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THE QUEST FOR IDENTITY IN

ARTHUR MILLERS THE CRUCIBLE


What Is Identity?

Acc0rding to two school


of thoughts:
1. Freudian school:
personality comprises of a series of tentative
psychological states.
2. Anthropological/sociological school:
Identity is co-related with status, sex, age, family,
profession and nationality.
Characters are involved in difficult moral choices. Man is
conditioned by prevalent circumstances, and above all he is leashed
by the different
context-based
psychological
Moral
Religious and political values
all the push man into a world of alienation and make him grope for
real identity.
Act I: seeks to locate blame for both private and
public problems
Act II: dramatizes the gradual invasion of
proctors home by court
Act III: dominant action of establishing the
reliability of the accuser and the accused.
Act IV: affirms the virtue of proctor when he
chooses to go to God through death
Miller has tried to balance the personal and the
social.
John Proctors search for identity is characterized by
two phases.
At first, he gets involved in the socio-judicial
process of the trials voluntarily. In the second
phase, his involvement in the public controversy
was what activated and necessitated his quest for
identity.
From the periphery, he moves to the center of
the controversy.
2 important aspects in Proctors quest for
identity:
1. His transformation from a private to a public
man.
2. Necessity he feels for moving from guilt to
responsibility.
Proctor makes his last attempt to retain his self.
As Miller himself said in an interview:
(Nobody wants to be a hero, you go through life
giving up parts of yourself..)
At the end
He decides to face death, not because of his GUILT,
but because of SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Why???
Because he does not want to defame his friends names,
who are dying SAINT instead of false confession.

SO, we can say that Proctor is a MAN OF CONSCIOUS,


who prefers to die rather to defame his friends.
Elizabeth Proctor
Cold wife
Responsible for provoking her husband to indulge
in adultery.
Elizabeth too undergoes a self-realization of guilt
when she was in prison within three months.
(I have read my own heart this three months, John.
I have sins of my own count. It needs a cold wife to
prompt lechery. It was a cold house I kept)
Elizabethlast speech of her self-realization
becomes a triumphant note on Proctors death, in
which she proclaims his goodness
Danforth

There is a crisis of Self in Danforths personality.


These people regarded themselves as holders of light. If
this light were extinguished, they believed, the world
would end.
Danforth is reluctant to acknowledge the presence of any
new knowledge other than the one he possesses.
He presents contrast to both Proctor and Elizabeth.