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The Lords of Discipline-Pat Conroy


write a typed essay in which you compare and contrast the impacts of alienation in the books. Your thesis should then focus on one of these questions.

i. In a culture in which we deal with other people who are constantly trying to define us, how do characters fight to define themselves?
ii. How do the main characters form and shape their own identities? Analyze whether the characters allow the surroundings to mold them or whether they resist these forces.
iii. How are the characters in the works pushed outside their comfort zone? How do they cope?
iv. Journeys can often be defining moments in our lives. How do the journeys characters go on in the books impact their identities?

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The Lords of Discipline-Pat Conroy

Impacts of alienation in the book

Pat Conroy in the book “The Lord of Discipline” uses alienation to depict the aspect of isolation. This he does right from the onset. As the story unfolds, Will leaves his dying father to join the Cadet. In this case, the aspect of alienation has been used to showcase McLean’s overriding desire for pursuit of happiness and fulfilment of his life goals. At the military school, McLean becomes rebellious, and this alienates him from his peers till that time he is able to find a friend. The author compares his father’s life as a marine and McLean’s and brings out a stark comparison of how the two felt lonely and alienated before finding friends. Will spends four years fighting the system plus an established hierarchy, and this makes him alienated by the proponents of the hierarchy. On the other hand, it can be seen that alienation can also be vital progressively. With Will’s rebellious acts, he is merely alienated but at that occasion not considered as a failure. The aspect of the school being thought to be for the whites leaves Pearce with no choice but try to escape. Pearce is, therefore, effectively alienated by the fact that he comes from the black society.

How character defines individuals

In most occasions, culture tends to define the character of an individual. In his book “The Lords of Discipline” Pat Conroy brings out various characters of individuals. For instance, when Will joins CMI with the quest to become a cadet, he is seen as rebellious and an individual who doesn’t like to face failure. On the other hand, the seniors and other students can be seen as judgmental since they are over-critical of Will’s character. Brutality takes centre stage at the school. The culture that surrounds the school depicts that weakness is not acceptable in the school, brought out by the rejection Will is subject to following his nonchalance. Therefore, in as much as there is a strict discipline policy, brutality is part and parcel of the institution. At Charleston upper class, McLean confronts a society that he finds unacceptable by his standards but seductive on its culture and lifestyle.

Formation of identities by the main character

In this book, the identities of the main characters are partly shaped by the surroundings. On the other hand, the characters also resist some situation and get motivated by inner self. When McLean joins MCI, he faces a new culture of brutality and high standards of discipline. Having been raised with the stubborn and rebellious attitude, McLean is forced to change his character and motives at the MCI after the interaction with the Charleston elite forces. It should also be noted that at the classroom, McLean opposes his classmate’s inhuman nature and sticks to his character. In so doing, his classmates force him out thus alienating him. The