Reputation is incredibly important in theocratic Salem, where public and private mortalities appear to be the same. In that environment, where reputation plays such a key role, the fear of guilt by association becomes especially pernicious. The townsfolk of Salem are focused on maintaining public reputation, to do so they must fear that the sins of their friends and associates may taint their name. Arthur Miller uses the character of John Proctor in the play, The Crucible, to show how badly people desire to protect their reputations. John Proctor, the protagonist, is trying to keep his reputation from being tarnished. Early in the play, He has a chance to stop Abigail’s accusations against other townsfolk, but his desire to preserve his reputation keeps him from testifying against Abigail, which is more significant since he committed adultery with her. Elizabeth Proctor, John’s wife, does her best to persuade and guilt John into putting a stop to the risible accusations. Though he agrees, he’s extremely wary, worried his secret will be confessed.