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Self-Inflicted Pain in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Satisfactory Essays
Self-Inflicted Pain in The Crucible

There is an old saying that goes: "we are our own worst enemies."

In relation to The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, it

corresponds to the characters in the play perfectly. John Proctor, a

historical figure in the play, is "his own worst enemy" in every aspect.

Proctor's extreme honesty and exuberant dignity comes back at the end of

the play to haunt him, which directly leads to his tragic death.

Proctor's honesty ironically is one of the factor that causes him

to become "his own worst enemy." His candid remarks toward Reverend Parris,

pointing out that "many others who stay away from church these days (is)

because you (Parris) hardly mention God anymore." Anyone on the receiving

end of such blunt criticism is bound to resent it. And Reverend Parris did

show resentment by retaliating at the end. He testified against Proctor,

claiming that "this man is blackening my name", and constantly taking stabs

at Proctor's defense, for he appears not to quit until Proctor is finally

driven to the end. But this was not the only situation in which his honest

personality have betrayed him. John Proctor was heading toward despair at

the opening scene of the play, as the readers later found out that he had

committed adultery with Abigail. But he did not honestly tell his wife,

Elizabeth, the truth until the midst of the play. This later had influence

to the turning point of the play as Elizabeth confront to Danforth that

Proctor did not commit any sins, when in fact she is just trying to protect

him. What she doesn't realize is that John had already confessed his sins

to Danforth, therefore, Elizabeth's testimony imply that John was a liar.

As a consequence, John was convicted and was sentenced to be hang. John

Proctor's honesty have been a factor in depicting that he is indeed his

"own worst enemy".

In the same manner, John Proctor's exuberant sense of dignity have

also been a factor leading him to become "his own worst enemy". Even after

committing such nefarious acts of sins, he still have extreme pride and

dignity for his name. Therefore, he refuses to sign "[himself] to lies",

and have consequently denied the convictions. Danforth demands that he has
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