being seen by others and recognized as an object (FIND SOURCE FOR THIS). By doing so, Berger is trying to tell us that any experience you have is affected not only by what you already believe in, but also by your own perception. Berger, in essence, is giving in to society and alerting us that it is impossible to escape from societies predetermined ideals. Berger’s conclusions show us that Dyer has, in some shape, been affected by the previous experiences he has had. Although, Dyer wants to look at every emotion, every movement, every action as objectively as possible, it is impossible to do so because of he
has a certain bias- not to society, but to himself. The experiences that he has been gathering as a child, and the experiences that he continues to gather to this day continuously shape him as a person and will change the way he looks at his future endeavors. On the other hand, Berger shows us that Dyer’s attempt to be objective stems from his own beliefs and knowledge. Belief’s that he gained before his current attempt to escape the modern culture. Thus, his quest must be, in some part, influenced by society and he is acting on some rules of society today. Quite simply: Dyer’s attempt to escape society is flawed and doomed to fail. Not only has society been affecting his experiences since he was as child, thus engraving it into his subconscious, Dyer’s quest to see things his own way is just a byproduct of these experiences. Instead of escaping society itself, Dyer has just plunged into a very specific subculture of society itself: a subculture that concerns itself with escaping the chains that society has placed upon it. This new way of looking at Dyers idea leads us to believe that Dyer is on a journey that will lead him nowhere. While it is true that Dyer’s attempt to break free from society is going to lead him to a point where he realizes he has just immersed himself back in society again, this new view does shed more light on the world of Geoff Dyer than we thought. While Dyer is trying to show others that they too can break free from modern culture and view things in their own light, he is essentially trying to create a whole new culture itself. While this new culture does value individuality over being unified, it is a culture nonetheless. While Dyer may not see it this way, he is asking others to break their chains just so they may be allow themselves to be captured and caged in a new way. The point Dyer is missing is that maybe humans as a whole need a society, which is, in itself, a uniquely human concept. Trying to break free of society may be a
destination that is impossible to reach, but Dyer’s attempt of trying to do it show that it is something that society itself perpetuates. Perhaps, as Berger would say, being an individual is one thing, and being removed from society is something completely different.
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- Fall '11
- Writing, Thought, Dyer, John Berger, Geoff Dyer