Ella LindauMrs. JohnsonEnglish 11January 19, 2016English Essay FinalAccording to Guinness World Records, the Bible is the best-selling nonfiction book, meaning it is the most known story ever told. Regardless of one's beliefs, the story shows possibly the best example of an individual against society. Many people did not believe what Jesus said and did not follow him. Society became so angry that they wanted to kill Jesus just tocontrol him. They were willing to let a known criminal with multiple charges free at the cost of Jesus’ death. It was a sacrifice society was willing to make in order to stop the unaccepted beliefs from spreading. As the story goes, the individual cannot be destroyed. Many people today, 2000 years later, still believe what Jesus said. This story is a prime example of the impactan individual has and the sacrifices a society is willing to make to destroy said individual, but it isn’t the only story that shows this concept. “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury and “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allan Poe demonstrate characteristics from the eras they were written while showing in both a literal and metaphorical sense that society will at any and all costs attempt to control the individual who does not conform to the ways that are considered “best”.“The Pit and the Pendulum” very literally shows society attempting to control an individual with differing beliefs from that which they think are correct. The narrator fights conformity to the death. As the swinging blade comes closer and closer, the narrator thinks to himself, “To the right - to the left - far and wide - with the shriek of a damned spirit; to my heart with the stealthy pace of the tiger! I alternately laughed and howled as the one or the other idea grew predominant” (Poe 238). Insanity set aside, this quote shows an unwillingness to conform. After facing death yet again, the captive is expected to give up and accept his untimely end.
Instead, “one or the other idea grew predominant”, the predominant idea being his escape from death. He refused to do what was expected of him regardless of the consequences. This was the type of thinking that caused him to be in the life or death situation that he faced. His rebellious behavior resulted in a death sentence from a society that would not tolerate the type of individuality that he expressed. Standing before the judge, he says, “The sentence - the dread sentence of death - was the last of distinct accentuation which reached my ears” (Poe 230). This quote shows the lengths society was willing to go to in order to keep the conformity