Write an essay in which you apply Nathan’s concepts about community and conformity to the following passage from The Orchid Thief:
in Victorian England the orchid hobby grew so consuming that it was sometimes called “orchidelirium”; under its influence many seemingly normal people, once smitten with orchids, became less like normal people and more like John Laroche… “The bug hits you,” a collector from Guatemala explained to me. “You can join A.A. to quit drinking, but once you get into orchids you can’t do anything to kick the habit.” I didn’t own any orchids before I went down to Florida, but Laroche always teased me and said that I’d never get through a year around orchid people without getting hooked…I suppose I also didn’t want Laroche to feel to smug about his predictive powers. In fact, nearly every orchid grower I talked to insisted on giving me a plant and I was so leery of getting attached that I immediately gave them all away. (Orlean 50-51)
Points to consider
When crafting your response you may find it helpful to consider the following questions:
Is community an addiction?
Can we escape community? Is the “warm and fuzzy side” of community worth “Big Brother” images?