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"The Lords Of Discipline": Values And Problems In Carolina Military Institute

559 words - 3 pages

In the novel "The Lords of Discipline" by Pat Conroy, the problems and values in the Carolina Military Institute reflect the tainted values of Charleston, South Carolina. Annie Kate and the Carolina Military Institute are extremely similar to each other in many ways. Both are things in the town and they are beautiful and impressive on the outside. However, both Annie Kate and the Institute have internal conflicts that are hidden and kept secret until Will discovers them.Annie Kate, a resident of the houses "South of Broad", is beautiful on the outside, but has serious internal conflicts on the inside. When Will first met Annie Kate, it was midnight in Charleston and Will was ...view middle of the document...

Annie Kate has a luxurious house and appears to have a lot of money, but she also has internal problems that she cannot escape. Annie Kate's mother, Mrs. Gervais, has run out of money and wants Annie Kate to marry a rich boy so that they can become rich again through the marriage. Annie Kate had become pregnant over the summer and ruined the plans her mother had made for her. The father of the baby would not marry Annie Kate and she is forced to deal with it herself.The Institute from the outside is a "stolid, immovable object" (9) and is beautiful, well respected place by the people of Charleston. The Institute also has internal problems that only the cadets know about. Violence and hazing are an everyday ritual for the students that go there. "I was kicked in the stomach and rolled onto Newman's shoes. I licked his shoes and other shoes until every shoe was put underneath my mouth" (184). Also many boys had to go through a ritual called "The Taming" during their freshman year. "Few boys survived the Taming. It was the sport of breaking down plebes absolutely--to discover how much the boy could take until he was reduced to begging, and to crawling, before he came completely apart" (159).Both Annie Kate and the Caroline Military Institute are similar. They are beautiful and respected from the outside, but have severe problems on the inside. Annie Kate is pregnant and her mother cannot afford to keep her houses anymore and the Institute has hazing and violence as an every day ritual. The problems in the Military Institute reflect the problems and values of the residents of the "South of Broad" section of Charleston.

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