In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Miller makes the characters build the courage to tell the truth, which leads to theme of the story. “I want to open myself”. “I want the light of god, I want the sweet love of jesus.” says abigail, as she confesses (Miller, 1234). Proctor delays revealing this truth of fear of losing his good reputation in the town.
Everyone’s reputation is very important to them, so by them building the courage to tell the truth could ruin everything. Miller interprets the truth when Proctor has an affair that could end all of the accusations towards him and bring the town back in order. By the time John decides to reveal the truth, Abigail and the girls have had time to manipulate the court and therefore when the truth is comes out no one believes it. When Proctor uses courage and tries to tell the truth and convince the court he is telling the truth he reveals many characteristics of his character.
Proctor sacrifices his reputation in order to save his wife and friends. Reputation and courage is one of the most important themes within the play. The importance of reputation can be seen in the character of Paris when he first discovers the girls dancing in the woods. Rather than telling what he saw, Parris is more worried about how this may affect his reputation in the town. He asks Abigail “Your name, it is entirely white in the village, isn’t it?” (Miller, 1268). Proctor values his reputation in the same way and therefore when he chooses to get the courage and reveal the truth and destroy his name, he gives up one of the most important things in his life. He said “made a bell of my honour”.
He claims “I am no good man” (Miller, 1245). Proctor is constantly trying to do the right thing and make correct decisions to show he is not all bad to both himself and his wife and children. Most of the characters in The Crucible are lying. Abigail and the other girls lie about seeing spirits.
Proctor is unloyal first for cheating on his wife and then for hiding it and the judge and lieutenant governor and ministers lie to themselves and everybody else in saying that they serve the cause of God’s justice. The twist in the story is that by telling the truth and having courage “I am not a witch”, you die, but you also gain your freedom. Some of the characters showed courage when the lives of their loved ones were at risk. Proctor showed courage when his wife, Elizabeth was accused of being a witch. When John found out that it was Abigail Williams who accused Elizabeth he said, Fear nothing.
Being it was Abigail who had accused Elizabeth made it difficult for John. John and Elizabeth had a huge argument about Abigail. She believed that Abigail was out to kill her. She said to John, Spoke or silent, a promise is surely made.
In conclusion, everyone is selfish and want the best for themselves and their loved ones. The characters in this play had to build a lot of courage to tell the truth and it was very hard for them. Some characters didn’t have the courage and just kept lying and making it difficult for the others. Overall, telling the truth will benefit you more than lying.