Germany; History, Geography, Legal and Politics

The German Flag

The German flag has three bands of colors running horizontally across it. The colors which, from top to bottom are black, red and gold are also of equal width. The meaning of these colors has been explained in several theories. To bring the meaning comprehensively closer, the two colors, black and gold are associated with the colors of the coat of arms of the Roman Empire.

The fall of the Roman Empire caused these colors to be used in the Habsburg ruling Dynasty of Austria. They later gained their popularity as the ‘Black and Gold Monarch’ during the period of this ruling dynasty (German Culture 2).

It is worth noting that the three bands of colors in the German flag, that is, black, and red and gold, symbolized the movement which fought to get rid of the conservative European order which had been formed after the fall of Napoleon (German Culture 3). The colors are used symbolically as follows; red refers to the Hanseatic League whereas black and gold here directly indicates Austria.

The colors of this flag have a direct affiliation with liberalization in the history of Germany. This combination of colors of the German flag was directly affected by the Austro-Prussian war in 1866, World War I and World War II, in a series of events.

This includes the replacement of gold with white, the replacement of the entire flag with the swastika flag, the return of the black-red-gold flag by the allied forces, the inclusion of communist emblem, by the German Democratic Republic, to the centre of the flag (a hammer and a pair of compasses inside ears of grain). Thus the stability of the German flag was only experienced after the unification of Germany in 1990 (German Culture 7).

History of Germany

Germany has a long history since its formation as a country. His history can not be complete without the mentioning of major European and world wars. The history can be dated back in the year 451, when Germany fought together with the Huns in the fields of Gaul against the Roman Empire (Pinnow 10).

Germany in the nineteenth century was characterized by shorter wars. This is quite different with the seven year war of the 18th century because there was a seven week war in the nineteenth century which was called the Franco-Prussian war.

Germany experienced rapid victory in the seven weeks war. The history of modern Germany was shaped in the 20th century. This was the period when Germany was rising exponentially as an economic powerhouse. This was the period of the demise of Weimer Republic and the rising into power of Hitler.

Germany played a major role in the genesis of both the first and the second world wars. After the defeat of Germany in the Second World War, it was divided into Western Germany and the Eastern Germany by the iron curtain. This division was caused by the cold war between the two superpowers that had been drawn into the European war which was caused by German war campaigns.

During this period, the archaic sociopolitical structure combined with a rapid modernizing economy was of much magnitude. It was the magnitude of this combination which resulted in the unleashing of domestic and international conflicts because this magnitude was too much for Germany to bear. Thus the history of Germany cannot be comprehensively covered without the inclusion of the international community (Fulbrook 7).

Geography of Germany

Germany is a country in Western Europe bordered by the Baltic to the north, the Rhine to the west, and the Alps to the south. The east of Germany has no natural borders and this has caused a lot of problems in the history of Europe (History World 1). However, according to political boundaries, Germany is bordered by France, the Netherlands and Belgium to the West, Poland and the Czech Republic to the East, Austria and Switzerland to the South and the Baltic, Denmark and the North Sea to the North (Rosenberg 1).

The country covers a total area of 357,021 square kilometers with land covering a total 349,223 square kilometers while the remaining part is covered by water. The climate of Germany is classified under temperate and marine types of climate. Temperatures are usually cool and the skies cloudy.

The country experiences seasons of wet winters alternated by summers and occasional Warm Mountain wind (Rosenberg 12). German’s terrain consists of lowlands in the north and the uplands at the central regions of the country. The Bavarian Alps are also present in the Southern parts of the country.

The country is well endowed with natural resources which include fuel resources, metallic minerals, nonmetallic minerals and forests. Natural fuels include natural gas, coal and lignite. The metallic minerals are iron ore, copper, nickel and uranium while the nonmetallic minerals include salt and potash. In addition to this, there is also plenty of arable land. The forests provide wood for the timber industry. The strategic location of Germany creates a critical factor in trade and transport activities.

Legal framework of Germany

Germany is governed by a constitution which was implemented in 1949 and became operational to the united Germany in the year 1990. The president of federal Germany is the head of state. However, the head of state does not have much influence on governance. He is elected for a five year term by representatives called the Bundestag and a number of people who are chosen to represent the parliament. The head of Government is called the Chancellor and is chosen for a four year period by a majority vote from the Bundestag.

The Federal Germany is divided into 16 states called Lander. Each of the state has its own government and is governed by its own legislative and constitutional frameworks. The governments can pass laws affecting their Landers except laws concerned with national security, international and financial policies which are the business of the federal government.

