John Proctor is often headstrong and determined. This is seen in his interactions with his household servant, Mary Warren. In act 1, scene 2, Mary Warren left the Proctor's home for the day because she was asked to be an "official of the court." The court was seeking to find and punish witches in their community. Elizabeth tells John that Mary left her work to serve the court. He responds in frustration,
"Why'd you let her? You heard me forbid her go to Salem any more!"
A few minutes into the scene, Mary Warren enters the house. John Proctor, furious that Mary disobeyed him, shouts,
"How dare you go to Salem when I forbid it! Do you mock me? I'll whip you if you dare leave this house again!"
In this scene John is headstrong and unwilling to hear Mary or Elizabeth's explanations or excuses.
Just before the curtain falls at the end of act 1, John and Mary have another conversation. This occurs after Elizabeth has been accused of witchcraft and put in jail. John tells Mary,
"You're coming to that court with me, Mary. You will tell it in the court."
As usual, John Proctor is assertive and demanding. He does not suggest what Mary should do or offer her some wisdom; he tells her she will go to court, as though she has no option in the matter. In this case, John makes this demand of Mary because of his passionate desire for justice for his wife. John Proctor knows that his wife is entirely innocent; he demands, insistently, that Mary do the right thing. Mary had confessed to John that she made the doll that got Elizabeth in trouble. After he hears this, he insists:
"You will tell the court how that poppet come here and who stuck the needle in."
Mary continues to come up with excuses as to why she can't tell the truth. Even after Mary admits that Abigail is a danger to his reputation and that Abigail will tell the court about her (Abigail's) affair with John, he continues to demand that Mary tell the truth:
"Good. Then her saintliness is done with. . . . You will tell the court what you know."
As the scene closes, Mary continues to fight against John's commands, shouting, "I cannot, I cannot," a motif that occurs several times in the play.
Throughout act 1, scene 2 John Proctor shows his great perseverance and determination. His determination to act with integrity and honor is especially seen in his conversations with Mary Warren, his servant. Though John Proctor commits a great wrong by having an affair with Abigail, he continues to try to act with honesty and integrity. He encourages (and sometimes compels) those around him to live with integrity, as well. John Proctor's determination leads him to willingly sacrifice his own life to potentially end the witchcraft accusations and hysteria.