Has conformity killed our creativity & individuality? (Revised)

What  is conformity ? Conformity is a action in accord with  prevailing social standards ,attitudes ,practices,etc. Conformity can affect many things including  groups, people society .In my opinion many people in society are conformists.Many people feel pressured into staying with the social norms and not wanting to cause too much attention towards themselves.Conformity crushes individuality and creativity and makes our society boring with little to no variety among our people.However giving into acts of conformity can cause danger and cause people to change their behaviours.This gets them into bad situations and can cause harm to themselves.I believe the main reasons why so many people are conformists is because of peer pressure, not wanting to be judged by society and the fact that conformity can act as a safety blanket.

 

Peer pressure is among the most common ways to get someone to conform into a social or group norm.Peer pressure is everywhere and thought very little of, sometimes these pressures go unnoticed. However the most common places where people feel pressured into doing something they do not want to do is at school,at work,in public,online,and even at home. It isn’t just places that can make us feel obligated to conform its also the people surrounding us at school,work,online, etc. For those who are easy targets and often follow others actions, giving into peer pressure can be dangerous.Sure it means your a conformist, but it can prompt people (such as peers or colleagues) to see just how far you will go to fit in with the crowd. Also by becoming a conformist or constantly still doing things you are not comfortable with it can take your voice and reasoning away. When situations have gotten this bad it usually leads people to dangerous situations because now they are afraid to take action for in their own lives even when threatened by danger. For example if a conformist was placed in a room filled with other people and the room set on fire, this person would probably look to see what others were doing before taking action. This reaction is caused because this person does not want to drag attention to themselves, even though they knew they were in serious trouble.With more and more conformists in our society, how will we, as humans, ever solve a conflict or evolve if we are continuously needing to look to others who may or may not solve our problems.

Secondly, most conformists hate the thought of being judged by anyone.This is why it is easier for these people to conform to society’s norms because there is less of a chance of anyone judging them, after all everyone else is doing the same thing. Having a ton of people to follow  makes it easier  to make decisions. These type of people will do their clothes,their makeup or even their hairstyle like everyone else just to make sure they don’t receive any negative comments.These are called trends and are seen everywhere!Many people are constantly trend seeking and trying out the next trend, which had caused society to become obsessed with this fixation.People who care as much as this about what others think of them or more susceptible to peer pressure , thus continuing this viscous cycle on their individuality and personality.  

 

Thirdly, Many people are conformists because it gives them a sense of safety.Following everyone around seems a lot easier than solving your own problems on your own. Conforming to everything means throwing responsibility,initiative, leadership and individuality out the window. Although conforming and taking the “easy road” through life may seem more feasible it usually leads to a more unsuccessful life and unhappy life. Anti-conformists and those who are able to think for themselves usually are more happier and successful.By taking of the training wheels or relying on a crutch (like most conformists do), it gives someone freedom to take action and speak for themselves.When someone can embrace their originality and individuality it leaves limitless opportunities for that person because they have complete control of their life .

 

In conclusion I believe many people are conformists. I believe people are conformists because of peer pressure, not wanting to stand out,not wanting to be judged and finally the feeling of being safe not having to take responsibility for your own life. The scary thing is, is that if society can’t manage the ratio of conformists and anti-conformists, Society will never be able to grow.What if one day our creativity and individuality is killed by the lack of anti-conformists and everyone just wants to be the same. How will humans be able to evolve and solve future conflicts when no one knows what responsibility and leadership is?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you saw , the participants who were placed alone in a room responded how one usually would if they saw smoke in a room.However the participants who were placed with the group of actors waited to see what the groups response was and what the group norm was.Even though these people knew that they should evacuate the room,they waited for any response so that they did not have to act alone ..Although if this experiment were a real life situation these participants would have died or been injured giving into this conformity.If people continue to depend on these norms society can also be hurt by conformity if we no longer had any creativity and individuality

 

non-conformity

non-conformity image from: https://bobbigreynolds.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/114/

 

 

On the other hand conformity does also have positive outcomes.For one conformity is a great way to easily learn how one is expected to act in society and in public.Also conformity is useful to help maintain our social norms and help society run effectively and smoothly.As Well with conformity people tend to start changing their own personal beliefs , this leads to less controversy over religion and culture.

