Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Crucible

Having been to see The Crucible at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre for my birthday I've been mulling over what to write about it....
There was no stand out line for me but lots of thoughts. Thoughts about how John and Elizabeth Proctor's relationship is portrayed and developed throughout. Amidst all the chaos I found that touching, reaffirming about love.

It's the final scene where John Proctor is being asked to sign his name to his confession that really stayed with me and had me pondering.

'Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!... How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!' Arthur Miller

I've willingly, happily chosen to change my name since getting married. Yet it is strange. My passport isn't changed (yet) and it felt strange booking in on holiday under two different names. Yet.... my birthday cards arrived with Mrs T. on them. Who is this woman? At work I tend to just use my christian name when introducing myself. I don't want the fuss. It also feels strange introducing myself as Mrs T. But the place it seems strangest is the place I least expected it. I've always written my name and the date I read the book in the inside cover (there's a whole other post about why). To write my maiden name seems wrong - but somehow to write my new surname isn't me either. So for this year I've just written my christian name. I think it seems strangest here because it's such a personal relationship with books - they're inside your mind your soul and that hasn't changed one bit.

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Another unfinished thought but...
What are your thoughts? Your experiences?


  1. That is the line that stayed most with me as well from the Crucible. And the part right after when she says "he has his goodness now". I didn't change my name when we got married. I may do it someday still. I have so many mixed feelings about the whole thing I couldn't decide by the time I was supposed to start the process, and I figure you can always change it to married but you can't really change it back. And it was such a frustrating time, literally the only person who didn't try to influence my decision was my husband (who simply said as long as you marry me I don't care what you do with your name, it's yours and it's your decision).

  2. I did change my name too, but still feel a teensy ambivalence about it, like you say, not feeling quite comfortable with my new identity yet but also that I have outgrown my old name in a way too. I mostly changed it because my husband would make up little nicknames and acronyms with what would become my married initials while we were dating and it was just too cute! (My passport was also the last to change and signing my new name is a bit strange, but I'm getting used to it. I prefer my new initials most, 'CC'.) But I also felt this unspoken pressure from unmarried friends that it was an unfeminist move, etc. But then I remind myself that Virginia Woolf changed her name and somehow still manages to be considered a feminist, so.

    I've acted in The Crucible (with '50s clothes to echo the witchhunt of McCarthyism), it's so strong at the end and that is a great quote.

  3. It's always so comforting to me to find out someone feels the same way as I do. I did change my name, but six months later it still feels very strange to be called by my married name. I sign everything with both my given name and married name, because to me it feels much more natural. And I think, in a sense, it makes me feel like I've retained something of my own. But I do always find it strange that a name can make such a difference.

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I tried to keep my maiden name in my full name but was told that to do that I'd have to change my name by deed poll and I didn't want to do that!

  5. Oh I'd wanted to go to this but in the end couldn't attend. What an interesting point you raise: I am not sure whether or not I would change my surname if I marry as I am very attached to my own name.

  6. I was perfectly happy to change my name when I got married - to be honest it never occurred to me NOT to! Seven years on I've got so used to it that when I come across my maiden name written on something it looks wrong somehow, I find myself thinking 'who's that?' in the way I used to about my married name! I like the fact that our matching names demonstrates that we belong together, we're a pair.


Ooh how lovely more stripes on the page...
Thank you for taking the time.