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Self Reliance

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Having faith either in one's self or traditional practices is the definition of

being self-reliant. However it is not always easy to make the right decision and to

decide whether to follow one's heart or not. The society was and will always put a

lot of pressure on people, which will affect their decision. Shirley Jackson and

Sophocles are two authors that demonstrated the importance of following one's

intuition or heart.

In her short story "The Lottery", Shirley Jackson illustrates how important

and respected were traditions in communities .The story is about an ordinary

small town that happens to hold an annual lottery. However, you later find out

that the winner of the lottery is stoned to death by the rest of the town .Tradition

seems very important in this community, although the black box they used for

this ritual has become worn , they refuse to replace it; " Mr. Summers spoke

frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset

even as much tradition as was represented by the black box." (Jackson, 132 ) .

In this story, Jackson shows how much the community respects the

tradition that has been going around for years. The practice of this lottery seems

to be something totally normal for the community and no one seems to be

opposed to it. Why would anyone say anything if everybody seemed to view this

practice as normal and traditional ?

The inhabitant of this community were being self-reliant in having faith in the

tradition but they were not having faith in themselves . Most of the people in the

community probably knew that this ritual was wrong, mostly because other

community stopped practicing it but also because when one witnesses a family

member being stoned, he or she unconsciously knows that it is wrong. So

shouldn't they speak up? Shouldn't they try to stop that ritual? They were

pressured by the rest of the community and the fear of being different or

excluded was the reason of their silence. However wouldn't it be worthy to speak

up in order to save lives?

In his play entitled "Antigone", Sophocles suggests that if a person

believed something to be right, then her or she should follow their heart,

even if they need to break the law. King Creon decrees that Polynices the

traitor is not to be buried, but his sister Antigone defies the order.

She is caught, and sentences by Creon to be buried alive, even though she is

betrothed to his son Haemon. After the blind prophet Tiresias proves that the

gods are on Antigone's side, Creon changes his mind but it is too later. He goes

first to bury Polynices, but Antigone has already hanged herself.

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