Argumentative Essay with peer pressure as a central themeI'm looking for a short essay with peer pressure as one of the central theme's of the essay. I have found Orwell's Shooting an Elephant, and...

Argumentative Essay with peer pressure as a central theme

I'm looking for a short essay with peer pressure as one of the central theme's of the essay. I have found Orwell's Shooting an Elephant, and Langston Hughes Salvation but I'm having a difficult time finding a third on so I can write my esay.

Asked on by sortoflost

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Certainly, Gene Forester senses pressure from his peer Phineas in John Knowles's A Separate Peace.  Granted, the greatest of these pressures is within himself, one that he projects onto his perceived rival.  And, since his actions are a result of these perceived conflicts with Finny, they are irrational.

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

It may be useful to look at a text such as 'The Crucible' with its origins in the Salem witch trials and of course the McCarthy events. There are bound to be essays on both of these historical events which may help with your essay. You could look at whether we would have similar 'knee-jerk' reactions, led by our peers, with regard to certain groups today...

vangoghfan's profile pic

vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I, too, wondered if you were looking for essays or for works of fiction or poetry. Assuming that you were indeed looking for essays, I looked around myself on the web for essays on peer pressure.  Here is a link to one brief essay by a noted economist:

http://books.google.com/books?id=xN_9lr7xbJEC&pg=PT282&dq=peer+pressure+essay&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3X4nT9jnD9T4sQKo5bi2Ag&ved=0CFAQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Are you looking for essays or short stories? You said essays, but these examples are short stories. I think "The Most Dangerous Game" is a good example of peer pressure failing to work. The General tries to get Rainsford to hunt men with him, and he refuses.
literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I would have to suggest Shirley Jackson's The Lottery. Some of the villagers speak about getting rid of the lottery and others say it is part of their tradition. The pressure to keep the lottery around is a combination of both tradition and peer pressure.

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Not sure exactly what you're hoping to do with your essay, but would Huck Finn be able to contribute anything? Certainly his peers, and most of the other whites in his community, would have shared a common set of beliefs regarding the appropriate role of "niggers" and would not hesitate to exert significant peer (and otherwise) pressure on anyone who thought otherwise. That's why it was such a difficult decision for Huck to accept that Jim was a real human being and that he (Huck) would help Jim win his freedom from being returned to slavery.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If you're seeing Orwell's piece as being about peer pressure (which I wonder about -- were the Burmese his peers?), then I would think that you could also use "Thank You, Ma'am."  There, we have Roger being pressured by expectations, just as Orwell is in his essay.

sortoflost's profile pic

sortoflost | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Thank you, I believe that will work. I personally don't see the Burmese as Orwell's peers either I believe it's more about integrity then peer pressure I'm just following the assignment.

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