THE HANGING STRANGER
Foremost, one can argue that the ultimate goal of every human being is to thrive and live in a free world where their activities are not controlled or even restricted by some form of authority. However, every person has interests and needs that would often differ from another person’s. This means that conflicts are bound to happen when each person wants to take a different path that would eventually lead to a satisfaction of their endeavors.
Naturally, human beings are dependent on each other for survival (Qizilbash, 2014). For example, if a person has capital to start up a business, they will need workers to run the day to day operations of the business. Equally, human beings depend on the same resources to achieve different ends.
For instance, one person may use land to cultivate crop and another person may opt to use the same land for real estate development. In the same token, when a person acquires property, he naturally expects that another person would respect such property and refrain from trespassing or unwanted interference in its usage and vice-versa.
From the aforementioned examples, then it is evident that society generally is a unit that is modeled on the aspect of mutual co-existence. These sprouts up the concept of rules and regulations that are meant to guide the conduct of the people. These rules are often based on norms and acceptable codes of behavior supplemented by sanctions and punishments for any violation that may result (Urmonas & Naciscionis, 2016).
However, not all rules may be good for society but the authorities in charge of enforcing these rules may initiate manipulative ways to blind the people to presume the rules to be good. Take for instance a rule that requires one to kill another for trespassing in his property. Such an action may be justified but is it justifiable that another person’s life has been lost.
Thus, when one chooses not to adhere to the set rules, then such a person is presumed to be a crook deserving harsh punishment so as to conform to the set rules. In doing this, violent or even negative consequences may emerge all in bid to try and transform such a person to conform to the crude system.
Concisely, the story about the hanging stranger describes a society that has been indoctrinated into believing that certain acts are ordinary. These acts, from a reasonable man point of view should be nerve-wracking such that they demand proper action to be taken but it is not the case in our given story. Ordinarily, one would expect that if a dead man is found hanging in a lamppost, then the authorities would be informed and conduct immediate investigations on the same.
Nonetheless, the story depicts that even in such a crooked situation; there will be always one or two sane people that would see the problem. However, this means that pointing out such a problem would paint a person as an outlaw. This is the situation that Loyce finds himself in. Hence, in such a state, Loyce must first protect himself from being trapped in the same situation and livelihood as the others but this means that the concerned authorities will do everything possible to make sure he abides by the same rules and way of life. His life and that of his family is thus in danger.
In the story, Loyce is characterized as an ordinary person going about his everyday life. However, owing to the change of events his life suddenly turns into turmoil. Foremost, such a characterization portrays the picture that laws in the society seemingly affect the normal person on the street. Similarly, the residents of the town who are characterized as ordinary people represent a different role in the story of having accepted the codes of the corrupted system.
Therefore, by making a comparison of the two characters, then one is able to clearly see the variation of what ought to be right and what is wrong. Thus, when Loyce notices that a dead man is hanging from a lamppost and none of the other people is worried, then it makes him an outlaw that must face consequences of not following the established code.
As portrayed in the story, the rot in the society begins from the highest authorities. Considering these are the people with the power over the society, then whatever they propose or impose would be deemed to be right. Thus, if anybody objects to the same, they will take action which in the eyes of the other societal members will be taken as appropriate.
Undisputedly, rules require that a person be of a certain character in order to be accepted in the society. When this does not happen like in the case of Loyce, then negative consequences may emerge. For instance, Loyce is forced to move out of his home. Equally, when a person does not share in the same rules, views and opinions as the majority members in the society, it essentially means that there deferring personality would not be taken friendly. Hence, to contain ones behavior, it will take more than the use of rules. This means that force or even harm to the person may be used.
Importantly, the main aim of rules within the society is to limit or prevent the occurrence of conflicts. This means that every person must obey the rules imposed without question. Raising an alarm on any of such rules would mean one is corrupting the minds of the people following such a system and this could potentially lead to a revolution. For instance, when Loyce noticed that all the people were not worried about a body hanging from a lamppost; it hit him that they had been corrupted by the system.
The body was there to act as a bait to expose anyone that reacted to it because that was what any sensible man was expected to do. Such a reaction meant Loyce was a potential threat to the system as he was bound to lead to a struggle between him and the authorities thus endangering his life as afterwards he was attacked by a creature while in his house (Philip, 2015).
To conclude, it is averred that regardless of existence systems that indorse rules within the society that are bound to raise insurgencies for their violations, such rules can be defeated in the long run because they do not get to everybody. But these exceptional people must fight against such systems and take firm stands.
Philip K. Dick (Jan 29, 2017). The Hanging Stranger. American Literature. Retrieved from
Qizilbash, M (2014). Are modern philosophical accounts of well-being excessively ‘individualistic’? International Review of Economics, 61(2), 173-189. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12232-014-0204-x
Urmonas, A., Dr soc, & Naciscionis, J., Dr iur (2016). SOURCES OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW IN LITHUANIA AND LATVIA. Acta prosperitatis (7), 153-170, 174. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1864520138?accountid=4049
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