Henry James and “The Art of Fiction”

The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life. Stated Henry James in The Art of Fiction page 437. I agree with Mr. James that feelings and ambitions formed in characters do represent life. The idea of characters and how real they should is represented in page 440. Characters, in my opinion, form the novel itself. It is the characters and incidents corresponding in a novel, which make a good one. There are two kinds of characters: the round character, and the flat character.

The round one has contradictions and develops with the progress of the novel. The flat character does not change; if it is good then that is the way it will stay, or if it is bad it will also stay as it is with no progress in it. There are as well minor characters, which are there to help the novel to develop, and make incidents more reasonable. Characters form actions, in my opinion, and actions form the incidents of a novel. In page 438, Mr. James stated that the action of men is the task of writers.

It is not only important to show characters feelings, but also to see them in action. A novel I would refer to that may get to be the opposite of that statement would be To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. The novel does not have much action, but shows a lot of inner thoughts and feelings of the characters. The time passes by slowly at the beginning of the novel, which may make you feel dull. The story still is a genius one. These form of novels are called the stream of consciousness, and its form goes by hearing characters thoughts and their inner emotions.

Mr. James prefers, as I interpret, that a novel should have characters combined with the actions they go through. I agree with him, since I find much pleasure in reading such works of fiction. That is of course my own taste, and not my own opinion, since an opinion should be objective. In conclusion, life can be seen in characters, which are in action. Also in corresponding of incidents that can be thought to be logical. If any work of fiction has logical events, and can be taken to be true, then it is a successful one. Any novel does not have to be only a copy of real life.

A good author would know how to add to his, or her, own imagination and personal values and thoughts. All novels of all kinds discuss life. Events and characters are what life is all about. Even science fiction novels represent life, but in a different way, and some times shows us how life can be, or how we could make it be. All art is for pleasure, but not all to instruct. In my opinion, a work of fiction always gives a new thing. It always enlightens the reader; even if it was an authors personal experience it will illuminate us in one way or another.

Essay of flowers for algernon

Medical operations are carried out everyday, but for some, an operation can change a person’s life. One experiment was done on a mentally retarded person to try to raise his intelligence. The experiment worked, but after months, the patient regressed dramatically. In the book, Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes, this intelligence operation was preformed, and the patient was Charlie Gordon. After the operation, Charlie was very bright, but experienced psychological traumas, loneliness, disillusionment, and social inadequacies. Charlie’s psychological traumas or emotional upset was caused by his memory recalls.

After his operation, he remembered every aspect of his childhood, whether it was good or bad. “… He’s normal! He’s normal! He’ll grow up like other people. Better than others… ” Charlie had dreams of how his mother was ashamed of him. His mother always thought her son was normal and would grow up and be somebody. “… He’s like a baby. He can’t play Monopoly or checkers or anything. I won’t play with him anymore… ” Charlie’s sister also ignored him. To her, Charlie was dumb and could not do anything. Charlie had dreams of his sister yelling at him and making fun of him.

He also had memories of the night his parents took him to the Warren Home. He was terrified and his dad would never answer his questions. Charlie remembered his childhood and through his memories, he felt guilty for hurting his family. After the operation, Charlie also suffered from disillusionment. In the bakery he used to have friends. Friends that would talk to him and care about him. “… Why? Because all of the sudden your a bigshot. You think you are better than the rest of us… ” Charlie then realized that he had no friends but merely knew people that made fun of him.

The bakery employees just liked him because they could blame their mistakes on Charlie. Then, they could not do this after the operation, so they all turned against Charlie. “… I had to find out just how much they knew. I found out. Nothing… ” “Both frauds” Charlie also found out about Nemur and Strauss. He realized they were not professionals, but two men that were taking a shot in the dark. Charlie felt like an expendable lab specimen. Thus, Charlie had lost his friends and knew now he was just a like a lab rat. Charlie had lacked faith in his fellow man.

“… Thoughts of suicide to stop it all while I am still in control… Everyday Charlie lost a piece of himself. He was starting to regress and thought about suicide to end his up and down life. He became irritable and edgy around people at the university. He would become mad at people very quickly and then yell at them. His self-centered and arrogant personality was a symptom of his regression. People stayed away from him because he was becoming a madman and was unpredictable. Because of this, Charlie became lonely in his last weeks before he regressed totally. “… Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection can lead to a mental breakdown…

Charlie experienced social inadequacies while he was intelligent. “… You know as well as I do, you don’t need to work here anymore… ” Charlie lost his job because he was to smart to work in a bakery. He could not socially interact with people he worked with and the people he met. Also, Charlie could not perform with Alice or Fay. “… I saw him watching me with his eyes wide open. I couldn’t do it… ” He experienced illusions when he tried to make love with Alice. The “Charlie” inside of himself emerged and started to regain control of his mind.

All in all, Charlie suffered from the pain of not knowing how to deal with his peers and decisions. Therefore, after the operation, Charlie became a smart man but he had to pay the price for it. He had psychological traumas, suffered from loneliness and illusions, and did not know how to act with his peers. Charlie regressed and finally went to the Warren Home, but he at least experienced the world through normal eyes. On the other hand, Charlie might of been better off without the experiment. He would still have friends and a job, but most important of all, he would have a life.

Reviving Opherlia

Mary Pipher, author of the book Reviving Ophelia, has made many observations concerning young adolescent girls in our society. She wrote this book in 1994, roughly eleven years ago. Although some of her observations made in the past are not still accurate in today’s world, there are many that are still present in 2005. The primary focus of Pipher’s comments is to explain how young girls are no longer being protected within our society. This female inferiority idea has been imbedded in the world for many years. Fairy tales are a very good example of how this notion has been present in the United States.

The themes that exist in these stories normally deal with masculine heroes who come to the aid of young women who are seemingly helpless. After they are saved by these male heroes they become obedient docile beings. These old fairy tales are part of the beginning of this inferiority idea. Another example of this actually was the inspiration for Mary Pipher’s book title. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia was a young girl who was dominated and destroyed by the men in her life. She was treated poorly by her boyfriend, Hamlet.

He was cruel to her, calling her names and completely ignoring her. Two other men in her life, King Claudius, and her father Polonius treated her as if she was a puppet. The two used her to trick Hamlet so they could find out what Hamlet’s problem was. Throughout the entire story she has no purpose other than for the approval of these three males. These efforts to please these three men cause her to go crazy with grief. Eventually, she drowns herself in a pond. One thing that Pipher describes is how girls’ views change as they enter adolescence.

Lots of girls bury their childhood, and submissively enter adult existence. These girls who are becoming young women, according to Pipher, stop thinking. The main focus on their minds is, “What must I do to please others? ” This thought is true to a certain extent in some young girls. It is true that many of the things that some girls do are solely for the purpose of living up to a societal expectation. Many of the beauty magazines portray images of supermodels; something that young girls may interpret as what the society expects.

Also, all of the television and movie actors are very pretty, and many young girls are dying to fill out that expectation that seems to have been set for them. Although it seems clear that not everyone has “movie star good looks”, this idea can be hard for a young immature mind to grasp. Something that Mary Pipher has brought up in the first chapter of her book was how society is causing young women to suffer many different problems. One of the most common and worst problems that arise is eating disorders. The media may be the culprit for this issue.

Girls who are striving to be thin, and fit the mold of a star may never reach their goal, under natural conditions. As a result of their shortcomings various eating disorders stand to be the only solution. One thing that Mary Pipher seems to be saying is that being a girl is like a jail sentence. “Once you hit fifteen you die,” she quotes in her book. Although this is clearly hyperbole, it can be said that once a kid turns fifteen they become “a sapling in the storm”. This is true not only of girls, but of boys as well.

At the age students enter high school they are given more freedom, and are exposed to people who are much older than them; the junior and seniors are no long young kids, they are young adults. Pipher’s statement about adolescence marking the end of the line for young girls isn’t true, not in 2005. Something that is brought up in this book is the necessary relationship between parents and daughters. I agree with Mary Pipher because of corporate America’s influence on young women. Unfortunately, at this critical time girls tend to turn away from their parents and befriend peers, who they turn to for help.

This tendency is not good because the peers are also exposed to mass media and are equally vulnerable. Pipher is correct in saying that adolescence is a time when parental bonds are crucial; however in this country adolescence is portrayed as the time when kids are supposed to break away from everything and become independent. In conclusion, Mary Pipher is correct in saying that adolescent girls have a very hard time once they hit age fifteen. However, when she says that “girls put aside their authentic selves and decide only to display a small portion of their gifs,” she is stretching the limits.

This may have been true in 1994, but now women have been advancing in society, and this false portrayal of self is something that is very rare in young girls. There will always be minor problems in any society, especially when it involves young men and women experiencing much change and new pressure. The only thing our society can do is work to fix these problems. It is evident that much progress has been made because many of the things wrong in 1994 have been corrected by 2005. America is on the right track, but has much track left to cover.

The Hiding Place vs. Night

Many outsiders strive but fail to truly comprehend the haunting incident of World War IIs Holocaust. None but survivors and witnesses succeed to sense and live the timeless pain of the event which repossesses the core of human psyche. Elie Wiesel and Corrie Ten Boom are two of these survivors who, through their personal accounts, allow the reader to glimpse empathy within the soul and the heart. Elie Wiesel (1928- ), a journalist and Professor of Humanities at Boston University, is an author of 21 books.

The first of his collection, entitled Night, is a terrifying account of Wiesels boyhood experience as a WWII Jewish prisoner of Hitlers dominant and secretive Nazi party. At age 16 he was taken from his home in Sighet, Romania and became one of millions of Jews sent to German concentration camps. At the Auschwitz and Buchenwald, Wiesel witnessed the death of his parents and sister. In 1945, the latter of the camps was overtaken by an American resistance group and the remaining prisoners freed, including the drastically changed man in Wiesel.

The once innocent, God-fearing teenager had become a lonely, scarred, doubting individual. Corrie Ten Boom (1892-1983), a religious author and inspirational evangelist, traveled and spread Christianity throughout sixty-one countries, even into her eighties. Her autobiography, The Hiding Place, is an account of her inner strength found through God in the midst of the physical and emotional turmoil of German concentration camps. During World War II, the Ten Boom family took action against the Nazi movement and began an underground hiding system, saving over 700 Jewish lives.

Contemporary Authors, 470) They were discovered and sent from their Haarlem, Holland home to Scheveningen, a Nazi prison. Ten Boom, in her 50s, was placed on trial for leading the underground system and sent to a German work camp. There she witnessed her father and sisters death as well as the birth of her inner strength and hope for the future. Upon release from Ravensbruck, Ten Boom began caring for victims of the war and Holocaust and used her powerful speaking ability to share the trials and triumphs of her life. Together, these two powerful authors relive the horror and pain of the Holocaust to educate the unaware world.

They teach of the past, warn of the future, and live for the day. Wiesel and Ten Boom voice their strong belief in God before the war and the ebb and flow of that belief in response to each newly faced affliction. These strong survivors pose as teachers and role models by revealing strengths, weaknesses and survival techniques. Wiesel and Ten Boom survive against the odds, but not without physical and emotional scars. The unsung hero and heroin pair experience tremendous suffering, but confront that affliction with distinct contrary responses.

The theme and style of Wiesel and Ten Boom reveal individual personal beliefs and strength levels in reaction to their concentration camp experience during WWIIs Holocaust. Theme is the window which Wiesel and Ten Boom open through words and thoughts to reveal the true purpose of their tales. Although both authors experience the grime of concentration camp and grief of family loss, their responses to this suffering are distinct. This distinctness is not unexpected, for as ones strengths and beliefs are personal, as is the effect of events effecting those strengths and beliefs.

Wiesel and Ten Boom state the purpose of their self-exposed stories clearly, and their purposes differ just as clearly. Wiesel stresses the importance of applying lessons of the past to the present for the sake of the worlds future. He writes to create a feeling of such horror and catharsis within the reader to prevent the evil of the Holocaust or any type of unjust persecution to ever occur again. He opens the readers eyes with vividly horrible images of human suffering and creates no barrier in which to contain the honesty and corruption of the experience as a whole.

Wiesel is determined to persuade victims, persecutors and bystanders alike of the need for a conscience fully aware of the true evil unleashed and innocence denatured by the inhumane persecution of Jews during the Holocaust. The most important theme portrayed in Night is defined later by Wiesel himself: The executioner killed for nothing, the victim died for nothing… During the Middle Ages, the Jews, when they chose death, were convinced that by their sacrifice they were glorifying and sanctifying Gods name.

At Auschwitz, the sacrifices were without point, without faith, without divine inspiration… (Douglas) Wiesel feels that the genocide of WWII came and went and proves no point to the world, gives neither strength nor hope to the individual, and is basically pointless. After the inhumane persecution, his God is not praised by a greater audience, Hitler and his Nazi party does not gain more power, Jews are not respected by others, and the world as a whole is not given reassurance of a better future. To Wiesel, the Holocaust represents nothing but evil, guilt, and the decay of human morality.

Popular World Fiction, II-35) As does Wiesel, Ten Boom preaches of the importance of learning from past mistakes and not recycling a detrimental experience. However, the evangelist in Ten Boom preaches beyond historical remembrance into the depths of spiritual growth. She strongly believes that the world and its creatures are fated by God and that every experience witnessed by an individual is predestined with the purpose of teaching a life lesson. She survives with the hope and reassurance of Gods power, and lives to spread that belief.

The most important theme portrayed in The Hiding Place is that there is no pit so deep that He (God) is not deeper still. (Ten Boom, 217) Ten Boom believes that God is forever on the lowest rung of the human ladder, below even the farthest fallen people, so that they can build a foundation on Him and His love. She expresses that the hand of God is always in reach to represent a concrete hope for Jews in a hopeless situation such as the Holocaust. Ten Booms purpose is to learn and teach others to be joyful in times of great suffering.

Praise Outreach) This is a rare attitude of Holocaust victims, but throughout pain and sorrow Ten Boom presents clear reasons to possess joy. She believes that her own suffering is parallel to Jesus persecution. I had read a thousand times the story of Jesus arrest — how soldiers had slapped Him, laughed at Him, flogged Him. Now such happenings had faces and voices. (Ten Boom, 195) She is able to persevere and even die to help others and stand for what she believes in, as Jesus did. Ten Boom supposes that her experience at the German death camps was a test given by God to measure her spiritual strength.

God never gives an unpassable test, and never gives one person anything more than he can handle. Ten Boom thinks of the Holocaust as a learning experience, not only for herself, but for the many Jewish victims in reach of her helping hands and words. She has the chance to teach other women of hope through the glory of God, and is joyful because this is her newfound destiny. Although Ten Boom never defines herself as this, her destiny is to serve God as a Righteous among the Nations, or a non-Jew who risks his life to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 1281) She serves him by risking her own life, and uses her religion to become a channel of Gods love in a world torn by fear. (Ten Boom, biographical insert) Ten Boom stresses the importance of hope, and practices her preaching by giving hope to fellow prisoners through God and the Bible. The themes of Night and The Hiding Place differ in the authors responses to their personal strength against the pain of the Holocaust. Wiesel confronts the issue of the events lack of positive results, where Ten Boom focuses on the message of Gods strength through human suffering.

The style of the two novels overflow with facing tone and attitude and create a literary barrier between Wiesel and Ten Boom. Where Ten Boom finds a positive inkling of hope within a German death camp, Wiesel drowns out every crack of hopeful light with the darkness of a negative attitude. The authors styles are distinct to their own morality. In Night, Wiesels style is sober and passionate as he describes each testimony with intense diction, vivid pictures and concrete intellect. He tears open his heart to pour upon the reader his true agony during the moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust.

Wiesel, 32) He defines his religious beliefs with a nakedly self-exposed honesty (Alter, 526) and hides nothing. Wiesels writing is flooded with suffering but anchored in defiance. (Sidel) The flood contains truth which penetrates dams of neglect and overflows into the hearts and minds of innocent and guilty alike. Wiesels defiance pierces through the flood of truth to create an anchor of challenge to all minds as well as his own. His style remains passionate, but as persecution takes its toll Wiesels tone shifts from confident to despairing, pessimistic and almost bitter. His tone can trace his loss of faith in God and in himself.

Wiesel sides with a man who honestly states: Ive got more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. Hes the only one whos kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people. (Douglas) Wiesel feels so moved by his fear of death and loneliness as well as his anger towards Gods indifference to suffering Jews that he trusts his enemy more than his allies. His pessimism prevails and leads to emotional and spiritual deterioration. During the months of Wiesels imprisonment at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, his positive attitude toward himself and his situation becomes lost among feelings of anger, fear and hopelessness.

At first, Wiesel believes that his optimism (is) unshakable (Douglas) and this persecution against the Jewish population treatment is merely a test of strength given by God. He thinks his treatment and separation from his family are somehow deserved, and feels religious guilt. However, as the innocent suffer, Wiesel begins to doubt his belief and his God. He rises above traditional Judaism to challenge God by questioning His ways and starting a personal revolt against this once trustworthy power. These men here, whom You have betrayed, whom You have allowed to be tortured, butchered, gassed, burned, what do they do?

They pray before You! They praise Your name!… What does Your greatness mean… in the face of all this weakness? (Wiesel, 64) Wiesel questions Gods failure to intercede for the sake of His children, His failure to care about the destruction occurring. He fails to understand why God can or will not intensify the Jews now meager strength with His endless power. Words of vengeance and passion fill Wiesels once humble, trusting prayers. After a while, Wiesel ceases to pray at all as the death of his innocence, his human self-respect and his God (Alter, 526) crush all remaining hope of progression.

Wiesel becomes dragged along by a blind destiny as indifference takes over his mind and body leaving him with no more reason to struggle. (Wiesel, 83) He was no longer afraid of physical death, for the murder of his spirit had already taken place. As Wiesel apathetically and reluctantly lives on, his pain lies in the discovery that neither love, filial pity, nor his tense Talmudic training can stand up against extremes of starvation and fear. (Alvarez, 527) He fights himself, his God, and the beast of the Holocaust, and he is defeated. In The Hiding Place, Ten Booms writing involves a deep yet innocent style.

With each testimony, she explains her life with an awareness imbedded beyond worldly existence in order to voice a personal and heartfelt message of hope. Ten Booms honesty flows artfully through diction to reveal her true passion of God and the Bible. The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the word of God. (Ten Boom, 194) She uses this analogy of fire in the night to represent Gods word and love warming the hands and hearts of desperate prisoners trapped in the dark. Ten Boom voices her deep messages in a style laden with vitality and passion, possessing an urge to share a testimony.

The vitality of Ten Booms style is balanced by the motivated optimism of her tone. Through the suffering of the Holocausts victims, she remains focused of her purpose to share hope as a tramp for the Lord. (Contemporary Authors, 470) She maintains a strong-willed writing style throughout her novel. Ten Booms attitude during her imprisonment at Scheveningen and Ravensbruck is based on a rare quality: silent strength. This strength keeps her alive and fighting for her God despite numerous afflictions. She signifies that life in Ravensbruck took place on two separate levels, mutually impossible.

One, the observable, external life, grew every day more horrible. The other, the life we lived with God, grew daily better, truth upon truth, glory upon glory. (Ten Boom, 195) Although the physical conditions of the German death camps get increasingly more unbearable, Ten Boom is able to rise above the suffering and express joy because of the spiritual belief that God is her protector and He will inevitably conquer all evil. It is because of this mental strength that Ten Boom is one of the few celebrating through the suffering because she is not poor, but rich… (within) the care of He who was God even of Ravensbruck.

Ten Boom, 192) As her attitude became stronger and she prayed for safety and miracles, they were given to her. Ten Boom is able to retain a forbidden object, her Bible, throughout her whole sentence. Even after she leaves Buchenwald, she learns that her release is a clerical error, and one week after her release her age group is gassed. (Ten Boom, 241) These consequences can not occur to one prisoner without the aid of some higher power. After Ten Boom herself attains a positive attitude, she is able to help other, more destitute prisoners learn of the glory of God.

With her sister Betsie and the forbidden Bible, she becomes the center of an ever-widening circle of help and hope. (Ten Boom, 194) As prisoners desperately hold out their hearts to anything worth believing in, Ten Boom strengthens the souls of those hearts with the word of God within her and gives many a new hope and life focus. Through Gods peace and love she is even able to somehow forgive the guards for their wrong doing. Ten Boom also realizes the parallel of her destiny and persecution to that of God, and reassures herself that this plan of her life was foreseen, that she should follow his pattern of victory in the face of defeat.

Ten Boom, 150) She does just that, and changes many lives for the better in doing so. Through their style, Wiesels despair and Ten Booms hope reveal the effect of differing beliefs and attitudes on a similar situation, and how persecution exposes the true strength of an individual. Wiesel and Ten Boom pose as the two extreme results of a similar situation. With the torturous experience of WWIIs Holocaust behind them, the authors reveal their true fears and strengths in response to personal suffering through the theme and style of their writing.

On the road to survival, everything goes, leaving only the most primitive terrors and desires. (Alvarez, 527) Ten Boom proves to maintain a static attitude by rooting her strength from God and keeping in mind that it was not my wholeness, but Christs that make the difference. (Ten Boom, 214) Wiesel represents the dynamic, lonely man swallowed by the evil of the Holocaust and left to live in a nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live.

The book Mama Lola by Karin McCarthy Brown

All religions are very specific with the details which set that religion apart from others. However, when all the little details are melted away, there are only a mere handful that are different in essence. When looked at closely, even the religions which are perceived completely dissimilar at first glance are surprisingly similar. For example, the Voodoo religion, and that of early Christianity are stereotyped as extremely different, but with closer inspection, not only are these two religions are very obviously similar, but Voodooism stemmed, partly, out of Christianity.

Both religions revolve around a mortal individual being used as a mouthpiece by a higher, being, be it spirit or god, to communicate with our mortal world. Yet at the same time, each religion has taken its own path and although equivalent in essence, have very different aspects with respect to background (such as time and status), as well as publicity, and language. In the Voodoo religion, a priestess hosts a number of different ceremonies each year. During these ceremonies, one of the people present (usually the priestess herself) is supposedly possessed by one or more spirit(s) who then communicates with the rest of the people present.

A typical example of a Voodoo ceremony is that described in the book Mama Lola by Karin McCarthy Brown. Here, Mama Lola, as this voodoo priestess is known, lives in Brooklyn and does all she can to stay faithful to her Haitian religion. After inviting her voodoo family for what will be the birthday celebration of the spirit Azaka, all members, important and close gather to help set up the intricate and festive alter in the basement of Mama Lolas small apartment in Brooklyn, New York.

While setting up the alter, they are sure to include only the things Azaka likes such as his favorite colours, (blue and white) the right liquors, and all of his favorite foods are cooked and placed under the alter, only to be eaten after it is given to him, and then given back for them to eat. Next, all will gather in front of the alter, and begin to prey. After the first few prayers they begin to add songs which include some step/dance moves, and as the Mama Lola, leading the ceremony, feels the energy heighten, and the tension thicken, she pushes it further and further until a spirit makes an appearance.

Although the ceremony is meant for Azaka, all major spirits are honored, and some show up; possessing a human body. After the possessions are through, the entire family goes to bed, only to wake up in the morning to call upon Azaka one last time for directions on how to dismantle the alter and any last pieces of advice he is willing to give out. In contrast, early Christianity, includes only one person in particular at each oracle would go into a trance, upon request from someone seeking advice.

The most popular of these oracles was the Oracle of Delphi where the Pythia, the priestess of Apollo, when asked for advice, would enter a cave, and become completely transfixed by what was said to be the spirit of Apollo and she could then communicate with people on behalf of the God. A temple was erected around the cave, and after an offering was made to the god, in return for the advice, Pythia would sputter many incoherent things which were then interpreted by the prophetic priests who translated her utterances into prophetic perimeter.

The details which create differences between these two religions, are extremely important to both religions. For example, the background of both religions consists mostly of the times each priestess practiced her prophetizing. While the Pythia lived in the 14th century BCE, Mama Lola is very modern and still lives and practices her religion today. Thus, even though the time eras are extremely different, the idea of prophetizing has lived long enough to still be alive in present times, although it is in its own, Voodoo manner: as different a manner it may be which makes a large difference in the two religions.

Secondly, status has a large effect on the difference of the two religions. Pythia, on one hand, was sought after by many, and people came from all over the Mediterranean to seek this precious advice, and often left a plethora of gifts. Her cave had a temple built around it, and she was extremely well known. In comparison, Mama Lola came from the extreme poverty of Haiti in the Dominican Republic. She held her ceremonies in the basement of her small apartment, and often had a hard time gathering enough people, or family members for her services in a city which is jam packed with people everywhere you go.

This aspect of the two religions creates a large gap of difference, though the core of both religions remains the same. Publicity is also an important aspect which sets these two religions apart. Mama Lola, for example, has a very tight family which consists of a small close-knit community, and holds her services in the basement where most anyone who is not involved in the ceremony wouldnt even know it was taking place! But the Oracle of Delphi was something everyone in all of Greece, and beyond knew about.

It was held in a temple where just about everyone could visit, and so long as they had something to offer in return, really anyone could get advice from her. The distinction made the different levels of publicity in either religion is ample and noteworthy. However, again, it doesnt change the identical core which holds both religions in their distinguished place. While ones publicity is almost without limits, the others can barely be made smaller. Yet one more aspect which exhibits the substantial difference between these two religions without effecting their core, is language.

The Pythia at Delphi prophetized in tongues which needed to be interpreted by certain, trained people; the prophetic priests. Without these translators who rephrased Pythias prophesies into nice and neat prophetic prose, the entire oracle itself, -regardless of which one, would be useless. What good is a prophet who cannot be understood? In opposition, when a spirit came to one of Mama Lolas ceremonies, it spoke in a known language so that it could be understood by anyone spoke it, or cared enough to learn, at least to understand it.

Since the point of these religions is for divine being to speak to humans, through a human body, language is of utmost importance. While in the Voodoo religion, the spirit is easily understood by anyone who can understand the language, in order for the Pythia at Delphi to be used, the people seeking advise are completely dependent on the interpreters to receive the answer to their questions, and thus have no choice but to be left with second hand advice; it had to go through the priests before the one seeking advice could receive an answer.

With this in mind, it is hardly possible to be quite sure of how precise the priests interpreted Pythias utterances, and how well they really knew how to do their jobs –regardless of how wholeheartedly the people of Greece believed in them. It is amazing how two religions, such as Voodoo and Christianity, can be filled with so many awesome differences with respect to time eras, status, publicity, and language, and yet still have an almost identical core ideal.

This also demonstrates that this core ideal of the use of humans as a mouthpiece of the divine has been a long lived concept which people, such as Mama Lola and her family, still believe in and practice today. Perhaps this proves there is some truth in the idea, and most likely, we will never know for sure, whether this concept, in its many different forms continues to live on, or if it dies out.

The Red Tent: My Reaction

In her book, The Red Tent, Anita Diamant attempts to expound upon the foundations laid by the Torah by way of midrashim. In doing so, parts of her stories tend to stray from the original biblical text. The following essay will explore this and several other aspects of the book as they relate to the Torah and modern midrash. One of the first differences I recognized was the description of Leahs eyes. In Genesis 29:17, Leahs eyes are described as weak. Diamant dispels this rumor, saying that Leahs eyes, one blue and one green, made others weak because most people had difficulty looking her in the face.

By making this small adjustment, Diamant is able to create a connection between Jacob and Leah that the Bible neglects. The Bible says only that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, which tends to give the impression that Leah was unloved. Diamant says that Jacob was able to look Leah in the eye without any trouble and never made any comment regarding them. This is significant because it shows that Jacob overlooked a flaw in Leah that most others seemed unable to ignore, and the physical attraction between them that she later addressed in the seven days following their marriage (which was a single night in the Bible) seems to make more sense.

In addition, their discussion in the tent concluding that Jacob was to emerge after the week feigning anger is a midrash provides an explanation as to why Jacob slept with Leah and still complained to Laban that he had been tricked. Diamant makes Jacob appear to be more of a gentleman than the Bible does, and thus, a more likeable main character in her novel. In The Red Tent, Diamant created people not mentioned in the Torah. One such person was Ruti, Labans last wife.

Laban beat Ruti badly and frequently for no apparent reason. In Diamants book, Rutis fairly small role serves as a clear reason for the reader to dislike Laban. Until Ruti is introduced, besides being a drunk and making love to sheep, we find Laban to be little more than pathetic. Including Ruti in the story adds another dimesion to Labans character; one of cruelty and aggression. At this point, Diamant makes Laban begin to fit the novelistic bad guy mold quite well, and the reader finds him more repulsive than ever before.

His daughters pay little attention to Ruti and ignore the evidence of their fathers abusiveness because Ruti is the mother of their sons rivals, their material enemy. When she finally comes to them for help to be rid of the child in her womb, so that the baby girl would not suffer the same treatment from Laban as her mother did, they are eager to be of assistance. When Jacob goes to town to redeem Ruti after Laban had sold her as a slave, Jacob becomes more of a hero and is further distinguished as the good guy in the novel. Using Ruti, Diamante persuades the reader to side with the daughters and Jacob against the cruel Laban.

Another discrepancy between the biblical text and The Red Tent is clear when Laban catches up to Jacobs camp as he and his wives fled from Labans land. The Torah says that Laban was unable to find the statues and did not know where Rachel had them hidden, but Rachel blatantly tells her father that she was sitting on his precious statues during her period in Diamants midrash. This act of defiance, as well as Labans acceptance of it, are key events in the novel. It gives the reader the impression that Laban no longer had control over his daughters and they were finally free from that evil man.

It is for these same reasons that Laban did not kiss his sons and daughters good-by as he did in the scripture, and as a result of Diamants interpretation, their parting was much more dramatic and bitter than in the original text. Even more dramatic is the rising tension between Jacob and his brother regarding the marriage of Dinah and Shalem, and its horrible climax, resulting the murder of every man in Shechem. In The Red Tent, however, the fault lay not in the actions of Shalem, but in the pride of Jacob and his sons.

The massacre dealt by Jacobs sons is the real tragedy of Dinahs life. In the original text, the actual Hebrew word for rape is used, but Diamant seems to ignore this seemingly solid fact. It is in my opinion that this scripture was literal, and changing this aspect of the story in her midrash was the straw that broke the camels back. Jacobs stubbornness in his misunderstanding is uncharacteristic and in contrast with the person Diamant had described earlier on in the novel. Jacob, who was once the good guy, had become cold-blooded and mean.

The actions his sons took against the people of Shechem were no longer the actions of concerned and protective brothers, but the actions of greedy madmen. The original text does not project Jacob and his sons to be evil, though Diamant increasingly describes them as such with each chapter in Part Two. She seems to begin recklessly rewriting the story at this point, giving Dinah the opinion that her father was cowardly to change his name although it was majestic and was described more like divine intervention in the original text. It is also conflicts with the order of these events as laid out in Genesis.

Jacob changed his name before he was even reunited with his brother Esau, so Dinahs belief that he changed his name to Yisrael for fear of being associated with the massacre holds no ground. Jacob had clearly changed his name long before Dinah even met Shalem. Poor Dinah. The life she lived was of great pain and suffering, for I cannot think of anyone who was so affected by death throughout their life. However, I do not find it odd that she feels contentment in her later years. After being forced to hold the truth of her past deep in her heart, the new life she began with Benia was rather uneventful in comparison to her past.

