I am a direct descendant of John from Thorndike and Hannah Felton Proctor. He is my ninth Great Grandfather. Luckily my family still owns a Proctor Farm in Danvers (bought by a later Proctor in 1812) so I have been in that area on vacations since I was a kid. I am fascinated by the history and I love going back. I was just back there in Salem yesterday for the dedication of Proctor’s Ledge (the confirmed site of the executions). Proctor’s Ledge was part of a good deal of land purchased after the executions by my ancestor Thorndike, which seems so strange to me because he obviously knew it as the place where his father was killed. It was neat to meet many other descendants of the other victims. I totally disagree with Arthur Miller, how he inferred from a hand gesture that there was a history of adultery between Abigail and himself seems strange. She was 11 years old and ostensibly a child. I think far more likely the reasons behind Proctor’s accusation and his wife were a cause of town factions. I guess sex is always more interesting but I prefer to think of Proctor as a stand up member of his community and not a lecher. We need to start a social media group for Proctor descendants!!
The characters in the play were based upon real people who judged or were judged in hysteria. You'll close the book with a comma-like state, as there are a lot of ambiguities in it. But be sure to read it to the end, don't lose this superb possibility.
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At this point, Proctor faces a new dilemma and wrestles with his conscience over whether to save himself from the gallows with a confession to a sin that he did not commit. The judges and Hale almost convince him to do so, but in the end, he cannot bring himself to sign his confession. Such an action would dishonor his fellow prisoners, who are steadfastly refusing to make false confessions; more important, he realizes that his own soul, his honor, and his honesty are worth more than a cowardly escape from the gallows. He dies and, in doing so, feels that he has finally purged his guilt for his failure to stop the trials when he had the chance. As his wife says, “he have his goodness now.”