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Arthur Miller's the Crucible

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In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, John Proctor is faced with an important decision. He can either lie, and confess to witchcraft, or he will be executed for being a witch. In the play, Proctor chooses to save his pride, and, in doing so, he dies. Had he confessed, according to his religion he would be damned, but his family would be saved. John Proctor made the wrong decision in not confessing to witchcraft, because in doing so he lost his family and his life.

John Proctor had an obligation to his family. He was the patriarch of the family and was the family's means for support. Proctor had a wife, three children, and one on the way. A family that has both parents to support and care for can have difficulty getting by. His family needed his support. Had he pleaded guilty, he would have been able to continue to provide a means for his family to live. By thinking only of himself and not of his duties to his family, he is no more than a deadbeat.

Because he did not plead guilty to witchcraft, he left his family to fend for themselves. Although he would have lost his land and respect from his peers, his life would have been saved. He may not have had land, but he could still earn money. He could be hired by others in the community to work on their land. Proctor would still be earning money or food to support his family.

John Proctor forsook his family for his religion, but he was not thinking of the basic principle behind his religion. Instead of helping his family, he deserted them to follow the rules of his religion exactly. Because of this lack of forethought, who knows what will happen to his family? He already broke the Ten Commandments once, and is already going to hell. Helping his family would not make him any worse off.

Proctor should have confessed to witchcraft. He would have saved himself as well as his family. He thought only of himself and his honor, not worrying about those that he loved. He neglected to think about his wife, his sons, and the child he had on the way. This lack of foresight left his family to fend for themselves. The poor choice he made saved his pride, but in the end, he lost all he had worked for while he was alive.



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