Often, she mentions the passage of time without very much emotion in Part Three, whether the increments are days, months, or years. To me, this implies that throughout those sweeping years her life was fairly routine and lacked noteworthy troubles. A hard task for her, Im sure, was sending Re-mose, the son of Shalem, away. She knew well that it had to be done, for Joseph made it clear that his threats were not going to be tolerated. Gera, who recounted Dinahs story to her as she spun, gave her hope. In her fathers death, it seemed that her past went with him, and Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, had no history.

Geras promise to name is daughter Dinah and his knowledge of her story gave her everlasting comfort. She had not been forgotten. Death came to Dinah without suffering, and she died happily with her husband and daughter at her side. Her belief in eternality is evident in the last pages of the novel. She said that those who were loved never really died, because their memory lived on in those who knew them. Thus can something as insignificant as a name – two syllables, one high, one sweet summon up the innumerable smiles and tears, sighs and dreams of a human life.

Dinahs final blessing sent chills throughout my body. For a brief instant, I felt as though Dinah had blessed me directly, and it was comforting. This book taught me the importance of ones memory in everlasting life, and that actions and not intentions speak the truth. When life is over, its value is judged by those who watched that life being lived and the deeds of the one who lived it. In death, intentions are lost with the last beat of the heart, and even if one seeks forgiveness for the wrongs they have done from their deathbed, their actions more accurately reflect the life they lived.

Though this book took a bit too much liberty in creating midrash to fill in the gaps, it was a great book. In deciding that she had gone too far in her recreation of Dinahs rape, I feel I better understand what a midrash is after learning what a midrash should not be. The Red Tent explored the many dynamics involved in family life and ancient culture, and what it means to be of the same blood. It discussed the miracle of pregnancy and birth, the importance of the tradition of circumcision, and the need to multiply as a means of survival, a concept that may have been lost long ago.

At the conclusion of the novel, I must admit that my heart was heavy for almost every person in the book, but I felt the same somber contentment that Dinah describes in the last chapter. I felt almost as if I had lived her life. I highly recommend using this book next year for Im sure there are lessons I learned that I will not even be aware of until later in my life. Dinahs story still echoes in my mind as though it was absolute fact, and I believe this echo should be heard by more ears.

Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome, the main character in the book entitled Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, has many complex problems going on at the same time. His family has died and he has a wife that is continually sick, and the only form of happiness he has is from his wife’s cousin Mattie. This, however, at times proves to be hard because of Ethan’s wifes interference. Nothing seems to be going in Ethan’s favor. The main theme of the book is failure, and this is shown through marrying his wife, not being able to stand up to his wife, and his involvement concerning the “smash up. “

The Killer Angels Gettysburg

When an author writes a book he has a message that he is trying to get across to the reader. This message is called a theme. In The Killer Angels Shaaras theme was freedom for the slaves. The Northerners truly believed that the slaves deserved to be free, and their desire to set slaves free was the cause of the Civil War. Just before the Battle of Gettysburg, Colonel Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine gave a speech to a group of mutineers. He told them that the war in which they were fighting was unlike any war in history.

The war in which they were fighting was not for money, property or power. It was a war to set other men free. After the battle began, Sergeant Tom Chamberlain asked a group of prisoners why they were fighting. They gave no answer, but asked him the same question. Sergeant Chamberlain answered, To free the slaves, of course. The South, however, was against freeing the slaves. The entire Civil War, whether the people were for or against the idea, was about freedom. The Killer Angels was informative, very fascinating and I liked it. I liked the book because I learned many things from it.

Id never thought much about the importance of the Battle of Gettysburg until I read The Killer Angels. From this book I learned many things. I learned that the Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War. Prior to Gettysburg, the South had won most major battles. At Gettysburg, however, the North gained its first major victory. From then on, the North continued to gain momentum, winning virtually every battle for the following two years of the war. The Battle of Gettysburg exhausted both armies; greatly decreasing their reserves of ammunition and soldiers.

The North had more than twice as many men as the South, and since the North was industrialized, they ould replenish their supplies of men and ammunition fairly quickly. The South, however, could not replenish their supplies quickly because of the lack of industrialization and manpower. The supplies lost in the Battle of Gettysburg ultimately lost the war for the South. I also learned that Confederate General Robert E. Lee was not a good military tactician. Evidently, he thought that, as in most of the previous battles, the Confederate army could win this one with a series of charges.

On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Lee ordered the first charge. In this charge, Confederate troops would make an uphill attack in an attempt to take a ridge from the Federal army. With an uphill advantage, the Federal troops drove the Confederate army into retreat. On the third day of battle, Lee ordered a charge that would take his army across more than a mile of open field. On the other side of the field, however, Federal troops released a continuous bombardment of artillery as the Confederate troops made their way across.

The Federal army wiped out most of the Confederate troops before they were halfway across the field. By the time the remaining Confederates reached the Federal army their numbers were so small the Federal army had no trouble defeating them. A good commanding general would have seen that both charges were hopeless. In both cases the Federal troops had fortified vantage points, while the Confederate army had no sufficient protection. Had Lee seen this, he would not have ordered the charges. Instead, he was too confident of the ability of his army and his overconfidence led him to defeat.

Before I read The Killer Angels I knew that the Civil War brought many riends to fight against friends and family to fight against family. Until I read The Killer Angels, I never realized that this was true even in the higher ranks. General Hancock of the Federal army and General Armistad of the Confederate were extremely good friends. Before the war they served together in California, but when they war began they parted ways. Throughout the Battle of Gettysburg, both generals were constantly asking for permission to go under flag of truce to the opposing army hoping to see the other.

During the battle both generals were ounded, and they never got another chance to see each other. General Armistad was mortally wounded, and in his dying words he asked a messenger to send his apologies to General Hancock that it had to end the way it did. The Civil War tore families and friends apart, all the way up to the highest military ranks. The Killer Angels was an exceptional book, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the thoughts and fears of both armies during the Civil War. The Killer Angels was filled with action, suspense and drama, and it is perhaps the most accurate account of the Battle of Gettysburg.

The story of Virgil’s Aeneid

The story of Virgil’s Aeneid was drawn from many sources, the most influential being the work of the Greek poet Homer. Virgil based the first six books of the Aeneid on the Odessey and the last six books on the Iliad both written by Homer. The Aeneid describes the adventures of Aeneas, the legendary Trojan hero who survived the fall of troy, sailed westward to Italy and founded Rome. During the time that Virgil wrote the Aeneid he incorporated all known Rome history up to his own time. The book is world renowned and also is said by many to be one of the best works ever.

The last chapter of the Aeneid has caused some problems for readers. The first problem that is evident is the manner in which Aeneas deals with Turnus. In book XII Turnus states that the fight should be between the two men as apposed to both armies fighting any further. Turnus had every right to dislike Aeneas who came unannounced, tried to take his fianc, Aeneas’ son killed their sacred deer, and he took his land. They have a great dual and Aeneas disarmed Turnus by striking him in the leg.

With his sword to his chest Turnus makes a last request for his body to be returned to his family, as Aeneas s considering the request he notices that Turnus is wearing the sword belt of Pallas and the stoic ways of Aeneas leave him as rage, fury, and anger run through his body. He kills Turnus in anger and dedicates his death to Pallas. This loss of control and act of violence is the opposite of stoicism and the way Aeneas had been portrayed the rest of the epic. Turnus has to die for the founding of Rome to occur but he should not have been killed in such a way.

The killing was payback for the dishonorable way that Pallas was killed. The sword belt had images that reflect Augustinian Rome as did the shield in book eight. The theft of the belt from Pallas can be compared to the stolen helmet and the youth slain when his guard was down and greed had taken over. All if this represents the theme of greed and each incident resulted in death of the thief. Another problem that the last book of the Aeneid provided for the readers was how the last scene was written in relation to the rest of the epic. At the end of the novel Aeneas kills Turnus for many reasons, most them were dishonorable.

Aeneas had gone through many barriers in the epic. At the beginning of the epic Aeneas knew his duty to the people very well, this was hown in many instances such as returning for his wife during his flight from troy. But throughout the epic this theme becomes less and less vivid and the fact that he starts to understands the Gods becomes more and more evident. Due to the fact that Aeneas is half devine shows that he can be in either side of the line that divides the two. Usually a being in this state is either more devine or more human.

At the beginning of the epic Aeneas is portrayed as a very human person who understands human needs. As the epic progresses this fades, his divinity states to show. At the end of the novel he is very much the opposite is of when it started and his will to understand human behavior is gone. Due to the fact that the piety that he had throughout the epic was no longer within him. Aeneas has no need for piatos because in a very short time he will become a god and he must prepare for this instead of gaining piety. The last scene changes our view of Aeneas that has been built up throughout the epic.

He becomes enraged and clearly not the Aeneas that started out during the fall of Troy. This is not necessary a bad thing because the he has ahead of him needs a trong man and the occurrences throughout the book actually made him the man that the founding of Rome required him to be. The third problem that appears in the final act of Aeneas is that his actions are really not like him at all and is not consistent with the character which is shown in the rest of the epic. I feel that for the founding of Rome to occur Turnus had to die but Turnus did not have to die the way he did.

If Turnus did live he would have been a constant nuisance and a trouble maker. He would have also posed a constant threat to the life of Aeneas. The fact that he stole the sword belt of Pallas and killed him with such dishonor does somewhat justify the act of Aeneas but it goes back to the question of who is the better man out of the two. Aeneas let his emotions overcome him and this in turns shows weakness. On the other hand Turnus showed strength in accepting his defeat and making a last request. Aeneas’ character throughout the epic was ever learning.

He went through much to get to the point where he is at during the battle. He fought the walls that Juno put up throughout his journey and became a stronger man at he end. Aeneas deals with Turnus in a bad way but this should not totally dishonor him. He did make it to his destination and sacrificed much to get there. Although Aeneas did make it to found Rome. Juno also is a victor in the epic. The root of Juno’s anger was that the prophecies proclaimed that Aeneas would take over Carthage and he is Trojan. But now that Aeneas is no longer Trojan but Roman and Rome will love Juno more than Carthage ever did.

If Aeneas had stuck to stoicism in the story could he have accomplished his mission without resorting to such violence? Obviously the Stoic way would have been much better and much quicker. If he had not let his emotions get the better of him he would not have spent seven years with Dido and her death would not have happened. Also if he would have gone straight to Italy he would have arrived long before Turnus was engaged to the princess and there would have been no war. Although there is a strong argument that the events throughout the book built the character Aeneas needed to be the founder of Rome and become a God.

Another point is that the prophecies stated that Aeneas would have to fight many attles to found Rome the fact remains that if he had gotten there sooner there would still have been some sort of war awaiting his arrival. On the other hand in the last book Jupiter did make a statement that suggested that it was possible for him to interfere with fate if he wished and change the prophecies. There is no telling what he could have done had he made different choices throughout his journey and many people ponder the same questions about life itself and the choices made in their lives. The fact is there is no way of knowing.

In my opinion the last scene insinuates that Rome was founded in iolence. This in not necessary bad, roman people were very proud of their heritage and the way that the city was founded. The Romans fell in love with Virgil’s Aeneid and so did Augustus. The book was praised by Romans as it showed Rome as strong and powerful. The character of Aeneas was modeled after Augustus and the book agreed that Augustus was a strong leader. The book actually helped his image and the love for him grew threw Rome after the publication of the book. For that society in that time the epic was written perfectly to suit the need of the reader.

The Wealth of Nations

In the first book of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith discusses the Variations in the Proportion between the respective Values of Gold and Silver. Throughout history, these two metals have been regarded as mints of significant value. Before mines were found in America, the difference in value between silver and gold was usually seen as proportionate, where one ounce of fine gold was considered equivalent to anywhere from ten to twelve ounces of fine silver. More recently, the values have changed as much as one ounce of fine gold to be equal to as much as fourteen or fifteen ounces of fine silver.

Over the years, it is said that both silver and gold have dropped in value, but the drop of silver has come more rapidly, therefore leading to the reason why gold has become proportionately even more valuable than in the past. Smith does claim, however, that both the gold and silver mines of America exceeded in fertility all those which had ever been known before, the fertility of the silver mines had, it seems, been proportionally still greater than that of the gold ones.

As a result of silver being more plentiful in comparison to gold, though it is considered less valuable it is certainly more important in many cases. Adam Smith says that it would be absurd to infer that because an ounce of gold will commonly purchase from fourteen to fifteen ounces silver, that there are commonly in the market only fourteen or fifteen ounces of silver for one ounce of gold. The amount of silver that can be found in the market is in all probability worth more in proportion to gold.

Adam Smith feels that the cheaper of the two metals is f both more value and greatness due to the quantity that is accessible. He explains, There are so many more purchasers for the cheap than for the dear commodity that not only a greater quantity of it, but a greater value, can commonly be disposed of. The whole quantity, therefore, of the cheap commodity must commonly be greater in proportion to the whole quantity of the dear one than the value of a certain quantity of the dear one is to the value of an equal quantity of the cheap one.

Silver can be seen as more valuable in the sense that it is used more often and more common. Silver even outclasses gold in certain cases, for example in the French coin where silver preponderates. In another instance, it is said that silver plate is more of more worth than gold plates. Another way in which Adam Smith shows the greater importance of silver is through the Spanish Market. Though he does admit that gold will always be more expensive, he feels that it is also cheaper in certain senses.

He states that product is claimed cheap or expensive, not only according to the absolute greatness or smallness of its usual price, but according to the absolute greatness or smallness of its usual price, but according as that price is more or less above the lowest for which it is possible to bring it to market for any considerable time together. In Spain during this time, gold is closer to its lowest price than silver is because the tax put upon gold is five percent, whereas the tax put on silver is ten percent.

Thus, miners for silver in this country are much more successful. Silver understandably then still takes a big part in monetary system during this time and is more important than gold in many instances. Though the value may differ in favor of gold, other factors come into play which raise the importance of silver. In the European market silver has raised in value a bit because decline in the amount found. With silver becoming scarcer, it adds to the importance of the metal since it is not as available.

Smith explains that as mass increases the value of gold and silver diminishes. Smith says that anytime a metal is more used it is less cared for. Silver is a very important part of European monetary system during these times. The outright overall value can sometimes be very deceiving in comparing two precious metals. A rare gem is evidently going to be worth a lot, but silver would be much more handy in comparison. Silver during these times experienced some difficulties as far as price diminishment of a few occasions during the time of Adam Smith. He explains this by saying:

The increase of expense must either, first, be compensated altogether by a proportionable increase in the price of the metal; or, secondly, it must be compensated altogether by a proportionable diminution of the tax upon silver; or, thirdly, it must be compensated partly by the one, and partly by the other of those two expedients. This third event is very possible. As gold rose in its price in proportion to silver, notwithstanding a great diminution of the tax upon gold, so silver might rise in its price in proportion to labour and commodities, notwithstanding an equal diminution of the tax upon silver.

Thus, a momentary drop in silvers value is not to define the eternal value of the metal by any means, and in fact, a raise in value is probable. Though gold is more expensive than silver, in many senses, silver carries more importance. It is said that, The word VALUE, it is to be observed, has two different meanings, and sometimes expresses the utility of some particular object, and sometimes the power of purchasing other goods which the possession of that object conveys. The value of silver is elevated thanks to the big role it plays in many cases.

Adam Smith explains, Though such commodities, therefore, come to exchange for a greater quantity of silver than before, it will not from thence follow that silver has become really cheaper, or will purchase less labour than before, but that such commodities have become really dearer, or will purchase more labour than before. He continues by clarifying, It is not their nominal price only, but their real price which rises in the progress of improvement. The rise of their nominal price is the effect, not of any degradation of the value of silver, but of the rise in their real price.

Silver has then equaled the worth of gold in many ways, and had become a fierce competitor of the other precious metal during this time. Thanks to these other factors that played a part in the increase in value of silver, silver has become closer is not equal to the price of gold. Though the difference in literal price has not changed, the use and surplus of silver has made it more important, therefore more useful than gold. Adam Smith felt that silver was a very useful precious metal indeed.

Failure In Ethan Frome

The main theme of the book Ethan Frome is failure. It is shown in three ways throughout the story: Ethan’s marriage, him not being able to stand up to Zeena, and his involvement in the smash up. Ethan marries Zeena so he won’t be alone after his mother dies. She seemed like a very cheerful, vivacious person while his mother was sick. After their marriage all this changed. She became a very nagging, sick wife. Because of Zeena’s complications they had to hire someone to help around the house.

Mattie, Zeena’s cousin, needed a place to live and seemed fit for the job. She moved in and Ethan took and immediate liking to her. He found someone that cared for him, was always happy, and could share his youth. All of which, Zeena was incapable of doing. Ethan longed to be with Mattie, but he was loyal to Zeena. Being married to Zeena was Ethan’s first failure. Ethan’s second failure was not standing up to Zeena. She claimed the doctor said that she was extremely sick and needed more help around the house.

She told him without any discussion that Mattie had to go. Ethan could not find the words to make her alter her decision. Zeena also decided that Mattie had to leave the next day. It was stated in the book that Zeena had the upper hand in the house by the line Now she [Zeena] had mastered him [Ethan] and he obeyed her. Ethan could not find the right things to say, and it was because of his failure of not being able to stand up to his wife that he was going to lose the only thing that made him happy.

Ethan’s last failure was the way he modified his and Mattie’s lives regarding the smash up. He wanted to run away with Mattie, but he could not because his practical sense told him it was not feasible to do so. Mattie wanted so desperately to be with Ethan that she suggested in order to stay together forever, to die together. It was Ethan’s job to steer into the tree with the sled so that it looked like an accidental death.

He did not hit the tree right and it did not kill either of them. Instead it injured them, and these injuries stayed with them forever. In this way, Ethan had his last failure in not exceeding to die with his love. Now he had to live with the guilt from his wife, the injured Mattie, and broken dreams. Everything Ethan tried to do worked against his favor. With all the incidents that happened it seemed inevitable that his life would always be a string of failure.

Till We Have Faces – C.S. Lewis

C. S. Lewiss book Till We Have Faces is about the myth of Psyche and Cupid. However, in the original tale Psyche is a very naive girl who is greatly influenced by her two wicked older sisters. In this rendition of the tale, Psyches sisters are not evil and Psyche is not a mindless fool as she has been portrayed in earlier tales. Setting The story takes place in the kingdom of Glome. Glomes social perspective is not surprisingly, a male dominant society and values woman as only child bearers, keepers of the homestead, or as a marriage treaty with neighboring kingdoms to attract new power and influence to the kingdom.

The people of Glome are deeply religious to the Goddess Ungit, and offer human sacrifices to her, including the sacrifice of Princess Psyche. Character Description In the eyes of the king, and the people of Glome, Orual appears to accept her ascribed role. Her lack of physical beauty sets Orual apart from the other woman of her society, her appearance allows her to write her own modes of acceptable behavior. Orual operates on two levels, one to satisfy her needs and the other to appear conforming to her fathers wishes and expectations.

For example, after Psyche had been offered to Ungit, Orual felt the need to bury her sister. Orual, to be somewhat pleasing in the eyes of her father, kept her visit to the Holy tree a secret so prevent the wrath of her father. C. S. Lewis hints that Orual is a different sort of woman while he discusses her love for Psyche. Orual said I wanted to be a wife so that I could have been her real mother. I wanted to be a boy so she could be in love with me. I wanted her to be my full sister instead of my half sister. I wanted her to be a slave so that I could set her free and make her rich.

In the middle of all these desires is a statement that is easily overlooked. To secure the love of Psyche, Orual wants … to be a boy so she could be in love with me. The idea that she has a desire to be a boy suggests the possibility of assuming roles that are normally ascribed to men. With the king on his deathbed, Orual attends the affairs of state in his place. She has advisors but they do not do the thinking for her, Orual achieves a certain amount of independence. The postscript to Oruals story, attached by Arnom, priest of Aphrodite, assets to her success of becoming an independent woman.

Arnom praises her in the context of princes. She is compared to men and is found to be either equal or superior. Orual does not resemble the woman of her time; she is not beautiful, passive, or stupid. She is a thinker, a writer, a monarch, and she is independent. The aspects of Oruals independent personality are not to be used as literary devices. How Orual ruled her people and used her throne is a model for woman of the twenty-first century. Because we read this book from the author, Oruals, point of view, we only see Ungit as she chooses to present her.

Although Ungit herself does not appear in this book as a person, Ungit is the cause of Oruals heartbreak and she plays a major role in Till We Have Faces. Ungit is the goddess of the mountain in Glome, she has a temple where the subjects of Glome come to worship her and offer sacrifice. Ungit is in the form of a rock, a faceless rock that is covered in sacrificial blood from time to time. Orual has a great dislike for Ungit, she sees Ungit as the cause of her sorrow over the loss of her sister after the princess Psyche is offered as a peace offering to the goddess.

Later in the book, during Oruals reign as queen, she replaces the faceless rock with a beautiful statue, figuring that the people might be able to connect with a beautiful goddess and not a lifeless rock. The statue of Ungit helps her appear less forbidding and almost beautiful. However, Orual still carries a great dislike for the goddess all together. Summary of the Plot Till We Have Faces takes place in the kingdom of Glome in a male-dominant society. Orual, Redival, and Psyche are the princesses of Glome. Orual and Redival are products of the Kings first marriage and when the King marries again, he hopes for a son.

The Queen dies in childbirth with a baby girl, Psyche. The King hires a tutor, a Greek man called The Fox, and the Foxs duties are to teach the girls until the King has a son whom he will then teach logic and philosophy. Redival is a vain and selfish girl and desires to acquire no knowledge and would rather spend her time in front of a mirror admiring her own beauty. The Fox, Orual, and Psyche are left together and the Fox teaches Orual philosophy and logic. When Psyche grows older she is very beautiful and some of the townspeople mistake her for a goddess, this strikes a cord of jealousy in Redival.

About this time, the land of Glome is suffering a summer drought. Redival tells her father that the cause of the drought is because Psyche is being worshiped instead of the goddess Ungit and that Ungit is extremely displeased, thus the lack of rain. The Priests of Ungit learn of Redivals theory and decide that Psyche must be given as a sacrifice to the goddess in hope that it might rain again. Orual is devastated when they take Psyche to the holy tree and leave her at the goddess disposal. A few days after the ceremony, Orual journeys to the tree to cover the body of her dead sister.

Once Orual arrives at the tree she can not find any trace of Psyche, and she proceeds to search for the remains of her sister. Orual is in for a surprise when she finds Psyche alive and very well. Orual visits with Psyche and finds her very much at peace with the whole situation; Orual is then irritated instead of relieved. Psyche proceeds to tell Orual of her husband, a man whom loves her deeply and whom she loves with all her heart, and has never seen the face of. This strikes Orual as odd and convinces her that he must be a thief hiding in the hills posing as a God and deceiving her sister.

Oruals love for Psyche develops into selfishness, she no longer loves Psyche, and she is co-dependant on her. Orual does not see her love as corrupted until later and the reader is somewhat sympathetic towards Orual until we learn of the distortion of her love. Psyche welcomes Orual to her palace and Orual only sees a pile of rocks. The wine that Psyche gives Orual tastes like water from the river to Orual. During the visit the reader feels almost certain that Psyche has somehow lost her mental faculties and is living in a dream, at the same time we forget that Orual is the one telling the story.

Orual tries to persuade Psyche to leave this fantasy and come back to the real world with her. However, Psyche refuses to leave with Orual. Orual visits Psyche again and tells her that her husband is nothing more than a thief posing as a god and Orual threatens to commit suicide unless Psyche light a lamp when her husband arrives and look at his face, hoping that Psyche will see that she is being deceived. Psyche is heartbroken and torn between love for her sister and love for her husband. Psyche takes the lamp and promises to light it. Later that evening, Psyche lights the lamp only to find that it is Ungits son, the god of the mountain.

When Psyche views the face of the god a voice tells Orual Now Psyche goes out into exile. She must hunger and thirst and tread hard roads. Those again whom I cannot fight must do their will upon her. You, woman, shall know yourself and your work. You also shall be Psyche. This prophesy becomes the theme in the remaining portion of the book, Orual will come to gain knowledge of herself and become Psyche. Orual returns form the mountain and she begins to wear a veil to conceal her face, she feels that are wearing a veil she is making a treaty with her ugliness.

Despite Oruals success at reigning as Queen and changing her external identity by wearing a veil, there remains something inside of her that is not so easy to change. The old sense of guilt and pain is still just beneath the surface. Orual also preforms the four labors preformed by Psyche, although Oruals tasks are psychological rather than physical. Psyche is told to sort a massive pile of seeds, a task that is nearly impossible, some friendly ants help Psyche with her task, while Orual sets about sorting her self, the good and the bad.

The second task is to gain wool from man-eating sheep, Psyche gathers the wool off of some bushes nearby that wool has been snagged on. Orual sets about trying to gain a new conscience. In the third task, Psyche has to obtain a bowl of water form the river Styx; an eagle that takes the bowl and returns it to her full of river water assists her. Orual, in turn takes her book and fills if with the poisons of her hate for the gods. The final task is to go the underworld and bring Ungit the beauty of the Goddess there in a box.

Psyche sets for the underworld and is commanded that she must not speak, she travels through the underworld and is tempted with images and holograms of her sister and the Fox. After Psyche gains the box of beauty from the Goddess of the underworld, the voice of the god again spoke to Orual and told her You are Psyche. This, of course was a period of several decades between Psyches exile and Oruals vision. In fact, by the time of Oruals vision she was an old woman and died shortly after the vision.

Theme In reading C. S. Lewis Till We Have Faces we find that there are numerous themes developed that are traditionally found in the realm of a myth. For example, the timeless devices of sacrifice and spilled blood are a common feature in ancient myth and are also found throughout Lewiss retold myth. One unique thing that makes Till We Have Faces a valuable read, is how fully the theme of belief affecting perception is developed. The reader who attempts to find Lewiss Christian message in this work will be sorely disappointed. The story Lewis tells is not an attempt to use myth in order to subtly introduce and explain Christianity.

In short, the theme of Till We Have Faces is self-exploration. Just as Orual had to sort herself out and find the ugliness in her soul, perhaps we as Christians are supposed to find the ugliness in ourselves and discard of it so we can become souls with divine natures. Contributions to the Theme Orual also performs the four labors preformed by Psyche, although Oruals tasks are psychological rather than physical. The sorting of seeds, for example, becomes an introspective look at her motives while writing. Her sorting involves separating who she thought she had been from who she actually was.

More specifically she begins to see her own self-centeredness and how it corrupted the quality of her love. Psyche is assisted with the help of friendly ants to sort the seeds. The second task of gaining the wool of man-eating sheep is also a psychological task for Orual, who attempts to steal a clean conscience by her own merits. In a dream Orual sets about the task but rams trample her. Psyche, on the other hand, gathers the wool from the bushes where the wool is caught. In the third task, Psyche must obtain a bowel of water from the river Styx.

Orual reaches Ungit, who also is veiled, and she reads her complaint, and in turn must hear her own complaint as she reads. Orual discovers her own jealousy and possessiveness as she reads. Orual realizes that all of the charges she made against Ungit are offenses that she herself is guilty of. The final task is to go the underworld and bring Ungit the beauty of the Goddess there in a box. This too is a psychological task. Orual searches deep inside herself and recognizes the ugliness within; such recognition is the first step towards making herself more beautiful.

This beauty is described as being a soul with divine nature Orual realizes that the fundamental purpose of human beings is to reach a union with the divine or divine love. Orual has a vision, and in this vision she watches Psyche set about her tasks and the many temptations and images of herself, the fox, and others that tempt Psyche. By reading Till We Have Faces, it is my belief that C. S. Lewis wanted to inspire the reader to search ourselves and motives and find the ugliness and try to purge ourselves from it. Till We Have Faces is not so much about a classic myth but about the heartbreak that we suffer from our own corruption.

Redivals corruption caused Psyche to be sacrificed and Orual to be unhappy. But was Redival really corrupt or perhaps she felt rejected that her older sister preferred to spend time in the company of Psyche, ignoring Redival, and that is why Redival tried to dispose of Psyche. Oruals corrupted love caused Psyches misery and separation from her husband. However, perhaps C. S. Lewis wanted to show the reader that when we sin, we suffer loss and separation. Psyche doubted her husband and disobeyed him by looking at his face, which is why she was cast away from him, to purge herself of her transgression.

With Malice Toward None

Stephen B. Oates is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of eight other books, including The Fires of Jubilee and To Purge This Land with Blood. His task in this biography was to perpetuate Lincoln as he was in the days he lived. His purpose of this biography was to bring the past into the present for us and his students. The Life of Abraham Lincoln Although other states such as Indiana lay claim to his birth, most sources agree that Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a backwoods cabin in Hodgeville, Kentucky.

In an interview during his ampaign for the presidency in 1860 Lincoln described his adolescence as “the short and simple annals of the poor. ” (p 30). His father Thomas was a farmer who married Nancy Hanks, his mother, in 1806. Lincoln had one sister, Sarah, who was born in 1807. The Lincoln family was more financially comfortable than most despite the common historical picture of complete poverty. They moved to Indiana because of the shaky system of land titles in Kentucky.

Because the Lincoln’s arrived in Spencer County at the same time as winter, Thomas only had time to construct a “half-faced camp. Made of logs and oughs, it was enclosed on only three sides with a roaring fire for the fourth. The nearest water supply was a mile away, and the family had to survive on the abundance of wild game in the area. Less than two years after the move to Indiana, Mrs. Lincoln caught a horrible frontier disease known as “milk sick. “. Thomas Lincoln returned to Kentucky to find a new wife. On December 2 he married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow with three children, and took them all back to Indiana.

Although there were now eight people living in the small shelter, the Lincoln children, especially Abe, adored their new tepmother who played a key role in making sure that Abe at least had some formal education, amounting to a little less than a year in all. To support his family it was necessary that Abe worked for a wage on nearby farms. “He was strong and a great athlete, but Abe preferred to read instead. Although few books were available to a backwoods boy such as himself, anything that he could obtain he would read tenaciously” (p 56).

Although his formal education had come to an end, his self-education was just beginning. After a three month flatboat journey along the Ohio and Mississippi, the 9 year old Lincoln returned to Indiana with an enthusiasm for the lifestyles that he had just encountered. Unfortunately, his new-found joy did not last long as his sister Sarah died in childbirth on January 20, 1828. In 1830 the Lincoln family decided to leave Indiana in hopes of a better future in Illinois. It was soon thereafter that Abraham became a leader in the town of New Salem while operating a store and managing a mill.

The next step for such an ambitious man was obvious–he entered politics, finishing eighth out of thirteen in a race for the Illinois House of Representatives in August of 1832. Abraham Lincoln was a strong supporter of Whig founder Henry Clay and his “American System. ” This system that arose from the National Republicans of 1824 was in opposition to the powerful Democratic party of President Andrew Jackson. Lincoln agreed with Clay that the government should be a positive force with the purpose of serving the people.

