Authority vs Individuality


Authority is defined as a person or group of people who control the society and make major decisions affecting the society. Individual is a person who has no particular influence on the society and neither do his decisions. The term Authority may be applied to any type of people who hold some sort of influence or power on the society such as The Police; Courts from local courts to supreme courts and of course the ruling party of the government. The individual may be a single civilian.

This essay will compare and contrast the way the following text types present the concept of Authority and the individual: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury; Billy Budd, by Hermann Melville; Shawshank Redemption, by Hollywood Studios; And the poem Naming of parts by Henry Reed. It will discuss how symbolism, language of features, themes, and text form contributes to the way they present the idea of Authority and Individual. It will also discuss the state of Authority in that particular text type (for example is the Authority right or wrong in it?s believes and practices),

Fahrenheit 451 is a book written by Ray Bradbury, set in a futuristic society, about a fireman named Guy Montag whose job is to go and burn the books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness.
The two main themes in this novel are Social change and the banning of books to stop inequality and Individualism.
One of the changes the Authority is responsible in this novel is Social change. Their main purpose is to not let the individual think alone. The Authority does this by giving individuals no time to think, as captain Beatty puts it:
?Give them zippers instead of buttons? (pg 63)
Clarisee also says in School, children are given fun activities, are blasted with useless facts and information, and given no time to ask questions.
In the world of Fahrenheit 451 the books are banned. Figures of Authority believe that books create inequality by creating an educated class:
?We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other??(pg 65)
Books present readers with conflicting views, thus causing confusion:
?We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought? (pg 69)
Lastly but most importantly books allow people to think which leads to individualism. This simply cannot be allowed if any control over people is to be maintained.
Ray Bradbury uses standard narrative features in his novel, one of the strong features used was playing with time that is changing the time to get his message across (for example going from present to past to support what he is saying)

Billy Budd is a play of a book written by Hermann Melville; it is set in the 1798 in the wartimes on a British navy ship Indomitable. The play is about tragedy of a fine young handsome sailor named Willam Budd persecuted by a malevolent master at arms on a British warship. It is about how master at Arms falsely accuses Billy in front of captain, Billy is unable to defend himself verbally because of speech impediment so he defends himself physically. Unfortunately the blow kills master at Arms. The Captain is then obliged to sentence him to death because of strict naval discipline.
Symbolism is used in this play. Billy Budd is symbolised for innocence; Claggart represents evil; and Captain Vere symbolises honorable Authority. Claggart also uses symbolism:
?The sea?s deceitful, boy: calm above, and underneath, a world of gliding monsters preying on their fellows. Murderers, all of them. Only the sharpest teeth survive.?( pg 19)
Claggart uses metaphors like the one above to scare or warn Billy away from himself but unfortunately Billy is unable to interpret the metaphors.
Captain Vere is the authority of the ship, however he has superior officers:
?By authority of his Gracious Majesty George Rex and Alan Napier, Viscount Kelsey, First Sea Lord?(pg 69)
The above quote shows the supreme authority figures. Vere is a man who believes in rules, regulations, and procedure. In his opinion, everything must be done according to instruction. Captain Vere always strives to do that which he believes to be right according to the laws set by his superior officers. The action