I Heart John Proctor.

Confession: I’ve been putting on a happy face with all this “I love teaching” business.

While I am grateful that I have a job (especially in the current economy), I was quite disappointed when I received my teaching assignment. My friend, who is a counselor at the school, has been telling me for months now, “You’ll LOVE juniors! Just wait! It’ll be sooooo good.” And because I adore my friend, I’ve smiled and nodded in tacit agreement, secretly screaming, “NO I WON’T! IT’S GONNA SUCK!”

The reason I approached junior English with such disdain is because my own junior English teacher was a massive tool. I didn’t read a single book that year, yet somehow still got an A. And if I couldn’t find value in the literature 18 years ago, would I find it now? Should I even try?

I’ve been slogging through The Crucible with my classes for what feels like weeks (it’s been a grand total of six school days), and when I finally gave it a chance and read it straight through, I realized two things.

First, Arthur Miller gave life to one of the most despicable characters I’ve ever met, in Abigail Williams. Second, John Proctor is my perfect man.

Proctor is a total fixer-upper; a man who respects his faith and truly does believe deep down, but has difficulty walking the straight and narrow, for a variety of reasons. He is the kind of man that I’d be attracted to because he is tortured, he feels guilt, and to be honest, he kinda treats women badly. But from the start, I saw goodness in him, just as his wife exclaims at the end of the play, just as I’ve seen goodness in some of the losers I’ve dated.

I’ve often said that the mark of a really good piece of literature is the ease with which one can connect one’s life to it. Well, English 11, so far, so good.

4 Comments

  1. My 11th grade english class was one of the hardest classes I have EVER taken. That class shaped my academic life and I didn’t even go into English. Because of that class mostly, I can carry on a conversation about literature with friends that are lit professors and not sound like a tool.

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  2. Sarah–I’m usually in need of an attitude adjustment. They’re just easier when I stumble upon them myself.Sherpa–I will remember your comment, especially after days like today when the path of least resistance is beckoning. 🙂

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  3. Hey Jules – I recently read “The Crucible”. My sister and I decided to read her daughter’s reading list from school last year. Anyway, I actually enjoyed it. The movie sticks to the play pretty closely, doesn’t it? Anyway, DDL is yummy regardless. And let’s face it, the first year back was bound to be wrought with…well, with mixed emotions. One day at a time. -D

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