Maslow's Pyramid of Needs

Faraz Saberi
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Abraham Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs is a well-known model that describes the needs of human beings, and the consequences of those needs not being met. The hierarchy consists of five levels of needs, with the most basic being physiological needs, followed by safety needs, love/belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs.

One of the most basic needs for human survival is physiological needs, such as food, water, and shelter. Without these necessities, an individual cannot survive, and the lack of these needs being met can lead to extreme desperation and survival instincts. This can lead to behaviors such as hoarding, theft, and even violence in order to obtain the resources needed to survive.

When an individual is living below the subsistence level, meaning they do not have access to the basic resources they need to survive, it can have severe consequences on their behavior. They may become hyper-focused on obtaining those resources, leading to a decrease in social skills and relationships. This can also lead to a decrease in self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness.

Living below subsistence level can also lead to psychological effects, such as depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. This can lead to a decrease in motivation and a lack of initiative in seeking help or improving their situation. In extreme cases, it can also lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.

Dystopian literature often explores the consequences of living in a society where basic needs are not met. It is a genre that depicts a world where society has failed to meet the needs of its citizens, and often features oppressive governments or societies that cause suffering and despair.

In modernist literature, this theme is often explored through works such as George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, both of which depict oppressive governments and societies that limit individual freedoms and control basic needs such as food and shelter.

In conclusion, Maslow's hierarchy of needs provides a framework for understanding the effects of living below subsistence level on human behavior. It highlights the importance of meeting basic needs for survival, and the consequences of failing to do so. Dystopian literature and modernist literature often explore the consequences of a society failing to meet these needs, highlighting the importance of addressing basic needs for the well-being of individuals and society as a whole.

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