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In the play, The Crucible, discuss the significance of how John Proctor's outer...

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graysoneliz | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:23 PM via web

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In the play, The Crucible, discuss the significance of how John Proctor's outer appearance reflect his inner character.

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

Posted December 29, 2012 at 1:17 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that there is much in way of significance in terms of how Proctor's external appearance matches his internal condition.  In a Salem setting where nothing is as it appears to be, Proctor seems to be a consistent element.  Abigail appears to be angelic, but is really quite malevolent.  Parris appears to be pious, but acts in a selfish manner.  Danforth and Hathorne appear to be committed to the law, but are more concerned with other elements that are outside the pursuit of justice.  Proctor appears in a very plain and ordinary manner, reflective of his own intent.  Proctor is a plain speaking and direct type of person, devoid of pretentious airs or impressions.  Proctor's strength physically matches the internal strength that he displays at the end of the drama.  Proctor's appearance as a farmer reflects the humble nature that really never leaves him.  He is not driven by external appearances or impressions of others as much as he is concerned with simply minding his own business and being left alone.  This is seen at many points in the drama.  His appearance is that of being a human being, no more and no less.  He demonstrates these tendencies until the end of the drama, when his own grasp of dignity make him out to be almost more than human in his capacity to right that which is wrong.

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