Crucible and Belonging Notes

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, McCarthyism Pages: 5 (1001 words) Published: February 1, 2013
The Crucible and Belonging

1. Human Behaviour

* segregation
* intergration
* authority
* alienation
* assimilation
* individuality
* community
* identity
* exclusion
* acceptance
* conformity
* hypocracy

McCarthyism: a politically motivated practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. (in the 50's)


Miller is commenting on the basic human and community instinct of self survival, forcing people to change their views so they can belong

Miller is exploring the ways in which fear can divide a community.


* Props
* Sound effects
* stage direction
* lighting (used symbolically)
* Authorial commentary (text)
* Dramatic Irony
* Positioning of characters
* contrasting scenes
* allegory
* sound effects
* power of suggestion
* pace/pausing
* character relationships

* Imagery: light/dark, stones/weight, heaven/hell, birds/flying-freedom, whips, paper/name

The Devil is a symbol of fear which is used to control people

The Crucible is a modern tragedy, forcing the characters to look at themselves and notice their flaws * Proctor and his relationship with Abigail and Elizabeth * He is also placed into making alienating decisions

* His death reaffirms the importance of courage, integrity and humanity

The essence of drama is CONFLICT
* Each act builds on the conflict
* Act 1: “I saw Goody Booth with the Devil” (Abigail) * Act 2: “Aye, naked! And the wind, God's icy wind, will blow!” * Act 3: “God is dead!” (Hale)
* Act 4: “The final drum roll crashes, then heightens violently”

Stage Directions:
* Miller uses extensive stage directions and commentary. * This can be used as a tool to bring you into the play to make you belong * Or disengage you as it disrupts the play

* Historical setting to examine the human psyche
* Light and Dark is a common motif (humans innate goodness vs. inner evil)

The Language:
* Emotive language and repeated exclamations, which show conflicts * Confronting imagery of force and evil


* Chooses not to belong
* Refuses to name others which shows his humanity
* independent thinker, refuses authoritarian demands of church (Parris) who divides the community with his “fire and brimstone” attitude (I like not the sound of this 'authority'! Act I) * But he is seen as someone who is threatening the cohesion of the community

* Independent and free thinking, she has become hardened because she witnessed her parents slaughter * She belonged to no family
* lack of love has made her: bitter, opportunistic, devoid of conscience and calculating * Witchcraft indulges her desire to be unconventional
* She leads the girls to commit a terrible crime against humanity

* She feels as if she does not belong to her home
* She recognises her own flaws and therefore will help to rebuild communal belonging.

* Communal belonging can only be achieved through understanding, tolerance and compassion * Mob mentality unites the members of the community who are bitter, ambitious and jealous * Rebecca Nurse- exemplifies the attitude and values that are essential for a strong community * From the beginning she questions the presence of evil/witchcraft, begs for common sense * Her death shocks members of the community into action * Individuals have the power to destroy communal belonging “Long-held hatreds of neighbours could now be openly expressed, and vengeance taken...” * Giles says trouble has been brewing for years “...It's a deep thing, and dark as a pit” * Parris is driven by...
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