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The Consequences Of Breaking Standards Essay

1029 words - 5 pages

Human behavior is often based of the laws and expectations set by community surrounding them. Breaking these norms results in many arrays of emotions. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, and The Help by Kathryn Stockett all exemplify the consequences of breaking standards in societies with set norms to uphold. The various authors have crafted societies that behave in distinct manners, and classify people as either normal, or abnormal. These works show that breaking societal standards, familial standards, and ones own standards sprouts disaster, and in serious cases, leads to the demise of characters.

Breaking societal standards in societies led by prejudice is like a double-edged sword. You may be standing up for your beliefs, but there will be negative consequences. In to kill a Mockingbird, Calpurnia wields the sword. Calpurnia ignored the standards set by both the white and black community that one community cannot interact in a friendly manner with the opposing community. The moment she brought Scout and Jem to her church, she almost instantly received negativity. One sees this when Lula says, “You ain’t got no business bringin‘ white chillun here—they got their church, we got our’n. It is our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal?” (Lee 119). Simply breaking the standard that one cannot interact with a person of the opposite color resulted in negativity from another. Many people were welcoming, however Lula was not, similarly a white person would not let a black person into their church, just like Lula was refusing to let a white person into her church. In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is ignoring the social norm that one shall marry a man for money, and social standing. When Lady Capulet comes to Juliet with news about a new man, Paris, Juliet replies, " I’ll look to like, if looking liking move/But no more deep will I endart mine eye" (I.iv.103-104). Her response shows that she does not instantly succumb to the social norms, she states that we may be able to love Paris, but will not dedicate her love to him instantly. However, had she followed the social standard and instead married Paris, she would have lived a happy fulfilling life, and not die. Ultimately, breaking norms will result in negative consequences. Skeeter in The Help ignores all social standards set around her. This is proven when she says, "All my life I'd been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine's thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe." (Stockett 74). Skeeter has a nonexistent desire to follow any social standard, and she breaks it by interacting with the black community. However, this interaction leads to other devastating consequences from the fellow white community.


Societal standards are not the only type to be broken in the various pieces of work, familial standards are also an issue. In to Kill a Mockingbird Atticus sets a standard of...

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