The Presence of Pride in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”In Miller’s “The Crucible” the pride of the people of Salem leads to a massacre of innocent lives. Pride is delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship. One of the main characters, John Proctor, has pride in his beliefs of purifying the Church of England. His wife, Elizabeth, has pride in her ability to use the trials as an ultimate revenge against Abigail Williams. John Hale is the “expert” on witches his pride springs from his extensive knowledge, but later in the play he recants and loses all his respect.
Hale is the chemical that cause the conflict to come into full swing between Elizabeth and John Proctor. Elizabeth Proctor is first founds singing to her children in her kitchen in the opening of act two. This is in contrasts with frenzy at the end of act one. Elizabeth is trying to make her husband turn in Abigail as a witch. She seems sly about it and this exposes her pride. She has pride that she is able to punish Abigail for hurting her. Not this is an unjustifiable pride, but Elizabeth picks on john to do her dirty work to the point John says, “You will not judge me more, Elizabeth.Let you look to your own improvement before you judge your husband anymore”(act 2).
The act of the accusation will prove to Elizabeth the affair is over. Elizabeth has a strong sense that she is the only one safe in the issue, for she has done no wrong, who is to accuse her or anything? But Elizabeth’s immunity to the trials cause her to get taken to court for owning poppets, which in fact, are owned by her servant, Mary Warren.John Procter is a strong man, who thrives at the chance to be right and known. But by the end of the play he questions himself saying, “Who is John Proctor, Who is John Proctor?” (act 4).
The trials to John Proctor are a time of change. When Reverend Hale enters the town John leaves in disgust, he knows the girls are lying. John’s pride springs from his feeling of being smarter then the rest of the town. He was constantly found bickering with Reverend Parris about unnecessary expenses. He is worried to speak at the trials for he would condemn himself as a lecher.
His wife has her finger on his button though because after the affair, she uses his guilt so he will promise to accuse Abigail. As soon as John steps into the trials he is labeled as a witch and condemned to death. But from his own pride is unable to confess. But at the same time he does not want to die for such an absurd reason.John Hale represents the voice or authority and reasoning. He appears to be strong and assured himself that there was a whole world of witches around him at any given time.
He believes in the churches power to be the ultimate law in the situation at hand. This is his source of pride. He sees himself as the person come to save the lives in the New World. As the case progresses though he starts to doubt himself and realizes that he had caused many deaths. His pride is swiftly destroyed and he asks the men and women to confess to saves their lives. “The Crucible” is a tale of how our pride blinds us and can lead us to demise. Most all of the characters overcame their pride by the end. John Proctor was like all the other characters because his purification was envisioned to late to make a difference.
His act was justified because he had learned to be less self-centered and he confessed to save his family name. The events acted as a purification of the people that took part in them. They went in dirty and unpure and came out as who they always were meant to be.