As seen in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, why did John Proctor decide to not accept Judge Danforth's condition for freedom?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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John Proctor, the protagonist of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, decides not to take Judge Danforth's condition for freedom based upon a couple reasons. First, John is no saint. He does not wish to, or deserve to, be made a martyr (like Rebecca Nurse). He understands that he is a sinner and should not be held up for a lie.  Second, John refuses to allow them (the courts) to take his name. He has already given them his soul (by lying to save his life), he refuses to surrender his name to them as well. Lastly, John "has his goodness now," as stated by his wife (Goody proctor/Elizabeth Proctor). Through his trials and tribulations, John has become a better man, a good man. He will not trade what he has for a lie.

John looks at what all the others have given up for a lie (their names, their families) and refuses to do the same. As part of Danforth's deal, he (Danforth) wanted names of those John had seen with the Devil. Refusing to make accusations against others, who did not deserve it and were not guilty, John refused. He would not make his lie bigger than it already was. Once John realized that the courts intended to use his name, because of the "weight" it held with the village, he refused to surrender his name.

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