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Doris Lessing's Group Minds
Pages 10 (2510 words)
Doris Lessing in "Group Minds" problematises the idea of freedom and individual liberty that Western society considers its birthright. She therefore adds a crucial line: "The fact is that we all live our lives in groupsVery few people indeed are happy as solitariesMost people cannot stand being alone for long…
The subjectivity thus becomes an internalized version of something that dictates our being, be it through commercialization of gender biases or fixating stereotypes and archetypal ideas (blonde-haired women are dumb, fashionable gay man, notions of beauty, etc.). Hence, she highlights that "what is dangerous is not the belonging to a group or groups but not understanding the social laws that govern groups and govern us" (pp 50). Thus, ignorance makes us more gullible and more malleable and makes us helpless against all such invisible forces. The film, 'Good Will Hunting' as a realistic specimen of a young man's struggle with a cornucopia of "expectations" that immediately tries to suck him into a world of performance and group joining politics. This not only threatens his apparent invisibility, and comfort beyond the social gaze, but also makes him realize the utter uselessness of conforming to social orders and institutional snobbery. However, Will escapes all such predicament.
Manipulation, spontaneous obedience, group mentality and responding to social circumstances, as if they were psychological realities or unconsciously imbibing them to limit our intellectual and cognitive ability is what concerns Doris Lessing in "Group Minds". ...
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