Can anyone please help me begin this/ gage the general trend?
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Indeed, seeing John Proctor's evolution throughout the narrative of Miller's work proves the idea that conflict brings out the best or most worthwhile characteristics of an individual. His evolution from ordinary man to extraordinary figure of truth in a time of untruth proves that conflict can bring out the best in people, the type of qualities that display the "better angels" of human nature. At the same time, the loyalty of Elizabeth Proctor to both her husband and his values is only seen as a result of the conflict presented.
This is an excellent observation in regard to the play, and one that Miller surely noted. Even the title of the play suggests it. When metal is subjected to intense heat in a crucible, the pure elements rise to the surface, while the dross elements sink to the bottom. The thematic parallel is obvious. The witch trials throw the people of Salem into a crucible of fear and moral conflict. Their characters are tested. Rebecca Nurse, Giles Cory, Rev. Hale, John Proctor, and Elizabeth Proctor, respond to the fear and conflict by acting with moral courage and integrity. Others, like Rev. Parris, Abigail Williams, Mary Warren, and Judge Hawthorne, are variously revealed to be weak, greedy, selfish, cowardly, and arrogant. In the figurative crucible of the events in Salem, just as in the literal crucible itself, the pure is separated from the impure. A person's true character is revealed.
Conflict generally brings out the worst of an individual, relate this to The Crucible
well there is one main example with the witch trials and people accusing each other for money power and wealth.
In general terms, conflict does generally show the true nature of a person. You use the term worth, and so many of the characters in The Crucible do show themselves to be people of honor and integrity in the face of conflict. I would include Rebecca and Francis Nurse, Giles and Martha Corey, and John and Elizabeth Proctor, along with Reverend Hale, in this category. Others show themselves to be moral cowards--or worse--in the face of conflict. This list would include Abigail and Mercy, Judge Hathorn, and Rev. Parris. When things get hard, people's true nature is revealed. As mentioned above, this crucible shows the characters' characters, both the good and the bad.
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