Isolation In Society

Posted by admin on December 25, 2017 in Articles

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible exposes conflicts between the characters and the Christian society of Salem, Massachusetts 1692. The concept of social pressure and rules are used to establish the play. If the common man in Salem is to work proficiently in his surroundings, he must participate in all social activities or he faces the consequences of untrue allegations. Miller uses the character John Proctor as a prime example whose individuality ultimately isolates him from his community. Proctor tries to avoid any involvement in the Salem witch trials. His reason for this attempt is motivated by his past fault of committing adultery with Abigail Williams, who is leading the accusations. As the pressure from his peers grow on him, Proctor must decide whether to save himself, or to die and save Salem. The theme individual v. society exists through the character John Proctor.
Proctor is cautious to speak openly due to his affair. He attempts to isolate himself from the first proceedings of the trial by stating to Reverend Hale, “I’ve heard you to be a sensible man Mr. Hale. I hope you’ll leave some of it in Salem.” (Miller 1231). Proctor is trying to cleanse himself entirely of his affair, rather than get involved with the community. Elizabeth, his wife, encourages Proctor to speak out about his knowledge against false accusations against her. He is hesitant and responds, “I know I cannot keep [confessing his crime]. I say I will think on it!” (Miller 1237). Before Proctor can come to a resolution, Marshal Herrick arrives at Proctor’s home with a warrant for Elizabeth’s arrest. It becomes clear to Proctor he must tell the truth in order to save his wife, despite the impact it may have on him personally.
Proctor’s society forces him to choose condemnation or to save himself. Following his confession of lechery, the infuriated court officers call for Elizabeth to discover the truth about Abigail and Proctor. When questioned about her husband, Elizabeth accepts…