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24 March 2020
OfMice and Men
Thenovel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, gives an account ofmigrant ranch workers who move to different places in California insearch better opportunities. The account took place at a time whenthe United States was experiencing the Great Depression. The twoworkers are George Milton and Lennie Small. The central theme in thenovel is the nature of human existence. Most of the characters in thenovel, including Lennie, Candy, George, and Crooks experience a senseof isolation and loneliness at one time or another. It is importantfor an individual to identify strengths and weakness as a means tohelp in shaping their destiny. There is the necessity to choose theright companions and goals that are attainable.
Thesisstatement: The nature of human existence is surrounded bymultiple uncertainties that undermine the attainment of personal andcommunal goals.
Overtime, human beings have sought to control and influence the thinkingof others through the acquisition of new values, ideologies andbeliefs. The objective is to attain followership, authority andsupremacy over others. Social isolation affects the independentthinking of an individual. The beliefs, abilities, and convictionsare disrupted. At times, it is linked to social pressures thatresults in a weakening of “mental efficiency, reality testing, andindependent judgment”. An individual influenced into acquiring newvalues is likely to disregard options and effects of his or herdecision. Social pressures and influence has great control over thedaily happenings and actions of an individual (Long 859). Throughsocial influences, it is possible behaviors, beliefs and attitudes.The compliance technique, for example, is largely concerned about thechange on one’s behavior while persuasion seeks to change theattitude of an individual. Through social cognition or propaganda, itis possible to change the beliefs adopted by the members in asociety. From the novel, it is evident that each of the charactersdesires to get comfort from a colleague or friend, although they endlistening to strangers. Curley’s wife, for example, tells Crooksand Candy that is in an unhappy marriage. Crooks on the other handtell Lennie that is difficult without a companion. The assertions bythe characters reflect a sense of confusion and need.
Isolationmakes the characters feel helpless yet they are also seen seeking todestroy other weaker characters. The vulnerabilities shown by thecharacters act as their weakness but none is willing to admit thematter. As such, oppression does not only come from the strongest butcan also emerge from the friends and weaker beings. The novel appearsto suggest that weakness is a visible strength that some people useto oppress others (Bloom 5). Consequently, transformation processwill be said to begin when they reflect on their previous beliefs,while trying the fitness of the new ones. The issue continues untilthe moment they fail to approve them thereby rejecting them or theycome up with ways in which to integrate them in their behaviors. Attimes, isolation is seen as an effective approach to assert influenceon most social spheres. The change of opinions and values eitherthrough persuasion or force is largely psychological. Unsuspectingindividuals are likely to fall prey of mind control when the socialrules are exploited to suit their needs. Either as individuals orgroups, it is possible to brainwash individuals by utilizing thesocial rules for false ends. The social dynamics for a human beingare complex, amorphous and unpredictable. Nonetheless, a boomingnavigation of the social world is imperative for the formation andmaintenance of interpersonal relationships (Long 859).
Theauthor, Steinbeck, is also seen trying to identify weaknesses andstrengths that are common in human life. He considers that physicalstrength is crucial in life, although it depends on the usage by acharacter. Lennie, for example, has great physical strength but failsto kill a mouse. Great strength is equated to money in the novel asit is valuable to humans in their daily undertakings (Bloom9).At times, it oppresses men where one becomes defenseless anddisposable. In another example, Curley appears as a symbol ofauthority who utilizes the feature to intimidate other people,including his wife. Furthermore, the novel talks of the difficultiesin realizing the American dream due to the dynamics that underminethe success in some fields. The author identifies that safety,contentment, and freedom are elements that one finds difficulties inrealizing in the world.
Inconclusion, the novel has important lessons that enhance ourunderstanding on the nature of human existence. The adoption of newvalues is not an easy task but is influenced by several factors suchas fear, resultant benefits and social influences, among others. Thecharacters admit suffering from loneliness yet they are part of thecontributing factors. In a similar scenario, humans fail to recognizetheir potential thereby, failing to attain their goals in life.Others face social pressures and influences that are difficult toavoid. We need companion for social and emotional support in case ofchallenges and problems that are inevitable in human life.
Bloom,Harold, ed. JohnSteinbeck`s Of Mice and Men.Infobase Learning, 2013.
