The Crucible Poem by Adam Sobh

The Crucible

“The Crucible”
The character I picked for my summary is John Proctor. Mr. Proctor indirectly and unwittingly causes the Salem Witch Trials by having an affair with his servant girl, Abigail Williams. After discovering her husband’s affair, Elizabeth Proctor fires Abigail and forces her to leave their house. This, combined with an increasing obsession with John, forces Abigail to dance in the woods with Tituba and the village girls in hope that Tituba will cast a spell to make John fall in love with her. It is after Reverend Parris, Abigail’s uncle, discovers them dancing in the woods that Abigail and the other girls begin throwing around accusations of witchcraft. With revenge on her mind, Abigail accuses Goody Proctor of “witching” her. After having her house searched, Elizabeth is arrested for being a witch. Her husband does everything he can to prove her innocence, but thanks to the biased Judge Danforth, it is all in vain.
Irony plays an important role in “The Crucible”. One example of irony would be when John attempts to show that Abigail is not as pure and truthful as she seems. He tries to do this by confessing to having an affair with her. Ironically, Elizabeth (who has never in her entire life told a lie) , when called upon by Danforth to back John’s claim of adultery, unknowing of his confession, lies to protect her husband’s name. Eventually, John himself is accused of witchcraft, as luck would have it, by the very girl who attempts to help clear both his wife and his friends’ names, Mary Warren. John and his wife refuse to admit that they are “witches”; they both are sentenced to hang. A few months later, an extraordinary event takes place within the prison where John, Elizabeth, and their friends are being held. Elizabeth turns out to be pregnant and tells Danforth, who at first does not believe her. Not wanting to go against the Bible and harm an innocent child, Danforth decides to spare her life for the remainder of her pregnancy.
Fearing crowd riots at the execution of John and his friends, Danforth, Parris, and Hale convince Elizabeth to speak with John to persuade him to confess. After speaking with his wife and taking into consideration the future of his children, John decides to confess in order to have his life spared. As Danforth is recording John’s confession, John abruptly decides that he would rather hang than confess to something he did not do. So he rips up the confession statement, which ultimately seals his fate.
There are two major reasons why John decides at the last second that he would rather die with dignity than live a life with shame. The first reason is that before the judge begins to record John’s confession, Danforth brings Rebecca Nurse (who refuses to confess) to witness John confessing in the hopes that after seeing John confess, she will too. Rebecca, at first having not seen John in months and not realizing what is happening, proceeds to greet John with a smile on her face. John, humiliated by having to confess in front of Rebecca, does not reply to Rebecca’s greeting. It is at this precise moment that Danforth begins to question John. At first, Rebecca is speechless after realizing what is happening. After witnessing John confess to a crime he has not committed, Rebecca proceeds to say, “May God forgive you, John Proctor”. The second reason why John does not confess is because after he signs the confession sheet, Judge Danforth proceeds to tell John that the sheet will be nailed upon the church door. After hearing this, John loses his temper and progresses to shout, weep, and beg Danforth not to show his confession to the public. Puzzled as to why John is behaving so incongruously, Danforth asks John why it matters whether or not it is nailed to the church door. John wearily replies, “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! ” No matter how much he pleads, shouts, and weeps Danforth refuses to change his mind leaving John no other option but to tear the confession in half. By doing this, John confirms that he would rather die than to betray his friends and himself by blackening not only his own name, but theirs as well.

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