In The Crucible, how does John Proctor show honor in any part of the story?

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

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Throughout the play, Proctor evolves from being an ordinary man to a super human figure.  He is almost divine at the end of the play.  In a social setting where individuals are in dire need of accepting responsibility, Proctor is honorable in how he demonstrates notions of self worth and sacrifice.  At the start of the play, he shows awkwardness in trying to reinforce his marriage and the damage he has done to it.  Yet, as the play progresses, and the town is shown to be more dishonorable as it devolves into madness because of Abigail's accusations, Proctor assumes a greater role of honor in demanding that individuals demonstrate some level of connection and bond to one another.  Proctor places honor in standing for the truth and resisting the social paranoia that has gripped the town.  It is because of this that he is able to stand for his word and not sign a false accusation.  When he says that the town has "taken everything else," but begs to protect his name because " it is mine," it is the ultimate moment of honor.  It is a moment where we understand that we, as human beings, do not need to assume the role of the world around us, but rather are able to assume a transformative stance regarding our world.  It is within this understanding that I find Proctor demonstrating the greatest amount of honor as a figure who is able to change his world for the better, and ours, as well.

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