Long,Mia-Carré B. "Of Mice and Men, Fairy Tales, and Legends: AReactionary Ethical Proposal to Storytelling and the BrisenoFactors." Geo.J. Legal Ethics26 (2013): 859.
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24 March 2020
Long Death of Slavery in theUnited States
Issues such as slavery, economicand political alignments took the center-stage in the U.S in thenineteenth and early twentieth century respectively. According toRael, the slave persons were exposed to vices such as inequality andfavoritism on behaviors based on originality, economic, and socialstatuses. The masters created the societies by integrating ideas thatcertainly had no universal appeal (p. 208). Almost all the slaveswere illiterate and unskilled. As such, they could not easilycommunicate or comprehend a large amount of the issues in theirsurroundings. On the same note, the captives were denied fundamentalrights and links to their families. While slavery led to thetransformation of the structure of the forced laborers, it destroyedfamilies due to unfair practices as relatives could not cherish theoptimal privileges that people with blood ties share when they areinteracting physically.
Thesis Statement:Class struggle, white supremacy, and institutional failurecontributed to an extended period of slavery in the United States.
United States had a long historywith slave business. The first encounter happened occurred on August1619 when a ship full of black captives on Jamestown, Virginia.Patrick Rael explores the events that led to the abolition of 88-yearof slavery in the United States. The writer notes that it took along time to terminate the practice since the slave-owners in the U.Shad so much power that had not been witnessed in any othercivilization with slave persons in the world. He explores thetransformation of slavery through different eras, including theReconstruction and colonial era. The main them he discusses indetails a couple of themes that makes his exploration unique. The twoprimary objectives include: the reasons the practice took so long toend and how it differed from other places on the Atlantic. The firststrategy the slave holders used to oppress the minority populationwas the enactment of the ‘enormous gift’ which was a policy thatallowed only three-fifths of the slave population to join the generalpopulation. The remaining two-fifths did not gain freedom thus, theysupplied the local slave trade. Secondly, the elite retained awell-armed and trained militia to counter slave rebellions. Despitethe upper hand the elite slave owners had, the free- North initiatedantislavery activism. The freed African-Americans contributed massivepower to the movement. The combined effort of the black and whiteadvocates surpassed the whites and brought slave trade to an officialend on Dec ember 6, 1865. In the 1860s, the debate to ban slavery wasso crucial that it gave Abraham Lincoln an upper hand to win theelection since he supported the motion. Abraham Lincoln allowed theratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The policygave the Free States a lot of power such that they could even revokethe 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. The policy required the Free States toaid in the apprehension of fleeing slaves.
The slaves were always mistreatedby their masters, either physically or psychologically. In thepresence of the slaveholders, the workers were supposed to behavewith decorum and respect. They were not expected to question anydecision made by the masters. The consequences of slavery includedloss of life and discrimination. Bigotry in the working fields led tothe adoption of unfair practices (Rael 208). For example, the whitepeople were deemed superior to the African Americans because theyserved as the managers. They also meted cruel punishment to workerswho failed to comply with their harsh working conditions. However,there is no record of any African American who was in charge ofsupervising the white supremacists.
Major institutions reflected andsupported the oppression of the slaves in their societies, includingthe slave trade, which made people to be isolated from their familiesand homes. The victims were assigned to work in different unknownareas. Furthermore, the provisions and access to crucial serviceswere inadequate as the slaves were deemed inferior. The practicethus, led to the regulation of some economic, educational, and socialservices to the disadvantage of the captives. Slavery in the UnitedStates was detrimental to the lives of the forced laborers due to theharsh conditions they faced in their daily engagements. The mastersperceived themselves as more valuable in both economic and socialstatus compared to the slaves hence, the productivity andcontribution to the welfare of their families were minimal (Rael207). Authorities took over most of the responsibilities, yet theywere only fulfilling the basic needs under strict conditions. Workers needed to observe tough regulations, which resulted in thedisintegration of the poor and black families because various familymembers were assigned to serve in separate regions. The AmericanCivil War was among the reactions of the people supporting ordissuading slavery. The deadly conflict led to a divided Americannation pitting the blacks against the whites.
