Belonging - Capitulation. the Crucible

Belonging is another way of saying capitulating to. In this quote, Kenneth Smith emphasises the negative view of belonging suggesting that one must sacrifice in order to belong to a group. This idea is developed in the Crucible   where to belong one must conform and, in doing so, abandon morals and aspects of character. On the other hand, those who refuse to conform show strength of character and faith in their morality, identity and honesty.
The stage play, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller uses characterization to show capitulation in the society of Salem. The growing hysteria in the community as a result of the witch-hunt is provoked by various groups within Salem for example Abigail and the girls, John proctor and the Nurse’s and the Putnam’s. Throughout the play, as the witch-hunt intensifies, many characters capitulate to more powerful groups in order to avoid execution and retain belonging.
The interrogations and proceedings in the courtroom of many Salem characters for example Abigail and the girls exemplify the need for capitulation in order to belong. The requirement to confess to witch craft and name others in the community who were guilty shows the extent they must capitulate to simply survive.   The escalating hysteria between Abigail, Betty and Tituba chanting names of those they saw with the devil (Act 1) reinforces the desperation to be accepted and thus the sacrifice and need to lie and shift blame, no matter who it may destroy, in other words capitulate. Abigail and the girls conform out of resistance. Their creation of the witch story and wanting to belong to the image of the witch is at the expense of their conscience for this does not abide by the customs of religion and society in Salem.
On the other hand, those who do not conform and give in to belong to a group refuse to ignore their conscience, even if it means self-sacrifice. Characters such as John Proctor in the Crucible, display courage and strength of character by refusing to conform...