Discuss significant moments where honesty and reputation intertwine in The Crucible.

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

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I would say that one of the most significant moments where honesty and reputation converge is in Proctor's last speech.  The idea that Proctor must stand for the idea that his "name" is the most important element for his being in the world is highly significant.  It is at this moment that Proctor recognizes he can no longer be a party to deception.  He realizes that his honesty and his reputation must take precedence over everything else.  He demands the need to be honest and to align his reputation with actions of honesty.  He can no longer pretend that honesty and reputation are not connected.  At the same time, he cannot withstand or pretend the fact that his actions are isolated.  In his "name" speech, Proctor realizes that what he does is done to defend his name and honor, something that he intends on leaving to his children and well after he is gone.  I think that another significant moment would be when Corey realizes that his reputation will be compromised if he gives up the name of the informant that revealed to him what Putnam wants to do.  Corey understands that the moment where he is being forced to confess is one where his honesty in defending the identity of the informant and his own reputation for being direct and authentic is challenged in court.  His desire to remain silent and to not want to bring more harm to another is evidence of how much he values honesty and how much he values his own reputation for being transparent and respectful of others.


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