What is John Proctor's inner conflict in The Crucible?

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The two main inner conflicts John faces in The Crucible are whether he should publicize his past affair with Abigail and, later, whether he should sign a false confession of witchcraft to save his life. As he grapples with these inner conflicts, John is torn between his desire to do what is morally right and his desire to preserve his good reputation.

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John Proctor experiences several internal conflicts throughout the play. John's primary internal conflict concerns whether or not he should jeopardize his good name and public reputation to undermine Abigail Williams. Adultery is a serious transgression in Salem's Puritan society. So while John revealing his affair with Abigail will cast doubt on character (and, by extension, her accusations of witchcraft), it will undoubtedly also tarnish his own reputation. While Abigail continues to falsely accuse innocent civilians to bolster her social status and exercise her authority, John experiences deep internal conflict regarding whether or not to undermine her influence by exposing the truth.

Another internal conflict John faces concerns his decision to sign a false confession to save his life. In act 4, Elizabeth visits John in his cell and tells him she supports any decision he makes. In his heart, John knows signing a false confession will doom Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey, as well as further legitimize and prolong the witch trials. However, John also realizes the only way to save his life is to concede and sign the confession.

Initially, Proctor acknowledges he is a fraud and a sinner but he reluctantly signs the confession to save himself. When he learns that his confession will be publicly posted, however, he hesitates instead of handing the signed confession to Deputy Governor Danforth. As the suspense rises, Proctor thinks about his children and legacy and decides to defy the court by sacrificing his life. In the end, Proctor becomes a martyr and dies. Shortly after his death, the corruption of the trials is exposed and Abigail flees Salem.

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John Proctor's undoubtedly a good man. But he's also a deeply flawed man, and he finds it difficult to reconcile these two conflicting aspects of his personality. Though he loves his wife Elizabeth, he cheated on her with Abigail Williams, showing that, for all his goodness, he nonetheless has his moral weaknesses.

In due course, this dual aspect of John's personality will generate a considerable inner conflict. As Abigail embarks upon her reign of terror in Salem, striking fear into the hearts of everyone with her false accusations of witchcraft, John knows that he must do something to stop her. He must come forward and expose her for the liar and fantasist that she is.

But in doing this, John knows that he'll be putting his own reputation at risk, revealing to the whole town that he had an adulterous liaison with Abigail. John's very protective of his good name; the last thing he wants is for it to be dragged through the mud like this. And so it's not surprising that he's reluctant to come forward.

Even when he does eventually come forward, it's still not enough to break Abigail's vice-like grip on the community. When he himself is accused of being a witch, John must decide between saving his own life and preserving his integrity. In the end, he sacrifices his life to do the right thing.

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John Proctor's internal conflict throughout the play concerns his decision to reveal his infidelity in order to undermine Abigail's psychological hold on the court and community. In the austere community of Salem, one's reputation is everything. John Proctor has a good reputation as a morally upright, successful farmer who is held in high regard by his neighbors. When Abigail Williams begins falsely accusing innocent citizens of witchcraft, Proctor understands that she is simply lying to the court officials and community. Instead of immediately attempting to silence Abigail, Proctor hesitates to get involved until his wife is arrested. Proctor struggles with the decision to ruin his good reputation throughout the community but eventually travels to Salem and admits that he had an affair with Abigail. Unfortunately, Proctor's wife lies to the court officials in an attempt to protect her husband's reputation, which ironically dooms him.

While in Salem's jail, Proctor experiences another internal conflict. Proctor struggles with his decision to either falsely confess to witchcraft in order to save his life or remain obstinate in order to prove the court is corrupted. Valiantly, Proctor makes the difficult decision to tear up his confession and die in front of the community.

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In the play The Crucible, John Proctor faces several inner conflicts. Proctor's internal turmoil is created by the actual events of the story, but much of the play's drama springs directly from Proctor's moral anguish and in his conflicted spiritual state:

...a central theme of the play is certainly Proctor’s search for his soul.

The most important conflict for Proctor, in the end, is the choice between life and death. This choice is identical to his choice between maintaining his integrity or succumbing to the prosecution and offering a confession that would damn the others who were accused of witchcraft. 

If Proctor chooses to falsely (and publically) confess to witchcraft, he will be allowed to live and to see his children grow up. If he chooses not to confess, placing his moral integrity above the value of his own life, he will be put to death. 

