The Bystander Effect

By: Bailee Turner

Thematic Research

Being on the outside of a horrible conflict can affect you as well as the situation itself in the worst ways possible, especially if nothing is said or done. This is defined as the bystander effect and it can happen to anyone at any time. This effect has become a problem now and then and will continue unless people stand up for themselves and others. The bystander effect can help others by having courage and solving situations, however it is an issue because of problems that are caused, suffering without speaking up and how it has not come to an end.

Animal Farm is a great example of how the bystander effect is defined as. The term is reflected through many small situations that lead to a huge problem that can't be fixed otherwise. During many situations the animals would think that they were equal with the pigs and that they had the same rights as each other. Therefore the pigs knew what to do to use and abuse the other animals as what the humans did to them. Towards the end of the novel, it is explained that the pigs over ruled the farm and the other animals watched as they themselves became "slaves" and unequal.

The theme is portrayed through many situations in life regardless of where and who it happens to. The bystander effect can make a positive and negative impact depending on the conflict itself. An example could be Nazi's and the negative impact with Hitler. The camp made it seem that all Nazi's were equal yet Hitler would mistreat them and no one knew the truth and if they did, nothing was done about it. In today's society, the bystander effect is a common issue and can happen anywhere. In a high school hallway there could be bullying and students who know what is wrong and right could be on the outside watching yet not having a voice in the situation.

The solution for the bystander effect isn't simple or easy because it would have been solve many decades ago. The biggest solution would be to make sure people understand the true definition of the term. Creating an impact and trying to solve the bystander effect could help many people even if it is at one step at a time. Having people stand up for themselves would create a better environment and equality which leaves a positive impact on our environment as a whole.

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The events in "Animal Farm" reminds me of fights that go on today. How people stand around fights and videos. The people who stand there and video tape the fight are bystanders they watch there friends get harmed and hurt instead of stepping in and putting a halt to the fight. Just like in "Animal Farm" the animals just let the pigs and Napoleon control them and dictate them. People let others get hurt and people stay back and have fun with it.