Internal improvements were high on both mens’ lists, and this stand made the relatively unknown Lincoln popular in rural Illinois from the start. As the Whigs rose in stature throughout the 1830’s, so did Lincoln, but not without paying his dues along the way. For eighty days in the spring and early summer of 1832 Lincoln served in the military. On a constant search for Black Hawk, war leader of the Sauk and Fox Indians, he never saw any fighting but he did prove to be a superior leader of men in some of the most trying situations, including threats of desertion.

In return for his eleven and a half weeks of service Lincoln earned a mere $125, but the connections that he made with future leaders of Illinois and the experiencing of life from a soldier’s viewpoint proved to be priceless in his future political career” (p 80). During this time Lincoln ran for and won a seat in the Illinois Legislature with bipartisan support. In 1846 Lincoln took his biggest step in politics to that point. He won election to Congress as the only Whig from Illinois.

His single term was only memorable in that he took an unpopular stand against President James K. Polk and his Mexican War, which Lincoln saw as unjust. Lincoln made unsuccessful bids for an Illinois Senate seat in 1855, running as a Whig, and the Vice Presidency in 1856, running as a Republican. In his early days as a lawyer and an Illinois Legislator, Lincoln was a frequent guest of the Edward’s family and Mrs. Edward’s younger sister, Mary Todd, immediately caught Abe’s eye. She was like no woman he had ever known before.

Her beauty, intelligence, charm, and ability to lead a conversation was enough to cause the usually unemotional Abraham to propose. Yet he felt he did not love here and they broke up the engagement. Almost immediately thereafter, Lincoln began to feel terrible guilt and unhappiness over what he had done and what he then realized he had lost. He became so depressed that for a short time many of those around him feared that he was going to commit suicide. Until he longed for her so much that a park was reignited between the old lovers and they remarried.

After receiving the Republican Party nomination for the 1858 Illinois senatorial race, Lincoln gave his historically famous, yet questionably radical “House Divided” speech Lincoln had lost this election against Douglas but he had strengthened the Republican Party and won national recognition in the process. As a result of holding his own with the “Little Giant” (referring to Douglas’s physical stature and political power), the entire nation was able to see just how great and powerful of a leader Abraham Lincoln could become.

Lincoln put the Senatorial defeat in its proper perspective six years later when he said, “It’s a slip, and not a fall. ” (p 143) After Illinois chose Lincoln over the more radical William Seward and Edward Bates, he almost reluctantly turned his attention to the national scene. Lincoln’s true desire was to be a Senator, where Abe believed that he could concentrate on the most important issues more closely. Since he honestly did not believe that he had a chance of actually winning the presidency, one of the main reasons that he was running was to gain more notoriety for the 1864 senatorial.

Nevertheless, Lincoln had thrown his hat in the ring and he ran on the Republican platform of: 1) opposition to the extension of slavery 2) opposition to “nativist” demands that naturalization laws be changed to limit the rights of immigrants 3) support of federally sponsored internal improvements, a protective tariff, a railroad to the Far West, and free land for Western settlers. This stand was obviously very attractive to Northern and Western voters.

When election day finally came, Lincoln simply waited, first in his office at the statehouse and later in the telegraph office. When the inal results came in at about two o’clock in the morning, Abraham Lincoln had become the sixteenth President of the United States with 1,866,452 popular votes. However he, did not receive a single vote in ten Southern states, and largely because of his victory, frustrated, humiliated, and defeated Southerners began the process of secession, beginning with South Carolina in 1860.

Abraham Lincoln was chosen by destiny as the man to lead the Nation through its most trying hour, and it is quite probable that he understood just how trying it would be. Upon recalling how he felt immediately after learning of his victory, Lincoln eplied, “I went home, but not to get much sleep, for I then felt as I never had before, the responsibility that was upon me. ” (p 231) By Lincoln’s inauguration day in March of 1861, seven states had already seceded from the Union, electing Jefferson Davis as President of their Confederacy.

In his inaugural address Lincoln attempted to avoid aggravating the slave states that had not yet seceded. He asked the South to reconsider its actions, but also reinforced his belief that the Union was perpetual, and that states could not secede, saying, “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not mine, is the momentous ssue of civil war. ” (p 288) Lincoln also announced that because secession was unlawful he would hold the federal forts and installations in the South.

All sided with the Union basically because they were assured by Lincoln that the war was being fought to preserve the Union, and not to destroy slavery. In a letter to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, on August 22, 1862, Lincoln confirmed this position saying: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all he slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. (p 290)

Just as he had previously said that he would, on January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared that all slaves residing in states and districts still in rebellion against the United States were to be free. Although this was a bold move meant to upset the Southern war effort, the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation had no immediate affect because it applied only to the Confederate states over which the federal government had no control. The proclamation did not apply to the slave tates under Union control because there was no legal justification for Lincoln to apply it in those places.

It had to be classified as a “military measure,” such as depriving the South of the services of her slaves. Lincoln realized that in order to peacefully integrate the former slaves into American society he decided to train them as regular soldiers, and they fought gallantly. Some 186,000 colored troops had been enrolled in the Union army by the end of the war. The famous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow remarked, “At last the North consents to let the Negro fight for freedom. ” (p 340) Jefferson Davis, and his war-torn South, had one final hope — the defeat of Lincoln in the election of 1864.

Davis knew that as long as Lincoln was in the Office, the industrial superior North would continue to fight, and the South could not withstand the war much longer. If a new “peace” candidate were to be elected, then the Confederacy might survive. “Luckily for Lincoln the tide of the war turned dramatically in September of 1864 when General Sherman took Atlanta, an extremely important Southern rail and manufacturing center. Morale was boosted greatly in the North, and the victories continued to mount under Lincoln’s new-found leaders in Ulysses S. Grant and General Sherman.

By the time of the election in November, Lincoln won overwhelmingly with 212 of the 233 possible electoral. ” (p 402) The very weary President addressed the Nation the next day with less than victorious words. He stressed that the South should be dealt with mildly in order to bring the entire Nation back together as soon as possible. “Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to restoring the proper practical relations between these states and the Union. ” (p 409) What should have been Lincoln’s finest hour was probably one of his most tressing, because it was now up to him as to where the Nation was to go next.

It was Good Friday, April 14, 1865, only five days after the end of the war. Despite numerous warnings from some of his closest advisors, President Lincoln insisted on attending an evening performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater. Since General Grant was expected to attend the play with President Lincoln, the President’s attendance was highly publicized. John Wilkes Booth, a staunch Southern supporter, was a well known and popular actor who felt it necessary to redeem the lost cause of the Confederacy.

He had previously planned to kidnap President Lincoln, but when that plan did not work he decided to assassinate him instead. He had the help of three others in his plot, with the intention of also assassinating Vice President Johnson, Secretary Seward, and General Grant. The wounded Lincoln was rushed across the street to the Petersen house where he was attended to for nine hours. After fighting for life like only he could, President Abraham Lincoln passed away at 7:22 a. m. on the morning of April 15, 1865. “Even he who now sleeps, has, by this event, been clothed with a new influence…

Now his simple and weighty words will be gathered like those of Washington, and your children, and your children’s children, shall be taught to ponder the simplicity and deep wisdom of utterances which, in their time, passed, in party heat, as idle words. ” –Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, 1865 “A greater work is seldom performed by a single man. Generations yet unborn will rise up and call him blessed. ”

Reverend James Reed, 1865 “… In all America, there was, perhaps, not one man who less deserved to be the victim of this revolution, than he who has just fallen. ” –The London Times, 1865 Abraham Lincoln… as at home and welcome with the humblest, and had a spirit and a practical vein in the times of terror that commanded the admiration of the wisest. His heart was as great as the world, but there was no room in it to hold the memory of a wrong. ”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1876 “If one would know the greatness of Lincoln one should listen to the stories which are told about him in other parts of the world. I have been in wild places where one hears the name of America uttered with such mystery as if it were some heaven or hell… but I heard this only in connection with the name Lincoln. -Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

“In the days before antiseptic surgery, Lincoln had foreshadowed his own demise; his efforts to preserve the life of the nation had been successful at the cost of its strongest limb. ” (p 446) My View on the Book I found this book interesting and was surprised it was not another documentary style written biography. It was actually interesting to read due to Oates creative writing style. And being a factual historical story I learned a little about the life style of the post-colonial period and of course, the life of Lincoln, that I now know so much more about.

“Heart or Darkness” and “Apocalypse Now”

The ends of “Heart or Darkness” and “Apocalypse Now” are dramatically different and change the whole meaning of the story. The first is in the Movie. Marlow’s friend gets his head chopped off. In the book, he has no such friend. Marlow arrives at the boat by himself. This changes the movie dramatically because this scene is used for drama and emotion. You, as the viewer, are supposed to feel for the man.

In the book it totally bypasses this segment and sticks to telling the story rather than just shoeing the story, i. e. e book offers more analysis and the movie more action. I see the contrast as thought and contemplation vs. action and muscle. The second difference is, in the movie, Marlow never tries to take Kurtz he just leaves. In the book, he tries but Kurtz dies. This is a huge difference. This detail changes how one would analyze Marlow. His demeanor obviously changes if he tries to save someone or leaves him,( or kills him). The third, and largest, Kurtz is brutally murdered in the movie. In fact, we can even see his limbs being chopped off, as the buffalo is too; utterly horrid.

In the book Kurtz just dies of malaria because he is so weak. Let’s weigh these two events. Hacked to death with a machete or dying of lost strength. Huge events that can shape the way the reader could be affected by the book. All in all, as I said before, it seems in the book, Conrad sticks to a more analytical side of the character of the characters, while Coppola seeks to shock the viewer into understanding the horrible events. The book wants you to think for yourself and figure out each character and the movie blatantly tells you. Show vs. tell.

Joseph Conrads book, The Heart of Darkness and Francis Coppolas movie, Apocalypse Now

Inherent inside every human soul is a savage evil side that remains repressed by society. Often this evil side breaks out during times of isolation from our culture, and whenever one culture confronts another. History is loaded with examples of atrocities that have occurred when one culture comes into contact with another. Whenever fundamentally different cultures meet, there is often a fear of contamination and loss of self that leads us to discover more about our true selves, often causing perceived madness by those who have yet to discover.

The Puritans left Europe in hopes of finding a new world to welcome them and their beliefs. What they found was a vast new world, loaded with Indian cultures new to them. This overwhelming cultural interaction caused some Puritans to go mad and try to purge themselves of a perceived evil. This came to be known as the Salem witch trials. During World War II, Germany made an attempt to overrun Europe. What happened when the Nazis came into power and persecuted the Jews in Germany, Austria and Poland is well known as the Holocaust. Here, humans evil side rovides one of the scariest occurrences of this century.

Adolf Hitler and his Nazi counterparts conducted raids of the ghettos to locate and often exterminate any Jews they found. Although Jews are the most widely known victims of the Holocaust, they were not the only targets. When the war ended, 6 million Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists, and others targeted by the Nazis, had died in the Holocaust. Most of these deaths occurred in gas chambers and mass shootings.

This gruesome attack was motivated mainly by the fear of cultural intermixing hich would impurify the “Master Race. Joseph Conrads book, The Heart of Darkness and Francis Coppolas movie, Apocalypse Now are both stories about Mans journey into his self, and the discoveries to be made there. They are also about Man confronting his fears of failure, insanity, death, and cultural contamination. During Marlows mission to find Kurtz, he is also trying to find himself. He, like Kurtz had good intentions upon entering the Congo. Conrad tries to show us that Marlow is what Kurtz had been, and Kurtz is what Marlow could become. Every human has a little of Marlow and Kurtz in them.

Marlow says about himself, “I was getting savage (Conrad),” meaning that he was becoming more like Kurtz. Along the trip into the wilderness, they discover their true selves through contact with savage natives. As Marlow ventures further up the Congo, he feels like he is traveling back through time. He sees the unsettled wilderness and can feel the darkness of its solitude. Marlow comes across simpler cannibalistic cultures along the banks. The deeper into the jungle he goes, the more regressive the inhabitants seem.

Kurtz had lived in the Congo, and was separated from his own culture for uite some time. He had once been considered an honorable man, but the jungle changed him greatly. Here, secluded from the rest of his own society, he discovered his evil side and became corrupted by his power and solitude. Marlow tells us about the Ivory that Kurtz kept as his own, and that he had no restraint, and was ” a tree swayed by the wind (Conrad, 209). ” Marlow mentions the human heads displayed on posts that “showed that Mr. Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts (Conrad, 220).

Conrad also tells us “his nerves went wrong, and caused him to preside at ertain midnight dances ending with unspeakable rights, which were offered up to him (Conrad, 208),” meaning that Kurtz went insane and allowed himself to be worshipped as a god. It appears that while Kurtz had been isolated from his culture, he had become corrupted by this violent native culture, and allowed his evil side to control him. Marlow realizes that only very near the time of death, does a person grasp the big picture. He describes Kurtzs last moments “as though a veil had been rent (Conrad, 239).

Kurtzs last “supreme moment of complete knowledge Conrad, 239),” showed him how horrible the human soul really can be. Marlow can only speculate as to what Kurtz saw that caused him to exclaim “The horror! The horror,” but later adds that “Since I peeped over the edge myself, I understand better the meaning of his stare it was wide enough to embrace the whole universe, piercing enough to penetrate all the hearts that beat in the darkness he had summed up, he had judged (Conrad, 241). ” Marlow guesses that Kurtz suddenly knew everything and discovered how horrible the duplicity of man can be.

Marlow learned through Kurtzs death, and he now nows that inside every human is this horrible, evil side. Francis Coppolas movie, Apocalypse Now, is based loosely upon Conrads book. Captain Willard is a Marlow who is on a mission into Cambodia during the Vietnam war to find and kill an insane Colonel Kurtz. Coppola’s Kurtz, as he experienced his epiphany of horror, was an officer and a sane, successful, brilliant leader. Like Conrads Kurtz, Coppola shows us a man who was once very well respected, but was corrupted by the horror of war and the cultures he met.

Coppola tells us in Hearts of Darkness that Kurtzs major fear is “being hite in a non white jungle (Bahr). ” The story Kurtz tells Willard about the Special Forces going into a village, inoculating the children for polio and going away, and the communists coming into the village and cutting off all the children’s inoculated arms, is the main evidence for this implication in that film. This is when Kurtz begins to go mad, he “wept like some grandmother” when, called back by a villager, he saw the pile of little arms, a sophisticated version of the “escalating horrors.

What Kurtz meant by “escalating horrors” is the Vietnamese armys senseless decapitation, orture, and the like. Kurtz is facing a new culture and has a terrible time dealing with it. This was the beginning of his insanity. “All America contributed to the making of Colonel Kurtz, just as all Europe produced Mr. Kurtz. Both Kurtzes are idealized in their function as eyewitnesses to the atrocities. What is reflected is the threat of loss of self, loss of centrality, and the displacement of Western culture from the perceived center of history by those whom it has enslaved and oppressed (Worthy 24).

This tells us that the evil side and the madness in both Kurtzes was brought out by the fear of new cultures different from their own, and their inability to deal with this fear. The disconnection between the opening words of Kurtz’s report “By the simple exercise of our will, we can exert a power for good practically unbounded” and the note on the last page, “Exterminate all the brutes! ” illustrates the progressive externalization of Kurtz’s fear of “contamination,” the personal fear of loss of self which colonialist whites saw in the “uncivilized,” seemingly regressive lifestyle of the natives.

Gradually, the duplicity of man and eality merged for the two Kurtzes, one in the Congo, and one in Vietnam. As this happened, the well defined cultural values masculine/feminine and self/other that had specific segregated roles, could not be sustained in the Congo or in Vietnam. “For the Americans in Vietnam, as for the colonialists in Africa, madness is the result of the disintegration of abstract boundaries held to be absolute (Worthy 24). ”

“As it attempts to confront the ‘insanity’ of the war through Kurtz’ s madness, that of the filmmakers, and the madness of U. S. culture, Hearts of Darkness exposes the contradictions between the inherent hierarchy and nequality within the cultural forces of the United States and official democratic principles, which led to the perception that it could waste what it viewed as insignificant little people and preserve its own image in the world. Along with that is the growing realization, since the Tet Offensive of 1968, that the U. S. was somehow way off the mark (Worthy 24). ” American Culture views it self as “correct”, and we see ourselves as powerful police of the world.

Our culture looked down upon the Vietnamese because they were more simple than us, just as Europe and Marlow looked down on the Africans. Believing ourselves to be superior, we had a lot of trouble dealing with the discovery that we are not. Coppola makes a point to show us that the Chief of a boat armed to the teeth was killed by a native in a tree who threw a spear. Not even an “advanced” Navy boat can defend itself against some “simple” natives armed only with spears.

This opens Captain Willards eyes to the horror of the situation he now finds himself in. Even more intriguing, however, is the similarity between the transformation of the characters in Apocalypse Now, and the cast and crew that created it. In Hearts of Darkness, (a documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now. ) Eugene Coppola becomes the narrator ( a Marlow or Captain Willard) and Francis becomes Kurtz. “Francis believed that only if he could duplicate Willards experience, could he understand his moral struggle.

In other words, he had to lose control of his own life before he could find the answers to the questions that his narrative asked (Worthy 24). ” Coppolas main horror was his fear of producing a pretentious movie. “Eleanor repeatedly calls the making of Apocalypse Now a journey into Coppola’s inner self. Coppola, like Kurtz, is egarded as a deity. Moreover, while Willard stalks Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, Coppola stalks himself, raising questions which he feels compelled to answer but cannot, finally announcing his desire to “shoot himself.

He means suicide, but the cinematic connotation of the term, “to shoot,” jointly criticizes both the U. S. and Coppola’s film for exercising a demented self-absorption (Worthy 24). ” Coppola had to deal with perhaps the most agonizing of his troubles: his shriveling self-confidence. As the budget soared, as the producers worried, as the crew and actors grew restless and ispassionate, Coppola worried that he did not have what it takes to finish the film. He struggled with the ending, with his own creative ability, and with his sense of purpose.

Martin Sheen, who plays Captain Willard, is the one who really faces the horror. During the filming he has a nervous breakdown and later a heart attack. Some of his co-actors believed that Martin was becoming Captain Willard, and was experiencing the same journey of self discovery. We live our lives sheltered in our own society, and our exposure to cultures outside of our own is limited at best. Often, the more echnologically advanced cultures look down upon those that they deem to be simpler.

On the occasion that some member of one culture does come into contact with another, simpler culture, a self discovery happens. Both cultures realize that deep down inside, all humans are essentially the same. We all posses a good and an evil side, and no culture, not matter how “advanced,” is exempt from that fact.. This discovery often causes madness as this evil side is allowed out. Only those who have completed the “journey into self” can understand the actions of people such as Kurtz. They are alone in this world of horror. The Horror!

The Hacker Crackdown

The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier by Bruce Sterling is a book that focuses on the events that occurred on and led up to the AT&T long-distance telephone switching system crashing on January 15, 1990. Not only was this event rare and unheard of it took place in a time when few people knew what was exactly going on and how to fix the problem. There were a lot of controversies about the events that led up to this event and the events that followed because not only did it happen on Martin Luther King Day, but few knew what the situation truly entailed.

There was fear, skepticism, disbelief and worry surrounding the people that were involved and all of the issues that it incorporated. After these events took place the police began to crackdown on the law enforcement on hackers and other computer based law breakers. The story of the Hacker Crackdown is technological, sub cultural, criminal, and legal. There were many raids that took place and it became a symbolic debate between fighting serious computer crime and protecting the civil liberties of those involved.

In this book Sterling discusses three cyberspace subcultures known as the hacker underworld, the realm of the cyber cops, and the idealistic culture for the cyber civil libertarians. At the beginning of the story Sterling starts out with discussing the birth of cyberspace and how it came about. The Hacker Crackdown informs the readers of the issues surrounding computer crime and the people on all sides of those problems.

Sterling gives a brief summary of what cyberspace meant back then and how it impacted society, and he investigates the past, present and future of computer crimes. For instance he explains how the invention of the telephone led to a world that people were scared of because the telephone was something that was able to let people talk to one another without actually being in the same area. People thought that it was so strange and so different because they didn’t understand all of the information behind it.

Back then people thought of the telephone as a tool that allowed others to talk to them in a way that was so personal yet impersonal. Sterling then goes on to explain how “phone phreaks” played such an important part in relating the telephones to computer crimes and how they were so closely related back then. Another interesting detail that Sterling explained was the power of the telephone companies and the significant roles that it played in government and industry.

Ma Bell” had turned the phone operating system into a basically what is known today as a monopoly and how the “Ma Bell” system and the AT&T companies were able to fight so many legal battles. Sterling also explains how the telephone companies turned the telephone into more of a feminine occupation by employing thousands of female telephone operators to run the switchboard systems at the company. This opened the door for many job opportunities that women didn’t have before and it was also the foundation of the modern telephone system we have today.

Even though this system was productive it eventually had to get updated and become more computer organized because of the influx of calls that were coming in and the burden of not being able to have enough operators for the number of calls that were coming in, simply put they would have to come up with a better method if they wanted to stay productive. Sterling also discussed how technology has different life cycles just like everything else on earth. The first stage he called the Question Mark or the “Golden Vaporware” stage.

At this early point of development the technology is only an idea or a brainstorm process by the inventor, and most of the “Golden Vaporware” technology does not go anywhere but in the mind of the hopeful inventor. If it does go to the next stage of the process that stage is called the Rising Star or the “Goofy Prototype”. At this point in the process the technologies rarely work very well and this is the experimental part of the process. Also at this stage the inventors start to ponder the ideas of all the potential uses for the devices but most of the time they are very wrong.

The third stage of technology is the “Cash Cow” stage in which the technology finds its place in the world and becomes settled and productive. The fourth and the last stage in the technological life cycle is death. Usually at this stage another device or technology has come along and replaces the one currently used because of efficiency or societal demands. On of the other main issues that are faced in The Hacker Crackdown is the fight between computer freedom vs. computer security. One of the main goals of hackers is for society to have more freedom and more access to information.

Bruce breaks the Hacker Crackdown into four sections. Part One is called Crashing the System where he gives a brief discussion of the history of the telephone and the impact it had on society. Part Two is called The Digital Underground and in this section Sterling relates how phone phreaking and hacking have such a close background. He also discusses how the dialect, phonetics and spelling that are used in the cyber world originated a lot from the phone phreaking days. For example, that is why a lot of hackers use alternate spelling such as phile and phun.

Also in this part of the book Sterling talks about bulletin board systems and how they were so important to the hacker culture. War dialing was also a popular topic in this section. In Part three which is named Law and Order he goes into great detail to try and explain Operation Sundevil and how it was supposed to be a crackdown on people that were found doing credit card theft or telephone code abuse. Operation Sundevil was supposed to send the message to the culprits of cyberspace that the government knew all about them.

Sterling goes into great detail about the Federal Computer Investigations Committee (FCIC) and how he thought it was the most important and influential organization that dealt with the little known world of computer crime. He goes on to explain how it was so good because it was a formal bureaucracy and it was so regulated and well organized. In Part Four the last and the final chapter of the Hacker Crackdown called The Civil Libertarians, Sterling talks about how the struggle of ownership and the nature of cyberspace became a public matter and demanded attention.

In this section he discusses the idea of Computers, Freedom, and Privacy. He goes into detail about how society had developed this “electronic community” and turned into a digital nation. I think that he does a great job of explaining how communication and community are linked together and how they have a dual effect on one another. Personally, I thought that The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling was a book that was boring, repetitive and too detailed.

I think that the author did do a good job of explaining how the whole cyber space world came into existence, but what he said could have been condensed to make the book easier to understand. Honestly, for the people that wanted to get a good grasp of what actually happened did not need to know what day Alexander Bell invented the telephone, or how many legal battles AT&T had to fight in order to stay in business. I think that all this extra information just overloads the reader with needless facts and gets them confused about what the real issue that is being discussed the book.

I also noticed that sometimes Sterling would go off into immense detail about the relationships or other minor situations that were really irrelevant to the overall point of the book. To a reader that reads The Hacker Crackdown without having prior knowledge about hacking or computer devices he would be totally confused and lost after finishing this book. Some of the language is just to over exaggerated and hard to explain unless you already have some computer based knowledge and skills. I do think that he did job of capturing all sides of the issues from different points of view.

Another positive thing that Sterling did was explain how computer hackers and phone phreaks were so closely associated with one another. The conclusion of The Hacker Crackdown was very entertaining and summed up all of the points he was trying to make in the previous chapters pretty well. If I had to give this book a rating I would have to say a C-, just for effort. I think that Sterling should have been more precise and stayed on the topic at hand that way the reader would have had a better understanding of how all the events that took place effected society and still have an impact today.

Valenzuela’s “The Censors”

The author starts out say “Poor Juan! ” you know that something bad has happened to the man, this attracts your attention and leads you to keep reading. She says that fate caught him with one of its dirty tricks while had his guard down, and then proceeds to tell the tale. She vaguely hints of the doom that lies ahead of Juan and you have to know what horror awaits him. It is organized as a story, told in chronological order; this is effective in showing you the steps to his demise as he steps up the ladder. It is sad, ironic and somewhat humorous; her tone is somewhat playful as she portrays Juan as naive and hopeful.

This really helps you feel sorry for him, you see him start out as an innocent victim and watch him rise (or fall) to the position of the person who is harming the victim. She describes his thought process as he decides to apply for a job as censor, so you know that his intentions are for the best. He is so intent on finding his letter that he goes through his job even though he is put in danger. He works so hard that they keep advancing him, and soon you realize that it is now more important to him to do his job well and keep getting promoted, he has almost forgotten the letter and his original goal of finding it.

He becomes his own enemy. He became completely enthralled in his job and the rest of his life no longer mattered. He finally becomes the machine that he started out trying to sabotage. Valenzuela describes the events that led to Juan’s demise in a somewhat offhand tone, to show that it really was simply fate that led him there. She gives examples of the hurdles he has to jump over. She uses process analysis and causal analysis to show how and why it happened.

Deborah Tannen’s book, The Argument Culture

Deborah Tannen’s book, The Argument Culture is full of many arguments, some more intriguing then others. In this book, she tackles everything from politics to the Internet, and everything in between. I was especially taken by the gender issues that she addressed. Such issues were approached in nearly every chapter, it did not seem to matter what the topic was; she always managed to bring the battle of the sexes into it somehow. One chapter was dedicated strictly to this very topic: Chapter 6, entitled “Boys Will Be Boys: Gender and Opposition”, was among my favorite parts of the book.

She really tackles the differences between boys and girls, which start at a very young age. I was awe-struck by the examples she uses of very small children who already are playing the gender specific roles which society has assigned to them. Children learn very quickly what is expected from them and how they are supposed to act. Very young boys know that they should not play with dolls just as little girls do not want to play with trucks.

The example about the blocks was especially intriguing, the way that boys just want to destroy and wreak havoc on each others ‘creations’, and girls keep the blocks so neat and orderly says a lot about our society. However, I am not so sure that this is always true. Boys are not always the rough, tough ones, while girls are prim and proper. Growing up, my mother babysat my male cousin while his mother was at work. Being two years younger then I and four years younger then my sister, he was very impressionable.

He did play Barbie’s with us, and we played G. I Joes with him. As a result, Jim is not gay, he is just a well-rounded person, however, he learned at that young age to become extremely dependent on my sister and I. Jim is an only child, therefore, Beth and I were all he ever knew as siblings, as Jane and I grew apart, Jim and I grew closer. As children we all went to the same private elementary school, we would see each other every single day. I will never forget his first day if school, he was three and starting pre-school, I was I kindergarten. He was heart-broken that his Mom was leaving him in this strange place.

His teachers came in and got me out of my class to go talk to him, and try to get him to stop crying. He was not like the rest of the boys, he was very emotional, and I think he got that from being around my sister and I for so long. Now, that he is grown up, he would be the last one to get angry. I have the very aggressive personality while he is more passive. We really rubbed off on each other, therefore influencing our personalities. We had no idea what ‘society’ wanted us to act like or play with. We were just kids trying to have fun, and it is only in hindsight that I realize what effect it had.

Another issue addressed in chapter six is a ritual thought to be common in many college campuses: hazing. This was a very poorly backed part of the book. If Tannen wanted to broach such a subject, I believe that she should have presented more evidence to back her claims. Hazing is a very serious crime, and she just comes out and accuses fraternities and sororities as a whole of hazing. I was quite offended by this; she lacked the evidence I felt was necessary to make such an allegation, in addition, I found myself questioning her warrant.

Based on my own experience, I believe hazing to be at thing of the past. As a member of the Greek community at UCLA, I have found that hazing is, for the most part a myth. First of all, the term ‘pledge’ is no longer used, however, I do not believe that referring to someone as a pledge would be hazing. Most of the stories you hear about hazing incidents are false. Contrary to popular belief, a goat plays no part in the initiation ceremony. I found this part in the book to be outdated and hypercritical.

She shows no evidence for her claims and I found that to be quite offensive. The conversation that she documents is completely one-sided and misleading, I believe that it was blown out of proportion by an outsider who did not know any better. Tannen failed to mention that hazing is against the law, and that every single national sorority has made hazing against national policies, along with most fraternities. The majority of nationally affiliated Greek organizations would lose their charter for hazing, but Tannen forgot to mention that too.

Overall, I believe Tannen’s argument was one of just that, argument. I believe that she related one chapter to the next very effectively and made a generally well -rounded argument. Though at times it may have been monotonous and repetitive, she got her point across in the end and wrote a book that was fairly interesting to read. Although she could have done without a good number of the examples and stories which she documented, their presence did not have an enormously negative effect on the book. They did however make for a rather monotonous read.

The Book Night

The Halocaust, a horrible time for the world. Just as any war is. War is the single most destructive thing our world has. It can take the lives of millions of people in just a few seconds. War however may seem bad from the perspective of many people, but it is even worse from the perspective of a single person. A boy for instance, trapped between two opposing forces. Elie for example has lived through this. A boy of only 15, how much he has suffered through. During the course of the book Night it is obvious that Elie lost faith in his god.

For the first time, I felt revolt rise up in me. Why should I bless his name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Poerful and terrible, was silent. what had I to thank him for? ” (31). This is Elie’s first sign of losing faith. In his mind he wondered how a god, so great and wonderful hasn’t helped out his people, But rather let them see how cruel people can be. Elie said this after he had witnessed babies sent to their doom in a pit of fire. How could he not ask his god why he hasn’t done anything.

A boy of 15 years old hould not witness this, nor should anyone witness these acts of hatred. “Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. ” (32) From that moment on, Elie had no reason to believe in God. The flames which Madame Schachter had spoke about on the train. If only they realized it sooner. God, the most important role in human civilization was going to let the slaughter of innocent people go on in his world. Many people lost faith during this time. The sight of someone being beaten infront of you, but knowing that if you help, it’ll be even worse for you.

Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my god and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things even if I am condemmed to live as long as God Himself, forever. Never. (32) Something so powerful it could murder a once very religous boy’s faith forever. He would never be able to turn back like he once did, to ask God “Why? “. God lives forever, Elie will never forget these images inprinted in his mind.

