These past few weeks (or months), we’ve had to write an essay on The Scarlet Letter and conformity/nonconformity, if you so chose. Nonconformity, by Thoreau’s words, is the ability to live by your own rules and morals; to not follow society in any way, shape or form.

I’d been thinking about this over break and such, and one (very, VERY late) night I stumbled my way into a religious discussion. One of the things my friend said was that suppression is not a good thing. “Sooner or later, you’ll  explode.” (It was said literally at the time.) But now, I can see it in a very figurative way.

This year, I had also been reflecting on my life. I had always been one of the “naughty,” “trouble-making” boys in school. Then I thought about how I had always been called to the vice principal’s office, about how he (or she) always tried to tell me not to do something because it was “wrong.” But then I thought about how all points above related–children get no choice in conformity. But that’s a lesser problem.

Children who are repressed in their behaviors are going to go “kablooey” later in life. My hyperactive behavior was obviously repressed and now I’m facing the repercussions, which are my being a “creep” and a “weirdo.” It’s no doubt that kids who were repressed have turned into rapists or “sex offenders,” as the euphemism goes.

But isn’t this the same thing?


2 thoughts on “1-4-10

  1. i see some good thoughts.

    I’ve become more curious about how all of this “non-conformist” stuff we’ve been analyzing can be seen in our own lives. Through the eyes of Hawthorne/Emerson/and that one arrogant guy, we gain the ability to see ourselves with a new perspective, one which is much more analytical, truthful, and harsh. This is a good thing, because we can dodge the words of others, but not the ones which come from ourselves. (unless you’ve developed some sort of double think)

    I’m diverging from my initial question though, as usual.

    I wonder what the effect of “high expectations” (expectations of high grades and such) is on a student. I know it’s a drastic influence which parents or other people can place on children. This subtle conformism to the standards of our day can make or break a person. In the end, is this a positive or a negative effect? It could give the kid the dream he always had of becoming some sort of hard to get profession (astronaut?) or it could easily destroy the kid’s confidence in himself. Leaving him as a broken individual.

    what you think bout that?

    • I still think it’s negative. Think about he-who-shall-not-be-named. He spent the first 16 years of his life slaving over school, and work, and all this other stuff. But now he’s a social outcast. And he will be. Unless he actually gets away from his books every once in a while and talks to people without being totally weird about it. It doesn’t matter if he because really successful and owns a major business corporation. He won’t be able to hold it without having communication skills, which, he lacks because of his shutting himself in his room during childhood to do extra homework.
      Balance is needed. Balance and thought.

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