October 21, 2013
Guilt in The Crucible
When guilt keeps piling up on a person’s conscious it can destroy them and others in that environment. In
The Crucible, awful things start happening in the town and no one confesses or owns to anything, then things turn chaotic. Guilt is strongly used in the book. There are three characters that best demonstrate this. Proctor feels guilty for his affair with Abigail. Hale feels guilty because he wrongfully put people in jail or worse. Giles Corey feels guilty about sending his wife to jail.
Out of every person in the book, Proctor is the shows guilt in the most powerful of ways.
Proctor desecrates his relationship through a mistress named Abigail. For example, when John is fighting with his wife, Elizabeth, about him cheating on her. So he just gets fed up and he
“plead[s] no more! [He] sees now [that his wife’s] spirits twist around the single error of [John’s] life, and [he] will never tear it free!” (62). Mr.Proctor senses that he will never have Elizabeth’s trust because of his affair. It makes him feel guilty because of his own mistake. Another example would be when Proctor calls Abigail a whore, Danforth asks him to prove so Proctor agonizingly says that he has “known her,” (110). John Proctor basically confesses to cheating on Elizabeth with Abigail. He feels so guilty that he throws abigail under the bus to save Elizabeth from being hung. The last example is when Danforth and Parris try to have Mr. Proctor sign his name on a document, but proctor refuses not to because it is his “name! Because [he] cannot have another
in [his] life… Because he is not worth the dust on his feet that hang!” (143). Proctor feels so guilty about signing him name away that he demeans himself by saying he is worthless.
Unlike Proctor only affecting a handful of people, Hale effects a lot with all of his mistakes. Hale feels guilty about what he has brought upon people and all of the misfortunes he has caused. For instance, when Hale and Danforth begin to have a heated argument on what they should do with Goody Proctor Hale begins to sicken with all of the deranged accusations and cries out “there is blood on my head!” (131). Hale feels guilty for doing all of the devils work by wrongfully getting people hung. Another instance is when he Hale is talking to Goody proctor about her husband is going to be hung and he feels that he “count[s] [himself] his murderer,”
(131). When proctor dies Hale will feel as if he killed him. Another instance, when Proctor is about sign his confession papers he begins to weep so Hale yells to Goody Proctor to “be his helper! what profit him to bleed,” (145). Hale is begging her to save…