Belonging; the Crucible and 12 Angry Men

Q: How has your understanding of ‘Belonging’ been shaped by the set text ‘The Crucible’ and one text of your own choosing?
The term ‘belonging’ can be defined as a feeling of personal attachment to a time, place, person or group of persons. The importance of feeling connected, at peace with oneself and ones surroundings and the lengths to which an individual will go to possess this feeling can be evidently seen in Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible” and Sidney Lumet’s movie take on Reginald Rose’s screenplay “12 Angry Men”. Likewise, a feeling of disconnectedness and disparity is explored as strong themes in both texts through the idea that individuals will adhere to their own moral bearings despite the pressure of majority’s, thus evicting themselves from gaining a sense of belonging. Both texts have guided the notion of belonging to depend upon ones morals. If an individual is accepted within a cohesive system but fails to uphold his/her own morals, the acceptance will therefore become void and decrease in worth. Under such circumstances the individual must rise against the majority to resurrect their own values and hence attain, once more, a true sense of belonging.
‘The Crucible’ revolves around the Salem Witch trials where chaos erupts creating a dichotomy within the community. The Salem community was a Theocracy whom collectively believed that “in unity still lay the best promise of safety”. This comes to highlight the expectations that a communal idea or opinion will always prevail over that of an individual. ’12 Angry Men’ also demonstrates this notion of ‘majority rules’ and the idea that rising against this majority is both risky to one’s sense of belonging and questioning to ones morals. It is said that it is not easy “to stand alone against others...we gamble for support” showing the struggle faced by those such as the 12th Juror and John Proctor as they defy the general consensus. A panel of 12 jurors attempt to decide the fate of a man in a murder...