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Social Differences In The Awakening By Kate Chopin And The Road

Decent Essays
Max Connon once avowed, “people are going to behave however the social norms permit, and beyond that.” Connon is unambiguously implying that the normal ways of society are going to be followed most of the time but, at some point in time these norms are also going to be disobeyed or challenged. A social norm is defined as the informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society. As societies grow and culture changes, the social norms of a society change as well. Certain deeds become socially intolerable, while other deeds become socially tolerable. In the vastly different novels, The Awakening (Kate Chopin), 1984 (George Orwell), A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens), and The Road (Cormac McCarthy), social norms are…show more content…
Accordingly Edna states “I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself. I can’t make it more clear, it’s only something which I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me (Chopin 62)”. Furthermore, this one quote is essentially the epitome of the novel. Edna loves her children, but she would not give up her newly found identity that is independent of the social expectations of her identity. Edna Pontellier contravenes the 19th century social norms in order to find her true self. Likewise, Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984 disobeys the social norms in order to pursue an outlawed love affair.
1984 by George Orwell is a dystopian- an imagined place in which everything is unpleasant or bad- novel that tells of the alarming future. The novel tells of a totalitarian government (called the “Party”) that uses manipulation and intense surveillance to gain control over the minds of its citizens. Orwell writes,"war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength (6)". These three slogans are the core of the Party. Set in Airstip One, which is a province of the superstate Oceania, the protagonist Winston Smith, searches for independence from the social norms. In the beginning of the novel, Orwell describes posters that say “big brother is watching you (3)”. The “big brother” these posters are referring to is a man with a
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