Arthur Miller carefully weaves together the concept of belonging in his play The Crucible, whilst addressing the complex notions of understanding, acceptance, identity and relationships. Additionally, the song Numb by Linkin Park and the movie Mulan directed by Tony Bancroft all convey a similar message, and at the conclusion of all three texts, the responder can pinpoint several corresponding themes in each, all portraying the human desire to belong in this world.
All three texts emphasis how powerful our desire to belong can be, and how equally compelling our fear of exclusion can also be when developing our relationships, our understanding of the world, how accepted we are, and our identity as a whole.
In The Crucible, the people of Salem, as well as their actions, are being controlled by the raw fear of not belonging. In order to belong, they must be active members of the Church. If they fail to fulfil this duty, they are looked down upon in disdain and are subsequently excluded from society. For example, the protagonist John proctor did not attend Church, and failed to recite the Seventh Commandment. His failure to utter all Ten Commandments is deemed significant by the people of Salem, and as a result he is excluded to a great extent. Proctor also hates and distrusts Reverend Parris, claiming that he preaches ‘only hellfire and bloody damnation’, which also adds to his exclusion.
Also, because of the adultery he has committed, he feels uncomfortable in terms of belonging to society and to his marriage with his wife Elizabeth. This is shown when he says that he ‘cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man’. It is as though he is disgusted with himself and feels as though he doesn’t deserve to belong, thus not placing a great significance on belonging. However, at the conclusion of the play Proctor belongs to his good name and his morals and values. He decides to die, rather than sign a false confession which will blacken his...