The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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What is the major conflict in The Crucible?

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In terms of the major conflict concerning the protagonist, John Proctor, I would argue that it is of the character vs. society variety. Proctor, and his few friends and allies, seem to conflict with everyone else in Salem, a society that has succumbed to hysteria and is in the throes of a witch hunt. Tituba and Abigail Williams are believed, and the accusations of witchcraft begin to fly. Innocents are dragged to the court by the dozen, and the little girls who began the craze grow in power daily. Proctor faces off against them after his wife is arrested, charged by the bitter young woman with whom he'd previously had an affair, and he is arrested too.

One could also argue, however, that the major conflict is John Proctor vs. himself. His opinion of himself changes dramatically after his affair with Abigail, and he fights to regain some self-respect throughout the play. In the end, he must decide whether his life is worth destroying his integrity, and he eventually chooses his...

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