Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Essay on Australian Identity

Essay on Australian Identity

Identity means having a special character or personality different from everyone else. Good morning/afternoon teacher and fellow students. Today I have chosen to talk to you about Australian Identity.

I will be talking to you about 3 texts:
1. The Spiritual Song of an Aborigine
2. The Shifting Heart
3. I still call Australia

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The spiritual song of an aborigine is a literary text written by Hyllus Moris. Hyllus Moris refers himself in this poem as a river, snow, wind, falling rain, part of rocks, red deserts, eagles, crows and snakes. This technique which is used is called personification. He uses red deserts as these colour deserts are only found in Australia. This is used to single him out to have an Australian Identity. Hyllus tells us about the native animals of Australia such as the emus, wombat and kangaroo being around when he was born. Again this singles him out to have an Australian Identity as these animals can only be seen in the wild in Australia. In the 3 last sentences he says ‘I am this land, this land is me, I am Australia’. By saying this he is not saying I think I am Australia, he is saying I am Australia which also relates to him having a positive Australian Identity. This text has shaped my understanding that of Identity by the various techniques and powerful and emotional words which he uses. You have to be proud to be Australian and respect Australia and its native icons which will enable you to have an Australian Identity.

The Shifting Heart is a play which is written by Richard Beynon. The Bianchi families are migrants from Italy. The Bianchi family is proud to be in Australia. Their son Gino is a character who is desperate to earn an Australian Identity which other Australian people will accept. Throughout the play it is evident that Gino is a very proud Australian by things like framing his Australian citizenship and hanging it up on his wall. This emphasizes that Gino is proud to be Australian and is trying have an obvious Australian Identity. Gino has an identity clash as he was born in Italy but raised up in Australia. Maria is Momma and Poppa Bianchi’s daughter. She reveals later on in the play that she hates it here in Australian because of how much pain and stresses her husband Clarry puts on her. This is known by when she loses her temper and says ‘you take me to Italy, Italia, that’s my home’. Maria is not doing much to develop her Australian identity. Momma and Poppa Bianchi are perceived in the book as happy migrants and accept Australian people as their daughter married an Australian man. Maria describes Clarry as a typical Aussie when she gets upset when Gino gets bashed. She accuses him of being raciest for not accepting Gino into his business as a partner. Australian men are perceived in this text as drunken slobs who are very narrow minded and are aggressive and abusive towards their wives. Australian women are perceived as well-behaved and act how a woman should act. Women are more sensible than men. Gino is like Hyllus Moris and is trying to build a strong Australian Identity which he believes in and tries to get people to accept him as an Australian.

Play first verse of the song. I Still Call Australia home is sung by the Australian Choir and is a non-literary text. In this text, the choir sings that no matter where they are or travel, they will still call Australia home. This shows that they are proud to be Australian and gives a positive view towards their Australian Identity. The choir also sing that they love being free. This is a very good point towards Australia as Australia is a free country.

These three texts all have a key point. This key point is to be proud of being an Australian which will help to have a positive Australian identity.

To conclude this speech, I have found that all these texts referred to typical Australian lifestyles such as, being free, violence, living around native Australian icons and having an Australian Identity. These texts have shaped my understanding of identity by analyzing, observing and understanding that you should appreciate your Australian Identity and to be proud of it. SO BE PROUD, AND BE AUSTRALIA.

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Essay on Athena

Essay on Athena

The Priam Painter’s Hydria, in the Elvehjem Museum of Art (Madison 68.14.1), shows a narrative of the deification of Herakles that maintains the classic version of the myth in the sense that Athena drives a chariot which brings Herakles to the realm of immortality, but insinuates the process was perhaps more peaceful and more simplistic than did other painters contemporary with the Priam painter.

Herakles stands at the flanks of the horses, recognizable by the lion’s skin on his shoulders and its jaws he wears on his head. Athena, to his left, will command the chariot once their travels begin; she wears her archetypical helmet; and Hermes is engaged in conversation with Herakles, wearing a “traveler’s helmet” and carrying his staff. At the horses’ heads hides a female figure, presumably of no more significance than a groom or a servant.

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Clearly Herakles and Hermes are talking; Athena looks ahead, over the horses’ ears, seemingly aloof to the conversation. That Athena is the charioteer is indisputable, as is the fact that Herakles is beside her. Their adornments are perfectly typical in the tradition of characteristic pieces associated with the goddess and the hero/to-be god. Thus, to an ancient viewer who had not been instructed that the vase depicted the apotheosis of Herakles, unless there existed another story in the oral tradition that Herakles was to ride behind Athena as Charioteer, the vase would have been instantly recognized as the myth the Priam painter intended. However, had I seen this vase without prior instruction as to its intention, I could have distinguished Athena and Herakles but probably not Hermes; I could see the intentions of Herakles to ride with Athena but be utterly clueless as to where they were going. There is no indication of Mount Olympus anywhere in the scene, so we don’t know where they are going; the chariot is stopped, so we wouldn’t know if the chariot has ended from its journey or is about to depart.

Furthermore, the scene on the vase isn’t at all consistent with the account of the apotheosis of Herakles by Apollodorus, which states simply that “while the pyre was burning, it is said that a cloud passed under Hercules (Roman) and with a peal of thunder wafted him up to heaven. Thereafter he obtained immortality . . .” (Apollodorus, Library). The chariot is conspicuously absent, as are both Athena and Hermes. This is possible for several reasons: did the transport of Herakles to Mt. Olympus by Athena, as a charioteer, fade out of oral tradition by the time of Apollodorus’ writing? Can art scenes show divine interactions that could not be constructed in oral tradition or writing?

Absent from the vase by the Priam painter are key elements of Apollodorus’ account of the ascent to Mount Olympus, namely the characters and events leading up to the near-death of Herakles. Obviously the scene is intended to display only a small portion of the myth, one not even touched on by Apollodorus.

What is striking about this scene, especially compared to other vase painting depictions of the apotheosis of Herakles, is that the human and/or god-figures appear calm and relaxed, while the horses appear tense and unnerved. In Munich 2360, for instance, while Herakles and Athena are calm and collected, the scene is much more suspenseful: Athena is driving the horses in the air, and Herakles is now riding with her instead of standing at their flanks; below is the burning pyre, and what have been described in Perseus as two nymphs are rushing forward to put out the flames. To their left and below the chariot are what Perseus calls “Silens,” two nude men. One of them is peering into the flames and the other appears panicked, backing away. An alternative interpretation might suggest a sort of arm conflict between the Silens, which is not described in Perseus but sort of appears as such on the vase. While Herakles is not wearing his lion’s skin and jaw helmet in this scene, making it more difficult for us to identify him, the rest of the action incontrovertibly describes the myth in a much more parallel fashion to that of Apollodorus.

Perseus dates this vase to the classical period, and the one by the Priam painter to the archaic, which gives evidence that with time the myth may have changed and the narrative in the vase by the Priam painter follows a more dated storyline, which explains its lack of consistency with the tale told by Apollodorus. The vase from the Louvre in Paris, F 30, depicts another scene of the same myth: here, Herakles is shown, with Poseidon, Hermes, and Athena, actually entering Mt. Olympus and the realm of the immortals. The characters are recognized by their adornments; Athena, for instance, is painted snow-white and carries her characteristic shield. To the left of Athena are Poseidon and Hermes respectively; to her right is Herakles, as though being introduced to a sort of hierarchy of deities. The scene is quite different from the two chariot scenes from Munich and Madison, obviously because it depicts another aspect of the same narrative. The mood to this painting is rejoiceful, a vivid contrast from both previous chariot scenes.

After comparison with these vases, the Priam painter’s Hydria seems simple and vague. The artist seems to have left much of the myth, which was probably still in a very formative period in archaic Greece, open to the viewer’s interpretation.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Essay on Atlantis

Essay on Atlantis

The legend of the lost continent of Atlantis has long been regarded as a pure myth. This essay on Atlantis will show that not only did the continent exist, but also that it existed approximately 1200 kilometers west of Europe, in the vicinity of what is now the Azores Islands. After examining the writings of the ancient philosopher Plato, Otto Muck’s book, entitled The Secret Of Atlantis, and various writings on the Bimini Road in the Bahamas, this essay will prove that the lost colony of Atlantis is indeed more then a mere Hollywood myth.

Plato first mentions Atlantis in his dialogues Timaeus and Critas, which were written approximately 355 BCE. According to records, Plato heard the story of Atlantis from his grandfather who in turn heard it from Solon, the Athenian statesman of the 7th century BCE. Plato described Atlantis as, “a highly civilized society, one that could boast achievements well in advance of its age, that sank beneath the waves in a single catastrophic event.” According to legend, the first inhabitants of Atlantis were the offspring of a mortal woman and Poseidon, the god of the sea. More accurately, the first people were those that evolved from primates in the area.

