Non Conformity Ruins Society
Whether they like it or not, everyone conforms to society in one shape or another. Acceptance keeps its number one spot as the most sot after goal. Most reach tolerance by piers first starting out in school as a young child and as they get older, many change in their mental state. They like new music, clothes and everything that makes an individual. However there, like on a pedestal for everyone to stair at, is the high standard of how to be, look like and act first introduced by Plato. That very par crushes human minds and molds them like robots; a cookie cutter life that is unreal. What happens when someone or a whole town breaks that mold? People become scared of the unfamiliar and that drives them away. Sherwood Anderson wrote about his experiences with non conformity in his novel Winesburg, Ohio published in 1995. Anderson grew up in Ohio being the third of seven Children. As a teenager, he had to leave school to support his family. He soon realized that he had a gift for story telling which he thought came from his father. With his brother, Anderson attended Wittenberg Academy where he discovered his true passion for writing. Most of his life, Anderson knew how it felt to be an outsider in a rapidly growing community. Being a writer was not an ordinary job of the early Twentieth Century. In Winesburg, Ohio, the story revolves around the people and the individual story instead of a greater plot. This was strange to see in novels but Anderson was not an ordinary person. He suffered, “a mental breakdown resulting in temporary amnesia” (“Sherwood Anderson”). That caused him to write even more about unusual events, people, and places. Not many people enjoyed his thinking outside the box and since he did not conform to what society told him to, it was hard for him to establish himself. Each character in Winesburg, Ohio relates to Anderson’s life and people around him. Every person in the town does not conform to society and that leads to loneliness because they dare to be different, they loose their selves in their pasts, and they are scared of what people think about them. Beliefs and ambitions are not easily changed when it comes to adults. Their lives establish who they are and where they have been. Mr. Tom Willard inhabits Winesburg as a middle aged political activist and he, “’was a Democrat here in Winesburg when it was a crime to be a Democrat. In the old days the fairly hunted us with guns’” (Anderson 22). Republicans dominate in the city and feel that it is important to keep it that way. They only enjoy the familiar and not trying to change for the better or worse depending on the outcome. However, Tom believes strongly in a democrat community but that gets him in trouble. For him, nothing will stop him being who he longs to be. Edwin Fussell refers to the, “center of tension may now be broadly defined as the polarity of artist and society [. . .] the shifting in values that it is possible to attach to the words ‘normal’ and ‘isolated’” (Fussell 106-107). Everyone in the town seems secluded because they think that they can not relate on any subject. With no common thoughts, the city survives motionless on a thin string about to snap. The artist refers to a person making beautiful art for people to love, but if no striking art sits in the light then no one will come to see. The culture positions a standard for the town that remains unreachable. Dr. Parcival enjoys talking about a criminal past and his idea that, “It is this – that everyone in the world is Christ and they are all crucified” (Anderson 39). Christ emanates change and positive way of life. Since the citizens of Winesburg have viewpoints as well, and Dr. Parcival thinks that they will die a horrible painful death just as Jesus does but that is an incorrect statement. That mentality drives away the public and forces them to hide from the world. There is no wonder why people of the town stay away from each other. They have...
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