Critique: Group Minds By Doris Lessing

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Critique: First Draft In “Group Minds” Doris Lessing suggest that Western society prides itself as the free world yet most people are completely oblivious of how commonly they conform to the social norms of a group therefore diminishing their own individuality. Lessing suggest this claim of being a free thinking individual is nothing more than another widely accepted social norm. These claims prompts in-depth thought and expose the necessity to reevaluate and restructure our thoughts about how individuality is affected by being a member of various groups.
Criticizing and challenging Western culture’s reputation of individuality Lessing states that all people would readily say that they are “an individual, making individual choices. My mind
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Also many people’s adamant declaration of being an independent thinker who controls their own thoughts and opinions is a cultural norm and idea adopted by the majority further proving Lessing’s argument. I agree with Lessing that the biggest issue is not belonging to a group but the failure to realize and examine how being a part of a group affects our individuality. Without careful examination we “are helpless against all kinds of pressures to conform in many kinds of ways.”(652) Only when we become aware and explore how groups diminish our individuality can we objectively make adjustments. In “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem” Erich Fromm explains why people so easily conforms, “As long as I am obedient to the power of the State, the church or public opinion, I feel safe and protected.” Being a part of a group is comfortable whereas disagreeing and being alone is often uncomfortable. While Lessing raises a fair argument some of her statements are over generalized. She writes that Westerners “may be educated differently, but will all emerge with ideas about themselves…[as] an individual, making individual choices.” It is unfair to emphatically insist that all with have the same idea. All is a powerful word which leaves no room for even one person to respond differently for the way in which she assumes. Despite this undeniable trend of conformity Fromm reminds us that “Man has continued to evolve by acts of disobedience.” There are those individuals courageous enough to think independently and go against the norm often benefiting society. Lessing offers a great challenge to admit, examine and organize accordingly. Only then can we take control and can be strategic about how we protect our

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