He makes the choice that costs him his life but restores his soul.

The moment of this decision is the climax of the play. 

Proctor's other inner conflicts relate to Abby and Elizabeth as he must decide how to deal with each of them. His feelings for both of them have led him to a state of conflict, though during the play this conflict is largely one of self-restraint wherein Proctor is challenged to determine how much patience he must have with Elizabeth and whether or not he can publically admit to his affair with Abigail

These are significant conflicts in the play, but they are not as central as the final decision that will determine Proctor's ultimate moral standing. 

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Discuss the internal and external conflicts of John Proctor in The Crucible.

John Proctor's internal conflict stems from the fact that he is an independent thinker who has consented to live in a society that demands conformity in thought and action. Though Proctor loves his wife, he has been unfaithful to her.  He admits to lusting for Abigail, but he is ashamed of his moral lapse and knows he will face God's judgment. Once he has been accused of witchcraft by Mary Warren, Proctor struggles with his desire to retain his earthly life, the dignity of his name, and his family upon realizing that keeping those things will require him to give a false confession to help the court legitimize their trials. 

Proctor has many external conflicts. He dislikes Reverend Parris and avoids attending his services, which puts him on the wrong side of the theocratic government that demands frequent church attendance. He has sworn to himself and his wife that the affair with Abigail is over, but Abigail is determined to become his wife. He struggles with Elizabeth to win her forgiveness. Proctor also has a conflict with Putnam, whose greed for power, control, and land pit him against Proctor and his supporters. 

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Discuss the internal and external conflicts of John Proctor in The Crucible.

As the central figure of The Crucible, John Proctor is faced with each of the play's conflicts. He is challenged to achieve moral integrity and humility and challenged also to tell a difficult and unpopular truth which may cause him to be harmed or killed. 

Proctor's initial conflict is an external one. He tries to convince Abigail that all bonds between them are broken and that she should not expect anything more from him yet she refuses to accept this. She represents a failure of integrity for Proctor and dealing with her, as well as his wife, is Proctor's first external conflict. 

He asks for forgiveness from Elizabeth, his wife, and attempts to humble himself before her, admitting his failure. When she won't absolve him at all, he is forced to choose between forgiving himself or continuing in his state of guilt. This is his internal conflict. 

In the end, Proctor accepts his failures and recognizes that one failure does not forfeit his soul. He forgives himself and finds his moral integrity once again intact. 

The external conflict Proctor initially faces is resolved in the resolution of his internal conflict. 

Another external conflict which Proctor faces is the central conflict of the play, dealing with an unpopular truth in public. Proctor must decide whether or not to put himself at risk by challenging the prevailing belief in witchcraft. In doing this he is going against the church leaders (the judges) and going against much of his community. 

Proctor overcomes his fear and acts upon his beliefs. He speaks against Abigail and the court.

...he is determined to tell the truth, even if it means criticizing and antagonizing the investigators.

In doing so he is condemned to death, but he regains his moral position as a man of integrity, individuality, and dedication to the truth. 

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What causes John Proctor's personal and inner conflict in The Crucible?

John Proctor is a man of inner turmoil.  He is described as being a man who hates hypocrisy, yet he has committed adultery with the village mean girl, Abigail Williams.  His soft spot for Abilgail ultimately leads to his wife, Elizabeth being accused, arrested, jailed, and sentenced to death.  John Proctor is one of the few characters in the play with common sense, and the failure of John to not act sooner to discredit Abilgail and the other girls when the hysteria began leads to the continuation of the accusations and executions of innocent people.

At the end of the play, Elizabeth and Rev. Hale convince John to give a false confession in order to save himself from the gallows.  (Elizabeth is safe because of her pregnancy).  As the confession process continues, and John realizes that he is required to sign his name to a false confession, while others have refused to give in to the pressure (such as Rebecca Nurse) he realizes that he cannot in good conscience do it.  He instead goes to the gallows as well.  He sees it as a chance to finally stop the hypocrisy during the past few months and do the right thing.  Elizabeth understands, and it is evident that the love between the two has not been lost, but is stronger than ever.

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What causes John Proctor's personal and inner conflict in The Crucible?

John Proctor is one of my favorite characters in literature because he is a good man who wrestles with his sins yet eventually finds freedom and forgiveness through his faith.  In the meantime, though, he is a conflicted man.

