Dependence of Reputations In "The Crucible" and modern culture

The theme of wanting to keep a reputation is very prevalent in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, where characters such as John Proctor and Abigail Williams's choices are affected due to the desire to preserve their reputation. The desire shown throughout this play is not fictional and is very real in modern culture. We see it everyday, people putting their own personal needs, such as reputation, being put first than truth and or compassion. A modern example of these actions will be Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations, where he continuously claimed to be innocent after 51 women alleged that Cosby sexually assaulted them. This dependence of maintain a reputation in order to retain a good public opinion should stop and regarded as wrong.

Examples in "The Crucible"

"The overall message is that when a person's actions are driven by desires to preserve favorable public opinion rather than do the morally right thing, there can be extremely dire consequences." (Lindsay) -relating to the theme of The Crucible

Throughout the whole playwright, the theme of dependence of keeping a good reputation is present. For example, in Scene One of Act One, Reverend Parris starts to question Abigail about her involement in the witchcraft rumors around town and her reputation in the town. She responds with

"My name is good in the village! I will not have it said my name is soiled! Goody Proctor is a gossiping liar!" (Miller)

Abigail responds very defensively, showing that she cares about her reputation in the town and will not have it be tainted by Goody Proctor "lies".

A major example of wanting to maintain a reputation was in Act Four. In this scene, John Proctor finally decides to sign the confession. Once he signs the document, he snatches it away before Danforth can take it back. Danforth, confused of what Proctor has done, tries to tell Proctor that he needs the document for proof. Proctor tries to fight back, saying that he does not need the document for the confession and finally tells Danforth that he just wants his name.

"Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" (Miller)

Proctor doesn't want the town to know of his confession and he just wants to be known as a good man. He'll do anything to maintain his reputation, even jeopardize his chances of survival.

Modern examples of maintaining a reputation

In November 2014, Barbara Bowman publicly confessed that comedian Bill Cosby sexually assaulted her, making her the first women to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. After Bowman confessed, other women came forward to tell their similar experiences with the comedian. By the end of 2015, over 50 have accused Cosby with drugging and sexually assaulting each of the women. This is an example of maintain a reputation because he has still claimed that he is innocent. Bill Cosby had the reputation of being the family--friendly funny man but if the news of him being serial rapist was released, his reputation would be ruined. So he paid women hush money and claimed he was innocent to keep this reputation.

End of reputations?

Here we seen the effects of maintaining a reputations without the the thought of truth but rather than public opinion. We, as a people, should stop worrying about our reputations and should do the morally right thing. If we did this, there would be less problems relating to people lying about themselves, people being accepted socially, and other thing in that matter.

Works Cited

SparkNotes. SparkNotes. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.

@THR. "Bill Cosby Reveals Tactics for Sleeping With Women, Admits Paying Hush Money in New Documents." The Hollywood Reporter. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.

CNN. "The Bill Cosby Abuse Allegations Timeline." YouTube. YouTube, 18 Nov. 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.

Complex magazine. "Bill Cosby Finally Addresses the 30 Allegations of Rape Against Him." YouTube. YouTube, 15 May 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.

Filipa Ioannou, Ben Mathis-Lilley, and Elliot Hannon. "A Complete List of the Women Who Have Accused Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault." Slate Magazine. 21 Nov. 2014. Web. 23

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