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John Proctor is described on pages 2 &21.How might the description lead the...

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bobaboba | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 28, 2011 at 7:52 AM via web

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John Proctor is described on pages 2 &21.How might the description lead the audience to see him as a protagonist?

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

Posted September 28, 2011 at 9:55 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that Proctor's description might influence the audience in a couple of ways.  The first is that Miller describes him as one who is an outsider, someone whose mere appearance is someone on the outside of the accepted social order.  The fact that he towers above all others in his physical size and stature is a detail that Miller does not miss out in articulating.  He towers over the others in Salem, who occupy a moral and a physical shrinking in comparison to his own size.  Miller does not hesitate in discussing how Proctor is a man who is quick to physical action, something that is not on his opening words to Mary Warren about beating her.  Proctor appears as someone worthy of the audience's attention as a protagonist, or someone who will be strong enough to drive the drama.  The fact that Miller's description renders him as an outsider, someone who is not part of the social norm, and one who is so rugged in so much of what he does and is represents how Miller has constructed a character who is able to be seen as a protagonist because in a world of individuals seeking to embrace the power of being accepted by the social norm, Proctor stands outside of it, incapable of ever being able to be in this realm both physically and emotionally.

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