Monday, January 27, 2020

Analysis of American Protest Literature

Analysis of American Protest Literature The protest literature of early to mid-19th century America shares a common theme of moral values. Both Henry David Thoreau and William Apess speak of a moral code that humanity is bound to uphold. Although they addressed it in different ways and proposed different solutions, they ask a similar question: is America truly the great land of principle that it claims to be. The essay The Resistance to Civil Government was based on a series of lectures Thoreau gave in 1848 and was published in 1849. In it he discussed the shared responsibilities and duties of citizens and their governments. While his thoughts stand alone as a philosophical position, it is important to understand the historical context. Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836. The United States did not immediately incorporate the territory into the Union because of the ongoing political battle over the expansion of slavery, however, on December 29, 1845, Texas entered the United States as a slave state. Thoreau was an outspoken abolitionist, as made clear in other of his writings, and was adamantly opposed paying taxes which supported a government that upheld unjust and immoral policies. He based his decision not to comply on the belief that there is a law higher than civil law that demands the obedience of the individual. Thoreau opened Civil Disobedience with the maxim That government is best which governs least, (p 843) and he speaks in favor of government that does not intrude upon peoples lives. Government, he believed, was a means of attaining an end that existed only because the people chose it to execute their will. Government, however, was susceptible to misuse, corruption, and injustice. When injustice became extreme, such as by allowing slavery, individuals had both the right and duty to rebel against the State through a variety of means such as refusing to pay taxes. Thoreau did not advocate the dissolution of government. Rather, he called for a better government (p 844), one which was limited to decide those issues that it was fitted to consider. Thoreau underscored the power of the individual to effect reform. Reform, he believed, came only through the individual, and moral issues were the individuals concern. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law' he said, so much as for the right. The individuals obligation was to do at any time what [he thinks] right (p 844). He enjoined his audience to wake up and to refuse to be machines that served the State with their bodies or minds. Good people, he contended, must serve the State with their consciences and resist it when its policies and actions conflict with their consciences. Through this duty to resist, Thoreau introduced the concept of civil disobedience, tying to the birth of the nation through revolution. Merely expressing opposition to slavery was meaningless. Only action what people did about their objection mattered. Wrongs could be redressed only by the individual, not through the government since the mechanisms of change provided by the State were too slow or were ineffective. He acknowledged that in practical application a single person might not be able to affect widespread change, however, a person must at least not be guilty of supporting injustice through compliance. Individuals must not support a government whose policies are unjust. Talk is cheap; action is immediate. People must act with principle and must break the law if necessary. Such action, however, comes with a price. People must be willing to bear the consequences of their actions. When the man of conscience acted in variance with the state, he might be punished by force. This f orce could be against his property, his family, or his person. Because of this potential loss, Thoreau believed it was impossible for a person of conscience to live honestly and at the same time comfortably (p 851). However, these penalties cost people of conscience less than the price they would pay in obeying the State. Therefore, it falls to the State to respect the higher and independent power of the individual since it is only through this that it derives its authority (p 857). The writings of William Apess are also protest literature and, like those of Thoreau, are better understood through their historical context. In 1830, the government passed the Indian Removal Act which authorized the removal of Indians from the lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory and other areas considered suitable. In essence, this act spelled the end of Indian rights to live in those states under their own traditional laws. They were given a choice: assimilate and concede to US law or leave their homelands. The Act was based on the white-written history of interactions between Native Americans and European settlers; a history rife with horrific stories and only the occasional act of kindness. Apess was bi-, or perhaps multi-, racial. Because he was primarily raised by whites, he grew up with stories of the Indians cruelty. As he grew he learned of the competing truth of the whites cruelty toward the Indians. He converted to Christianity early in his life and ultimately was ordained as a Methodist minister. His