Avila 1 Pride in The Crucible Many people would never consider pride as to being a sin, however the Catholic Church considers pride to be a sin because pride is about "me", "myself" and "I", they only worry about themselves and no one else. Although people might not believe it, today's society is filled with pride; from being proud of your heritage to being proud of your sexuality, pride is all around. However, the Catholic Church believes that pride is the foremost among the seven deadly sins because all a prideful person thinks only of himself, and that is the exact opposite of what the Catholic Church teaches. The Catholic Church wants them to forget about themselves and go out and help others. In Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Reverend Hale, Elizabeth and John Proctor all have a great deal of pride which in each case eventually decided their fate. Some examples of pride in The Crucible are portrayed through Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctors wife.
Pride eventually interfered with her decision making; an example of this is when they bring her into the court to be questioned about her husband. When she is asked about her husband and Abigail Williams, she thinks that she needs to cover for her husband's affair, and tells the first lie of her life. Elizabeth also has pride when she is told that her husband is sentenced to be hanged that day. Unlike most women she does not cry; another symbol of pride. Elizabeth also demonstrates pride when she refuses to make Avila 2 her husband John Proctor confess because he would rather die than tell a lie. Lastly when she would rather be arrested than lie about being a witch "I'll go John" (Miller 77) by saying this she is almost implicating that she is too proud of her name to lie about something like witchcraft.
A character that the reader would not expect to demonstrate the sin of pride is Reverend Hale. Although Reverend Hale is a minister, he demonstrates the sin of pride from the moment he first arrives in Salem, Massachusetts and needs help unloading all of his books. This symbolizes that he is a very educated man, normally this would not be considered a sin, but it is what he replied as Reverend Parris was helping him with the books, he said "They must be; they are weighted with authority." (Miller 36) this shows that he thinks that he is better than other people simply because he has more knowledge. Another example of his pride is when he gives his speech on incubi and succubi at Betty's bed side... Here are all your familiar spirits-your incubi and succubi; your witches that go by land, by air, and by sea; your wizards of the night and of the day. Have no fear now we shall find him out if he has come among us, and I mean to crush him utterly if he has shown is face! (Miller 39).
Also when he says "Ah! The stoppage of prayer" (Miler 41) here he is establishing himself as the expert. The final example of Reverend Hale's pride is toward the end of the book when he comes back to Salem to try to get the people that were condemned to die to convert, I believe that he did this because he felt guilty and by making them Avila 3 confess he would feel better, To his dismay may of them would not lie to save their own lives. The Final and most important character that demonstrates pride in the Crucible is John Proctor. John Proctor's fate is eventually decided by his pride, and not just at the end of the Crucible but all throughout. John Proctor also has a hidden secret that in the end leads to his downfall; his affair with Abigail Williams. John Proctor is the only character that knows throughout the book that the accusations of witchcraft were all made up; he knows that Abigail is lying, but he can not tell the court, because if he tells them he would have to explain why he and Abigail were alone and risk being called a lecher.
I am only wondering how I may prove what she told me, Elizabeth, if the girl's a saint now, I think it is not easy to prove she's a fraud, and the town gone so silly. She told it to me in a room alone- I have no proof for it (Miller 53). John Proctor has a good name throughout the town, and if word got out about him and Abigail, his name would be ruined. Therefore by wanting to keep his name good in the town, John Proctor demonstrates pride.
At the end of The Crucible John Proctor also demonstrates pride after he has confessed and they want him to sign his name, but he says "You will not use me! I am no Sarah Good or Tituba, I am John Proctor You will not use me! It is no part of salvation that you should use me." (Miller 142-143) What John Proctor is saying is that he doesn't want to be compared to Sarah Good and Tituba, women who are very low in society and are also condemned to be hanged. By saying this he is stating that he is better than they are. John Proctor refuses to give up his integrity when he says "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because Avila 4 I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worthy the dust on the feet of them to hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" (Page 143) John Proctor decides that he would rather die with pride than lie. Pride can be evil or good, but in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, pride leads to the downfall of Salem, and the death of some of the most respected colonists. John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor and Reverend Hale all experience the power of pride which eventually leads to Reverend Hale loosing his credibility, Elizabeth proctor loosing her husband and John Proctor loosing his life.