In Persuasion As A Rat Trap

analytical Essay
1822 words
1822 words

The world - a rat trap. A rat trap, is what one would define as a simple instrument designed to trap mice with the use of bait. The world, as one may see it, can be defined as an elaborate rat trap: all the luxuries, privileges, resources - baits - offered by the world lure those foolish enough to possess materialistic life goals. In “Jon”, one of the short stories in George Saunders’ In Persuasion Nation, “the facility” (Saunders, 23) represents the world which provides “the Assessors” (Saunders, 48) with resources including food, clothing, shelter, fame; everything an individual would need to live a comfortable life. The Assessors, including Jon, hold their materialistic goals of comfort, basic amenities, and personal and social recognition …show more content…

This confusion along with their level of interchangeability, often influences people into making the wrong choices, until they realize that in fact, their wants are and have always been what they truly need. There exists a thin line which differentiates what a person wants and what he needs: a want is a desire - a wish - for something, whereas a need is something one has to have in order to survive. What a person fails to realize - like Jon - is that one cannot live his life with only his needs, in fact, there is a need for fulfillment of wants for a person to be content with life. Jon, like most of the other Assessors, focuses on the fulfillment of his needs (though petty and materialistic), and often places them before his wants. He chooses his life in the facility - which fulfilled his needs - over the life which he may have had with Carolyn in the real world “Outside” - which he truly wanted. The facility needed Jon (and the Assessors), and not the other way around. Yes, the life in the facility is full of privileges, resources, fame and status, social life, and respect, but it has a devastating impact on self-confidence, on taking initiative, on individualism: on identity. It is as if, in our heads it always makes sense, but later when we look back, we sometimes realize how big a mistake we have made. This moment of realization where Jon realizes that his …show more content…

It is this notion which gives the capitalists the opportunity and the means to exploit people in the society, through their wants and needs for an easy, nonchalant lifestyle. The problem arises when we start seeing these capitalists as saviors - as rescuers, and sometimes even incarnations of God - who save the people under them, from the hardened, miserable, and volatile life which they may have lead otherwise. It is at this moment where we commit our biggest mistake: put in our trust, faith and our life in the hands of these capitalists. They hardwire such people - make them feel like a prince, where in reality all they are, are peasants being manipulated and controlled to fulfill the personal objectives of these capitalists. It is in moments like these, where a person must realize, that all these comforts - these resources, these status privileges, the capitalists trust in them - are all but ‘baits’, intricately thought of and designed to ‘lure’ an individual into the trap from which - despite tremendous efforts - if caught, it is extremely difficult to escape from. It is, in moments like these, where one must develop and possess the mental

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the world is an elaborate rat trap, where the luxuries, privileges, and resources lure those foolish enough to possess materialistic life goals.
  • Analyzes how an orderly structured society does not allow an individual to grow and flourish. it uses drugs, brainwashing, artificial memories, and preconceived templates to form a plethora of ‘standardized’ people.
  • Analyzes how the "location indicators" and artificial memories are profoundly used to "lure" workers into the grasp of the facility owners.
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