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Leigh Ann Corley Early American Literature September 8 2000 John Proctor Salems Redeemer Christopher Bigsby asserts in his introduction to The Crucible A climatic scenecomes when John Proctoron the point of trading his integrity for his lifefinally refuses to pay the pricewhich is to offer the names of others to buy his life Pgxiii Thus The Crucible is the story of one mans sacrifice to save his community from the deterioration of its social structure which brings about the murders of many innocent people The Crucible Arthur Millers depiction of the Salem witch trials deals with a tight-knit church-loving community that must overcome hysteria and hidden agendas that break down its social structure One man John Proctor must protect himself and his wife against the accusations of a young woman with whom he has made a mistake Proctor must fight the irrationality and madness created by this young woman and her followers by choosing between saving himself or saving his community How does Proctor find himself in this predicament There ar e many theories of why the trials come about the girls suppressed childhoods the secret grudges that the neighbors hold against each other and Abigail Williams affair with John Proctor From a historical viewpoint young girls in Colonial Massachusetts are given little or no freedom to act like children To rebel they dance in the woods listen to the tales of slaves and pretend other villagers are bewitching them Although he would like to deny his familys involvement in forbidden activities Reverend Paris cannot because he sees his own family involved in the forbidden Paris asks And what shall I say to them That my daughter and my niece I discovered dancing like heathen in the forest Pg 9 Getting caught doing the forbidden the children lie in an attempt to protect themselves and their families from embarrassment They have a choice to make when they are caught take a
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