 

 

 

Here is a list of pros and cons of conformity…

 

 

pros of conformity cons of conformity
good for learning appropriate behaviours people change their opinions
helps maintain social norms lack of individuality
easier for people with low self-esteem no variety
helps society function smoothly boring society
less conflict about religion can cause dangerous situations
lack of creativity/uniqueness
no individual beliefs
peer pressure
no growth if everything is the same
could cause serious consequences

 

As you can see there are far more disadvantages of conformity than advantages.If we do not keep our individuality there will be no way for us to grow as a society.

Word Wizard :Borderline

Word wizard

chapters 22-29

word #1

Supermacist – an advocate of the supremacy of a particular group, especially one determined by race or sex.

Biological weapons–  a harmful biological agent (as a pathogenic microorganism or a neurotoxin) used as aweapon to cause death or disease usually on a large scale.

Pandemonium-wild and noisy disorder or confusion; uproar.

Ritalin– trademark for methylphenidate.

Terrorist– a person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.

 

 

 

ROMEO AND JULIET COMPARISON:CULMINATING

Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous and well known plays. It has had such a timeless effect on literature , and is one of the most common plays to be recreated or interpreted. Following this i will be comparing and contrasting two interpretations of this play. These interpretations are in the form of a movie, 1968’s Romeo and Juliet and 2013’s Romeo and Juliet. Although both versions are quite similar there are still many differences between the two.The 1968 version is a lot more similar to the original play and follows it quite well. While the 2013 version is a lot more modernized. The directer of this particular film took a lot more chances and risks and didn’t follow all the key themes.I noticed many differences between the films such as the Introduction, Romeo’s character development and the overall attention to detail. Below i will be discussing these and how each movie portrayed them.

A huge and very noticeable difference between the two movies were the introductions.In the 1968 version the introduction was kept classic and included the entire prologue as well as the opening scenes of the servants fighting in Verona. This introduction set the tone for the rest of the movie, and the audience was made aware this movie would be very similar to the original play. The 2013 version however was very different and had changed the introduction. The beginning included a jousting match between the Capulets and Montagues and only part of the time-honoured prologue was included.This introduction excluded spoiling the ending from the prologue which is such a huge part of a tragedy play such as this one. By changing the introduction so much it left viewers who know of the original play confused and questioning what else the movie would do differently. These films attempted the introduction very adversely and had both set their tone of the movies very clearly from the introduction.

Another very different trend I noticed in each of these films were Romeo’s character development. The 1968 version kept his character similar to that described in the original play, Romeo’s relationship to other characters is similar and the audience can see Romeo develop as the play progresses. This was not the case in the 2013 version. Romeo started as a confident,hot headed boy  and remained that way throughout the movie. He wasn’t even portrayed as love sick for Rosaline, which is a major part of his character in act one.The theme of Romeo growing from a young boy to a young man is such a crucial element of the play. It shows the audience how much Romeo evolved in such a short time because of his new found love for Juliet. It was because of this failure to truly capture Romeo as a character that the 2013 version of the play felt weaker .

In conclusion I believe the 1968 version of the classic play Romeo and Juliet was better tenfold and portrayed the original play well. The 2013 version was very weak and lacked several of the key themes and elements. It was obvious the the 2013 version was more comfortable taking risks, however I think that too many risks were taken and the movie began to lose its audience.Personally I found myself searching for what was different in this version rather than viewing a replication of the play.The 1968 version was not an exact replication of the original play,nevertheless it still kept the key themes and elements making it a lot more enjoyable for the audience.Although these movies portrayed the play Romeo and Juliet very differently both movies were still able to capture the effect of Romeo’s and Juliet’s forbidden love on the Capulet and Montague family.

