Throughout Confessions Saint Augustine reflects upon his spiritual journey toward adulthood. Through his journey he makes many realizations about life. One of the major realizations he makes is that the people in a community grow and learn from each other. The role of community in Saint Augustine's "Confessions" is that each member of the community influences each other through the struggles with their own desires and obsessions, ultimately enabling each member to gain new characteristics of loyalty and piety.
In a community, people are constantly exposed to the negative and positive desires of their peers. Many times the desires of another person in your community can affect you. For example, Saint Augustine describes the pear tree incident:.
"We carried off an immense load of pears, not to eat - for we barely tasted them before throwing them to the hogs. Our only pleasure in doing it was that it was forbidden" (27). This is a reference to Adam and Eve, when Eve bit the apple even though she new she would be damned. She could not say no to the temptation. Augustine stole the pears for the pleasure of breaking the rules and he wanted to feel a sense of community. While trying to understand themselves, many teenagers experiment with different types of crowds hoping to find one they feel comfortable with. The desires of the "blackguards" (26) as Augustine describes them affects Augustine because he realizes that in order to fit in, he needs to go along with criminal activities. .
Trends are started because one person or groups of people enjoy one thing and other people notice it and decide it's the cool thing to get or do. Those people are influences. This is a form of modeling. The characters in "Confessions" are models for each other, including God. Augustine is influenced in a large way by God, and although is realizes that God is much higher than him, he wants to influence others as God influences him.