It is too hard to forget omething that impacts yourself, you life, and the people around you in such a way that you lose all the faith you have. No matter how much you had to begin with, you can lose it in an instance. Just like Elie, no longer can he pray at night, no longer can he look in the sky and say to himself “Im lucky to have such a great god to look over me”. I had new shoes myself. But as they were coated with a thick layer of mud, no one had noticed them. I thanked god, in an improvised prayer, for having created mud in His infinite and wonderful universe. 35)

Sarcasm, in a time like this, to mock the “All powerful”. Its just another point proving that Elie did lose faith in his God. How can he believe in somthing that won’t prevent a catastrophe. I know one has no right to say thinks like that. I know man is too small, too humble and inconsiderable to seek to understand the mysterious ways of god. But what can I do? I’m not a sage, one of the elect, nor a saint. I’m just an ordinary creature of flesh and blood. I’ve got eyes, too, and I can see what they’re doing here. Where is the divine Mercy? Where is God?

How can I believe, how could anyone believe, in this merciful god? (73) Faith, the one thing man has over animals, the belief in a god, the All Powerful the savior of the earth. But it can dissapear, and quickly. If no one believes in somthing than how does it exist? I doesn’t I no on remembered our past, or left clues behind, we wouldn’t know about the civilizations on earth. Even the loss of faith in a single boy can hurt. Especially when he is so young to whitness pure evil. Elie has definitly lost faith in his god. He may no longer pray nor go to church.

Black and White Women of the Old South

Minrose Gwins book, Black and White Women of the Old South, argues that history has problems with objectiveness. Her book brings to life interesting interpretations on the view of the women of the old south and chattel slavery in historical American fiction and autobiography. Gwins main arguments discussed how the white women of the south in no way wanted to display any kind of compassion for a fellow woman of African descent. Gwin described the “sisterhood” between black and white women as a “violent connection”(pg 4).

Not only that, Gwins book discusses the idea that for most of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, a black woman usually got subjected to displacement of sexual and mental frustration of white women. Gwin discusses how these black women, because of the sexual and mental abuse, felt looked down on more by whites and therefore reduced to even a lower level than that of white womens status of being a woman. . A southern white female slave owner only saw black women as another slave, or worse. White women needed to do this in order to keep themselves from feeling that they were of higher status than every one else except for their husband.

White women as, Gwin describes, always proved that they had complete control and black women needed to bow to them. Gwins book discusses that the white male slave owners brought this onto the black women on the plantation. They would rape black women, and then instead of the white women dealing with their husbands. They would go after the black women only since the wives had no power over the husbands, but they maintained total control of the slaves, the white women would attack the black women and make their lives very diffucult.

The white women would make sure that the black women understood that the white women completely hated the black women for being raped and wanted only pain for the them. This is how the black women of that time got the stereotypes of being very sexual beings and hated by there oppressors. You can see evidence of this when Gwin discussed the realities of such hatred in the book Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner. The main character, Clytie, sexual assaults by her male master upsets her because she doesnt desire to be involved with him, but her female master feels that she should be punished for it.

So the white female slave owner beats her and abuses her as much as possible. The passage goes on to show how rape, gets Clytie labeled as a whore. The book discussed how one of the principle reasons as to how the white woman or mistress and the black women got along, depends on whether or not the slave women appeared to threaten the social status of the women. When the white men tried to rape the black women it made the white women socially look like nothing more than a slave.

This made the white women feel forced to prove to the black women that power still remained in the white womans corner regardless of the masters sexual desires. The mistresses made sure that the slave women understood that they valued less than any white women, for the main reason that the white woman had true power as long as the main wanted her. An example of this that I read would be when a white woman outwardly expressed that she worried mainly about her loss of power, not actually about marriage. Saphire, a fictional character that Gwin analyzes, says “… mainly concerned with her power… e views her husbands affections for a slave as an undercutting of her power over him in their relationship which.

As the husband himself describes as, what makes her the master and him the miller. ” (pg 133) The slave that caused this upset usually received many beatings and unnecessary overworking of the slave. At the time, this treatment was not unheard of and needed, the white slave owners used it as an example to show all slaves that they were not worth the air they breath except in the fields. And even those who were not involved were treated as sub-human and found that life remained hard for them.

Gwin describes the black communications with their oppressors as a surrogate mother and her children that need guidance, looking after, and strong discipline. The black women knew that no matter what she did she would get beatings from the white women and their mistresses, they took chattel slavery to its boundaries in how the women treated the black women when they felt threatened. White women didnt just physically abuse the black woman they also mentally abused her. The slave women were “associated with sex and loss of control, sexually suggestive, and wild Negroes. pg 119)

These derogatory names were what most white women came to stereotype as being the definition of the average black woman. So they to had it hard when they were being worked by the woman of the house. Being that the mere idea that if you were a black woman your mistress or lady of the house felt threatened by your presence, so they did there best to make sure the black women got to tired and to low of self-esteem to do anything. In are class we discussed how women, during the 1700s & 1800s, began to conflict with their roles in society. Our class observed how womens lives began to change during this time period.

The women of this time period were raised to believe in a patriarcle system because it promised to protect, privilege, and subordinate them. We took note in our class room lectures that ultimately this system gave women a great amount of power being they had what their husband wanted. This book gives good examples of what happened to this system and how it starts to change from its way. The slave womens sexual relationship with the white husbands had made it very hard for the women to have the power they had in their homes, and the system was not serving them as it should, so the women made a change.

This example of how the women had gone from a lifestyle that they enjoyed to taking some responsibility over their life. The women had to begin make sure for herself that she still remained at her proper lady status no matter what her husband does, and that is why they beat and made the lives of African women much harder. But more importantly you can see how the white women of the south were beginning to make the changes needed to get what they needed from society, by using their own system that works the best for them. This shows the change from total power to obtaining things on their own.

Because of these changes in their lifestyles women found they needed change their identity in order to keep some kind of power. Gwins book goes on to talk about how the white womans lifestyle changes. And how they got directly involved in their lives, and start looking out for themselves, being that the system of the husband looking out for her began to disappear. The white women of the south felt threatened by what they felt could be a definite challenge to their power and they needed to begin to change so that they could still be able to achieve the goals that they need fulfilled in life.

The southern women during this time period were having to become much independent and begin to get jobs and all become more active in the ways of working because the south could not remain the same with the release of the slaves. Women had began to get jobs and work along side of her husband, and begin to become more involved in the everyday ways of life. I think that Gwins book is a good illustration of what has and still is happening to women. Their lifestyle is always changing. Gwins argument that life was never a sisterhood between the blacks and white in the so-called American fiction and autobiography seems prove true.

These women were very much different and the ethnocentrism in a white woman keeps her from ever getting past the dark skin, and makes the white women feel more like the Africans were more of an animal then an actual person. The white women always feels that the slave must understand that the man may rank higher than her but even if her husband wants to mess around then fault goes to the slave not the husbands. And the slave will never be to her level, because the black slave will never be a lady.

And in the book you can see how the white women lost there power in the house and that their system of life that they received didnt prove to work out anymore for them so they had to attempt to adjust to a way life took would take them. I feel that Gwin argues that the main reason for the confrontations for the struggle of power became evident in that it had gotten to point that certain black women would not let their own female owners hit them. This is an example of how not only how the whites women challenged the system, but also how the slave women started to make changes in how they willed to be treated.

The book, Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

The book, Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper was very different from the movie Last of the Mohicans in terms of the story line. However, I feel that the producer and director of this movie did a good job of preserving Cooper’s original vision of the classic American man surviving in the wilderness, while possibly presenting it better than the book. The makers of the movie Last of the Mohicans preserved Cooper’s central ideas and themes very well, the most important of which is the question, what makes a man?

Very few books that I have read contain such a clear sense of what a man should be as Last of the Mohicans. Cooper portrays the hero, Hawkeye, as brave, independent, and skillful in the ways of the woods. He is a tracker, he can hit a target with a bullet from any distance, he can fight the evil Iroquois Indians without batting so much as an eyelash. The makers of the movie take great pains to preserve these facts of Hawkeye. In the book, Hawkeye displays very little feeling and the reader has very little empathy with him, even though he is the hero.

In the movie, however, there is a great romance between Hawkeye and Cora that does not exist in the book. This romance adds a more human side to Hawkeye’s character; it show s his caring side beyond all the hero-woodsman qualities, in other words, the non-Rambo, late twentieth century version of a hero. Every hero should have a woman at his side, and the makers of the movie. This I think was a wise choice because it gave the viewer more things in common with the hero and thus made Hawkeye a more human hero and therefore more in common to the late twentieth century viewer.

One thing the makers of the movie attempted to keep was the vision portrayed in the book of sweeping landscapes, gigantic trees, dark forests, crashing waterfalls, and other impressive features of nature. This again was a wise choice, seeing as how part of Cooper’s vision was the goodness and power of nature. Due to the fact that film presents such features in a more vivid, more appealing way than pages of descriptive words. One thing the makers of the movie left out that was originally in the book was the character of David Gamut, the psalmist.

Of all the characters in the book I felt his was best developed by Cooper; almost all of the others were cardboard characters with no depth. Gamut, however, is at the beginning portrayed as anything but a hero He is gawky, doesn’t believe in killing other men even Indians, and is something of what we would today call a softy. However, he goes through many “trials by fire” and in the end is shaped into Cooper’s version of the American man. However, the movie makers sadly left out his character altogether. Though David Gamut was not an important part of Cooper’s vision, he still played apart in it.

He developed throughout the book from a wimpy coward to one who took up arms in the final battle, placing his life in God’s hands and throwing caution to the wind. I cannot see a reason for removing his character other than the producers possibly wishing to remove all semblance of comedy from the movie and thus make it a very serious film. I think this is a stupid reason, because his character added much more to the story than a few jokes, and had I been the director I would have included his character, perhaps even embellished it in the same manner as Hawkeye.

Another alteration the movie made from the book was in the character of Cora. In the book, Cora is much braver and less delicate than her sister, Alice. For this she is “punished” in that she dies in the end. While this is not a central theme of Cooper in the book, he makes it clear that women, or “females” as he insists on calling them, should remain tame and conform to the standards men set for them. In the movie, the makers reverse this idea. Cora is again portrayed as stepping beyond the boundaries of acceptable female behavior at that point in history.

In fact, the moviemakers take Cora farther “out of bounds” than Cooper did. She carries a pistol, and even shoots an Indian to keep herself and her sister safe. However, in behaving this way, she is transformed into a character that more closely resembles a late twentieth century ideal of the independent, self-sufficient woman, probably to make her more sympathetic to today’s movie audience. Instead of being “punished ” she ends up with Daniel Day-Lewis! Cora’s sister Alice goes around with eyes blank, mouth amazed, looking like some delicate piece of china that someone is throwing rocks at.

She cannot believe her eyes, and so she simply detaches herself from the world around her. This happens in both the movie and the book, although in the movie, instead of falling in love with Duncan Heyward, the man in the story, she shows some interest in Uncas, though this is not made clear. In the end, when Magua, the evil antagonist, kills Uncas and Alice is presented with the choice of being Magua’s wife or killing herself, she chooses death. Cooper’s original intent was to have Cora killed for being “impudent,” while Alice remained tame and alive.

Instead the makers of the movie transform even the wimpy Alice into a character of strength and independence as shown in her final act of suicide. Cora, also strong and blessed with the ability to think for herself throughout the film, survives. If these changes added a lot to the characters of both Cora and Alice, who in the book were stick figures, “females” who did virtually nothing but be saved and because of this again reinforces my opinion that the movie retains Cooper’s vision and present sit better than Cooper did himself.

Cathedral by Raymond Carver

The relationship between Robert and the husband in Raymond Carvers Cathedral is rather awkward. The husbands view of blind people is quite negative throughout the story. Robert and the husbands relationship shifts quickly from fear and prejudice to an understanding and mutual respect of the blind. The husbands experience of the cathedral drawing with Robert changes the husbands point of view of the blind. At first, the narrator, who is also the husband, is stereotyping Robert because of Roberts sight depravation.

He expresses his ignorance of the blind early in the story. My idea of blindness came from moviesthe blind moved slowly and never laughed. Sometimes they were led by seeing-eye dogs. This passage clearly shows the narrow mindedness of the narrator. He is judging Robert by what he has seen blind people to be like in movies and not by what his wife has told him. Furthermore, when his wife tells him the name of Roberts deceased wife, he immediately stereotypes Roberts wife as a Negro.

Again, the narrator is generalizing Roberts wives name, Beulah, because it sounded like a colored persons name. Also, at first sight of Robert the narrator questions the blind mans appearance. But he didnt use a cane and didnt wear dark glasses. Id always thought dark classes were a must for the blind. Once more, the narrator believes that dark glasses and a cane must be used by blind people. Near the very end of the story the narrator begin to alter his view of Robert. It is not until the narrators wife dozes off to sleep that Robert and the narrator begin to communicate.

The narrator begins flipping through the channels on the TV and ends up back to where he started, with a program about Middle Age Cathedrals. He then apologizes for changing the channels, and Robert states, its all rightits fine with me. Whatever you want to watch is okay. Im learning something. Learning never ends. This is when transformation of the narrator beings. As the program goes on the narrator begins to try and explain what is going on. Moreover, he starts explaining what the cathedrals look like, and does a poor job in his explanation.

After apologizing for his explanation of a cathedral, Robert says, I get it, bub. Its okay. It happens. Dont worry about it. The narrator begins to realize that he needs to listen more openly to others and oversee his prejudice views. The two of them then begin to draw a picture of cathedrals to further help Roberts view of them. Even though, the narrator was not good at drawing he kept at it for Roberts sake. Finally, Roberts asks the narrator to shut his eyes and continue drawing. So we kept with it. His fingers rode my ringers as my hand went over the paper.

It was like nothing else in my life up to now, stated the narrator. Clearly now the narrator has a much better understanding of the blind man. He began to realize that Robert can envision what the cathedrals look like through the drawing. In conclusion, the narrator of the story learns to break his stereotypical ways and understand people. The communication between Robert and the narrator changes the narrow views of the narrator. Quickly the relationship between them is shifted from fear and prejudice to an understanding and respect of each other.

Brian’s Search for the Meaning of Life in W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen the Wind

Through the brilliantly written book Who Has Seen the Wind, Mitchell is able to very effectively describe the tale of one boy and his growth on the Saskatchewan prairie. Brian’s childhood revolves around aspects of everyday life, and in it he attempts to explain that which has evaded and mystified even the great minds of our times: the meaning of life. He is able to somewhat understand the meaning of life though his experiences with birth, particularly that of a pigeon, and a rabbit.

His up-close-in-your-face learning of death, t an early age, when his dog, and subsequently his father dies. Lastly Brian’s realization that it’s all just sensations, and feelings complete his search for the meaning of life. Early in his life, Brian has many experiences with birth. The first of these comes to him at an early age when he sees newborn pigeons. When his father explains how these pigeons were made, Brian understands that birth is the beginning of life. Four years later, a similar conversation comes up when Brian asks his father how rabbits are born.

With this new found knowledge, Brian also sees another newborn. But this time it was a two-headed calf, who dies at birth. Because of this, Brian comes to the realization that “God isn’t very considerate”(166), for sometimes he lets things like the two headed cow come into this world, only to suffer and then die. The Second instance in which Brian is confronted with the meaning of life, comes to him when he sees death, and asks himself why. When Brian’s pigeon died, he asked his father why it had happened.

“Why? ” said Brian. It happens to things,” his father said. Why does it happen to things? ” He turned up his face to his father, cheeks stained with drying tears. “That’s the way they end up. ” Brian looked down at the baby pigeon in his hand. “It was an egg. Now it’s stopped. ” “Yes Spalpeen, it’s stopped. ” (56) Although this was hard for Brian to face, he was once again confronted with death. This second time, his dog Jappy dies crushed by a carriage of horses as “the front wheels of the dray missed Jappy. The hind ones did not. A shrill and agonized cry arose. (175)

As Brian stood by, not able to elp his dog, Brian “knew that this lifeless thing [ once had lived, but now ] his dog was dead,”(176) and that there was nothing he could ever do to bring Jappy back. One final event, his father’s death, was an untimely and unexpected happening that made Brian realize that death was an eminent part of all lives; however, as many other things in life, death is not always foreseen. “He was sad. He was sad that his father had died. He was very sad. “(238) Once Brian had realized that birth and death were crucial parts of life, he learns that all else is but a “set of sensations-nothing else. 286)

He can feel things, see them, taste them, but that is all they are. A person is but an idea. “Whose? … God’s. “(285) With this, the question comes, as to what is real, and what is not. “The beginnin’-that’s being born; the end-that’s gittin’ dead . . . Both of them is real-good an’ real. “(134) And to fill in this gap, “there’s hunger an’ there’s sleepin’ an’ there’s wakin’ . . . Them things is real. ” (134) With these explanations provided by Mr. Palmer, Brian understands that not everything is as it seems, and that someday he will understand it all.

Ultimately Brian discovers that the meaning of life is not simple but rather intricate and perplexing. The meaning of life, as Brian comes to understand it “has to do with dying; it had something to do with being born. Loving something and being hungry were with it too. “(292) All this time the boy had grown, and though the years, there had been the prairie. There had also been “a baby pigeon, and a calf with two heads”(292). There was his father “who had died and his father, and his father, and his father before him. “(291)

Although Brian did not have all the answers, he knew that someday “perhaps when he was older than he was now, he would know; he would find out completely and for good. He would be satisfied. ” Someday he would finally understand what was not clear to him now, for “the thing could not hide from him forever. ” Somewhere in the prairie a pigeon is born, as God breathes life into it. Somewhere in the dust there are the bones of a dog, and those of a man. – Somewhere in the vast field of God’s infinite imagination, a new being is made. Somewhere in the land there is a boy who is perplexed by life.

Book report on The Desert Fox

General Erwin Rommel, The Desert Fox, Field Marshall, Hero, Traitor, Enemy, Father, Husband, Instructor. Though he held many titles in his life and was thought of in many different lights, he was and shall be remembered as, a true soldier, a man who men followed fearlessly and enemies dreaded facing. A soldier who remembered and adhered to the chivalrous side of war. A man who was committed to Germany and her people to the end. During peacetime or war, he was always a soldier, the type who had a single-track mind.

His death may have been one of the greatest tragedies of the final months of Hitler’s desperate attempt to remain in control. The rise of Rommel to a Field-Marshall from a family of schoolmasters was an uncommon occurrence in a country where the military had a strong history of tradition and the Prussian Officer Class. He began his education in a somewhat slow fashion, uninterested in schoolwork and not exhibiting the intellectual talent of his father and grandfather, both of whom excelled in mathematics and were highly regarded in German society.

It was not until his teens did he seem to “wake up” and begin showing some of the intelligence in his family background. He intended to become an engineer and work at the Zeppelin works with his good friend, Keitel(no relation to the Field-Marshall that would become one of his most bitter enemies). His father refused permission and at this time he decided to join the army. On July 19, 1910, Erwin Rommel joined the 124th Infantry Regiment as an officer cadet, was a sergeant by the end of December, and was posted to the Kriegsschule or War Academy by March of 1911.

It was here that he met Lucie Maria Mollin, the woman who would eventually become his wife. Rommel spent the next three years moving through the ranks, finishing the Kriegsschule, spending time with a Field Artillery regiment in Ulm, and ultimately returning to his unit in March 1914 at which time they were sent to fight in WWI. It was here that Rommel first showed his ability to move boldly and take the element of surprise and exploit it to its highest. He also showed his unwillingness to succumb to fatigue, illness, or injury.

It was because of these factors that he was rewarded with the Iron Cross, Class I and was posted as Oberleutnant ( 1st Lieutenant) and then to the Wurttembergische Gebirgsbataillion. During leave on November 27, 1915, Rommel slipped off to Danzig and married Lucie Maria Mollin. It was in this first war that Rommel’s Fingerspitzengefuhl, a sort of sixth sense, first appeared. It was reported later many times and by almost all who served with him. He seemed to have an uncanny sense of approaching danger and an ability to extricate himself and his soldiers from it before it befell them.

Here he also showed his ability with his men that allowed them to trust him so completely and follow him wherever he asked them to go. It was stated many times by many people that he was a soldiers general, a man who knew how to talk to and deal with his troops. He was always fair with them and never asked them to do more than he would do. It came as a great shock to Rommel as well as almost all other German officers when the war was abruptly halted and the Germans surrendered. Between the two wars Rommel went back to a basically normal middle class life.

He first took a position training unruly and defiant “red ” naval ratings into soldiers, which he did in such a speedy and complete fashion that some were drafted into the police force and the rest chose to stay with Rommel. He then returned to his old 124th, now 13th Infantry Regiment due to reduction and stayed with them for the next nine years. His only son, Manfred, was born on Christmas Eve in 1928, and he was posted as an instructor to the Infantry School at Dresden on October 1st, 1929, and remained there for exactly four years.

It was here that he wrote Infanterie Greift An (Infantry Attacks), a book of excellent military infantry tactics that caught the eye of Hitler himself. Now a major, he was given command of the 3rd Battalion of Infantry Regiment 17 following his position at Dresden. As Hitler was coming to power, Rommel was introduced sporadically to members of Hitler’s staff as well as Hitler himself. His first impression of Himmler was of dis-like, but he at first trusted and liked both Dr. Goebbels and Hitler.

He was often used as one of Hitler’s guards during the beginning stages of the war but was not privy to Hitler’s tantrums and tirades so he held on to his first impression of Hitler for quite some time. But Rommel longed for a fighting command and was eventually close enough to Hitler to request one. Hitler accepted it and Rommel was sent to France. The events of the 7th Panzer Division, the “Ghost Division”, were recorded in exact detail by Captain Aldinger, Rommel’s Ordonnanzoffizier. Here Rommel again showed his ability to take an initial success and squeeze out of it all that he could.

His “Ghost Division” fought there way through France with a speed and ability that amazed all. During this time, Rommel often went out to look at things for himself and in so doing nearly got himself killed on many occasions. By early June they had reached the coast of France and by June 19th French naval and military officers had surrendered.

In their march through France, Rommel’s men had captured; The Admiral of the French Navy (North) and 4 other admirals, 1st Corps Commander, 4 Divisional Commanders with their staffs, 277 guns and 64 A. T. guns, 458 tanks and armoured cars, 4-5,000 trucks, 1,500-2,000 cars, 1,500-2,000 horse and mule wagons, 300-400 buses, 300-400 motor-cycles, and the major part of the 97,468 prisoners credited to the Group to which it belonged, It had also brought down 52 aircraft, captured 15 more on the ground, and destroyed 12 more. Following the defeat of Graziani’s army in North Africa, Hitler too late realized that Italy must not lose control of North Africa. He then suggested to Mussolini that Italian troops be put under German command.

Rommel was by then a Generalleutnant and being appointed to the command of the “German troops in Libya” and spent much of his time in Africa at odds with Halder, Keitel, and Jodl, all of whom were jealous of his popularity with Hitler and the German public. He was eventually made Field-Marshall and his time in the desert is full of ups and downs, of victories and defeats, but these defeats did not come from his own lack of skill but the inability of the German High Command to realize the seriousness of the situation in Africa.

Had Rommel been given the supplies, petrol, and troops that he needed, he would have taken Alexandria, the Suez Canal, and effectively shut England out of the Mediterranean. But Rommel was not taken seriously and neither was the African theatre of the war until it was too late. Though seriously handicapped, Rommel nearly achieved his goal of taking Alexandria in a series of victories and retreats that was to last two years. He began with a victory in April, 1941, followed by the failure to capture Tobruk on May 1st but then defeated General Wavell’s minor offensives through May and June.

Following these victories were a series of ups and downs followed by his defeat by Generals Auchinleck and Ritchie in which he was driven back to the borders of Cyrenaica. He then counter-attacked and drove the British back to Gazala, but faltered and could have plunged into disaster but managed to turn the tide and begin his most spectacular rise of all. This offensive would take him over and past Tobruk, past the Egyptian frontier, past Mersa Matruh, Bagush and El Daba, to Alamein and the very gates of Alexandria.

There he was held by General Auchinleck and was slowly pushed back across Africa to Tunisia. It was at this point when it was too late, Hitler realized the importance of Rommel’s position and sent him the supplies that, had he had six months earlier, he could have taken Alexandria and avoided defeat at El Alamein. Rommel was not at Tunisia when his men laid down their arms for he had flown to Germany to beg Hitler to sacrifice equipment to save the soldiers. But Hitler had refused his request and refused to allow him to return to his troops.

He was then sent to France were he began making preparations to avoid the invasion by sea. He knew that the only way to stop the invasion was to stop the Allies before they got on land and had established any type of hold. Again he was not taken seriously and not given the supplies he needed. He prepared the beaches as best he could and tried to convince Hitler of the seriousness of the situation. Upon a visit to Hitler he discovered that Hitler knew that total victory would not happen but that Hitler would never accept defeat until Germany was completely destroyed.

As the Allies pushed through France and defeated Rommel’s forces time and again, he tried desperately to make Hitler see that they must move back and shorten the defenses. Hitler refused his requests once again. By this time, Rommel had no disillusions of Hitler and what he would do. Rommel became involved in the plot to remove Hitler but did not know of the intent to kill Hitler and place Rommel as President of the Reich. Rommel remained on the front fighting with his men until he was seriously wounded and forced to recover in a hospital and then at home.

During this time, the attempt was made on Hitler’s life and failed. Unfortunately for Rommel, General Heinrich von Stulpnagel had ordered the arrest of Gestapo and the S. D. The commander of the S. S. was prepared to try to hush things up but von Stulpnagel was called to Berlin and on his way made the decision to take his own life. His attempt failed and he succeeded only in shooting out his eye, and while recovering consciousness repeatedly called out Rommel’s name.

General von Stulpnagel was then taken to Berlin, tortured and killed. His fellow conspirators Field-Marshal von Kluge, Generals Beck, and others had all committed suicide and Hitler had taken General Spiedel prisoner. Shortly after this Generals Burgdorf and Maisel arrived at Rommel’s home. They informed him he had been implicated in the attempt on Hitler’s life and was on a list belonging to Goerdeler to become the President of the Reich following Hitler’s assassination.

He was given the option of taking his own life via a cyanide capsule in which case it would be reported he had died in battle and his wife and child would be taken care of or he could go before the people’s court in Germany. Rommel knew he would never make it to Berlin to stand before the court and so chose the option of taking the cyanide capsule. He left with Burgdorf and Maisel and twenty-five minutes later Major Ehrenberger called and informed General Aldinger that Rommel had died from a hemorrhage. He was given a military funeral and his wife and child were never bothered by the Hitler’s men again.

So ended the life and career of one of the greatest military minds of all times. A man whom, had he been given the chance would have soundly defeated the Allies in North Africa, probably taken much of East Africa, and would have made the Allied invasion at Normandy much more costly if not impossible. The author of this book was an Englishman who had fought for the Allies against Rommel and had met him once while a prisoner. He had a very high respect for Rommel, his abilities, and his adherence to the chivalrous side of war.

He researched Rommel thoroughly and gained his information from a variety of sources who all had some type of close association with Rommel. He combined the opinions of those fighting with Rommel as well as against, showing that the opinions of Rommel, his ability, and his personality were not one-sided. Despite the authors thorough research of the book, I found it very hard to read. First, he did not write in the introduction his association with Rommel or what side of the war he fought on. It took me quite a while to understand who he was talking about when he kept referring to the English as us.

He also would introduce Generals and Commanders without specifying which side they fought for. He wrote the book without thinking of his future audiences. He expected that everyone would know who Keitel, Auchinleck, Jodl, and all the other generals mentioned in the book were. Though the author made it quite a chore to get through the Generals, Field-Marshals, Divisions, and leaders, the story behind it is an excellent man. I enjoyed reading the story of Rommel’s exploits and courage, even if I didn’t like the story-teller.

Jurassic Park: Comparison Between Book and Movie

The story Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton takes place on a small island near Costa Rica, it’s about a park full of dinosaurs created by Dr. Hammond. The dinosaurs are locked in large cages with electric fences. But as the mathematician Ian Malcolm predicted, nature cannot be controlled. They find this out when the security system goes out. They soon lost the electric fence and the dinosaurs started to escape. They try to restore the power and are successful but it did not matter since the dinosaurs were already loose. The dinosaurs start to cause a lot of trouble, even with the power restored.

They determine that there is nothing they can do. They decide to leave the island by helicopter. The book is much different then the movie. The book goes in more detail about the genetic engineering of the dinosaurs. The book also makes Ian Malcolm’s theory that nature can’t be controlled nor predicted more valid. In the end of the book version the island actually survives for a while after the power goes out. I liked the movie more because I saw that first and it made the book seem strange. I would recommend reading Jurassic Park. It starts right in the beginning with suspense and action.

Addiction in John Cheever’s “The Enormous Radio”

George W. Hunt has written that Cheever’s “The Enormous Radio,” is about “the mysterious communality of evil [. . . ]” (238). Without entirely disagreeing with Hunt, I suggest another interpretation for this well-known story. “The Enormous Radio” is actually a study of addiction: the kind of addiction common to many obsessive-compulsive personalities. No stranger to addiction, Cheever wrote the following in his journal: “Since I know so much about incarceration and addiction why can’t I write about it? [. . . I am both a prisoner and an addict” quoted by Clemons 92).

In fact, he was an alcoholic who recovered sufficiently to stay sober the last seven years of his life (Clemons 92). He was well equipped to write a story about an urban housewife’s addiction to an eavesdropping radio. Through her addiction to the radio and what it reveals about her neighbors, Irene discovers the “communality of evil” Hunt refers to. Before the advent of the new radio, the only way Jim and Irene Westcott differed from their upwardly mobile “friends [. . . ] classmates, and [. . . neighbors” was in the fact that the ouple had a mutual liking for “serious music” (Cheever 791).

At first Irene is rather put off by the “physical ugliness of the large gumwood cabinet. ” Its “dials flooded with a malevolent green light,” and inside the cabinet held “violent forces” (792). Many alcoholics will tell you that they initially hated the taste of alcohol, and no one will doubt that for them alcohol contained “violent forces. ” The same is true for any addiction, be it for gambling, overeating, undereating, or any drug. Of course most such addictions develop over a long period.

Within he limits of the short story, Cheever must condense the process of becoming hooked, as it were, living through the addiction’s torments, reaching a bottom, and beginning recovery. The Westcotts already have an interest in the radio because it brings them the music they admire (one might compare this to the initial compensations, be they personal or social, alcohol initially brings to the incipient alcoholic). Soon they discover the radio has other offerings–the private worlds of their neighbors. The first reaction is paranoia: “‘Maybe they can hear us,'” says Jim (794).

This gives way to curiosity: “‘I guess she [the Sweeney’s nurse] can’t hear us,’ Irene said. ‘Try something else'” (795). The third response is delight and mirth, tinged with uneasy astonishment. The radio’s offerings leave them both “weak with laughter” (795) by the end of the day. Jim, perhaps because he has to work all day and therefore isn’t tempted by the radio, doesn’t become “hooked. ” His is a non-addictive personality. Irene, on the other hand, can’t stay away from the radio, but she hides her new interest from the maid. Like the alcoholic hiding his booze, she is furtive” (796).

She becomes astonished and uneasy over the revelations about her neighbors in the high-rise apartment building, neighbors whose lives are far more “melancholy” and filled with “despair” than she’d imagined (795). She becomes “sad and vague” (796). This feeling turns into a “radiant melancholy” Jim is unaccustomed too. Her personality has changed, like an alcoholic on the bottle. She is uncharacteristically rude: at a party, “she interrupted her hostess rudely and stared at the people across the table from her with an intensity for which she would have punished her hildren” (797).