Borderline:Passage Master (Kiss Khan)

This week I was passage master for chapters 29-36. Here are my selected passages…

PASSAGE #1 (CH.29-PG.237)

No ham or sausage,” I say

“hunh?”

“Its haraam.”

“Haraam.? Andy looks at me weird. “Like the food list your dad used to send to the cottage?”

“You got a problem with that?”

“No. Andy says,hands in the air. “I just never thought you were religious is all.” 

” I don’t know what I am. I just don’t want to take any chances.”

 

I chose this passage because it is a great representation of two things, Sami finding his faith and Sami being able to stand up for himself. Sami throughout borderline is very ashamed of his religion and his family being a Muslim family. There are many instances in the novel where Sami just wants to fit in and changes himself away from Islamic traditions.However in this passage, he becomes less insecure about being a Muslim and starts to embrace his faith.

 

PASSAGE#2 (CH.32-PG.261)

“What else did he tell you about me?” 

” You go to Roosevelt Academy.You’re smart, you take chances, you don’t listen,you get yourself into trouble.” He pauses. “We have a lot in common.”

Not on your life.

“Oh and he’s very proud of you,” Tariq adds.

“My father? No way”

“Very proud. He says your name and his light up. He calls you a fighter with a good heart and a great future. I admit, he worries about your friends.”

I chose this passage because it showed a completely different view on Sami and his father’s relationship. Throughout the novel Sami feels as if he is a huge disappointment to his family, especially his father. Mr. Sabiri is very hard on Sami and doesn’t give Sami enough recognition when it is deserved. This had lead sami to believe he was neglected by his father. Hearing that his father does believe in him , even from a stranger helps Sami build his confidence greatly.

 

Passage #3 (CH.23-PG.274)

“Till you destroyed him.” A dam breaks inside my head.

“Dad-my dad-he’s in jail.My family’s trashed. Because you, a total stranger, had to find your goddamn roots.”

I chose this passage as it is the climax to Sami’s anger and frustration. Throughout the novel Sami is portrayed almost as passive aggressive. He is continuously just letting things go by without taking any action, even if he will have to face consequences for not doing anything.However in this passage it is as if all Sami’s built up anger is being let loose. This definitely gave Sami a confidence boost and made him feel less insecure to speak up. The conversation in this passage has a huge significance to the rest of the novel and helps tie the loose ends of the plot together very well.

 

 

 

 

Borderline illustrator( Kiss Khan)

 

This week I was the illustrator for chapters 1-7.I decided to make an online drawing of Sami sabiri (behind the table) and his father (in front) talking ,while the father was drinking milk and molasses.

borderlinee

 

My illustration shows the father and son having a conversation shortly after the father had prepared his milk and molasses. Throughout the novel , Sami and his father are being portrayed with a very weak and awkward relationship between the two. I was able to mimic this part of the book with my illustration because of how it was described in the book.

I go up the stairs, stop in the doorway.”Dad?” 

He sits bolt upright. “Sami?”

“I got up to pee.Thought I heard something.”

He tries to smile. “Just me and my milk and molasses. 

You should get back to bed.”

“Can’t sleep.”

“That makes two of us.”

I stand there, not knowing what to do.Then i edge over to the table and slip onto the chair opposite him.His eyes are red.

Dad catches me staring.”What are you looking at?”

“Nothing.” I glance at the calendar on the side of the fridge, embarrassed.

 

The reason why my illustration has such a big significance to chapters 1-7 is because it is a great representation of Sami’s and Mr. Sabiri’s father-son relationship. Sami’s father had made a promise to Sami and broke it. He promised to take Sami to Toronto with him,and then out of no where he changed his mind and decided to keep the trip strictly for business purposes. This aggravated Sami and Sami’s mother. However usually kids can not stay mad at their parents for long and  after having a conversation with his father, Sami becomes more understanding and forgives his father. Although even after all is forgiven between Sami and his father they still have tension and awkward misconceptions which lead readers to more questions.

