Who we are is truly tested and proven when we encounter conflict.Who we are is truly tested and proven when we encounter conflict.

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with this statement.  Without being tested, or tempted, you don't know what you are capable of doing.  In the Bible, the angels put humans above themselves because humans live on earth and are tested and tempted daily in terms of their faith and behavior. In heaven, angels never face temptation or tests of any kind. 

Likewise, in The Crucible, the Proctors are tested by Abigail's antics.  First, Abigail attracts John Proctor and talks of his leaving his wife for her.  When that doesn't happen, she accused Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch.  Unfortunately for her, when John can't say all ten commandments, he becomes suspect as well.

Notice, too, that the honorable and respected members of the community stuck to their guns.  Rebecca Nurse, Giles Corey, and John Proctor all died for their beliefs.  Some may say it was a ridiculous choice, but these three felt it was better to die with honor and with their heads held high than to live under the scrutiny of others and the shame of a lie.  This is true moral character.

What happens to Abigail?  Well, her character is also revealed by conflict:  she steals money from her uncle and runs away like a the thief, liar, manipulator, and untrustworthy scumbag she is.  A man like John Proctor could never marry a woman of her low caliber.

Remember, too, that Miller wrote this to parallel the hunt for Communists in the 60's. Character was illuminated as well.

kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with this completely.  The true test of someone's character is how he/she deals with conflict in his/her life.  One of my favorite quotes is by Martin Luther King, Jr., is one in which he says, "The true test of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort and convenience" but where he stands in times of conflict and great strife.  This is so very true! When faced with conflict, people can either react with honor and dignity, as mentioned above, or react with uncouth and deceit. 

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The Crucible

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