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After talking with Elizabeth in Act 4 of The Crucible, which of the following best...

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melissazamora7 | Student, Grade 11 | Honors

Posted June 14, 2012 at 8:13 PM via web

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After talking with Elizabeth in Act 4 of The Crucible, which of the following best shows what John decides to do?

a. He decides to confess, because staying silent would imply that he has never lied.

 

b.  He decides to be hanged, because he deserves to die for his adultery, not for witchcraft.

 

c. He decides to stay silent and be hanged, because Elizabeth convinces him that he is a good man.

 

d. He decides that he will only confess if they agree to release Elizabeth also.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 15, 2012 at 12:55 AM (Answer #1)

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I have to be honest enough to say that I am not entirely sold on any of these options.  I think that the wording in some of them needs to be clearer.  Having said that, I think that we can make some initial calls here.  The first would be that the question seems to be asking about the initial conversation between Elizabeth and John in Act IV, scene 2 in which both husband and wife are reunited after separation from John being in jail. In this exchange, John decides to confess.  From this, we can eliminate the second option and the third option.  The second option indicates that he wishes to be hanged, which is not going to happen if he confesses, and the third suggests that he is going to be silent, which also does not happen.  We can also eliminate the fourth option because he is not looking to make any sort of deal and Elizabeth is not in jail.  This leaves us with the first option, but I think that the wording in it leaves a bit to be desired:

a. He decides to confess, because staying silent would imply that he has never lied.

Indeed, Proctor does decide to confess.  Yet, he does not seem to calculate that his staying silent would be an implication about him never lying.  His decision to stay silent would mean separation from his wife and family, and his desire to save himself is what compels him to confess.  The discussion about his own position on "lies" and "signing myself to lies" comes only afterwards in the next scene when he refuses to sign the confession.  It is then when he achieves a moral revelation.  The question wording seems to indicate that he has this when he initially decides to confess, which I don't see as the case.  In this, I guess I go for the first answer, with some reservation.

Sources:

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mchammer92 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 15, 2012 at 2:20 AM (Answer #2)

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It's C.

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