The Importance Of NonConformity The Crucible Essay — страница 2

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not actually feel. Proctor, while trying to protect his wife, conforms to the ideals looked for in him. Throughout Act four, John?s concern for his soul and name are factors that influence whether or not he will choose to give up his individuality and live a lie. Principally, Proctor, thinking of confessing to witch craft says, ? My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing’s spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long before.? John is willing to give his ? weighty? declaration because he thinks that he is not a ‘good’ man and feels that dying for the cause of being ‘good’ is therefore pretence. His confession would cause him to validate the witch trials and to remain in a society that will no longer view him as a distinct person. In addition,

the difficulty John Proctor has when he is confessing to witch craft is shown when he says, ?I think it is honest, I think so; I am no saint.? Proctor?s uncertainty about giving his admission shows how great the battle within him must be, while he is submitting himself to live a lie. Proctor is having difficulty deciding if he will testify to this fabrication that will tear away his individuality as it destroys his name. Likewise, Proctor refuses to sign a document admitting to his correspondence with the devil. As Danforth asks him why, John answers with a cry, ? Because it is my name. Because I cannot have another in my life . . . How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!? John realizes that if he conforms he will be left without his name and

that without his name he is like any other man in Salem and no longer the individual he prided himself in being. Also, he begins to think about the effects his name as a confessor will have on the community. Proctor, as he is dealing with the concerns for his soul and name, conforms to a certain point and then begins to question the importance he lays on being an individual. Proctor, with great difficulty, finally wins the battle within himself as he realizes the consequences that his confession will have on the overall community; thereby, leading to his subsequent choice of non-conformity. Firstly, John refuses to say he saw anyone with the devil and explains to Danforth, ?They think to go like saints. I like not to spoil their name.? John does not want to admit that he saw

anyone with the devil because he feels bad enough that he is committing himself to a lie, and does not want validate the fact that Rebecca Nurse or any others are a witches. Yet, he does with great trouble succumb to Danforth when he makes it sound as if he does not believe that they are speaking of the truth. We see here that John?s sanity is beginning to break and that he is having a lot of trouble admitting to witch craft. Moreover, Proctor tells Danforth in a fury, ? Beguile me not! I blacken all of them when this [ the signed document] is nailed to the church door the very day they hang for silence.? John realizes the true effect of his admittance on the community and that if he confessed he would cause all those that ?[hung] for silence? to have died for nothing. He knows

now that he can not conform and that he is not only giving up his individualism if he does, but more importantly he will be feeding a falsehood to the community. Finally, the masterful scene between Proctor and his wife in the final act deals with his struggle to be true to himself and his community. Elizabeth refuses to judge Proctor and influence his decision to live, saying: ?I am not your judge, I cannot be?. Proctor now realizes that only God and he himself may judge his sins. He refuses to ? blacken? his and the other martyrs names and to substantiate the whole witch trials. In the end, Proctor keeps his conscience and hangs as an innocent man rather than living as a liar. Emerson once said, ?A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist.?

In The Crucible, Proctor fights within himself to keep his individuality in a community where non-conformance can bring severe consequences. Proctor realizes, through his different motivations, the importance for one to be true to oneself and to the ideas that you believe in, in order that you may truly live in ? a rich realm.? Although at the end of the play Proctor is dead, he as Elizabeth says, ? Has his goodness now.?