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Lesson 9 - Essay Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: The Importance of a System of Beliefs in a Society This task entails comparing two essays, ‘A Secret Society of the Starving’ by Mim Udovitch and ‘Can You Tell the Truth in a Small Town’ by Kathleen Norris. The former is an essay that reveals an online society of anorexics and bulimics in Florida that leads a secret dieting life so as to keep thin…
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Lesson 9
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, this comparison draws from the way the system of beliefs in each of the two societies shape people’s behavior so as to understand the magnitude of control that beliefs have on people. This will help appreciate the important role of beliefs in the society. Both essays reveal that in a given society, a system of beliefs serves as an important component by portraying how it governs the norms and practices of the members to a greater extent. The online society of anorexics and bulimics in the Floridian society has it practices motivated by a system of beliefs drawn from the Thin Commandments and the Ana Creed. The belief that “if thou aren’t thin, thou aren’t attractive” makes girls and women in Florida to join the pro-ana society which practice anorexia and bulimia so as to keep thin (Udovitch 112). Similarly, the Dakotan society does not support women writers who tell the truth in their works. This society believes that discouragements are not meant for public consumption, hence the reason why women writers should not tell the truth in their writings, otherwise they risk being separated from the society. Since setting oneself apart from the rest of the society is hard to do according to Norris (128), these women writers content in writing what is acceptable, the untruth. This similarity portrays a system of beliefs in a society as an important aspect in shaping the behavior of its members. It even overrides the truth to determine what they should and should not do. Udovitch and Norris, in their respective essays, allude on the importance of a system of beliefs in the society by fronting the argument of its unifying role. The writers bring out beliefs as the glue that puts people together physically and psychologically. In Florida, the girls and women who believe that if “you do wrong and you eat, then you sin” have been brought together to an online society where they share their experiences on their practice of anorexia and bulimia (Udovitch 110). With the rest of the Floridian society opposed to this practice, the online society provides a platform to meet with people of like minds. Even in Dakota, by female writers appreciating and abiding by the general belief that “if a discouraging word is heard, it is not for public consumption,” they become acceptable in the larger Dakotan society (Norris 127). These beliefs set a standard code of expected behaviors and norms which define a particular society. Observing this code promotes harmony among the members of the given society, thus uniting them. The need for sacrifices with regard to any system of beliefs in each of the essays enhances the importance that beliefs have to a society. For the Floridian women to achieve and maintain the thin body considered to be attractive, they have to suffer pain and sacrifice eating according to the anorexia practice. Furthermore, a woman observing the anorexia and bulimia beliefs has to sacrifice her publicity because as one of the members confesses, “I can’t just come out and tell them I don’t eat… they will get on my case” (Udovitch 111). These women sacrifice the comfort of free-will eating and publicity of their practices, which could cause deterrence from the public, so as to live up to the expectations of their beliefs. In the same way, the Dakotan women writers sacrifice the truth so as to be acceptable in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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