The most obvious conflict, of course, is his broken covenant with his wife Elizabeth.  He has had an illicit relationship with Abigail, someone he clearly never loved.  His feelings of guilt and shame torment him, for he knows he has broken faith with someone he does love.

He's also been untrue to God.  He is, despite his protestations and stubborn resistance to Reverand Parris, a godly man who is concerned about the condition of his soul.  Proctor's covenant with Elizabeth was made before God, and he is aware of the sullied condition of his soul.

Another conflict Proctor has is with the town of Salem.  He is a practical man, and the town seems to have gone down a path of religious fervor unconnected to true faith.  He has no patience for fancy candlesticks or scare tactics to intimidate sinners out of hell.  Despite that, he understands he should be connected to a church body on a regular basis and is struggling to find a way to do that.

Proctor is conflicted about confessing to something he isn't guilty of, to someone (the court) he has no respect for, in order to save his life and stay with the family he loves.  It's true he has done nothing to warrant this specific sentence and punishment; however, he has committed the sin/crime of adultery and feels as if he should be punished for that.  Therein lies the conflict: I didn't commit this sin, he reasons, but I did commit the other; so I'm not innocent.  He really tries to compromise, but he understands his good name (his honor and character, his very soul)) will be restored only if he accepts this fate.  It's a crisis of the soul, and he is able to find redemption through maintaining his integrity in the face of injustice.

John Proctor is a flawed character, fighting many serious inner conflicts; however, he finds peace as he asks forgiveness of his wife, his God, and himself.

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What causes John Proctor's personal and inner conflict in The Crucible?

I think that you can find a variety of conflicts that Proctor endures throughout the play and their impacts on him help to shape the direction of the drama.  I also believe that different people will focus on different conflicts present.  I do believe that one such conflict is how to reconcile his respect for the community of Salem and how the trials are degrading it.  Like others of good character and nobility, Proctor has a difficult time seeing Abigail's lies and deception devolve the bonds of community in Salem into ones where individuals betray one another for the sake of comfort and ensuring that "they are not next."  It is this conflict between protecting his family and his name that drives at Proctor, a character that appears ambivalent at the start of the play about himself, his motives, and his marriage.  He wrestles with this conflict and emerges from it more convinced that at any other point that his name is the most important element to which loyalty must be present: 

Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul, leave me my name!

In the end, it is this conflict that provides the greatest moral stature to Proctor, who stands true to his words of representing his name despite the protestations of his wife and others.  This conflict results in his death, but the acquisition of moral superiority over many others in Salem.

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Describe the inner personal conflict John Proctor faces in the play The Crucible.

When we meet John Proctor in Act one, he has already been involved with Abigail Williams, the girl he and his wife hired to help out around the house.  Elizabeth Proctor found out about the fling and together she and John fired Abigail and sent her home.  John's inner conflicts deal with his guilt for having cheated on Elizabeth and lusting after Abigail.  He is dealing with the pain he has caused his wife, and also with her attempts to trust him completely again.  The dinner scene in Act II scene 1 is full of the tension of two people who have hurt each other or failed each other and their attempts to pretend that everything is OK. John is obviously trying to put the whole event behind him as is clear in Act I where he rejects Abigail's advances and any idea of a further relationship with this girl.  Elizabeth, while very polite, still accuses and prods and questions. 

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What are John Proctor's internal and external conflicts?

Because Proctor was a Puritan, his daily life was surrounded by Christian rules, specifically the 10 Commandments and the 7 Deadly Sins.  Here is how the Puritans thought about the soul: Imagine a white piece of paper. Every sin or wrong doing ever done was a mark on that paper.  These marks could never be removed, and each mark would incur the punishment of Hell.  Sadly, the Puritans had no way of cleansing their sins and starting fresh, and every sin, down to the smallest lie, would lay heavy on their minds.

John Proctor, in the play, is a strapping man in his 30s, with a timid wife, Elizabeth.  Proctor cheats on his wife with Abigail-- breaking the Commandment on adultry and the deadly sin of lust.  However, Proctor is a deeply moral man, even if he is flawed.  On the outside, he knows that people respect him for his truthful word and courage to do and say what he believes to be right, but inside he only sees his fault of adultry.  He calls himself a fraud throughout the play, thus creating one internal conflict.