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Plato writes, through his narrator, Critias, about the advancements and luxuries of Atlantis. He states that Atlantis was about 1200 kilometers west of Europe and that is was beyond the Straight Of Gibraltar, or the ‘Pillars of Hercules’, as it was known in ancient times. Many different historians and geologists in history have acknowledged the ‘Pillars of Hercules’ to be the Straight of Gibraltar. In fact, even today it is generally agreed upon that they are two in the same. Plato’s description of Atlantis could put it no where else but in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coasts of Portugal and Morocco.

Otto Muck was a historian who believed that Plato’s account of Atlantis was truthful. In his book, The Secret of Atlantis, he studies and examines the Azores Islands and how they provide further proof that Atlantis once existed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Crude pottery and weapons were discovered on the Azores and suggest that Neanderthal man, the precursor of Cro-Magnon, once inhabited the island. He concluded that the Azores has been inhabited by intelligent life for a very long time.

Muck also believes that the behavior of a certain type of eels that live in the waters of Central America help to prove that Atlantis existed in the middle of the Ocean. The eels will float for three years with the Gulf Stream until they reached Europe, where they will swim up freshwater streams and rivers. Ten to Fifteen years later, they mate and make the trip back to their origin. Muck states that the eels used to stop and mate in the freshwater of Atlantis, which wouldn’t of been that far away from their homes. When Atlantis disappeared, they instinctively continued until they found Europe. That is the only explanation for why they would travel so far when they could easily find freshwater to mate much closer then anywhere in Europe.

As further proof of the authenticity of Plato’s account, many of Earth’s civilizations at the time of Atlantis’s destruction have written about a great natural disaster that caused a great continent to disappear. The Egyptian and Aztec cultures both have accounts of this event, which also leads to the theory that the survivors of Atlantis spread to the east and west to take up habitats in Egypt and Mexico. Muck states that the striking similarities between the pyramids of Egypt and those of the Aztec are too great to be considered coincidence. He also defines his argument with the facts that the Basques of Spain and the Mayan Indians spoke the same language, had similar facial features, the same tools and even the same sports.

The Bimini Road is an underwater arrangement of rocks of the coast of Bimini, a small country in the Bahamas, which appears to be a sunken road that was once part of the ancient city. The ‘road’ starts about half a kilometer off the coast. Six meters below the surface lie the stones, some as big as boulders. Most are rectangular in shape and seem to be fitted together, linked, as if for some purpose. They form roughly two parallel lines, about fifty-five to sixty-five meters apart, facing southwest to northeast for a half kilometer in the shape of a giant letter ‘J’. Many of the reports about this structure by skeptics are of the ‘Atlantis is impossible’ variety. Most of these reports have never had any exploration of the area at all to base their arguments on.

Some argue that the stones are merely just beachrock, but the formations of the road are impossible to form by beachrock. In places where one stone is placed on top of another, or a series of stones are placed in circles, beachrock is an impossible argument. No matter how you look at it, the stones were obviously placed there by something other then nature. Add the fact that the direction of the road would more or less lead to the exact location of Atlantis according to Plato, and it becomes obvious that the Bimini Road was indeed a part of the ancient lost city.

After examining the above points, it is obvious that despite all of Hollywood’s attempts to make Atlantis into a fairy tale, this ancient civilization did exist. Plato wrote many, many things during his life, and many are still held in high regard amongst professionals as detailed accounts of history. There is no reason to take his account of Atlantis as written in Timaeus and Critas any differently. Otto Muck took already known facts and expanded on them. His explorations have led to further proof of Atlantis’s existence. The Bimini Road, under no circumstances, can be thought of as being man-made. Furthermore, the road would lead right to where Atlantis once was. The only conclusion of these facts is that Atlantis existed near what is now the Azores Islands, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, just as Plato said it did.

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Essay on Smoking in Dubai

Essay on Smoking among Youth in Dubai

Smoking among youth of Dubai is a common place occurrence. Teenagers begin smoking for various reasons: depression, peer pressure, outside influences. This habit can be injurious to health as it can cause serious lung diseases and is also a casual agent in six of the major chronic diseases. I believe that the Government of Dubai needs to control smoking by increasing the age limit on cigarette sales, imposing heavy fines on underage smokers and banning smoking in public places.

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To begin with, I am going to state the three arguments to support my position. Firstly, the government of Dubai should increase the age limit on cigarette sales. Most teenagers turn to smoking because of unchecked access to cigarettes. Easy availability initiates smoking in teenagers. Secondly, the government should impose heavy fines on juvenile smokers. The introduction of a regulation like this would create a fear in underage smokers and in this way, they would not smoke. And lastly, Smoking should be completely banned in public places like malls, parks, beaches for example. In this way, children and non smokers are not exposed to passive smoking.

Next, I am going to put forward the counter-arguments as stated by my opponents. Firstly, teenagers who are of age can buy cigarette packs for themselves and for underage children as well. As a consequence, the age limit imposed on cigarette sales holds no significance. Secondly, with access to fake identification cards, checking underage smokers and imposing the fine becomes taxing. Sales people working at the stores cannot double check all customer identification. Finally, by banning cigarettes in all public places, adults of age who are allowed to smoke can no longer do so. This would create a problem for all adult smokers.

Now, I am going to break down my opponents views. Firstly, adults assisting in committing the felony can be charged with fines as well. In this way, no adult can be coaxed to help any underage smokers as they face a risk of being caught.

Secondly, if any adult wishes to buy a pack of cigarettes then he should have suitable identification cards. In order to ensure that the customer is not using a fake identification card, the customer should present a health card or a driving license as these cannot be faked easily. Finally, Smoking should be completely banned in public places. Adults, who wish to smoke should do so at home and in this way, not expose children to smoking. When the youth see strict enforcement of this regulation, they will realize that they might as well not get into the habit.

To conclude, in this essay on Dubai, I have given arguments for my position, looked at my opposition and refuted their counter-arguments. As I mentioned earlier in my introduction, cigarette smoking poses many serious health problems. Smoking amongst the youth in Dubai needs to be controlled. The government of Dubai can curtail smoking by increasing the age limit on cigarette sales, imposing severe fines on juvenile smokers and completely prohibiting smoking in public places.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Essay on Court Observation

Essay on Court Observation

The Central Criminal Court was established by the Central Criminal Court Act 1834. It is a component of the Crown Court (the criminal court of first instance), which hears between two and three per cent of all criminal cases, and has an appellate jurisdiction . It replaced the courts of quarter sessions and assizes in accordance with the Courts Act 1971, and forms part of the Supreme Court. The Act also divided England and Wales into six distinct circuits, within which are around 90 Crown Court Centres made up of three tiers. The first tier centres deal with the more serious Crown Court work and High Court civil business. The second tier centres deal solely with Crown Court criminal affairs, and the third tier centres take care of the less serious criminal cases. High Court judges often preside over the first and second tier centres, but do not sit on cases in the third tier. Circuit judges, recorders and assistant recorders however may sit on any of the three tiers.

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The Central Criminal Court comprises of eighteen courts (there is also a video room for courts to use known as Court 19), which handle approximately 1700 cases between them per annum. It is a second tier Crown Court Centre, dealing as such with those offences ‘triable either way’, and indictable offences (i.e. the more serious offences such as murder and rape). The Court has the authority to hear all classes of criminal proceedings, in addition to committals for sentence from Magistrates’ Courts and appeals from Magistrates’ Courts decisions.

The Court building itself is clearly signposted and therefore easily located from St. Paul’s London Underground station. It is an old and prominent building with a distinguished appearance. There are two separate entrances to the courts for the viewing public; one for courts 1 through 4, the other for courts 5 to 18. Both entrances are relatively discreet, and would probably go unnoticed if one were unaware of their existence.

I chose to view proceedings in the top courts (i.e. courts 1 to 4), and coincidentally the viewing galleries for courts 5 through 18 were already full (indicating the level of demand for this facility). Security was understandably strict upon entering the court building, and required passing through a metal detector after an initial bag search by two security personnel. Entry to the viewing galleries was then via five flights of stairs, potentially impeding disabled access to the facilities.

The building has male and female robing rooms, bathroom amenities, interview rooms, a solicitors’ room, a Bar mess and a public cafeteria. Court Security Service guards monitor the main corridor leading to the viewing galleries of each of the courtrooms, and were incredibly obliging when I enquired about the day’s proceedings.

The security guards directed me to Court 3 (the only court in session at the time). The case in progress was R. v. Jacob, V. and R. v. Brown, T., a much publicised case. It was a jury trial, with His Honour Judge Focke Q.C. presiding. The case concerned the murder of a five-week-old infant, and the two defendants in the dock were the child’s parents. The father (Jacob, V.) stood accused of the child’s murder, and the mother (Brown, T.) stood accused of neglect, both had pleaded not guilty. It transpired that this was the fifth day of the trial, and that the prosecution were in the process of cross-examining a coroner (an expert witness) on the witness stand.

