To what extent is an individuals sense of belonging determined by external forces?In relation to "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a strong sense of wishing to belong to a social element in Miller's work. The most dominant piece of evidence confirming this is the fact that so many in the village make accusations that they know are not true.  The need to accuse others of being a witch carries with it themes of belonging, as well.  The "witch" is an outsider, someone that does not belong to the community.  It is so easy to cast someone like Tituba into the fiery pit of exclusion because she is different.  The same principle applies to the downward spiral of the trials and the accusations that fly as a result.  The accusations that are made are done so to distance or to separate those accused from everyone else.  In the configuration of Salem's social setting, those who are accused are immediately separated from all others and the accusations were done to divide others from the social group.  In the end, the sense of belonging motivated the accusations and the exclusion of the accusations would demonstrate this.