Life Among The Savages

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Sure, everybody is bad, but that bad? Charles, in Shirley Jackson's "Life Among the Savages", is that bad, and maybe worse. Everybody thinks the differences between good and evil has a thick, wide barrier linking them, but the line is actually very thin, and, recently, has become blurred by civilization today.

Insolence is so widespread these days, but not only in the youth population as most people (unfortunately) think. If someone is watching T.V. and he or she turns on a comedy or sitcom, they will almost always see a character talking rudely to his or her friend or relative. This is not only a problem in that everybody is doing it, but also in that the people are blaming the problem on today's youth. People should be self-confident enough to admit they made a mistake. Even if they don't have enough confidence to do that simple task, they shouldn't stoop low enough to use a scapegoat.

The point that is being made is simple: one should build respect for others and confidence for themselves, lest he or she stoop to laying blame on innocent others.

The civilization of the world today is slowly but surely degrading to a class system, which is made up (generally): rich, strong, weak. The previous list was in order, going left to right, from most to least powerful. One of the most unfortunate things that emerged from this degradation is undue violence, which is given and received on an almost regular basis. This is a horrible example of a ruthless and greedy society that has twisted even the world's children. These things happen all too often, and even in the schools, with a proper example being Charles ("Life Among The Savages", if he was forgotten) hitting a girl on the head with a seesaw during recess at his school.

Role models are important to children, and every child should have a good role model. But what if a child chooses a bad role model? It is a known fact that young children try to emulate people they admire, so if he or she chooses to admire a thief, he or she might start to steal things, and that child would not know better. The main idea is that children should be encouraged to have a role model, but it should be a good one.

The main purpose of the chosen subject should be plain: our society has a problem that should be fixed. Unfortunately, how and when are questions that have not been answered, although the latter is simple: here and now.