Harrison Begeron: The Role Of Conformity - English - Short Story Essay

606 words - 3 pages

September 19th, 2017
The Results of Conformity
The human brain is programmed in such a way that we strive to feel accepted into society. We may not
agree with the system of which we have decided to follow, however, due to the fact that everyone is following it,
we choose to do the same. This is what is known as conformity. Unconsciously, everything we do is somehow
conforming with society. Throughout this short story ​Harrison Bergeron​, written by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. the idea of
conforming is portrayed in many ways. One of the main ways is through the character George Bergeron. George
Bergeron is someone who follows rules and believes in the thought that a world where no one follows rules is a
world of chaos and fighting. As stated, “...If I tried to get away with it, then other people would get away with it
too-and pretty soon we’d be right back to the dark ages…” (Vonnegut, 2). This shows that George believes that
breaking the rules can be nothing but bad. He is also someone who does what is expected of him, or in other words,
he is a conformist.
While reading this short story, it becomes very clear that this fictional character is a conformist, but so is
many real people in society today. For example, I am very similar to George in the means that I am also
conforming with society. I go to school, to get good grades, which will allow me to get into a good university,
which will grant me job support, which guarantees a good life. That is what I believe. Or is it what society has
made me believe? I have this idea that if I follow the majority, I will be successful. However, in reality, it is the
minority that makes their own steps, who become well known amongst the general population. Most people are
unconsciously following these steps, which society has stated is the best way to be happy, just like George. I, for
one, see a very big resemblance with George Bergeron and myself in the way of which we are conforming with
society. We are both wondering what it would be like without this system of which we follow, however, we still
follow it. Furthermore, social media is another big aspect of conformity that I have faced. While on social media
you are doing exactly what is expected of you. You are following the hundreds of thousands of people who believe
that sharing everything in your life to a bunch of strangers is how to be happy. Which in fact is untrue, and it is
only another means of conformity. Social media has a very big influence on people’s actions and physical
appearance. For example, someone might see a very slim person on the internet and wish that they could look like
that. Instead of loving themselves for who they are, they have this preconceived idea that in order to fit in, you
must look a certain way. I can related to this because as a student currently studying in a high school, it is
important for me to look nice, otherwise people will not take me seriously. This is another form of conformity.
In conclusion, conformity may not be a bad thing but it makes everyone unoriginal. It contradicts the idea
that difference is okay, and that everyone is not the same. We all conform with society, however, the question we
should all be asking is how can we stop, and if there is a way that we can stop, should we? Will a world full of
nonconformists be a better place?

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