faith was integral to his ability to affirm himself as a Pequot and as a person of color, and in Christianity he found both hope and a philosophical framework from which to challenge racial bigotry. The central theme of An Indians Looking Glass for the White Man was the failure of white people to recognize the irony and hypocrisy of denying Native Americans, who they considered to be heathens, the self-evident rights guaranteed to all men by the Declaration of Independence, and their un-Christian treatment of them. As the title indicates, his words were directed to a white audience. According to Apess, materially well-off whites were not superior to the Indians from either a religious or moral perspective because they were unprincipled in their dealings with people of a different skin color. He liberally used the word principle, or some variant thereof, for the purpose of establishing the unprincipled actions of white men in regard to red men. What if, he asked, all the worlds different skins were put together, and each skin had its national crimes written upon it-which skin do you think would have the greatest? (p 501). Apess outrage at the mistreatment of Indians extended to the mistreatment of blacks. His charge against the white citizens of the United States was not only that they had robbed a nation almost of their whole continent, and murder[ed] their women and children, but that they had also subjugated another nation to till their ground and welter out their days under the lash (p 501). He used the word black to metaphorically describe the Christian morals and principles that were corrupted by the aversion to colored skins.   If black or red skins or any other skin of color were disgraceful in Gods eye, he said, it appears that he has disgraced himself a great deal-for he has made fifteen colored people to one white and placed them here upon this earth (p 501). He went even further and implied that Jesus, himself, had been a person of color. Apess implored the American people to think for themselves and act upon the morals that they held dear. As a minister he was able to incorporate quotes from the Bible in support of his position.   He used every detail he could to present the moral contradictions in American policy and used the philosophical underpinnings of America to support his argument against them. He concluded with a blistering indictment of bigotry directed at his audience: By what you read, you may learn how deep your principles are. I should say they were skin deep (p 504), yet he maintained hope due to the actions of those who spoke out against mistreatment. Thoreaus The Resistance to Civil Government and Apess An Indians Looking Glass for the White Man can be seen as protests against a government that had failed to live up to its stated ideals and failed to protect the rights of its people. Both call upon the moral conscience to bring an end to injustice; both appeal to the founding principles of the nation; both call people to action. Question 7: Literature speaks truths about the past to which history cannot give voice. The writings of Pontiac, William Apess, and James Fenimore Cooper all express the concerns of native Americans, but through different perspectives. Cooper attempts to portray the Native Americans as honorable, albeit stereotypical, savages, Pontiac laments the destruction of traditional Indian culture, and Apess condemns the hypocrisy and bigotry of white society. Within all these writings are both overlapping and unique concerns that give voice to the challenges faced by a culture forced to change. James Fenimore Coopers The Last of the Mohicans, subtitled A Narrative of 1757, was published in 1826, however it harkens back to an earlier period of American expansion.   By the time it was written the prevailing view was that humans were divided into distinct races and that some races were inferior to others. Indians (savages) were fated to vanish before the superior (civilized) white men, and there was no changing fate.   Cooper sought to promote a true understanding of ethnological problems in a rapidly changing America.   His prose was infused with a belief that shared humanity could be communicated across cultural and linguistic differences and could dispel the idea of the unknowable otherness that promoted fear and justified exploitation. Hawk-eye and Chingachgook were depicted as individuals who displayed, through their friendship, the ideal of human relationships between Native and European Americans. Cooper embraced the concept of the noble savage, but at the same time he also promulgated racial stereotypes. In his description of Chingachgook he noted that, His body, which was nearly naked, presented a terrific emblem of deathà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦ (p 486). Coopers attitudes toward race were complicated even for his time. He was, after all, a white man and his characters reflected an obsession with systems of classification by which race was distinguished from race, nation from nation, and tribe from tribe. Hawk-eye and Chingachgook are both concerned with racial purity. à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦the worst enemy I have on earthà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦ darent deny that I am