America has had a tumultuous existence, replete with war, progress, and ideologies. The most formidable of these is individualism, or the shift of society’s focus from the group to the individual and a growing emphasis on their personal needs and desires. Despite wide criticism, it has become the societal norm, spanning all generations, genders, races, and walks of life. Individualism, while indeed centered on the individual, is more accurately described as the changing and shifting relationship between the individual and society. The pursuit of self-gratification and preservation forms only a minute part of this concept. Promotion of personal liberties and control in the various aspects of an individual’s life and situation has been a major part of American history since its very dawn. Individualism first appeared in America in the early 17th century with the arrival of the Pilgrims, a people facing religious persecution in their home country of England. While they did indeed band together as a group under a common cause, their fight for the ideals of personal liberty was an individualistic one. This individualism thrived during the Revolutionary War as the Americans created their own democratic nation in response to a monarchy that would not allow them to govern themselves (Bellah 142). Individualism fueled the American dream of bettering one’s life using one’s own grit. It was the defining ideology that led pioneers out west to start afresh. Up until the 1950s, however,
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Throughout the annals of American history, the advocation for freedom, and the absorption of ideals such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have been at the forefront of the American belief. These beliefs were implemented in 1776, through the Declaration of Independence. This document was ratified by recalcitrant Americans who would not tolerate subjection to tyrannical rule. The American people hoped this document would seal their fate in relation to Europe, and prove to Europe, and frankly the entire world, that they were a separate, sufficient nation. But as the years unfolded, the realization that America would continue to be considered an inferior nation arose.
Individualism has allowed Americans to develop who they and how they see their relationship with their partners overtime. So if you 're not content then you have the choice of leaving your relationship and I believe Caitlyn does a good job of model expressive individualism. However, individualism is big in the Western society and so overall Cheelin describes this as the way Americans live their life as a family. Works Cited Miller-Cochran, Susan, Roy Stamper, and Stacey Cochran.
To love is to give, and be giving you become part of the whole. In the essay “The Army of One: Me” Jean Twenge explores the history of the American individualism and how its evolution altered a way we place ourselves and the world around us.
Therefore, being met with these unfair rules, Equality invisons a society that would flourish under one idea: Individualism. Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of an individual. This is something in Anthem that people in the society do not have. Examples of this is they did not have their own unique names.
The theologian Paul Tillich once declared, “Individualism is the self-affirmation of the individual self as individual self without regard to its participation in its world.” In Anthem, a fictional novella by Ayn Rand, we see the theme of individualism play out, and it gradually becomes an anthem for the story’s hero. The protagonist, Equality 7-2521, lives in a society that teaches citizens that collectivism is the only option for humanity to thrive. Equality quickly learns this way of life is not ideal and coins his anthem: “I shall live my own truth,” (Rand 48). By wishing to live out his own truth, Equality realizes the significance of individualism and the change it can bring.
How could losing individuality affect a society? The novel Anthem by Ayn Rand is about a guy named Equality 7-2521 who is trying to find himself in a society where everything is controlled and different. Later, he finds himself even though he will have to go through many obstacles to get there. The process behind losing individuality in an Anthem’s society are in forcing strict laws, brain washing of their citizens, and removing of family. The Anthem society in forcing of strict laws made it easy for everyone to lose their individuality.
Individuals lay the foundation of America. The Founding Fathers of this unique nation broke their allegiance with Great Britain to create an improved governing body. They desired an individual-centered authority as opposed to Britain’s monarchy, which ruled with tyranny. These Founding Fathers experienced a neglectful democratic monarchy that cared little about the ethical treatment of its people. The domineering actions of Britain challenged these historic individuals to form a new cultural identity.
During the nineteenth century, numerous Americans felt that their voices were unable to be heard in such a large and busy society. Many people were busy working to provide for their families or were undermined by others in the government. This time period consisted of cultural turmoils around the nation, which also provoked the ideology of individualism to spread. Although this was a tough era for an abundance of the population, numerous people sought to express their thoughts on individualism that was pitted against the large roughneck society of the United States of America.
“And we wish to be hungry again and soon that we might know again this strange new pride in eating”(79). Individualism is important because Equality makes a discovery of the word I. “I AM. I THINK. I WILL” (94). I, is individualism because I means by oneself.
A person can only be as independent as their thoughts and actions allow them to be. During the time period of the Puritans, the idea of conformity and obedience was valued in their society. Soon after, the philosophy of Deism came about and they started to value the idea of free thought and independence more than the orthodox view of the Puritans. Finally, the age of Transcendentalism arose which appreciated the idea of individuality and hard work more than any other belief. Throughout the major literary philosophies in the United States, one can see how there was a social shift from conformity to individualism.
Have you ever heard common phrases such as “every man for himself”? Phrases like this are common sayings that have been knitted into our vocabulary which demonstrate our egotistic nature. From a young age, we’ve been told that we must take care of ourselves first, because no one else will. On the contrary, the book, Anthem, presents a society that is shockingly different. From not being able to use the pronoun, “I” to the idea of living only to serve to serve fellow men, the altruistic, “we” society presented in Anthem is the exact opposite of America’s egotistic, “me” society, due to the fact that we are a capitalist society and because of our society’s competitive nature.
Individualism is when a person has achieved non-conformity, self-reliance, free-thought, confidence, and finding one’s self through nature. Although individualism may be achieved in society, it cannot be fully achieved until one removes himself from society. Chris McCandless did exactly that; he removed himself from society by backpacking and hitchhiking throughout the United States to test and achieve individualism. McCandless’s last great adventure was to Alaska to fully obtain individualism, unfortunately, he died trying to find his spiritual belonging and individualism. Many people would think it was absurd that Chris left his family and threw his life away, and they would think that he was not justified in leaving society, however, Chris McCandless was justified in leaving society because by doing so he could achieve non-conformity and self-reliance without being oppressed.
Consequently, the idea of individualism is about go into the wood and become one with nature, living a content lifestyle. Thoreau described his routine lifestyle in “Walden” by saying “When the house was concealed behind a dense grove of red maple, through which I heard the house dog bark. I was in haste to buy it, before the proprietor finished getting out some rocks, cutting down the hollow apple tree, and grubbing up some young birches which have sprung up in the pasture, or, in short, had made anymore of his improvement.” Sadly, this concept is impossible to apply to our modern world considering that people have to pay rent, busy keeping up with the constant changing world. This concepts might work for super wealthy people like Bill Gate,