In the play, The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, character’s JohnProctor, Judge Danforth, and Reverend Parris all hold in high regard their reputation.Each aided in the progression of the play and asperity of the witch trials.They are concerned how other people view them and want to keep their position inthe community.
When they were placed in difficult circumstances these individualsfavor to hold on to their reputations even if it meant dying or disobeyingtheir morals.John Proctor is a character who does not conform to the crowd and stays true to his own beliefs. Proctorhad an affairwith Abigail Williams, he can use this evidencein court to show that she is guilty, but he is afraid and wishes topreserve his reputation.He tries to discover other ways to make her blameworthy without losing hisrespect.
Proctor can be free if he complies to sign a paper claiming he was associatedwith thedevil. John shows how he really values the opinion of his characterwhen his infidelitycaused his relationshipto be uneasy with Elizabeth, hiswife.John demonstrates how he feels about his reputation when John was pushed to admit to witchcraft even though he is innocent. He signed it, butwhen Judge Danforth announced he was going to placeit on the door of the church he could not go alongwith it.He did not want to ” Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in mylife. Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may Ilive without my name? I have given you my soul, leave me my name!”(Miller 60). Proctorsfelt the need to needto safeguard hisreputation and destroyed the paper, choosing to hang instead of spreadinglies that will damage the way he is seen by others. Judge Danforth is unlike JohnProctor and goes along with the people who accuse others of witchcraft.
Danforth signs the people’s death warrants when Proctor and the others start totell him the girls are misleading everyone, that there are no witches heponders if they are lying but continues to accuse people of witchcraft. JohnDanforth wants to defend his reputation because he knows if he does notcontinue and says the people were all innocent their deaths would cause a lotof controversy within the community. Danforth knows “near to four hundred arein the jails from Marblehead to Lynn …and seventy-two condemned to hang by thatsignature?” (Miller 33). Danforth is known for doing what is equitable and hisname and career would be ruined if the girls were dishonest. Causing JudgeDanforth to not do what he believes is right, instead follow others and assistin these witch hunts. Another person who valuestheir reputation is Reverend Parris, he is admired for his religious beliefs andis established as one of the towns churchly figure.
When the play begins Parrisis afraid that Abigail Williams and other girls dancing in the forest, which isa sin, and his daughter’s coma represent thewitchcraft that has plagued the town. He is not troubled that his daughter in acoma, instead worried that people will think they are involved in witchcraftand does not know what that means for his position as a reverend. He feltthat “now my ministry’s atstake …whatever abomination you have done, give me all of it now, for I darenot be taken unaware when I go before them down there.” (Miller 2). He is willing to lie to the judge to save hisministry and did not want to lose the respect he was given because of histitle.
All in all, having a good reputation was highlyimportant in The Crucible to be embraced by society. John Proctor, ReverendParris, and Judge Danforth all were controlled by the way they wanted people toperceive them. That being able to maintain your name is the way to be accepted