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What Is an Individual's Role in Society?

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Schlosser, Brianna

Mrs. Hoke

AICE General Paper

29 August, 2017

What is an individual's role in society?

        An individual’s role in society can be interpreted in many ways. As I see it, each person represents a different aspect of modern society. Reading the four texts, Night, by Elie Wiesel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, “Too Young to Say I Do” by Patricia Smith, and “This Teen Invented a Lifesaving Vehicle” by Brooke Ross, all come back and relate to this topic. Adding on to this, they also relate to the quote “To be different is to be condemned by society”.

         To start off, many examples are shown in Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck. Curley’s wife has a lot of restrictions put on her life. She is not allowed to talk to the people working on the ranch, even though she does. Because she is a woman, her husband was allowed to say that she cannot have a job, and she wanted to be a movie star. To add on, Lennie clearly has mental disorders. He often gets in trouble because of these drawbacks. In the end, he ends up being killed for “his own good” because of how he couldn’t understand the way many aspects of the world work. Another example is Crooks, the black stable buck who was never treated like the whites. Crooks had to stay in a separate bunk house just because of the color of his skin. He was not allowed to go to town with the rest of the workers and basically had to keep to himself. In contrast, Curley is a white male, whose father owned the ranch. He was more accepted than any of the workers because of his higher social and economic status. He was “allowed” to boss around George and Lennie and the rest of them just because his father owned some land. As shown, people who didn’t fit the mold of white male with money were thought less of in this time.

        In the other novel, Night by Elie Weisel the main role in society that is being condemned is the Jewish religion.  Jews were killed and put into concentration camps to eventually be killed all because of the way they wanted to worship their god. To contrast, white Christians got to live their lives somewhat normal for this time period. Going back to the concentration camps, women were also looked at as being weak and were most of the time killed right away. They weren’t even given a chance to try. These go along with stereotypes created generations ago. In the book, Elie was made to lie about his age so that he would be considered a strong young man and not a child. Because of this one lie, he got to stay with his dad for years to come. This fact goes along with the stereotypes and being put into groups that aren’t “normal”, then being penalized for it.

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