Negative Influences of Authority
Rodriguez’s, Freire’s and Foucault’s works are all related to the principle of authority and the good and bad involved with instituting it. Rodriguez’s scholarship boy changed the protagonist and left him alienated from his family. In Panopticism by Foucault, the idea of the central tower in a prison with guards in the tower watching over the prisoners at any time forces the prisoners to behave better because of the possibility of someone watching their every move. Friere’s essay said school structures force students to become little robots that memorize information their teachers tell them to. They are depositors for information that emphasizes the concept of “Banking Education.” Authority affects people negatively by changing their personal life, state of mind and by diminishing their ability to think by themselves.
The fact that authority changes one’s personal life is evident in “The Achievement of Desire” by Rodriguez. For example Rodriguez states that he is “always successful” but “always unconfident.” (516) The fact he transitions from positive diction to negative when describing himself makes it seem as though he is such a happy and smart boy but there is something internally causing him to be unhappy. Clearly Rodriguez is a very intelligent boy who received a lot of attention due to his successes, however he still choses to emphasize the fact that he is not truly satisfied with his accomplishments. It’s what the scholarship boy accomplished in school that was identified by the educational system solely as an accomplishment. This shows that although someone can be successful, other elements to happiness may be lacking. He said “with every award, each graduation from one level to the next people I’d meet would congratulate me” which emphasizes even further that he was not exactly content with his successes as much as he should be. (520) Even receiving awards did not make him happy which shows the extent of how unmotivated he was to display his successes. As he became more and more wrapped up within his academics, he began to notice subtle changes in his life. Once he started to become fed up with his home life, he said, “I was oddly annoyed when I was unable to get parental help with a homework assignment” which appeals to pathos and shows that he became frustrated when things were different at home then at school. (522) The older he got though the more he began to try and separate the two worlds. The idea that authority diminishes our ability to think critically is seen heavily in Freire’s work “The “Banking” Concept of Education.” In the very beginning of his work he describes education to be that of “an act of depositing in which students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor.” (318) The idea of banking education emphasizes how students begin to lose creativity because they are being forced by education to convert their studying habits to what fits the teachers or education system standards. In this type of education the teacher communicates information and makes deposits to students and they are expected to patiently receive, memorize, and repeat this information. If you want to be a good student in Freire’s classroom, you must have listened to your instructor and done everything in your power to memorize the information presented to you. Society forces students to be educated by their proposed standards but the experience negatively influences their state of mind on many aspects of life. The actions described above is “The ‘banking’ Concept of Education” where the only actions accepted by students to an extent are “receiving, filling, and storing the deposits.” (318) The fact students are depositories is enough to say that it might possibly decrease their chances of developing a creative mind that