A Sinner, Yes, but Not All Bad
No man is good, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Therefore, John Proctor was not a good person; he was a sinner. Since no man is good, does mean that all men are bad? No, John Proctor was a sinner, and he did commit the horrendous act of adultery.
However, John Proctor lived his life trying to be like his savior, Jesus Christ. Confessing his sin and ultimately dying for God, Proctor aimed to be the best man he could possibly be, despite his sinful nature. John Proctor is as good a person as one can be, even though he is a sinner. There is no denying the fact that he committed a horrid sin. He and his wife’s helper, Abigail Williams, committed the crime inside his barn while his wife was ill.
Growing up in a puritanical society, discernment was hammered into Proctor’s heart, and he could recite the Ten Commandments in a minute. Given this, John knew with all his heart, soul, and mind that adultery is wrong. For it is stated in the Bible that one must not commit adultery. John Proctor was a grown man when the said sin was committed, and so he was much larger and stronger than Abigail. He was in his right mind; there was no hint of alcohol or drugs used that day.
This being said, John Proctor had the power to stop or prevent what happened. He could have used his physical strength and size to stop Abby, or he could have just walked away. Instead, he chose to hurt his wife and commit adultery even though he knew it was wrong. Our first look at John Proctor trying to be a good man, despite his sinful nature, is the fact that he immediately felt anguish and guilt at what he had done. He knew that he had wronged his beautiful, innocent wife and turned his back to God. John went to his wife and confessed to her that he had committed the sin of adultery while she was sick.
Abigail hadn’t told anyone; she had kept the deed a close secret between herself and John. Elizabeth, John’s wife, had no way of finding out what had happened, but John Proctor still told her. This shows that John took responsibility for his actions and acknowledged that he had sinned against her and God. When John was talking to the judges, he admitted to what he did with Abigail Williams. By letting the public know, he dirtied his pure and good reputation. After he had confessed his sins, Abigail tried many times to get back with John.
Proctor resisted the temptations and told her that it had been a great sin of his and that he regretted what had happened. He turned her away, refusing to take the bait. John Proctor took all the consequences of his actions and didn’t try to hide what he had done. Although John Proctor committed a great sin, he admitted the fact that he was not perfect and had done wrong. John Proctor ultimately shows that he is as good as a man can be by dying for his Lord Jesus Christ. In the end, John Proctor decides which side of the line he falls on: sinners who ponder in sin’s darkness or sinners who try to take hold of Jesus’ hand into the light.
The judges offer Proctor a choice: admit to his being with the devil and live, or deny the false accusations and die. By admitting to committing witch craft with Satan, John would not only have to lie, but he would have to deny his Father. To say one is in line with Satan means that one cannot possibly be with the Savior. Jesus says, “Deny me, and I will deny you in front of my father.” John Proctor chose to be truthful and deny the untrue accusations made against him, sentencing himself to a hangman’s death.
If a man chooses to die for his Lord, then surely he must not be completely bad. John Proctor is, like everyone in this universe, a sinner. He committed adultery knowingly, even though he could have prevented it. What keeps him from falling under the category of “bad men,” however, is what he did after the fact. Informing his wife of his sin and begging her to forgive him, John Proctor took full responsibility for his wrongdoing.
He also resists the temptations and opportunities presented to again commit adultery with Abigail Williams. In the end, John died for God, refusing to accept false accusations. Although John Proctor has a sinful nature, he is as good as a person can possibly be, and surely he can be seen praising his Lord Jesus in Heaven.