Thank you for inviting me here today, to speak to you about the launch of the new collection entitled Representations of Belonging. It brings me great pleasure to talk about a variety; a play, a picture book & a poem that would shape our understanding of belonging. We live in an affluent, developing society as it grows more complicated, the psychology complicates itself correspondingly. However, through the study of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, we are motivated to belong in a society to achieve self-esteem, acceptance & in all purposes the sense of security. I will be examining “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, Jeannie Baker’s “Belonging” & Kath Walker’s “We are Going”. Evidently, these texts use different techniques to help validate the message of the change of attitude towards belonging in society. The different scenarios in these texts represent the contemporary relevance in today’s society that may bring an insight to our understanding of belonging.
Miller created “The Crucible” as an allegory using the Salem Witch trials; a society driven by fear to allude to the anti-communist attitude in McCarthyist America. The existence of theocracy in Salem results a strict society, where religion leads the way of life in a way keeping the society together which requires one to obey the rules & obligations. This strict & rigid system could lead to many factors that may corrupt the society & its whole purpose of belonging (security). By use of the metaphoric expression ‘theocracy sir, is a fortress; no crack in a fortress may be accounted small’, Miller was able to depict an image of war; that even spiritual life is a battle. A small fault such as John Proctor not remembering all Ten Commandments (all except adultery) can lead to a bigger problem; bringing down the society & becoming vulnerable.
In my opinion, Reverend Hale was the embodiment of independence & confidence, the most influential character in the play. Hale is illustrated as an experienced clergyman when...
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