Salem is Coated in Pride in "The Crucible" by Aurthur Miller

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Pride: noun: a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. Although some might not believe it, today's society is filled with pride; from being proud of your heritage to being proud of your life in general, pride is all around. But the Catholic Church believes that pride is the absolute worst of the seven deadly sins because all a prideful person thinks of is only himself, and that is the exact opposite of what the Catholic Church teaches. In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts is coated in pride, like gasoline, just waiting for someone to light a match and start the flames. It moves the plot, it pushes the characters through ultimate tests, and thus it drives the characters to do what they do. Pride is one of the most important themes in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. John Proctor, the protagonist, the average man, The Crucible’s own tragic hero, lost everything due to his own pride. Proctor is a proud man, he held himself with an air of indifference. On the inside, Proctor considered himself a fraud. He believed he was unworthy of his wife, Elizabeth. But of course, no one could tell from the outside. He seemed the same, strong, powerful, and overall intimidating. His excessive pride keeps him from unleashing his greatest secret. “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”(133). To such a proud man like Proctor, if he told his secret, it would ruin his name, the one thing he will always have, the one thing everyone will reme... ... middle of paper ... ...ud a man, he wouldn’t have been nearly as guilty. Throughout The Crucible, many characters have shown their pride for various reasons, whether it be for their own personal, selfish needs, or their undying devotion to their family. Pride kept both Proctor and Elizabeth from seeing the truth. John Proctor lost everything due to his excessive pride. He couldn’t see he needed to reveal his greatest sin to the court in order to stop the trials. Elizabeth couldn’t see she needed to forgive her husband before he could forgive himself. Parris’ pride led him to use his little power over Salem to get what he wanted, when Giles’ pride led him to do whatever he could to make sure his family was cared for after he died. Whatever the motives behind their individual actions, each of the above characters each have a certain amount of pride, which in turn pushed the plot along.

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