Claiming Perfection While Causing Problems: Total Institutions

Powerful Essays
As far back as 1887, Native Americans were seen as uncivilized and were forcibly assimilated by the white man to adopt the white man’s culture. This caused many of the Indians to be forced into boarding schools that attempted to teach them American culture, Christianity, and English. In essence, it made them give up everything that they were. The schooling was the result of both a twisted parenting instinct and standard American greed. The Indians were told to value things differently, like the community and environment, in order to fit in with the materialistic American. Almost nobody was willing to admit that there was a “disastrous attempt to force individual Indians or groups of Indians to be what they [did] not want to be”(Boxer).

Like the assimilation of the Indians, pressing students into a single culture to be able to fit in total institutions is a horrible idea.

Total institutions, a place where a large group of people are cut off from the outer community, are dangerous places for society, that appear as great places filled with pride but end up causing more harm than good. “The My Lai Massacre” article and “What is the Citadel” article showed the disastrous results of putting somebody trained as a standard soldier or anything else in a different environment. “Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy” article and The Lords of Discipline show the appalling personalities and character people gain from these total institutes. The terrors of forced assimilation are discussed in the “Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy” Article and the book The Lords of Discipline. The problem of total institutions needs to be solved if our society is to try to stop setting students up for disaster, teaching them bad habits, and the requir...

... middle of paper ... deal with even simple things like traffic lights and clocks. Many lacked jobs, got worsened life styles, and worse living conditions, the very things that they were supposed to be saved from. As a result, a large number of Indians moved back to the reservations. The motivation behind the relocations is thought to be greed, as they could make money off of it(Boxer).

Works Cited

Boxer, Andrew. "Native Americans and the Federal Government." History Today. History

Today, n.d. Web. 26 May 2014.

Conroy, Pat. The Lords of Discipline. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980. Print.

"The My Lai Massacre." PBS. PBS, 29 May 2005. Web. 26 May 2014.

Reilly, Rick. “What is the Citadel?” Sports Illustrated. 14 September.

1992. Web. 19 March 2012.

Reitman, Janet. “Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth’s Hazing

Abuses.” Rolling Stone. Web. 28 March 2014.
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