Conformity and the Individual in the two texts The Wave and Dead Poet's Society.
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Conformity and the Individual Two texts we have studied this semester are The Wave and Dead Poet's Society. Both of these texts explore the concept of Conformity and Individuality by putting average people in a place where they feel pressured to act upon something. They have two choices, to do the same as everyone else and conform, or to be different and rebel. In its extreme form conformity is the loss of individuality and free will. An extreme conformist is unable to make a decision for him/herself. An extreme individual has to be different no-matter what, this means nothing he/she does can be the same as anything else. Thus the extreme individual is little different from the conformist in that he/she loses his/her choice as the ego takes over, thereby losing their freewill.
However waves are repetitive, they do not just come once, this is where the comparison ends. Waves do not learn from their past experience; humans do. When the members of The Wave realised what they were doing they began to understand what had happened; if someone tried to control them again they would be more wary. Therefore, they have changed (also like waves, no two waves are the same). Although conformity itself is the lack of change when it ends nothing is the same again. So it is the act of change between conformity and individuality that creates the most change. Dead poets society used a totally different approach. The Wave started with individuals, these individuals changed to fit in and became conformists, then, after realising what they had done they took control and became stronger individuals.
We know that the person who acts Mr Keeting is kind and funny, we believe that whatever he says is right. Also, when we look at the characterisation and expressions on some of the students we can see the true emotions which underlie the words.. When Neil first starts asking his friends if they want to resurrect the society most of them express reluctance. However most of them join the group out of curiosity. Those who do not are pressured by the members, they say how much fun it will be and try and 'guilt' them into coming. For the sake of mateship they agree to join. In conclusion both texts illustrate Conformity and the Individual. The characters grow and strengthen due to a change of values and ideals. Individuality brings about change slowly, conformity stifles change, but when a person grows and actually swaps from one to the other, that is when they change, grow and learn the most.
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