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The Crucible by Arthur Miller: Knowledge Through Failure


“Great people … are excellent due to the fact that they have actually come to knowledge through failure.” When William Saroyan spoke these never-ceasing words, he meant that the path to human success depends on errors. In order for people to accomplish their goals, they should initially travel through a series of challenges, in which they will make numerous errors. The mistakes help the people become exemplary by teaching them what not to do, and what they must do to fix particular circumstances. The book The Crucible by Arthur Miller highlights the significance of this quote marvelously.

Because it is obvious that Proctor turned out to be a smart and happy male at the end, we should ask ourselves what resulted in this. The answer is that John has made many mistakes, and gained from each of them In the book, John Proctor goes through the after-effectses of a liaison in the middle of the Salem Witch Hunt. Although in the beginning he appears to be an extremely virtuous man, the affair discolorations his conscience in addition to his relation with his other half, Abigail.

To make his name once again exemplary, John requires to gain from his mistake(and that’s precisely what he does).

The setting contributes a great deal to John’s predicament. It was his spouse being sick for so long that caused John to be so sexually disappointed. Having Abigail, an attractive girl, as a servant gave John someplace to rely on with his sexual disappointments. The resulting affair was what the part of the phrase that mentioned failure was referring to. The worst part of John’s setting was that the townspeople were all stringent Puritans, meaning that infidelity was a far more major criminal activity than it is today. These extreme pressures on John make his error exceptionally more destructive, so the pressure to heal the damages likewise rose significantly. All of this suffering proves that excellent people need to all go through failure and its consequences sometime in their lives.

What defines individuals is not what errors they might have dedicated, however how they dealt with those errors later on. By the end of the book, John makes up for all that he has done incorrect. Initially, he litigates in an effort to reject Abigail and the other children. When it fails, he freely admits to unfaithful on his spouse with Abigail, which spoiled his good name in the town. This act shows John coming to wisdom. He comprehends that his better half is far more important to him than anything else on the planet. Later on in the story when Elizabeth, John, and a few staying detainees are about to be carried out, John offers a false confession to witchcraft.

For a minute, it appears although whatever is conserved, until it is proclaimed that the paper with the confession will be posted on the church door. This is where Proctor falters yet once again. He declines to have his name blackened to that degree. This reveals us that wisdom often comes through numerous failures. If John would not have been stopped from allowing the paper to be hung by his self-pride, all the detainees would have be freed, and he would have had a household once again. Nevertheless, as Saroyan pointed out, failure is an essential part to wisdom. When all else failed, John turned to wisdom. He got hanged along with some other detainees in order for his other half and sons to be able to live with some dignity about their name.

What makes us truly wise are all the errors that we have done on our journey to wisdom. The mistakes reveal to us our deepest faults, which if utilized properly, are studied and mended by us. In The Crucible, John Proctor had many faults. He cheated on his better half, he avoided of the ridiculous trials up until it was far too late, and he didn’t conserve a lot of townspeople from hanging by not consenting to sign that he did committed witchcraft. Despite this, he acquired wisdom at the end of the book by going through a number of life’s most tough experiences, and by messing up a lot. This taught him not to make those very same mistakes in the future, so it significantly assisted him in the long run.


Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. 1. Penguin, 1976.

Moncur, Michael. The Quotes Page. 2007.

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