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The Power of Conformity

Traudl Junge and Marjane Satrapi grew up in very different places, but how the acted towards others was very similar

Max Sellars

on 4 May 2011

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Transcript of The Power of Conformity

Traudl Junge Persepolis Conformity –noun, plural -ties.
action in accord with prevailing social standards, attitudes, practices, etc. People have different ways of conforming Junge Conformed to what society was doing Marji conformed to what the people around her were doing Conformity, as one of the most powerful influences on a human being, is capable of changing a person into something they are not, which is easily seen in examples from the novel Persepolis, and the works about Traudl Junge. She joined the Nazi regime and followed Adolf Hitler Before we look at those works, lets see an experiment that was created by the psychologist Solomon Asch As seen in the video, people follow along with those surrounding them, even if they are obviously incorrect This is the exact experience of Traudl Junge Traudl Junge said in Until the Final Hour, "When I read my manuscript again several decades later, I was horrified by my uncritical failure to distance myself from my subject at the time, and ashamed of it. How could I have been so naive and unthinking?"
(Junge 1) This quote is a great example of the power of conformity. It is often difficult to believe you would subject to it in retrospect, but in the moment, you don't even question it. The Power of Works Cited

"Conform." Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 13 Apr. 2011. <Dictionary.comhttp://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conform>.

"German Army." Metaprocess. Web. 14 Apr 2011. <http://metaprocess.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/freedom-versus-fanaticism/>.

Gross, Raphael. "Relegating Nazism to the Past: Expressions of German Guilt in 1945 and Beyond." German History 25.2 (2007): 219-238. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 13 Apr. 2011.

Harris, Marla. "Showing and Telling History through Family Stories in Persepolis and Young Adult Novels." Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by Panel. 38-53. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 2007. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Web. 13 Apr. 2011.

Hillary Chute. "The Texture of Retracing in Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis." WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly 36.1-2 (2008): 92-110. Project MUSE. Web. 21 Jan. 2011. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.

"Persepolis." Prolonged Hacking and Gnawing. Web. 14 Apr 2011. <http://jmassier.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html>.

Junge, Traudl. Until the Final Hour. 1st ed. London, England: Weidenfield & Nicholson, 2002. Print.

Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. New York: Pantheon, 2003.

Sims, Ronald R. Linking Groupthink to Unethical Behavior in Organizations. Journal of Business Ethics. Volume 11. 1992: 651-662. Published by: Springer. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/25072319>

Tensuan, Theresa M. "Comic Visions and Revisions in the work of Lynda Barry and Marjane Satrapi." MFS Modern Fiction Studies Vol. 54. 2006: 947-964. Project MUSE 15 April 2011 <http://muse.jhu.edu.www.library.gatech.edu:2048/journals/modern_fiction_studies/summary/v052/52.4tensuan.html>

"The Asch Experiment." YouTube. Web. 14 Apr 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRh5qy09nNw>.

"Traudl Junge November 1945." Women in European History. Web. 14 Apr 2011. <http://womenineuropeanhistory.org/index.php?title=File:Traudl_Junge_November_1945.jpg>. During Groupthink small groups develop shared illusions and related norms that interfere with critical thinking and reality testing. (Sims 659) Although it was it was an entire country, rather than a small group, this is what occured in Nazi Germany
People ignored the horrible atrocities happening around them
They simply followed what everyone around them was doing and accepted it as true
Nobody thought critically of the consequences Groupthink is best described by a man named Irving Janis, who said it is "a collective patter of defensive avoidance" (Sims 652) Junge asks herself "How could I have been so naive and unthinking?" The answer to this question is...human nature, and the word Groupthink When we look at how Groupthink is defined, and how Junge describes her experience, it is quite clear what occured. (Sims 655) It is obvious that Marji conforms to the people surrounding her when she begins to hang around Julie, Momo, and Thierry. Marji pretends to smoke and laugh like she is high because the people around her are doing it Her parents attempt to rebel from the government, so Marji does the same when she is younger She dresses in western clothing and listens American music, both of which are prohibited by the government We see that Marji knows smoking is wrong, but she does it to fit it Marji says in the text, "I needed to fit in, and for that I needed to educate myself." (Satrapi 173) The desire to be accepted is the driving force of conforming, and the reason it has such an impact on the way people act. "Signs of European and American influence abound throughout Persepolis—tee shirts emblazoned with the Bee Gees logo, wall sized posters of Iron Maiden, cassettes of music by Kim Wilde become key details in Satrapi's illustrations." (Tensuan 952) Conclusion Traudl Junge and Marjane Satrapi are both great examples of the effects of conformity Junge was influenced by Groupthink of an entire nation Satrapi was influenced by the people in her immediate surroundings Whether it is an entire nation, or just a close group of friends, the way we act is determined by the way the people around us act (Satrapi 192) (Satrapi 173) ("German Army") ("Persepolis") ("Traudl Junge November 1945") ("The Asch Experiment")
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