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What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

Created: 12/23/19

Replies: 9

Posted Dec. 23, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

Nathan is excommunicated from the local township when he doesn't stop to help Keith Walker on a remote outback road. What does this have to say about the nature of small, isolated communities? What are the advantages and disadvantages of communities such as these, do you think? Would you like to live in such a place?


Posted Jan. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TerryPark

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 35

RE: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

The "neighbors" were very quick and harsh in their judgment of Nathan. When they excommunicated him, he let their judgment isolate him in a community that was already unbelievably isolated. I could not survive in a community like this, and I probably would have left it--unlike Nathan. Is there an advantage? Was Nathan tried by his peers? It seems to me that he was judged, but not with any defense on his behalf. Part of that was due to his own feelings of guilt, but it wasn't ever tempered with any therapeutic discussion. His community and Nathan himself were very quick to judge him. Perhaps a larger community would have been less judgmental.


Posted Jan. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 246

RE: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

No, I would not want to live in the physical environment nor the social one that seems very close and unforgiving. I guess the advantages are that people work together to help each other survive the challenges of the extreme environment. The whole shunning behavior seemed to harken to the Amish way of isolating members who do not comply with their mores. Nathan did a bad thing, that is true, but he paid a big price for that action.


Posted Jan. 07, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
viquig

Join Date: 06/25/14

Posts: 62

RE: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

Advantages: One would get support from friends and neighbors if you stay within the social expectations of your community. This can be very helpful and in many cases lifesaving, especially in a community such as the outback where the conditions are very harsh.

Disadvantages: Isolation (as Nathan suffered) if you stray from the community norms. Your behaviour would be scrutinized and criticized at all times if you were a little different from the rest of the group.

I prefer to live in a larger community with people from many walks of life. I think you can still get support from close friends in this type of community and can avoid people that do not appreciate or share your beliefs.


Posted Jan. 07, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 292

RE: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

In this case, the people of Balamara sent a clear message; always help each other or get out. Each must have thought, "What if it had been me?".
The advantages and disadvantages of living in a small community are all based on what type of personality you have. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Are you social or a loner? Do you care about those around you or are you self-centered? For me, I don't care for large cities or small ones. I like it just right, in the middle.


Posted Jan. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 435

RE: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

The isolation of the community meant it was imperative to help another in need. When Nathan broke that rule, he was banished. I'm not sure the people would have enforced the 10 years that passed. I think Nathan did that to himself by not reaching out sooner.
In a small community, people know each other's business, good or bad. There are judgements made. However, there is also help given in times of need. I live in a small community and I like it. I'm not isolated though as I can get to larger cities, etc. One has to find what works for them.


Posted Jan. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

For many individuals, isolation within a community can be its biggest advantage. Living in such a place separates one from the busyness of the world as well as its business. Such an existence can bring great peace of mind - one does not live in such great fear, is not so quick to make judgements of others or their situations or actions, and one may be free from many temptations. If a person is more internal by nature and enjoys a "life of the mind", an isolated existence can be settling and peaceful and result in independence. However, if one is isolated to the extent of those living in the outback, independence seems nearly impossible if one is to survive. Because of the harsh climate, it seems nearly impossible to be independent; going along and getting along is essential in case one needs help from a neighbor in an emergency. In communities such as these, one is forced to accept the community norms and beliefs - at least on the surface - so as to be accepted and included and therefore safe in challenging situations


Posted Jan. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elisabethc

Join Date: 07/16/19

Posts: 42

RE: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

I agree with Marcia S that Nathan chose to isolate himself, and I don't think all small communities are the same in how they might judge people or shut them out, or for what. I also believe people are marginalized and judged harshly in larger societies, too (often unfairly based on preconceptions, maybe sometimes fairly based on something they did), though it may look less obvious than what happened to Nathan.

I do think that in smaller communities, for better or worse, it becomes more important for people to take responsibility for their actions, because even small actions can have a greater impact on the community as a whole. It also becomes more important for shared values to exist between community members.

I don't think I would like to live in a place that was too small and isolated, but this has more to do with the isolation than the smallness of the place itself.


Posted Jan. 21, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccak

Join Date: 05/26/12

Posts: 70

RE: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

I couldn't live in a town as tiny as Balamara. I prefer a bit more anonymity and knowing that if I run into someone at a local restaurant or store who is being a jerk, there's a good chance I'll never run into that person ever again. In an incredibly small town, you're stuck with the tiny community of people around you - good or bad. I also cannot imagine living hours away from the closest store, police department, medical center, etc. It's to small and too isolated for me.

There are certainly benefits of a small town though. For some people, knowing everyone in town would be a huge plus. That level of familiarity would probably make residents feel safer as there really aren't outsiders. Sheer necessity would mean you'd have to be able to rely on your neighbors in an emergency and they'd have to be able to rely on you.


Posted Jan. 23, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 327

RE: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of small, isolated communities such as Balamara? Would you like to live in such a place?

is hard for me to find any advantages. There is no way I could live there. I was raised in a city where there were always people around. I realize in the outback the neighbors were always there for you, however, they are so far away that in an emergency, they probably be there in time. My main reason for not living in the outback would be lack of medical care. I guess I am spoiled and not a very brave personn


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