Kakos' 6th Hour

Reactions and comments from my sixth hour Honors American Literature class.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Individual Villainy

"When one rises above the individual villainy displayed, one can only pity them all, just as we shall be pitied someday. It is still impossible for man to organize his social life without repressions, and the balance has yet to be struck between order and freedom" (Miller 7).

Do you, like Miller, pity the people of late 17th century Salem? Do you think that we will be pitied one day? Do agree that repression is an inherent part of organized social life?

8 Comments:

Blogger brianc said...

I believe that people will always pity in at least a couple of ways the people of the past. They will see that they were lacking many ammenities that we take for granted now and couldn't imagine living without. For instance, most of us could't imagine living without T.V. or the internet. In 100 years however, those will likely have become obsolete and those people will pity us for what we lacked. We don't know what we are missing out on so our ignorance is bliss to us. We pity the people of the 1700s for everything they missed out on, and every other generation will look back on hisory and pity those that preceded them.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Hannah S said...

I do pity the people of Salem because they are going through a hard time and don't understand what is happening. It is sad that they had to come up with an answer and work with what they had to try to fix. However, I do not pity them because killing people should not have been the answer to their problems.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Tori S said...

Yes I do pity the people of 17th century Salem up to a point. So many people were accused with intangible evidence and so many were executed yet nobody really took a stand against this. It seems like more than maybe one or two people should have had the guts to speak out against what was going on. Although if everyone in the town really did believe that there were witches than I pity them more. Believing in this mass hysteria would have been easy and everyone could have seen it as very real.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Thomas_N said...

I do not pity the people of Salem in the 17th century. This is because all generations of people go through repressions and hard times it is just a part of life. Instead of pity for them people should learn from their mistakes and hardships to make progress for themselves. I don't think that we should be pitied in the future but there will be someone who does. Even though there are no real hardships for us in the future when life will be made even easier people will wonder how we lived such a "hard" life. From our current conditions we would think that the people of Salem went through a lot but if we were in their shoes we would probably instead be feeling pity for some earlier occurrence in history.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Ryan B said...

I do, like Miller, pity the people of the 17th century Salem, however I do not hold them accountable for what occured. Fear and superstition in a hostile new land were what drove the executions and villainy, not the people. Unlike Miller though, I beleive that people will not look back and pity us. While we are not perfect, we have a system in place that won't condemn anyone without fair evidence, and a solid factual basis from which to prove their crimes.

1:59 PM  
Blogger KristinC said...

It has always been apart of civilizations to make advances and as technology becomes standard people adjust and are under the impression that it is necessary. Our generation cannot imagine a world without computers and the internet because it has become a standard part of our lives. Likewise our children might think it completely normal to have flying cars or something that we could not possibly imagine. It is simply the cycle of civilization.

2:01 PM  
Blogger HUH? said...

The people of Salem in the 17th century should be pitied, not because of their their decisions, but like Miller said, because they were ignorant. Every future generation will pity the past because to them, the past is naive and still learning their mistakes. We can go back to every event in the past and pity the leaders whom struggled.

Repression is always an inherent part in the society we live in. We can compare the economy with this idea. There are always peak points and struggles, but we always improve.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Olivia C. said...

When I first read this quote yesterday, the line that states we might one day be pitied stood out to me quite strongly. Although today we agree to have the most elite and superior technology, it will continue to be improved upon and in future years this era may quite likely be pitied whether on the basis of knowledge, organization, technology, etc. However, based on circumstance, we have grown to both pity and envy those from past generations. Many today, myself included, pity those who dealt with the Puritan dominated culture that was present in Salem during the late 1600’s. To live in an environment where religion, practices, beliefs and opinions of individuals are questioned would be a very difficult society to develop in. Growing up with a religious mold would be both unconstructive as well as corroding to one’s ability to expand and agree with individual beliefs and ideas.
Dealing with the third aspect of the question, I strongly agree that repression is a major part of social life as we all simply lack the self confidence and boldness to be different than what is expected socially. In an organized social life, motives for our actions are constantly questioned and when such motives disagree with certain social ideals, we as individuals become “outcasts” or individuals of little acceptance.

2:02 PM  

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