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Word Count: 577
It hardly takes a discerning eye to realize that life does not consist of fairy tale endings That fact is all too apparent in Arthur Millers The Crucible a work which has been labeled a tragedy by many critics Robert Heilman defines a tragedy as a work of literature in which a character divided within the self makes choices bears the consequences of those choices gains a new awareness and suffers victory in defeat As you will see John Proctor is a perfect protagonist The main choice which Proctor must make is simple enough to recognize lie about his participation in witchcraft or proclaim his innocence and be hanged however the actual process of making this decision is not as easy Proctor vacillates between dishonesty and the upholding of societys and his own morals In Act IV anxiety permeates the air as Proctor puts his name on the confession but somewhere between the quill and the quintessence of the tragedy Proctor has a change of heart I believe that the precise point at which he realizes the exigency of the situation is when he emits the soul-wrenching cry You will not use me 142 And so with these words the first provision of a tragedy is furnished Miller spares us the full repercussions of Proctors decision by ending the play before the hangings Still it is evident what the consequence of Proctors insistent grip on integrity will be death I find it much more fitting that Miller excludes the most disparaging part of the play and instead instills in our minds the positive side Elizabeth plants the seed of this thought when she proclaims of John He have his goodness now 143 This statement creates perfect balance in the conclusion of the play allowing the reader to experience the full psychological weight of the Salem Witch Trials while permitting the presentation of the optimists viewpoint Before his untimely death Proctor gains an awareness of
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