Nihilism In John Proctor

855 Words4 Pages
On a purely individual level, the primary stage of the trajectory of John Proctor’s nihilism does not really consist of any patent signs of it, but is rather characterized by a predominant denial only occasionally interrupted by some instances of confrontation with the truth about his adultery, only to be better stabilized. Over the first act, in his interactions with other characters, firstly Abigail and then a wider number of communitarians, John seems in grudging denial of his iniquity, struggling to impose or affirm to himself his self-esteem and honesty. His denial is blatant in his encounter with Abigail. His resolute and overtly untrue response to Abigail that she knows him “better” when she suggests that he is “sportin’” with her, as well as his…show more content…
However, the argument in question can be counteracted by the surmise that his rather playful amiability toward Abigail in their encounter is not sexual, but only the display of his empathy for an orphaned child who needs someone. His assertion that he thinks oh her “softly from time to time”, his talking “gently” and with “sympathy” to her might simply be part of his guilt that concerns her, for the reason of having awakened her sexually and even emotionally, and then abandoned her. Hence his referring to her as “child”. In the same vein, his avowal that he “may have looked up at” Abigail’s “window” could just be a necessary concession to her importunate insistence. All in all, at its primary stage, John Proctor’s nihilism consists predominantly of his calm and collected denying stance to his culpability, which is only seldom interrupted, if not attempted to be more steadily maintained, through instances of him sketching a negative picture of others in the interest of affirming his own worth and

    More about Nihilism In John Proctor

      Open Document