In The Crucible, how does the author describe John Proctor?

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Arthur Miller describes John Proctor as a farmer in his mid-thirties, who does not take part in the town's politics and has a "sharp" and "biting" tone towards hypocrites. Proctor is further described as being a powerful "even-tempered" man, who is an independent thinker and is not easily led by...

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Arthur Miller describes John Proctor as a farmer in his mid-thirties, who does not take part in the town's politics and has a "sharp" and "biting" tone towards hypocrites. Proctor is further described as being a powerful "even-tempered" man, who is an independent thinker and is not easily led by others. Miller also writes, "In Proctor’s presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly" (20). Despite John Proctor's stoic personality and rational disposition, Miller also describes him as a sinner, who views himself as a fraud among his outwardly righteous community members. Overall, John Proctor is portrayed as a calm, independent man with a "quiet confidence" and a tortured soul. Despite his attempts to live a morally upright life, he feels extremely guilty for engaging in an affair with Abigail Williams. Proctor is the play's protagonist and he attempts to undermine the corrupt Salem court in order to stop the town's hysteria over witchcraft. At the end of the play, John Proctor redeems himself by becoming a martyr.

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When John Proctor enters Reverend Parris's house in Act One, Miller describes him as a man who had no patience for hypocrisy.  Miller says, "In Proctor's presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly -- and a Proctor is always marked for calumny therefore."  In other words, Proctor makes people very aware of their own failings just by being himself, and so he inspires their intense dislike and draws the criticism of such people.  

However, Miller also describes him as someone who feels a great deal of internal conflict due to the fact that he does not possess an "untroubled soul."  He has committed sins not just according to Puritan mores but against his own conscience (the chief of these, revealed later, is his infidelity to his wife).  As a result of this internal conflict, Miller says that he "has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud" despite his appearance as a confident, powerful, and righteous man.

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