Germany is a federal state which means that the legislature is found in both the state and the federal levels. The German constitution offers certain provisions to the citizens, which include protecting the rights of the citizens like human dignity, rights of liberty, and general personality rights among many others. Employment rights which include respect to workers and other labor laws are also incorporated in the German constitution.

Other constitutional legislatures which the German citizen enjoys include the right to informational self determination. Civil law, criminal law, data protection law is also found in this constitution. The parliament is responsible for enacting these laws which are incorporated into the constitution (233).

Politics in Germany

There are 16 federal states in the Federal Republic of Germany. The federal chancellor is called the Bundeskanzler who is the head of the executive arm of the German government. The Bundeskanzler is elected by German’s parliament which is called the Bundestag. This classifies Germany as a parliamentary system of Government just like Great Britain.

The Bundeskanzler can not be removed from office until the Bundestag agrees on a favorable candidate to succeed him. The Bundeskanzler has always been the leader of the party which has a majority in the parliament. The chancellor appoints the vice-chancellor, also a cabinet official who couples up to become also a foreign minister. However, since there has always been a coalition government, the vice chancellor comes from the smaller party.

The German’s federal assembly is called the Bundestang. It is elected for a period of 4 years which serve as a one term period. The number of representatives is twice that of the number of electoral districts in the country. The constitution allows for a party to have a minimum of 5% of the vote for it to be represented in the parliament. An alternative would be for the party to have at least three directly elected deputies.

At the federal level, we have the Bundesrat, which is the Federal Council (Fact Index 11). It represents the state governments at the federal level and comprises of sixty nine members. The members are also delegates of the sixteen states. In addition the 69 members may also form part of the chancellor’s cabinet (Politics of Germany 12).

The current government of the Federal Republic of Germany is built by coalition of two parties.

Works Cited

Fact Index. Politics of Germany. Not dated.12th Nov. 2010.

Fulbrook, Mary. Ed 2, History of Germany, 1918-2000: the Divided Nation. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2002.

German Culture. German Flag. 2009. 12th Nov. 2010.
http://www.germanculture.com.ua/library/facts/german-flag.htm

History world. History of Germany. Not dated.12th Nov. 2010.

Pinnow, Hermann. History of Germany: people and state through a thousand years. Manchester: Ayer Publishing, 1970.

Rosenberg, Matt. German Geography. 2010. 12th Nov. 2010.

The mind and allegory of the cave

Introduction

The mind can best be shaped to understand the world through ideas (forms) rather than material experiences and sensations. The highest type of reality is the one that is based on knowledge of forms as illustrated through the allegory of the cave.

The nature of the mind and its relationship to other means of understanding the world

The allegory of the cave proves that man is able to perform his day to day functions without necessarily comprehending his true reality. Within the cave, there are prisoners who have been chained throughout their lives. The prisoners cannot turn their heads and the only thing they can see is a wall. Although there are people who pass behind the prisoners through a roadway, it is never really possible to know that those are the real objects that reflect their shadows against the prisoner’s wall.

Even the echo that permeates from the real people is translated as sound from the shadows. These individuals have therefore interpreted what they see or their material sensation for reality. They have not stopped to think that there could be a deeper meaning behind the shadows. In fact, even the things they identify or name are all related to what they perceive passing before them as shadows and not the actual objects.

Language therefore reflects their perception of reality through the physical. Plato argues that this never really denotes the real meaning. To get to understand what is actually going around us, one needs to go beyond the physical and grasp these things with the mind because that is the only pathway to conceptualizing reality (Brians, 52).

The prisoner who was set free and shown the actual sources of the shadows actually realized that he had been mistaken all along. His reliance on his senses alone was not sufficient to grasp the world around him. This prisoner had to be set free from his old perceptions in order to truly get to know what was going on around him. The same thing can be said about the process of acquisition of concepts.

Physical objects often give mistaken views of what things really are. In order for one to truly grasp how the world works, it is essential for that individual to abandon the old concepts formed through materials and experiences with tangibles. Similarly, in order for the mind to truly conceptualize then it must challenge the status quo. The people in the cave are content with their circumstances. The dim fire light and their state of darkness is what they had come to know.

They do not realize that there is something wrong with their existence. Because they have never been exposed to another kind of existence, they are content with the little they possess. Here, the mind has not been engaged fully and this has resulted in a less fulfilling life (Plato & Jewett, 516).

