How does the play The Crucible relate to belonging, and what are some quotes that show that?please help me....

Expert Answers
scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miller uses The Crucible to show that humans often prey on those who are considered outsiders, especially when the accuser is motivated by greed or fear.  In the play, several circumstances and quotes relate to the theme of being an outsider or not belonging.

1. Circumstances: The first three women accused of witchcraft are town outcasts. Tituba because of her race, culture, and impoverishment; Sarah Good because of her strange mumblings and ways; Sarah Osbourne because of her strange personality and her disregard of Puritan customs (she has lived with a man who is not her husband).

Mary Warren, one of the accusers, is an outsider.  She is a servant to the Proctors and lacks family members who can support her.  Her situation makes it impossible for her to fit in with the other girls; thus, the girls turn on her as she tries to tell the truth about them not only because she is endangering them but also because she is easy prey.  In the end, Mary finds it easier and safer to belong to the girls' group than to stand apart from them.

John Proctor does not truly belong to the Salem community.  He chooses not to attend church regularly; he speaks openly against what he views as wrongdoing, and he does not pander to the Putnams as many others do.  His behavior and refusal to compromise simply to belong make him an easy target for the girls and judges to accuse of witchcraft.

2. Quotes: In Act 1, Abigail threatens physical consequences for any girl who chooses not to belong (who chooses to tell the truth).  She warns,

"Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you."

In Act 3, Judge Danforth reinforces what happens to those who do notbelong.  He states,

"A person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there is no road between."

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