Society's Standards vs. Self

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Smith 1
Connie Smith
Ms. Wheeler
P6 AP Language
15 April 2013
Society’s Standards vs. Self
Everyone likes to think that they are a unique individual who is not controlled or influenced by society. But all societies, no matter what type, have standards. People are what make up society, and they effect society’s expectations. But how do society’s standards influence one’s view of self and their actions? Standards affect one’s idea of self by giving one a superficial idea of what is the norm, and this view affects the way one acts by influencing one to act a certain way to meet or exceed those standards even though it might go against their true identity.

In each society, standards are present, and there are many different standards and expectations. Unfortunately, many of these standards clash and become what seems a never-ending conflict for an individual. Anzaldua, in her writing, explains her struggle of being “American” and being “Hispanic. These different standards changed her view of self. She was so confused on who she was, that she decided to just try and be what her mother or her school wanted her to be. So she now thought of herself as a Mexican speaking English or an American speaking Spanish. Because of this view, her actions changed. She tried being less Hispanic at Smith 2

school and took two speech classes. Yet, at home and church she tried being more Hispanic and less English (Anzaldua, 44). Expectations changed her view of self and her actions.
Cooper in his writing, “A Clack of Tiny Sparks…” illustrates his struggle with himself. Cooper would not have had this hard struggle with his identity if society’s standards had not affected him. To be gay was not very acceptable in his day and time, and he was aware of those expectations. This influenced his idea of self, and he thought of himself as an outsider. This view definitely affected the way he acted. When one asked him if he was a “fag”, he tried making himself less conspicuous while...
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