Lies and Redemption in “The Crucible”

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The story of The Crucible is very interesting in many ways. It expands on the idea that a single lie can cause people to throw away their morales for their own personal benefit.Throughout the story one of the key characters to show this is John Proctor. John evolves through the story by using lies as a way to hide his mistakes, but shows guna nature by attempting to change his common ways.

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In the history of mankind lies have been spread for personal gain, peoples attempt to hide the fact that they have lied is a big change of moral. Lying is the way humans figure out to cope with being wrong or doing something wrong. The hopes of not getting caught or being seen as less. In the story John is a known sinner by Abigail, anytime she confronts him about the “affair” they had he gets defensive “ You’ll speak nothing of Elizabeth” (Miller 1140). John’s constant inability to come forth with what he’s done causes a lot of internal conflict within him. He knows what he has done is bad, but he won’t own up to it. John knows that he did what was wrong, but he has the second voice; that goes against his morality. This voice tells him that what he did isn’t wrong, and that it was cause because Elizabeth doesnt love him back. When a lie is found out by anyone else that the lie was intended to go to, it can cause a lot of damage. Lying to someone can be seen as withholding the truth from them, and they won’t be able to trust. John has this issue with Elizabeth, as “[he] means to please (you), Elizabeth” with constant mistrust anywhere and everything he does (Miller 1162). John has many attempts to fix his relationship but he struggles. Elizabeth always asks what he’s doing and she doesn’t trust him even when he goes into the town to see what the situation is with Abigail being caught in the woods. Throughout we see multiple attempts by John to fix his concurrent situation after being caught mid lie but with no avail. Lies if done badly can cut deep. It’s common human nature to change things after being caught with a lie to make things better.

Redemption is the only way people come back from making a huge mistake. Once a person is caught in the wrong, their inner morale comes back and they attempt to do everything they can to fix their wrongs. One last time before redemption john yells at his wife “Spare me! You forget nothin and forgive nothing! Learn charity woman!” Johns many attempts to save his relationship with his wife fail due to his inability to fix the situation via other means. His wife feels like she isn’t loved, even though he does everything he feels like he can, to bring her back into his life again. John experiences regret towards the end of the story as he feels his time is limited. John attempts to correct the wrongs in his life by going out of his way to prove someone else was lying (in this case this was Abigail. John then proceeds to get called for witchcraft and has to go to trail. After his trial john then has to confess and he believes God is the ultimate judge “Damn the village! I confess to god, and god has seen my name on this! It is enough!”, Proctor believes he doesn’t need to prove himself to anyone else, as he has “sinned against God” and feels he should prove himself to anyone else (Miller 1231). Johns redemption in attempt to clear himself of sin is by doing the ultimate sacrifice. John is given the option of saving his family name or saving his own life. Proctor first decided that his life was more valuable, but he thought about the effects of what would happen to his kids if they were unable to get a job and had no ownership of land. After long thought he sees that it’s not worth to ruin his kids lives for their mistakes and he saves the life of his family (through the name) and he ultimately gets hanged.

Lies throughout history are known to cause massive issues within people’s lives. This can also change the way someone lives and changes as life goes on. In the story of The Crucible we see John go from being a liar about his affair to getting redemption. He changes as a character by seeing the things he did wrong, and in turn his morale compass was still there to do the right thing. John goes from almost lying that he was a witch to decided that his family’s life would be worth saving since the family name wouldn’t be ruined because of him lying that he was a witch. Instead of lying and saying he saw others with the devil. John thinks of this moment and he decides he doesn’t want to lie anymore. This is the change that was needed in him as a character and it shows that if people do change from their original ways so much, that they can change as a person and completely redeem themselves.

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Lies And Redemption In "The Crucible". (2021, Jun 30). Retrieved December 4, 2022 , from
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