Discuss how Proctor sacrificed for the Town of Salem in The Crucible.

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

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I think that one of the strongest sacrifices that Proctor makes for the town would be at the trial.  In Act III, Proctor understands that the community is going to be made for the worst is Abigail wins.  He recognizes her own fraudulence and her own sense of malevolence.  To sanction it with a court verdict in her favor only emboldens the aggressors, and with this Proctor sets out to stop her.  His admission of adultery, or "lechery," is one sacrifice he makes in order to help his wife and the town of Salem, in general.  Another sacrifice Proctor makes to help the town would be at the end.  His movement away from a "confession" that has to be signed is something that Proctor sees as a way to give courage to others.  Proctor has found his "goodness," as Elizabeth notes, and he does so in the attempt that his children respect the man he is and also for the town to recognize that they have power.  In this light, Proctor's ending confession can be seen as more for the town in trying to give them courage to repel the current climate of fear and repression.  In these moments, Proctor becomes the example of to which all Salem should aspire in order to cast off the vision that it has become.

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