The public viewing gallery consisted of four rows of long wooden benches, with a total capacity of around thirty people, and was approximately half full for the duration of my visit. It was situated directly opposite the judge’s bench and above the dock. The view of the courtroom from the back three rows was somewhat restricted, and the seats themselves were particularly uncomfortable, certainly not encouraging a long visit! The room felt very enclosed, with two windows in the vaulted ceiling providing the only sources of natural light. It was an old style courtroom, decorated traditionally with dark oak wood, and green leather seats. There were two large television screens on either side of the courtroom, which despite appearing quite incongruous with the style of the courtroom indicated how the courts are clearly keeping up-to-date with modern technology.

The Judge (a white male) sat on one of five large wooden chairs on the bench. He wore a plain black robe with a white collar, and is like most of the judges who sit in the Crown Court, a circuit judge (appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor). He appeared to be about fifty years of age, and maintained a quiet and unobtrusive demeanour throughout the proceedings.

A logger, recording proceedings, was sat to the judge’s right, and the witness stood next to the jury to his left, facing counsel and the dock. The jury consisted of twelve people (five women and seven men) of varying ages, only two of whom were not white. They were sat in two rows of six, and seemed focused on proceedings throughout, with all members taking notes on what was being discussed. A number of the female members did however appear to be noticeably cold and uncomfortable. With only one per cent of defendants now tried by jury , I felt privileged to have been able to view such proceedings first hand.

Three barristers (counsel) sat opposite the jury (to the judge’s right). One for the prosecution (representing the Crown Prosecution Service), and one for each of the two defendants, each with their own representatives sat behind them. A court clerk sat below the judge’s bench, and the two defendants were held in an open dock opposite the judge and the clerk, accompanied by a dock officer.

I found the trial proceedings to be quite simple to understand, possibly attributable to the fact that it was a jury trial, and hence issues had to be dealt with in such a fashion so as to sufficiently facilitate the jury’s understanding of them.

In conclusion, the Central Criminal Court is evidently not only historically but also a contemporarily important court, which I found to be adequately accessible for members of the general public. The people whom I encountered that worked in the building were approachable and very forthcoming with information. The actual viewing facilities themselves were not particularly comfortable, however, I do not suppose that they are designed for their comfort, but rather for their functionality.

Following this initial visit to the Central Criminal Court I would almost certainly feel confident in either returning one day, or when visiting other courts to view proceedings.

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Essay on Amusement Park

Essay on Amusement Park

When one goes to an amusement park they usually set out to be thrilled by riding all of the newest attractions. At a park you’ll find many diverse people. But in reality, the people that go there can be grouped into three different categories.

There is the individual that knows every minute fact about every roller coaster ever made. Then, there are small children that have to stay in kiddy land. Finally, there are the fanatic families that are there for just a day. These three categories are the roller coaster guru, the under sixty-two-inch club, and the non-stop ride until you drop family crew.

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The roller coaster guru knows every minute fact about every roller coaster ever built. He travels to theme parks all over the world just to be one of the first park goers that experiences a new roller coaster. It doesn’t matter how long the line to a coaster may be or how short the ride itself may be; the roller coaster guru will do anything for the rush of a coaster. Like some are addicted to drugs, he’s addicted to riding roller coasters. If you talk to him it will seem he only takes pleasure in roller coasters and nothing else. You might say he lives and breathes roller coasters. However, not all park goers can ride roller coasters, whether it is they get sick on them or just don’t care for them.

The under sixty-two-inch club is unfortunately banned from all real rides, including roller coasters. This is due to their short stature. You will often find these little people in kiddy land watching longingly the “over sixty-two-inch club” being exhilarated by all of the actual rides.

While most of the members are children, dwarfs and midgets also apply. The unfortunate parents of these children try to console and comfort them, but the children just don’t understand why they are stuck in a world of such un-thrilling rides, when they can hear the screams of excitement coming from just beyond the fence. One day their time will come and they too will be inducted into the non-stop ride until you drop family crew.

The non-stop ride until you drop family crew goes to an amusement park for a one-day family getaway. The second they enter the park they put their pre-planned agenda into effect, running into all different directions. All day long they ride every ride they possibly can, no lunch or bathroom breaks allowed. They have one mission and it is to ride every ride in the entire park in just eight short hours. You should not try and befriend any of these ride-thirsty people for they will cut you in line and may become incredibly precarious. They must waste no time, because they want to be the first on and off every ride so they can complete their mission on time.

Many different people can be found at amusement parks. Theme parks may seem like harmless places to the naked eye but with a magnifying glass everything is scarier than originally thought.

These three categories of people are found at every park: the roller coaster guru, the under sixty-two-inch club, all the way to the non-stop ride until you drop family crews. Beware of the fanatic families that will stop at nothing to complete their task, the infuriated children being deprived of all the excitement, and the roller coaster experts who will stop at nothing to attest they are the best of their kind!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Essay on Flowers For Algernon

Essay on Flowers For Algernon

In the novel Flowers For Algernon, Daniel Keyes keeps the reader constantly entertained by adding subsequent details to introduce the main character, Charlie Gordon. During the beginning of the book, Charlie, at age 32, is intrigued to have surgery on his brain to make him learn like an average person. Charlie is a mentally challenged adult, who was giving away by his mother because they said he would never be smart. Now, he is working at Donners Bakery doing mostly janitor work for Mr. Donner. Dr. Strauss inspires Charlie to write progress reports to help with their studies. Professor Nemur and Alice Kinnian are also helping Charlie to fulfill his dream to be smart. Charlie is hungry for knowledge and he will not let anything cross his path that will keep him from his dream.

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After a few months of a constant battle, Charlie’s writing strategies start to become comprehensible to everyone who reads his progress reports. Everyone is in to help Charlie. His nurses after his surgery help him to spell words that are incorrect and Mr. Donner, at the bakery, tells Charlie he can do anything he puts himself up to. His friends at the bakery invite Charlie to a bar and a party at one of their houses. They pick on him and try to push girls onto him so they will make fun of him. The girls would tell them to back off and Charlie would always laugh along with the guys because he thinks they are just joking around. Charlie has a flashback from his childhood when he was playing hide and seek, and he realizes that all the people from the bakery were always picking on him and it causes him to get very upset at them, and leave the party.

Charlie wrote a letter to Professor Nemur to tell him what was happening inside of his body. It was a study of structure and function of increased intelligence. This was the surgery that the performed on Charlie. He was completed with him experiments and had stated a hypothesis: Artificially induced intelligence deteriorates at a rate of time directly proportional to the quantity of the increase. He was writing as much as he could to tell all about his reactions and experiments but time was running out. After Algernon passed, he buried him in his back yard in a small metal container. He goes to visit his mother at Marks Street because a dream triggered off a memory of her. His mother was shocked to see him and didn’t believe it was Charlie. She locked him out and caused him to cut himself on glass when he broke open the door. After talking with her and his sister, he made his way back to the city, to pay his last respects to everyone that contributed to the operation. Mrs. Kinnian wanted to spend as much time with Charlie as she could, but he denied her of that and made her leave him alone. He still loves her and wants to see her but he doesn’t want her to laugh at him. Charlie plans to leave to go to The Warren Home School. Charlie takes a couple of books with him just incase he wants to start to read again. He says goodbye to everyone and asks them, if the get a chance, to put some flowers on Algernon’s grave for him.

Overall, the book Flowers For Algernon was very inspirational. It not only taught me a lesson on how to treat certain people no matte what their educational status was, but also the importance of living in general. We all have our reason to be here and Charlie made a very important donation during his time here. By risking his life to see if an operation could make a person become smarter over time, science would always be completely different now because of “The Algernon-Gordon Effect.”

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Essay on Embarrassing Moment

Essay on Embarrassing Moment

Everybody has a day where things are fairly good then something happens; that ultimate embarrassment and they think that they will never be able get over it. The truth of the matter is that people do get over those embarrassing moments and look back on them and laugh because it was truly funny and it doesn’t affect them anymore. Just like anyone else I’ve had a few embarrassing moments in my short lifetime so far. Having to look back on all of the embarrassing things that have happen to me; I would have to say my most embarrassing moment was in the mall with my friend and that mannequin fell on me. I too thought that I would never be able to get over the fact that I was embarrassed in the mall surrounded by a bunch of my peers.

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One day my friend and I where getting ready to go out of town; to Houston, Texas where we would be attending a Southern Football game. We where so excited about leaving because it was the only time that we actual go somewhere without our parents always around us. While packing our things we decided that we need a new outfit and a new pair of shoes. First we made sure to finish packing all the small; but necessary items like toothbrush, comb, toothpaste, and comb. Then we borrowed my sister car to go hunting for I new outfits and shoes.