After the Civil War, the Americanadministration started unifying the divided country. Legislationsentrenched during the period had little significance in ending racismand unfair treatment against the Black-Americans. The AfricanAmericans were denied their rights and were also treated assecond-class citizens. The white southerners had organized themselvesinto several groups that never considered racial equality. Further,the era experienced tensions among the political and wealthyindividuals who intended to benefit from the regime at the expense ofothers. In the political arena, the leaders of the major politicalparties, the Republicans, and the Democrats fought to influencepolicies as well as take control of state and local authoritiesimmediately after the civil war. Additionally, the white southernersused terror gangs to oppose civil rights progress among the minorityAfrican-Americans while still enhancing the white supremacy. The KuKlux Klan was a secret group formed in 1865 at the Reconstructionperiod in the Southern states after the civil war. The factionpromoted white nationalism, by using terror approaches against theblack citizens such as mass execution, to impose a racial classstructure. Such issues contributed to the lengthy stand-off betweenthe whites and the people of color before the ultimate end of slavery(Rael 209).
I believe that the racism andintergroup tensions created a good ground for slavery. The whitemajority controlled the government hence, undertook all possiblemeasures to suppress abolition of the oppressive culture. The whiteswere the primary beneficiaries of the practice. It is also noteworthythat shattered dreams of the captives helped in paving the way fornational harmony, championing of equal rights, and the push fornecessary changes geared towards ending the oppression. By so doing,the production of the society and relations among citizens advancedregardless of their background, race, religion and ethnicity. Theefforts were overwhelmed by the supremacy of the white citizens inthese states because they rejected racial equality and allocation ofresources to enforce the legal privileges of all citizens. Themasters were skeptical about giving freedom to the slaves. Classstruggles were evident during the period. The wealthy class supportedthe restoration of white superiority in the country. Their functionswere primarily political since they wanted to influence powerrelations in public and private sectors within the Southern states. Ialso consider that high-level corruption and class struggles played arole in the extended slavery period.
The white supremacists made allattempts to preserve slavery through policies and legislations. Afterthe American civil war in 1865, most American states enacted someinfamous legislation, popularly known as Jim Crow Laws, whichmandated the isolation of the white and black citizens in publicplaces. It was not possible to measure the extent of democraticideals in the country due to the prevailing legislation provisions,discrimination, and non-cooperating authority among others. AndrewJohnson’s administration, elected in 1865, failed to improve thegains made by President Lincoln’s administration, particularly onthe need to end racism and slavery.
In conclusion, slaves faceddifficulties in trying to cope with the life under their masters.They were subjected to harsh conditions that involved physical andemotional abuse. Unfortunately, the practice was common in thesociety as the masters were less mindful of the slaves. Thetraditional attachment between the black society and the colonizersinvolved values and norms, which replaced the culture of the blackcommunity. Ending slavery in the US was not easy as the whitemajority, and the government created policies as well as laws thatallowed the practice.
Rael, Patrick. Eighty-eightYears: The Long Death of Slavery in the United States, 1777-1865.Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2015. Print.
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24 March 2020
Part1: Dark knight: Joker’s Social experiment:
Allhumans are selfish in particular ways. The issue is driven by theiractions to offer great protection to their soul, mind, and body. Itis for such a reason that one can betray friends or close allies inthe name of attaining some benefits (Fradley19).It is human to exhibit such a character as seen in the Joker’ssocial experiment. At all times, humans seek the means to optimizetheir benefits while lessening their burdens even if it calls forsacrificing their friends. Nobody would want to remain in distress orproblems in instances that have a means to avoid the challenges.
Part2: The Unequal Opportunity Race:
Thereexist numerous obstacles in the quest to realize equality in thesociety. Various actors provide opportunities that can enhanceequality, although the attainment of success is jeopardized by thehurdles placed along the way. Affirmative actions in the society havebeen formulated to help the underprivileged groups reach their fullpotential (Hitchcocket al. 2).Unfortunately, such assistance comes with terms and conditions thatare sometimes difficult to fulfill. In some instances, theopportunities are aimed at achieving the short-term goals whileleaving out the most important long-term objectives. Such is the casein our society due to greed and fear for competition upon offeringopportunities to the marginalized.