genuine white, declared Hawk-eye (p 487). They respected each other and could work together, but both rejected the idea of interracial marriage. Hawk-eye frequently displayed his superior knowledge, as when he presented Chingachgook as ignorant because he did not understand about tides. Drawn in this way, their partnership did not threaten the racial status quo. From an historical perspective, this story was set during the French and Indian War (1754-60), a proxy war which pitted the British Empire, its American colonies, and their Indian allies against the French Empire, its Canadian colonies, and their Indian allies. It was the North American theater of a much broader international conflict known as the Seven Years War. The Treaty of Paris that ended the French and Indian War led to a flood of English settlers moving across the Alleghenies into Indian territory. The French had gained the loyalty of their Native American allies by providing them with ammunition and supplies. The Indians viewed the French as tenants on their land who had provided gunpowder, rum, and other goods as a type of rent. The British, on the other hand, believed themselves to be governed by international law and felt no obligation to the regions original inhabitants. Native Americans were not members of the family of nations and had no more rights than the animals th ey hunted. They were no longer welcome at the forts and intermarriage was discouraged. From the Indian viewpoint, the lack of support and disrespect were a breach of protocol and an insult to the Indian nations and their leaders. American Indian resistance began to grow. Pontiac was an Ottawa Indian chief who had been very successful in protecting his land and his people. During the   French and Indian War, Pontiac was an ally of the French. The changes brought by the British victory did not sit well with Chief   Pontiac. On April 27, 1763, a council gathering was held near Detroit. Pontiac gave a speech in which he recounted the indignities that the Indians had suffered at the hands of the British. He believed that his people needed return to the customs and weapons of their ancestors, throw away the implements they had acquired from the white man, abstain from whiskey, and take up the hatchet against the British. He realized that in adopting the white mens customs and in using their food, blankets, and weapons, his people had become dependent upon them. He remembered the stories, heard in childhood, of the might of the Ottawas in the days when they lived according to the old customs and longed for a return to the traditional ways. Pontiac was strongly influenced by the story of Neolin. Neolin was a respected visionary and spiritual leader of   the Delaware people.   Pontiac also understood the power that story telling had in his culture. Stories were guides that taught them how to act and live their lives. He used the story of Neolins encounter with The Great Spirit in order to convince the leaders of the neighboring tribes to join him in a rebellion.   He reminded them of what the Great Spirit said to Neolin: The land on which you live I have made for you, and not for others. Why do you suffer the white man to live among you? (p 223) The Great Spirit then instructed Neolin to Fling all these things away; live as your wise forefathers lived before you. And as for these English, these dogs dressed in red who have come to rob you of your hunting grounds, and drive away the game,- you must lift the hatchet against them. Wipe them from the face of the earth, and then you will win my favor bac k again, and once more be happy and prosperous (p 224) William Apess approach was different and can be best characterized as embracing the goal of nation-building. His work documented many past injustices endured by Native Americans and lamented the state of their current life in and around Connecticut and Massachusetts. During this period, the relationship between Native Americans and the dominant white culture was viewed as a struggle between assimilation and cultural tradition.   Apess revealed how false this dichotomy was. His was an authentic voice arising from the personal experience of his bi-racial identity. Instead of the either/or of cultural tradition or assimilation, Apess sought to promote affiliation. With the authority granted to an ordained Methodist minister, Apess relied upon religious engagement as a means to bring to light the hypocrisy of thePilgrims who would fight to destroy any perceived threat to their land or livelihood, but would not grant this same right to Native Americans. In doing so he also demonstrated the Native Americans capacity to affiliate themselves with Christian values. God, he said, will show no favor to outward appearances but will judge righteousness (p 499). Apess was the antithesis of the Christian nationalist. Growing up he described how was terrified of his own people because his white caretakers told him stereotypical stories about Indian cruelty but never told him how cruelly they treated Indians. This past that they embraced was sacred to them; to him it was a degrading myth. They used their position   to build churches, dispatch missionaries, and educate the people they deemed savages; to him their authority was morally bankrupt. Apess challenged