The Role Of 'belonging' In Film And Print

998 words - 4 pages

Belonging has many aspects several of which can be seen in the following texts. The texts “The Crucible” (“TC”) by Arthur Miller, “Rockstar” by Nickelback and “The Pursuit of Happyness” is a movie starring Will Smith display several different aspects of belonging. The concept explored by Arthur Miller in “TC” is the conflict between different groups and the ramifications of belonging to a group. Meanwhile in “Rockstar” the composer explores the concept that people will wish to belong to various groups and what extremes they are willing to go to in order to belong. On a similar note, “The Pursuit of Happyness” explores how people are willing to change when they realize they don’t belong.

“TC” is set in the town of Salem in Massachusetts in the 1700’s. In this strict Christian society, the main group’s people belong to are the church, the Salem society, a family and later on the courts. However not everyone belongs to these groups. For instance, Reverend Parris belongs to the church but not the Salem society. This is revealed when Parris says to Abigail that “there is a faction in this society that is set to drive me from my pulpit… I have worked hard in the last three years to get these stiff necked people to bend to me.” From this quote, it is evident that although Parris has tried to belong to the society of Salem, the people of Salem have forbid him to do so.

The concept of belonging explored in “TC” is further exemplified in the final scenes of conflict between Proctor and the courts. The conflict is between the two groups the court and Proctor who is counted as against the court. It is evident that two groups have been established when Danforth exclaims to the Salem court “that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it.” As Proctor has been counted against the court, he has been accused of being a witch.

Throughout the play, Proctor has been portrayed as a non conformist. It is this non conformity about proctor which is further shown in the final scenes. Proctor even though he had the opportunity to walk free would not conform to what the courts wanted him to conform to. The dialogical aspect of this is that proctor presents his thesis that it is not worth belonging to a society which is so narrow minded. The antithesis presented by Danforth is that you must conform to power. The synthesis that comes from this is that the responder is now able to see the true message that miller was trying to show about society. As the book is symbolic of the time era Miller was living in, where communist fear had spread, the responder can now see what extremes society is willing to go to in order to remove fear, by the death of an innocent man, Miller can finally...

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