1984 Essay

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Obedience to authority is often viewed as the cornerstone of any civilization and a focal point of human interactions. According to Mr. Webster obedience is defined as, “the sate, fact, or an instance of obeying, or a willingness to obey; submission.” This definition ties in perfectly to Erick Fromm’s belief that to be obedient means to submit to someone else, and that by obeying a person may be a detriment to the evolution of man. Fromm believes that the very essence of humanity revolves around acts of disobedience, and how humanity learns and evolves from such acts. Such acts of disobedience are extremely rare, and research conducted by Solomon Asch reveals why. Both of these essays harken to George Orwell’s novel, 1984, which deals in a society comprised obedient to The Party and whose civilians live in fear of the dreaded Though Police. In George Orwell’s novel 1984, the main character Winston Smith suffers from the absence of what Fromm believes is necessary disobedience, as well as the devastating strength held by the Asch’s majority. Celebrated psychoanalyst, philosopher, historian, and sociologist Eric Fromm believes that without acts of disobedience, the evolution of the human species would not have been possible, as well as the two different types of authority that people recognize (Fromm 683-684). Fromm cites the acts of disobedience found in the Judeo-Christian creation myth that, “human history was ushered in by an act of disobedience” (Fromm 683). These mythical acts of disobedience, according to Fromm, served as the, “first step into independence and freedom” (Fromm 683). In reality, however, the relationship between disobedience and liberty is almost nonexistent. Society has deemed that being disobedient is a negative trait, while being obedient something to be grasped at. Fromm believes disobedience should not be viewed as a wholly

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