people to live up to the stated values of their government and their church. If they talked the talk then they also had to walk the walk. To profess a belief in liberty and justice for all or the equality of all Gods children was not enough. People needed to act in accordance with their beliefs. If they failed to do so then they were hypocrites. Native Americans faced a variety of concern in the early to mid-19th century. They faced the loss of their traditional homeland, the dissolution of their cultural heritage, and the very real consequences of institutionalized bigotry. What can be seen in the speech by Pontiac and the writings of James Fenimore Cooper and William Apess is the complexity of the cultural forces at work at that time. The portrayal of the savage or contemptible Indian was as much a creation of the white man as was the civilized, and Christianized Indian, who was created in the white mans image. Native Americans were unique and complex individuals with the same needs and longings as any other people.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Barthes Essays Essay

In the article â€Å"Toys† (1957), Roland Barthes claims that modern toys are conditions children to gender roles they are expected to demonstrate. Barthes supports his claim by explaining that toys are imitations of everyday adult objects and comparing these toys to a wooden set of blocks that promotes creativity and durability. His purpose is to raise awareness about the myths of toys and the things they represent in order to make people reevaluate the types of toys that are best for child development. The intended audience is most likely people studying the subject of childhood development and are well educated because of the more serious tone and use of complicated words; parents may also have an interest in the article. In the article â€Å"Photography and Electoral Appeal† (1957), Roland Barthes explains how the use of photography in elections and politics can be deceiving. Barthes supports his claim by giving specific examples of how the photographs can influence the views and decisions of voters. His purpose is to explain the deceptions present in photographs in order to educate voters. The intended audience is voters who will be viewing the politicians campaign. The tone of the essay is rather sophisticated and serious. In the article â€Å"Ornamental Cookery† (1957), Roland Barthes discusses the mythical economics behind the ornamentation of cooking. Barthes supports his claim by giving specific examples of the things Elle does to make their dishes look elaborate and discussing the audience of Elle magazine and their expectations on what they can create. His purpose is to explain that the pictures presented in the magazine are a â€Å"cuisine of advertisement† in order to reveal that Elle has mislead people into what they believe they can create. Barthes uses descriptive words and targets his essay towards the readers of Elle, the working-class. In the essay â€Å"Wine and Milk† (1957), Roland Barthes claims that wine is an importance part of the French society and represents several mythologies. Barthes supports his claim by giving specific examples of the myths of wine and comparing it to the myths of milk in other countries. His purpose is to explain the importance of certain drinks in countries and the nationalism of wine in France. Barthes uses an intellectual style in his essay and intended the audience to be people interested in myths or the meaning of drinks in countries. In the essay â€Å"Soap-powders and Detergents† (1957), Roland Barthes explains the use of psycho-analysis in advertisements for soap and detergents. Barthes supports his claim by describing the uses of soap and the way people see soap by using images and descriptive words. His purpose is to explain the myths behind soap and detergent and how companies use the myths in advertising. The audience is people who watch the advertisements and people in marketing.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Love Through the Ages Essay

â€Å"It is better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all.† Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), a famous poet from the modern period, published â€Å"Love is not all† in 1931, centuries after â€Å"To My Dear and Loving Husband†, by puritan poet Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), was published in 1678. While comparing these two poems, one can see many similarities and differences ascribed to the different time periods they were written. â€Å"To My Dear and Loving Husband† and â€Å"Love is not all† are different in their content and meaning. Although both of the poets are exploring the relationship between love and death, they come to different results at the end of their work. Bradstreet finds her love for her husband so worthy when she says, â€Å"I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold†(l.5). On the other hand Millay thinks that she â€Å"might be driven to sell [his] love for peace,†(l.12). One can notice a contrast in tone between the two poems. Bradstreet’s tone is spiritual, while Millay’s tone is playful. There is one paradox in each of the poems. In â€Å"To My Dear and Loving Husband†, Bradstreet explains that people who are no longer alive on earth can