Conformity vs. Deviance

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“Conformity” means to not stray from social expectations, while “deviance” means to stray from social expectations. Depending on your point of view either can have positive or negative results.

Two novels, Stargirl and Fahrenheit 451 are books about what can happen if we attempt to uniform equality and the character’s realization of the truth, his attempt to change his world and the characters that help him do it.

The characters from the novels Fahrenheit 451 and Stargirl are alike in many ways. For example, Archie from Stargirl is similar to Faber from F451 because they are both older guys who help someone in their book. Archie helps Leo, the main character in Stargirl, understand things better. An example of this is when Archie helps Leo accept Stargirl when he tells him “Star people are rare. You’ll be lucky to meet another”. In F451, Faber helps Montag, who was once a fireman, save books after Montag realizes that burning books is wrong. Another comparison is between Montag and Leo. Both had conformed to a way that their society expected. However, after meeting someone new to the area, they questioned why they were doing things. In the end they believed that straying from social expectations sometimes changes things for the better.

I think that Stargirl believes people should accept themselves for who they are. She also believes people should live life the best they can. She shows Leo examples of this when she does not conform to the ways of the kids in her new school. She continues to dress in her unique style and do participate in the things she enjoys doing. Leo is quoted as saying to Stargirl “Look at you. It’s Saturday. I’ve been with you all day, and you spent the whole day doing stuff for other people.” Leo also realizes this as he watches her play her ukulele at lunch, when she wears her long dresses with flower prints and sandals and does not care if people think she is a free spirited hippie. Stargirl really makes Leo thinks when she asks him “Don’t you like different?”

Faber listed three things that we get from books: They have quality; they give us leisure time and time to think; and they give us the knowledge and sometimes the courage to take action in something. But books give different things to different people.

I believe Faber has the same values as Stargirl. Both think they should do what they believe in which will help them achieve victory in the end. One difference is Stargirl is not afraid to express herself openly in front of her peers. Faber knows what is being done is wrong, and he wants to change it, but is afraid to openly act differently.

I believe I have been brought up to have a strong character. Reading books strengthens these values and morals. Sometimes when I read certain books I learn a lesson that may help me in my future life. Some of the major lessons re-emphasized this year were not to judge people and be you. Also, I learned not to stereotype and not to let technology take over my life. Reading books make me re-think my values and morals more. Faber is correct when he says “It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that were once in books”.

Fictional characters, like the ones in To Kill A Mockingbird, made me think more about judging people. They also helped me realize there is more to a person then just what they look like. An example in To Kill A Mockingbird was when an innocent man, Tom Robinson, was accused of, prosecuted and executed for raping a white woman just because he was black.
One lesson learned from these novels is that when people do not conform, or are deviant, although you may be doing what is right or what you truly believe in, it still may have negative consequences. We must realize that the right choice may not be the easy choice.





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