In Salem, Massachusetts in the 1690's, Puritans lived in a tight society and became jealous of each other. Arthur Miller was inspired by the "red scare" and wrote The Crucible, which showed that pride can be beneficial as well as deadly. One of the characters in this play is John Proctor, a well respected man in Salem, who used his pride as beneficial towards his friends and his family. Deputy Governor Danforth, the highest judge of the province who is called to preside over the Salem Witch Trials, had an implacable pride because of his reputation. Because Salem citizens lived such a strict Puritan life, the cruel pride of some Puritans leads to the death of those who were respected. Virtuous pride is a result of respect and true friendship.
Before John Proctor was hanged he confesses to witchcraft and is forced to sign a document as evidence that he confessed. John Proctor signs the document then takes it. John Proctor states, "I have three children," and asks, "how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?" because he respects his friends' decision by staying honest and if he lied, by signing the document, then he would accuse his friends the same way Abigail accused him. Therefore, Proctor died in honor of his pride rather than lived in shame.
Although Proctor died in honor of his pride, those, such as Deputy Governor Danforth, are people who have implacable pride. Pride can also be thought of as bad. Deputy Governor Danforth is merciless when refuses to "receive a single plea for postponement" because he knows that "twelve are already executed" and "the names of these seven are given out, and the village expects to see them die this morning." If he pardons those who are to hang that morning then that means he know that the people to be hanged are innocent. "Postponement now speaks a floundering on" his "part" and he makes that conclusion that "reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of them that dies till now and while" he "speak God's law," he "will not crack its voice with whimpering." Danforth will not give mercy to those who have not hung yet. He had a chance to stop the hangings, but because of his pride as a high ranking officer he chose to continue them. Arthur Miller's The Crucible, used characters to demonstrate the two traits of pride, the good and the bad.
John Proctor died an honorable death because he had pride in his name and in his friends. Deputy Governor Danforth had confidence that he could put Salem back into the hand of God, but he chose his pride of his reputation over saving the innocent. Pride can lead to major problems in the world, such as McCarthyism, and to benefits, such as honor and respect.