3 October 2013
Defining a Hero
Often times in history, people reward others who've sacrificed their lives doing deeds beyond measure. At the same time, carrying out small acts of kindness can also label people as "heroes." In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, a prominent character that goes by the name of John Proctor displays what society would classify a person as a hero. However, society is so blinded by how he had justifiably reacted when he had faced his time in trial that they did not realize that he was just another human being facing problems of his own and trying to eradicate them and all rumors of the sort. Although he unfortunately faces desolation in the end of the novel, he portrays what a righteous human being would do without receiving the title of a hero.
In the beginning of the novel, Proctor is introduced as a horrible figure during the Salem Witch trials. With an overruling lust in his heart, he falls into temptation by having an affair with Abigail Williams. This fatal flaw of his is what leads to chaos and tragedy in the village of Salem. Not only does he commit adultery, but he also fails to confess his crucial flaw. Others may cancel his potential of being a hero and mark him as a villain, but he proves to the readers that he is only human. In addition, when he shouts to Danforth, “It (Abigail) is a whore,” he only wants to unravel the truth behind her scheme. In detail, he only wants to prove justice.
Throughout the novel, John Proctor starts to undergo a change mentally. With all of the guilt of his sin eating him alive, he argues against Danforth that the devil exists within people and not through souls or ghosts. He tries to prove justice once again by trying to tell the truth to Danforth. Again, he is scrutinized and starts to sink back into the hands of evil. Although we know that John Proctor is an honest and good man, he does not show it until the end of the novel.
In the arrival of the conclusion in the novel, John finally blossoms and shows his true caliber. He exclaims to Danforth “Because it is my name! Because I…