The life of a man in Salem Massachusetts in the late 1600s was to live a life that was led by his faith and by what the Bible tells people to do. Men were supposed to go to church on the sabbath day and not do any physical labor for the rest of the day. If one was to judge John Proctor by these standards, they would look at him as a man who is not holy and will not go to heaven after he died. He made bad decisions, and caused the people that were closest to him much strife. However, John Proctor was a honest man that is willing to do what is right ather than what was easy.
Proctor was a farmer in his middle thirties”(Applebee et. al. 175). He was not considered to be upper class, but since he owned land and land meant power he was a middle class citizen. John Proctor was married to Elizabeth Proctor but their relationship was not immaculate. She was a caring women that would do anything if it meant that she would protect the ones that she loved. Even though she loved John she became suspicious of him having an affair with Abigail Williams. Elizabeth did not trust John after this and the love between hem diminished.
John said to Elizabeth, “I mean to please you, Elizabeth”(Applebee et. al. 192). He tried to show Elizabeth that he was doing whatever he could do to reignite the flame that had dwindled due to his affair with Abigail that caused Elizabeth to lose trust in him. His marriage was in jeopardy, but the events that would follow would cause his marriage to become stronger. John and Elizabeth grew closer and closer but the people of the church looked down on the crime of adultery, so holy people of the church never looked at him as a good christian.
John Proctor committed many acts that during this time period would empower the church leaders to move for excommunication. John would not show up to church on the sabbath day, and he would spend the day plowing fields. Mr. Cheever said to the court as evidence that, “He plow on Sunday, sir”(Applebee et. al. 211). People frowned upon physical activity during the sabbath day because the bible says that people are to rest on the sabbath day. This was such a large infraction in the way a Christian is supposed to conduct their lives that it was a reason for the indictment of witchcraft.
When Proctor was not truthful to his wife it was an iniquity to his marriage, and it created gossip in the town because it was a large sin in the Christian belief. John Proctor’s name swirled through the town’s gossip, but people could not arbitrate or ascertain a true answer on whether or not John and Abigail had an affair. This created a contentious relationship with his wife Elizabeth. When she found out that John spent time alone with Abigail she began to say to John, “You were alone with her? ” and “Why, then, it is not as you told me”(Applebee et. al. 193).
The gossip around town has influenced the way the Elizabeth thinks about her husband John and whether or not she can trust him. Be that as it may, the people of the town knew John to be a hard working man. Many townspeople still respected John for the way that he conducted himself in the town. When it came time for John to hang Reverend Parris said to a judge that, “.. these people have great weight in the town. ” The fact that Reverend Parris was trying to convince the judge to not hang John Proctor shows how the people of the town respected him for who he is.
Even though people in the town respect John Proctor he still had a conflict with a fanatic girl named Abigail. Abigail was a person with effrontery that made every issue in her life disproportionate to what it actually is. She had a predilection for the way John Proctor thought about her, but John did not like her and tried to make sure that Abigail knew this. He said to her at one point, “.. I will cut off my hand before l’ll ever reach for you again”(Applebee et. al. 177). John tried to make it obvious to Abigail that he was not interested in being with her, but Abigail ever got the hint and this led to the death of John Proctor.
Grudges were very common at this time in Salem, and created the calamity that was the death of 19 people. John Proctor was killed as the result of Mary Warren, his subservient, accusing him of witchcraft because Abigail turned on her when she was a plaintiff accusing the girls of faking. Mary Warren came forward to tell the truth about the lies that the girls were telling because she felt indignant about the unintelligible situation. Even though Mary Warren said that the girls were lying, the judges did not believe her because she said er answers inaudibly.
John Proctor and others also gave their depositions to try to prove that the girls have been lying throughout the duration of the trials. However, Mary Warren accused John Proctor by pointing at Proctor and saying, “You’re the Devil’s man! “(Applebee et. al. 226). This statement by Mary Warren cost John Proctor his life. When the girls came forward to accuse people of witchcraft, the townspeople believed them and supported the hangings of the accused. As time went on the people’s ideas became afflicted on what was the truth.
By the end of the trials it ecame clear that people were accusing other because of personal vendettas. Rebecca Nurse was accused by Goody Putnam because Putnam was jealous of the fact that Rebecca Nurse did not lose any children, and Rebecca Nurse had 26 grandchildren while she did not have any. Martha Corey was hanged because she said that another person’s pigs were going to die if they were not fed. When the pigs died she was accused of cursing the pigs, but since she raised pigs for years she knew what a healthy pig looked like.
People were killed due to jealousy and personal grudges, but the accusers lost the respect f the community once they found out that the accusers were lying to gain status or land. John Proctor was a man who tried to live his life in the most honest way he could. He made mistakes that jeopardized the relationships that he had with his friends and his wife. John tried to make up for any hardships he caused people. He helped to maintain the church. He helped his friends with anything they needed help with. He tried to raise his children to be hard working and he did not want to anything that would hinder what they could do in the future.
John died just to save his family name so his children would not have anything that they would overcome when they became adults and tried to lead successful lives. Most of all he tried to please his wife Elizabeth. After he lost her trust he would not do anything the would make Elizabeth suspicious of what he was do when he was not in her sight. John led a good life if you judge him without looking at the standards that the christian faith sets out for people. He was an honest man who did whatever he could do to better his situation and to better the situation of his family.