Wilbur and The Crucible

Reading “Love Calls Us to the Things of the World,” I was struck by both the jaded perspective of the narrator and the relentless hope he maintains inspite of that perspective. To me, this is a poem about rising each day to face an imperfect world. The dawn of a new day brings a purity into our lives that is soon corrupted by the evils of the world. Regardless, the narrator faces this corruption with cautious optimism. This attitude reminds me of John Proctor’s stand at the end of The Crucible. Knowing he could not change circumstances around him, he refused to change his own beliefs to fit those circumstances. He refused to stay in bed, if you will. It cost him his life but gave him back his dignity just before the end. I guess the question here is whether we would be able to do the same. When the alarm goes off in the morning, it would be so much easier to stay in bed and away from the world. College life is full of pressure and is not short on corruption. With that said, how many of you share Wilbur’s optimism and Proctor’s conviction? Moreover, is there a reason why you share those values?



5 thoughts on “Wilbur and The Crucible

  1. As a college student, I feel I am judged as a woman going through a transition to receive a better future. I have a job, actually three, and yet I find myself not wanting to get out of bed to go to school or work. However, I keep myself from hitting the snooze button again, and crawl out of bed because I know getting a college degree will give me a better future without 3+ jobs. My brother dropped out of college, and I see what a lack of motivation can do to someone. I believe I have Wilbur’s optimism and Proctor’s conviction to learn my way to brighter future. I could easily not go to school or work, but that would put a delay in my college career and my brighter future.

  2. I don’t know if I would say that I share Wilbur’s optimism or Proctor’s conviction, but something does keep me getting out of bed in the morning. As a college kid, it gets harder everyday (and, no lie, I hit the snooze button at least four times before I finally get up), especially with finals looming on the horizon. I guess for me, it’s not really that I’m optimistic about it, but it’s rather the fact that I know I’m not alone in it that keeps me getting out of bed. I’m not the only one struggling and there are people that are far worse off than I am. If they can do it, surely I can too. It’s others that keep me going, and if that’s the case for me, who’s to say it’s not the case for others as well? I guess it’s a mixture of a hint of personal pride and “we’re all in this together” mentality.

  3. In theory, everyone shares these optimisms of choosing integrity over negative assimilation; however, when faced with these decisions, it is hard to really say what choice we would make, especially when death is involved. The incredibly mysterious concept of death changes people and can produce human emotion that are unforeseen. I believe Proctor in the Crucible is a rare character to be envied. Someone who could maintain morals in the face of something so consuming is truly magnificent.


  4. I think that I definitely have the optimism, but maybe not the conviction. Similar to Anita, I have two jobs; I work 40 hours a week and I am taking 15 hours a semester here, while maintaining pretty descent grades. But would I have the conviction? If i was about to die, I dont know. If i was about to, would it really matter what i said? I would probably be like Proctor and refuse to give in, simply because it isn’t going to affect me anyway. Depending on what it was, i probably wouldn’t feel as strongly as him though.

  5. So I’m gonna just lay it out there and say that I am a Christian. And there are some days when that is the only thing that gets me out of bed and gives me motivation and conviction. My relationship with Christ gives me motivation to face each day (though yes I do hit the snooze button a dozen times), to do my best, to live with integrity and to view each day as a gift. When college seems so overwhelming and the future so uncertain, I know that I am living for something bigger and my life has more purpose than merely obtaining a degree. This gives me conviction to choose right over wrong and optimism regarding the future.
    I don’t know how I would act if I was in Proctor’s place, if death could be so “easily” avoided what would I do or say? But I know that death does not scare me and I hope that I will face it with integrity.

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