Conformity Essay

1249 words - 5 pages

DomingoMatt DomingoMs. Williams-KorbelHonors English 10, Period 221 September 2014Conformity: An EpidemicThere are dangerous times in which men and women follow each other without question. Sometimes they follow the path of others subconsciously, or do so with a clear conscience. This is called conformity; the act of following or joining a group and replicating as they do. Conformity inevitably affects humans on a daily basis, as it is a part of human nature. It has the ability to benefit society as a whole, but can also keep others from possessing a sense of individuality. Both Shirley Jackson and Suzanne Collins illustrate how conformity itself can prevent people from being who they truly are, or even prevent them from standing up for what they believe in. Jackson's "The Lottery" identifies conformity more subtly, and displays how it can affects a seemingly normal society. Collins's The Hunger Games has a more sadistic approach and viewing on conformity and provides a more direct standpoint.Conformity, although an occurrence in which humans follow the path of others, can actually keep many from being unified. In The Hunger Games, Collins envisioned an event known as the reaping, which is controlled an overseeing and ruling government named the Capitol. This event randomly selects two people from twelve districts to compete in a deathmatch, with only one victor. While others celebrate not being chosen, "[...] two families will pull their shutters, lock their doors, and try to figure out how they will survive the painful weeks to come" (Collins par. 2). The reaping brings everyone together, but forcefully so. In reality, there is no unity as the people have no choice but to participate in this event. As only two are chosen in the reaping as tributes, the peoples' only interest is that they themselves are not selected. Instead of unification within the community, there is only selfishness accompanied by little remorse for those who are chosen. After the reaping, the Hunger Games takes place. The Hunger Games is a deathmatch treated as a festivity, in which twelve communities known as districts are pitted against each other. Collins illustrates how conformity can separate communities: "All year, the Capitol will show the winning district gifts of grain and oil and even delicacies like sugar while the rest of us battle starvation" (par. 13). As separate districts, there will be self-interest in hoping their own tributes will rise victorious. The Hunger Games disconnects the districts from each other more than they already are. Instead of creating a widespread unity, the Games keeps these communities separated further more. Conformity is followed by a cruel form of unity in "The Lottery." Jackson illustrates how the community murders one of their own without question: "'It isn't fair,' she said. A stone hit her on the side of the head. Old Man Warner was saying, 'Come on, come on, everyone'" (par. 80). Tessie, the woman who was murdered, pleaded for...

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