Her addiction now matches the definition for chemical addiction given by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: “The loss of control and compulsive use of mind-altering chemical(s) coupled with the inability to stop the use in spite of the fact that such use is causing problems within one’s life. ” The euphoria experienced by most addicts soon gives way, typically, to depression: “I’ve been listening all day,” she tells her husband, “and it’s so depressing. ” “Everyone’s been quarreling,” she says. “They’re all worried about money” (797).

The radio, which used to give pleasure, now gives only sorrow. In a very short time she has reached her “bottom,” and in doing so she has lost self-control: she can’t turn the radio off. Jim solves the problem by having the radio “fixed” at a cost of four hundred dollars (798). The price is expensive, not only financially, but also emotionally and spiritually, for now Jim complains about money problems and the two have an altercation about the subject. The old paranoia returns (“Please,” she tells him, “They’ll hear us,” 799); and Jim throws all her past hortcomings at her.

Disgraced and sickened” (799), she must now face real life, not only her own problems but those of the world (the “fire in a Catholic hospital for the care of blind children” and so on, 799). And, like all recovering addicts, she must face these problems without the help of her drug of choice, so to speak. By means of this obsession she has come to new knowledge about evil in the world, not unlike Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown after his night journey, and faced the truth about her own life. The world will never be the same for her.

Ethan Frome: Life As A Failure

Ethan Frome, the main character in the book entitled Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton, has many complex problems going on at the same time. His family has died and he has a wife that is continually sick, and the only form of happiness he has is from his wife’s cousin Mattie. This, however, at times proves to be hard because of Ethan’s wifes interference. Nothing seems to be going in Ethan’s favor. The main theme of the book is failure, and this is shown through marrying his wife, not being able to stand up to his wife, and his involvement concerning the “smash up.

The first way failure is shown in the book is through the marriage of Ethan and his wife. He married her because she had tried to help his mother recover from an illness, and once his mother died he could not bear the thought of living in the house alone. His wife was seven years his senior and always seemed to have some kind of illness. It seemed all she ever did was complain, and he resented this because it stifled his growing soul. Since his wife was continuously ill, and her cousin needed a place to stay, they took her in to help around the house.

Ethan took an immediate propensity to her cousin, Mattie, because she brought a bright light upon his dismal day. He seemed to have found someone that cared for him, was always happy and could share his youth, unlike his sickly wife who always nagged him. He longed to be with Mattie, however he had loyalty to his wife. Being married to the wrong person proved to be Ethan’s first failure. Ethan’s second failure was not being able to stand up against his wife. His wife claimed that a new doctor said that she was extremely sick, and needed more help around the house.

She told him without any discussion that Mattie had to go. Ethan could not find the words to make her alter her decision. His wife also decided that Mattie had to leave the next day itself and Ethan could not do anything about it. It was stated in the book that his wife had the upper hand in the house by the line “Now she [his wife] had mastered him [Ethan] and he obeyed her. ” Ethan just could not find the right things to say and it was because of his failure of not being able to stand up to his wife, he was going to lose the only thing that made him happy.

Ethan’s last failure was the way he modified his and Mattie’s lives regarding the “smash up. ” He so desperately wanted to run away with Mattie, but he could not because his practical sense told him it was not feasible to do so. Mattie wanted so desperately to be with Ethan, that she suggested in order to stay together forever, was to die together. It was Ethan’s job to steer into the tree with the sled so that it looked like an accidental death instead of suicide. Instead of running square into the tree, he did not hit the tree right and it did not kill either of them.

Instead it just injured them , and these injuries stayed with them forever. In this way Ethan had his last failure in not exceeding to die with his love, instead he had to live with the guilt from his wife, the injured Mattie, and broken dreams. In these three ways, of marrying the wrong person, not being able to stand up to his wife, and incidents that come from the smash up, proves that the main theme of the book is failure. It seemed that everything Ethan tried to do, worked against his favor. With all the incidents that happened it seemed inevitable that his life would always be a string of failure.

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington is an extremely well written and insightful book. Samuel P. Huntington is the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University, director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, the chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, and the president of the American Political Science Association. During the Carter administration, Huntington was the director of security planning for the National Security Council.

He is also the founder and coeditor of the highly regarded international affairs publication, Foreign Policy. In 1993 Samuel P. Huntington wrote an article for the respected journal Foreign Affairs titled The Clash of Civilizations?. This article was very controversial and stirred up much debate among scholars, politicians, and anyone interested in the future of international affairs. His book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, is a more detailed exploration of the ideas and predictions put forth in his article.

Huntington believes that with the end of the Cold War, the world is divided along the borders of civilizations and religion rather than the boundaries of countries. He identifies eight clearly distinct civilizations: Western (the United States and western Europe), Islamic, Sinic (primarily China), Orthodox (primarily Russia), Japanese, Hindu, Latin American, and African. A pervasive presumption in the Western world is that with the fall of communism, the West has won and that the rest of the world will now embrace democracy and Western culture.

Huntington disagrees with this presumption. In his book, Huntington shows us how civilizations and cultural identities are shaping the post-Cold War world. In the first part of the book, Huntington describes how the world has gone from being bipolar during the Cold War, to being multipolar in the post-Cold War era. During the Cold War the world was basically divided along the lines of the democracy vs. communism conflict. Now that the Cold War is over, lines are being drawn along various ethnic and religious lines.

Huntington uses many diverse examples such as the fighting between tribes and clans in Rwanda and Somalia, the clash of ethnic groups in Bosnia, and the conflicts in Sri Lanka, India, and Sudan. Throughout his book, for each concept put forth, Huntington gives detailed examples and illustrations. Huntington goes on to explain in Part II how the West is declining in power and influence. He emphasizes that although the West is still strong and growing in many areas, other civilizations are growing at a faster rate.

Asian civilizations are booming both economically and in their military strength and the Muslim culture is spreading demographically, while the West is becoming increasingly preoccupied with its own internal problems such as crime, government deficits, drug abuse, and a declining work ethic. Huntington uses graphs and charts very effectively in this section of his book to visually depict the decline of the Wests population, territory, and economic influence.

Also in this section, the concept of modernization vs. Westernization is discussed. Many cultures desire to become modern, but without the negative trappings of Western civilization such as the perceived lack of morals and weak work ethic of Westerners, and the primarily Western concept of the separation between church and state. Modernization was once equated with Westernization but, according to Huntington, this is now not always the case. His examples include the Japanese and Islamic cultures.

In Japan there has been a return to traditional Asian culture due to the prevailing belief that their economic prosperity is directly linked to their traditional culture and that the problems of the U. S. are linked to our Western culture. Islamic leaders have expressed similar attitudes as well, and Huntington goes into great detail discussing this Islamic Resurgence. Muslims are putting more emphasis on their traditional Islamic cultural mores and are going to great lengths to keep out Western influence while still modernizing and keeping up with technology.

Part III of this book discusses the authors view on the way that the civilizations of the world are aligning themselves with one another along religious and cultural lines. He gives, for example, Orthodox Belarus and Moldova aligning with Russia; Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore developing close relations with China; and the developing relationships within the Balkans. Huntington also notes the increasing economic cooperation and the development of numerous economic and trade unions among states of similar cultures.

Again, Huntington goes into great detail giving examples of these alliances. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the Central American Common Market are all examples cited by Huntington of the growing cooperation between countries with similar cultures. In the authors words, In the past the patterns of trade among nations have followed and paralleled the patterns of alliance among nations. In the emerging world, patterns of trade will be decisively influenced by the patterns of culture.

Part IV of The Clash of Civilizations contains the most engaging and perspicacious chapters in the book. It is here that Huntington gives his thoughts on, as he puts it, The West and the Rest. Huntington believes that it is the Wests penchant for meddling in the affairs of others that will make for dangerous clashes between civilizations in the not-too-distant future. As Huntington prognosticates in Chapter 8, The dangerous clashes of the future are likely to arise from the interaction of Western arrogance, Islamic intolerance, and Sinic assertiveness.

Another intriguing area that Huntington delves into in this chapter is the growing relationship between Islamic and Sinic states. He states that even though Sinic and Islamic cultures have very little in common (probably even less than either has in common with the West) they have cooperated on a variety of issues. As Huntington puts it In Politics a common enemy creates a common interest. This cooperation has occurred on issues such as human rights, economics, and in particular, the development of weapons of mass destruction to counter the conventional military superiority of the West.

The author cites the Confucian-Islamic connection between China and North Korea on the one hand and Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Algeria on the other as an example of Sinic and Islamic states cooperating to counter the West on these issues. In Part V of his book, Samuel Huntington presents some very interesting, yet troubling, ideas about the future of Western civilization and the United States in particular. In these final chapters, Huntington speculates that it is the internal problems in the Western countries that will eventually lead to their downfall.

He believes that the decay of the morals and values within the populations of the United States and many European countries will weaken these countries and leave them open to barbarian invaders from younger, more powerful civilizations. Huntington points out the following examples as evidence of the moral decline of the West:

1. An increase in crime, drug use, and violence. 2. The decay of the family; i. e. , increases in divorce rates, teen-age pregnancies, illegitimacy, and single-parent families. 3. A weakened work ethic coupled with an increase in personal indulgence. 4. A decrease in the levels of intellectual activity and scholarly achievement.

Huntington also cites the rejection of assimilation by immigrants as a problem within Western societies. Muslims in Europe and Hispanics in the United States are cited as examples of this phenomenon in which immigrants adhere to and propagate the values and customs of their home culture. This failure to assimilate in the West, according to Huntington, will cause these countries to become cleft countries, divided along cultural lines. Samuel Huntington also attacks multiculturalism as a threat to the United States.

He states that multiculturalists have denied the existence of a common American culture, and promoted racial, ethnic, and other subnational cultural identities and groupings and have attacked the identification of the United States with Western civilization. He accuses President Clinton and the federal government of promoting this diversity rather than unity. Huntington believes that trying to create a country made up of many civilizations will only weaken the United States and damage its cohesiveness, dividing it from the rest of Western civilization.

If the United States is pulled away from the rest of Western civilization, the West will be reduced to Europe and a few scattered settler countries. Huntington has a prescription to correct the problems that face the West. First, the United States and Europe must renew their moral life and reject the declining morality in Western societies. They must also build on the cultural commonality between European countries and the United States. Huntington also suggests that Western countries must develop economic and political ties to match their collaborated dedication to security issues.

He states that an increased political and economic unity among Western nations will offset the relative decline in their share of the worlds population and economic influence. In summary, Huntington believes that the future of the world depends on understanding and cooperation between the leaders of the worlds civilizations. He is a realist and believes that clashes between civilizations will be the greatest threat to world peace and stability.

Throughout The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order Huntington gives numerous persuasive arguments to convince his audience that he is correct. Huntington has a writing style that is precise and direct. His mastery of the subject is obvious and his use of facts and examples to prove his point is very convincing. This book is a very important text and is recommended to anyone who is involved in the study of international relations or is interested in the current state of world politics.

The Book of Sand by Jorge Luis

Jorge Luis Borges is a famous Spanish author, known best for his short stories. In this paper, I will discuss several short stories written by Mr. Borges, what influenced him in his writings, and a brief history of his place of origin, Argentina. Borges’ The Book of Sand is the story of a man who is visited by a stranger trying to sell a “holy book” called the Book of Sand. The narrator looks at the book and is unable to see the first or last pages of it because, as the stranger explains, the number of pages is infinite.

The narrator is fascinated by the book and buys it, only to become obsessed with it, until the point that it is all he thinks about. He eventually gets rid of it by mixing it up in a pile of many other books in his basement. As will be discussed in this paper, Borges wrote philosophy in a lot of his works. In The Book of Sand, infinity is depicted in the form of a mysterious book. It symbolizes man’s constant search for the world’s existence. Borges is saying that it is an endless search and therefore pointless. The Other is the story of Borges sitting on a bench, as he feels as though he had lived that moment already.

He begins to speak to the man seated besides him, and finds out the stranger has the same name, and the same address as he does. When Borges asks the man what year it is, the man answers 1918, even though it is 1969. It is then that the narrator figures out he is talking to the person whom he was fifty-one years earlier. He then tells “the other” him of the future, after which they part, knowing they will never meet like this again. This story deals with time. The author is very nostalgic and lives for his memories. It also is a philosophical story where Borges expresses his doubt that we all may “just be an image of a greater being”.

The Mirror and the Mask is the story of an Irish king who tells a poet to write a poem describing his power. The poet wrote a praise of his fighting success, and in reward for the excellent poem, the king gives the poet a beautiful mirror and tells him to write another poem. In reward for his next work, the king gives the poet a mask. The king then asks for a third poem and receives a one line poem of perfection and in return gives him an elaborate dagger. The poet feels it to be a sin to hear such perfection and so he stabs himself with the dagger.

The king also feels he has done wrong and becomes a beggar in his own kingdom never to repeat the poem again. What Borges is saying in this story is that should not try to understand G-d because he is unable to comprehend Him. He claims that “man’s quest for truth is an utterly vain task”. Jorge Luis Borges was born August 24, 1899 to a financially comfortable family in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His father was a writer, a professor of psychology, and modern languages. He learned at home with a tutor until he was nine and began to learn English at home from his father, who always encouraged him to write.

He came from a very literate family, and shared much cherished time with his father’s books. Borges once said “for years I believed I had been brought up in a suburb of Buenos Aires, a suburb of dangerous streets and conspicuous sunsets. What is certain is that I was brought up in a garden, behind lanceolate iron railings, in a library of unlimited English books. “(Here, he was referring to his father’s library) He was also greatly influenced by published poets and writers who were friends of the family and often visited.

In 1914, before World War I, Borges’ family went to Europe where they traveled until the war was over. During these years of traveling, Borges, in his teenage years, depended a lot on the company of his readings (mainly German philosophy and poetry). When his family returned to Buenos Aires, they were greeted by a more economically flourishing and modernized (due to European immigrants) home. Researchers note that many of Borges’ poems centered on the older sections of the city, as if he is trying to recapture the “essence of a world that was disappearing before him”.

By the early 1920’s, Borges had joined a group of young writers and he undertook the publication of a literary review. He wrote in “Prisma” , a magazine of art and poetry. He also associated alot with and was greatly influenced by Macedonio Fernandez, an “eccentric humorist-philosopher”. He was influenced by Fernandez’s view of the world and of intellectuals. In 1924, he wrote for the “Martin Fierro” review, that believed in “art for the sake of art”. This is where he first becomes famous, and in fact, it was for prose and not poetry.

He also wrote with a group called “ultraistas” who attempted to establish “correspondence between sound and color”. Borges learned there to “reduce lyricism to metaphor, combine several images into one, and rid of wordy, ‘poetic’ style”. He studied and wrote alot on mysteries of the world, it’s existence, and how it came to be. A theme of time exists through many of Borges’ writings (as you can see in the stories discussed earlier). Some say the traumatic return to Buenos Aires and his shy personality may be reasons for his interest in eternity and his desire for control of time.

He admits in his poems that time moves on, the world changes, that he will grow old, and that the past is gone forever. He says that one can only rely on their memories (as he expresses in The Other). In his fifties, Borges becomes blind, but continues to lecture in colleges and conferences around the world. During his lifetime, Borges was nominated several times for the Noble Prize in Literature. He wrote alot of short stories, literary reviews (based on books that never existed), poems and more. Although he passed away on June 14, 1986, his writings live on to be shared with all generations.

When Borges was born, Hipolito Yrigoyen headed the Radical Civic Union. General Roca was president at that time and he defended the middle class (which was what Borges was). Argentina had alot of trade with Britain and helped the economy to flourish. The people became more educated. As you can see, Borges’ greatest influences were his childhood, familial background, and people he met while starting to write. Borges writings are enjoyable and thought provoking. I definitely recommend it to people interested in philosophy.

The Boggart by Susan Cooper

Have you ever wondered how great it would be to inherit a castle in Scotland? What if it was haunted by a sprit called a Boggart? The book I read called The Boggart by Susan Cooper is a story based on something like that happening. The main story takes place in Toronto, Canada. The Volink family inherited a castle in Scotland from Mr. McDevon the mother’s uncle. The two children in the story are Emily and Jessup. Emily is the oldest. She is smart brave and very sensitive towards the Boggart, once she understood him. Jessup is very smart, loves computers, and was a member of a computer gang called the Gang 5.

The parents of Emily and Jessup were Robert and Maggie Volink. Robert works in the theater and Maggie owns and runs an antique store. The Volink family were excited and amazed that they inherited a castle. But what the Volink’s did not know was that a spirit called a Boggart lived there. The Boggart is a sprit that is neither good or bad. He mainly plays practical jokes on people. It is like a little child that can be friendly towards mortals. Boggarts cannot be seen or heard.. The Volink family sold the castle right away because it would be to expensive to keep. Emily and Jessup kept two pieces of furniture to bring home.

What they didn’t realize was that a Boggart was sleeping in the desk they took home. When the Boggart got up he realized he was no longer home in Scotland in his castle. As the Boggart got comfortable he began his practical jokes in Toronto. He would take Mr. Volinks razor and hide it. The Boggart would hide the razor in such a place that Mrs. Volink would find it; making Mr. Volink believe that his wife had taken it. Jessup and Emily didn’t realize a Boggart was in the house until the Boggart ate Jessup’s lunch. What had happened was that the Boggart had gotten trapped in Jessup’s lunch box.

When Jessup opened the lunch box their was no lunch. Jessup figured someone stole his lunch. But, later that day at hockey practice a puck was shot at Jessup’s face mask which the Boggart was hiding in. When the puck hit the mask the Boggart evaporated into a green gas. Jessup didn’t know what to think so, he told his sister Emily what had happened. Emily told Willie a Scottish actor about it. He told them that it was a Boggart and explained to her what it was. The Boggart played many tricks which caused the children to get punished. Emily couldn’t take it anymore. As a punishment the kids had to clean their mothers antique store.

Emily explained to Jessup about the Boggart, that was getting them into so much trouble. That’s when the Boggart realized that they knew about him. The Boggart was so delighted that he made things float and dolls dance in the shop. A customer walked in called Doctor Stigmore and couldn’t believe his eyes. He told Mrs. Volink, and she spoke to Emily. Emily tried to explain to her mother that it wasn’t her but the Boggart. Her mother didn’t believe her so she asked Dr. Stigmore to help because she thought Emily was sick. This caused the Boggart to become angry with Dr. Sigmore for bothering Emily.

The Boggart threw things around in Emily’s room when he came to visit her. When the Doctor left the Boggart realized how homesick he was. He needed to find a way to tell Jessup and Emily. The following day Jessup was playing a game on his computer called The Black Hole. Suddenly a blue flame appeared on the screen with the rocket. The flame followed the rocket into the black hole. Emily and Jessup thought they lost the Boggart forever. They really didn’t he was waiting for them further into the game. When they found him he was able to spell out a message that said that he wanted to go home to Scotland. Jessup came up with a great idea.

They copied the game with the Boggart in it on to a computer disk and sent it to their friend Tommy in Scotland. Tommy downloaded the disk and released the Boggart. The Boggart was glad to be home at his castle with his new family the Maconochies. One of the things I can relate to in the book is how difficult it may sometimes be to improve your innocence. For example when Emily and Jessup’s mother thought they were playing all the tricks. It was hard for them to prove that it was the Boggart and not them. I enjoyed reading this novel because it was funny. My favorite character was the Boggart because he was funny and played many tricks.

Robert Johnsons book Death Work

In Robert Johnsons book Death Work, he discusses his strong argument against the death penalty. He raises several key points that question the morality of executions. He suggests that executions are cruel and unusual punishment, inhumane, and have negative effects on all people involved. To understand the death penalty, one must realize that it is a process that lasts much longer than the time it takes to hit the switch on the chair. In America today, the process usually lasts at least five years. The main goal of all death rows is the storage of bodies until they are ready to be killed.

This is where the cruel and inhumane treatment begins. The prisoners are treated as animals that are ready to be killed for meat. There is no privacy for these prisoners. They are watched very closely day and night. Due to their treatment and inevitable termination, inmates become in a state of complete powerlessness and emotional destruction. The terrible environments of death row confinement demoralize their inhabitants as a direct function of the settings emphasis on custodial repression. Death row inmates also suffer from loneliness and vulnerability.

The prisoners feel abandoned by the prison staff, treated like animals who are denied any kind of human compassion, and even treated like they have already died. They are sometimes chained to objects and stored in a completely desolate cell with no resemblance of human life. They live in an isolated hellish environment where they know that society has already decided that they no longer deserve to be alive. Since they are defenseless and totally alone, prisoners feel vulnerable to physical and mentally abuse from the officers.

To sum up life on death row, they give up on life as we normally know it. They exist rather than live. Besides the terrible treatment of the prisoners, the officers who participate in the death watch as well as the executioner also are affected negatively by the death penalty. It is difficult for the officers to consider their work just a job when they monitor such a terrible lifestyle as well as witnessing the execution. For the most part, relations between guards and inmates are generally either extremely hostile or non-existent with little contact.

To a great extent, fear is a problem for the officers. Monitoring the hostile life of convicted murderers is a scary task. In some cases, officers fear the prisoners threat of taking them hostage. Another fear is that a nervous officer will open the wrong door at the wrong time, hence leaving an opening for several prisoners to harm another officer. These fears are just part of the emotional anguish that prison guards suffer in their work. Although many claim that it is just a job, the death watch is something that affects prison guards mentally at all times.

Especially after reading this book, I am definitely in agreement with Johnsons arguments against the death penalty. Although it is the ultimate deterrent for could-be murderers, the negative impact on all involved outweighs the deterrence. I believe that death row inmates are treated like animals. These animals live in the most inadequate and harsh conditions until they are taken to the slaughterhouse. I believe that nobody deserves the inhumane treatment that is received by death row inmates.

When discussing the bathing procedures on death row, social scientists Jackson and Christian claim that a prisoner is being showered rather than taking a shower. Even in cases where guards treat the inmates in a fairly decent manner, life in solitary confinement is terrible. As one inmate said, We know within ourselves that no matter how courteous a guard tries to be to us, we know what he will do in the end. I think that the psychological burden on the officers is extremely severe.

They have to watch the prisoners closely at all times when they everyone involved is aware of the eventual end. I also believe that the decision of whether or not a criminal deserves the death penalty is very questionable. I dont think that there is a fine line between the severity of crimes that result in execution and those that do not. I believe that the decisions are often inconsistent and diseased with racism and discrimination. I am not sure how the correctional system would adapt to the removal of the death penalty, but I know that nobody should be exposed to this process.

Failure in Ethan Frome

The main theme of the book Ethan Frome is failure. It is shown in three ways throughout the story: Ethan’s marriage, him not being able to stand up to Zeena, and his involvement in the “smash up”. Ethan marries Zeena so he won’t be alone after his mother dies. She seemed like a very cheerful, vivacious person while his mother was sick. After their marriage all this changed. She became a very nagging, sick wife. Because of Zeena’s “complications” they had to hire someone to help around the house.

Mattie, Zeena’s cousin, needed a place to live and seemed fit for the job. She moved in and Ethan took and immediate liking to her. He found someone that cared for him, was always happy, and could share his youth. All of which, Zeena was incapable of doing. Ethan longed to be with Mattie, but he was loyal to Zeena. Being married to Zeena was Ethan’s first failure. Ethan’s second failure was not standing up to Zeena. She claimed the doctor said that she was extremely sick and needed more help around the house.

She told him without any discussion that Mattie had to go. Ethan could not find the words to make her alter her decision. Zeena also decided that Mattie had to leave the next day. It was stated in the book that Zeena had the upper hand in the house by the line “Now she [Zeena] had mastered him [Ethan] and he obeyed her. ” Ethan could not find the right things to say, and it was because of his failure of not being able to stand up to his wife that he was going to lose the only thing that made him happy.

Ethan’s last failure was the way he modified his and Mattie’s lives regarding the “smash up”. He wanted to run away with Mattie, but he could not because his practical sense told him it was not feasible to do so. Mattie wanted so desperately to be with Ethan that she suggested in order to stay together forever, to die together. It was Ethan’s job to steer into the tree with the sled so that it looked like an accidental death.

He did not hit the tree right and it did not kill either of them. Instead it injured them, and these injuries stayed with them forever. In this way, Ethan had his last failure in not exceeding to die with his love. Now he had to live with the guilt from his wife, the injured Mattie, and broken dreams. Everything Ethan tried to do worked against his favor. With all the incidents that happened it seemed inevitable that his life would always be a string of failure.

The story Giovanni and Lusanna

In the story Giovanni and Lusanna , written and researched by Gene Brucker, there is a woman who has taken her alleged husband to court, because he has married another woman. The story is a factual account of what transpired during this court case and the remainder of Giovannis life. There are several similarities between their world and ours, but for the most part we live in a totally different environment. Our standards of living have greatly improved, but more than that our society has grown more tolerant toward the people who deviate from everyday standards.

The story starts out with Lusanna as a married woman who caught the ye of a wealthy young man named Giovanni. As time wore on they allegedly fell in love and enjoyed all of the pleasures of their love. It was later claimed by Lusanna that Giovanni had promised to marry her in the event of her husbands death. Her husband soon died a questionable death that left open the possibility of poison. Unlike todays world divorce was unheard of, and unacceptable.

Giovanni then refused to marry her in a public wedding because his social status would be greatly hurt to marry some one in the working class of Florence. This is another example of why todays society is so much different from how it was when they lived. Another strange thing about their society is the open humiliation that people were subjected to. It was said that Lusanna first husband was called a cuckold to his face. People who were said to earn money in a dirty fashion often had blood or paint thrown on their steps.

These kinds of things are just not normal or permitted in todays world. It is true that they do sometimes occur, but the responsible party often ends up looking worse that the person they were trying to hurt. Lusanna was said to have had several lovers. She was not able to become pregnant due to medical problems. This pretty much left her ree to have unprotected sex with as many lovers as she wanted. It is true that there are women today with this same type of free love attitude, but there are serious consequences in todays world that will greatly hamper such a life style.

One thing that is very similar about their time and todays world in the fact that women will condemn each other for being guilty of immoral acts. It seemed as though many of the women in this story were aganist Lusanna because of her actions. There is no question that women in todays world act in a very similar manner. A difference about women in this day in age is that they have ea great deal more freedom. It was said in the book that a woman was not supposed to look a man in the eye while in public.

They were with out question second class citizens. In this story Giovanni ended up having his way probably because of who he knew and what family he was a member of. In this world, no matter when or where a person lives, the upper class will always have the power. The fact is, money is power, and with the greed that is naturally built into every human, money will consistently come out on top. It is very true that there are some similarities between this time and that one, but it should be apparent that people of todays world have socially evolved.

The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz

Duddy’s obsession with land lies within his grandfather, Simcha. When Duddy was small, he spoke those unforgettable words to him, “A man without land is nobody. ” When it seemed as if nobody cared or respected him, Simcha did. Duddy did not receive the same kind of love from his father or uncle as Lennie did. When Duddy comes back from work at, he asks, “Why [Max] didn’t answer any of [his] letters? ” He replies he wasn’t “one for letters. “”But Duddy remembered that when Lennie had worked as a camp counsellor one summer his father had written every week.

He had driven out to visit him twice. “(pp. 104 & 105)Duddy did not have the same kind of affection and devotion Lennie and Max shared. The same situation came from his uncle, Benjy. At first sight, Benjy described him as having a “thin crafty face, the quick black eyes and the restlessness… the grain so shrewd and knowing, all made a bad impression on Uncle Benjy. ” (p. 61) Benjy supported Lennie, giving him money for his education. With the exception of Simcha, he had no other parental support which is the reason why Simcha words had such a great effect on him.

Duddy gains what he had wanted in its acquisition, respect. Everyone except Simcha, Mr. MacPherson, and Uncle Benjy thought he was going to be a nobody. He wanted so much to prove them wrong and he has. We may say he has gained self assurance, restating the fact he was a somebody important. Since his days at Fletcher’s Field High School, he ran a gang based on respect, not friendship. Things do not change when he becomes an adult. Virgil is just one of the people Duddy uses to get money for his land.

He feels no grief for hurting his so called friends because he has never experienced true friendship. His purchasing of land would push him into higher step in society. What he gains is nothing compared to what he loses. Duddy has lost his innocence. No longer is he the pure and naive boy as before, but now a corrupt, immoral man. Duddy has chosen a life without conscience or goodness, beginning a life with no morals and corrupt “friends. ” He does not think twice to people he has hurt which displays the deterioration of his character.

He has traded morality for destructive materialistic values. Simcha believed in him but now looks at him in shame for he knows the respect he will gain is shallow. The strangers who respect him look at his money, not at his heart. To Simcha, money is not everything. He has lived a life based on respect but for character, not riches. Simcha’s words have impacted Duddy’s life but not in the way he wanted, never like this in his darkest nightmares. There is no more respect towards Duddy in Simcha’s eyes but in this twisted world, respect from the overall public.

Duddy knows of Simcha disapproves of his actions but at the end, he does not care, he thinks everything will be all right. This is the kind of person he has turned out to be. Someone who does not understand what is wrong from right. His conscience feels nothing, not even for the person who truly supported him from the start. If this is how his mind works for someone he loves, it frightening to think how his treats someone he hates. He loses the meaning of respect and decency and gains a numbness to corruption. Simcha’s ironic words gained Duddy land but made him a heartless criminal.

The Green Mile

John Coffey is similar to many different figures. John Coffey worked miracles just like Jesus. John suffered racism like Uncle Tom. John Coffey was a person of total goodness just like Siddhartha. John Coffey was one of God’s great gifts you could say. John Coffey had many great qualities like Siddhartha. John Coffey never judged people. Both Siddhartha and John were very genuine to others. John had a pure heart and wanted to share his gift of being able to bring people back from the dead and being able to heal them.

Siddhartha wanted share his gift and get to know people through his travels. Even though slavery did not exist any more, there still was racism towards African Americans. Uncle Tom and John are both black men who were working for the good of others. Tom was a slave and so was John but they put that behind them so they could let others know they were worth more then just their labor. These two men lived their lives with the goal of helping others. We have always thought that no one but Jesus could work miracles, but Green Mile is also a story of miracles.

When Jesus was alive he performed many miracles as did John Coffey when he was on the Green Mile. During both of these men’s lives they were out to help everyone. The main thing that these two men did was work miracles to bring people back from an illness or even the dead. These men were two of the best miracle workers and people would remember it for a while. Above are four men who made a great impression on the world. John was as genuine as Siddhartha. John was also a victim like Uncle Tom. John worked miracles like Jesus. These men were out to help and be kind to the people they met.

The role of the narrator in Oroonoko

In Oroonoko, Behn establishes her authority within the opening lines and consistently reminds her audience of her position as narrator by mentioning her personal role in the story. In the second paragraph, Behn establishes this authority by saying, I was myself an eyewitness to a great part of what you will find here set down, and what I could not be witness of, I received from the mouth of the chief actor in this history, the hero himself who gave us the whole transactions of his youth… (1867) In this passage, Behn uses first person and testifies that she was indeed a personal acquaintance of Oroonoko.

