The Crucible

The effect of the setting (Puritan times) on Proctor's Decisions?

Consider what life was like in Puritan times. Their government is a theoracy. Social standing directly related a person's standing in the church. Consider why Proctor initialy refuses to sign the confession. In the end, should he have torn up his confession and condemn himself to death? - Thank you for your help! :)

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Proctor was always aware of the hypocrisy of the Puritans as well as his own. Proctor is a man searching for some moral self-respect. His affair with Abigail has been beating at his conscience since the play began. Finally at the end, stripped of his integrity, Proctor is given a chance to save himself and his wife from execution. All he has to do is confess that he hangs out with the Devil. This seems like an easy thing to do. Rev. Hale points out that all Proctor needs to do is sign his name to give the witch-court validation which will keep them in business. Proctor, however, decides that his name is all he has. John is a man of integrity or rather a man that desperately seeks integrity. A verbal confession under extreme duress is one thing but the physical writing of his name represents who he is as a man. Proctor cannot sign the confession. To sign it would be the tangible and final loss of his integrity. He aptly sums this up when he cries out, "All I have is my name!" Proctors last action is to stand up against the Puritan hypocrisy of the witch court.