CV Social Experiment

CV Social Experiment


CV Social Experiment


015        The story of Icarus is well known in Chartiers Valley High School, whether you’ve read it in middle school or you’re enrolled in AP English 12 with Mrs. Tobias. One thing that captured my attention about the story was a painting created by Pieter Bruegel about 460 years ago. The painting shows just Icarus’ legs and three farmers around him, not paying any attention to the young boy in the water obviously in distress. The painting conveys that humans are not very observant towards others or the way they look, nor are they not very good at communicating with each other.


Upon seeing that painting, I decided to do a social experiment with the kids of Chartiers Valley High School: I would walk throughout the school without shoes on and see who noticed or said something to me about it.   Shoes are a basic necessity to have in school, so it’s something that would be very noticeable if they were missing. The experiment started about halfway through the day, when the masses of students went to lunch, the most populated area of school fifth, sixth, and seventh period. Almost immediately, I saw the looks I got from students in the cafeteria and I saw people point, but no one coming up to me directly. As it was time to get in line to get food, I saw more looks of surprise, curiosity, and aghast, yet no one said anything to me. After going through the day, I asked a certain few why they noticed me not wearing any shoes, and sophomore Katherine Palma said “I noticed mostly because you are my friend and it is weird to see someone in high school not wearing shoes like a toddler.” Hearing that I was quite shocked about the attitudes of some in Chartiers Valley.


Going into this social experiment I believed I would be like a modern day Icarus and not many people would notice or care about another person they don’t know. But the students of Chartiers Valley High School shocked me, as they did notice. People in ancient Greece did not care for others because of their own troubles. Noticing this from the painting, it gives hope that people will care for others no matter what.


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