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Rebellion: Noble Or Immature? Essay

1016 words - 4 pages

When one hears the word “rebellion,” he is inclined to imagine a brave, intelligent revolutionary who does not blindly conform to the majority, but does what he deems right and just. A rebel will do whatever it takes to bring into existence the world he wishes to see. This may be an admirable image, but it is not always the case. On many occasions, rebellion results from selfish, unpretentious desires. Rebellion is not only synonymous with independence and brilliance; it is also linked to immaturity and ignorance. This is evident in “Editha” by William Dean Howells, John Updike’s “A&P,” Ovid’s piece, “Metamorphosis,” and “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas.
In “Editha,” Howells uses exceptional imagery in order to tell the tale of an ordinary young couple. Editha, a bold, demanding, and stubborn woman, wants her fiancé, George, to fight in the Spanish-American War of 1898. George, an enigmatic pacifist, was brought up to see war as a brutish monster created by man. Editha, a hopeless romantic, wants George to serve his country in order to be “her hero” (Howells 216). After much thought, George decides to rebel against his own beliefs in order to conform to a woman’s standards of something she knows nothing about. George may be going against his family’s mantra, but not for a noble cause. He is merely doing it to please his juvenile fiancé. He blindly states, “When I differ from you I ought to doubt myself” (Howells 216). As a result of his foolishness, George is killed in a war he does not agree with in the first place. In this instance, rebellion is unwise.
It is also unwise for one to quit his job in an attempt to impress a group of beautiful young women. This is the scenario Updike presents in “A&P.” Sammy, an adolescent cashier at the grocery store, A&P, is going through the motions of what seems to be another ordinary day when three barely-clothed young women enter the building. As soon he sees them, Sammy is unable to take his lustful eyes off of them. He stands there with his “…hand on a box of HiHo crackers trying to remember if I rang it up or not. I ring it up again…” (Updike 244). After observing the girls as they venture the store, Sammy develops an attachment to them. Finally, the store manager, Lengel, confronts the beach babes about their inappropriate attire. After making their meager purchase of some herring snacks, the girls readily leave. Before they make it out the door, however, Sammy loudly announces that he quits. His reckless rebellion against A&P goes unnoticed by the ladies. Lengel tries to talk the youth out of his sudden desire to leave, but Sammy feels as though it is too late to back down. Sammy holds the torch of what he feels is righteousness, and carries it out of the grocery store. To his dismay, the girls were not outside. They were gone. Sammy’s revolt...

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