Belief England. In The Crucible by author Arthur Miller,

Belief in the devil’s practice of giving certain people supernatural powers to harm others in return of their loyalty, had emerged around the 14th century in Europe and was widespread in colonial New England. In The Crucible by author Arthur Miller, madness breaks out in the puritan town of Salem when people start accusing each other of witchcraft to seal their fate to a rope around their neck. However, all of this is rehearsed and enacted by a resident named Abigail Williams. Throughout these  horrendous events, all are driven by their integrity preserving their reputation in a sense of having too much pride as well as being absolute with their religion. Each character has their own motive to a keep a respectable image in the town. Reputation around this point in time meant  public and private moralities lay one in the same. All this makes integrity the most crucial theme of the play, and  John Proctor is the character that best embodies it through his desires of  keeping his good name.  In an environment where reputation plays such an important role, the fear of guilt by association becomes quite harmful.This is only brought upon by people’s private emotions and desires having consequences far beyond their own lives. The protagonist John Proctor, is a highly respected man in Salem in which most eyes he was a good man. In the beginning of the play he started off  as an outspoken man who didn’t attend church for personal reasons not approved by others. In the past year John had committed the crime of adultery with Abigail Williams, which  according to the ten commandments, was one in the same. Although this was unknown to everyone except his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, he worried once all of Salem knew of his treachery, his name would be tinted.  When he had chance to put a stop to Abigail Williams’  accusations, his desire to preserve his reputation kept him from testifying against her which resulted in consequences beyond his own life. In an argument Reverend Hale attempts to make in the Proctor household, he states ” Abigail were stabbed tonight; a needle were found stuck into her belly-“(Miller 169) claiming Abigail Williams accuses Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft. Not only have many already been hanged but John’s wife is next accused. All this could have been prevented if only John Proctor had confessed of his sins and testified against Abigail. Reputation is the way that other people perceive you. Integrity is the way you perceive yourself. Both of these are struggles all of Salem deals with, and whether you choose which is rather more important than the other, It will affect others. John Proctor’s skepticism of witchcraft turns him to be torn between the truth and falsehood.Towards the end of all the madness, John decides to testify against Abigail Williams despite his conflicted moralities, and the fact that he might have unresolved feelings for Abigail.This left him to have to make the tough decision between signing a false confession which could ruin the fate of his community, or sacrificing his life to save his friends. The court gave Proctor the predicament of confessing to witchcraft himself, in which he did only to tear up the paper satting ” I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller 195) By choosing not to sign the confession to an untrue statement, John Proctor was executed but he redeems himself for his earlier failure and dies with integrity. In conclusion, everyone in Salem is driven by motives to preserve a certain image for themselves to a point where they contradict their morals.