This Essay Is An Objective Essay On The Book Prisons We Choose To Live Inside By Dorris Lessing. It Outlines The Main Themes Found Within The Book.

1006 words - 4 pages

In the process of growing older we find ourselves developing certain thoughts and ideas which are often forced upon us by other individuals or groups. In Dorris Lessing's Prisons We Choose To Live Inside she brings up a valuable point being that humans have the most trouble resisting the influence of a group. It is often found that in order to successfully convert a human into the "social or group animal" they must go through many stages. Included in this are brainwashing, the offering of safety provided by the group, and the lack of awareness the members of the group have towards history and their past experiences. Therefore the responsibility falls upon an individual to resist the persuasive ideas of a group.Children can be lead to believe almost everything that they hear; this is where the conformity of society starts. Commercials that discuss how drugs are bad and recycling is good are just some small and somewhat helpful brainwashing techniques that are used. Sadly, that isn't the only brainwashing that the government uses. "We are, all of us to some degree or another, brainwashed by the society we live in" (Prisons, p.37). Brainwashing is what keeps the single-minded society together. Individualism is lost when one group or person is being forced to think in ways that conform to how society thinks as a whole. Brainwashing is very effective, because the nature of humans allows it to on a subconscious level. The message is strong enough to understand but too strong to resist. The ultimate goal of brainwashing is to make the following statement true to everyone:At last, I've discovered the truth! This group of people I so coldly decided to investigate are the possessors of truth, they are my true family. They want me to become part of them and I will, because I understand that all the people outside this family are lost soul, they are no good. (Prisons, p. 39 - 40)The difference between brainwashing and to believe in something is with brainwashing is forced upon the individual, while beliefs are formed by a person's true feelings. An individual thinker is someone who is filled with true beliefs, and is willing to stand by them through whatever individuals or groups believe. Brainwashing is curable, but it isn't always clear on what or when brainwashed ideas are put into the individual's beliefs, "The more sane we are, the more likely we are to be converted" (Prisons, p.39). Lessing is not trying to say that individuals have to be mentally unstable to impose their own beliefs but that the more educated humans are to the society we inhabit, the harder it is to fall captive to the persuasive ways of group pressure.Safety in numbers, only one of the clichés in life that really shouldn't be ignored. In fact, mob mentality is based upon it. Humans can do what ever they want, as long as there are a lot of them, they're...

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