Stargirl, A Microcosm of Societal Conformity

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Imagine a thirteen year old middle school girl, wearing Guess boots and an Abercrombie hood in order to fit in. Visualize a thirty five year old man listening to the top forty radio stations and watching American Idol, so he can have something to add to the discussion with his co-workers over coffee break. The various types of behaviours stated before are pertained to as conformity. Conformity refers to the process by which an individual's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours are influenced by other individuals. Except, how do these necessities manipulate a being? Social psychologists have conducted an assortment of experiments and concluded that, through a range of forms of social influence, groups can alter their members’ personality. Jerry Spinelli’s novel Stargirl depicts the physiological troubles with conformity as it’s main theme. Furthermore it leaves the reader inquiring is my personality truly me? Or had it been predisposed by the society? Spinelli declares that conformity damages a person’s personality through changing their identity, tolerance level, and individuality. In Stargirl, the high school symbolizes the general public, how the weak follows the influential and powerful moreover individuals who don’t follow the powerful are looked low upon. Identity is one of the major physiological issues, which are distorted when one practices conformity. Identity is not just a set of computerized data that differentiates one from another, identity is something much deeper and personal; ultimately it's about personal worth. Ones identity is about how one perceives themselves in relation to their families, society, gender, and beliefs. It's also about how we perceive and value one another. The shifting of identit... ... middle of paper ... short-lived and means nothing after those brief 3 years of high school; rather, it is a true hero or heroine who is brave enough to stand against the crowd that will live on in memories. In conclusion, People often conform from a desire to achieve a sense of security within a group—typically a group that is of a similar age, culture, religion, or educational status. Any unwillingness to conform carries with it the very real risk of social rejection. Spinelli makes it understandable in Stargirl; he believes conformity is one of the chief issues in today’s time which is responsible for the corruption of people’s personality. He shows this problem through physiological struggles such as altering ones identity which he displays through the characters to Stargirl and Hillari Kimble. One doesn’t have their tolerance level in control, and individuality is destroyed.

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