Individuals Vs. Society Essay, Research Paper
An individual?s role in society can vary with the number themes the characters exhibit. When there are signs of fate, cruelties, weaknesses, and desires for justice and catharsis the role of an individual becomes more complicated. In Antigone, most of those themes are shown thus a single person?s influence or role on society is very small and complicated to attain. However in The Lottery the society has most of the control and there is not many signs of those characteristics so the role of a person is simplified because they are nothing compared to the society combined. Finally, in The Penalty of Death, there are signs of many of the themes but since it is the societies influence against that of an individuals, it is simplified because they have to work together.
Out of the three readings, I believe that Antigone exhibits most of the characteristics that complicates an individual?s role in society. There is a considerable amount of fate shown in this story. For example, the most evident is that of our main character Antigone. Her fate is shown from the Prologue where she makes her decision to bury her brother Polyneices. ?Ismene, I am going to bury him. Will you come?? There is a point that sort of suggests where her conflict will arise where she defies Creon?s law by saying, ?Creon is not strong enough to stand in my way.? Weakness was shown on the part of Creon. His main weaknesses were his cruelty and hubris. He seems especially cruel when he is enraged with Haimon for taking Antigone?s side and says, ?Bring her out! Bring the woman out! Let her die before his eyes! Here, this instant, with her bridegroom beside her!? This act of savageness is also because of his tragic flaw, hubris. He is too proud and arrogant to change his ways like when Teiresias warns him of his fate yet he refuses and says, ?Whatever you say, you will not change my will.? Due to Creon?s unchallenged law and sentence, Antigone yearns for justice to be enforced on him. There is a very good example where she states, ?But if the guilt lies upon Creon who judged me, then, I pray, may his punishment equal my own.? With all of these themes in the story, it further complicates the role of an individual on society.
The Lottery has a many themes that the characters or group of characters show. There was fate because no on really knew who would be picked, and when Tessi Hutchinson was picked, it was because of fate. This fate is different than the kind of fate shown in Antigone. In Antigone, the person?s actions controls their fate, while in The Lottery there is no action shown which can lead to her fate. It is an act of randomness. Tessi Hutchinson had a weakness which was that she kept on saying, ?It isn?t fair!? and all sorts of excuses like that to prevent her family or herself from being picked, even though she had gone through the lottery many times before without saying anything. Her weakness is that she cared too much for herself and her family in a society where one person?s opinion doesn?t matter and it is a dog-eat-dog world. One can clearly tell that, by our definition of cruelty, the actions of the townspeople are cruel. They pick a random person a month from their own to be stoned to death for reasons not comprehensible by us. Tessi defended her family from being picked and stated the picking wasn?t fair because she wanted justice. She didn?t want any of her family members to die; she wanted someone else to be picked. With all of odds set against an individual, it simplifies their role and influence on society because an individual is considered nothing is alone.
The Penalty of Death describes the nature of man and what its faults are. In it, the need for catharsis and the wanting of justice are very much alike. A person wants them for the same reason, so that the person who harmed them would not go unpunished and to feel a sense of satisfaction. He states that catharsis is used to relieve a person of their emotions. He gives an example where a victim will turn in the criminal because they are not at rest unless that person is brought to justice. That brings me to my point about wanting/enforcing justice in which is it used for basically the same reason, for catharsis. ?When there is a crime which destroys a whole community?s sense of security. Every law-abiding citizen feels menaced and frustrated until the criminals have been struck down ? until the community capacity to get even with them, and more than even, has been dramatically demonstrated.? This is stating that victims of an act of crime cannot continue with their regular unless they are convinced the criminals got what they deserved. Here is another example, ?Until they are brought to book that unhappiness continues; when the law has been executed upon them there is a sigh of relief. In other words, there is katharsis.? An individual?s role in society is simplified because the society works together to achieve catharsis and justice.
The more themes (that were mentioned earlier) that are present, the more complicated the role of an individual?s on society is. It also makes it harder for them to achieve anything against society since they have less influence. However, society has more influence and a bigger role against an individual if those themes are shown. The less of those themes exhibited the more influence a single person has on the society. In the three writings, there is no example of where a person?s influence is high. There is an example of how their influence is not high or that the societies influence is high because they work together like in The Penalty of Death. The influence of an individual is varied by the number of themes shown in a said writing.