Borderline:Summarizer (Kiss Khan)

The beginning of chapters 7-14 starts with Sami fleeing from school and embarking on a journey to his best friend’s cottage.Sami was mad at his father for going to toronto alone and cancelling their father-son weekend trip.As a result of his father cancelling , Sami decides to ask his Mom to go on a trip with his best friends (Andy and Marty) to Andy’s cottage. However, Sami begins to get a guilty feeling about not asking his father too. He feels as if him and his mother are betraying his father, however still decides to go anyway. Once Andy and Marty pick up Sami from school (after him fleeing) he feels as if the guilt is eating him alive and he is aware there are going to be serious consequences to his actions. He asks Andy to turn up the music loud so he can enjoy the last weekend of his freedom. Later they reach the docks and take Andy’s boat to get to the cottage.Once they arrive at the cottage they begin to prepare for their night on a deserted island called “hermits island.” They begin to start gathering all the materials they will need. Sami is given the chance to drive the boat to the Island as Andy and Marty wanted the group to stay the night on the island. Sami however, had a gut feeling that they shouldn’t stay but he ignores that feeling when his friends begin to tease him.They reach the island and begin to set up camp.Andy and Marty start drinking, but Sami decides to stay sober as he is not much of a drinker/partier. After just a few minutes Andy has lost control of himself and runs into the bushes with Sami chasing behind him. Sami finds his best friend under a shack and within moments a scary mysterious “hermit” man appears. The man threatens the boys and asks for personal identification and requests they must leave by 9 am sharp. If sami’s guilty feeling wasn’t already bad enough it sky rockets after this and he demands Andy to take him home. Sami thought that by returning home everything would be fine and he could forget everything, but he doesn’t. Instead Sami feels like even more of a disappointment to his parents even though they don’t know anything yet. The next day Sami decides to bike to school and meets Eddy, (his bully) along the way. Eddy and his friends begin to beat Sami up until they are stopped by  their history teacher. Sami asks his teacher not to help him as he already feels embarrassed. As a result Sami ends up getting suspended for “fighting” Eddy. Eddy had told the principal that Sami fought him and threatened him, before Sami could say anything to the principal. Sami worries about what his parents will say,but feels powerless as the academy prefers to listen to white and rich people’s side of the story only. Sami’s life begins to fall apart as his parents are notified from the school and the police show up at their home. The police fill his parents in on what happened over the weekend and explain there was evidence of drugs,alcohol and condoms left on the island.These chapters end with Sami and his Father getting into an argument. Sami knows he had not done anything wrong other than continuously being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Mr.sabiri doesn’t believe his son because of events from the past and tells the family he “has no son.” This hurts Sami and makes him feel like even more of a disappointment to his family.These chapters build the plot of the book and show a different side of Sami’s life.

 

Literature Circles – Nilsu: Passage Master

Borderline: pg 189-259

Passage #1

I’ve prayed the first chapter of the Qur’an so many times, I’ve stopped hearing the words. But now, in the predawn dark, they ring clear. Each syllable connects me to a power bigger than myself, a world of others praying the same words. My forehead tingles. I’m not alone. I’m not afraid. I’m going to save my Dad, my family, Inshallah. (Allan Stratton, 228)

This passage happens after Sami decides to go to Toronto to face Tariq Hasan in order to prove his father’s innocence. He wakes up the night he’s to leave for Toronto with a need to pray. This is the first time in the novel that Sami has had a connection with his religion, and it affects him deeply. He now feels that he is strong through praying to God. This is an important turning point in the book because Sami always considered his religious identity an afterthought, but now, Sami understands the power of his God and how the words of prayer affect his life. This is relevant to the story because Sami’s religious identity was something he always struggled with, but now he isn’t embarrassed about who he is.