be alive forever in heaven. She says, â€Å"that when we live no more, we may live ever†(l.12). Millay explains that love can’t save lives but people can die without it. This paradox is spread in the first six lines of the poem. Although these poems are written in different time periods, they have many similarities considering their content and meaning. Ann Bradstreet and Edna St. Vincent Millay have different styles. Part of this difference is ascribed to the different time periods in which they lived. In â€Å"To My Dear and Loving Husband† images like gold, debt, and nature are some that come to reader’s mind, but in â€Å"Love is not all† one can see more images while reading the poem. People rising and sinking, blood, and fractured bones are some of them. The two poems are different in their diction too. Millay’s diction is contemporary but Bradstreet’s language is archaic and old fashioned. She uses words and phrases that were common in seventeenth century language as when she says, â€Å"Thy love is such I can no way repay† (l.9). Although a regular reader may not notice, both poems have  rhyming scheme. â€Å"To My Dear and Loving Husband† is written in rhyming couplets, meanwhile â€Å"Love is not all† is written in English or Shakespearean sonnet. The use of figurative language is not really noticeable in any of the poems. Bradstreet says, â€Å"My love is such that rivers cannot quench, nor ought but love from thee, give recompense. â€Å", which is the only metaphor she uses in her poem (l.6). Millay’s most noticeable use of figurative language is when she says, â€Å"Yet many a man is making friends with death†, which is a personification (l.7). As explained, the different time periods in which these poems were written causes the greatest difference in their style. If I wanted to write a poem about love, I would write about the love of mother for her child. I believe the mother’s love is the purest and most beautiful love. I would include many images showing how a mother cares about her child and how her love is unconditional. I would also use figurative language to explain the love of a mother for her child. I may say how a mother protects her child from all the dangers by comparing it to nature. Or I may use simile to show how desperate a child can be without her mother’s support and care. I would conclude my poem by trying to make the reader believe that people should have more respect and care about their parents and the fact that without them, they would be nothing.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Essay Environmental Challenges in Vietnam - 1245 Words

During the process of industrialization and development of any country, many parts of the country’s current systems tend to shift. Industrialization and development cause for a change in the economical status of a country along with a change in the production and consumption of resources by said country. For decades Vietnam has strived to build an independent, self-reliant economy to provide for an improved chance at gaining a steady path towards being industrialized and developed. By gaining this title, Vietnam would move forward towards creating sustainability for future generations to come. Sustainable development comes with challenges, and it is these challenges that have prevented Vietnam from fully accomplishing their high set goals.†¦show more content†¦Along with this triumph, in general, over the past twenty years Vietnams economy has grown rapidly and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has had an annual growth rate of 7.4% between 1991 and 2000 and 7.26% betwe en 2001 and 2010. This increasingly recognized economy that Vietnam is forming promotes attention directly at figures on spreadsheets and lacks the focus on the negative affects that are simultaneously happening to the environment. Being one of the fastest growing economies in South-East Asia with an average growth rate of 7.3% since 2000, Vietnam has begun to experience drastic drawbacks as the economically triumphs are unfortunately coupled with the current rise in environmental pollution (Environmental Taxation in Vietnam online). These environmental drawbacks can be seen in increase exhaust fumes from an upsurge in automotive use, along with an increase in transportation and use of construction vehicles. Furthermore noise pollution, solid waste and wastewater sewage disposal are providing for the growth of environmental pollution (Environmental Taxation in Vietnam online). If these warning signs are not dealt with properly the damage on future generations could be irreversible. As a direct result of rapid economic development, population growth, and urbanization, Vietnam is facing significant environmental challenges (Swiss Aid Shifts to SMEsShow MoreRelatedPresident Nixons International and Domestic Chall enges Essay1584 Words   |  7 PagesTeacher AP US History September 20, 2012 President Richard M. Nixon’s administration had to face many international and domestic challenges in the United States between 1968 and 1974, some positive and some negative. His achievements in expanding peaceful relationships with both China and the Soviet Union are contrastingly different with his continuation of the Vietnam War. 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