The Crucible

Infer (Act One)

What is meant by the description of Proctor as a man who "has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud"? Explain based on details in Act One.

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We can infer that Proctor sees himself differently than his neighbors in the community. As he is regarded highly by his neighbors, we can also infer that he's done something that remains secret... something wrong, that he doesn't deserve the regard he is afforded by others.

Proctor was a farmer in his middle thirties, He need not have been a partisan of any faction in the town, but there is evidence to suggest that he had a sharp and biting way with hypocrites. He was the kind of man - powerful of body, even-tempered, and not easily led - who cannot refuse support to partisans with-out drawing their deepest resentment. In Proctor’s presence a fool felt his foolishness instantly - and a Proctor is always marked for calumny therefore. But as we shall see, the steady manner he displays does not spring from an untroubled soul. He is a sinner, a sinner not only against the moral fashion of the time, but against his own vision of decent conduct. These people had no ritual for the washing away of sins.


The Crucible