“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson is saying that if you stay yourself after all the peer pressure that surrounds you, it is a big accomplishment. He is saying to not go with the flow, but to stand out as you. I agree with this critical lens. The novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman illustrate the critical lens. Speak is about how the main character, Melinda, is trying to find her identity and trying to be herself. The book Maus is about the Holocaust, which was caused by one group of people extremely disliking the identity of another group. The Jewish were just trying to observe their own religion, but Hitler and the Nazi’s didn’t want them too.
The novel Speak illustrates the critical lens very well. Throughout the whole novel, Melinda tries to find her place in society. She is trying to find who she is and be herself. The theme of the novel is speaking out and being you. Melinda was trying to be like everyone else at a party, and she got herself into trouble. If she hadn’t just followed the crowd, she probably wouldn’t have been raped. After the incident, Melinda doesn’t know how to talk about it with anybody. She doesn’t let her personality show; she just tries to fade into the background.
The graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman also illustrates the critical lens. This novel is about the Holocaust. The Holocaust was started because of a hatred of a race. The Jewish population and others were brutally slaughtered and murdered by Hitler and his Nazi’s. The Jews should have been able to observe their own religion, and be their selves. They were murdered because they were just being themselves. During the Holocaust, a lot of them were afraid to be themselves.
“To be your se
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