While growing up we are forced to deal with situations where we must decide if we take the lead or stick to the status quo? Do we speak up when we sense something is amiss or stay silent? Not wanting to draw attention to ourselves? The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Hans Cristian Anderson, shows the consequences when no one wants to speak up.
A Child’s Observation
The Emperor’s New Clothes is about an emperor whose main concern is to look fashionably impressive every day despite the cost of materials or what his country may need. One day, he hears about this unique material that appears invisible on the wearer though those who were unable to see were either stupid or incompetent.
The Emperor demands the two men to build him a new outfit with the fabric paying material sending a person to check on the men each day giving them more money. The Emperor is led to believe that the fabric is real until a small child points out that he was naked while parading through the town square.
The Elevator Experiment
In the 1950s, Salomon Ashe conducted experiments on a group of people entering the elevator. The concept is that a person would enter the elevator with people already waiting inside with the entire group facing one way. The experiment was to see if the person would follow suit by facing the same way or go in a different direction. Most people would conform to the group while a few would stand facing a different wall.
I enjoy the story because it plays on the concept of how far people will go along with a groups idea to avoid trouble or disagreements. No one wanted to point out they didn’t see the fabric because it would force others to question their intelligence.
It would also affect their egos leading to most people staying silent instead of speaking up. Children have yet to be influenced by society, and will speak their mind not caring about embarrassing themselves or their peers. It’s not until after a few years of schooling that they think before speaking.
Furthermore, it’s clear that many are taught that it’s better to blend in then to stand out that most people would rather follow then lead. There are few that will speak up rebelling against society when they see the injustice in the world. It takes those that would rather speak for those without a voice then to be silent allowing the corruption and depict to run its course.
Now, shush, I’m trying to read,