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Act IV:Why does Proctor confess? Why will he not name names? Why will he not let...

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gonzzalo | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 17, 2007 at 5:17 AM via web

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Act IV:

Why does Proctor confess? Why will he not name names? Why will he not let Danforth have his signed paper?

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 17, 2007 at 5:58 AM (Answer #1)

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John Proctor initially confesses to protect his wife. Just as she lied to try to save his, neither is successful. Proctor does not want to leave his wife and make her unhappy again, but in the end he cannot go through with it.

Proctor refuses to name names to help take the heat off of him. He has had scorn for those who have done this, and he refuses to participate in any further harm to innocent people, even to save his own life.

Proctor cannot give the paper to Danforth because all he has left is his name, or reputation. He has spent most of the play as a lost soul because of his infidelity with Abigail, but he has a chance at redemption by not giving in to the temptation to save his life.

Proctor makes the choice that will end his life, but will save his soul.

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