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Assess how does John Proctor relates to the measure of a good person through his actions.

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aronwe | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 6, 2012 at 6:15 PM via web

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Assess how does John Proctor relates to the measure of a good person through his actions.

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 9, 2012 at 3:09 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that Proctor clearly resonates in terms of being considered a good person through his actions at the end of the drama.  Consider his final speech, testament to how being a good person is defined and how he meets such a condition:

Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul, leave me my name!

For Proctor, a good person is defined by how they live their life in accordance to their name and their reputation.  Proctor asserts the idea that there must be a sense of truth and honor attached to the individual's name.  Regardless of what they do, this sense of being able to live free of lies and not committing oneself to such deception is of vital importance in considering one's state of being in the world.  At the same time, I think that Proctor meets this standard in refusing to sign a fraudulent confession, embracing the reality of his death as a statement of his goodness.  For Proctor, an individual's goodness lies in how much they are willing to live with the consequences of standing for truth.  Proctor demonstrates that he is willing to do this even if it results in his own death.

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