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The Clan of One-Breasted Women by Terry Tempest Williams Essay

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The Clan of One-Breasted Women by Terry Tempest Williams
In our current society it is established that faith is equated with a type of blind acceptance of all that the church or institution stands for. Having faith is still viewed as a wholesome characteristic, though it is more and more becoming correlated with negative connotation that is commonly attached to a thoughtless, dogmatic approach – an absolute obedience of all tenets regardless of conscious thoughts and appeals. In a similar regard, patriotism has become an exemplar of modern faith because it calls for unchallenged compliance with both the laws of the government and their unjustified actions, especially during times of war. Primarily this absolute-authority mindset was instilled within the general population because of the principle of sovereign immunity that was instituted long before the United States was even founded. While widely accepted during the beginning of this country, landmark atrocities initiated by the government, regardless of rationale, emphasized this question of immunity to the people and the court system, eventually leading to revolutionary judgments against the government. Before this, especially during the Cold War, the government fought extensively to keep a jaded population through propaganda. When we view the history of both religion and government, the ideals behind true obedience are strongest when they allow for active engagement on behalf of the citizens, permitting them to question deeply and ultimately follow their consciences. One individual, who had the tragic benefit of being involved with an example of the landmark atrocities the government inflicted, came to the realization that, no matter what obstacles one faces, obedience...


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...ympathize with her, relating a personal perspective or aiding them in better understanding not only the need, but the plausibility of action. She yearns to reclaim real faith, obedience to any institution based on trust and knowledge, from the pitiful, perverted state it is currently in. In order to be truly patriotic, one must question the practices of the government openly, for this will lead to a more unified and collective society. Ultimately, Williams writes these words and constructs her strategies in order to negate the predominant thought that dogmatic faith, in the sense of blind absolute obedience, should be tolerated and that the general populace must stand up, speak out and call for action.

Work Cited
Williams, Terry Tempest. "The Clan of One-Breasted Women." Refuge: An Unnatural History
of Family and Place. New York: Pantheon, 1991. 281-290.


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