People will do anything to protect their reputation
"Now hear me, and beguile yourselves no more... I will not receive and single plea for plea or postponement... postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast doubt upon the guilt of them that will die now"
"Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them to hang ! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; Leave me my Name!"
Quote from Abigail page 108. After Proctor accuses her of lying in court, Abby goes as far as threatening Danforth to try to save her reputation and not letting everyone think she was just evil.
"I have been hurt, Mr. Danforth; I have seen my blood runnin' out! I have been near murdered everyday because I done my duty pointing out the Devil's people- and this is my reward? To be mistrusted, denied, questioned like a-... Let you beware Mr. Danforth. Think you to be so mighty that the power of hell may not turn your wits?"
Quote from Danforth on Page 129 defending his reason for continuing the court ordered executions even though no one believes them anymore.
Quote from John Proctor on page 143. He pleads with Danforth that if he does confess he cannot blacken his name because it will be all he has left. After Danforth denies this is retracts his confession so his name will still be good in the town (he would rather die than have a bad name and reputation).
People today don't like anyone having any chance to destroy their name or trustworthiness, and will go to great lengths to try and protect themselves from having anyone think poorly of themselves