She also says that Oroonoko gave her his life history from his own mouth. The rest of Oroonoko, Behn was herself, an eyewitness. This also means that the author and the narrator are one single entity. Behn acknowledges that it is she who writes this story, through her own narration. In other words, the narrator is not a character of the story, but the authoritative author. Throughout the first half of the story, Behn maintains an aura of authority through various devices. She speaks to her readers almost as if in an informal conversation, using contractions such as “’em”.

Behn also frequently uses asides such as in the following, “There is a certain ceremony in these cases to be observed, which I forgot to ask him how performed; but ’twas concluded on both sides that, in obedience to him… ” (1872) In this Behn draws her readers into an intimate account of a personal story. To strengthen her position, Behn’s account is wrought with detail. One would assume that the readers of her time would be quite unfamiliar with her subject matter, so she seeks to enlighten with descriptions of detail. For example, Behn describes Oroonoko, “[h]e was pretty tall, but of a shape the most exact that can be fancied.

The most famous statuary could not form the figure…. His face was not of that brown, rusty black which most of that nation are, but a perfect ebony or polished jet. His eyes were the most awful that could be seen, and very piercing, the white of ’em being like snow, as were his teeth. His nose was rising and Roman, instead of African and flat; his mouth the finest shaped that could be seen… “(1871) Without this detail that Behn paints, her readers could not have such a clear picture, but because she was there, she has taken it upon herself to provide her audience with a clear image.

Behn also made a statement about Christianity by comparing Oroonokos morality with that of the Christian men. For the captain had protested to him upon the word of a Christian, and sworn in the name of a great God, which he should violate, he would expect eternal torment in the world to come. ” Behn then includes Oroonoko’s retort, “Let him know I swear by my honor; which to violate, would not only render me contemptible and despised by all brave and honest men… ” (1886) Through Behn’s depiction of the two men, the captain and Oroonoko, she expresses the contrasting moral values, thus making a strong point about her own culture.

As the author and narrator, she exercises her authority to do so, making simultaneously, a point about her position of authority. Had she not been able to represent, in herself, a position of authority, she would not have taken such a stance. Finally, in the closing lines of her story, Behn acknowledges that she, “by the reputation of her pen” has the authority to convey such a story. In those innocent six words, Behn not only acknowledges her authority of Oroonoko’s story, but her own greatness as author as well.

The Feminine Mystique

The Feminine Mystique is the title of a book written by Betty Friedan who also founded The National Organization for Women (NOW) to help US women gain equal rights. She describes the “feminine mystique” as the heightened awareness of the expectations of women and how each woman has to fit a certain role as a little girl, an uneducated and unemployed teenager, and finally as a wife and mother who is to happily clean the kitchen and cook things all day.

After World War II, a lot of women’s organizations began to appear with the goal of bringing the issues of equal rights into the limelight. The stereotype even came down to the color of a woman’s hair. Many women wished that they could be blonde because that was the ideal hair color. In The Feminine Mystique, Friedan writes that “across America, three out of every ten women dyed their hair blonde ” (Kerber/DeHart 514). This serves as an example of how there was such a push for women to fit a certain mold which was portrayed as the role of women.

Blacks were naturally excluded from the notion of ideal women and they suffered additional discrimination which was even greater than that which the white women suffered from. In addition to hair color, women often went to great lengths to achieve a thin figure. The look that women were striving for was the look of the thin model. Many women wore tight, uncomfortable clothing in order to create the illusion of being thinner and some even took pills that were supposed to make them lose weight.

The role of women was to find a husband to support the family that they would raise. Many women dropped out of college or never went in the first place because they were lead to believe that working outside of the home was for men nd that it would not be feminine for them to get jobs and be single without a husband or children to take care of. An enormous problem for women was the psychological stress of dealing with this role that was presented to them.

The happily married, perpetually baking, eternally mopping, Donna Reed that lived in every house on the block with her hard working husband and her twelve children that existed in the media made women feel that there was something wrong with them if they didn’t enjoy their housewife lifestyle. And it was not easy for women to deal with this problem. As Betty Friedan writes in The Feminine Mystique, “For over fifteen years women in America found it harder to talk about this problem than about sex. (Kerber/DeHart 515).

Many psychiatrists were baffled and the problem was often ignored with no known solution because everyone found it to not make any sense. Women of low economic status also struggled a great deal because they had to deal with the problems associated with a single income household which could become very frustrating when she has every reason to get a job, but cannot. It is also harder to raise children with a low income and provide for the amily as she was expected to. It is interesting to apply the notion of the feminine mystique to modern culture and see that it often still exists.

Though there are many women who are getting jobs, there are still a lot of families that fit the mold of the traditional family with the breadwinner and the bread baker with bunch of kids running around. The benefits which arose from this oppression were that women began to fight back. NOW activists began to use both traditional and non-traditional means to push for social change. They have done and continue to do extensive lectoral and lobbying work in addition to organizing mass marches, rallies, pickets, and counter-demonstrations.

NOW re-instituted mass marches for women’s rights in the face of conventional wisdom that marches were a technique that died out with the 1960s. A march in support of the Equal Rights Amendment drew more than 100,000 people to Washington, DC in 1978. NOW’s March for Women’s Lives in 1992 became the largest protest ever in the capital. One of the ways that women’s lives and experiences have been divided is through discrimination based on sexual orientation. The 1960’s fueled a lot of strong movements and the Gay Rights Movement was one of the many that came out of this decade.

Gaining a lot of momentum from the ideas of acceptance and equality sparked by the Civil Rights Movement, the Gay Rights Movement set out to achieve acceptance in the general population. A primary historical event involving homosexuality is the Stonewall Riot which grew out of a police raid in a gay bar in June of 1969. This event sparked a chain reaction which resulted in the Gay Rights Movement. The effects of the Gay Rights Movement still exist oday with a wider acceptance of homosexuality and the existence of many homosexual organizations which promote homosexual support.

The basic goals of the movement were to eliminate the laws which prohibited homosexual activity, provide equal housing and employment opportunities for homosexuals, and to create a wider acceptance among the heterosexual community. Still there was a lot of opposition to those who accepted homosexuality. Still there was a lot of oppression felt by lesbian women, even among the homosexual realm. In 1971 NOW became the first major national women’s rganization to support lesbian rights. It has been one of the organization’s priority issues since 1975, and was the theme of national conferences in 1984 and 1988.

Through the years, NOW activists have challenged anti-lesbian and gay laws and ballot initiatives in many states. Over 15 years ago, NOW gave strong support to a landmark 1979 case, Belmont v. Belmont, that defined lesbian partners as a nurturing family and awarded a lesbian mother custody of her two children. The plaintiff in that case, Rosemary Dempsey, is NOW’s Action Vice- President. A lot of people still are afraid to show support for homosexual organizations. Within the religious community lies the largest of debates regarding the issue of homosexuality.

The majority of the Christian leaders reject homosexuality and define it as a sin that must be dealt with. Yet the greatest debate exists between disagreeing Christian leaders. Some denominations permit homosexual pastors to lead their churches, which is offensive to those who are opposed to it, while others neither condone nor reject the issue. This is especially important for lesbian women who wish to be hurch leaders because they have to face those who claim that, not only should they forbid homosexual pastors, but that women should not be allowed to take leadership positions in the church.

When the era of the Gay Rights Movement is compared with the silence that was required of homosexuals during the colonial period, it becomes apparent that there have been great advances through history. Lesbian women were forced to repress their sexuality and get married in order to live a “normal” life. Even after homosexuality began it’s emergence in the 1970s, lesbianism as often forgotten somewhere among the controversy.

In the words of feminist author Kate Millett in her book, Sexual Politics which was written in 1970, “‘Lesbianism’ would appear to be so little a threat at the moment that it is hardly ever mentioned Whatever its potentiality in sexual politics, female homosexuality is currently so dead an issue that while male homosexuality gains a grudging tolerance, in women the event is observed in scorn or in silence (pt. 3, ch. 8). ” There seems to be no distinction made between homosexual men and homosexual women in the media and this causes another form of separation.

A Jest of God

An important ingredient inherent in a successful mother-daughter relationship is balance. Like the scales of justice, maintaining equilibrium requires work. The special bond between mother and daughter is delicate and unlike any other relationship due to expectations of performance on behalf of both women. The female psyche is, characteristically, particular: each woman having a certain regiment making themselves unique. Ideals and behavior learned, possibly inherited, from others are two of many things which carve an individual’s personality.

It is these similarities and differences which often cause conflicts between mother and daughter. In A Jest of God, the relationship between Rachel and her mother is strained due to unspoken expectations that each had of the other. Stemming from poor communication, a host of differences were assumed to exist between the two, when in fact their struggle originated in their sameness. The largest weapon which spear-headed the communication war between Rachel and her mother was the generation gap; coming from different eras, the pair assumed they had nothing in common.

In Rachel’s eyes her mother was a pristine, saintly woman who maintained high moral values for herself and her family. Therefore, being a good person and making the right decisions was never questionable to Rachel, as this was how her mother expected her to behave. Rachel listened numerous times to her mother comment on how “peculiar” her behavior looked, and spoke of anyone else she observed doing the same. Although this annoyed Rachel about her mother, she adopted similar paranoia tendencies, speculating how her behavior with Nick, a summer beau, looked to anyone who ould be watching or noticing.

Irritated by her mother’s attitude, Rachel excused it on the pretense that her views reflected the past times in which she lived. However, Rachel had neither the patience nor the desire to speak out against her mother for fear of stirring trouble between them. The irony in Rachel’s decision is that their relationship needed just what she was so desperately trying to avoid. By turning her back on the communication problem between herself and her mother, Rachel wanted to believe that the problem was inherent in the misunderstanding each had of the other.

Underneath her shell, Rachel was coming to terms with what was really true of the gap between herself and her mother: their difference lay in her want to not be similar. Both were single: Rachel unmarried and her mother a widow. Through her fling with Nick, Rachel wanted to express her desires to be independent from her mother, and have an adult relationship with another human being. Another similarity between the two women was in their propensity to be stubborn and secretive, having opinions they did not speak of but eluded to.

This stubbornness was evident in terms of eligious exploration as both were curious about faith. Rachel was more aggressive in her curiosity as evidenced in her visit the Tabernacle, however kept it a secret knowing her mother speculated about what good people saw in such activity. Yet another similarity both mother and daughter share was in their satisfaction at living in a small town. Following the death of her father, neither Rachel nor her mother were anxious to change their living pattern. Rachel was not blind to the similarities she had with her mother, but attempted to change herself in order to be different.

Like a teenager’s last rebellious actions before entering adulthood, Rachel’s actions during her last months in Manawaka symbolized the final fight to be different from her mother. Struggling to maintain a casual relationship with a man her mother would disapprove of, Rachel was forced to sneak around behind her mother’s back. Rachel’s mother seemingly had no trouble speaking her mind. Rachel tried to maintain her image as a proper, rule-abiding school teacher, and refused to speak to her principal about a troubling issue for fear he would lose respect for her.

When attending the Tabernacle, Rachel spoke in tongues and left not knowing what she revealed of herself, only that her mother would surely disapprove of what she had done. Making a public spectacle of herself was a fear Rachel shared with her mother, however the experience was liberating for her because she knew the news would disturb her mother. These outward actions by Rachel were demonstrative of her want to finish her spiritual growth, which was stunted by an overbearing mother, and her own fear of being the same way. Rachel remained a child well into her adult life.

This was evident in the way she spoke to herself, analyzing, and scrutinizing her own actions. The narrative tone was that of a motherly voice, likely evidence of the fear for what her mother would say, and reflective of who she was growing into. Rebelling against such growth is a natural progression for women because a strong sense of rivalry exists between mothers and daughters. The latter, eager to carve their own path, become distressed when they realize they are unable to choose something new for themselves because it has already been branded into hem from their mothers.

Such behavior is ritualistic and shows friendly competition between the wise and the wiser, as the former strive to prove themselves independent. It is an attempt by daughters to prove their ingenuity, and gain acceptance and approval from their mothers. Rachel realized this was occurring simultaneously with the reconciliation of her inner self, took charge of her independence and moved herself and her mother to the West Coast, at the end of the book. Gaining independence was a great triumph in Rachel’s life, and coincided ith the first building block in an attempt to bridge the communication gap between herself and her mother.

Taking charge of her life was something Rachel never felt compelled to do prior to the growing experience of her inner-self. As important as branching out on her own was, she was never before able to do this because she allowed herself to live under her mother’s protective wing. Although seeming to despise her mother for the qualities she unadmittingly possessed herself, Rachel was merely running from the truth, and failing to communicate only helped to reinforce this.

The Diary of Anne Frank

Anne Frank lived with her family in a pleasant house. For Anne and her sister, Margot, their early childhood was a sucure place inhabited by loving parents, relatives and nurses. However, the Nazis had gained power in some parts of Germany. The Nazis wanted all Jews to be killed. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, did not hestitate to wait for the Nazis to come into full power. In 1933, the Franks left Frankfort. Mrs. Frank and the two girls joined her mother in Aachen, near the Belgian border. Otto Frank went to Holland and started a business in food products. In the spring of 1934, the Franks reunited and settled in Amsterdam.

Anne Frank lived in Amsterdam happily, like she did in Frankfort. She attended Montessori School and had a host of friends. Her father, however, was still worried for in Germany the Nazis gained almost complete power. In 1940, the Germans envaded and conquered Holland. Anne’s life had changed by the Germans taking control. She could not go to her school, and was to attend the Jewish Lyceum. No Jews were allowed out on the streets at night. In 1941, the Germans had their first round-up of Jews in Amsterdam. 5 months later, the Germans summonded 16-year-old Margot Frank to report for deportation.

Otto Frank, however, had contact with Dutch friends, and were able to hide out in the attic of a house. The morning after Margot was summonded they left Amsterdam and went to the attic of the house called the Secret Annexe. In the Secret Annexe they were joined by the Van Daan family. There was Mr. and Mrs. Van Daan and their son Peter. Later, a eldery dentist, Alburt Dussel, was invited to share their refuge. The 8 Jews hid in the Secret Annexe for many years. Otto Frank’s Dutch friends, brought them food and even gifts. The news in the fall of 1942 was terrifying for the Franks.

The roundup of Jews from Holland was proceeding according to plan. While the Franks were in hiding, Germany was at the height of conquest. But of August 4, 1944, the Gestapo penetrated into the Frnak’s hiding place. The 8 Jews, together were taken to Gestapo headquaters in Amsterdam. The Franks, Van Daans, and Mr. Dussel were sent to Westbork. Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl was actually the diary of Anne Frank. Anne Frank was a girl who lived with her family during the time of while the Nazis took power. Anne Frank only kept her diary while hiding from the Nazis. This diary told the story of horror that the Nazis carried out.

Anne Frank hid from the Nazis for many years, writing what happened day by day in her life. Anne Frank was born on June 12, 1929, in the German city of Frankfort. She did not know what was happening at most times. Anne was not very intellegent, but her sister was an A student. Anne Frank had loving parents who supported her desisions. Otto Frank was a firm man who always believed that it was his job to look out for his family. He did anything to keep them safe. Otto was a respected business man. Sometimes he would get upset with Anne, but he always loved her. He was not strong, but tall. Otto loved his family.

The Revolt of the Poor – The Demise of Intellectual Property

Three years ago I published a book of short stories in Israel. The publishing house belongs to Israels leading (and exceedingly wealthy) newspaper. I signed a contract which stated that I am entitled to receive 8% of the income from the sales of the book after commissions payable to distributors, shops, etc. A few months later, I won the coveted Prize of the Ministry of Education (for short prose). The prize money (a few thousand DMs) was snatched by the publishing house on the legal grounds that all the money generated by the book belongs to them because they own the copyright.

In the mythology generated by capitalism to pacify the masses, the myth of intellectual property stands out. It goes like this : if the rights to intellectual property were not defined and enforced, commercial entrepreneurs would not have taken on the risks associated with publishing books, recording records and preparing multimedia products. As a result, creative people will have suffered because they will have found no way to make their works accessible to the public. Ultimately, it is the public which pays the price of piracy, goes the refrain. But this is factually untrue.

In the USA there is a very limited group of authors who actually live by their pen. Only select musicians eke out a living from their noisy vocation (most of them rock stars who own their labels George Michael had to fight Sony to do just that) and very few actors come close to deriving subsistence level income from their profession. All these can no longer be thought of as mostly creative people. Forced to defend thie intellectual property rights and the interests of Big Money, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Schwarzenegger and Grisham are businessmen at least as much as they are artists.

Economically and rationally, we should expect that the costlier a work of art is to produce and the narrower its market the more its intellectual property rights will be emphasized. Consider a publishing house. A book which costs 50,000 DM to produce with a potential audience of 1000 purchasers (certain academic texts are like this) would have to be priced at a a minimum of 100 DM to recoup only the direct costs. If illegally copied (thereby shrinking the potential market some people will prefer to buy the cheaper illegal copies) its price would have to go up prohibitively, thus driving out potential buyers.

The story is different if a book costs 10,000 DM to produce and is priced at 20 DM a copy with a potential readership of 1,000,000 readers. Piracy (illegal copying) will in this case have been more readily tolerated as a marginal phenomenon. This is the theory. But the facts are tellingly different. The less the cost of production (brought down by digital technologies) the fiercer the battle against piracy. The bigger the market the more pressure is applied to clamp down on the samizdat entrepreneurs.

Governments, from China to Macedonia, are introducing intellectual property laws (under pressure from rich world countries) and enforcing them belatedly. But where one factory is closed on shore (as has been the case in mainland China) two sprout off shore (as is the case in Hong Kong and in Bulgaria). But this defies logic : the market today is huge, the costs of production and lower (with the exception of the music and film industries), the marketing channels more numerous (half of the income of movie studios emanates from video cassette sales), the speedy recouping of the investment virtually guaranteed.

Moreover, piracy thrives in very poor markets in which the population would anyhow not have paid the legal price. The illegal product is inferior to the legal copy (it comes with no literature, warranties or support). So why should the big manufacturers, publishing houses, record companies, software companies and fashion houses worry ? The answer lurks in history. Intellectual property is a relatively new notion. In the near past, no one considered knowledge or the fruits of creativity (art, design) as patentable, or as someone “property.

The artist was but a mere channel through which divine grace flowed. Texts, discoveries, inventions, works of art and music, designs all belonged to the community and could be replicated freely. True, the chosen ones, the conduits, were honoured but were rarely financially rewarded. They were commissioned to produce their works of art and were salaried, in most cases. Only with the advent of the Industrial Revolution were the embryonic precursors of intellectual property introduced but they were still limited to industrial designs and processes, mainly as embedded in machinery.

The patent was born. The more massified the market, the more sophisticated the sales and marketing techniques, the bigger the financial stakes the larger loomed the issue of intellectual property. It spread from machinery to designs, processes, books, newspapers, any printed matter, works of art and music, films (which, at their beginning were not considered art), software, software embedded in hardware and even unto genetic material. Intellectual property rights despite their noble title are less about the intellect and more about property.

This is Big Money : the markets in intellectual property outweigh the total industrial production in the world. The aim is to secure a monopoly on a specific work. This is an especially grave matter in academic publishing where small- circulation magazines do not allow their content to be quoted or published even for non-commercial purposes. The monopolists of knowledge and intellectual products cannot allow competition anywhere in the world because theirs is a world market. A pirate in Skopje is in direct competition will Bill Gates.

When selling a pirated Microsoft product he is depriving Microsoft not only of its income, but of a client (=future income), of its monopolistic status (cheap copies can be smuggled into other markets) and of its competition-deterring image (a major monopoly preserving asset). This is a threat which Microsoft cannot tolerate. Hence its efforts to eradicate piracy – successful China and an utter failure in legally-relaxed Russia. But what Microsoft fails to understand is that the problem lies with its pricing policy not with the pirates.

When faced with a global marketplace, a company can adopt one of two policies: either to adjust the price of its products to a world average of purchasing power or to use discretionary pricing. A Macedonian with an average monthly income of of 160 USD clearly cannot afford to buy the Encyclopaedia Encarta Deluxe. In America, 100 USD is the income generated in average day’s work. In Macedonian terms, therefore, the Encarta is 20 times more expensive. Either the price should be lowered in the Macedonian market or an average world price should be fixed which will reflect an average global purchasing power.

Something must be done about it not only from the economic point of view. Intellectual products are very price sensitive and highly elastic. Lower prices will be more than compensated for by a much higher sales volume. There is no other way to explain the pirate industries : evidently, at the right price a lot of people are willing to buy these products. High prices are an implicit trade-off favouring small, elite, select, rich world clientele.

This raises a moral issue : are the children of Macedonia less worthy of education and access to the latest in human knowledge and creation Two developments threaten the future of intellectual property rights. One is the Internet. Academics fed up with the monopolistic practices of professional publications – already publish there in big numbers. I published a few book on the Internet and they can be freely downloaded by anyone who has a computer or a modem. There are electronic magazines, trade journals, billboards, professional publications, thousand of books are available full text. Hackers even made sites available from which it is possible to download whole software and multimedia products.

It is very easy and cheap to publish in the Internet, the barriers to entry are virtually nil, pardon the pun. Web addresses are provided free of charge, authoring and publishing software tools are incorporated in most word processors and browser applications. As the Internet acquires more impressive sound and video capabilities it will proceed to threaten the monopoly of the record companies, the movie studios and so on. The second development is also technological. The oft-vindicated Moores law predicted the doubling of computer memory capacity every 18 months.

But memory is only one aspect. Another is the rapid simultaneous advance on all technological fronts. Miniaturization and concurrent empowerment of the tools available has made it possible for individuals to emulate much larger scale organizations successfully. A single person, sitting at home with 5000 USD worth of equipment can fully compete with the best products of the best printing houses anywhere. CD-ROMs can be written on, stamped and copied in house. A complete music studio with the latest in digital technology has been condensed to the dimensions of a single software.

This will lead to personal publishing, personal music recording and the digitization of plastic art. But this is only one side of the story. The relative advantage of the intellectual property corporation was not to be found exclusively in its technological prowess. Rather it was in its vast pool of capital and its marketing clout, market positioning, sales and distribution. Nowadays, anyone can print an visually impressive book, using the above-mentioned cheap equipment.

But in an age of an information glut, it is the marketing, the media campaigns, the distribution and the sales that used to determine the economic outcome. This advantage, however, is also being eroded. First, there is a psychological shift, a reaction to the commercialization of intellect and spirit. Creative people are repelled by what they regard as an oligarchic establishment of institutionalized, lowest common denominator art and they are fighting back. Secondly, the Internet is a huge (200 million people), truly cosmopolitan market with its own marketing channels freely available to all.

Even by default, with a minimum investment, the likelihood of being seen by surprisingly large numbers of consumers is high. I published one book the traditional way and another on the Internet. In 30 months, I have received 2500 written responses regarding my electronic book. This means that well over 75,000 people read it (the industry average is a 3% response rate and my Link Exchange meter indicates that 160,000 people visited the site by February 2000, with well over 630,000 impressions in the last 15 months alone).

It is a textbook (in psychopathology) and 75,000 people (let alone 160,000) is a lot for this kind of publication. I am so satisfied that I am not sure that I will ever consider a traditional publisher again. Indeed, my next book is being published in the very same way. The demise of intellectual property has lately become abundantly clear. The old intellectual property industries are fighting tooth and nail to preserve their monopolies (patents, trademarks, copyright) and their cost advantages in manufacturing and marketing.

But they are faced with three inexorable processes which are likely to render their efforts vain: The Newspaper Packaging Print newspapers offer package deals of subsidized content (sold for a token amount) and subsidizing advertising. In other words, the advertisers pay for content formation and generation and the reader has no choice but be exposed to commercial messages as he or she studies the contents. This model – adopted earlier by radio and television – rules the internet now and will rule the wireless internet in the future.

Content will be made available free of all pecuniary charges. The consumer will pay by providing his personal data (demographic data, consumption patterns and preferences and so on) and by being exposed to advertising. Thus, content creators will benefit only by sharing in the advertising cake. They will find it increasingly difficult to implement the old model of royalties paid for access or ownership of intellectual property. The venerable (and expensive) “Encyclopaedia Britannica” is now fully available on-line, free of charge. Its largesse is supported by advertising. Disintermediation

A lot of ink has been spilt regarding this important trend. The removal of layers of brokering and intermediation – mainly on the manufacturing and marketing levels – is a historic development (though the continuation of a long term trend). Consider music for instance. Streaming audio on the internet or MP3 files which the consumer can download will render the CD obsolete. The internet also provides a venue for the marketing of niche products and reduces the barriers to entry previously imposed by the need to engage in costly marketing (“branding”) campaigns and manufacturing activities.

This trend is also likely to restore the balance between artist and the commercial exploiters of his product. The very definition of “artist” will expand to include all creative people. Everyone will seek to distinguish oneself, to “brand” himself and to auction her services, ideas, products, designs, experience, etc. This is a return to pre-industrial times when artisans ruled the economic scene. Work stability will vanish and work mobility will increase in a landscape of shifting allegiances, head hunting, remote collaboration and similar labour market trends. Market Fragmentation

In a fragmented market with a myriad of mutually exclusive market niches, consumer preferences and marketing and sales channels – economies of scale in manufacturing and distribution are meaningless. Narrowcasting replaces broadcasting, mass customization replaces mass production, a network of shifting affiliations replaces the rigid owned-branch system. The decentralized, intrapreneurship-based corporation is a late response to these trends. The mega-corporation of the future is more likely to act as a collective of start-ups than as a homogeneous, uniform (and, to conspiracy theorists, sinister) juggernaut it once was.

The Eight Essential Steps to Conflict Resolution

The book that I chose to read for my book review was, The Eight Essential Steps To Conflict Resolution by Dr. Dudley Weeks. The reason I chose to read a book on conflict resolution was to further improve my skills at avoiding and dealing with problems. Because I feel that a person truly shows their character not when things are going well but when things begin to go bad.

And having the ability to deal with those problems strengthens one as a person. Dudley Weeks, PH. D. is widely commended as one of the world’s leaders in conflict resolution. He lives in Washington, D. C. has worked in over sixty countries and has counseled housands of businesses, families, and communities in the United States.

Dr. Weeks has twice been nominated for the Noble Peace Prize. Dr. Weeks is now teaching conflict resolution at the American University School of International Service and gives workshops throughout the world. Dr. Weeks basically tears conflict resolution into eight steps. The first step is to create an effective atmosphere. The second step is to clarify perceptions. Third is focus on individual and shared needs. Fourth is build shared positive power.

Fifth is look to the future, then learn from the past. Sixth is generate options. Seventh is develop “Doables. ” And the last step is make mutual benefit agreements. Dr. Weeks also touches on topics such as handling anger, dealing with people who only want things their way, and dealing with conflicts that involve an injustice. The first step is about Creating an Effective Atmosphere. Creating an effective atmosphere is a very important step in the conflict resolution process. It is more likely for mutual agreements be reached when the atmosphere is given careful consideration.

When thinking about atmosphere remember these ideas; personal preparation, timing, location, and lastly opening tatements. Personal preparation is doing all you can to ready yourself in positive ways to approach issues honestly and openly. Timing means that choosing a time that is best for all parties involved, a time in which no one is feeling pressed to move on or pressured in other ways. Location suggests that where you meet is as important as when you meet, it is best to pick a place where all parties can feel comfortable and at ease.

Lastly Opening statement has to do with trying to start out on a good note. Good openings are ones that let others know you are ready and illing to approach conflict with a team-like attitude that focuses on positive ends. They should also ensure the trust confidentiality of the parties involved. Clarifying Perceptions being the second step has to do with clarifying individual perceptions involved in the conflict. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what it is about. First to be done, is sort conflict into parts.

Then avoid “ghost conflicts,” get to the heart of the matter and avoid side issues. Clarify what, if any, values are involved. Then recognize that the parties involved need each other to be most effective. Finally, clarify your perceptions of he other party by avoiding stereotyping, listening carefully, recognizing the other’s needs and values, empathize by asking why they feel the way they do, and clear up misconceptions you may have of them. Step number three has to do with focusing on individual and shared needs. This section points out that one needs to expand shared needs.

Realize that you need one another in order to successfully resolve conflicts. Be concerned about meeting others needs as well as your own. When you take the time to look, you will recognize that individuals often share needs in common. Step four allows you to build shared positive power. Power is made up of people’s outlooks, ideas, convictions, and actions. A positive view of power enables people to be most effective. A negative outlook on power proves to be a lot less effective. Instead of “power with,” it encourages “power over.

Positive power promotes building together and strengthening partnerships. When parties in conflict have this outlook, they can encourage each other to use shared positive power. This gives an ultimate advantage to all involved because each person’s positive energy is being drawn upon for a worthwhile solution. Looking to the future, then learning from the past is the fifth step. Dr. Weeks tells not to dwell on negative past conflicts, or you won’t be able to deal positively in the present or the future. Try to understand what happened in the past, and avoid repeating the same mistake over.

Don’t get stuck in a rut; learn from past conflicts and be forgiving. Let others know, “I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at what you did. ” Step six has to do with generating options. One needs certain options that they might need to use to make the conflict more positive and functional. First you ask for the “conflict partner’s” opinion, and listen and learn what they think about the conflict. Then try some of the “free flowing” options like making new suggestions on how to fix the problem, write down the suggestions and wait to discuss them till they are all out on the table.

Then group similar options together and narrow the list down. You should predict the possible outcomes. And look at all the ideas, no matter how silly or dumb they might seem because it might just be the thing that will solve the problem. Another way to find options is working together to identify all the key options. Key options are ones that meet one or more of the shared needs, meet individual needs and are ompatible with other’s needs. They use mutual positive power, improve the relationship, and are found acceptable but preferably satisfying to all involved.

One habit that should be avoided is looking at past experiences because they tend to cloud present perceptions and decisions. Step seven is develop “doables” which Dr. Weeks calls the stepping stones to action. Doables are specific actions that have a good chance at being successful. They are the ideas that have the best chance at success, and steps that never promote unfair advantages on any side. Doables are found on shared input and information from all parties. They are trust builders, they add confidence in working together. And lastly they’re actions that meet shared needs.

The last step Dr. Weeks uses to resolve conflict is make mutual benefit agreements. Mutual benefit agreements should give you a lasting solution to specific conflicts. Instead of demands, focus on developing agreements and find shared goals and needs. Build on “Doable” things by working on smaller stepping-stone solutions. Pay attention to the needs of the other person in addition to your own interests. Recognize the “givens,” basic things that cannot be altered or compromised. Clarify exactly what is expected of you in the agreement, clarify your individual responsibilities.

Finally keep the conflict partnership process going by using and sharing these skills with others. On the topic of handling anger Dr. Weeks states that its ok to feel anger, but we should not allow it to rule. Instead, we should identify the source of our anger and then try to move past it. When this is done, we can focus the positive steps of conflict resolution. In partnership, the idea is not to “break down” but to focus on “building up. ” Sometimes we will come in contact with people who only want things their own way or no way at all. Effective resolution is not deciding who gets their way.

Using “conflict partnership” skills can help you find a resolution that is “getting our way,” even with people who seem locked in a pattern of “either your way or mine. ” Dr. Weeks shows that when the other party seems to be defining conflict resolution as an “I versus you” struggle to try extra hard to set a partnership atmosphere, and state clearly that you see conflict resolution as a process in which you need each other. Then focus on shared needs and shared power, and lastly generate specific options and doables that will improve the relationship for the both of you.