Passage #2

It’s the middle of the night.
I’m staring at that framed photo on my bedside table, the one of me and Dad from his office. Who
is he?Who is he really? I don’t know. I don’t care. I hate him. He’s ruined my life. Mom’s too. 
I go to throw it in the garbage, but I can’t. (199)

This passage happens after Sami’s father’s first trial. Sami is unsure whether his father is truly innocent or not, and is facing the dilemma of if he should stand by him or not. He is mad at his father for getting his family involved in this case, but he cannot bring himself to throw the picture of him away. This is significant to the book because it shows Sami’s loyalty to his father despite how much he hates him. Throughout the whole book, Sami and his father haven’t had a positive interaction, and as a reader, I was unsure whether Sami actually loved his father. This passage proves that Sami loves his father deep down, and despite all the stress he’s put Sami through, Sami is still there for him.

Passage #3

What does evil look like, Sami? If monsters looked like monsters, we’d know who to run from. But they don’t. They scariest monsters look like family and friends. They’re the ones that get you. The ones you trust. You let them into your heart, and then it’s too late. They’ve got you. You’re dead. Ask Andy. He thought he knew his dad too.
No! I hit my head over and over, but the voice gets louder. I grab the photo of me and Dad, smash the frame face down on the floor, and shove it, hard, under my bed. I imagine the splintered glass tearing into the paper, shredding Dad’s face. (200-201)

In this passage, Sami is arguing with his inner voice, and is having an internal struggle to who his dad truly is: a monster, or his father? Sami is trying to defend his father, but his inner voice is telling him to face the facts; monsters are the ones we trust. Sami tries to fight the voice, but he ends up succumbing to it and smashing the picture of his father. This is a significant point in the book, because Sami has been conversing with this “inner voice” throughout the book. This is the first time Sami has given into the voice, showing that his mental struggles are manifesting in Sami’s life.

Borderline Week #5: Connector-Abiha

Connection #1: Text to Self

Chapter 31: Pg. 253-254

The author has provided a powerful description of the subway station Sami travels through when following Tariq Hasan’s compliance, the unknown women.

“We hurry down a few steps, turn right into a tangle of underground shops bursting with crowds, smells, lights, noise. I squeeze my way through. A quick glance back. Andy and Marty are top of the steps, scanning the mob…

We’re at a set of glass doors. The subway entrance. We go through…

The doors close behind us. The women’s at a row of turnstiles. She drops her token, gets to the other side. I follow. We turn right, to a set of stairs going down to the tracks…

A new train’s pulling in. The women reaches back, grabs my hand, and pulls me down the last few steps onto the platform.

The train doors open. A heave of bad air; people spill out. We press against the current and force our way in, the last on board.

A whistle blows to clear the doorways.”

Personally, I was able to very vividly visualize this scenario in my head. Each summer, I visit New York City and predominantly commute using the subways. The image that the author has painted is familiar, one that I have seen multiple times in real life. When going on the subway with my family, I often glance behind me in order to confirm that my siblings are following. In addition, multiple times, I have pushed through the current of people trying to get off in order to guarantee that I catch the train. By connecting to this moment, I was able to feel Sami’s anxiety and confusion, to smell the bad air as well; fumes and body odour. Naturally, I found the atmosphere of the moment realistic and was able to enjoy it simply because I have experienced it and was able to relate to it, I further felt that the author described the scene perfectly.

Connection #2: Text to Self

Chapter 33: Pg. 273

After meeting Tariq Hasan, hearing his story and finding out that they are related as half-brothers, Sami ponders upon the recent events. “And I think of Eddy’s video, and all the other stuff in my life that looks one way but isn’t, or the way things have looked with Andy and Marty and they weren’t.” He acknowledges that often, things are distorted, they are not seen the way they actually are. I was able to relate to Sami’s thought and connect it back to my own life. Multiple times, I have gotten into trouble by my parents, been punished for things I have never done, lies I never told. I have fought with my siblings, blamed and questioned them for actions they didn’t commit. However, at the time, I was convinced to think otherwise. Friendships and relationships have been broken, accusations hurled, secrets kept, lies told, all over things that were not true. I was able to understand and sympathize with Sami’s thought. We, as imperfect humans, have faced numerous consequences, some positive, but most negative, for things that we never did. By connecting to this thought, I was able to feel Sami’s frustration, embarrassment and determination to repent.