Our first stop was Gonzales to this little strip mall that we like to shop at; but we didn’t have any luck finding what we were looking for that day. So we made our way to Cortana mall and look around in a few stores; my friend found some shoes that she purchased and I have found a shirt that I purchased. After leaving Cortana my friend still needed an outfit and I need to complete my outfit and get some shoes. We took a break from shopping and got some lunch to eat. Then we then decided to go to the Mall of Louisiana to continuing looking for our new things.

Upon arrive at the Mall of Louisiana we stopped a Dillard’s to check out there selection of shoe; leaving Dillard’s we saw these two amazing looking guys. We decided to follow them to get a better look; us trying to follow them with out it being obvious. They stopped in this urban wear store where they where looking at so throwback jerseys. We were acting like we were looking at the throwback dresses next to the men’s jerseys that they were looking at. I looked away for a minute; to look at the dress my friend had in her hand and they were gone. My friend turned around to look in the mirror and bumped the mannequin; it fell right on me and I fell to the ground. The two guys were standing behind us and started cracking up laughing.

The salesperson in the store helped me up and fixed the mannequin back the way it was suppose to be. I was so embarrassing will never go to the mall with her again.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Free Sample Essays

Free Sample Essays

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Essay on Eleanor Roosevelt

Essay on Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt led a crusade for justice and decency. She battled for equality and power for woman. All subjects she spoke about back then are still relevant even today. For that reason alone made her a good communicator.

She was able to get herself heard by just talking with others. She was willing to talk, debate, and share her opinions with anyone who would listen. And she had quite a few opinions. Her principal message was that women should be equal to men in everyway. They should be able to have the right to vote also while in the work place be receiving the same amount of pay that a man is makes. She believed that women should not be discriminated against just because of there sex.

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She used her column in the Woman’s Democratic News to voice her on opinion on several different topics. While her husband was calling for “Cutting local government (Pg. 73)” which would limit the money spent on education and public services that people needed. Within her column she countered that this was the time to utilize government services instead of cutting them. She wrote that they should take from the “proper sources” and from “the people who are endowed richly with this worlds goods or such profits (73)”. She wanted people to become more aware of the way the government was spending there tax dollars. She also gave several chapters in her book It’s up to the Woman on federal and local investments.

Another topic she felt strongly about was that public health began with education. She advocated for the construction of local clinics and hospitals. She also was in favor of sex education in schools. She believed both boys and girls should be taught it. Within her column she called it “family planning’’.

She used press conferences to get her message to the public. These conferences were guided and had specific rules “No gossip, No leaks, and No scoops.” She only covered topics that she thought would be newsworthy. Eleanor spoke on trade unionism and better working conditions for all.

She also demanded the end of child labor. With a lot of work she and her colleagues were able to get a child labor amendment passed by congress.

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Essay on George Orwell Biography

Essay on George Orwell

Although George Orwell was a great writer from the beginning, he didn’t become famous until very late in his short life. His writing was very clear and precise. He mainly wrote autobiographical accounts but his last two novels were bitter accounts of political beliefs. His last two novels became so popular that he became a renowned writer all over the world.

He was born in 1903 to a low-classed, British family in Motihari, Bengal, India and was christened was Eric Arthur Blair. His father, Richard Walmesley Blair was a customs officer in the opium department of Indian Civil Service. When he was merely four years old, his family moved back to England and lived in a small village called Henley which was a short distance from London. His father left Orwell and others in Henley and went back to India to serve in the Indian Civil Service.

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When Orwell turned eight, he entered into a private preparatory school in Sussex. After attending the school in Sussex, he obtained a scholarship and attended two different schools: one in Wellington for a term and another in Eton for four and half years. Later on in his life Orwell claimed that his experience in the preparatory school shaped his views on the English class system.

Eton College was based in an area where upper-class people resided. The consciousness of being poor boy living in an upper-class society where the poor were detested helped to make him a radical in his youth.

In 1922 he joined the Indian Imperial Police. His training took place in Burma and he served there for about five years in total. This five year period decisively transformed his mental life. He gradually stated to despise his role as a representative of an alien government and to identify himself with the subject race. In 1927, he went back to England on leave and there he decided not to go back and serve as a police in Burma. His resignation became effective from January 1st 1928. His dream since childhood was to become a writer and he regarded his profession as a policeman “unsuitable”. However it was understood later that he began to understand imperialism which he abhorred. Thus he left his job as a policeman and started his life as a writer. The name by which the world knows him now and knew him them, George Orwell, was a pseudonym which was suggested by his publisher when he published his first novel.

The crises in Orwell’s life were the topic of his writings. His essays and his novels were mainly autobiographical and portrayed his political feelings. The first incident in his life occurred when he was sent in 1936 by the Left Book Club to study the unemployed were living in the working-class districts of Northern England. He observed the people in Northern England in a miserable state and was tempted to write a novel called “The Road to Wigan Pier” despite the disapproval of his sponsors because he criticized the orthodox English socialism. This trip had a tremendous long term effect on Orwell’s interests; he became interested in the popular culture, which is reflected in his classic essays such as “The Art of Donald McGill”.

The second but the most important crisis in Orwell’s life was a visit to Spain as a journalist. As Orwell arrived at Barcelona, he joined the militia unit of a Marxists workers party, the POUM. While serving on the Aragon and Teruel fronts, he got severely wounded. In May 1937 he was involved in a fight in which the POUM and the Anarchists were on one side and the Communists were on the other. Eventually, the Communist secret police chased him out of Spain. Spain revealed to him how far political motives, wrongly applied can destroy the respect for truth prized by the liberal nineteenth century. His experience in the Spanish Civil War and the fights in trenches were told in his novel “Homage to Catalonia”. This novel also exposed the Stalinist bid for power in Spain. Later in his life Orwell wrote the novel “Animal Farm” which showed how much he abhorred Stalin and his communist views.

Orwell was an essayist, journalist, and a novelist with a unique combination of a middle-class intellectual and a working-class reformer. A strong autobiographical element runs through most of Orwell’s writing giving both his novels and essays a sense of immediacy and conviction. He wrote with remarkable clarity and his credo was that fine prose should be transparent ‘like a window pane’. Orwell felt that the age was threatened by totalitarianism. Therefore, he wrote for libertarian socialism and against totalitarianism. His essays ‘Shooting an Elephant’ and especially, ‘Politics and the English Language’, in which he asserts that dishonest politics and slipshod language are inseparable connected evils, are models of what he wrote. His concerns also led him to write Animal Farm which is a bitter satire against totalitarianism specifically criticizing the Stalinist rule in USSR. Animal Farm also has the most important message that Orwell had to convey: ‘liberty means telling people what they do not want to hear. “If the vehicle for telling gets corrupted, then the message itself will always be corrupted”’.

The novel which brought fame for Orwell was Animal Farm. In this novel, a bitter animal satire, he criticized communism and expressed his political beliefs. His beliefs were absolutely true and his view of communism eventually was seen by the whole world by the way Stalin treated his people just to maintain power. To appreciate his message in this novel it is important to know its plot, the initial criticism he received and how this is connected to his life. The connection of his life to this extraordinary novel is his time at Eton College and then later on his visit to Spain. These events have been talked about earlier. Now its time to talk about the plot and other things related to the novel.

This novel is made around the events in the USSR, from before the October Revolution to the end of World War II. This is done by using a frame of reference of animals in a farmyard, the Manor Farm, owned by Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones is drunk most of the time and is out f touch with the animals he governs, just like Czar Nicholas of USSR. Mr. Jones neglects the farm causing displeasure and bitterness among his animals. One day after Mr. Jones finishes his nightly rounds, Major, a commanding pig (V.I. Lenin), tells other animals about a dream he has had regarding the theories about the way they have been living. The animals had been exploited by Mr. Jones but according to Major’s dream, the animals would overthrow Mr. Jones and share the profits and dangers of work equally. Major teaches the animals the words of the song “Beasts of England” (The Internationale) and tells them to look for the betterment of all animals. Three days later Major dies.

The most intelligent of the animals, the pigs, are provoked by Major’s speech and clandestinely learn how to read and write. After much thought they come up with a philosophical system called animalism (Communism, Bolshevism) whose principles are taught to all animals. When Mr. Jones forgets to feed the animals one day (as the Russians starved at the end of WWI), the animals start a revolution. Thus driving out Mr. Jones, his wife (the Russian nobility), and Moses, the raven (the Russian Orthodox Church). The animals rejoice over their great victory and start right away to build their new and better life.

The pigs took over all the responsibility of the organization and decision-making processes. Also the pigs took the rights to all the milk and apples. Orwell has admitted that taking the cow’s milk was the first sign of corruption which inevitably led to the total destruction. The two pigs in power were Snowball and Napoleon, which represent Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, respectively, and they argued all the time. The third important pig, Squealer (Pravda, Tass), appears more hypocritical. He endorses any action with his skillful use of language. The pigs change the name of the farm from Manor Farm to Animal Farm and print the seven commandments of animalism on the barn wall. In the meantime, Napoleon has been raising puppies which will eventually develop into savage attack dogs (NKVD, secret police) which will one day hunt down all his personal enemies, especially Snowball.

