Institutions Can Affect People in Different Ways

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This essay sample on Raw Individuals provides all necessary basic info on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.

“Institutions may have varying effects on individuals”. Discuss this statement with reference to ‘Raw’. The novel ‘Raw’, written by Scott Monk, shows that an institution may have varying effects on an individual. In this case the institution being ‘The Farm’. The aim of the institution, being to transform the bad ways/behaviours of the individual.

The individuals are expected to be in compliance of the rules and expectations of the caretakers, Mary & Sam. If the individuals protest to these, they can expect the consequences.

The institution can have positive effects on the individuals, they can learn to trust respect, and treat people the right way. This can also backfire in some cases. The Farm is an institution run by Sam and Mary, referred to more as caretakers rather than wardens.

It can have varying effects on individuals, as you can see with Josh, compared to Tyson, the outcome and effect on the different individuals is noticeably diverse. The Farm is not like a typical juvenile centre, it gives individuals an opportunity to make changes in themselves.

The setup is a lot different, there are no gates, no cells, no bars on the windows, no guards. But there are rules that apply to all people staying at The Farm, which include, no fighting, no leaving the property, Sam’s decision is final, and no drugs.

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These rules are enforced with the consequences, if any of these rules are broken, not only will the person breaking them suffer the consequences, but the whole group of individuals will suffer from these actions as well. Whether the individuals choose to comply or protest against these, it will decide their future.

Raw Individuals

So there are expectations to conform, as there is group pressure to obey the rules through the certain consequences. Sam also has an impact on the effect The Farm has on the individuals. He gives them advice, and believes in them, and if they use it and are respectful of him, it will only work to their advantage. The Farm has had a major impact on the key character, Brett Dalton. It has given him an opportunity to change his attitude to life and society. Brett’s initial attitude was very cynical. He was a rude person, blames the world for everything, and doesn’t consider the fact that it is his own fault for what happens to him.

He refers to police as ‘pigs’ on various occasions, he calls Sam the caretaker an ‘old fool’, and refers to The Farm as ‘a pushover’. Brett has a carefree attitude, and is always looking for a fight, especially when he first moved to The Farm. He thinks everyone is a joke and has no idea why everyone has so much respect and looks up to Sam, “Sam this, Sam that, the were treating the guy like a king”(pg. 69). “He was the enemy, and you never got friendly with the enemy” (pg. 20), Brett sees Sam as the enemy and is unwilling to change his attitude. Brett picks fights with Josh and other characters, as though he is just looking for trouble.

He is constantly rude to Sam, and isn’t bothered by what anyone else thinks of him. Throughout the novel, we see slight changes in Brett’s behaviours and attitudes. We first see signs of this when Brett first decides to run away from The Farm. After catching him running away and driving Brett to Mungindi, as he is about to drive off and leave Brett, Sam reminds him by saying, “just remember Brett, only you can change your life” (pg. 86), in hopes Brett will think about what he says and return back to The Farm. Sam also tells Brett that he believes in giving people second chances.

As Brett comes to realise what the consequence of him running away would be (going to jail), he decides to return back to The Farm. This is the first sign of change taking place in Brett. We begin to see more change in Brett’s attitude when he is asked to help out building the stable, Brett is willing to take on Sam’s offer, as woodwork is something he enjoys. Another moment is when Brett saves Robbie (frog) from the drug dealer and sticks up for him. He was willing to fight to help Robbie, as he is almost like a little brother to him, and wants to set a good example.

Brett sets a good example when he tells Smiling Joe, “I don’t want to fight, just let me take the kid”. Brett continues to show his changing attitudes throughout the course of the novel. Towards the end, Brett finally has given up his old ways, when he was fighting with Caitlyn’s dad. “Suddenly, Brett realised he was tired. Tired of fighting. Tired of the pain. He couldn’t keep solving his problems with his fists. He wanted out. He wanted a normal life”, (pg. 332). This is Brett’s breaking point in the novel. It reveals his realisation for a normal life, and doesn’t want to have to keeping fighting to solve all of his problems.

Even though Brett ended up in jail, he was still changed by The Farm in a positive way, he learned how to trust, make friends, he learned not everyone hates him even though he may think so, and he learned that violence it not always the answer and there are other ways to solve problems rather than using his fists. Josh Collins has been living at The Farm for three years, and works as a stable hand. Josh is a good example that an institution can have varying effects on individuals, in Josh’s case a positive one. Josh respects Sam and follows his instructions, because he knows if he does this, he will then be rewarded.

Josh originally came to The Farm for breaking into cars and other criminal acts, the reason for this behaviour being he was sexually abused by his stepfather, although we do not learn this until the near end of the novel. Josh has a strong dislike for Tyson as he dislikes people who don’t make any effort to change their lives. Josh tells Brett that if he can put his life back together than anyone can. Even though Josh seems strong and positive on the outside, he has become extremely reliant on The Farm and its resources, he has no where else to go.

In the real world Josh wouldn’t cope. This can be a negative effect on him. But overall The Farm has had a positive impact on Josh. Tyson is quite the opposite of Josh, he is considered as a thug and believes he is the ‘king’ of The Farm, “the only person in this place who does own anything is me” (pg. 115). Tyson has no willingness to conform or change his attitude in any way, shape or form, as he has been through loads of detention centres, which have made no impact on him whatsoever. Tyson’s tough guy attitude, is his barrier stopping him from making any change in his attitude.

He is constantly looking for a fights, and frequently picks on Brett, always calling him “pretty boy”. Although we don’t see what Tyson is like when he is first brought into The Farm, we can tell that he has not been effected by the institution at all, as he has no willingness to do so. Robbie Scully, often called ‘Frog’, is a 12 year old boy who was sent to The Farm for stealing from a local store. Because he is only young and is constantly surrounded by older and more intimidating inmates, Robbie is considered a ‘tadpole’. Robbie is very compliant with all the rules and respects Sam and his rules.

Robbie never wants any trouble and begins to grow a good relationship with Brett, who some what acts as an older brother figure. We can tell that Robbie is scared by the other inmates when he asks Brett if he can teach him to fight, because he wants to learn how to defend himself if he ever gets into any trouble. Even though The Farm has taught Robbie a lesson, I don’t think it was the right institution for Robbie to be sent for what he did, as he is too young. Robbie has learnt from his mistakes, and knows what he did was wrong. So The Farm has had a positive effect on Robbie’s attitude and ways.

The statement, “institutions can have varying effects on individuals”, I believe is true. An institution such as The Farm, can have a positive effect if you are willing to make the change yourself, such as Brett, Josh and Robbie, these individuals learnt from their mistakes and came to trust and respect Sam, especially Brett, who learned that Sam is no “old fool” after all. Whereas Tyson, is the complete opposite, he is unwilling to throw away his ego, and do what is best for him, He is not willing to change, therefore The Farm will not have any effect on him at all.

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Institutions Can Affect People in Different Ways. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Institutions Can Affect People in Different Ways
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