English 11 Forum

Crucible Writing Prompt

As we read Act II, I want you to reflect on this question (which connects the play to some of our thinking about our essential question, "What is America?"):

Which character thus far seems most "American" to you and why?

Please think on this and respond with at least three paragraphs. Included in your response should be textual evidence that show us specifically why you answer as you do.

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    • I think you were the only one to address Rebecca as being the most "American". The way you explain it, I definitely see your points. America was always one step ahead of the game, and always though of new ways to think. You said Rebecca did this when she said for people to look for themselves to blame instead of looking for Satan. I agree with Rebecca and her good reputation, and how America tries to keep a good reputation as well. Do you know what someone could accuse Rebecca for?
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    • The metric system is a great example of American stubbornness.
  • I believe John Proctor is the most "American" character thus far. Proctor is a farmer, who lives a little ways from town. He doesn't dress or act like anyone else in his community. He is nothing like the other characters so far. Basically, he does what he wants when he wants to. Proctor is very unique, much like the millions of Americans today.
    I say John Proctor is the most American because he makes mistakes and accepts them, just like everyday people. The other characters think they can do no wrong. John Proctor had a relationship on the side with Abigail Williams, but he turned it around because he knew it was wrong. Although not a whole lot of Americans would do that, Proctor tried to fix his mistake which I hope most Americans would do as well. Also, John Proctor is a very hard worker and does a good job making a living on his own.
    John Proctor has an up and down life, but it all seems to work out in the end and that is how a number of American's lives are. Americans think they have it hard, but after everything blows over; Their life is pretty good.
    • I agree, I also had John Proctor. Mostly for different reasons. But I agree with the fact that he is a hard working farmer that makes him American. That is the foundation of America is our farmers. Also I agree with the fact that he is definitely different from everyone else in the play. He has very American posture. His life is also very much like every American today a rollercoaster. I like how you pointed that out. That's a great connection. Do you think John Proctor is a good person just because he realized his mistake and stopped it?
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      • That's an excellent question, Cheyenne.
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    • I like how there is no definitive American. I also agree with how you think that John is hardworking just as America is. And John's relationship with his wife is kind of like a lot of relationships between America and other countries. Some countries don't care for America but choose to get along so that there are no problems. Do you think that being American is a good thing or a bad thing?
  • I think John Proctor is the most American. For many reasons. First off without any actual evidence. You just get a vibe from Proctor that he is American. The way he goes through his life. The way he interacts with people. His opinions on things. The way he is displayed in the movie. He is displayed is a hard working man. That spends his days in the field and then comes home to his wife at night. That is the way American lived back then. They worked and then came home to their families at night. The way he dresses says American. He dressed with nicer clothes. That's my opinion of Proctor without any actual evidence.

    In the book Proctor has his very American family. He has children and then he has a wife and a slave. One thing that really sticks out to me as a American is when he cheated on his wife with Abigail. I'm not saying this is a good American trait. But yet affairs are a very common thing in America. Especially with people like Abigail who was like a nanny. You hear in the news all the time how famous people are caught cheating. Which then most likely leads to divorce. Which is very likely in Proctor's case.

    The last thing that really makes John Proctor American in my eyes is his work ethic. Proctor spends all day in the field working and trying to make a living for his family. That's basically what consumes his life is working. He works from sun up to sun down all in hope in providing a decent living for his family. And then also as I mentioned before he has a very cliche American family. His wife and kids. Overall John Proctor is definitely the most American character in The Crucible.
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    • I really like how you related John Proctor to the Midwest. I think that was a very good point to make, considering he probably wouldn't fit in quite as well in New York or Chicago. In the Midwest, you see all kinds of people who are laid back and friendly. The Midwest would greatly appreciate Proctor's work ethic and dedication to his farm land. I'm more than sure a number of us picked John Proctor because we are from the Midwest and that's all the "American-life" we see. Do you think John Proctor would like the way farming has improved? Why or why not?
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    • Excellent evidence for your choice, Katie.
  • I believe that Abigail is the most "American". This belief arises because of Abigail's natural instinct to protect herself by lying. America has lied several times in order to keep itself afloat or protect itself. Abigail also unifies the girls in order to protect herself and threatens them. America has always used threats or 'bullying' as a way to keep enemies and even allies in line. Abigail also shows strength, motivation, passion. All of those are true American qualities. While Abigail isn't the nicest character in the book, she still gets things done, and still manages to save herself. This is why I think she most resembles America.

    Abigail lies several times to the people close to her. She lied to her uncle numerous times in order to try and dismiss the fact of Witchcraft. Abigail then proceeds to show passion. She was firm in trying to gain the affection of Mr. Proctor, even when he tried to show no interest in her. Finally, she was the one whom took the lead out of all the other girls. She then made sure none of them would confess or they would have to deal with her. She was very intimidating, just like America is.

    Finally, she was willing to do almost anything to get what she wanted. She threw Tituba under the bus really easily so that she wouldn't be blamed for Witchcraft. She knew that a slave could not defend themselves if they were accused. She also tried to get John Proctor to leave Elizabeth so he could be with her. She even drank chicken blood in order to try to kill Elizabeth. She was also quick to accuse others after Tituba confessed as not to be in the line of fire.
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