Friday, September 30, 2011

AUTHORITY

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For every individual, authority has its own meaning, and every person has his/her own reason to obey and/or disobey the law. In life, we have all kind of forms of authority; its starts from parents, to teachers, to religion, to community, to police, and the media. Authority is the one that is invested with power, especially a government or body of government officials. A person has to obey all of the above examples, and if not he/she will face some kind of punishment. For example, if a mother tells a child not to play with fire and they still take matches and try to light it, a mother will punish her child in order for him/her not to do it again. In todays society it is very hard to talk about authority; you dont really know whats right and wrong about social obedience and social deviance.


The short story that we have read in class, On the Rainy River, by Tim OBrien, is about a young man who is 0 years of age and is drafted to war. It was the 168 American war in Vietnam. He hated the war, he thought that this war is purposeless. Tim thought that he is too good to fight in a war, as he stated, I was too good to fight for this war, too smart, too compassionate to everything. For the whole summer he took time to think about obeying or disobeying the authority and run to Canada. He tried to drive to Canada, however, he made a stop that has changed his life and his decision forever. He stopped in Tip Top Lodge, located in Minnesota, by the Rainy River, which separates Minnesota and Canada. This is where he stayed for a couple of days. He was twisting and spinning everything in his head. He didnt know if he should go to that war since he thought he is too good to die. A couple of days after staying there he became friends with a man named Elroy. He never told him what his reasoning was and what his plans were. That is, until Elroy took him to fishing on his last day on The Rainy River. He was twenty yards away from Canada and he couldve just jump and swim to Canada and save him self from the war, but he didnt; he obeyed the authority.


Tim didnt want to disobey his family, friends, his town, even to the people who were sitting Gobbler Caf� on Main Street, he couldnt risk the embarrassment of being called a coward by them if he wouldve run. Like he said, I couldnt endure the mockery, or the disgrace, or the patriotic ridicule. He went to war, served in the Vietnam War, and then came back. He survived the war that he was so scared to face. Tim OBrien obeyed the authority and went to serve in the army; my personal story is totally contradictory to his.


In my life, my family was faced with authority as well. When we traveled throughout out life, we stooped in Israel. We started our life over, a new country, a new language- everything is new. Its as if youre reborn. Two years after we got used to the life style, we had a knock on the door that affected our life forever. When my father opened it, a sergeant passed him a letter. After my father opened the letter his hands where shaking, my mom started crying, and my brother was speechless. Back then, I didnt know what was going on and why everyone was in such a state of shock. Well it was the letter that said that my only brother was being drafted to war. In Israel it was the law that after you turn 16 years old you had to go to war. Its the law that you obey and go serve in the army, and have very little chance of surviving. In a couple of days, my father made a decision to move to the United State of America. He left everything-the new house, the new business, our friends and family. My father didnt want my brother to serve in Israeli army because he, just like Tim Obrien, didnt really know the reason why there was war, and since my dad served in Azerbaijan war with Armenia, he knew how tough it would be. My father disobeyed the law; he was faced with social pressure coming from our family members, from our friends, and from our community. Looking back now, I am thankful to my father and I think he did the right thing by disobeying authority. I dont care now that we didnt obey the authority, as long as my brother is safe and sound and does not have a big chance of dying in the cold hearted war for a piece of land. If you were to call all my fathers friends from high school, you might find only - out of maybe 15 men who survived and yet,, they are all on wheelchairs.


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Another story that we read was, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson. Its about a small town in which every year on June 7th, they have a lottery, which lasts only hours. It is a community of people under an authority that just one person has made up. I totally disagree with this. How would anyone make a law and make everyone abide by it? Killing decent people, with cold heartedness by throwing stones at them, especially by their family members? The social pressure that was involved was the person who was chosen, he/she was the one who really had to suffer. This decision was based on one person who chooses the one that he doesnt like and makes the whole community throw stones on them. The community did not want to do it but they obeyed authority and still did it.


It is based on all the village people getting together and having a lottery. Everyone picks a number and that person is the one who is going to be stoned. Its about Mr. Hutchinson picking up a number and having a black spot, and his wife tried to back him up tried to say it wasnt fair. Mr. Summers gave them a second chance by allowing the whole family to try to get a number and Mrs. Hutchinson got the black spot. They put Tessie Hutchinson in the center and everyone including her family would throw stones at her until she would die. This is the kind of authority that you must disobey. But in that village nobody even entertained that thought because it was fiction. What Im trying to say is sometimes the law and the authority is not right and people are being punished for no reason.


If in todays world I will be faced again with a responsibility as a citizen of the United States to go serve in a war against Iraq, I have no doubt about my father making another major decision to pack our bags and be on the way to Canada, running away from the draft. Because my father didnt disobey the law first in Azerbaijan and then in Israel, to come to United States to save his kids from serving in the army and still having us to fight with Iraq. I think my father would make the right decision for me and I dont think I should take a chance at dying in an army that only president Bush wants.


The circumstances are that I think sometimes it is necessary to disobey the law-if it means doing something that would be beneficial to my family in the long run. For example, President Bush wants war with Iraq. Why should the innocent kids be drafted to war and why must a million kids die because of it? I would definitely ask the president these questions and ask him how he would feel if he was the one who ended up being the victim? I am sure he would not respond in the same way. People dont know how bad things are until the issues affect them directly.





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