Globalization and the Role of the State

Topics: George Orwell, State, Vietnam War Pages: 4 (1438 words) Published: December 16, 2012
The individual and the state have been a force against each other throughout the beginning of society. Despite the conflict, the individual cannot flourish without the support by the state and vise visa. The individual help support and develops the state while the state provides order and protection. The state brings pressure and expectation to the individual to act accordingly. The individuals are put in a box and if the individual steps out of the box the state begin to criticize the individual negatively because the state believes we as the individual must act a certain way. Many writers have seen and experienced this particular relationship. Some works that describe the relationship between the state and the individual can be in found in texts named On the Rainy River by Tim O’ Brien, Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell, and On Seeing England for the First Time by Jamaica Kincaid.

In the text, named On the Rainy River, the author encounters internal conflict deciding whether he should fight in the Vietnam War or to flee. The author states, “Both my conscience and my instincts were telling me to make a break for it, just take off and run like hell and never stop.” This shows his decision of fleeing from fighting the war as an individual which the author believed was the best choice. According to the state, his decision is a cowardly act. However, his decision later back fired as he encountered hallucination of the people he knew. He faced hallucination when he stated, “A hallucination, I suppose, but it was as real as anything I would ever feel. I saw my brother and sister, all the townsfolk, the mayor and the entire Chamber of Commerce and all my old teachers and girlfriends and high school buddies.” This reference shows his internal conflict with the pressure he encountered by the state. The hallucination made him realized that his early decision was a gutless act and he must face the fact he must fight in the Vietnam War. As an individual, he also felt...
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