Society, in order to preserve a sense of uniformity, seems to undermine individuality and engender the alienation of those who strive to be different. Through our readings, we have discussed how characters are affected by social conformity and how, more often than not, they find themselves isolated and dehumanized, and at best, misunderstood.
How do people then define their place in society? What are the consequences and implications of resistance to the social forces that uphold conformity? Ultimately, is there a possible balance between our desire to be ourselves and resistance to social conformism, and these social forces? If yes, how is this balance maintained? If no, what happens to our individuality?
Discuss in your essay, how social conformity and nonconformist behavior are represented. You must address Amelie, and you need to choose at least one poem, and one novel or short stories. All in all, you should cover at least THREE of our readings (including the film), and demonstrate how the various characters struggle to preserve their identity against social conventions, and the consequences of their resistance or compliance.
You should write a comparative essay, which does not mean simply discussing one text after the other. You have to engage the texts together by finding similarities and differences between the texts and the characters, and shaping your argument accordingly.
– DO NOT summarize the texts. ANALYZE.
– This is an ARGUMENTATIVE essay. So make sure every paragraph advances your argument.
– Be very careful to avoid PLAGIARISM. Do not use words or ideas from the internet without citing the source. Be sure to enclose words you use from any texts in quotation marks.
– Make sure you transition from one paragraph to the next.
– Your essay must have a title, an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion, and balanced quotations from the various texts.
– Your essay should be written in 12 points Times New Roman, double-spaced, and no longer than 1800 words (around 6 pages).
Here are some key words/concepts you should think about (you don’t need to mention them all, or at all):
Marginalization, isolation, dehumanization, internal vs. external struggles, individual and social perceptions and judgments, individual authority and will vs. social authority, resistance vs. compliance, the inner self and the projected (or social) self, social masks.