What types of conflicts are present in The Crucible? What types of conflicts are present in the crucible? (Man vs Society, Man vs Man, Man vs self).
Another, minor, conflict exists between John Proctor and his wife, Elizabeth, in act 2. The tension between them is almost palpable, especially when she learns that he spoke to Abigail, the girl with whom he's had an affair, alone, with no one else present. When Elizabeth tells him that he hadn't told her he and Abigail had been alone, "his anger ris[es]" and he declares, "I'll not have your suspicion any more." Elizabeth feels that John hesitates to tell the court the truth about what he heard from Abigail because he doesn't want to get his former lover in trouble. John feels that Elizabeth continues to blame and judge him despite his efforts and his honesty with her. This character vs. character conflict produces a great deal of tension in act 2.
John Proctor has yet another minor conflict with Abigail Williams, another character vs. character conflict. In act 1, we witness their argument about Elizabeth and their future as a couple. Abigail insists that John "loves [her] yet," but John swears that he'll "cut off [his] hand before [he] touch[es] her again." Later, at the end of act 2, after Abigail has accused Elizabeth of witchcraft, John declares that Abigail's "saintliness is done with. We will slide together into our pit . . ." His sympathy and wariness have turned to hatred, raw and pure. In act 3, then, he declares that she is "a whore," and he confesses to their affair in an attempt to discredit her. Further, he forces Mary Warren to testify against Abigail, though Mary eventually returns to Abigail's cohort of liars.
Man vs. Society: This conflict is most significantly portrayed by John Proctor's decision to challenge the court of Salem after his wife is arrested. John must battle the hysteria surrounding the witch trials by attempting to prove that Abigail and her cohorts are liars. The community and court officials favor Abigail and John attempts to overthrow the court by exposing the most popular citizen in Salem as an immoral liar.
Man vs. Man: This conflict is illustrated by Proctor's battle against the austere, revered Deputy Governor Danforth. In Act Three and Act Four, John faces off against Deputy Governor Danforth and Judge Hathorne as he attempts to challenge their authority. Danforth wields his authority by challenging John and views Proctor as a threat to the stability of court. Although Proctor is sentenced to death, he wins a personal victory by tearing up his confession.
Man vs. Self: This conflict is portrayed in Proctor's difficult decision to publicly confess his infidelity with Abigail and ruin his reputation, as well as his decision to sign his confession. Proctor struggles with the decision to save his life or falsely confess. In the end, Proctor chooses death and dies with integrity.
The Crucible presents two central conflicts, one an internal conflict (Man vs. self) and the other an external conflict (Man vs Society).
John Proctor is critical to each conflict in the play. His relationships with Elizabeth and Abigail lead him to a personal conflict which ultimately leads him to a public confession of his affair with Abigail. The confession is the final act and the resolution of Proctor's internal conflict. Posed with the problem of saving his pride or saving his wife from the witch trials. By sacrificing his pride, he chooses to save his wife.
The external conflict in The Crucible pits John Proctor against the majority of Salem as he attempts to expose the witch trials as a fraudulent enterprise. In doing this, Proctor must stand alone, effectively, against the authorities behind the trials and against many of his neighbors.