How does the drama in "The Crucible" represent the concept of belonging?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the end, the idea of belonging lies at the very essence of the play.  The drama unfolds in the strict definitions of "us" and "them" oppositions.  There is a sense that those who are not part of the accepted social community are "outsiders" or "witches" and need to be punished.  This manipulation of social perception of belonging helps to detract attention from real and substantive issues and offers an easy target to rally public support.  Miller shows how peer pressure as well as individuals seeking to belong can do some fairly horrific things because the fear of being "alone" is a difficult reality to embrace.  The need to belong drives people in Salem to ends that actually end up severing bonds with one another.  It is this idea of belonging that lies at the very center of the drama in Salem.