The Crucible

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An individual’s communal and personal sense of acceptance is often determined by the prevailing community ideologies and the individual’s responses to these attitudes. Arthur Miller’s allegorical play “The Crucible” and Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451” effectively explore attitudes where individuals must conform to strict moral guidelines in a community ideology to achieve a sense of acceptance. Individuals have the choice to either accept the ideology, where there is no dissension; or they can reject the ideology due to conflict with their own free thought, moral conscience and personal integrity. Both the protagonists of these texts choose to follow their own personal beliefs, allowing them to gain self-acceptance and redemption. Community attitudes establish an individual’s sense of acceptance. Miller contextualises Salem through archaic language as a Puritanical society that is strongly consequential and rigid. Miller’s prose commentaries reveals a paradox, where a theocracy is built upon a “common purpose with no conflict” to “prevent disunity” and reject “ideological enemies”. The stage direction such as “a narrow window at the left” suggests that the people of Salem are narrow-minded, and “there is shock among the others” shows unified emotions and attitudes. The words “right” and “left” commonly mentioned in the stage directions, also imply that there is an obvious difference between being “with us” or “against us”. Proctor’s attitudes are highlighted by Miller’s prose commentaries, where he sees himself as a “troubled soul, a sinner and a fraud”, and believes that inclusion in Salem is superficial and pretence. Due to his lack of moral conduct, he feels as though he is unacceptable to himself and society, sensing that he is not in alignment with community standards, and therefore reviling himself as a hypocrite. Thus, Salem’s rigid communal attitudes impact on Proctor’s sense of acceptance, due to conflict with community standards....
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