Nonconformity to Society as Source of Self Development

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An Approach to Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

As human beings, no two of us are the same. We look, act and think differently from each other. However, man cannot live without community because it is the essence of social bond. Community binds one person to another, transforming aggregates of individuals into coherent social groups. When the Scottish philosopher Thomas Hobbes wondered how society was possible, he had in mind how it could come to pass that men would live together in some semblance of civility and community, since their natural want was to follow their own interests. The great French sociologist Emile Durkheim was struck by a similar observation: man naturally inclines toward the pursuit of his own interests, yet cannot live except in society, which demands that he yields to the interests of others. That is, man always wants to live in peace, free from oppression and enjoy happiness. However, every society is based on rules and norms, customs and traditions that must be observed. But some individuals stand up to authority figures, they are not intimidated by authority and will assert themselves rather than trying to please teachers, parents, bosses, judges and police officers etc. By turning their back on tradition, by casting off the trappings of social and cultural conventions, such individuals are libelled nonconformists; they are thus viewed and treated differently in society with possible varying results. Nonconformity should be admired and admonished, valued and reproved depending on the various situations it is applied to; nonconformity may have both positive and negative outcomes, ghastly consequences and excellent results. Generally, nonconformist attitude generates conflict between the individual and society. Over the years, conflicts between individuals and societies have brought about changes. Without the existence of nonconformists, we wouldn’t have...
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