If the other party is focusing on power or control and thinks losing either will weaken them you should focus on developing an “our” power attitude, and recall times that effective shared power has worked for the relationship in the past. And last if the other party focuses on controlling the situation rather than on the needs of the situation, you should encourage them to talk about what the needs of the situation really are, and then try to come up with doables based on those needs. Occasionally we come into a situation where we need to deal with a conflict that involves an injustice.

An injustice involves a violation of values or principles that are important to you. Dr. Weeks instructs to make sure that you understand the differences between behavior that is unjust and behavior you simply do not like. If you’re confident that a conflict is an injustice, you need to tell the other party how you see what has occurred. Focus on the behavior, not the person. In this situation, it is common to hear, “You aren’t fair! ” This kind of statement could result in a reply such as “Well, if you think I’m an unfair person, then I guess we have nothing to talk about.

A better way to handle this would be to start with a positive opening statement such as, “I feel what you did was unfair, and I want to understand why you did it. Were you aware I might feel unjustly treated? Would you feel unjustly treated if someone did that to you? ” This is more likely to result in a positive response and some feedback. The last thing you do is clearly state when you think the injustice has been done. And do it in a way that encourages a positive behavior and a successful resolution. In my opinion, Dr. Weeks did a excellent job when he wrote Eight Essential Steps To

Conflict Resolution. I found it extremely helpful incertain areas, I also found that I actually do some of the steps when I am dealing with a conflict. For example, when a conflict occurs I try to understand what happened with past conflicts and avoid repeating the same mistakes over again. Also when we are trying to find a solution I look for a solution that will be both beneficial to me and them. I did learn some good ways to organize our thoughts and solutions. I also learned to get to the heart of the conflict and focus on only that, and avoid all side issues.

As for my opinion of the author, I think he may be a better counselor and doctor than a writer. I found some of the reading sort of confusing and complicated, and had to read several sections over a few times to totally understand his point. Some of the vocabulary he uses is a bit technical, many words I needed look up to understand Dr. Weeks’ point. So basically what I am saying is that I found the reading to be a bit difficult but I really enjoyed the informational aspect of the book and that I learned a lot on how we should work through conflict and come to a resolution that benefits both parties.

Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton is an incredible book, which describes genetic engineering and the creation of an extinct species. Michael Crichton uses marvelous detail throughout the book. As great as the book is, it is not that appropriate for children who are 15 and under because of the gore, description, violence, and obscenities through out the story. Jurassic Park is a great book. Michael Crichton uses such descriptive detail, that you could picture everything that is going on like you are watching a movie.

There is not one moment of boredom in the book. Every second something new is happening or another problem in the park occurs. These things make the book very hard to put down. Jurassic Park is a marvelous book with a great plot. Yet, later it becomes inappropriate for children. The first thing that makes Jurassic Park not appropriate for young children is that it is amazingly gory. Michael Crichton describes people and animals being killed in a very descriptive manner.

When Dennis Nedry, the computer programmer, was on his way to the dock to deliver frozen dinosaurs embryos to another genetic engineering company, a concrete barrier was in his way. He got out of his car and started to run into the jungle. When he reached the jungle river, he heard a soft hooting cry. When he turned around, he saw a dilophasaur standing directly in front of him. Suddenly, the dilophasaur spit at him. The novel refers to this by saying, “Nedryfelt an excruciating pain in his eyes, stabbing like spikes in the back of his skull.

It then says, “Slowly the realization came to him. He was blindThen there was a new searing pain like a fiery knife in his belly, and then Nedry stumbledthen there was a new pain on both sides of his head. The pain grew worse, and as he was lifted to his feet he knew the dinosaur had his head in its jaws, and the horror of that realization was followed by a final wish, that it would all be ended soon (p. 196). ” This demonstrates the horrifying description in the book. Another gory scene was when Ed Regis was swallowed by the juvenile T-rex.

The book describes this by saying, “Regis yelled, and the juvenile ducked his head, and Regis began to scream. No words just a high pitch scream. The scream cut off abruptly, and when the juvenile lifted his head, Grant saw ragged flesh in his jaws (page 216). ” These were only two very gory parts out of many. Jurassic Park also has many violent and obscene scenes. Other than the two above, there are many more. One of them was when Henry Wu, the man who was in charge of the making of dinosaurs, was standing out side the lodge when a velociraptor jumped the roof and tore Wu open.

The book refers to this by saying, “Wu was yanked bodily out of the doorWu was lying on his back already torn open by the big clawthe raptor was tugging at Wu’s intestines even though Wu was still alive, still feebly reaching up to push the big head away (page 334)” This was probably one of the goriest scenes. Even with all these deaths, and more, there were still lots of injuries. Just about every character was injured in some way. As one could see, Jurassic Park is very violent and gory. Jurassic Park is also obscene. The language used is definitely inappropriate for children our age. They use foul language throughout the book.

At one point, Tim Murphy, the 11 year-old boy, curses four times in one line. He does this when the car falls over the cliff and is stuck in the branches of the trees. Jurassic Park ended up becoming Michael Crichton’s most successful novel, and a New York Times Best seller. The book was so successful in fact, that Steven Spielberg ended up making a movie about it three years later. Overall, Jurassic Park is a spectacular novel that uses great detail. Even though it was such a great book, there is a lot of violence and gore. Because of all this violence, this book is not appropriate for children under 15.

“Njal’s Saga”: A Fictional Account of Early Iceland

“The origin and evolution of saga writing in Iceland are largely matters for speculation. A common pastime on Icelandic farms, from the 12th century down to modern times, was the reading aloud of stories to entertain the household, known as sagnaskemmtun (“saga entertainment”). It seems to have replaced the traditional art of storytelling” (Hermann Palsson, pg. 1). Njal’s Saga uses Old Icelandic writing convention and historical data to give a fictional account of a generation’s lifestyle and struggles. Icelandic literature has become very valuable because historians have realized the great amount of truth that can be found in each saga.

According to one historian, the sagas have proven to be of “valuable insight into the fabric of a unique medieval community” (Gary Martin, pg. 1). During the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, there were about “forty sagas written by various anonymous Icelanders” (Gary Martin, pg. 1). Each used a combination of historical facts and drama to create sagas that tracked generations of people. Historically, the first people to travel to Iceland were from Norway. According to Gary Martin, they were “surprised to find such a plentiful land” (pg. 1). Not only did they farm, but they also collected food and supplies from the nearby ocean.

There are quite a few sagas that reveal the true historical society of Iceland. “Egil’s Saga records how, on arrival, the settler Skallagrim and his companions ‘went out fishing and seal-hunting, and collecting the eggs of wild foul, for there was plenty of everything” (Gary Martin, pg. 1). In Iceland, the immigrants held to the farming traditions that they had in Norway, so not much changed in the transition. One historian noted, “Iceland, like much of Norway, was essentially country for pastoralists. Short growing seasons made the cultivation of grains marginal”.

Animal products provided the mainstay of the Icelandic diet. An emphasis on dairy cattle and sheep meant that lamb and beef and dairy products such as cheese and whey were relatively plentiful, “especially following good seasons” (Gary Martin, pg. 2) Despite the abundance of food, as more settlers came, the resources were slowly depleted: The following episode from Grettir’s Saga is likely to have been typical: ‘as soon as Eirik knew that Onund had arrived he offered to give him anything he wanted, and added that there was not much land still unclaimed.

Onund said he would like first to see what land was available. So they went south across the fjords, and when they reached Ofaera, Eirik said, ‘Now you can have a look at it. From here on the land is unclaimed up to Bjorn’s settlement. (Gary Martin, p. 2). Clearly this famine was a historical, recorded event since there are also reports of a shortage of foodstuffs in Njal’s Saga. “This was a time of great famine in Iceland, and all over the country people were going short of hay and food” (Njal’s Saga, Ch. 47).

So it is clear that Njal’s Saga includes some factual information, yet still remains a fictional narrative. Instead of creating a form of law enforcement, the Icelanders usually took matters into their own hands. This is can be seen in the many killings that occur in Njal’s Saga. The Icelandic people had developed a feud system, which was largely based on family and relationships. Being friends or related to someone meant that you stood up for him and defended him at all costs. The importance was not necessarily the individual, but the family name.

Lars Lonnroth saw this and commented, “The Feud Pattern emerges from a previous state of balance in the relationship between two families. A cause for conflict is presented, and the feud breaks out as members of one family commit a punitive act against members of another family” (Lars Lonnroth, pg. 69). This is also clearly seen and recorded in Njal’s Saga when Njal is burned for the sake of his family. Another interesting aspect of this story is that midway through the saga, Christianity is introduced. The values and morals upheld by Christianity are very different from those of the Icelandic culture.

The Christian value system is based on love, specifically the love God has for people. It is also founded on people’s love for God and for one another. This calls for forgiveness of those who have wronged you and for an attitude of fairness and submission to God. The differences between the two moral systems may have influenced the writer since Njal’s Saga was written years after the Christians came into Iceland. G. Turville-Petre notes” but at times the Christian outlook dominates in the Njal’s Saga; forgiveness triumphs over vengeance” (G. Turville-Petre, pg. 251).

It is interesting that religion was a major influence on the Icelandic writing. It seems that when Christianity came into the picture, the Icelanders took the best of both worlds. They still maintained the feud system, which allowed murder, yet still, acted in the name of God, even violently. Even before Christianity came, the Icelanders had already developed their pagan religion. Hermann Palsson remarked: “The learned men of medieval Iceland took great pride in their pagan past and copied traditional poems on mythological and legendary themes”.

Perhaps, they were content with their previous religion, but found comfort in the idea of one God who they could call upon when they were in trouble. Or perhaps they wanted to sound more spiritual and righteous in what they were doing. Once again, a very factual event and state of mind which was so carefully captured by the author. It seems that the author had access to Iceland’s historical records. He then utilized his literary skill to create fantastic stories that encompassed the history and values of his medieval community, thus producing Njal’s Saga.

In the late 12th century, Icelandic authors began to fictionalize the early part of their history (c. 900-1050), and a new literary genre was born: the sagas of Icelanders” (Hermann Palsson, pg. 4). Many of the sagas written were similar in that they were used merely for entertainment purposes and were based on true history. So by comparing these with the documents that are strictly historical, it becomes clear how much of the truth was actually embellished to please the audience using very clever literary devices.

The sagas are written stories that are based in factual data, but some of the accounts have been construed or completely made up to satisfy the strong oral tradition that was used. “Though a good deal of the subject matter was evidently derived from oral tradition and thus of historical value for the period described, some of the best sagas are largely fictional; their relevance to the author’s own times mattered perhaps no less than their incidental information about the past” (Hermann Palsson, pg. 4).

These sagas were used merely for ntertainment purposes so when the storyteller would run out of things to say, or need to make something more interesting, he would embellish a true story, or make up a false story. It was also not uncommon for the storyteller to add spiritual elements for a bit of mysticism and excitement. The structure of Njal’s Saga may be very telling about the history of Iceland during this time period. According to E. G. Turville-Petre, “the author of Njal’s Saga must have also consulted genealogical lists, and books about early Icelandic Law” (G. Turville-Petre, pg. 250).

This is very interesting because he suggests that there were earlier writings and writing styles. There also might have been different government or feud systems that the author had to learn about. “The presentation of a new character may be lengthened through extensive genealogies, characterizing adjectives, etc. ” (Lars Lonnroth, pg. 50). There is a definite style evident in the saga that is much like a newspaper report. The reader feels as if the story is just a compilation of events without a common theme between them.

The use of genealogy type writing can be very confusing, but implies that outside information was consulted so that the narrative is not entirely fictional. The author of Njal’s Saga also uses characterization to enhance the plot of this literary work: It is mostly through valour and heroic exploits that the typical hero’s personality is realized. He is, however, often a composite character, for some of his features are borrowed from a later and more refined ethos than that of early Scandinavia. He is in fact the synthesis of Viking ideals on the one hand and of codes of courtly chivalry on the other.

So, Gunnar is immediately portrayed as a grand hero. He seems almost super-human as “he could strike of throw with either hand, and his sword-strokes were so fast that he seemed to be brandishing three swords at once” (Njal’s Saga, pg. 73). Clearly he is strong and handsome, typical for his role as the gallant hero. The author also focuses on Gunnar’s outward appearance, which suggests that while he is fantastically strong and courageous, he may lack mental sharpness.

E. O. G. Turville-Petre remarks “Gunnar is brave, loyal, and open-handed, but being guileless he also lacks wit. This weakness makes him dependent on his friend Njal, a man of very different stamp” (E. O. G. Turville-Petre, pg. V). Njal “was so skilled in law that no one was considered his equal. He was a wise and prescient man” (pg. 74). The introduction of Njal into the saga is also very noble yet focuses on his intellectual ability rather than physical strength. Our first impression of Njal is also super-human, almost god-like, as he is “prescient”.

Our attention is also drawn in a negative way to Njal’s physical appearance. It is recorded that, “Njal was wealthy and handsome, but he had one peculiarity: he could not grow a beard” (pg. 74). During Icelandic times a man’s beard was a symbol of his masculinity, so this characteristic of Njal is very revealing. Perhaps it is a foreshadowing that Njal was not going to live a full life because he cannot grow a full beard. Or perhaps it is a sign of physical or emotional weakness. Although author of Njal’s Saga is still unknown.

Yet the literary devices he used are very entertaining. One of the most common throughout the saga is the litote, which serves to express the drama of a situation. This literary device is specifically crucial in the saga because it explains the fictionalization of history. A litote is defined as an “understatement” and an example of this from Njal’s Saga is given concerning Hebridean: “he had killed many men and paid compensation for none of them” (Njal’s Saga, pg. 56). This device was probably unknown to the author due to the fact that a written tradition was not yet established.

It is used quite often throughout the saga and serves to embellish a character’s positive or negative attributes. The literary devices and combination of history and fiction seen in Njal’s Saga are quite revolutionary for the time period in which it was written. Though no one will ever truly know whom the author of Njal’s Saga is, the amazing characteristics of this saga, the splendid portrayal of characters, the use of spiritual elements, and the historical data contribute to the author’s unparalleled style. Njal’s Saga is undoubtedly unique, and speaks of the traditions and virtues upheld by the very first Icelanders.

Less Than Zero Book Review

Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980’s, this mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation who have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age. They live in a world shaped by passivity. The place lacks feeling and hope. Three high school buddies, 2 male and 1 female, venture down very different paths after graduation. Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern College and re-enters a landscape of limitless privilege. In this immoral world everyone drives Porches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine.

He tries to renew feelings for his girlfriend, Blair, and for the third best friend, Julian. Julian ends up getting into hustling and doing heroin. Clay’s holiday turns into a dizzying spiral of desperation that takes him through the relentless parties in glitzy mansions, seedy bars, and underground rock clubs. This is illustrates the seamy world of L. A. after dark. This book is a teenage slice-of-death novel with no holds barred. This was one of the first books about success and wealth that was so frighteningly realistic. It was one of the most disturbing novels Ive read in a long time.

It possesses an unnerving air of documentary reality. All the obstacles facing the characters were fairly easy for me to relate to. Less Than Zero is not a long book but it contains reflections upon the entire world. The images described of youth adrift, of neon towers, palm trees, black nights, parties, clubs, drugs and cars and sex will never leave me. This amazing story sounded extremely real and scary to the reader, me. I recommend it highly and will argue that it is the Catcher in the Rye for the MTV generation and should be examined by all who can read.

This well written modern literature story targeted and catered to the short-attention-spanned teenagers that were hooked on MTV and glam rock. This book should be required reading for anyone who finds themselves lucky enough to fall between the 14 to 21 period in their lives. It’s a book that doesn’t glorify the lifestyles chosen by the characters (i. e – drug addiction, $ex, hustling, etc. ) Teenagers can fully identify with it. Im 22 and I know I did, because it’s themes are universal when you’re at this age. Ellis doesn’t sugarcoat or beat around the bush, he gets to it swinging his fists with elaborate detail and imagery.

I thought that this was good reading for the one reason that it was different. I’m sick of the formulaic novels that have been churned out for years. It’s only 200 pages or so, so it’s worth the time to read it. I learned about Bret Easton Ellis and his work from an interview in High Times magazine. His age at Less Than Zeros publishing was 21, which interested and fascinated me the most. I read rave reviews and decided to read the book. From the first few lines the reader is thrown into a world that is at a much more extreme level than everyday people are accustomed to.

Ellis hides from no subject and tells everyone to open your eyes and open them wide. He also manages to slip in many of the literary techniques and characteristics commonly used by writers. Ellis’s style was a pleasant surprise because it was fast paced and quick chaptered. His language is precise and to the point. It shows you what our society has turned into and what has happened to the meanings of people in this generation. Truth is our worst enemy but we must face it and this is book will show you how. Less Than Zero is the one of the greatest novel in the history of contemporary American literature.

It is a devastating comment on materialism and superficiality, refuting both in an amusing and entertaining way. Spoiled, unlikable characters pitifully indulging themselves with too much of everything and an insipid lost narrator makeup the text. As I kept reading I became aware of a weird sensation, a perverse, almost vicarious need to keep reading. Ellis is wonderful at creating a mood and infesting the reader with it. This book left me examining my outlook on life, friends, and drugs. I will also remember the lessons learned from reading this book.

Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations

The pivotal second chapter of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, “Of the Principle which gives occasion to the Division of Labour,” opens with the oft-cited claim that the foundation of modern political economy is the human “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another. “1 This formulation plays both an analytical and normative role. It offers an anthropological microfoundation for Smith’s understanding of how modern commercial societies function as social organizations, which, in turn, provide a venue for the expression and operation of these human proclivities.

Together with the equally famous concept of the invisible hand, this sentence defines the central axis of a new science of political economy designed to come to terms with the emergence of a novel object of investigation: economic production and exchange as a distinct, separate, independent sphere of human action. Moreover, it is this domain, the source of wealth, which had become the main organizational principle of modern societies, displacing the once-ascendant positions of theology, morality, and political philosophy.

Smith’s formulation transcends a purely descriptive account of the transformations that shook eighteenth-century Europe. A powerful normative theory about the emancipatory character of market systems lies at the heart of Wealth of Nations. These markets constitute “the system of natural liberty” because they shatter traditional hierarchies, exclusions, and privileges. 2 Unlike mercantilism and other alternative mechanisms of economic coordination, markets are based on the spontaneous and free expression of individual preferences.

Rather than change, even repress, human nature to accord with an abstract bundle of values, market economies accept the propensities of humankind and are attentive to their character. They recognize and value its inclinations; not only human reason but the full panoply of individual aspirations and needs. 3 Thus, for Smith, markets give full expression to individual, economic liberty. This combination of analytical and normative arguments provides Smith with conceptual resources for an implicit theory of social integration based on strategic interaction amongst selfinterested persons.

Not just the economy but the larger social order is reproduced by unplanned behavior and processes, rather than by design. 4 Instead of grounding social order in a thick moral consensus and social homogeneity, Smith considered such possibilities to have been eliminated by social and symbolic transformations experienced by modern commercial society. Additionally, with this emphasis on spontaneous coordination, Smith pointed to the possibility of a social order in which people live in harmony together with a minimum need of a central, coercive apparatus.

He captured the central intuition of classical economists according to which modern commercial society, notwithstanding its conflicts, obeys a kind of pre-established order, and enjoys the advantage of a mechanism, the market, which maintains equilibria by continually adjusting competing interests. Over time, this powerful theoretical proposition has become a legitimating cornerstone for the robust defense of market capitalism, a particular ensemble of political institutions, and a specific line of justification for liberal ideas and values.

Though manifestly plausible as an accurate reading of Smith when Wealth of Nations is read on its own, even on these terms, this interpretation, is limited and partial. Astonishingly, and disappointingly, most readers of Wealth of Nations fail to attend the very next sentence that follows Smith’s seemingly transhistorical, objectivist theory of human dispositions, mindful of Mandeville’s classical representation of human egoism.

Smith immediately probed more deeply by asking “Whether this propensity be one of those original principles in human nature of which no further account can be given; or whether, as seems more probable, it be the necessary consequence of the faculties of reason and speech. ” This inquiry, he stated directly, “belongs not to our present subject to enquire. “5 This recusal is striking and puzzling. It also has large theoretical and textual implications.

Within the large body of scholarship on Smith, the book that traces the lineage and attends the consequences of this combination and recusal is Charles Griswold’s recent elegant extensive study. He grasps, almost uniquely, the intertwined connections linking the market, speech, and sympathy: “Life in a market society is an ongoing exercise in rhetoric. “6 Notwithstanding the compelling force of his interpretation, Griswold stops short of developing this important insight.

What we believe to be missing is an effort to conjoin this triad with a striving by individuals for social approbation and ethical recognition, a central feature of Smith’s project and the pivot of this article. Rather than trace back the rhetorical dimension of market relations to the quest for esteem, Griswold halts his account at what Smith called “the desire of being believed. “7 Standing on Griswold’s shoulders, we inquire, again: Did Smith ever, in fact, confront this vexing subject of inquiry, unaddressed in Wealth? If so, where and how? With what results? This article addresses these questions.

We show that Smith devoted considerable attention to these matters, but not in a single, systematic study Rather, his considerations are dispersed in three main texts: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), Letters on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1762-1763) and Lectures on Jurisprudence (17621763, 1766). 8 By placing Wealth of Nations within the broader philosophical and moral framework undergirding Smith’s writings, we demonstrate that despite this textual fragmentation he developed a comprehensive and coherent answer to his question about the nature and status of the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange.

Rather than consider Wealth of Nations either as a free-standing text or as the place of departure for a larger grasp of Smith’s theoretical purpose, we approach this treatise as tightly linked to his prior achievements. More than being the cornerstone of his intellectual biography, this classical work caps a long-term project composed of such diverse topics as morality, rhetoric, and law. To better apprehend it, we invert the standard manner in which this book is located in the corpus of Smith. We read Wealth of Nations through the conceptual prism provided by all his major prior writings.

In this account, we place Wealth of Nations in appropriate proportional perspective. Doing so reveals its deeper philosophical objectives and demonstrates how it is dependent and reliant on a more inclusive social and moral theory. 9 Focusing on speech and rhetoric as the main ligaments of social relations, we demonstrate how Smith approached them as constituting attributes of modern markets. Rather than considering markets to be sites for the economic exchange of commodities as such, he treated markets as the modern analogue of previous institutional foundations for social order.

Thus, in modem times, markets are not simply, or exclusively, arenas for the instrumental quest by competitive and strategic individuals to secure their material preferences. Additionally, they are a central mechanism for social integration derived not from strategic self-interest but rather from the inexorable struggle by human agents for moral approbation and social recognition. Smith did not perceive markets exclusively as efficient allocators of resources but as an institutional equivalent of ancient public spaces within which citizens of the classical polls, through speech and deed, struggled for recognition.

He understood, of course, that for the ancients, the content of recognition-greatness through public dedication to the common good rather than greatness as material wealth– as well as the location of the endeavor-ekklesia rather than agora-differed from those of the moderns. Undergirding both, however, is the existence of an identical drive to acquire social esteem and praise. This, Smith believed, provides a universal, transhistorical, motivation for human action, the main torque by which societies achieve cohesion and continuity.

Like Constant, who addressed how the liberty of the ancients could not be reproduced under conditions of modern social pluralism, Smith understood that the forms and institutional means they had designed to achieve social integration had become irrevocably extinct. 10 Unlike Constant, however, who thought the liberty of the moderns had to be reinvented ex nihilo, Smith believed modern modalities for order would not differ radically from those of the ancients because both are based on the similar, and natural, quest for approbation and esteem.

Of course, Smith, like so many in his age, acknowledged the break represented by modernity and capitalism; at the same time, he allowed room in his theoretical construction for continuity. Contrary to excessive celebrations of newness characteristic of many immoderate and presumptuous endorsements of modern times, Smith investigated the multiple configurations linking past and present. The steps in our argument begin, in Part One, with a discussion of the master concept of sympathy in Moral Sentiments.

This notion we retranslate, via approbation and esteem, into a modern theory of recognition. In Part Two we demonstrate how Smith, in his Rhetoric, established the mutual constitution of recognition and speech. Then, in Part Three, we carry this understanding to his Jurisprudence, where we discover Smith’s first formulation of his original theory of the market according to the terms derived from his earlier investigations in moral and social theory. Here, the market is revealed in its deepest sense (a sense deeper than its treatment in Wealth of Nations, which represented a specific, partial, focused, even epiphenomenal, treatment of a vital, but singular, feature of the market).

I In his effort to explain the nature and the particular mechanisms of moral sentiments, Smith, clearly influenced by David Hume,12 further elaborated the seminal category of sympathy. He inserted this concept as a mediating device between what he conceived to be two opposed poles that dominated modern, secular, moral philosophy: Hutcheson’s naturalistic theory of benevolence and Mandeville’s ethics of self-love.

For Smith, Hutcheson’s assumptions about the kind, unselfish qualities of human nature made his moral system unrealistic, even utopian; it thus failed to take into account the complexity and ambivalence of the actual psychological motives of human action. 13 Mandeville, by contrast, Smith thought, while successfully unmasking and demystifying idealizations shared by the predominant moral theories of his time, such as those of Lord Shaftesbury and Bishop Butler, had adopted a reductionist model that leveled everything down to the universal, objective, and inexorable fact of self-interest. 14

Smith refused both approaches, deeming them, despite their opposition, equally monistic and one-sided. To enrich our knowledge of moral psychology, he proposed instead a different moral theory based on sympathy. 15 On this view, moral judgments are derived from a person’s ability to identify with someone else’s situation and feelings through the faculty of imagination. 16 From this empathetic capacity to enter and experience the position of another, Smith extracted conceptual resources to elucidate the elementary multifarious processes by which people make valid moral evaluations, bridging the gap between the self and the other.

The competence of individuals to undertake moral distinctions between the good and the bad, Smith argued, depends on their prior ability to sympathize. Through their passion, not reason, individuals communicate at depth with each another. 17 By such acts of imaginative identification, they reach moral conclusions. Thus, the measure of morality varies according to whether sympathy can be achieved. 18 Only when a subject can sympathize with the social and subjective situation of its interlocutors, and with their acts and passions, can they be judged as moral.

The attributes of goodness and virtue are contingent, therefore, on whether they have become objects of sympathy By contrast, emotions with which the subject cannot sympathize, Smith claimed, are discredited as vicious and immoral. 19 According to this anti-cognitivist ethical system, humans adopt a moral stance toward the world, others, and themselves, and judge the moral validity of facts and behavior by means of the faculty of sympathy This psychological and affective capacity permits them to approve or disapprove of situations and events directly related to the feelings of pleasure and pain experienced by another actor.

Hence, on the problem of how agents arrive at valid moral judgments, Smith identified psychological mechanisms involving the use of imagination and reflection. Sympathy, in short, is the chief criterion of moral judgments. 20 People do not empathize with virtuous intentions and situations as such, but some qualify as virtuous because they have sympathized with them. 21 For Smith, sympathy is neither an epiphenomenon of a deeper, more authentic, purely egoistic motive, a distant and disguised echo of self-love,22 nor is it a mechanical and linear expression of a natural and unchangeable benevolent and altruistic disposition.

Furthermore, he did not attribute the origins of sympathy to an antecedent utilitarian principle. 24 To be sure, Smith alluded to this interpretation by noting that a person’s ability to sympathize can be determined in part by the pleasure that can be derived from identifying with another’s situation; reciprocally, one’s aversion is informed by the pain that can result by acts of empathy. 25 Notwithstanding, he insisted that “in all these cases, however, it is not the pain which interests us but some other circumstances. “26 Utility is not the driving force behind sympathy.

Indeed, for reasons of theoretical consistency, Smith could not have adopted positions he identified with Hume, Hutcheson, and Mandeville and which he had criticized and rejected. In fact, he did more than simply distance himself from them. He sought to transcend them by developing a fresh moral stance that Andrew S. Skinner has correctly characterized as having “a synthetic character,”27 illustrating Smith’s disagreements with these three moral philosophers. 28 But if utility is not the motivational power that informs and shapes sympathy, why do humans empathize with each other?

What is the underlying motivation of identification? Is sympathy the ultimate foundation of our moral abilities, a natural, uncontested ground upon which we built our ethical evaluations? Is Smith’s concept of sympathy his own particular version of the idea of a natural moral sense, the expression of a belief in “natural sentiments,”29 thus with the same status as the foundational attributes of benevolence and self-love? There is no doubt that once Smith had rejected self-interest, benevolence, and utility as potential meta-theoretical presuppositions, little is left to explain the anterior basis of sympathy.

Nonetheless, despite the incompleteness and elusiveness of his account, he did, in fact, develop an extremely original and strikingly modern moral theory, which today, as discussed below, could be called a theory of recognition, by probing the antecedent layers of sympathy. For Smith, a person’s need for moral approbation, social approval, and intersubjective acceptance, which is a basic human drive, motivates the ability to sympathize with the other’s emotions and passions. 30 We sympathize with fellow beings because we wish to be praised, esteemed, even loved.

As Smith forcefully put the point, both the ability and inner drive for sympathy are based on the primordial and archaic compulsion “to be observed, to be attended to, to be taken notice of with sympathy, complacency, and approbation… of our being the object of attention and approbation. “3” Thus, sympathy “is founded altogether in the desire of actual praise, and in the aversion of actual blame. “31 Humans are attuned to sympathize with the emotional states and situations of others as a consequence of the more profound, substantive aspiration to be acknowledged as moral persons embedded in the broader social tissue of human relations.

We pursue this desideratum, Smith argued, indirectly. By sympathizing with other persons, we enter into their moral universe and thus can see ourselves through their perspective and sentiments. By so doing, we become aware of the interpretative and axiological criteria with which they judge us and which we, in turn, as interlocutors, can satisfy to reciprocally gain their praise and approval. 33 Neither nodal, isolated individuals nor products of reified societies and abstract norms, humans are instead continuously engaged in relations and networks within which they adopt perspectives of the other.

Seeing themselves from points of view which, at once, are external and rooted in social relations in which they participate, as if through a “looking-glass,”34 they become, in a metaphorical sense, “the impartial spectators of our own character. “35 Sympathy thus is an emotional, intersubjective form of seeing oneself through others and affirming one’s personal worth through the approbation of fellow beings. Through empathy and imaginative identification, social actors enlarge their mentalities, insert themselves within networks of social and moral approbation, and negotiate the qualities and content of mutual approval.

As Luigi Bagolini correctly observed, sympathy “is founded directly on the desire to receive the praise of others at once and, correspondingly, on the desire to avoid the immediate condemnation of others…. [It is also] based on the desire to possess these qualities and to achieve those actions that the judging subject himself admires in others. “37 Smith’s original understanding of these mechanisms crosscuts naturalistic theories positing the intrinsic sociability of individuals and those presenting an essentialist interpretation of social relations as effects of purely egoistic, self-regarding considerations.

There is no self outside relations of intersubjective apperception. The ability to form a coherent personal identity is directly associated with the form and scope of the broader interpersonal structures of social interaction. With his focus on the complex, nuanced drive by individuals for moral and social approbation, Smith astutely struck a balance between self-love and benevolence; and, in contemporary terms, between the individual and the community, the good and the right, substantive ethics and formal morality.