When one of the prisoners had the privilege of being exposed to the light and after he saw what the sun was all about, he soon found out that their previous life has been a misconception. This individual is therefore more enlightened than his counterparts who are still held in the cave.

He now finds the way of life of the people in the cave to be pitiable and therefore decides that his duty is to get his people out of their state of not knowing. However, most of them do not receive his ideas openly. Some actually despise him and believe that there is no truth other than the one tied to their existence.

Plato was trying to illustrate that the mind has the capability of finding real knowledge but this will always come into conflict with knowledge obtained through material sensations as was the case with the people in the cave. One must be ready to confront these old ideas in order to facilitate true intellectualism and enlightenment within one’s society.

Indeed the process of enlightening others is always an uphill task because this entails dealing with a lot of resistance. Plato was well aware of Socrates life as a philosopher. He even discussed it with his counterpart during an analysis of the allegory. Socrates had engaged his mind to move beyond the senses in pursuit of truth.

When he found this truth, he knew that it was now his duty to free other people from the chains of material perceptions. His society rejected the truth that he was providing them and eventually sentenced him to death. It can be deduced from Socrates’ life that trying to inform others about the truth may rarely be successful. Every single individual must actively engage his mind and seek for it.

It is only after one has fully experienced this transformation that one can really testify to knowing and believing the truth. Here, one can see that the nature of the mind is such that it must interact with different paradigms so as to establish which one represents reality and which one does not. Telling people about truth often entails the use of language. Plato often believed that language is comparable to the shadows that the prisoners saw on their wall.

Individuals who are deeply committed to a certain view often get to that level by experiencing that view using their mind. Material perceptions are quite strong and in order to supersede them, it is essential to really experience reality. The mind works not by hearing the truth but by interacting and gaining an experience with it (Brians, 94).

In the allegory of the cave, the games that the prisoners were playing were used to symbolize the trivialities and cares of the world. Plato believed that the mind often undergoes a transformation once one encounters the light or enlightenment. Consequently, one finds it almost impossible to be put back in the earth and to gauge issues using the same standards that other men who have not seen the light utilize.

In other words, once the mind undergoes a transformation through knowledge of forms, it cannot again go back to the old method of using sensations in order to make sense of the world. These standards often become unacceptable and even pathetic to the person who has been transformed by knowledge. These people are still in mental bondage and their way of life it too far from reality (Warmington, 78).

Plato firmly believed in Socrates ideas yet those very ideas are eventually what led to so many people being angry at him. Socrates often held that the invisible world is where the truth lies and that those who choose to see with their eyes are blind to the truth. He believed that using the eyes – or the senses for that matter – contributed to the obscurity of the world because it was impossible to really know the world through the use of one’s eyes.

On the other hand, Socrates argued that the intelligible is really found in the invisible world. In fact, this philosopher was so bold as to say that the sun lit world of the senses could not be taken as real and good. Those people who believed it to be so were actually putting themselves in a den of ignorance and evil. It is only the few who possess the courage to really get out of this den that get enlightened.

When using the allegory of the cave, Plato was deriving his teachings from these affirmations made by Socrates and this eventually adds gravity to the assertion that the mind can truly gain an understanding of its surrounding only if it surpasses the visible and reaches for the invisible.

Indeed this allegory brings to the fore the issue of spirit consciousness. In order to really know oneself, one must think of the cave as the daily responsibilities and daily life and the life outside the cave as a life referring to the never ending spirit. In this regard, for one to really understand knowledge, one must get to the spirit. However, this is not possible unless one can become a real master of one’s mind.

One must think of the world and the light in it as an illusion and one must find comfort or rely on the transcendental consciousness. The latter refers to an eternal realm that is synonymous to real good. This allows the mind to be at ease and hence allows it to get to the real meaning of life (Plato & Jowett, 520).

The allegory also provides an in-depth explanation of what life is about through one’s influences and exposure. In fact, many stereotypes or religions can sometimes be interpreted as the cave in the allegory. A person who has grown up knowing about a certain religion to the point of becoming a fundamentalist will often close his mind to other alternatives.

This is someone who believes that the only truth that exists out there is the truth that he or she was taught in his or her religion. To this end, the religion becomes like a cave which blocks him from really engaging with the truth. Even though other people might approach such a person and try to convince him about the truth, it is likely that such a person will not accept that truth because he has closed his or her mind to it.

In order for one to be exposed to reality, it is necessary for one to be open to the possibility of there being another realm. Fundamentalist religions often act as caves that close follower’s minds to knowledge and reality. It is often essential for such individuals to open their minds so that they can undergo a paradigm shift.

