ENGLISH 12 - Article Example

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The Importance of a System of Beliefs in a Society Text comparison forms an integral part of text analysis, as through this, the audience gets to learn more on a given subject covered in the texts being compared. In this essay, two essays give an understanding of how a given system of beliefs dictates the life in societies…
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Download file to see previous pages These two essays strongly base their works on particular systems of belief in the respective societies that determine particular behaviors. Thus, by analyzing the setting, characterization and the shared theme in the two essays, this comparison shows how systems of beliefs have constrained the truth so as to shape the behavior of societies, giving them distinct identities. The setting in “A Secret Society of the Starving” is an online society whereas “Can You Tell the Truth in a Small Town?” uses a physical society setting. In the online society, the truth about the identities of the members has been hidden under the disguised names that they use when interacting. Even with these hidden identities, Udovitch (110) gives an account of how members of this society have organized practices governed by their beliefs and that they share their experiences, without which they would probably not be pro-ana. Perhaps, their anonymity gives them the freedom to share their experiences online, a distinct trait of this society. In Dakota, writers face a physical community of people who are their prospective audience. Albeit these writers do not know with certainty who would be the audience with regard to their writing, they still find a moral obligation not to tell the truth considered to be discouraging. This follows the belief in the society that the truth should not be told if it would discourage the public (Norris 127). Through this contrast, it is evident that despite the nature of a society, the system of beliefs in which its members believe in serves as a more critical aspect in aligning their behaviors towards a specific way of life more than their anonymity to one another possibly could influence otherwise. Both of the selected essays use the power of characterization to depict a society where members would sacrifice their welfare to uphold the dictates of their system of beliefs, thus the importance of beliefs over people’s free-will in determining behavior in the societies. In the pro-ana society, in order to achieve and maintain the thin body considered as attractive, women have to suffer pain and sacrifice eating according to the anorexia practice. Thus, the belief that a thin body is attractive has sacrificing free-will eating as the price to pay (Udovitch 111). Beliefs supersede one’s free-will to eat. In the same way, the Dakotan writers sacrifice the truth so as to be acceptable in the Dakotan society. According to Norris, “someone who wants to write either has to break away or settle for writing only what is acceptable” (128). But since the writers fear being set aside from the society, they choose the latter, thus sacrificing to tell the truth that they know. The author, thus, shows that the value of beliefs supersedes that of the truth in the society. These characters show that beliefs in any society are regarded with high esteem and members of the given society would trade anything, including the truth about their welfare, to observe these beliefs. Moreover, the writers in both essays employ the theme of unity brought about by the existence of a system of beliefs, hence the importance of beliefs in giving people a common identity. Udovitch and Norris depict beliefs as the glue that unites people sharing similar traits both physically and psychologically. The online ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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