Ideas And Values Shape Who You Become In Society

1259 words - 6 pages

Amanda FarmerJohnsonEnglish 210/20/14 Ideas and Values Shape Who You Become in SocietyMost people strive to have a good social standing and the ideas and values they hold on to can often influence their place in society. Society dictates which ideas and values will be accepted and which will be rejected. The values that stick with us the most are usually taught to us as children and help to influence who we become. In "Girl" and "Good People", the characters were raised to have religious values and to behave in a way that will make it easy for them to fit into their society. The main characters in these stories had their values imposed on them at a young age, and helped to shape who they've ...view middle of the document...

Even on the phone they speak "in a kind of half code in case anybody accidentally picked up the extension" (153). Neither of them goes to a friend or even religious leaders to talk about their situation, "not Pastor Steve or the prayer partners at campus ministries, not his UPS friends or the spiritual counselling available through his parents' old church" (152) because they are ashamed. Specifically, Lane feels "like he knew now why it was a true sin and not just a leftover rule from past society" (152). In "Girl" and "Good People", the main character's religious values have an affect on who they are in society, a good person or someone "who gets to touch the bread" (Kincaid, 121).Even though Lane Dean and Sheri had made the appointment, they were still uncertain of their decision. Lane knew he couldn't make up his girlfriend's mind because "he knew if he was the salesman of it and forced it upon her that was awful and wrong" (Wallace, 152) and he knows it isn't his place to make a decision for her. However, he wishes he could know what Sheri is thinking and "get her to open up and say enough back that he could see her and read her heart and know what to say to get her to go through with it" (152). Sheri knows Lane Dean is a good person, and that he respects her enough to know he cannot force her to side with him, but he still wishes he could persuade her to have the abortion. Ultimately, it is Sheri's decision to have the abortion, or cancel the appointment. Similarly, included in the long list of instructions in "Girl" is "how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child"(Kincaid, 120), so the girl can decide for herself whether or not to have an abortion. Beside how to make medicine, the girl is taught other gender specific lessons that include cooking, sewing, laundry, and grocery shopping. She needs to learn how to sew in order to hem a dress "so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming" (120) and looking indecent in public. All of these instructions are aimed to make it easier for the girl to find a husband by teaching her "how you set a table for dinner with an important guest… how to behave in...

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