Identify specific quotes in Act I that relate to the idea of belonging in The Crucible.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Consider the closing quotes at the end of the act when the girls are "naming names."  This relates to belonging because the girls' accusations are isolating individuals, demonstrating that they no longer belong to the community.  Once one was accused of being a witch, they were marginalized from the group setting, unless they named more names.  In this, belonging is demonstrated in its opposite.  Another moment where I think that the theme of belonging can be seen would be when the girls are conspiring with one another as to what should be done and what needs to be done.  When Abigail threatens them with violence, it is a reminder that to "belong" in this setting is to conform to what Abby says.  Should any of the girls break ranks with this, there is an immediate expulsion, a lack of belonging that will be demonstrated in a brutal manner in Act III.  In both of these moments, the need to belong is shown to be vitally important.  At the end of the act, if one is named, they no longer "belong" and massive complications arise.  As the act develops to this point, the girls clearly establish the norm and expectation that belonging is synonymous with conformity.

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