Conformity In Borden Deal's Short Story 'Antaeus'

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President John F. Kennedy had once said to the United Nations against the Soviet Union, “Conformity is the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth.” Kennedy talks about how monotony limits the possibilities of achieving freedom. Making people be the same as everyone else constricts people’s ability to choice and liberty. Conformity doesn’t allow people to change, to grow since they won’t be able to because they have to be the same as everyone else. Similarly, Bordean Deal creates a story that shows how conformity can enslave an individual’s freedom. In Borden Deal’s short story, “Antaeus” uses symbolism to reveal how one can try to stand up to conformity with individual uniqueness in order to try to change it but will only eventually be crushed by the overwhelming force of control the…show more content…
T.J. introduces a rooftop garden which is a new concept to the usual conformed group of boys and that will develop individuality for each of them. When T.J. meets the gang, he discovers their usual place to hang out and is invited by the narrator to join the group. Their hangout location is “a low building with a flat, tarred roof that [has] a parapet all around it about head-high”(Deal 99). The flat, tarred roof represents the minds of the boring uninspired group of boys. Tar is black which is the absence of color that can show the lack of imagination in the group’s mind. Tar is infertile, nothing is able to grow in it. Like the tar, the group’s mind cannot grow their creativity. The parapet symbolizes the walls that figuratively encloses their minds that limit them from seeing beyond what they know in order to grow their imagination. Their closed mindedness doesn’t open up to any new ideas that can spark their imagination and creativity. The walls trap the black tar, like how conformity traps their uninspiring minds from being able to become
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