Term Paper: Can an Individual Be Stronger Than the Society in Which He or She Lives

Pages: 2 (743 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sociology  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell, and the essay "Doublespeak" by William Lutz. Specifically it will discuss the question: "Can an individual be stronger than the society in which he or she lives?" Both of these works look at aspects of society that are sometimes difficult to comprehend. "Shooting the Elephant" illustrates a character who hates the society that condemns another, but he must conform to it to ensure his own survival. "Doublespeak" discusses our society's need to create "gobbledygook" for communication to cover up and confuse a myriad of societal issues. What do these works say about choice in our society? They say choice is difficult, and sometimes impossible, and that a society that ultimately provides few choices is a society that will not survive.

In the end, it is true that most individuals can indeed be stronger than the society where they live. If society is oppressive, there are always those who will hope to change it. Martin Luther King, Jr. And Gandhi are two relatively modern day examples of individuals who have been stronger than the society that oppressed and condemned them. Are Luther and Gandhi so different from the rest of society? Perhaps. It is not hard to see that in these two works; society seems stronger than the participants in the drama. In Orwell's short story, the narrator despises the British imperialistic government, but when surrounded by an angry mob of natives (society), he realizes that he must do something he does not want to do, (shoot the elephant), or the mob will probably murder him. However, it is clear this man is weak because his biggest worry is that the mob will "laugh" at him. Thus, this narrator is not as strong as the society that surrounds him. Some people might be able to persuade the mob to come around to their way of thinking, but it seems the narrator is not that strong, and so, in this case anyway, the society is stronger than he is, and he must submit to society's wishes, rather than his own.

In "Doublespeak," the author feels that society is weakening itself by using incomprehensible language that covers up clear communication and the real meaning of words,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Can an Individual Be Stronger Than the Society in Which He or She Lives.  (2005, April 28).  Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/individual-stronger-society-lives/9524312

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"Can an Individual Be Stronger Than the Society in Which He or She Lives."  28 April 2005.  Web.  21 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/individual-stronger-society-lives/9524312>.

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"Can an Individual Be Stronger Than the Society in Which He or She Lives."  Essaytown.com.  April 28, 2005.  Accessed July 21, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/individual-stronger-society-lives/9524312.