Arthur Miller's allegorical play, "The Crucible" set in Salem 1692, and Jim Sheridan's film, "In the Name of the Father (1993)" set in 1970's Belfast, are two texts in which the protagonists, John Proctor and Gerry Conlon respectively, uphold the traditional notions of a hero. Proctor is a farmer, struggling to sustain his morals against a parochial authority, and Gerry is a turbulent youth, seeking purpose in life. Despite the different contexts, they both embark on a similar journey involving conflicts concerning a corrupt authority, having been unjustly incarcerated, and their character - self-hatred and lack of self-respect. Ultimately, these heroes are respected for enduring a difficult journey and for their determination to resolve their conflicts following an intense struggle.
Proctor enters the play a "sinner" with a perpetual conflict, searching a remedy for his contrition and self-hatred caused by his lechery. Believing he has betrayed his "own vision of decent conduct" and having a "biting way with hypocrites", John condemns himself no less harshly than he condemns others.
In Act 2, this struggle is clearly established by Elizabeth's words, "It is the magistrate in your heart that judges you." Also evident, with his initial reluctance to confront the courts to avoid publishing his sin, "I know I cannot keep it...I'll think on it," is the value John places on his reputation. His reaction to this contest between his "name" and his morality, "[he turns away a little, in great agony]" also implies the difficultly it poses. However, Proctor overcomes this struggle, thereby publishing his adultery, with the realization that his reputation is worthless compared his wife and his morality, "my wife will never die for me,"
These inner struggles culminate to a crucial dilemma; to either retain his life by falsely confessing or preserve his principles by adhering to...