The Crucible - Belonging Essay

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The sense of belonging humans naturally seek in life reflects the feeling of security and being accepted. They struggle with their identity as they make the choice whether to reject the individuality and belong to a community or group. When individuals seek to belong and rigidly follow society’s norms and practices, they must adhere to the strict rules of their society. In doing do, the desire to belong comes into conflict with the need to be an individual. These ideas are powerfully evident in Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible”, “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D Salinger and the Gurinder Chadha film “Bend it like Beckham.” In each of these texts, most desire to belong but need to restore the balance between the need to belong and the expression of their individuality. The events in the crucible, a play written by Miller in 1953 demonstrates the huge power that can be wielded by groups and can be used to decide who can belong to a group. It emphasises how a small, seemingly powerless group can disrupt an entire community and shows how easily people like the Putnam’s use a situation to twist events to their own benefit. Abigail, for example, uses her physical strength and intimidation to try to break away from the oppressive Salem society. At the start of the story, she has already given herself to a married man, John Proctor and been kicked out of the Proctor house for it. Therefore demonstrates her ‘not belonging’ in the Salem society. She gains power by manipulating a group of girls into following her. To hide their guilty over activities they know will separate themselves from the Salem society, the girls begin to hypocritically accuse other members of Salem of witchcraft. They manage to hold their whole community to ransom have people undergo trials and executed. The girls draw power from their unity as they conform to Abigail’s lead and find themselves a group in which they can belong: ‘We did dance’. Their danced in the woods is a symbol of unity in their own...
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