he would loose forgiveness. It is also important that he
went to heaven, instead of hell, for his eternal soul.
John sees himself as a sinner who had done bad things, but will take
any opportunity to make up for them. John’s appearance in the village
is respectable and his name has been washed clean, so he would not
willingly blacken his name again. John’s reputation means a lot to
him, and in the past that is all he has cared about.
As he sees himself as such a sinner he thinks that he is a very
unlikely martyr. This though of himself as nothing but a sinner makes
his conscience direct him to lie. John’s confession is a last resort
as he himself says that a man would not willingly ‘cast away his good
name’. The confession however, is a well thought-of act, as he
sacrifices the thing that means the most to him, his reputation, for
the sake of truth. We can see that John is a good man deep down, who
is trying to turn away from evil.
When John is...