Part3: The ethics of the death penalty:
Deathpenalty generates divergent opinions on whether it is morally rightor wrong. The ethical factors surrounding the issue are different insocieties depending on the legal and cultural frameworks. Capitalpunishment is immoral in the current civilization as there are othermeans through which to punish a wrongdoer. Communities haveestablished clear judicial mechanism to assist in the administrationof justice to the people. The practice also undermines certain valuessuch as the right to life (Braswell,Belinda, and Bernard 8).Additionally, ending the life of a wrongdoer does not serve justiceto the affected parties. It only leaves wounds on the families andfriends of the culprit.
Braswell,Michael C., Belinda R. McCarthy, and Bernard J. McCarthy. Justice,Crime, and Ethics.Abingdon, United Kingdom. Routledge, 2014. Print.
Fradley,Martin. "What do you Believe In? Film scholarship and theCultural politics of the Dark Knight Franchise." FilmQuarterly,vol. 66, no. 3, 2013, pp. 15-27.
Hitchcock,Joshua, et al. "The Big Question Is Affirmative Action Necessaryto Overcome Institutional Racism?." WorldPolicy Journal,vol. 33, no.1, 2016, pp. 1-4.
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24 March 2020
1.World War I undermined the shaky regime of the Russian Czar andbecame one of the major causes that lead up to the 1917 Revolution.TRUE or FALSE. EXPLAIN your answer.
Thepeasants and the working middle class in the cities became poorerafter the First World War. A majority could not participate inmeaningful activities as they got involved in fighting during thewar. Many others starved in the cities while others remained in hugedebts hence, rendering most people hopeless. The Russian Czar wasincompetent as a military thus, the armys was ill-prepared anduninspired. As such, the citizens encountered political oppression,underrepresentation, and economic crisis. The issues contributed tothe 1917 revolution (Chamberlin27).
2.Insteadof using bright and jarring colors, Picasso crafted Guernicabyusing grey, white and black. WHY? Did the artist represent the actualevent in the painting?
In1937, Picasso used Guernicathat had white, grey, and black colors to express his anger againstthe war. The colors reflected the artist’s initial experience withoriginal newspaper photographs and reports. They also created adramatic intensity to the attraction of the audience. Picassogot inspiration from the crimes against humanity committed during thecivil war in Spain. The artwork was later displayed during the ParisWorld’s Fair.He felt the need to use the colors to express outrage while at thesame time calling for peace and reconciliation among the people. Itwas a huge mural-sized painting that attracted millions of audienceand visitors.
3.Whatare the specific differences between “social realism” and“socialist realism”? Connect each one with its correctgeographical origins. Then provide specific examples of each tosupport your response.
Socialrealism is a global art movement that involves the works ofprintmakers, painters, filmmakers, and photographers. The aim is todraw attention on the conditions of workers and the poor in thesociety. A good example is the muralOmniscienciacreatedby José Clemente Orozco in Mexico. Socialistrealism is a form of art that started in the Soviet Union and becamea dominant style before spreading to other socialist nations. It isdefined by features such as communist values and realistic imagery(Cook45).The Soldier-LiberatorbyYevgeny Vuchetich in Berlin is a good example.4. Whydo historians call World War I and II “total wars”?
TheWorld War I and II are regarded as totalwars byhistorians as all forms of civilian resources and infrastructure wereconsidered as targets. Resources were mobilized from all areas in thesociety for purposes of fighting the hostilities. In fact, the twowars had no limitations on weapons, territories, and objectives.
5.Accordingto composer John Cage, where can music be found? Give an example tosupport your short answer. What do you think Cage is really trying tosay with his music?
Cageconsidered music as a succession of sounds. An example is playingpiano without necessarily singing. Heasserted his music carried insights of the Eastern philosophy full ofrandom sounds.
6.ReadTagore’s “The Man Had No Useful Work” (reading 35.4, page 83).Can art be both meaningless and essential? Do you find this view ofHeaven troubling? Explain.
Artcan either be meaningless and essential depending on one’sstandpoint. The viewpoint is not troubling as people have differentperspectives due to differences in opinions and interests.
7.ReadBeckett’s WaitingFor Godot (reading35.2, page 82) in its entirety. Explain how this excerpt from theplay captures the spirit of meaninglessness and despair found in theexistentialist philosophy.
