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Amber McCool
Mr. King
English Honors I
27 May 2016

It Is Always Better To Be Yourself

In America, the stories we tell ourselves and we tell each other in fiction have to
do with individualism. Every person here is the center of his or her own story. And our
job as people and as characters is to find our own motivations and desires, to overcome
conflicts and obstacles toward defining ourselves so that we can grow and change.
Individuality is being independent and self reliant. Each person is unique in their own
way, so no two people are the same. To be an individual means to have your own ideas,
personality, and style, which distinguish one person from another. Individualism is more
gainful than collectivism because each person can be independent and benefit off of their
own ideas.
Individualism lets the individual be unlike other people around them and create
opinions on their own without the influence of others ideas. This is because as an
individual, one is not sharing ideas and/or following others, but instead are creating their
own. This is further proved in (The Objective Standard). In this article it states, The
individual, not the community, has a mind; the individual, not the group, does the
thinking; the individual, not society, produces knowledge; and the individual, not society,
shares that knowledge with others who, in turn, must use their individual minds if they
are to grasp it. This quote simply states that each individual has their own minds and if
anything is ever to get done proficiently, everything relies on each character to think for
themselves. In this world everyone has their own job and purpose in life. This being said,
each individual has to take different steps in order to reach their potential. No one person
or group can do this for them so each person has to think, do and speak on their own
behalf. In the book (The House on Mango Street) The main character expresses her
feelings about being an individual by stating, "One day I will say goodbye to Mango. I
am too strong for her to keep me here forever." Esperanza wants more than anything to be
different from her family and move on to bigger and better things as she gets older.
Individualism expresses our liberty to the right to be distinct from others and is a greatly
valued within our lives.
Individuality is a privilege which everyone possesses, letting us make our own
decisions, follow our own dreams, and seek happiness. This is known as the American
Dream. America was founded on individuality. It is the place where people go to be
successful and create a life for themselves. Everyone comes from different places and
backgrounds, knowing different things and therefore being different from everyone else.


In (Your Identity Matters), it states, It is having an identity, knowing who you are,
finding your purpose and passions, and learning how to shape and navigate your future,
that makes the difference. For one to live their life to its full potential means finding
oneself and learning what he/she enjoys doing. None of this can be achieved by following
others or going along with the majority. Being independent can help him/her learn who
they are as an individual and provide creativity and variety that collectivism cannot.
Collectivism is the practice of giving a group priority over each individual in it.
Collectivism is not nearly as gainful as individualism because it is not impartial nor is it
fair. Despite the evidence against collectivism, many people believe that collectivism
gives a sense of social identity and is fair to everyone, but they fail to see that not
everyone in the group will get a say in everything and there is a lot of discrimination.
Those who believe that collectivism is for the welfare of everyone fail to see that the
groups discriminate instead of meeting everyone's needs. Although aspects of this
argument are enticing, it ultimately fails to be a stronger argument because with groups of
people, they tend to segregate or treat other people unfairly in order to raise their self
image. As stated in the (Social Identity Theory), Prejudiced views between cultures may
result in racism; in its extreme forms, racism may result in genocide, such as occurred in
Germany with the Jews. If individuals needed a society's help it would not be given to
them if that particular person was not a part of the society. In the book, (A Raisin in the
Sun), this type of threatening non-acceptance is shown when the head of the "Welcoming
Committee" pays Walter and his family a visit. While doing so he tells them, " What do
you think you are going to gain by moving into a neighborhood where you just aren't
wanted." The people living in Clayborne Park do not consider Walter and his family's
feelings and make biased opinions about them because they are different and have
different skin color. Groups tend to be very competitive, hostile and selfish in order to try
to be the best or most outstanding group.
In conclusion, individualism shows greater values than than collectivism. It allows
each individual to accommodate to their own needs, accomplish goals and follow their
dreams without anyone or anything holding them back. Individualism is the freedom to
express oneself and one's thoughts. It is one's right to live the life that no one ever has and
to be a new, unique and significant person in this huge and ever changing world.

Works Cited
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage, 1991. Print.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun: A Drama in Three Acts. New York:
Random House, 1959. Print.
Biddle, Craig. "Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice - The
Objective Standard." The Objective Standard. The Objective Standard, n.d. Web. 25 May
Graham, Stedman. "Your Identity Matters." The Huffington Post.
TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Aug. 2013. Web. 25 May 2016.

McCloud, Saul. "Social Identity Theory." Simply Psychology. Simply Psychology,
2008. Web. 25 May 2016.