Belonging - the Crucible

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Arthur Miller sets his play, The Crucible, in a patriarchal and puritanical town where belonging to society is superficial. Through my study of this play, I have gained many insights, which are also reflected in my two related texts, I am Sam directed by Jessie Nelson, and My Sister’s Keeper written by the author Jodi Picoult. Belonging to someone or a group gives an individual and others the strength, confidence and power. However, society may also marginalise different people within their society, which may lead to isolation, rejection and exclusion. Outside factors may also change an individual’s status and their place of belonging in society. The play, The Crucible, is set in a town in New England, Salem, in 1692. A group of girls, led by Abigail Williams, are creating drama within their society and are rebelling against their Puritan elders. As they are terrified of being considered ‘witches’, the girl’s begin to accuse and list names of who they had witnessed to be with the devil. Abigail’s feelings for a farmer who she used to serve, John Proctor, is revealed and about their adulterous affair. The group of girls follow Abigail to accuse the innocent Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft, in order for Abigail and John to be together, once again. Arthur Miller establishes a conflict between belonging to the individual or society, as if “a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it.” The protagonist John Proctor dies with dignity after defying the court in the closing scene, staying truthful to God and keeping his “name”. This name is a symbol of soul and belonging to self. This idea of the triumph of belonging to one’s self over that of the community is emphasised in the metaphoric statement that Rebecca “has one foot in heaven now”, coupled by the cry of “more weight” by Giles. These characters all similarly defy the court and achieve a spiritual sense of belonging within themselves, even at the cost of their lives. However, not all the...
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