His second internal conflict his when he is given the choice to lie and say he is a witch and save his life or die being truthful. His icon of goodness, Rebecca Nurse, stands firm to the truth-- that she is not a witch, and if she must hang for telling this truth, then so be it.  Here again, Proctor is conflicted.  In the moments before his death, he asks his wife, Elizabeth if she would lie to save herself, and she can't answer.  Because he considers himself a fraud anyway, he knows he feel ridiculous standing on the gibbet next to Rebecca Nurse, looking like a martyr when he knows he is not.  He grapples with the decision before asking for his life; he knows it is wrong, but there is a part of him that gives up the battle to be a "good" Puritan since he feels he is lost to Hell anyway.

In comes the external conflict with Judge Danforth.  Danforth, being a stoic, broken judge, feels elated when Procotr says he is witch.  However, Danforth pushes Proctor too far when he asks him to sign a document saying he a witch and the document will be posted on the church door.  Proctor, continuing to grapple with his emotions over lying the first place, becomes aggressive when asked to name the others he "saw with the devil". When he refuses, Danforth realizes that Proctor is openly lying and he pushes him to sign the document after Reverend Hale begs for Proctor's release.  With a shaking hand, Proctor signs the document, but he refuses to give to Danforth, saying that everyone saw him sign it so why do they need it? Danforth threatens him, and finally, when pressed about why he won't give them the document, Proctor's emotions finally break through.  His name, his good name-- and the respect that surrounds it- is the only thing that Proctor feels is good about him. He screams that his name is the only name he will ever have- how can he sign himself to lies when the other people in the village died for the right cause?

Proctor goes to his death with the comfort of saving his good name and the name of his sons in the village. They would continue to have the respect of the people around them, and Proctor feels that he has redeemed himself for his poor past decisions. Even Elizabeth, when cajoled by Rev. Hale to make him change his mind, refuses to talk to him out of his decision saying in the last line of ACT IV, "He has his goodness now.  God forbid I take it from him."

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Explain the inner conflict that John feels after Elizabeth's confession in The Crucible.

In Act IV scene 2 Elizabeth is brought to John in hopes that she can convince him to confess.  Even Reverend Hale hopes that she can encourage him to lie in order to save his life.

Alone in the cell, the two discuss their failings in their relationship.  Elizabeth tells John that she cannot judge him and begs him to forgive her coldness. This creates a conflict for John.  He feels that his is not a good man, he knows he has committed sins, and so he believes confessing would be just another lie and would save his life. He is conflicted: should he lie, destroy his name, and live, or should he refuse to confess and face execution?

In the end, he decides the name he leaves behind for his sons is more important, and he rips up his false confession.

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In The Crucible, what are John Proctor's inner conflicts and how does he attempt to deal with them?

John Proctor, though an apparently confident and calm man on the outside, is definitely struggling with some issues on the inside.  The first issue that he struggles with, and the main one he battles throughout the course of the play, is a feeling of being unworthy and a sinner.  He feels like he is a false man, a hypocrite, walking around like a good person when on the inside he knows that he has committed an awful sin.  This hypocrisy bothers him, his sin bothers him, and he is conflicted about it.  It bothered him so much to be having an affair and hiding it from his wife that when she suspected him of it, he "wilted, and, like a Christian...confessed" his sin to her.  He then ended the affair with Abby, and has been striving ever since to make up for it.  He tells his wife that he has "not gone from here to there without thinking to please" her, and is desperate to make up his wrongs. His sin with Abby has made him unsure of himself in his own eyes, in the eyes of his wife, and in the eyes of god. He feels a sinner, and not worthy of the veneration that many others that he knows has.

It is his feelings of inadequacy and sinful state that almost make him confess to a lie at the end of the play; it isn't until he feels he has paid for his sins and come clean with god that he feels okay with himself.

Another issue that he struggles with is a strong distaste for the minister of the town, Reverend Parris.  He can't stand Parris's style of preaching "only hellfire and damnation," and finds Parris's fixation with money to be repugnant.  As a result, Proctor doesn't go to church as often, and doesn't have his youngest son baptized by Parris.  He struggles with the materialism not only of Parris, but also of other members of the town, and is disgusted with people's bickering and fighting.

Those are just a few things that Proctor struggles with; I hope that helps!  Good luck!

In the meantime, he struggles to keep things off with Abby, and

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