Honor in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

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Honor in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Honor can be defined by how one holds them in the public eye. Others may say that honor is how you live your life when none can see your actions. However defined honor can play major roles in how a person will act in a given situation. The Crucible by Arthur Miller has excellent examples of how honor can manipulate people’s decisions in times of importance. John proctor holds his moral standpoint and does not falter into the temptations of selfishness, while Elizabeth would describe honor as how a person lives their lives. Some can even describe honor as what is most important in life; family. Giles believed that his life was the ultimate object he could sacrifice to maintain his family’s happiness. However honor can be defined, one thing is certain; Everyone has some degree of honor in their lives.

John Proctor was a man who had internal conflicts that tested his moral values. In the beginning of the book the fact that he has feelings for a Mrs. Abigail Williams is brought to light when Proctor and his wife, Elizabeth are having a conversation: “

Elizabeth, ‘reasonably’: John, have you ever shown her somewhat of contempt? She cannot pass you in the church but you will blush-

Proctor: I may blush for my sin.

Elizabeth: I think she sees another meaning in that blush (59).” Elizabeth knows that there may be something going on between Proctor and Abigail. But proctor feels like he has to keep honor to his household and so he keeps everything that he feels inside and tries to hide it from his wife. Proctor does redeem himself by the end of the book. Where he refuses to have his name be used as a flag to be displayed as a symbol of the trials. This is most prominent when he is telling the judge, “

Proctor: You will not use me! I am no Sarah Good or Tituba, I am John Proctor! You will not use me! It is no part of salvation that you should use me!

Danforth: I do not wish to-

Proctor: I have three children- how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?

Danforth: you have not sold your friends-

Proctor: Beguile me not! I blacken all of the when this is nailed to the church the very day they hang for silence!(137)” Proctor is now realizing what they want to do with the confession.
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