When the animals start physical control of the farm, work becomes difficult and the animals gradually start to lose the cohesiveness. Even though Benjamin (Tolstoyan intellectuals) remains cynical about the heaven on earth as proposed by animalism, Boxer (the peasantry) keeps on working harder and harder. The togetherness between the animals is regained when Mr. Jones attacks on the farm to regain it. The confrontation is called the Battle of the Cowshed and the animals win it because of Snowball’s excellent strategy.

After the battle, the two leading pigs, Snowball and Napoleon argue over the next step. Snowball says that the most important task is to increase food production (develop socialism in Russia) and the Napoleon says that the important step is to build the windmill (permanent revolution). The argument is fierce and when it seems like Snowball is going to win the vote, Napoleon unleashes his secret weapon, the dogs. The dogs drive Snowball out of Animal Farm forever. Thus Napoleon has no rival and he can impose all the changes he wants. So he changes many rules and cancels the usual Sunday meetings.

The animals continue their hard work, still having faith that their life will indeed get better. The changes that Napoleon institutes are so different from the initial rules of animalism that life become more of a hell than heaven. The present was so bitter that the animals don’t have the memory to recall or the energy to change the present even if the memorize were fresh. Very soon the life at Animal Farm seems impossible to differentiate from the life the animals led at Manor Farm.

The novel can be interpreted by two different age groups in two different ways. Children can view this novel as merely a good ‘fairy story”. However the veterans of World War II can appreciate this as a political satire. The latter interpretation was the intention of George Orwell. He wanted to tell the world that communism is a curse and it will lead to severe problems. Orwell wanted to state that “institutionalized hierarchy begets privilege, which begets corruption of power”.

Thus it can be concluded that Orwell’s life has had a major impact on his writing. His early days at the preparatory school in Henley made him despise the English system and then his years at Eton College nurtured him as a rebel who wanted to warn the world against corruption. His experience in Spain finally made him write the political satire criticizing communism.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Essay about Geometry and Poncelet

Essay on Geometry

Jean-Victor Poncelet fought for Napoleon’s France against Russia in the battle at Krosnoy.

Unfortunately for him, he was taken prisoner. He survived the subsequent tortuous years through luck alone. During his rehabilitation, and still a prisoner of war, he eagerly resumed his study of Mathematics, at the hospital at Saratov. He had been a pupil of and interested in the work of, Gaspard Monge. However, being isolated in Saratov, he was uninformed about the work that Monge and peers were publishing. He set out to document all he knew about mathematics in Saratov. Detailed notebooks circulated amongst fellow prisoners keen at continuing their studies.

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Poncelet was surprised to find that he remembered, from before his academic hiatus, all but the elementary parts of calculus and algebra. They had remained most intensely in his mind. Also, that he could construct advanced results in mechanics and other topics from his basic understanding of purely geometrical theorems. All that had happened made him determined to document what he knew. This helped to direct his further learning and exploration. He believed in the eternal truths of geometry. He had found fundamental theorems that inspired him to continue to define the general principles of central projection of figures and conic sections. The consequences of what had happened to him gave him the motivation to work towards a more fundamental use of geometry, hence his rediscovery of projective geometry.

His hopes for the work were to make geometry useful and to inspire the working class and the youth of schools. He wanted to inspire people to come to love the eternal truths of science. His work was intended to be less about detail and information and more about illustrating sources. His hopes were to perfect a method of discovery and proof in elementary geometry. He wished to demonstrate and promote algebraic analysis (analytical geometry), in direct opposition to synthetic geometry.

In order to enlighten people to his new way of thinking he presented people with a non-metrical geometry. He was a critic of synthetic geometry. His beliefs were that in some way the apparent necessity to visualize or imagine objects in synthetic geometry halted intellectual discovery. He saw that most people stopped making any sort of comments on objects once these objects ceased to have absolute or physical existence.

Poncelet’s work at its most rigorous was possibly the more mundane statements he made. For once we get an elegant proof and something genuinely projective – the arguments leading up to the definition of a ‘supplementary conic’.

Poncelet wrote many audacious claims. His development of the pole and polar lines associated with conics led to the principle of duality, the power of duality was unquestionable to all, but what was controversial was the boldness of his claims. A lot of what he said was right, but other bits misguided. Often his ideas were not precise enough, take, for example when dualizing a curve (degree higher than 2) – no way of dualizing twice would return you to the original curve which was in essence the beauty of duality in other problems.

In 1820, a council consisting of Arago, Poisson and Cauchy, (amazing mathematicians), was set up. Its’ purpose; to report on what Poncelet had discovered and written. They saw the power of what he was doing, but reported that his bold induction was only useful if used with guidance and trusting the methods too much caused problems. Not all of what he said was right but the simplicity and power of his thought process was inspiring. Poncelet took a lot credit for his work on projective geometry and duality, notwithstanding criticisms. I believe the politics of the day was more influential on the kudos his work receives than one would hope for. Ultimately though it seems, projective geometry is testimony to how thinking evolved in civilization through this era. And Poncelet was at the forefront of this topic and its’ progression. For that he should be commended.

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Essay on Subaltern Studies

Essay on Subaltern Studies

I would like to begin this paper by closely considering the term ‘subaltern’ to preclude any naive or one-sided understanding of the same as a purely economic category, before I argue for its representation and construction by focusing on one major mode of construction and representation, as I move on to the specifics. I propose to understand and convey what exactly constitutes the subaltern subject as against an authority, that elicits the need for the former to represent and construct as well as reformulate it self. Authority, as Marx states in his Capital, is never a one-sided affair, but rests on a complementary and reciprocal acceptance of such authority by the dominated. The dominant and the dominated, the subaltern and the elite, and the disciplinary authority of capital over labour in Chakravarty’s essays, for instance, posit and reflect each other. I quote, “For instance, one man is king only because other men stand in the relation of subjects to him. They on the contrary imagine that they are subjects because he is king.” (0) Thus, one must consider ‘subaltern’ as a discursive concept that entertains complexity and many layers of meaning as we shall presently see.

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The term was popularized by Antonio Gramsci an Italian Marxist, writing to counter Fascism in the 1920s and 1930s who substituted it for the ‘proletarian class’. In volume 1 of the subaltern series, Ranajit Guha defines subaltern as “ a name for the general attitude of subordination in South Asian society whether this is expressed in terms of class, caste, age, gender, and office or in any other way.” (1) He further states that, “the social groups and elements included in this category represent the demographic difference between the total Indian population and all those whom we have described as elite”. (1) While this definition sounds very subjective and relative, Clarke’s moves away from a very homogenized understanding of the term subaltern. Gayatri Spivak, in her essay “Deconstructing Historiography” from Subaltern Studies Volume 4, warns against a very generalized understanding of the term subaltern as ‘a single underlying consciousness’. (2) Also, Subalternity is to be understood neither as a ‘negative’ nor as a ‘false’ consciousness.

Subalternity is not merely an oppositional or passive force but, ‘a collective consciousness that actualizes its subjectivity through a process of creative and calculating engagement with the material and symbolic order of the dominant communities within the restrictions of severe subjection.’ (3) Also, Subalternity is not a ‘false consciousness’ that is manufactured by the vested devices of the dominant classes but as Clarke states it is, ‘the locus for the reconfiguration of subaltern subjectivity.’ Subalternity is a collective consciousness that engages in creative and selective assimilation of the dominant order, as a guise of opposition in creating a constructed identity that derives an agency of its own. This selectivity constructs a dialogic community where the coexistence of the dominant and the subjugated, the constrictive and the disruptive, the resonant and the hushed is possible.

When within a dominant discourse, there is the presence of certain non-conformist and marginalized groups or communities, it becomes necessary for the latter to reassess and reformulate itself in the face of such domination. The reassessment and reformulation of a marginalized community like the subaltern, provides it with a congenial religious, geographical, political, cultural and social space; a space that through selective measures of resistance and assimilation, allows coexistence. Such a reassessment presents a constructed subaltern community or group that through selective measures, acquires a multifarious appearance that indirectly or directly defies authority and also preserves itself. This reformulation and reassessment is a reaction against the floating of an exclusive, normative and universal pattern, to a more inclusive and collective one. This can only be possible, when the subjugated individual comes to terms with his own identity and draws upon his indigenous symbols (for example, the drum and the goddess in Clarke’s book) without discarding them. The deployment of the symbolic is only one way of effecting such construction. The following study involves the study of symbols, not just as a self-assertive reaction against authority or domination but, also focuses on how these symbols through discursive sites like theology or capitalistic relations, are a response to ‘gaps’ or ‘silences’ in the dominant discourse as it excludes and suppresses the subaltern.

