Individuality And Conformity In Andrew Solomon's Son

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Individuality and Conformity In today’s western society, parents raise their children based on their own experiences and identities in an effort to be produce offspring that they view as successful. In “Son,” author Andrew Solomon defines the traits that children share with their parents as “vertical identities” (369). An individual may also have an “acquired trait that is foreign to his or her parents,” which Solomon defines as a “horizontal identity” (370). He discusses how horizontal identities are viewed as weaknesses that parents, more often than not, try to fix or eliminate. Solomon talks about his own experiences with being gay as a horizontal identity and then compares it to physical disabilities such as deafness or dwarfism. Neurologist Andrew Sacks, author of “The Mind’s Eye,” examines certain …show more content…
However, their extraordinary sense of visual imagery contradicts the notion of being disabled. Sacks uses these people to demonstrate the ability of the brain to adapt and develop. Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson’s “Selections from Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become” also discusses the idea of the brain’s plasticity and how it affects the connections people have with one another. Parents raise their kids to conform to their expectations, and this becomes mirrored upon our society as a result. Because of this pressure to conform, an individual is overwhelmed by the desire to not be different and uphold standards that are socially acceptable. However, the connections between Solomon’s horizontal identities and Sacks’s and Fredrickson’s arguments about the brain provide a meaningful counterargument

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