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Rebellion: Noble or Immature?

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When one hears the word “rebellion,” he is inclined to imagine a brave, intelligent revolutionary who does not blindly conform to the majority, but does what he deems right and just. A rebel will do whatever it takes to bring into existence the world he wishes to see. This may be an admirable image, but it is not always the case. On many occasions, rebellion results from selfish, unpretentious desires. Rebellion is not only synonymous with independence and brilliance; it is also linked to immaturity and ignorance. This is evident in “Editha” by William Dean Howells, John Updike’s “A&P,” Ovid’s piece, “Metamorphosis,” and “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas.

In “Editha,” Howells uses exceptional imagery in order to tell the tale of an ordinary young couple. Editha, a bold, demanding, and stubborn woman, wants her fiancé, George, to fight in the Spanish-American War of 1898. George, an enigmatic pacifist, was brought up to see war as a brutish monster created by man. Editha, a hopeless romantic, wants George to serve his country in order to be “her hero” (Howells 216). After much thought, George decides to rebel against his own beliefs in order to conform to a woman’s standards of something she knows nothing about. George may be going against his family’s mantra, but not for a noble cause. He is merely doing it to please his juvenile fiancé. He blindly states, “When I differ from you I ought to doubt myself” (Howells 216). As a result of his foolishness, George is killed in a war he does not agree with in the first place. In this instance, rebellion is unwise.

It is also unwise for one to quit his job in an attempt to impress a group of beautiful young women. This is the scenario Updike presents...

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... parent’s wishes. One should not follow the majority if it is cruel, unjust, or undesirable, but one should not rebel without reasonable grounds. An individual should follow his desires, but he should consult his own intellect first.

Works Cited

Howells, William Dean. "Editha." Nash, Quentin Miller and Julie. Connections: Literature for Composition. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008. 215-224.

Ovid. "Metamorphoses." Nash, Quentin Miller and Julie. Connections: Literature for Composition. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008. 393-395.

Thomas, Dylan. "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night." Nash, Quentin Miller and Julie. Connections: Literature for Composition. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008. 303.

Updike, John. "A&P." Nash, Quentin Miller and Julie. Connections: Literature for Composition. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008. 244-249.
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