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Non Conformity In "The Wave" By Morton Rhue And "Dead Poet's Society", Directed By Peter Reis.

1034 words - 4 pages

Conformity can be defined as an action or behavior in correspondence with socially accepted standards, conventions, rules, or laws. Thus, we are all conformists in a sense. So I pose this question to you: Is it possible to be an individual whilst thinking independently and still conform? The answer? No. You can try to be to be your own 'unique' self as much and as often as feel necessary. But you shall not succeed. To my knowledge, there were really only two individuals in history, and these are Jesus and Aristotle. But they were seen as insane fools in their times. So why do we want to be individuals anyway? However, many people nowadays conform without realizing it. An example of this is shown in the novel, "The Wave" and the movie, "The Dead Poets Society" through various techniques.'The Wave' is a story of a schoolgirl experiencing her classmates change from 'normal' teenagers into chanting, saluting fanatics, when a classroom experiment goes horribly wrong. Laurie is opposed to 'The Wave' and goes against the crowd where she does not join in with the craze. She is standing up for her own beliefs in what she thinks is right, in comparison to the majority of the other students who do what others do, simply for acceptance. Despite this fact, she is still conforming to the so called 'non conformists' who are against 'The Wave'; therefore she is still conforming.On the other hand, 'Dead Poets Society' explores the conflict between freedom and conformity as these contrasting ideals are presented to the students. It is about an inspirational, unconventional English teacher, Mr Keating and his students at "the best prep school in America" and how he challenges them to question conventional views by such techniques as standing on their desks. Keating wants them to become "free-thinkers", but he is in a way contradicting himself as he forces his own beliefs and philosophy onto the easily influenced students rather than letting them think for themselves. The theme of conformity is introduced in the very opening scenes of the film. Close-ups of the boys chanting in unison, all identically dressed in their uniforms at a ceremony at Welton Academy, we see that they are conforming to the authority of the school. It shows the consequences of conformity when it is pushed to the limit and it also proves that conforming is not necessarily always for the best.Though, conformity is also a huge factor in real life situations and not only in novels and films. For example, I find it amusing when I see, a girl walking down the street with a plaid skirt over pinstripe stockings with a long silver chain hanging down, and a tight denim vest with patches and pins on every square centimeter. It just screams, "I am an individual and I don't care what you think!" This is where the mental complex is illogical, and hence ridiculous. First of all, you DO care what I think, or else...

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