Theplay captures the spirit of meaningless and despair in that itconsiders that life has many unknown facts. The issue of absurdityalso emerges where humans struggle on to end up in death. Humansremain in endless competition trying to make life better but end upfacing or creating more challenges in their lives.
8.Whatdoes Sartre mean when he says we are all “condemned to be free”?
Sartremeant that humans have the choice to make on whether to be free ornot. As such, he felt that all people are free, though the freedom isdependent on the choices made by an individual (Joneset al. 89).
9.Anexistentialist hero is one who is apriori definedby a set of political ideals. TRUE or FALSE. Explain youranswer.False
Inhis arguments, Sartremaintained that all human action taking place in the physical worldis meaningless. An existentialisthero does not harbor ideals as he or she undertakes matters dependingon the personal views.
10.“Youdon’t have to paint a figure to express human feelings.” Applythis statement to all forms of international art at mid-century(found in chapter 35). Is it harder to convey human feelings through,for instance, the action paintings of Jackson Pollock or thesculptures of David Smith? In contrast, are feelings easily expressedby the presence of representational art at mid-century – forexample, the sculptures of Segal and Giacometti? Do they expressfeelings that Abstract Expressionism is unable to capture?
Itis true that paintings or art do not necessarily capture humanfeelings. Landscape art, for example, identifies important elementsthat convey human feelings and emotions about certain activities andhappenings in their surroundings. Art should assist to createemotions following an inner reality as opposed to the physicaloutlook. Expressionism emerged as a response to the unease relationbetween human feelings and the world. Representational art capturedthe feelings left out by the Abstract Expressionism.
Chamberlin,William Henry. TheRussian Revolution, Volume I: 1917-1918: From the Overthrow of theTsar to the Assumption of Power by the Bolsheviks.Vol. 1. Princeton University Press, 2014.
Cook,David A. AHistory of Narrative Film.WW Norton & Company, 2016. Print.
Jones,Peter, et al. "Sartre’s Concept of Freedom (s) There is NoGood Answer: The Role of Responsibility in Sartre’s Ethical TheoryCritique of Freedom as a Value: Defending the Early Sartre againstMoral Relativism Trying to Get it Right: A Reply to Four Critics."SartreStudies International,vol.21,no. 2, 2015, 85-133.
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24 March 2020
ControllingStress during Student Life
Studentsexperience stress due to the demands from their instructors andparents to record positive academic performance. Procrastination andlack of positive mentors often lead to individuals failing toaccomplish their objectives. Students need to create a big network ofoptimistic friends, avoid procrastination, and also perfect theirtime management skills to control stress in life.
Excellentmanagement of pressures is necessary to warrant the attainment ofacademic goals. Students should strive to have a better control oftheir studies. Another approach in the management of stress is togenerate a balance of schedule for their academic and non-academicactivities in school. It also calls for improved time management toensure apt completion of scheduled activities, especially classassignments. In doing so, learners should set specific and realisticgoals with significant consideration of their capabilities. The movehelps in avoiding setbacks that emerge following the failure toachieve their targets (Regehr, Dylan, and Annabel 3). It also aids inenhancing the moods for participating in numerous activities that areinstrumental in one’s educational life.
Furthermore,studies indicate that regular exercises help to decrease the stresslevels while at the same time improving the physical and cognitivedevelopment. Daily physical activities lessen the tension in the mindand body (Regehr, Dylan, and Annabel 5). It is also necessary thatstudents adopt healthy sleep habits. Such an approach is helpful toensure a student relaxes effectively to remain fruitful in the comingdays.
Additionally,students should avoid procrastination that leads to conflicts withthe teachers and parents. It is pertinent for learners to creategroups that make a positive contribution to their lives. It isthrough the groups that the students share their problems as a meansto generate appropriate interventions. In worst cases, it isnecessary to seek solace from the counseling in case one encounterschallenges that may bring result in stress.
Regehr,Cheryl, Dylan Glancy, and Annabel Pitts. "Interventions toReduce Stress in University Students: A Review and Meta-Analysis."Journalof Affective Disorders,vol. 148, no.1, 2013, 1-11.
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