Society's Influence on People Depicted in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant and Lucy Grealy's Mirrors

Society's Influence on People Depicted in George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant and Lucy Grealy's Mirrors

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Throughout the ages, people have at times been influenced by society to do things they would not normally do. There are people who have been influenced to do things they did not desire to do at the behest of others, simply to be accepted by their peers. The choices that are made in life affect you either way even if they were made by you or someone else. Each choice made has a consequence which will affect the individual and in return the decision will produce a particular outcome. Influence is a hard thing to calculate into someone’s life and seeing how it changes lives for better or for worst is very difficult. Perseverance through hardship is a theme that is seen in many works of literature, these include “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell and “Mirrors” by Lucy Grealy. Influences fulfill their objectives while affecting others in many different ways. Both authors show similarities and differences by explaining how life is taken advantage of by others.
Society affects the choices an individual makes throughout his or her life. In “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell, Orwell describes how he was mistreated and hated his entire life. He is the actual narrator of this story and he tries to understand why people are the way they are. “The only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me” (Orwell, 354). This shows that he is finally happy being accepted by society, even if he was wrong in his actions against the elephant. For Orwell, he is constantly battling with his need to do what he knows is correct versus what will gain him acceptance into the society. In “Mirrors” by Lucy Grealy, Grealy explains how throughout her whole life she battled the traumatic disease of cancer. She is ...

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...shows how she kept to herself and never let her emotions show. This is revealed when she states “Not surprisingly, I viewed sex as my salvation”; in which she explains how she found consolation in men to making her feel acknowledged only by that specifc sense of pleasure through sex. She mostly concentrates on the emotional pain her disease brought her. The tone in this story shows how appearance is affective in someone’s life and helps to shape one’s identity.

Life is a constant battle between people and society. Influence plays a great role in society because it helps people define themselves. It causes a great impact on the way people live and how they interact with society. When one does not conform to the norms of society, be it via appearance or political affiliation; the individual runs the risk of not being accepted into the surrounding society.

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