I shall begin with a close field study done by Sathianathan Clarke, a parish priest and social activist, of the Paraiyar community from Tamil Nadu, in his book, “Dalits and Christianity- Subaltern Religion and Liberation Theology”. Here, I shall discuss the role the drum (in which is manifested Christ) and the goddess Ellaiyamman play as symbols of emancipation and resistance, by way of which this subaltern based oral community expresses and experiences its relationship with the Divine and theologizes its subalternity. I shall further illustrate my argument with two essays by Dipesh Chakravarty, contained in the second and third volumes of the Subaltern Studies series called, “Conditions For Knowledge Of Working Class Conditions: Employers, Government, and The Jute Workers Of Calcutta” 1890-1940 and 1940-1960 and another work by the same author namely, “Provincializing Europe: Post Colonial Thought And Historical Difference”, respectively. I shall be considering these essays in tandem in this paper with certain connecting references to be made in the process of argument. I shall conclude this paper by articulating the assumptions that arise as a consequence of such representation and construction.

The construction of the subaltern in the face of such an authoritarian and hegemonic force, in this case, Indian-Christian Theology, here assumes an identity that originates from an ‘inner’ reformulation or reassessment where, ‘inner’ denotes that indigenous body of subjugated knowledge that needs to be located, retrieved and interpreted. As Clarke states, “The norm of what constitutes acceptable or appropriate knowledge is re-inscribed in order to construct a collective subjectivity through religion-making among the subaltern.” The book, “Dalits and Christianity- Subaltern Religion and Liberation Theology”, is an example of a persistent attempt made by a subaltern community, in trying to re-member and re-collect a subaltern subjectivity, that later assumes the form of a dialogic, inclusive, and liberative interaction. It is an artful and conscious attempt of reweaving, and re-imagining mythography, both as a contestation of an exclusionary and non-dialogical discourse of Indian-Christian theology, and as an affirmation of their own communal existence. This provides an alternative history that contests the hegemonic one; an alternative means of recovering an inaccessible, and impossible past in the construction of a corporate personality. Subaltern religion then, is a cautious, piecemeal borrowing of symbolic capital and methods from the dominant religion, while forging an alternative re-imagined history to ascertain one’s collective subjectivity. This is the only effective method of “systematically recalling” and “creatively remembering”, as Clarke says, silenced voices in a social discourse. Clarke also cautions us against a very na├»ve and one-sided understanding of the subaltern as a ‘single underlying consciousness’, while defining his own circumspect understanding of the term subaltern. While not denying that collectives held together by commonalities of age, sex, gender, class and office share the state of subalternity; he tries to flesh out the category of caste as a determining factor that positions the subaltern in this social assembly.

Theology concerns itself both with what is missing in the theological discourse as well as analyzing the manner in which religious discourse is attuned to the dominant caste’s symbols, themes and ideas. At this point two questions need to be asked. Do communities that have been marginalized and excluded from theological interaction require a preferential status in this dialogical discourse? Secondly, is this privilege born out of some special source of theological discourse where God is revealed uniquely to them in their pain and suffering? The answer to this can only be answered when we shall consider how and through what devices, this process of dialogue with the dominant religion and mediation with the divine takes place. One also has to examine the extent to which the oral traditions of the Dalit Christians feed upon, borrow and imbibe from written scriptures and the way in which tradition can feed upon the same iconic symbols of the Christ as manifested through the drum (or ‘Parai’) and the goddess Ellaiyaman.

Through this process, the community can be heard and understood as part of a larger programme of negotiating the community complementary to, and beyond the written word.

Before I shift to the specifics of the Paraiyar community and its symbols, I would like to sum up in a few steps all that has been said by way of constructing and representing the subaltern. Firstly, the Indian-Christian theology as laid down by the elite caste Hindus and Christians is exclusionary and draws upon its brahminic, cultural and religious traditions, or simply put the ‘sacred word’. Secondly, the ‘sacred word’ prevents interaction with the symbolic. It is a word that is univocal, by itself non-negotiable and monolithic, invites only a particular interpretation and approach, and is impervious to dialogue (even symbolic) of any sort. And thirdly, it forges a unitary, national movement and ideology to further encourage hegemonic propensities.

The counter proposal can also be enumerated in four corresponding steps. Firstly, the univocity of caste Hindu religious discourse has to be challenged. Secondly, the subaltern agency and instrumentality has to be put back into the main narrative (to form a meta narrative by drawing from it). Thirdly, other small and silenced voices have to be activated and made audible. And finally, the story line and plot of the dominant world-view has to be interrupted.

The Dalits in Tamil Nadu are divided into three major subcastes- the Paraiyar, Pallan and the Chakkili, of which the Paraiyar account for 59% of the total Dalit population, forming the largest and most typical representative of untouchables in Tamil Nadu. The Dalits form over sixty percent of Christians in Tamil Nadu. Clarke’s decision to study a non-Christian Dalit community is a deliberate one. The intention lies in reaching out to a “common fund of religiosity” that is at the core of the Dalits and the Christian Paraiyar. While Dalit ceremonies and customs are still practiced in their communities, they are reluctant to admit them openly before the stringent church. Thus the study of the Paraiyar community would be based on the assumption that its religion infiltrates into the practice of Christianity and thereby helps understand this surreptitious dual identity.

Though its historical origins are obscure and ancient Clarke presents three proposals that shed some light on it. The laws of Manu (c. 200 BCE to 200 CE) believe them to be to be descendents of a those persons or groups who ‘were expelled from the caste system for having transgressed caste rules and social regulations.’ Even those who married hypogamously- a lower caste man marrying a higher caste woman- produced offspring who eventually became Dalits. Outcastes and illegitimate children joined them too. Clarke makes an interesting observation here. The Paraiyars are not Dalit because of their low and menial occupation as drummers in funerals (this is discussed later in greater detail). But, they are condemned to those occupations for breaching established caste laws, enforced by caste communities. Mckim Marriott and Ronald Inden in their ‘dividual-particle’ theory, build on the native Hindu idea of caste, stating that every human is born with a coded-substance that denotes their sex, personality, and caste. These particles can leave one’s body to get annexed to another through sexual relations. Thus, in an inter-caste relationship, the unnatural exchange of dissimilar and disharmonious coded particles, through the mixing of sexual fluids, ruptures the symmetry of the Hindu body. This further corroborates the caste Hindu idea of maintaining caste or class purity.

Though drum-beating and their low social status do not share an a priori and rational relationship, a second proposal or hypothesis contends that, their occupation as drummers during funerals associates them with death and hence pollution. The potential of the polluting character of death is not difficult to discern, in the way it contaminates such a large group of people. Though all Paraiyars are not drummers, they are envisaged as sources of contamination by their very association with those who are in direct contact with the drum, which is a powerful representative symbol.

A third hypothesis states that, the Paraiyars were original inhabitants of the land; the original Tamilians and sons of the soil, who were referred to as Adi Dravidas, later subjugated by invading caste Hindus. Dharma Kumar in his book, “Land and Caste in South India”, demonstrates that though the relationship in between the Paraiyar and the caste communities was based on ownership and control of land, the pre-British South Indian agricultural economy required a large number of labourers, many of who were recruited from the Dalit classes, and could only be made serfs or slaves. The economic and caste class is therefore impossible to separate.

Though not very convincing, Clarke gives an etymological explanation. The Tamil word ‘paraiyar’ means on a very superficial level, the priest who plays the drum or ‘parai’. On a more speculative level, the letters ‘la’ and ‘ra’ in Tamil are interchangeable making the word paraiyar, palaiyar, which means ancient or original people. ‘Paar’ also means land or earth which probably denotes them as owners or rulers of the land. The Sanskrit word ‘Para’, means foreign which is again consonant with the caste Hindu’s conception of them as racially inferior beings, foreign to their Brahminic customs and manners. The idea of pollution and purity again comes in here to label a people who were ‘stubborn’ and ‘the least inclined to conform’ to the same.

The parai or drum is a circular, one-sided drum made out of calf leather and the face of the drum is tightly strung around a circular wooden frame carved from a tree trunk. It is strapped onto the waist of the drummer who plays with a stick in his right hand and the open palm of the left hand. The parai drum is played in unison with the four fellow drummers keeping a common rhythmic beat. The parai is used for the procession of the goddess during the annual festival (varasai melam), when animals are sacrificed to the goddess (bali melam), for wedding ceremonies (kalyaana melam), when a pregnant married woman is ready to leave for her parents home (seemandam melam), when a young girl comes of age, or when a young bride-to-be leaves her home for the first time to travel to another colony for her wedding (nalangu melam). And the saavu melam, which is a special drum played during a funeral. One notices here that the funeral is not the only occasion where the drum is played but also, for other auspicious occasions as well. Even during their own funerals, the drum is a symbol of exorcism, which exorcizes the spirit of the dead person from his family and dwelling place and guides it to the place of the dead. The drum, like the one used during the procession, is supposed to keep away all demons and malevolent spirits away from the dead person’s spirit. Hence, the drum is a circumcising force that through its sound preserves the physical space of the family and the colony.