This tension-ridden relation, however, does not dissolve the distance attendant on their connection but instead seeks to accommodate the one to the other in a process of continuous adjustment and mutual reinforcement. It is true that with sympathy, we come very close to satisfying our personal need for praise and advancing our emotional, social, and symbolic well-being. Notwithstanding, this self-centered orientation is comprised simultaneously by an explicitly social, intersubjective content that transcends mere egoism and reveals how the individual itself is constituted by prior patterns of interaction.

For Smith, the self is never disembedded or “unencumbered. “38 Rather, as he put it, “their approbation necessarily confirms our own self-approbation. Their praise necessarily strengthens our own sense of our own praiseworthiness. In this case, so far is the love of praise-worthiness from being derived altogether from that of praise; that the love of praise seems, at least in a great measure, to be derived from that of praiseworthiness. 9

This dialectic between the ego and the other finds expression in sympathy, which provides, by linking self-esteem to social praise, the psychological and social mechanisms undergirding social integration. “Nature,” Smith argued, “when she formed man for society, endowed him with an original desire to please, and an original aversion to offend his brethren. She taught him to feel pleasure in their favourable, and pain in their unfavourable regard. She rendered their approbation most flattering and most agreeable to him for its own sake; and their disapprobation most mortifying and most offensive. “

Chinese and American tradition

Throughout the book, the conflict between the mothers, their Chinese tradition, and language and the daughters, their American tradition, and language are evident. Suyuan and Jing-Mei Woo are mother and daughter, respectively, who are characters that illustrate the conflict between the two cultures. In the beginning of the story, the mothers who play Mahjong tell Jing-Mei to see her long lost sisters and tell them of their mother. Jing-Mei replies, “What will I say? What can I tell them about my mother? I don’t know anything. She was my mother. 31)”

Then it occurs to Jing-Mei that “they are frightened” because in her they see “their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. (p31)” In these quotes, Jing-Mei perceives the gap that occurs between the mothers and daughters. This gap between each mother and daughter is described in later chapters. Jing-Mei Woo, who is called June in America, represents her mother’s hopes and dreams. Her mother’s name, Suyuan, meaning, “long cherished wish” speaks of this hope for Jing-Mei, whose name means “the pure younger sister (p322-3)”.

In the beginning, June is excited and dreams of what she will become. “In all my imaginings, I was filled with a sense that I would soon become perfect. My mother and father would adore me. I would be beyond reproach. I would never feel the need to sulk for anything (p. 143). ” Her mother pushes June into many areas- academics, dance, and the piano. After failing to excel at any of the areas presented to her, she feels like a failure. She sees all the hopes her mother has for June as expectations.

The final conflict comes when June performs a piano piece filled with mistakes at a talent show, which makes June believe that her mother is completely ashamed and disappointed with her. June looked through the crowd to her mothers face. She thought to herself, “… my mothers expression was what devastated me: a quiet, blank look that said she had lost everything. ” (p. 143) What June did not realize, was that the real reason why her mother was upset was not because she had not lived up to her expectations. She was unhappy because June did not care about having the best for herself.

She did not have high hopes or a passion to be successful at anything. She failed because she did not try and she did not care. This is in strong opposition to Suyuans high hopes that originate from the strong love she has for her daughter. It is not until much later in her life, after Suyuans death that June realizes just how much her mother loved her and how proud she was of her. After Suyuans death, and after June learns more of the details about her mothers past, Junes eyes open to the good intentions her mother always had for her in all of the ways that she acted.

She realizes that her mother was proud of her even though she was not a great genius at anything. After Waverly humiliated June at the dinner table by stating that the work she had done for her firm was not good enough, Suyuan attempted to display her pride in June by giving her the jade pendent she always wore, which symbolized her lifes importance. She wanted June to know that her life had value and that she just needed to develop and use her talents in order to discover this. After her mothers death, June begins wearing this necklace every day.

She also thinks back to her job and decides, “I was very good at what I did, succeeding at something small like that. ” (p. 233) Because June does not make many of these discoveries until after her mothers death, she fears that she did not appreciate her enough during g her life: Right after my mother died, I asked myself a lot of things, things that couldnt be answered, to force myself to grieve more. It seemed as if I wanted to sustain my grief, to assure myself I had cared deeply enough. But now I ask the question s mostly because I want to know the answers. ” (p. 0)

Suyuan loved her daughter more than her own life, but June did not realize this until her questions were answered and she began to understand her mothers intentions in life, and where her hopes originated. The relationship between June and her mother, Suyuan, is far from flawless, yet has the foundation of love that can never be destroyed. Amy Tan uses this relationship and all of its complications to teach the readers important themes about life. Ultimately, love between this mother and daughter prevails through all conflict, and even beyond Suyuans death, when her ‘long-cherished wish’ of uniting her daughters is fulfilled.

Also exemplifying the conflict between the cultures of mother and daughter and the misunderstanding that occurs is Waverly Jong and her mother Lindo Jong. As a child Waverly inherits her mothers “invisible strength. ” Using her invisible strength, she becomes a success at chess. Like the little girl in the parable, Waverly Jong attempts to defy her mother. She clashes with Lindo because she misunderstands her mother’s pride in her achievements. Waverly wants chess to be strictly her own achievement, part of her own separate identity.

When her mother hovers over her during her practice sessions, she feels invaded, as though her mother is somehow taking credit for what Waverly sees as her own personal strength. Moreover, her mother’s bragging and desire to show her off embarrasses Waverly. In Waverly’s next story, “Four Directions,” she continues the story of her chess playing and relates that she eventually realized that her mother’s pride actually functioned as an invisible support. Moreover, Lena St. Clair and Ying-Ying St. Clair demonstrate the conflict between mother and daughter and the misunderstandings that led to the conflict.

You throw stones in and they sink into the darkness and dissolve. Her eyes looking back do not reflect anything. I think this to myself Even though I love my daughter. She and I have shared the same body. There is a part of her mind that is part of mine. But when she was born, she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore. And now I must tell her everything about my past. It is the only way to penetrate her skin and pull her to where she can be saved. 274)”

Ying-Ying believes that she and her daughter share the same body but Lena had sprung away to a distant shore. When Lena is supposed to mirror Ying-Ying, Ying-Ying sees Lena’s eyes as a bottomless pond. Both women are similar in that both are passive but this trait does not unite them but pulls them apart. Since childhood, Ying-Ying had been passive, resigning herself to fate. Her first marriage came about because she believed that she was meant to marry him, not from love. A while after the man leaves her, Ying-Ying meets Clifford St. Clair.

Once again she is resigns herself to fate believing that Clifford embodied a message that meant “the black side of {her} would soon go away. ” Ying-Ying passively watches Lena grow up as if they stand on separate shores. Nonetheless, she has realized that her inaction has been a bad example for her daughter. Lena, who is also passive in her marriage with Ted Jordan, is in shambles after learning that Ted has divorced her and planned to marry another. Ying-Ying resolves to share the story of her past mistakes with Lena so that Lena would gain strength from it and not be passive.

Furthermore, all the children feel the duality of their Chinese heritage and their American heritage. While the daughters in the novel are genetically Chinese (except for Lena who is half Chinese) and have been raised in mostly Chinese households, they also identify with and feel at home in modern American culture. Waverly, Rose, and Lena all have white boyfriends or husbands, and they regard many of their mothers’ customs and tastes as old-fashioned. Most of them have spent their childhoods trying to escape their Chinese identities: Lena would walk around the house with her eyes opened as far as possible so as to make them look European.

Jing-Mei denied during adolescence that she had any internal Chinese aspects, insisting that her Chinese identity was limited only to her external features. Lindo meditates that Waverly would have clapped her hands for joy during her teen years if her mother had told her that she did not look Chinese. The Joy Luck Club is now one of the best books I have read. Both the book and the movie of The Joy Luck Club were good. Since I first watched the Joy Luck Club on the television, the book was more enjoyable since both were similar. But the movie version added on and cut out parts of the book.

For example, the movie cut out the part of Bing Hsu and his death. They also cut out the fact that Clifford St. Clair put words in Lena St. Clair’s mouth and had changed her name and year. Also, the movie showed the uniting of the Ted Jordan and Rose Hsu after Rose stood up to Ted Jordan. The differences between American and Chinese cultures and the difficulties between the two were similar to the difficulties that I led in my life since I was born in America while my brother, father, and mother were born in Vietnam. Also, the difficulties that the mothers faced were similar to my own mother’s difficulties.

Even the fact that there was a gap between my parents and me since I did not share their experiences and lived in better conditions is evident in the book. It was touching reading this story since there are others who share the same experience that I have had. What was also interesting was the fact that the traits of the mothers concerning their daughters were similar to my mother’s own. When I started becoming known for winning tournaments such as spelling bees, I felt that my mom was creating expectations for me that I had to live up to while it was only aspirations that she had for me.

Also, the mothers were strict in relationships between the daughters and other boys. Moreover, the mothers usually used stories to communicate their wants for their daughters and warnings. My mother does so using old parables and Vietnamese sayings. Reading this book has made me both happy and sad since I know of others who share my experience although I don’t know the full story of my own mothers. Now, one of my hopes is to write a similar book retelling my mothers difficulties and the hopes and dreams my mothers brought to America.

Upton Sinclairs book The Jungle

The events that occur in Upton Sinclairs book The Jungle were same things that people in the early 20th century had to deal with everyday. For example labor was exploited to the employers benefit. Political corruption and prostitution were some main points in the book. The most important idea, the book supports socialism over capitalism as an economic and social structure. These things are what they had to go through and will be further explained. The labor force was exploited to the employers benefits. The workers didnt have any set wages.

A very few days of practical experience in this land of high wages had been sufficient to make clear to them the cruel fact that it was also a land of high prices, and that in it the poor man was almost as poor as in any other corner of the earth; and so there vanished in a night all the wonderful dreams of wealth that had been haunting Jurgis. What had made the discovery all the more painful was that they were spending, at American prices, money which they had earned at home rates of wages–and so were really being cheated by the world!

There were unsafe working conditions that the workers had to tolerate day after day the company had no care of. . The injury was not one that Durham and Company could be held responsible for, and so that was all there was to it, so far as the doctor was concerned. Also was no job security, the workers fear of being fired anytime of the day. For example, due to their overproduction in the summer, the workers were forced to shut down in the winter making the workers unemployed when they need financial support the most.

Political corruption and prostitution were some things that went on in the story. The politicians didnt care about anybody but themselves and the vote that they get. Whose fault was it that at the hours when workingmen were going to their work and back, the cars were so crowded that the conductors could not collect all the fares? And besides, the companies were thieves, people said–had stolen all their franchises with the help of scoundrelly politicians! Also prostitution was a big problem also.

Young girls who are just trying to survive or women who have to families need means to support them were forced into prostitution as an easy way of getting money. Marriage and prostitution were two sides of one shield, the predatory man’s exploitation of the sex pleasure. If she had no money, she was a proletarian, and sold herself for an existence. The book also supports the idea that socialism over capitalism as an economic and social structure. The book shows that the working class is lowest end of society, but if the workers can make a difference.

If they pull together and fight the system they will win their freedom. When a Socialist was elected to office he voted with old party legislators for any measure that was likely to be of help to the working class, but he never forgot that these concessions, whatever they might be, were trifles compared with the great purpose–the organizing of the working class for the revolution. These were some of the things that went during that time. It was a hard time for the immigrants but it turned out that these immigrants were the ones that made this great country America. Without them we wouldnt be at where at without them.

The Price Of Eating From The Tree

The struggle for power is an age old one, indeed. Opposing nations vying for control of a province, officials seeking powerful positions against equally cunning rivals, and the fight for dominance in a household are all examples of this struggle. It is a mental and physical battle, fought on many different sides at once by many different means. As a species, humanity seems predisposed to seeking the upper hand, even over those they may deem allies. Advancement in science and technology gives certain nations dominance on a military and economical level. Moral issues are fought in courtrooms, in churches and on the streets.

Families are torn apart as wives try to break free of the chains of oppressive husbands. Power is the ultimate attainable goal for most, perhaps not on a surface level, but at least subconsciously. It is known that people in power change the world, and who wouldnt want to be the one to shape their own destiny, rather than leaving it in the hands of people who dont understand their situation? Might is right is a mantra that may not be just, but certainly has been the rule rather than the exception in many cultures. Galileo held the power to change the world thought his discovery, or at least peoples perception of it.

He held a truth that was dangerous, to himself and those around him, as it threatened to undermine the most fundamental teachings of both science and religion simultaneously. It was truth, indeed, but at what cost? What does one do with such power in their hands? Similarly Prospero, Shakespeares fictional sorcerer from the play The Tempest, held power that one might consider god-likepower to call upon storms, and speak to muses. His was a might that was awe-inspiring, but at the same time, he isolated himself to devote himself to his art and to science. He must have known the danger of his power, and thus reveled in it instead in solitude.

What does one do when they have the power to warp reality itself? These two characters serve to provide a basis off of which their respective authors, Bertolt Brecht and William Shakespeare, can make commentary on the use of power and its danger. After all, both Galileo and Prospero abandon their power at the end of both works, although admittedly for different reasons. And while there seems like more benefit to be extracted from the power Galileo wields, both characters serve as a model for the question: What is the price of power, and can humanity bear that cost?

In the first chapters of the book of Genesis, a utopia in the form of the Garden of Eden served as the shelter for man and woman. This paradise was supposed to last an eternity, unless they ate fruit from a tree that was said to bestow knowledge. Human curiosity being what it is, the fruit was eaten, and paradise, destroyed. Even in this early religious literature, it seems that knowledge is portrayed to be powerful enough to destroy an ideal and ruin human existence. If Genesis were to be believed, then the suggestion is that perhaps there are just some things that should not be revealed to man in general.

It seems that Galileo skirted on such ground himself with his discovery about the placement of the earth in relation to the sun. He knew conclusively that no longer was the sun in orbit of earth, the center of the universe, but in reality itself was the epicenter of the solar system, with the significantly smaller earth taking a proportionately smaller role in the workings of that system. How could this be, when all religious doctrine and astronomy were based off the seemingly obvious assumption that the earth is stationary?

A monk in Brechts Galileo demonstrates this kind of perplexity when he protests Galileos claims. He seems to think that because the earth is not the center, it is not special, and therefore not protected my God. Nobody has planned a part for us beyond this wretched one on a worthless star. There is no meaning in our misery. Hunger is just not having eaten. It is no test of strength. Effort is just stooping and carrying. It is not a virtue. (Brecht 84) It would seem that ignorance is indeed bliss, and knowledge is the loss of innocence.

Galileo was convinced that his knowledge should be shared with humanity for its own good as well as his own financial benefit. Much has been made about portrayal in Brechts play as someone who could be perceived as interested in money, but the plain fact is that he had to live, and needed money to survive. Be it that he just wanted to live well, or that he sought to stay comfortable so as to continue to contribute to the world through his science, Galileo opted to back down from the authorities, and do his work in private.

Brecht leaves this gray area about him, presenting him as a brilliant, but fallible being, and one who knows that the world was not ready to expand its horizons. It would seem that he sold out, but perhaps his purpose went deeper. After all, it was not until people managed to make their religion and the truth of his teachings coincide that he received admiration for that work. For many, belief in God supercedes common sense, it would seem. For better or for worse is anybodys guess. Prospero is given a different, but no less impressive tool to wieldthe power of magic.

The cosmic power at his disposal is great indeed, but leaves him isolated and weary, content only to study in solitude while his innocent daughter Miranda is left to her own devices. The island itself is revealed through the course of the play to be a kind of purgatory, indicating Shakespeares opinion of magic as a whole. He commands elements that were perhaps not meant for a man to control, and thus he is forced to live alone. That doesnt even to seem to be the penance, as he has his daughter with him, and she must inadvertently share in his solitary exile.

Shakespeare seems to consider magic wicked, and through Prospero, Shakespeare renounces its power and from whence it came. His humanity begins to play a big role in his life from the beginning, and the budding love of Miranda and Ferdinand changes his heart. The magic of sorcery seems to pale in comparison to the love that they share, another suggestion that Shakespeare presents to demonstrate powers more universal than magic. He gives his blessing to Ferdinand: Then as my gift, and as thine own acquisition worthily purchased, take my daughter.

But if though dost break her virgin knot before all sanctimonious ceremony may with full and holy right administered. (Shakespeare 49) Indeed, the isle itself is an ethereal thing, something that exists to house those of no faith. Miranda and Ferdinand are the only innocents, and their dichotomy is what gives Prosperos acceptance of his own mortality and the loss of the use of magic a certain pain. He seeks to get rid of his power because much in the same way that Galileos power made him lonely, Prospero is isolated from the world.

Brecht and Shakespeare both seem to deem knowledge as a route to power, and as such should be avoided in some situations, but not all. Brecht seems to sympathize with Galileos genius, but doesnt have any problem detailing the problems the knowledge he has entails. Truly that is a demonstration of even Brechts impartial attitude. He never proclaims knowledge is bad, but the events in the book suggest that he had a view that was farther reaching than good and bad, and that Galileo had to live to fulfill his promise, even though he was hiding his greatest discovery.

Brecht seems to consider the gaining of several more years of scientific discovery an acceptable substitute on the grounds that the original knowledge is not lost and is passed on. Prospero is Shakespeares way of denouncing all magic forms, and showing redemption in the soul through love. His abilities were dangerous, but he gave them up for he sake of his daughter and his newly clean soul. What power have you if you can move mountains but not be loved? He seemed to come to accept his former life as desirable, and he simply wants his family. He describes it thus, at the end:

I have hoped to see the nuptial, of these our dear beloved solemnized; and thence retire me to my dear Milan, where every third thought shall be my grave. (Shakespeare 67) Both Authors recognize and are reverent to the power held by their respective characters, but realize that innocence is something to be protected. Pain and struggle get one only so farbeyond that love is the power that acts as the great equalizer. Both had a lot to gain from their power, but at the price of their souls and their lives, that power became a burden rather than a gift. And with innocence lost, there is no proportionate good.

Exegesis Of Rev. 1:1-20

Revelation as a whole is often viewed as a very hard book to understand. However, if taken in small sections and really studied closely, the meaning of the text can come through. The first step to understand the book is to understand when it was written and the occasion and purpose for which it was written. Revelation was written at a point when Christians were under great persecution by Rome. Most scholars believe it was written somewhere around A. D. 95 by the apostle John. The book was written to encourage the new Christians at the seven churches to hold fast and not give in the emperor worship that was beginning to be enforced.

John had already been exiled to the island of Patmos (1:9) and others were coming under great persecution. John writes this letter to encourage the believers that Christs return is imminent and that they should not be dispirited by the persecution they are going through now. Instead, he echoes Matthew 5:10, that Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. There are many interesting things about Revelation 1. The first verse itself is somewhat interesting. It reads, The revelation of Jesus Christ This is intriguing in that were not quite sure what is meant by a revelation of Jesus.

The Greek word for revelation is apokalupsis, which means used of events by which things or states or persons hitherto withdrawn from view are made visible to all. (Strongs Concordance) The strange thing about the use of this word is that in the context of the verse, it is not made clear whether John means that it is a revelation of Jesus Christ, or about Jesus Christ, or both. As we move on in the chapter, we come to verse 3, where it is written, Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy… This verse is worthy of note because of it is the first beatitude of the seven that are contained in Revelation.

By saying that the person who reads this book is blessed, John is saying that the reader is much more than happy, but he is favored by God. As the verse continues, we read that the time is near. This is a reference to Christs return and the judgment that will come with it. This is a theme that is echoed by almost all of the New Testament, as in James 5:9, which says, The Judge is standing at the door! Revelation 1:4 provides yet another intriguing aspect of the book in general. John, to the seven churches in the province of Asiafrom the seven spirits before his throne.

This demonstrates one of the distinctive features of Revelation, the repetitive use of the number seven. In totality, it is used 52 times throughout the entire book. There are seven churches (1:4), seven spirits (1:4), seven golden lampstands (1:12), seven stars (1:16), and many others. Verse 1:7 produces a bit of a conundrum. It states, all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. Jesus is of course the him being referred to here. However, the problem at first glance is that all people will mourn. Christians believe that Christs second coming will be a time of great celebration and a time eagerly awaited.

Yet this verse says that it will be a time of mourning. Upon closer inspection however, and good cross-referencing, we find that it does not mean we will mourn him coming. Instead, it can mean one of two things. First of all, it could mean that all humanity will mourn what was done to Jesus on the cross. Secondly, there could be a limitation on all. In Revelation 13:8 it says, And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life. This states that all means all who are not saved.

This could also be what 1:7 means when it says all, instead of meaning all people on earth. Eventually, we come to find out how John had this revelation. It says that On the Lords Day I was in the Spirit (1:10) This terminology is somewhat interesting. As Christians today, we automatically associate the Lords Day with Sunday, but this is the first mention of that term in the Bible, although there are definitely other references to meetings on the first day of the week, notably Acts 20:7, On the first day of the week we came together to break bread, and 1 Corinthians 16:2.

The term in the Spirit is also significant. On first glance, it may be a little confusing as to what John is referring to. If you are Pentecostal, you may think that he has been slain in the spirit. If you are Baptist, you may think he is simply in prayer. However, the Jamieson, Fausett, and Brown commentary on the Bible state that it means John was in a state of ecstasy; the outer world being shut out. This made possible an immediate connection with the invisible world. In Revelation 1:12-16 we read a description of a grand figure we find out is Jesus.

There are many distinctive and important characteristics of his attire and how he is described. According to John, he was wearing a full-length robe with a golden sash around his chest. This is significant because this was also the attire of the high priest. All throughout the description, articles that combine priesthood and royalty appear and show an allusion to Christ being our great high priest-king, or a priest in the order of Melchizedek. These verses are also significant, because they themselves quote other scripture and so solidify their reliability.

In verse 13, John quotes Daniel 7:13 when he describes Jesus as being like a son of man. Verse 1:18 tells us that Jesus holds the keys of death and Hades. This means that Jesus has control over Hades or Hell, which makes it possible for him to make the statement in Matthew 16:18 to Peter which says that on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Jesus knows that the gates of Hades will not overcome it because he has the keys to Hades. This also suggests that Jesus has control over Hades final demise, as described in Revelation 20:14, Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.

Finally, at the end of the first chapter of Revelation we come to the revealing of the symbols that Jesus holds in his hands. The stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the lampstands are the seven churches. What John means by the angels of the churches is not particularly clear. He could have meant either heavenly messengers, earthly messengers/ministers, or personifications of the spirit of that particular church. Personally, I believe it was referring to the minister of that church. This view is supported by the greetings at the beginning of all the letters when it is written to the angel of the church of

Now that we have gone through and looked at almost all of the verses in the first chapter of Revelation, how does one apply this to ones life? First of all, we learn that we are blessed by reading the Bible (1:3) and that we should read more. Furthermore, we learn that we should take to heart what is in the Bible because the time is near and we never know when Jesus might be coming back. We also learn that when Christ comes back, it will not be a nice, happy time for all humanity. Instead, it will be a time when all the peoples of the earth will mourn (1:7) and that Jesus will judge the people with a sharp double-edged sword.

Because of this, we should be ready at all times for his coming and also keep on witnessing to others, so that they will not have to go through that terrible judgment. Finally, we discover that Christ holds the keys of death and Hades so that we will not have to be afraid and we can be encouraged that whosoever believeth shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16) because of Jesus mastery over death and Hades. In summary, Revelation 1 is mostly warning for the unbeliever and encouragement for the believer.

Witch Hunt In Modern Europe

The Witch-Hunt in Modern Europe by Brian Levack proved to be an interesting as well as insightful look at the intriguing world of the European practice of witchcraft and witch-hunts. The book offers a solid, reasonable interpretation of the accusation, prosecution, and execution for witchcraft in Europe between 1450 and 1750. Levack focuses mainly on the circumstances from which the witch-hunts emerged, as this report will examine. The causes of witch-hunting have been sometimes in publications portrayed differently from reality.

The hunts were not prisoner escapee type hunts but rather a hunt that involved the dentification of individuals who were believed to be engaged in a secret activity. Sometimes professional witch-hunters carried on the task, but judicial authorities performed most. The cause of most of these hunts is the multi-causal approach, which sees the emergence of new ideas about the witches and changes in the criminal law statutes. Both point to major religious changes and a lot of social tension among society.

The intellectual foundations of the hunts were attributed to the witchs face-to-face pact with the devil and the periodic eetings of witches to engage in practices considered to be barbaric and heinous. The cumulative concept of witchcraft pointed immediately to the devil, the source of the magic and the one most witches adored. There was strong belief then that witches made pacts with the devil. Some would barter their soul to the devil in exchange for a gift or a taste of well being. Many believed that these witches observed a nocturnal Sabbath where they worshipped the devil and paid their homage to him.

They were also accused of being an organization known for its cannibalistic practices of infanticide incest. Another component of this cumulative concept was the belief of the flight of witches. The belief for this was contributed to by the assumption that witches took flight from their homes to goto nocturnal meetings without their absence from home being detected. The belief in “flying night witches” was shared by many cultures in the modern world. These women were referred to as strigae, which was one of the many Latin terms for witches.

As the reader first opens the legal foundations of witch-hunting, one finds that historically it was a judicial process from discovery to elimination. Levack states that before the thirteenth century European courts used a system of criminal procedure that made all crimes difficult to prosecute. This system was known as the accusatorial system and existed predominantly in northwestern Europe. When the thirteenth century came into being, a new technique, which gave more human judgement in the criminal process, was adopted in Western Europe secular courts. This new court was known as inquisitorial courts.

The only difference between the new system and the old when suits were begun by accusation was that the accuser was no longer esponsible for the actual prosecution of the case (pg. 72). The new procedures were not in reality an improvement due to the fact that the standards of proof according to inquisitorial procedure were very demanding. Since the adoption of inquisitorial procedure represented a shift from reliance upon mans rational judgement, jurists agreed that it was absolutely necessary for judges to have conclusive proof of guilt before passing sentence (pg. 79).

They relied on Roman law and based their conclusions on two eyewitnesses and the confession of the accused. The development of full judicial power given to the state in the prosecution of a crime was a major event. From the early times, the secular courts in Europe had taken part in the witch-hunts, and now as the hunt developed further along, the secular courts grew an even greater role in the process. This caused a decline in ecclesiastical court participation due to the fact that governments defined witchcraft as a secular crime, and the temporal courts of some countries had a monopoly on the prosecution.

The prosecution of magic was a “mixed jurisdiction” taken on by both courts but when convicted he guilty were executed under secular law. Since secular courts had jurisdiction over magic and maleficium they primarily assumed the significant role in prosecuting witches. As the hunt gathered steam in the sixteenth century, the developments resulted in a reduction of clerical jurisdiction and an increase in the amount of secular concern with it. The main reason was the defining of witchcraft as a secular crime.

All of these factors led to a large-scale witch-hunts in Scotland but in some countries the retention of ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the crime led to a decline in the number of rosecutions. Local court decisions during this time also played a role in the conviction of witches. They had the ability to perform with a certain amount of independence from higher political and judicial control. There are two main reasons why local courts proved to be less lenient than central courts in the prosecutions of witchcraft (pg. 93).

The first is that local authorities that presided over witch trials were far more likely than their central superiors to develop an intense and immediate fear of witchcraft (pg. 93). The second is that entral judges were generally more committed to the proper operation of the judicial system and more willing therefore to afford accused witches whatever procedural safeguards the law might allow them (pg. 94). The decentralization of judicial life had lasting effects in countries like Germany, where no effective control by central authority led to increased hunts and more torturous executions.

The formation of the cumulative concept of witchcraft and all the legal precedents introduced made the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth century witch-hunts possible. To look at the understanding of the hunt one must examine the religious, social, and economic conditions that began in modern Europe. During the time of the Reformation, the Europeans increased their awareness of satin and started to wage a larger war against him. A second effect of the Reformation on witchcraft arose from the emphasis that both Protestant and Catholic reformers placed on personal piety and sanctity (pg. 06).

The Christianization of Europe also added to this war against the devil by eradication superstitious beliefs, eliminating paganism and suppressing magic. Witch-hunting was the most frequent in countries where large minorities adhered to different religions. Witch-hunting was the most intense in Germany, Switzerland, France, Poland, and Scotland (pg. 114). The effects of the Protestant and Catholic Reformation did have an effect on witch-hunts; they laid the foundation for their decline. There were various types of hunts that took place during European witch-hunt times.

The main feature of the small hunt is that the search for malefactors is limited to the individuals who were originally accused (172). The main characteristic of a medium style hunt was hat it included five to ten victims. The final type of hunt was the large hunt where tens to hundreds of witches were hunted and panic and hysteria were rampant everywhere. The end of the witch-hunts was usually an abrupt procedure. The small hunts for example were isolated prosecutions that ended when the accused were either executed or given an acquittal.

Most of the time the end of a hunt lasted for many years, and up to generations. The explanations for the geographical unevenness in the hunts cannot be simply put. According to Levack, there were four separate but related factors. The first was the nature of witch beliefs in a particular region and the strength in which they were held (231). The disparity can be seen for example in countries like England, the Scandinavian countries, and Spain where the prosecutions included a number of individual trials for maleficium and some for Devil-worship.

The second factor is determining the relative intensity of hunts was the criminal procedure used. Not all countries used the inquisitorial procedure and torture method. The third determinant was the extent to which the central judicial authority had control on the trials. Central control did not always prevail, since some rulers wanted to completely exterminate witchcraft. The final factor is the degree of religious zeal manifested by the people of a region (232). This was most evident in large hunts and countries known for their large numerous executions and not known for their Christianity.

The decline in witchcraft can be attributed to a multitude of factors. There were three main judicial and legal developments that contributed to the decline of witchcraft: the demand for conclusive evidence regarding maleficium and the pact, the adoption of stricter rules regarding the se of torture, the promulgation of decrees either restricting or eliminating prosecutions for witchcraft (236). The mental outlook was also changing at the time as judges and princes set out to create new rules for torture and restricting witchcraft.

The most important religious factor in this decline was the change of the religious climate that occurred in the late seventeenth century. The socioeconomic changes could be felt in a general improvement of living conditions that reduced some of the local village tensions that lay at the basis of witchcraft prosecutions. Witches no longer posed the threat that hey once did. The economic and social chaos of this century and the political and religious instability caused anxiety that led to witches becoming a scapegoat for the general ills of society during their rapid time of change.

Witchcraft had become somewhat of a hobby! In conclusion, Levack gives the reader a full understanding of witchcraft during this time and the historical insight and vivid description adds to the livelihood of the period. Levacks insight gives the consistency that witch-hunts were sparked by diverse and complex causes, which he supports in his book. According to a book review by Elizabeth Furdell, “Levack uses many sources to provide national examinations of the witchcraze.

An example of this Levacks conclusion that while German communities exhibited frenzied paranoia directed at “witches,” England did only a little witch-hunting. He uses reliable and multiple reasons to prove his thesis. The book offers a solid, reasonable interpretation of the accusations, prosecutions, and execution of thousands of witches in Europe, and Levack leaves the reader wondering if he the individual if he/she had lived during this period would have been hunting witches or hunting fox?