The Puritans of New England strived to live in a utopian society, therefore many of them had the same perspective on various ideas. As a result, anything out of the norm was looked down upon and often ended with unpleasant consequences. Arthur Miller, author of the play The Crucible, displays this through the main characters, John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams, Reverend Hale, and Judge Danforth. The Crucible is set in the Puritan New England town of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The young girls of the town had been accusing the inhabitants of witchcraft in order to seek attention. Abigail Williams, the executor of the Salem Witch Trials had a secret affair with an esteemed man, John Proctor. Although their affair was brief, it caused many problems in the long-run within the town of Salem. With John Proctor’s character being tested and religion being involved in the play, Miller illustrates many twists and turns that made up the tragedy. The title of the play, The Crucible can be defined as a character who experiences a test, trial, or an ordeal, and is formed by fire or a vessel that bakes to resist heat. John Proctor in The Crucible, experienced a test and as a result was formed by fire because he had to prove himself to the courts of Salem and through that experience he became a stronger person.Consequently, John Proctor’s character in the play The Crucible, represents a test due to the fact that Abigail Williams had accused his wife, Elizabeth Proctor as being a witch. Therefore, John Proctor believed it was his duty to  prove her innocence in the courts of Salem, since she was being accused for a sin she did not commit. According to Judge Danforth, “We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment.” (Miller, 1191). Judge Danforth declared this statement in the courtroom when John Proctor was testifying for his wife because they do not accept any lies in the court. Hence, John Proctor’s character is tested when he is told he can only speak the truth by Danforth because back in 1692, the people who had to testify in the courts had to prove why they were not guilty. Similarly, John Proctor had to prove why his wife Elizabeth was not guilty of being a witch. He had done this by having to make a tough decision of whether he should confess his sin or not, while testifying for his wife, Elizabeth Proctor. Furthermore, in Act II of the play, Reverend Hale visited  John Proctor’s home because Elizabeth’s name was mentioned in the courts. As a result, he began to ask John Proctor questions relating to his religion, to clear his suspicion and prove he is religiously devout. Miller exemplifies Proctor’s response to Hale as, “Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods…With some hesitation: Thou shalt remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy…He is stuck. He counts back on his fingers, knowing one is missing…Adultery, John.”(Miller, 1172). Miller represents this as a test for John Proctor because when he states the Ten Commandments he forgets adultery, this reveals a lot about his character because he had a guilty conscience of  committing the sin of adultery with Abigail Williams. Therefore, he failed to prove himself to Reverend Hale. On the whole, John Proctor’s character represents a test because throughout the play, his character faced many situations in which he had to prove himself or his wife and was questioned numerous times. This reveals him to develop throughout the play and become a stronger person.Moreover, John Proctor represents a formation by fire in the play The Crucible because throughout the play, his character becomes a stronger person mentally due to all the challenges he faced during the Salem Witch Trials. As a result, in Act III of the play, when Elizabeth Proctor had been accused of being a witch and taken to jail, John Proctor believed it was his duty to free her because he had been guilty of committing adultery. Therefore, he responded to Judge Danforth’s question in such a way, “Now, sir, what is your purpose in so doing? Why, I—I would free my wife, sir.”  (Miller, 1191). By having said this, John Proctor represents a formation by fire because in Act II of the play, he refused to go to Salem and reveal Abigail William’s true identity since he was afraid his name and reputation in Salem town would have been spoiled. However, because of Abigail’s manipulative and jealous nature, she accused Elizabeth of being a witch. As a result, John Proctor went to the courts to free his wife by confessing. Thus, John Proctor developed throughout the acts of the play and had become a stronger person mentally by attempting to free his wife. Likewise, when Judge Danforth called in the girls who accused Elizabeth Proctor as a witch to testify in the courtroom, many of them had different perspectives on the situation. Mary Warren was defending Goody Proctor because of her guilty conscience, whereas, Abigail Williams  made up a story that made Elizabeth look like a witch. She then began calling for Heaven, “God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore’s vengeance, and you must see it; I set myself entirely in your hands. I know you must see it now.” (Miller, 1206). Seeing this, John Proctor represents a formation by fire because he had become a stronger person by making a decision of whether to confess to his sin or not. Therefore, he confessed his sin of adultery because he believed his wife did not deserve consequences for something she had not done, even if that meant his reputation in Salem Town would have been ruined. Altogether, John Proctor represents a formation by fire because he had become a stronger person as the acts of the plays progressed due to the different and obscure challenges he had faced with the people of Salem town.All things said, John Proctor’s character in the play The Crucible, represents a test because throughout the play, he had to prove why he was not guilty and had to defend his wife, Elizabeth Proctor’s name after Abigail Williams falsely accused her of being a witch. Due to this, John Proctor was represented by a formation by fire because in the beginning of the play, Proctor only cared about himself and his reputation in the town of Salem, but as his character developed throughout the play and faced different situations in which he was often challenged in, he became a stronger person. Miller had demonstrated this through the different acts of the play as well as the dialogues said by the main characters. Since it proved how the situations in which John Proctor was reposed in tested his character and made him a stronger person as a whole.

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