In The Crucible, what is John Proctor's dissonance?

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renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dissonance is the state of discomfort that occurs when beliefs that a person holds to be true are at odds with new information that goes against it. There are several aspects with regards to dissonance and Proctor that could be applied. One in particular is the issue of Proctor's confession. On the one hand, Proctor knows that if he chooses to lie and tell the court what they want to hear, his life will be spared and Elizabeth will be happy. Yet, he knows that by doing this, he will lose his good name and his soul.

On the other hand, if he stands by the truth and refuses to confess, he will lose his life. However, he will regain his integrity and die with his soul at peace.