Arthur Miller's The Crucible, displays a mighty indignation that the truth has no meaning when men believe only what they want to believe. Within each act of the play, the characters communicate to the audience that it may be more damaging to acknowledge the truth than it is to deny it. There is an ecology of lies as more and more people of Salem become fearful of telling the truth. A battle occurs throughout the play between truth and deception. Because Miller provides evidence through distortions and fabrications of the truth, some of the characters will invariably own success while the victims ultimately suffer from loss, misinformation or even death.
To some degree, John Proctor starts all the trouble in Salem by failing to be honest about his affair with Abigail. Proctor convinced himself he had committed many sins, and to have respect for himself once again, he needed to break off all ties with Abigail Williams. Throughout the play, John attempted to prove to his wife, Elizabeth, that he was trustworthy. John's dishonesty to Elizabeth about being alone with Abigail only continued to feed her skepticism. The affair between Proctor and Abigail had strengthened his love for Elizabeth. However, the shame of the affair made him even more aware that Elizabeth was a good woman and deserved more than an adulterous husband. Proctor hoped the trial would seek the truth in all that had happened, but at the end, he realized that there was no hope anymore. Proctor wildly burst out, I say-I say- God is dead!" He no longer was a dishonest man that had cheated on his wife and considered turning his back on himself for life. He was an admirable man that knew the truth and was going to stand by it, even if it cost him his life. He says, "It is hard to lie to dogs." In the end, John Proctor loses his life while his wife and former mistress are cast as winners.