Institutions are establishments or organizations that contain individuals as a mechanism to maintain control and a secure environment. However, the institution can restrict to an extent of an individual’s experience and liberty of the world, resulting in conflict against the institution. Though many individuals apply themselves towards the institution with the nature of compliance, other individuals may be restricted therefore behaving in a conflicting fashion towards the institution.
This is demonstrated through Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” by concentrating the audience’s attention to the social inequality in Maycomb representing the communities institution. Similarly within Suzanne Collin’s novel “The Hunger Games”, the institutional government is illustrated and is explored through the situations face by the individuals contained in it. Furthermore, institutional confinements elaborate the hierarchical structure enhancing or limiting an individual within the system.
As represented in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”, a nature of compliance and defiance is evident within the town of Maycomb. Evaluating on this, the protagonist ‘Atticus’ depicts elements of defiance by resisting to the social means that are accustomed to in the community. Accounting for the institution’s behaviour of containment, people at the top of the institution have the ability of corruption. This is best demonstrated in the court scene where the racist views of the white residents of Maycomb are juxtaposed with Atticus Finch’s desire to represent a black client.
The injustice that is present in Maycomb, is best addressed as Atticus challenges the jury to “do their duty, in the name of God”, as they decide whether Tom Robinson is guilty, despite the fact that there is no “probable cause” for supposedly raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. This empathetic challenge by Atticus acts as the voice of reason against the racist, regressive elements of “southern” culture in the 1930’s. The institution, the town of Maycomb has been operating in a corrupt manner by segregated black and white communities within Maycomb.
This segregation is again demonstrated in the court some exchanges, as the black citizen must stand in the stalls, whilst “white folk” cans sit on the same level as the judge and other court officials. In addition, Suzanne Collin’s “The Hunger Games” illustrates the nature of a governmental institution and how individuals are able to adapt or resist to the establishment. Within the novel, the protagonist Katniss Everdeen is elected to compete in the annual ‘Hunger Games’ a brutal competition containing individuals to signify the former defiance from the past districts.
Through the protagonist’s portrayal of defiance, it is evident that one’s institutional thinking undergoes transformation, furthermore granting ability of opinion and greatly influencing an individual’s extent of restriction within the institution. This is supported through the statement of a participant of the games, “if I am going to die, I still want to be me”. Suzanne Collin uses this to express the emotions of a character experiencing the effects the institution, depicting the individuals as a tool or equipment used for manipulation and subsequently dehumanizing the individual.
Conversely, within “To Kill a Mockingbird” the corrupted institution relies more on the community to progressively change people’s perspective rather than utilising threats. This is shown through the underlying nature of the public on how to behave within the town of Maycomb. Throughout the scene of the confrontation of Atticus Finch outside the town’s jail, the community’s men arise to form a mob creating a single identity. However, when the protagonist Atticus directs him individually towards a man, the man is shown to be contextually righteous and was only conforming to the society’s standards.
This proposes the argument whether an institution is built on corruption demonstrated in “The Hunger Games” or is built on manipulation demonstrated in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Evaluating on the manner of both characteristics of each institution it is evident that they share common aspects. Throughout both texts it is apparent that institutional thinking and institutional behaviours derive from the different social rankings that individuals subconsciously acquire.