Study of the Crucible

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Throughout the study of Arthur Miller’s dramatic play, the Crucible a play with four acts, and the picture book, Belonging by Jeannie Baker, I now understand that the challenge to belong may be resisted or embraced depending on the protagonist and other characters throughout the texts we have studied in class. Miller uses language to show how a character can either resist to belong or can embrace it. Throughout The Crucible, Miller’s dialogue to show the connectedness of the characters to the theocratic society that they belong to. It is constructed in such a way that it anchors the characters in the 17th century, without being so archaic that it is jarring for the audience. Miller needed the audience to see the events as being from “another time”. The question and answer format for much of the dialogue is much like a court room trial in its rhythm. This type of dialogue is used throughout the play outside the courtroom scene themselves, this adds to the atmosphere of interrogation, accusations and the verdict. The language used by individual characters to establish their personalities and agendas for the audience. For example, although he is a farmer, John Proctor has an almost sermon-like method of speech, whilst Danforth uses un-emotive and legal speech. Repetition of the words “hang” and “confessed” establish a sense of incredulity. This also shows Proctor’s resistance towards the community and that belong to the theocratic society is not what he stands for. Miller’s uses of dramatic pauses increase the tension further and a shift of power when Mary Warren’s tone changes towards John Proctor. The emotive word choice, high modality and repeated exclamations, which are used to convey the conflict and represent the increasing disunity and paranoia in the community. The tender language that represents familial belonging is only evident very briefly in the play when Elizabeth and Proctor are open and honest with one another before he is to be hanged. Even during...
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