Bullying And Popularity Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

Do the concepts of popularity status and bullying have a mutual similarity in today's society? Bullying is when one uses superior strength or influence to intimidate someone, typically to force him or her to do what one wants. There are various different kinds of bullying, such as, direct, indirect, physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, verbal and cyberbullying. Popularity is the state or condition of being well-liked, admired or supported by many people. Popularity and bullying are two occurrences that most often appear in the atmosphere of a high school. Multiple studies reveal that those most likely to bully others are those who are higher in social status. It is safe to say that, personally, everybody can agree that one of the biggest obstacles in high school is to obtain acceptance from their peers and to ultimately become a part of the “popular crowd”. Enforcing the previous statement, several reports have documented that bullying typically takes place through chronic harassment against socially excluded teenagers; some emotionally and psychologically dangerous consequences can result from an adolescent being continually bullied by his or her peers if the tormenting does not cease.
Bullies can be the vicious thorns on the rose some would call high school, especially for those who are outcasts in the social class. Those higher up in popularity jump at whatever chance they get to make somebody feel bad about themselves without any realization of the emotional harm they are inflicting. If a particular adolescent maybe dresses different, or is clumsy, quiet, or comes across as inferior in any way, shape or form, they may be a target for bullying victimization. Peter Houghton was sadly an easy bull's eye for ridicule and torment in Jodi Picoult's novel, Nineteen Minutes. In Picoult's work, it took years and years of humiliation and school torturing to bring Peter to the brink of suicide. He suffered under incessant bullying in high school; he was smaller than most boys his age, behind progress with puberty, scrawny, non-athletic, Sterling High school student, Peter Houghton, made 29 students his victims on March 6th, 2007; of the casualties, 19 were injured and, unfortunately, the other 10 lost their lives. Was there a thirtieth victim? What about Peter; is he a victim too? In the novel, a disturbing statement about Peter was revealed, “Even though those people died today, Peter Houghton was dying for 17 years...”(Picoult 23) One might see this fact agonizingly sad. Peter Houghton was a trapped soul; he was misunderstood and just wanted a normal high school life. Instead, Peter received a platter of excruciation that he did not order, nor deserve. Peter Houghton was a social outcast; his best friend was Josie Cormier up until she was recruited into the popular posse of Sterling High. He lost his best friend, his childhood playmate, his confidante, the love of his life, his everything. Peter felt betrayed by Josie more than anything....

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