Influence of Society into the Shaping of Personality
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” Oscar Wilde
Society tries to drive individuals through the roads it wishes to travel, and to the destiny it wishes to arrive. Throughout the course of life, each individual must endure the struggle of surviving the massacre of personalities and the abduction of identities that occur within today’s civilization. If one does not behave as the others do, they may end up being criticized or left behind by the others. Fitting in is the most important thing to accomplish, even if it means to lose one’s identity in the way of getting it. This situation is exemplified in the two works of literature “Greasy Lake” by T. C. Boyle and “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy. In these two stories, it can be seen how society is constantly trying to shape the people to act alike, having no own personality; and look alike, changing their own images to mimic another. Although both stories share the same theme of the individual versus the society, they present two different outcomes it can result: overcoming the pressure or succumbing to it.
“Greasy Lake” was written by the author T. C. Boyle and published in the 1985 in the work “Greasy Lake and Other Stories”. In this short story the author tells how three young men behave rebellious just because that is how others behave. This shows how society influences in the way people act. It “was a time when courtesy and winning ways went out of style, when it was good to be bad, when you cultivated decadence like a taste” (Boyle 365), the narrator expressed. Instead of saying we felt like acting like this, he clearly stated this is what other people thought was good and therefore they should do it. Even more, at the moment of explaining why they were going to the lake he said “because everyone went there” (Boyle 365). That is exactly what happens nowadays. Young...
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