In The Crucible, how does Proctor’s perception of a morally righteous person affect his decision to tear up the confession?

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For a long time, almost up until the very end of his life, John Proctor seems to believe that a morally-righteous person is one who has never really sinned. He thinks of his wife, Elizabeth, as a person such as this because he believes she cannot tell a lie, but because he committed adultery, he thinks it would be a "fraud" for him to "mount the gibbet like a saint." He feels that his "honesty is broke" and that he is not a good man. In deciding, at first, that he will confess and save his life, he feels that lying now will not "spoil" any honesty in him that was not already "rotten long before." However, Elizabeth points out that he has not confessed yet and "That speak[s] goodness" in him. Further, she tells him that it does not matter if she forgives him his sins against her "if [he'll] not forgive [him]self." She tells him that, whatever he chooses, "it is a good man does it," though he does not believe her at first.

After he tears up his confession, though, John says, "You have...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 917 words.)

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