How have the texts you have studied represented perceptions and ideas of belonging?
Establishing one’s identity through defining one’s values and attitudes toward others and the world can be brought about by the defiance of authority. Although comparatively different, Arthur Miller’s famous play The Crucible and Steph Green’s short film The New Boy both show this. Sometimes it takes a person to go ‘against the flow’ taken by society to find true self belonging and perspective of the world surrounding them. John Proctor, ever since having an affair with his maid, Abigail Williams, sees himself as an outsider to the whole of Salem society. Salem society, a theocratic society, is so caught up in the stereotypical view of what a Christian individual should behave like, that they end up condemning the innocent in the end. The motif of the crucible is used to develop dramatic irony. It can be argued that Abigail, Reverend Parris’ niece, is to be blamed for the destruction of Salem, when in fact it is evident that the society was never all that strong to begin with if they let innocent people die due to false accusations of witchery – Abigail was just the initiator of the inevitable downfall. Danforth, a ‘just’ and ‘honourable’ character throughout the play does not help in saving the innocent. He knows for a fact that John Proctor is an innocent soul once he refuses to publicly show that he had ‘worked with the devil’. Danforth ironically says to the court, ‘We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment.’ The irony comes from the fact that they are not burning what they cannot see – Abigail has done a very good in hiding her ulterior motives, and instead of being condemned as the innocent are, she is being awarded by being believed. Proctor represents those who choose principle over belonging to a group they cannot agree with. In order for Proctor to save his life, he must sign a false confession saying that he had been involved in associating with the...
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