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Rebellion Vs. Conformity Essay, Research Paper


If one believed only in laws or rules that applied to evil, selfish, violent and mala in se crimes and followed only the laws that were for the protection of others, he would still be a criminal. Because he did not conform to some laws that were unjust, even if he hadn t ever hurt a soul, he might be called a non-conformist at best, as well as a criminal. If one believed that some of the laws were unjust but mostly that the system itself acted unjustly and unfairly, he d be considered a rebel. Had he accused the whole system of downright cruel and unusual and unfair treatment of minorities and of the indigent and could prove and convince the public of such, he d most likely be institutionalized. But should he not let the system suppress him, he d be declared dangerously deviant and probably criminally insane and then he d be lobotomized or killed.

Even though the dangerously deviant, criminally insane rebel would be trying to fight for the good of a great many, the authorities would take it as a personal threat, because after all, should the public be convinced of a cruel and unjust system, they would then have the power to change that and Mr. Big Shot would be fired.

To improve upon something is to rebel against it. To perfect and to better existing things is the only way to go forward. A young philosopher.

And it may be that I have a chance to find out, but that is the future .something cons teach themselves not to think about Red, Shawshank prison on hope.

Red, Andy DeFrense s close friend at Shawshank, at first looked forward to his parole hearings. Hoping the highest hope to fool those damn parole board bastards (a tone similar to that reflecting the opinion of all inmates) or maybe convince them that for one reason or another he deserved to go free. But it was only after multiple times getting his hopes up, getting fixed up and acting timid, soft and harmless as a sheep and kind as a saint, he gave up and pretty much sold his hope to the system. He made the parole board think he didn t care what they thought of him by ceasing his brown-nosing (so to speak). He gave up trying, and gave up hope, so they set him free.

For years Red had relied on that single tangy hope for parole and he clung to it for a while, but after a good amount of bright red DENIED stamps, he gave up. When he ceased to agree with the method of talking and living in hope colored water meant to convince the prison of a reason for parole and fermented into gave up colored oil. Only when he laid down did he float above and with his give up/submission, he went free, he conformed and he was left alone.

Andy, on the other hand, never have up, never lost hope and never laid down to the system. He won t regret that. Andy never conformed.

It seems that unless the rebel resorts to violence, the only way for him to get heard or to change something is with a following and as we shall see, it is strength in numbers that sometimes is the rebel s only weapon. Sometimes it is hard to build a following because of fear, etc., but with rebels even an army is sometimes not enough.

Who belongs in a coocoo s nest? R.P. McMurphy, the up-tempo, confident, smiling radical odd-ball could by no means be considered insane, he clearly was a rational human being with a clear head. His actions defied written and implied rules and thus he was socially deviant, but to authorities he was disruptive and needed to be contained.

Aide Williams tells me, Mr. McMurry (mocking), that you ve been somewhat difficult about your admission shower. Is this true? Please understand. I appreciate the way you ve taken it upon yourself to orient with the other patients on the ward, but everything in it s own good time, Mr. McMurry. I m sorry to interrupt you and Mr. Bromden, but you understand, everyone must follow the rules.

He tips his head back and gives a wink that she isn t fooling him any more than I did, that he s onto her. He looks up at her with one eye for a minute.

You know, ma am, he says, ya know that is the exact thing somebody always tells me about the rules…”

McMurphy dared to step forward and demand some rights, but no one stood behind him until he befriended and gave confidence to the repressed. He then grew a following. He was a Jesus figure.

The war between McMurphy (the rebel) and the big nurse (abusive authority) only truly began when he got the friendly group of acutes to no longer agree with every word she said and to stop bending over to her inhumanity. When they realized that they were men worthy of rights no matter what their mental condition (so long as not to endanger others) and joined him, they began to demand some freedom, at least within the confines of the institution. That was definitely a problem.

Everyone in favor of changing the television time to the afternoon, raise his hand.

The first hand comes up, I can tell, is McMurphy s, because of the bandage where that control panel cut into him when he tried to lift it. And then off down the slope I see them, other hands coming up out of the fog. It s like that big red hand of McMurphy s is reaching into the fog and dropping down and dragging the men up by their hands, dragging them blinking into the open. First one, then another, then the next. Right on down the line of Acutes, dragging them out of the fog till there they stand, all twenty of them, raising not just for watching TV, but against the Big Nurse, against her trying to send McMurphy to Disturbed, against the way she s talked and acted and beat them down for years.

What is rebellion after all? McMurphy at the mental institution and Andy at the Shawshank correctional institution never gave up, never laid down and always looked ahead. The system beat McMurphy, because he failed to realize that in fact they were brutal and inhumane, and they were in truth guarding all the doors and holding all the keys. Sometimes the authorities against which one would rebel are too powerful and, even if by deadly force or the like they can stop a rebellion. Andy remained patient and never once became hostile. He waited, he hoped, he dreamed, and he thought. Andy won.

Rebellion is standing up for what you believe. Conforming is keeping it copacetic, learning to accede to it, dealing with injustice and accepting an unworthy, selfish, fearful authority. Fighting against whomever holds you down, without a fear against whatever binds you, is heroism, leadership. It s truth. If one believes in murder or rape or evil, it s different. But all brutality aside, fighting for what one believes is honor. Rebellion equals honor and that is why a group of rebels will never be held down for long. No one likes to submit to orders. Everyone is somewhat anti-authority unless of course we re speaking of a conformist or a naked crying yellow bellied baby coward girl. The key to getting what you want (justice) is knowing what you re up against, and then if it s feasible putting up a fight. The key is to never give up; to never lie down and to put up a fight with everything you got. Can it be said that all heroes are rebels? It seems so. Can anyone win? No, it s a very difficult battle and unless a cause is worthy of the lives of some of your men, it may not be the greatest idea in the world to take on such giant forces.

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