Rebellion or Conformity? an Evaluation of the Two
Rebellion or Conformity? An Evaluation of the Two Throughout life, an individual is faced with many instances of change and reform that he or she can adapt to, rebel against, move beyond, or conform to. Although conforming may be the quickest, safest and easiest route to take, it may not always be what is best. But what is a person to do when everything that he or she came to know and love is morphing into a new, unrecognizable world? I think what it comes down to is a personal choice, a decision that should be made based on an individuals preferences and needs. In The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa and Chen Village Under Mao and Deng, the authors write about times of change and reform in Japan and China, and how individuals of different backgrounds, education levels, and wealth classes cope with and respond to these changes. In Chen Village Under Mao and Deng, a Chinese village experiences great deals of conflict when the government sends a group of representatives called a work team to break down whole structure and set up a new, modern, and stronger government within the village. In Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa, the narrator is a scholar who takes trips to America and Europe as a studier to gain knowledge on their ways of life to help improve Japan. However, at that time Japan was filled with an anti-foreign attitude because the country felt exploited by other more advanced countries and wanted to show that it could industrialize and improve on its own. There are three main reasons why someone would rebel or conform: fear of being persecuted, possibility of gain/loss in status and protection for self or the one’s they love. In both books, a fear of being persecuted is solely the reason for conforming and adapting to the change. Typically, a sense of power in numbers or strength causes many of those opposing a group to conform. When Yukichi came back home he wrote about how he felt that Western culture could and was helping Japan, but he did not
Cited: Chan, Anita, Richard Madsen, and Jonathan Unger. Chen Village Under Mao and Zeng. Los Angeles: University of California, 1984.
Fukuzawa, Yukichi, and Eiichi Kiyooka. The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa. New York: Columbia UP, 2007.