The allegory of the cave also illustrates how each and every member of society has a certain kind of cave in their mind. This often emanates from impulsive thought processes that get formulated into the mind by one’s sensations. However, once the mind, which is synonymous to the cave, starts allowing reality to permeate it then the cave will start being dismantled.

It is here where the mind will start to build up real knowledge and therefore look beyond certain reality so that it can be fully understood. The point at which one can get to real self actualization will occur when one breaks down this barrier of the cave (Warmington, 201).

Certain underlying truths can only be accessed once the mind tears down these structures and replaces it with truth structures. The cave is usually created by those experiences that people go through and it often closes people off certain possibilities. The truth is very expansive and cannot be contained within the cave mentality.

Plato’s allegory on the mind and its relation to material sensations also provides a way of understanding what real leadership is. When an individual had the privilege of seeing the light, then that person goes back to his former life, that person would genuinely want to bring the other people in his society to par with his reasoning. This kind of leader would take up the responsibility of teaching not because of a quest for power, fame, glory or any other superficial reason; such a person would want to govern so that he or she could make his society a better place.

The true leader is therefore one who does it out of an obligation rather than selfish needs. In other words, this person will be able to forsake all other material based desires in order to meet the needs of his society. In essence this reflects maturity of the mind. One cannot be in a position where one can change one’s society without forsaking the things that are related to the external.

It is also essential to take note that real change in one’s life only takes place when one has taken charge of one’s reality. Humankind often allows the external to design and create it’s life; this is what makes up what people become. Such individuals will often go through life without thinking through it.

They will take each day as it comes and not even bother taking a conscious decision to take charge of their existence. Through the mind, mankind has the option to take over his existence and this must be a conscious step taken by all who dare (Watt, 152).

One would wonder why philosophers even bother with the other members of society since it has been clearly proven that they will meet resistance stemming from sense related inhibitions. Plato believes that it is a true leader’s responsibility to take on this task because that is the only way that society will get better or it is the only way that the truth can really get to other people.

As an enlightened person, one must be a representation of goodness because the rest of society may not yet be able to comprehend these kinds of concepts. Progress in human development can only be realized by looking at reality in a different way and this is facilitated through the sacrifices of enlightened leaders.

It is also interesting to note how man can resign himself to a life of reality if he does not limit his mind to his perceptions. One’s conception of truth and reality can affect one’s capacity to access education and be changed by it. It can also affect one’s spirituality and one’s ability to reach real spiritual consciousness.

It also permeates public life and the way politics plays out in people’s lives. The mistaken belief in limited perspectives of the sensations eventually permeates in everyday life and therefore makes one’s existence flawed. It all starts with the mind since everything else is as a result of a decision made by one individual.

Human beings have an innate fear of new ideas. This normally occurs because such ideas will expose the limitations in one’s former thinking. In fact, such fears are so intense that instead of questioning the new ideas, humans would rather take the short way out and kill the bearer of the message. Great reasoning naturally offends its listeners and thinking is not a thing that is taken in stride.

The prisoners in the cave were offended by the assertions of the prisoner who had seen the light because ignorance is blissful. This illustrates that when one is bound in the world of sensations, one can ever really embrace knowledge. Such a person will try to question it or may try to resort to other drastic measures. This means that without truly engaging the mind, one can never really be virtuous. One would always be willing to employ radical methods in order to resist ideas.

This allegory is also important in illustrating the difficulties that the mind goes through during transitions from light to darkness and darkness to light. The prisoner who had been removed from the cave soon came to find out that it was going to be very difficult for him to adjust from the darkness to the light. He almost felt like he was being blinded by it.

On the other hand, after studying the sun, the seasons and reality, he also found it very difficult to adjust back to the darkness in the cave. Putting knowledge into his mind is what assisted in these transitions. He was able to get past these difficulties through knowledge. Therefore one can assert that real adjustment occurs when the mind is continually fed with ideas (Watt, 191).

Conclusion

The mind must be truly engaged in order to get to the truth. This may involve loosening one out of the chains that emanate from false beliefs. These beliefs are brought on by one’s experiences with the material sensations. Consequently, for one to get to the truth, one must supersede this superficial existence.

However, the truth is often not told or explained through language, it must be experienced by the mind by specific individuals. Enlightenment also creates good leaders because their minds have already overcome the ignorance and darkness of the visible world.

