Mrs. Wodzien 5
November 3, 2008
A Saint in All Eyes
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the activist and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement, said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” As seen in Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible, John Proctor is measured by how he stands in times of challenge. He faces many difficult challenges, one of which is his role in the witch trials. John Proctor is considered a saint because he admits his wrong doings, people honor what he has to say, and he stays true to his name.
Even if citizens are able to collectively avoid the witch trials they would not be able to prove themselves saved, because people are looking to anyone to be a scapegoat. At first, John Proctor tries to avoid being involved with the Salem Witch Trials because of his past mistake of committing adultery with Abigail Williams. He attempts to separate himself from the proceedings, saying to Reverend Hale, “I’ve heard you to be a sensible man, Mr. Hale. I hope you’ll leave some of it in Salem” (Miller 63). This concludes that if Hale would leave town, it would be easier for Proctor to avoid the trails. Proctor tries to pretend the affair never happened rather than dealing with his personal problems to avoid any controversy that it may bring. Elizabeth badgers him about his affair and he replies with, “Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not” (Miller 85). He wants Elizabeth to realize it was a mistake. Proctor realizes that he needs to admit everything when his servant, Mary Warren, declares that she is an official of the court and Elizabeth has been, “somewhat mentioned” (Miller 57) by Abigail. He recognizes there is only one way to stop all of the gossip in Salem, and prove his wife innocent, which is to confess his sin of adultery to the court, “A man will not cast away...