Two Proud Men - Literature Essay Example
Two Proud Men
John Proctor of “The Crucible” and Hauchecorne of “The Piece of String” both died at the end of their stories - Two Proud Men introduction. Both of them were desperate to clear their names and save their reputation until their last breath. Hence, it is quite easy to detect the similarities between these two major characters. John and Hauchecorne were both sensitive in the opinion of others, and they were much concerned about what others would say about them.
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“What grieved me was not the thing itself… but it was being accused of lying. Nothing does you so much harm as being in disgrace for lying” (De Maupassant). Based on Hauchcorne’s statement to the townsfolk, it is also safe to conclude that his character puts importance on his values and integrity as a person. It is similar to John Proctor’s decision at the last part of the play where he retracted his confession to stick to the truth and save the reputation of the other Salemites.
Those two men may be called proud and at the same time egotistical, but there are certain points where their characters vary. There is John’s initial cowardice to declare the truth between him and Abigail Williams which could have saved his and the other prisoners’ life. In Wade Bradford’s character study, this is how he described John Proctor; “[John Proctor] despises injustice, yet feels guilty because of his extra-marital affair with 17 year old Abigail Williams” (Bradford, n.p., n.d.). This justifies the guilt in John Proctor’s character whereas none is found in Hauchecorne’s. The latter was able to stick to his story until the end while the former had doubts because it compromised his reputation and at the same time his life. John has been inconsistent in his decisions probably due to the complications of the trial.
These two men, together with their similarities and differences, can be considered tragic heroes, for they fought for the truth but unfortunately lost their lives in the end.
De Maupassant, Guy. “The Piece of String.” The Literary Network. 1 October 2008
Bradford, Wade. “Crucible Character Study: John Proctor”. About.Com 2 October 2008 <http://plays.about.com/od/plays/a/jproctor.htm>