Essay on Conformity and Rebellion

834 Words4 Pages
“Lead or Follow” Should I conform? Should I rebel? This has and always will be, a constant battle struggled individually, or as a society. A certain amount of conformity needs to exist in life in order to avoid disorder. This is the reason we have laws. Take those laws, rules, control, or even expectations, to an extreme, and some form of rebellion is probable. Struggle with these opposites, and you have a catalyst for war, or perhaps, being fired from a job. Literature represents life, and this theme can be found at the root of many literary works. “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, reflects blind conformity by the villagers with a hint of rebellion. Every June 27th the lottery takes place; the prize for winning is death. The…show more content…
Jing-Mei feels differently though, “Unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to. I could only be me,” (359/80) and she was correct for she had no natural musical talent. Jing-Mei has a desire to please her mother, but an even stronger one to choose her own life. She pacifies her mother by going to piano lessons but puts in no effort. Jing-Mei is “…determined to put a stop to her blind foolishness,” (356/48) but her mother’s desire to create a prodigy to compete with Aunt Lindo’s daughter, keeps her focused on the impossible. That is, until Jing-Mei escalates this conflict to its breaking point in rebellion. Stunning her mother, she shouts “Then I wish I’d never been born! I wish I were dead! Like them,” (359/77) referring to the twin daughters her mother lost in China. Sadly, the mother’s desire to have Jing-Mei conform to her expectations creates a constant battle between mother and daughter, and, in rejecting those expectations, seeing disappointment in her mother’s face all too often causes Jing-Mei to feel, “something inside me began to die” (353/18). In Hanan Mikha’il ‘Ashrawi’s poem, “Night Patrol” we get a more subtle view of conformity and rebellion. It is of a soldier’s inner battle to adhere to his duties, against his desire to be elsewhere. The soldier finds himself in the “depths of confrontation I/ never dared to
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