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Real Life Acting

October 29, 2009

In many books, movies, and real-life situations, people pounce on the opportunity to play someone else.

In our class we’ve read Lord of the Flies and discussed the “Stanford Prison Experiment” in which boys and men, respectively, of different ages and class were thrown into an unknown atmosphere. It seems that with these two cases the boys/men morphed into new people incredibly fast. People they never fathomed they could become, they became. They never thought twice about the harm they were doing to their identity and the people around them.

Why is it that humans so easily want and grasp a new persona when presented with the opportunity?

In Alice’s story she is presented a door to a new world where she can be anyone she wants with no expectations.

In Chapter One it states that Alice was “…fond of pretending to be two people.” (p. 18) Alice, like many children, liked to play and act, but does it go further? Does she want to be someone else, does she want to be the person she is playing? When the invitation to another world, where she can be who she wants to be is made she takes it.

I think a lot of people today would take a chance to be the person that they wanted without any small print.

If you were thrown into a new place with new people you would change, you would morph into someone else. But would it be as easily and willfully as the boys in Lord of the Flies or the guards in the “Stanford Prison Experiment”?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel M. permalink
    October 30, 2009 2:43 pm

    Why is it that humans so easily want and grasp a new persona when presented with the opportunity?
    I agree with Hersh. It depends on the malleability of your personality, along with your inner desires. Often, the reason one becomes a “different” person in foreign situations is because said situation presents an opportunity to act and not be responsible. This could lead a person to act in a way they would not normally. For example, how the face paint in Lord of The Flies allows Jack to become a full-fledged savage. The facade of the paint allows him that liberty.

    I believe some people may be seeking these situations, or looking for opportunities to act out and not face consequences. Adversely, I do believe some are resistant to change, and when presented with the opportunity, they resist whatever fixation that has possessed the aforementioned. Perhaps the person that abstains from that impulse is what we would call a hero.

  2. Hersh T. permalink
    October 29, 2009 5:13 pm

    That’s weird!

    Ok, think about this, you said that if we were thrown into a weird situation we would change. I think that would depend upon the mental strength of the person. For example, if for example, one of us was thrown into a new surrounding situation then we would be aware of what could happen and perhaps be able to stop it.

    However, on the other side there are many stories where the main character has known about the situation and this lulled him/her into a false sense of security and this was his/her undoing. I believe that because we now know about BOTH of these situations we could handle the situation if it was thrust upon us.

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