The Visit

An Exploration of Mob Mentality in The Visit 11th Grade

The actions involved in ‘mob mentality’ are a prominent and recurring trend in history, dating back to the beginning of human interaction. Complete social unity was once necessary for the survival and comfort of a group of people. Mob mentality is not solely “social unity” or the way in which people are influenced by their peers or a leader to behave and think a certain way; it usually includes an element of violence. People in a mob tend to forget their individual inhibitions and follow the impulses of the group, therefore making violent acts ‘easier’ to commit (due to the perceived lack of individual consequences). In the play The Visit, a town of impoverished people becomes the center of attention when a wealthy native comes back to exact long awaited revenge. She offers them a bargain that could save them and the future of their town for the price of one man’s head, sending the entire group into a tailspin centered on the decision of whether to go through with the terms of the bargain or not. Friederich Dürrenmatt showcases the evolution of groupthink and the violence of mob mentality through the people of Güllen as they contemplate how to go about handling their portion of the bargain and begin to act in response to the...

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