Jordan Selby May 26th, 2010 Senior Literary Analysis

A Look at Power The fact of the matter is, whether we want to accept it or not, you cannot trust government. For that matter, you can’t trust authority in general. Why? Because if you do, you will eventually get burned. Specifically, the more power you give a government, the fewer rights the people will be given in the long run. This essay will introduce my reasoning on the matter of the relationship between the people of a nation and the authority given to them by the citizens. I will outline the examples given in the in-class stories of “Harrison Bergeron”, “The Bear Who Wasn’t” and “Night”. These are all exemplary showings of my argument, and I will take each and explain how they relate to my thesis.

First, you have “Harrison Bergeron”. The nutshell of the story is it’s a future not too far from our own, where people are handicapped because their abilities outstretch the others around them. For instance, in the beginning of the novella, a man is watching the TV with his wife and observe the ballerinas on stage. While the performance is going on, they notice that the ballerinas are all having to wear weights on their legs, and have masks over their face. Is this a weird occurrence? No, it is common practice to do such because their abilities to gracefully move are far and away better than the average person’s, so they have to be handicapped. Also, since the ballerinas are far more beautiful than everyone else, they much wear proportionally obscene masks to hide their faces. But the insanity doesn’t end there, the man watching the show has his own handicap as well. Because of his intelligence and thinking abilities, he has a microchip installed into his head that emits a sound into his ears at regular intervals of several seconds. This

The story never goes into particular detail over the progression of events leading to this calamity. but I postulate that it started with an overindulgence of the idea that people should be equal in every way. but bear with me (hehe). The conversations he has eventually leads to the bear going to a big business man-figure (along with everyone else until now) and tries to convince him that he is a bear. details the attempts of a bear who is trying to assert that it is in fact a bear. and they get it through his head that he is a man. he is talking with everyone in the office-type room. This spectacular book details the real account of a Jewish man named Elie Wiesel (the author) and his terrible story of his perspective of World War 2 from the . for whatever reason the people who meet this bear all come to the same infuriating conclusion that the bear is not who he says. Next is “The Bear Who Wasn’t”. Going back to my main point. when you allow someone to shape who you are. and by doing so he is handing over the power of the situation to the people instead of himself. The problem is that this backfires. In the end. The bear is seen by a hunter going out of its den in the forest and through a series of events that happen to the bear. Now this has to do with my thesis on the basis of the bear giving his authority away by allowing others to decide for him. This is the highest form of power transference. which has been decided is wrong. Indeed. This very short story. almost a fairy tale in structure. Lastly is the book “Night”. and the people are able to convince him that he is a man.happens because of his high intellect. which has imposed these laws and regulations. the people in this story have given their power and authority to the state. The concept is odd. He chooses to talk to several people to get their opinions on who/what he is. he is not believed to be a bear.

and they couldn’t do a thing about it. That the people who were being taken away were not being hurt. What he explained happening actually happened and is a part of human nature. That it was someone else at the time. Because of this. they found out far too late that their perceptions of the situations were far from the truth. Its important to take away from this book that fact that it is a very true story. not them. In conclusion. I believe the matter largely speaks for itself. First were the homosexuals and the gypsies. The story goes on about how he was living at home with his parents at a young age when the Nazi forces started rounding up people of different groups. “The Bear Who Wasn’t” and “Night” to give you a proper literary view on .eyes of an innocent citizen of Germany. and not the invention of the author’s mind. They gave authority of their life. The thing that kept people from revolting was: 1. I talked about how the stories “Harrison Bergeron”. 3. Unfortunately for them. The people in Ellie’s position were not equipped to revolt. 2. and their way of living to a government that did not respect them in any way. allowing the Nazis to choose their fate. but just put in concentration camps. People want to give power over their lives to others if they are successfully led to believe it will make their life better. They had faith in the goodness of man enough to not be dubious of the Nazis intentions. and they didn’t want to fight against something they weren’t even sure was that big of a problem. This ties in with my theme by way of all the minorities present in Germany during this time didn’t want to be the first ones to shout “fire” and so they stayed quiet. they were nearly exterminated.

but it is a fine line that they have to walk and not end up falling into violation of people’s rights. Also. their rights will diminish”. .the thesis I gave in the beginning which is “if given the opportunity. A government should put strong regulating laws against such things. it should be known that this should happen to some extent. Now. People should not have the right to take the life of another person if they feel like it. basic things like stealing and such are considered bad for a reason. a government or authority in power is given power by a people.

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