Belonging - the Crucible and an Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow

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The rules of society have bearing on an individual’s potential to belong. Only an individual can determine whether or not he/she belongs and this in turn will shape a sense of self. The texts The ‘Crucible’ by Arthur Miller and ‘An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow’ written by Les Murray both examine the concept of belonging. For reasons pertaining to context and the injustice of society in which these were formed, the issues of belonging are explored through different avenues.
An individual’s ability to belong is different and all dependent on the society each is set in. . The context of a text affects the nature of belonging. Arthur Miller based ‘The Crucible’ on the product of his times. The harassment and mistreatment of thousands of Americans under the policy of McCarthysism, is for Miller, a Salem witch- hunt. The Crucible by Arthur Miller is set in the Puritan society of the 17th century Salem and is one with rules and regulations that are enforced; if an individual goes against them they will be punished. ‘The Crucible’ is a clear example of the social implications of belonging in the 1950’s era. In the poem “An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow”, the weeping man is an individual contrasting against the traditional held views of society. People are obsessed with fitting in the social mainstream that they become afraid of change and are challenged by genuine emotion. The weeping man doesn’t want or need anything from his society. “The weeping man, like the earth requires nothing”. However although the society is isolated from the weeping man, the onlookers get a choice. The facelessness of modern society means there is less fear of judgement and the consequences of judgement, than in the society such as Salem in the Crucible.
The interaction between individuals and society and how this influences our sense of belonging is explored through Arthur Miller’s ‘The
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