References

Brians, P. The allegory of the Cave. NY: Brickhouse, 1998

Jocobus, Lee. Plato the allegory of the cave

Watt, Stephen. Introduction: the theory of forms. London: Wardsworth, 1997

Plato, D. & Jowett, B. Plato’s the republic. NY: Modern library, 1941

Warmington, Rouse. Great dialogues of Plato. NY: Signet classics, 1999

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Introduction

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a US national park and a UNESCO world heritage site and covers the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains and part of Blue Ridge Mountains (National Park Service US Department of the Interior 1). It is the most visited park and one of the largest protected areas in the US (Walls 7).

It covers about 2108 km2 and forms part of the larger Appalachian Mountain Chain (Saferstein1). Unlike other national parks within the US, the Great Smoky National Park does not charge any entry fee (Walls 7).

History of the Park

The region covered by the park was once the home of Cherokee Indians (Himiak 11). However, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830 which resulted in the eviction of the Indian tribes from the region (National Park Service US Department of the Interior 1).

The white settlers later on built a rail line passing through the region but then started cutting and hauling of the trees from the forest. This led to the destruction of the forest and its natural beauty until the locals and the visitors saw the need to preserve the forest.

They then (along with the US government) raised some money to establish the park since the US National Park Service did not have enough finances to establish the park on its own (Campbell 3). Individual citizens from North Carolina and Tennessee came in to help assemble the land for the establishment of the park.

Those who still lived in the park, mainly the Cherokee Indians, miners and loggers, were forced out of the park and all the operations which contributed to the destruction of the forest were abolished (Saferstein 56). The park was officially instituted in June, 1934 by the US Congress and dedicated in 1940 by President Franklin Roosevelt (Himiak 22).

The Works Progress Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps and other federal organizations developed the infrastructure in the park and around Smoky Mountains during the Great Depression (National Park Service US Department of the Interior 1).

In 1976, the park became an International Biosphere Reserve and in 1983, it was certified by UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1988, the park was expanded to become part of the Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve (National Park Service US Department of the Interior 1).

Attractions and Uniqueness of the Park

According to the US National Parks (para. 1), the park is renowned for its diversity in plant and animal species. For example, the national park has over 10,000 different plant and animal species, its scenic ancient mountains, the depth of its wilderness sanctuary, and the remnants of the Southern Appalachian Mountain culture, among others. It has ridges of endless forest covering the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.

The park has one of the largest temperate, deciduous and old growth forest blocks which date as far back as during the time of the European settlement in the region. The trees species alone are over a hundred. The animal species include over 66 mammal species, over 43 amphibian species, over200 species of birds, over 39 species of reptiles and more than species of 50 species of fish. It is also important to note that the park has over 1,800 black bear (National Park Service US Department of the Interior 9).

The park also has a number of historical sites, such as the Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Mingus Mill and Mountain Museums. These historic sites have many preserved historic buildings such as the log cabins, churches and barns which provide an outdoor historic gallery. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has some high altitude mountains like Mount LeConte which is very popular with hikers. The park has some of the most spectacular waterfalls like Laurel, Abrams, Whank, Grotto and Hen Wallow Falls.

It has other beautiful sceneries which include Fontana Dam situated between Rocky Mountains, the Deep Creek rivers and waterfalls, the Balsam Mountain which offers a stunning mountain view for summer wildflowers, the Roaring Rock which offers a glimpse of rushing Mountain Rivers and old-growth forest and the New Found Gap among many other beautiful types of scenery.

Around the park, there is the Andrew Johnson Historic site which was established in honor of the United States’ 17th president. It includes the late president’s home where he resided before and after his presidency.

There is also the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area covering about 125,000 acres around Cumberland River and its tributaries (Kephart 4). This region has many natural and historic features which include beautiful sandstone bluffs and scenic gorges. In the nearby North Carolina, there are the Pisgah and Nantahala Forests which offer rich wildlife, spectacular waterfalls and areas for camping.

Activities

The park offers a wide range of activities which include wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding, boat riding among other activities. Hiking is the most popular activity in the park and the park provides many routes for hiking on the elevations of the mountains (Public Service Ads 1). Fishing is the second most popular activity in the park done in the waters within the park. Fontana Dam provides cool waters for boat riding and fishing in the park.

Transportation

The main entrances to the park are located are on the New Gap Road, US Highway 441. From the south, the park can be reached through Sevierville and then through Pigeon Forge using US-441 and finally to the park using the Gatlinburg entrance. From the north it can be reached through the interstate highway, through to Maryville and then Townsend and finally to the park using the Townsend entrance. Cherokee entrance can be reached through US-19 and then through Maggie Valley road to the park.

