The Greatness Of Non-Conformity Analysis

Decent Essays
The Greatness of Non-Conformity Some people don’t like being like everyone else, so they break the rules of society. Non-conformity is greatly addressed in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Non-conformity is important to Thoreau, he uses it in many different situations and times in his life. Thoreau uses non-conformity in his early life as a child and college student. “MOTHER: I wouldn’t mind your being peculiar. But do you have to work at it so hard, David Henry? HENRY: Henry David. MOTHER: Getting everything backwards. How did you learn your letters? HENRY: Must the alphabet begin with A? (He stands.) Why not with Z? Z is a very sociable letter. Like the path of a man wandering in the woods. A is braced…show more content…
I prefer Z. Z-Y-X-W-V-U-T-S—— (He makes a zig-zag course out of the cell into the thrust area.) MOTHER: Oh, dear——-! HENRY: Or mix them up. Start with H. Start with Q. (WALDO, younger and straighter, has moved to a lectern where the light makes his face glow with an inner radiance. He is at the climax of an address.) WALDO: (Projecting.) Cast Conformity behind you. (HENRY sees WALDO, and sinks to the floor, sitting squat-legged as a youthful admirer at the feet of an idol.) HENRY: (As if memorizing a commandment.) “Cast . . . Conformity . . . Behind You . . . !”(Lawrence/Lee 5-6) “JOHN: At least you’ve got a diploma! HENRY: No, I don’t. JOHN: Why not? HENRY: They charge you a dollar. And I wouldn’t pay it. JOHN: But think how Mama would love it—your diploma from Harvard, framed on the wall! HENRY: Let every sheep keep his own skin.” (Lawrence/Lee 7) Henry adapts to non-conformity at a young age as shown in the first quote, when he’s talking to his mother and…show more content…
“BAILEY: Now don’t make a ruckus. I’m not a troublemaker. I just want to earn my keep, make a little tobakky money, and get along. HENRY: “Get along”! Those words turn my stomach. Mister—whats’s your name? BAILEY: Bailey (A figure crosses the Village Square pompously. HENRY hears with animal keenness.) HENRY: Mr. Bailey, listen! What do you hear? BAILEY: Nothing— ’cept footsteps. HENRY: Footsteps of what? BAILEY: A man, I guess. HENRY: Where’s he walking? BAILEY: How would I know? HENRY: I know where he’s going. He’s going where he’s supposed to go. So he can be where he’s supposed to be, at the time he’s supposed to be there. Why? So he’ll be liked. My God, a whole country of us who only want to be liked. (Jutting his face squarely at BAILEY.) But to be liked, you must never disagree. And if you never disagree, it’s like only breathing in and never breathing out! A man can suffocate on courtesy. (He paces.) What if God wanted to be liked instead of loved? What if the Almighty delayed every decision until He was sure it would please the majority? Great whale might have offended some legislature, which God knew would rise up some day to speak endlessly of the Common Good! (Vehemently.) Common Good be damned! Give me something magnificently uncommon!”(Lawrence/Lee 13-14) “SAM: Lookee here, Henry. You gonna pay up your tax or ain’t ya? HENRY: you pay your tax, Sam? SAM: If I
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