The parai is an iconic symbol of the Paraiyars, and is the core of subaltern collective subjectivity. It is a symbol or resistance and emancipation, and a common religious symbol in communicating with the divine. Belying this character of the drum is the caste Hindu notion of the drum as an infectious pollutant (partly because it is made up of cow skin). By preserving this as a major symbol of divine mediation and communal identity, the Paraiyars have symbolically resisted the dominant religious rationale, and thus operates as a symbol or emancipatory theography and subaltern particularity. The drum is a physical symbol of the Divine, used for their own liberation, and communicates its uncomputability and undomesticatability by caste communities. By using it not just for caste Hindu funerals, but also for their own auspicious occasions like marriage, the drum is also a symbol of a process of selective resistance against, as well as, assimilation of the dominant religious discourse through a symbolic and dialogic interaction. The drum is then a subtle but effective line drawn in between the ‘public’ and ‘private’ lives of the Paraiyar, that does not allow the two spheres to oppose each other but just posits them side-by-side. The drum is a site, where the identity of the Paraiyar as a contaminating funeral drummer for the caste Hindus, and his identity as a drummer in his own right and capacity can co-exist, though the latter is an implicit undermining of the former.

The parai or drum is a totemic object, representing an entire community as a caste counter-image to the written word through its sound. It is an organizing symbol that represents orality, and also introduces other modalities of non-verbal thought that resists literacy and the written word. It’s a tussle in between the hegemonic written word that through writing and print acquires a three-dimensional space or physicality and, sound and orality, which is considered derivative and unreal. The very act of writing is a moment of freezing time and memory almost irreversibly. Unlike orality (or the colloquial word with its open-ended flexible nature, carrying a local significance), the written word is evidence of its own existence, is closed to examination and can be relied on only by virtue of its narrow close-ended definiteness. It is indeed an empirical object, which unlike sound maintains an objective distance. Sound emanating from the drum, or in this case, the spoken word or utterance establishes a common connection with the known. It incorporates and includes the limits of the known within its purview as it transcends all spatial constraints. The spoken word rests in the present and connects interiority with interiority, situating man in context-dependent actuality. Its object of study is the present moment, and thus “invokes participatory and eclectic patterns of community behavior.” (Clarke) Similarly, the physical closeness and responsiveness of the drum bears testimony to past memories, and is open-ended in creating subaltern solidarity. Unlike the drum, though literacy has a broad orientation that interacts with forms or orality, it takes writing and print as the norm through which all other media are evaluated and transformed. The spoken word on the other hand fights against such exclusionary measures; resists ideological cooption and deauthorizes the canonicity of the written word, (say detextualizing the Vedas) challenges the primacy given to sight, and focuses on the present moment.

The drum is also seen to represent divine power, which is fundamental to the Paraiyar. Through its very thudding sound and tangible presence, it almost warns away all threats posed to the Paraiyar by caste Hindus. It is never to be slighted at all Paraiyar ceremonies and the entire community is drum-centred or drum-oriented. The drum that aids divine mediation also, functions as a theological interpretant through expressions of communal suffering. It is a deviant symbol, through which Christ is manifested from the lines of purity and pollution, as a symbol of Dalit resistance against such accepted norms, and actualizes their human capacities of self-reflexivity with others. The drum-manifested symbol of Christ is ahistorical; transcending all space and time, and possesses pan-geographic dimensions. It consolidates subaltern religious experiences and acts as a mediator in between creator and creation. Indian-Christian theology creatively and constructively uses the drum as a symbolic and dialogic means of finding meaning in, and living collectively under God through the paradigm of Jesus Christ. However, as mentioned earlier, Indian-Christian theology, predominantly uses the religion of dominant -based literacy, making it exclusionary and non-dialogic, ideologically coopting and silencing the oral Dalit voice, in retelling the Christian story of Jesus.

Ellaiyamman the Dalit goddess of Malaipalliayam, is the Paraiyar’s iconic symbol of resistance against caste Hindu domination. Linked with Maraiyamman, they form the two principal Paraiyar deities that are not worshipped by caste Hindus in the neighboring villages of South India. According to an etymological explanation given, the Tamil word ‘ellai’ taken from Ellaiyamman, means ‘boundary’, and infact, the goddess’ temple is found on the boundary of the worshipping colony. She is supposed to be the guardian of a subaltern community of agricultural labourers that also faces constant threats by nature through floods and drought. One cannot but help note this moving dialectic from the goddess, of geographical locatedness and boundlessness, determinedness and openness, resistance and assimilation, fixity and fluidity. She is believed to be the universal mother and the eldest of all the manifestations of the Sakti. This distinctiveness of the goddess symbolizes both the collective resistance of the Paraiyars as well as, all those myths and alternative histories that have been recast and reimagined to construct their own corporate personality.

Ellaiyamman thus preserves and polices the cultural, political and geographical space of the Paraiyar, against the colonizing inclinations of the caste communities, in the form of the infiltrating and predatory ‘uur’ or city (the geographical and social-cultural space of the caste communities), over that of the ‘ceeri’ (the geographical and social-cultural space of the Paraiyar). Ellaiyamman is also a symbol of Paraiyar community’s undomesticability and uncooptability, as like her sister goddesses, she is said to be single, unmarried and independent of any male deity, unlike the Hindu trinity and its hierarchy. This is not to deny any borrowings and inter-religious transactions that have taken place from caste Hindu mythology (themes, characters and plots), though reinterpretations of the same myth borrowed, favoring the Paraiyar’s own sense of collective subjectivity and distinct assertiveness as indignant recipients of undeserved violence, is evident. Ellaiyamman herself is shown to have a caste Hindu’s woman body with a Paraiyar or Dalit head, which just works as a subversion or inversion of caste Hindu religion and its functionaries, while asserting its own subjectivity.

In his essays on the jute workers of Calcutta, Chakravarty bases his argument on two crucial premises, while producing a body of knowledge of the working class conditions of the jute workers of Calcutta, and relating it to a day-to-day running of capitalism. Firstly, ruling class documents are to be used, like the interactive site of the drum in Clarke, in reconstructing the working class conditions of these workers both, for what they say, and for their ‘silences’. These sites are double-edged swords as they can be commonly deployed both by the dominant to further its own authority, and by the marginalized or dominated to protest against such authority, based on such material proof. Secondly, these silences or gaps can only be understood through an understanding of working class economics and, more importantly, culture. This is because a particular form of authority implies a cultural formation that assumes certain bourgeois notions of equality that obliterates individual variation, where the worker (labour) is seen only as a moment or constituent of capital. Let us now consider the nature of this capitalistic authority that later provoked the need for the workers to construct and represent themselves as a democratic body.

Factory Acts were passed initially to improve the conditions of the working class and to give the worker a new ‘legal’ personality. The worker would henceforth be one eligible to receive welfare benefits, and legal assistance to set up trade unions. The Factory Acts had to be extended to all the factories as in the nineteenth century, as we shall see later, the English state’s interest in monitoring closely the conditions of labour, was to help develop English capitalism. They were further implemented by firstly, making the ‘conditions of competition’ uniform and secondly, structuring a worker’s day and enforcing the saving of time. This was to enhance the efficiency of the working class.

The working class conditions, however, remained for most of the period considered, undocumented which did not reflect the true conditions of the jute workers. The worker’s health was only expressed in terms of a negation of epidemics and not of hygienic conditions and nutrition, their standard of living was a matter of interest, and the origin of workers was only an occasion of future documentation, resulting in a ‘blinkered vision of capital’. Under a supposedly benevolent motive of ‘equal restraint on all exploitation of labour’ (4), the English state sought to exercise its ‘political will’ in trying to form a quantifiable ‘body of knowledge’ of its working class subjects, to further its own capitalist authority, thereby improving both direct control through policing and, indirect control through a betterment of their conditions making acts of violence less likely. At the same time too much ‘bettering’ of the conditions would make the task of controlling much harder. However, the ‘conditions of competition’ were more or less at par making the implementation of the standardization of wages and state intervention on this count superfluous as, though the wage position in the jute mills was inchoate, the average amount paid per unit of labour turned out just the same. Different managers had different ways of allocating their expenses under various heads, which when totaled and divided by the units produced, turned out to be much the same.

