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Foils in The Crucible

An analysis of the contrasting characteristics of major characters and their effect on Miller's play.
by Elizabeth Lee on 15 February 2011

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Transcript of Foils in The Crucible

The Reverends:
Parris and Hale The Rivals:
Elizabeth and Abigail *Proctor is the protagonist and Parris is power hungry and materialistic.
*Parris has a pessimistic view of God/ Proctor believes God is caring and forgiving of the human race.
*Parris cares about his reputation/Proctor does not care how the community views him.
*Both want to protect their reputation but for different reasons: at the end of Act Four, Proctor refuses to sign his adminsion of guilt. He does this to protec his integrity and his family; Parris protects his reputation for selfish reasons, he does not want to lose the money and status that comes with being the Reverend. *Prominent men of Salem
*Men of God
*Care about their reputation Proctor and Parris *Highly intelligent men of God
*Preach in the Towns of New England Have different motives for persecuting witches:
*Parris persecutes the withces to protect his reputation
Example: Parris suspects Abigail, but is willing to let innocent people hang
*Hale wants to find the the cold-hard truth
Example: When Proctor is deemed a witch after Hale learns of the relationship
between Abigail and Proctor, he quits claiming "I denouce these proceedings
and quit this court (Pg. 120)'

Both ask Proctor to admithi guilt for differences:
*Parris's motive is selfish, he does not want their to die becuase of him
*Hale truly believes Proctor to be innocent Elizabeth is forgiving, loving, and truthful while Abigail is jealous, vengeful, and a liar. Both go through an internal journey but they go in different directions. Proctor goes from guilt, and uncertainty to a place of truth. He is redeemed and in the end finds his goodness. Proctor and Hale Hale starts out certain and confident in the righteousness of his calling. By the end of the play, he is asking people to lie to save their lives. The Reverend is now preaches deceit rather than truth. and is a prisoner of guilt and confusion. Elizabeth is saintly. She doesn't try to force her will on John and she wants him to make his own opinions while Abigail wants John to follow her plan for him. Their differences sharpen the characteristics of each through their different motives, morals, and actions throughout the play and contribute to the plot of the play. Foils in the Crucible
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