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Krause 1

Anna Corinne Krause


Mr. Turley
English I Honors
19 May 2016
Individualism
Who would be you but who you are? (X) Marriam-Websters dictionary defines
individualism as the belief that the needs of each person are more important than the needs of
the whole society or group. Individualism has more importance than collectivism as a whole
because identity is a defining characteristic of people and identity also shapes peoples future.
Everyone within a society has their own identity and role. If [people] do not know who
[they] are, [they] cannot understand [their] purpose, [their] motivations, or [their] future.
(Graham) No one is the same for a reason. For example, humans are built up of DNA, and no
two people have the same DNA. Could there be purpose to these differences? This proves that
humans are different and are meant to be their own individuals. Humanity faces an identity crisis.
In Animal Farm, in the beginning of chapter nine on page 113, Orwell describes the animals as
feeling comfort[ed] to be reminded that, after all, they were truly their own masters and that the
work they did was for their own benefit. This shows that the animals came to believe and rely
primarily on themselves efficiently, proving that individualism is a successful concept if the
individuals have faith in themselves. People have the power to be self-defining, but do not take
advantage of it and they allow the world to be the one defining them.

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America was built on the foundation of individualism. Individualism is the idea that an
individuals life belongs to him and that he has the right to live it his own way. (Biddle) This is
the ideal that the American founders set forth and sought to establish when they drafted and
wrote the Constitution. They created a country in which the individuals rights to life, liberty,
property, and the pursuit of happiness were to be recognized and protected. Of course the
colonists may not have called the aspect of the Constitution to be individualism, but they did
understand that all freedoms came from the individual, not the government.
The other aspect to the idea of individualism or society being more important as a whole
brings up the idea of collectivism. Collectivism is the principle of giving a group priority over
each individual in it. Those that are on this side of the argument will argue that people are
products of their culture, that ones outlook on life is very much dominated by the views of those
around them. They would also argue that by self-analyzing how much one gained knowledge
from others, numbers are very high. Although these arguments are intriguing, collectivism does
not match up to the idea of individualism in the big picture.
Individualism has more importance than collectivism as whole because identity is a defining
characteristic of people and identity also shapes peoples future. Collectivism sees the group as
the important element, and the individuals are just members of the group. Individualism
demonstrates the idea that each individual is acting on their own, making their own choices, and
to the extent in which they interact with this group, its as individuals. There should be a greater
shift to individualism because when the earth is looked at, the world is seen as people brought
together, separate distinct individuals making up one big world.

Krause 3
X, Malcolm. "Quotes About Individualism." (262 Quotes). Good Reads, n.d. Web. 25 May 2016.
<http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/individualism>.
"Individualism." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 May 2016.
<http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/individualism>.
Biddle, Craig. "Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice - The Objective
Standard." The Objective Standard. The Objective Standard, n.d. Web. 25 May 2016.
<https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2012-spring/individualism-collectivism/>.
Graham, Stedman. "Your Identity Matters." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d.
Web. 25 May 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stedman-graham/selfidentity_b_3790845.html>.
Orwell, George, George Orwell, and George Orwell. Animal Farm ; 1984. Page 113. Orlando:
Harcourt, 2003. Print.