The first objective it achieved through two means, discipline and supervision. Discipline was ‘a technical subordination or the worker to the uniform motion of the instruments of labour’. Closer scrutiny reveals later in the essay that this subordination was not ‘technical’ as much as it was experiential. Though the production process required skilled labour that was specific to various capital-intensive processes, the organization did not invest the same in training the workers. Such crucial gaps in technical knowledge, was over time, filled by an undefined human quality called ‘experience’. The acquisition of skills was merely through trial and error that led to major accidents and mishaps in the factory. The structuring of the labour force was then merely a proposition of supply and not of skill, making the workers highly replaceable and their substitution arbitrary, should they be unable to work. The relationship of worker with machine was further, mediated not through technical knowledge, but through divine and magical qualities that were believed to exist in the tools. Supervision manifested itself in the form of the ‘sardar’, who worked below the ‘babu’ (who checked attendance registers and prepared wage sheets etc) as both supplier and supervisor of labour and handled documents (unreliable as they were), constituting the ‘disciplinary authority of capital’. The unreliability of these documents was an outcome of sardari corruption. Costs of production were minimized irrespective of the labour-intensive processes it involved. Wage sheets that were prepared by the babu, only provided for a minimal wage without any provisions for pensions, sick leave pay or insurance, that barely covered the worker’s basic needs. A portion of these wages was further pocketed by the sardar who mediated wage payment and distorted wage accounts. Migration of ‘cheaper’ labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh replaced Bengali workers, worsening the bargaining power of labour. Meager wages paid with the intention of keeping jute goods competitively cheaper than their synthetic substitutes did not allow for a permanently stable labour force.

Sardari corruption was a reflection of his authority that was largely based on fear, and also included receiving compulsory bribes from the coolie and workers in return for favors of employment and side-payments out of the commission they received. Sardari authority was also sheer physical force and instilled into the worker the fear of getting beaten up. But like all forms of domination, this authority had to rest easy on a fine balance, beyond which the worker could turn openly hostile. The sardar’s authority hence, needed legitimacy and acceptance. But what made sardari authority effective was the existence of pre-capitalistic and primordial relationships of community and kin. The sardar was known to even build temples and mosques for his workers. His authority was a contradictory one which did not rest merely rest in technical expertise. He was not like the European foreman and his authority was implied even before he assumed sardari-ship, making documents utterly irrelevant.

A decline in the worker’s bargaining power, sardari corruption and the dehumanizing effect of capitalism, reducing the worker to an abject ‘less than human’ state, led to the establishment of trade unions. Strikes became militant, though these strikes were disorganized as the worker was an ‘ignorant’ figure, not just illiterate, but politically ignorant of his rights and the injustices being perpetrated against him in the form of authority sponsored corruption and distorted documents. Lack of education resulted in the spasmodic nature of jute-mill unions, whose organizations suddenly rose and spastically disintegrated once the outburst was spent. State-sponsored bans on unions and the linguistic heterogeneity of the workers further enmeshed the worker in his ‘ignorance’. The efficacy of these unions lay in a democratic structure. The representation of the worker was only possible through a ‘contractual’ and ‘voluntary’ relationship between the worker and his representative who stood at par with each other. The trade union could only be created in a bourgeois culture of democratic representation, which only reflected the bourgeois state. This contractual relationship therefore, could not presuppose any relationship of privileged authority and subordination. Little realizing that such a complementary relationship could exist only in its mutual compliance; trade unions belied their purported democratic structure. The historian’s written word was an inadequate means of understanding the nature of this relationship as it actually presented only a fragment of reality. Babu-coolie relationships, for example, were visibly marked by differences in body language, clothing and bodily appearance. Such a marked difference came in the way of useful representation, something that the babu could overcome, for his own vested interests, only by way of sacrifices. The bhadralok could be the worker’s ‘real’ representative, and thus overcome all natural barriers of class and education, only if he at least made a pretence of sharing the latter’s suffering, thereby empowering himself, the renouncer. This idea of sacrifice could only arise out of inequality. Though ideologically, the Left was committed to developing trade unions that were contractual, democratic and voluntary, the culture of everyday life only revealed a hierarchy of status and power.

More importantly, it was using capital to enforce on the heterogeneous, differentiated and variegated nature of labour a sense of abstract homogeneity, by equalizing labour conditions between mills where, wage rates were not kept as secrets, strikes kept wage rates in line with one another and, workers too demanded the rate prevalent in the neighborhood. To further illustrate this point we must turn to another book by Dipesh Chakravarty called, “Provincializing Europe: Post Colonial Thought And Historical Difference”. He throws light on the statement, by referring to a crucial distinction Marx makes in between ‘real’ and ‘abstract’ labour. ‘Real’ labour refers to the labour power of the actual individual “as it exists in the personality of labour” or “immediate exclusive individuality of the labourer” (4). ‘Abstract’ labour on the other hand, refers to an idea of a uniform, homogenous labour that capital imposes on the heterogeneity of individual capacities, that makes labour measurable and quantifiable through a common exchange value (money), and allows the exchange of commodities. This uniformity of labour is ensured through the aforementioned means of supervision and discipline, making abstract labour a mere extension of the bourgeois notion of “equal rights”; of “abstract individuals” whose political rights are reflected in the ideals and practice of “citizenship”. Chakravarty further illustrates how, Bengali fraternity in the jute mills overcame European bourgeois assumptions of an autonomous universal personhood based on self-interest, contract and private property. Further, fraternity in the Lockean scheme was predicated on the emergence of private property and the political death of parental or paternal authority. The autonomous individual’s democratic powers as a citizen of the state or as a member of a union, and his contractual and voluntary relationship with a representative was only a myth. Subaltern historiography questions this assumption of capitalism, necessarily bringing in a position of hegemony in bourgeois relations of power.

European political thought labeled early peasant revolutions and nationalism, that manifested itself in the form of ‘mass democracy’ protests, as pre-political and hence, also pre-capitalist as the political sphere hardly ever divorced itself from the pre-capitalistic relations of kinship, gods and spirits, giving no room for the creation of an autonomous individual. This however, was fulfilled within the space of the ‘home’ away from the Europeans and colonial masculinity, with growing distinctions between the ‘private’ and ‘public’ spheres, where the Bengali male could exercise his own sense of autonomy; a place where education could be introduced with desired results for a compensatory eulogizing of the housewife. Sardari authority also arose from this sense of community and mutual dependency.

Let us at this point clarify the term ‘pre-capital’. Production relations were structured from within in the jute mills. Pre-capital, suggests Chakravarty, is not a term that is chronologically prior to capitalism but is “within the temporal horizon of capital and at the same time disrupts the continuity of time by suggesting another time that is not the same”. In other words, pre-capitalist relations suspend the universalizing move of capital and commodity in secularizing and homogenizing labour, within which the latter cannot be contained. ‘Real’ labour must have the capacity to contain what the sign ‘commodity’ cannot contain. The tension between ‘real’ and ‘abstract’ labour is kept alive by this analytical category that can never capture the true, subaltern voice. Subaltern histories subordinate themselves to the master code of secular history, but “can never grant its claim of being the only mode of thought that comes naturally to all.”

Governmentality only tries to subjugate and civilize these temporal differences of ‘real’ labour, the very signs from which abstract labour rises. Hence, ‘real’ labour can only be understood within the problematic of abstract labour, which subjugates the former, and dismisses it as it is found in the worker’s personal and collective histories. The disciplinary action of the global narrative of capital purges the worker of his bodily habits as well as his unselfconscious, collective practices with the rest in his environment. Mechanization further condenses both the subaltern subject’s personal, as well as, collective memory to requisite mechanical skills. This ruptures the personal or collective history and sheer consciousness or the will, resulting in objectified labour (commodities). The worker is ready to be posited by capital as its own condition and contradiction, by dismissing the memory and the past. The transition to capitalism, which was not a leisurely one, is analogous to the translation and transition from ‘real’ to ‘abstract’ labour, from history to non-history.

From the above discussion we note that Clarke’s book talks of an oral community that employed common confrontational sites like the drum as an aural representative symbol to indirectly question and defy dominant religious discourse. The jute workers of Calcutta however, failed to redress the injustices being meted out to them, as they could only resort to mediated representation in a culture of hierarchies. Though both the instances talk of representative symbols, namely the drum and working class documents, as common grounds of contention and interaction, the latter is ground in a culture that necessitates external intervention to construct and represent the subaltern self, denying it any independent agency. It is a culture that also requires a directly antagonistic form of representation that demands coexistence that can unfortunately work only in a hierarchy. It is also a culture where the site of contention is a material one, something that cannot be understood by the unlettered subaltern. We are considering the written word here in working class documents that justify capital’s or the sardar’s disciplinary authority, making the situation more complex in the face of material evidence, though, this can be used both for what it says and ‘silences’ only through literacy.

‘Minority’ histories are not just histories of the marginalized but “they refuse to represent autonomous subjectivity that is the ultimate aim of the majority narrative”. They are pasts that “do not prepare us for either democracy or citizenly practices because they are not based on the deployment of reason in public life”. It is the historian’s methods that construct ‘minority’ and ‘majority’ histories the way they are, making the former ‘irrational’ and ‘inferior’. From the above discussion one must note that subaltern historiography questions two assumptions made while constructing the subaltern. Firstly, the human exists within a single and secular historical time that envelops other kinds of time, while it is actually not integral and is out of joint. Secondly, that the human is ontologically singular and his gods and spirits are just “social facts” that exist a priori.

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