This essay is an objective essay on the book Prisons We Choose to Live Inside by Dorris Lessing. It outlines the main themes found within the book.

Essay by midget12College, UndergraduateA-, April 2002

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In the process of growing older we find ourselves developing certain thoughts and ideas which are often forced upon us by other individuals or groups. In Dorris Lessing's Prisons We Choose To Live Inside she brings up a valuable point being that humans have the most trouble resisting the influence of a group. It is often found that in order to successfully convert a human into the "social or group animal" they must go through many stages. Included in this are brainwashing, the offering of safety provided by the group, and the lack of awareness the members of the group have towards history and their past experiences. Therefore the responsibility falls upon an individual to resist the persuasive ideas of a group.

Children can be lead to believe almost everything that they hear; this is where the conformity of society starts. Commercials that discuss how drugs are bad and recycling is good are just some small and somewhat helpful brainwashing techniques that are used.

Sadly, that isn't the only brainwashing that the government uses. "We are, all of us to some degree or another, brainwashed by the society we live in" (Prisons, p.37). Brainwashing is what keeps the single-minded society together. Individualism is lost when one group or person is being forced to think in ways that conform to how society thinks as a whole. Brainwashing is very effective, because the nature of humans allows it to on a subconscious level. The message is strong enough to understand but too strong to resist. The ultimate goal of brainwashing is to make the following statement true to everyone:

At last, I've discovered the truth! This group of people I so coldly decided to investigate are the possessors of truth, they are my true family. They want me to become part of...