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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes
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Maybe, and maybe more. These people want to use his
confession to continue the witch-hunt. It's bad enough they've
destroyed him, but he can't let them use his name to destroy
others.

And there's also the possibility that Proctor means something
more fundamental. There is one Bible verse that John probably
knew well.

And out of the ground the lord God formed every beast of the
field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to
see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called
every living creature, that was the name thereof.

(Genesis 2:19)

Before man, nothing had a name. A man's name is a symbol of
his unique position in God's creation. Take away John Proctor's
name, and he is nothing.



So he rips up his confession. Between Elizabeth's great love and
the judges' intolerable demands, John Proctor has found himself.
His guilt, his doubt, his nihilistic rage are gone. What remains is

...some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave
a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.

He kisses Elizabeth, and goes out with Rebecca to be hanged.
Hale pleads with Elizabeth frantically, but she knows she has
won:

He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes
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