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The Selfishness Within Essay

1012 words - 5 pages

Over the course of evolution, humans have evolved into one of the most complex and sophisticated creatures on Earth. Our brain is even more complicated than ever and our thought process has been changing along with our fast changing society. One thing in human nature that never changes is the way that man continues to put their interests before their own. Most people, if not all, make a decision first based on the benefits that they are going to gain. This situation occurs numerous times in both literature and in real life. The theory that man is primarily motivated by self-interest is displayed in the actions of Liesel Meminger and Rudy Steiner in The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, need of ...view middle of the document...

Within the passage Facing History and Ourselves, the philosophy that man is primarily motivated by self-interest is illustrated through the shameless acts of Eve Shalen in order to fit in. Everyone strives to be accepted by others because often times it is more comforting to be accepted by others rather than by oneself. At Eve’s school there is “a small elite group spent a large portion of their time harassing two or three of the others” (“The ‘In’ Group”). Groups like these are established because in our human nature, the feeling of needing to be superior than others overcome us and desensitize us. From the example above, it conveys the fact that, we harass and humiliate others to benefit ourselves and our own self-image. When Eve was invited by the “elite group” to read the diary of a girl who was rejected than Eve, she gladly went along with them. Eve “sat down and, [laughed] till [her] sides hurt, hearing [her] voice finally blend with the others” (“The ‘In’ Group”). Her actions exemplify the idea that man is motivated by self-interest because the desire to fit in and be accepted by others was so overwhelming, it caused Eve to act at the moment. She ignored the fact that she knows what it felt like to be mocked, because all that matters was fitting in with the “elite group”.
Examples of man being primarily motivated by self-interest are displayed in Night by Elie Wiesel from the eagerness to survive. At the concentration camps, the rations of food were barely enough to survive and people often cling on to their faith in God in order to survive this “hell”. When Yom Kippur came, people debated whether they should fast or not. Elie chose not to fast because he felt that “there was no longer any reason for [him] to fast. [He] no longer accepted God’s...

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