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The Crucible

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In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, there are quite a few main characters. But one in particular really relates to the theme of it being better to sacrafice one's life than one's principles. John Proctor. The play is based around Puritan driven Salem, MASS. where commiting a crime or sin results in brutal punishments and even sometimes, being hanged. John Proctor, married to Elizabeth (Goody) Proctor, secretly lusts for and commits adultry with his mistress Abigail Williams. Worrying that his good name will be ruined, he layes low hoping it will pass over. In time Abigail shows interest in witchcraft with other girls from the village leading to a massive witch hunt. If accused or even remotely associated with witchery you were trialed and possibly hanged.

Abigail, in love with John Proctor, is convinced that the feelings are mutual. With hopes of getting Elizabeth (whose never been known to lie) out of the picture or her and John, Abigail accuses her of witchery. When all of Abigail's accusations snow ball into endangering the lives of many villagers, Proctor comes forth with the confession of his and Abigails affair. This raises many eyebrows and succeeds into his arrest and conviction of being a witch. He is given the chance to redeem, and save himself from being hanged by signing a contract stating that he is. Being more concerned for his personal integrity then his public appearance he rips the contract and chooses to sacrifice his life rather than his principles.

Not only is this theme used in the crucible, but also in modern times. Last year I was assigned an article in newspaper on school shootings. Back in April of 1999 a tragedy happened on the Columbine High School campus. Reading on one of the biggest school massacres in history, I remember coming across the story of 17 year old, Cassie Bernall, who had a gun held to her head. She was asked by one of the shooters, "Do you believe



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