There are many social restrictions that cause a person to behave or think a certain way, These restrictions lead a person to act a certain way, based on the influences present. There are many limitations from many different influences that result in these behaviors. In a community, a person is expected to be placed under the chains of social restrictions in order to fit the acceptable standards. In the voting process over time, the restrictions/expectations have changed. At first, in order to vote a person had to be a white male property owner to be considered an acceptable vote, then it extended to all men of all races.
Therefore, as long as you were a male citizen you could have voted, and lastly it extended to women as well. Therefore, the social restrictions seemed to lessen and society’s expectations changed, morphing our actions into certain standards. Social restrictions are something that influences a person’s behavior and essentially their thoughts. In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest is a person who lives with these social restrictions, by being mentally retarded. In the society that surrounds him, he is supposed to act just like everyone else.
For example, in school he is expected to have an intelligence quotient of at least 70 so he can be accepted by his school. Forrest is expected to learn just like everyone else, however he lacks the ability to, therefore leaving the social restrictions to shape and influence his thought. Throughout the film, Forrest’s surroundings shape his behavior by causing him to question the world that surrounds him, and causes him to realize his worth in the world, especially when it comes to his soulmate Jenny.
As she continuously runs away from his him, he constantly questions why he is not good enough, and why she did not love im in return. He realizes that the standards and beliefs of society causes him to question everything, including conformity. This causes him to inwardly conform to live life his own way, and be different from society. The idea of exposure to certain influences and expectations that lead us to reflect on our thoughts and conformity is a major theme in all of society. In many places, we are expected to follow the norm and what society accepts. This then causes us to question why is conformity so important to us. This is especially present in one’s devotion to their faith and religion.
Expectations and influences in religion are a driving force behind the actions a person makes. Religion is something where a person is apart of it, they are expected to act only certain ways, freedom can be very slim or strict in certain religions. Based off the expectations of religion, a person is expected to be at church every Sunday, serve their Savior, be unified, and always pray. They are even deeper technicalities of every religion, that people are expected to follow, concerning how to treat their body as it’s considered a temple. In certain religions, people are expected to not get piercings or tattoos, because it destroys their body.
It is considered sinful and unwelcomed by God, while in other religions it does not matter. These religious expectations that exist are meant to shape our behavior to what is expected to fit these standards. These different rules and rituals cause some to question our thoughts on them and why it is this way, it also causes us to question conforming to such rules and regulations. If a person is at a Catholic church as a visitor and everyone is expected to participate in a certain activity, like communion, that one may not particularly be interested in, but they do it anyway, despite how they feel.
After the fact, when church is over, the same person might go home and reflect on those events and realize that if they are not particularly enthused or okay with it, next time they do not have to do it. A similar instance is demonstrated in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, when in the society that surround Huck within the village, he is expected by Miss Watson and others to follow all the devotion to religion, he is expected to read the Bible, and go to service. Miss Watson expects him to be as civilized as the rest and be a child of God and be religious.
Huck feels as when in presence of this, he has to follow these expectations and beliefs. However, when in absence of these surroundings, he internally reflects on the idea of religion and if he feels the need to follow it, eventually bringing him to consider conformity and the fact at he does not want to conform to these social standards, but rather conform to do as he wishes and saying “All right then, I’ll go to hell… and never thought no more about reforming (217). This shows how religion shapes our thoughts, and then shape our behaviors through this.
Huck’s religious background shaped him to be a certain way and try to be good and not sin. When in deep thought, he decided it was about what he wanted to do and his idea of conformity and stray away of these influences to please himself. Aside from religion, education is also another major surrounding influences, that shapes a person’s and thoughts especially with the aspect of conformity. This is the idea of conforming, and not having to conform to what everyone finds acceptable, but rather what they feel comfortable with.
When a person is in a public place, they are expected to be followers of everyone and model what they believe is right by everyone. When a person is in a school, they are expected to follow a set of rules in order to prevent conflict and such. These social restrictions change how we are supposed to be, and believe. For instance, at Fitch there is a motto or a code to live by, which is “Achieve More. Believe More and Care More. ” This meaning that when we are in these certain surroundings, we are expected to set our standards all about school, education and learning.
We are not supposed to act out, or swear or dress the way we want. Rather, we are supposed to act proper, and try hard in order to achieve. We are expected to set our standards at its highest point. We are expected to go for all As and Bs, the more challenging classes. A person is expected to have the same set of universal standards as the next, and feel the desire for education and higher thinking as the next person. When in a school environment, a person is expected to conform to what the educators expect. This varies based on what school setting one is in.
In high school, we are supposed to care about only our education, and our academics. These standards that we have in academics are widely influenced by who we surround ourselves with and how it affects us causing to feel the need to question what is right. This is demonstrated in The Adventures of Huckleberry, when Miss Watson wants Huck to become educated, just like the rest of society. She wants him to shape his beliefs based off of what everyone around him who is in school as well and follow the restrictions and rules they do. Huck is expected to be like every other white person, and he is not.
He becomes orphaned, he does not have money, and he just likes to be different and chooses to go against society. However, when he is surrounded by this culture, he is expected to act a certain way, and believe the value of education. For instance, Miss Watson wants him to be as intellectual as Tom Sawyer when it comes to school and the social norm. This directly reflects on Huck constant thinking about whether or not his choice in not believing in school is right or whether he should be just like everyone else. He spends the span of the book, reflecting on society and how it has shaped him to be different
In education and we school, we are expected to act in a way that is accepted by the masses, and if we do not act this way, we are expected to shift our standards and values through the influence of our surroundings. One is expected to live by the standards and pay no mind to the social restrictions we must face. Otherwise, when not surrounding by these cultures one is left in a constant state of confusion as to if we are normal and if we have to change outwardly, in order to fit society’s ideal standards in what they find acceptable to their spectrum.
Our surrounding influences, play a major part in our behavior and cause us to reflect on our thoughts and the concept of conformity in absence of these influences. Overall, society has continuously shaped and morphed how people behave and reflect on their thoughts, through continuously shifting beliefs and standards. This is proven by research as aforementioned with discussion on different theories, models and instances.
This idea is also displayed multiple times in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as Huck continuously compares his views to those of society’s and how he constantly struggles with internal nflict over conformity and what is acceptable. The psychology behind this is that internal conflicts goes hand in hand with the idea of morality and ethics as to how a person is accepted. Expectations take up the world around us and continue to contribute to how surroundings influence the character of someone. These views of society will remain a key part of what defines us as long as the human race exists.