Belonging In John Steinbeck's As You Like It

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Belonging is basic human instinct. We all seek to belong, be it physically, mentally or spiritually. By belonging we can enrich a community with our views and they in turn can help us mature through important lessons. It is only through belonging that we can break out of the shell of individualism and self-centeredness that both protects and isolates us. However, the human drive for belonging also has its pitfalls. There is an innate need in our hearts to identify with a group, both for protection and for security, to discover and affirm our identity, and to use the group to prove our worthiness and goodness; indeed even to prove that we are better than others. In the opening of As You Like It we are shown a dysfunctional and confused society.…show more content…
From the beginning of the play he expresses "The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly", which already depicts his skepticism regarding the reliability of certain individuals, in particular, the Duke. Touchstone serves as a symbol for an individual who finds absurdity in the common desires to belong within a society, which in his case the courts, because he cannot find a reason to belong simple due to the fact that he does not agree with the customs and expectations. For that reason, he challenges the courts and soon leaves to the Forest of…show more content…
Characters from the play enter Arden and at the end come out somewhat rectified. This sense of reconciliation where they construct a new sense of belonging as a group starts off with an urban dystopian society, plagued with injustice, governed by those like Duke Senior and Oliver. The Forest of Arden allows Orland, Rosalind and others to escape and liberate the thinking for a new and more righteous society. They build a new utopia/community and work towards a new way of life where they are enriched by the quality, experience and also what they have learnt in the Forest. Thus learning and humanity is filtered through to enrich a new

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