There are also two airports around the park: McGhee-Tyson Park in Tennessee which is a few kilometers from the Gatlinburg entrance and Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina which is about 60 miles away from Cherokee entrance to the park. Although there is no public transport to the park, there are private commercial bus services and trolley services such as Cherokee Transit, connecting the park to the main cities around the region.

Inside the park, there are also roads that lead to the various sites and sceneries such as Ramsey Prong Road, Capes Code Loop Road, Foothills Parkway and many others.

Infrastructure and Concessions

The park has many well-maintained roads connecting it to the outside regions and within it for exploring the park. The park is also connecting to the outside world through the two airports in the regions around it. It has lodges, motels and restaurants as well as camp sites for tourists. It provides recreational vehicle camping and background camping (Walls 7). Some of the lodges in the park include the Mt. LeConte Shelter, Laurel Gap Shelter and Kephart Shelter (Public Service Ads 1).

The Park’s Visitors

The park is the most visited national park in the US and records over nine million visitors annually (National Park Service US Department of the Interior, 1).

It experienced the highest visit among the US national parks in 2007 with a record of 9.4 million visitors which was more than double that of Grand Canyon National Park which was the second most visited (Walls 5). Most of its visitors come from the surrounding regions and towns which include Gatlinburg, North Carolina, Tennessee, Cherokee, Townsend, Pigeon Forge, and Bryson City among many other areas.

The most visited centers in the park are and Oconaluftee Visitors’ Center and Sugarlands Visitors’ Center. The categories of visitors recorded in the park include both those who go purely for recreation and those who go for other purposes such as studies and scientific research.

Most of the visitors in the park are hikers who go to hike in the rails and the unpaved roads within the park. It is open to visitors throughout the year, but the most appropriate period to visit the park is during the autumn when the region experiences warm days and cool nights (Public Service Ads 1).

Concerns extraneous to the Park

There are several factors that affect the park. Among these include air pollution, urban encroachment, inadequate funding and invasive species among other problems. According to Camille (28), the air quality around the park is affected by pollution from industries and automobiles and mostly from the coal fired power plants which release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The severe air pollution negatively affects the biodiversity in the park (National Parks Conservation Association 1). Air pollution causes diseases in the plants which have killed almost all the chestnut trees and is also threatening future of butternuts and dogwoods as well as beech trees.

Some normative plant species also affect the survival of the native species within the park. Invasive insects also threaten the future of Fraser firs and hemlock trees (Maldona 14). Generally, the invasive species destroy the biodiversity and hence undermining the ecological health of the wildlife in the park.

The park’s efforts to preserve its cultural resources are negatively affected by the underfunding of the park’s management and that of the National Park Service.

Summary

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established in 1934 by the US Congress to protect the beautiful forest and forest features around Smoky Mountains and since then has achieved greater status including being the International Biosphere Reserve and the Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve.

It has over 10,000 wildlife species of both flora and fauna, which includes among others the black bear and the old growth forest. It also boasts of many historic sites as well as beautiful sceneries such as waterfalls and gorges. It serves all the US citizens and entry to the park is free. It is also the most visited park in the US. Infrastructure both inside and outside the park is well maintained and includes the road network, airports, lodges among others.

Conclusion

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest and the most visited in the US. It is therefore important that measures that ensure that the park’s cultural and natural resources are conserved and managed sustainably. More scientific research should be carried out to find out alternative measures for encountering the normative species. This implies that more funding should be made to help support the park’s conservation and preservation programs.

Works Cited

Camille, Feanne. Smokies top list of most polluted parks. June 2004. 12 November, 2010. http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/06/24/parks.pollution/

Campbell, Chis. The making of a national park. Knoxville, Tennessee: University of Tennessee Press. 1964 print.

Himiak, Lauren. National and State Parks: Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 2010. 12 Nov. 2010.
http://usparks.about.com/od/greatsmokymountains/p/grsm_overview.htm

Kephart, Horace. Our Southern Highlanders. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. 1961 Print.

Maldona, Charles. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Hazy Future. Metropulse. June 2009. 12 November 2010.

http://www.metropulse.com/news/2009/jun/10/great-smoky-mountains-national-park-hazy-future/ . New Report Ranks Five Most-Polluted

National Parks. National Parks Conservation Association. June 2004. 12 November 2010.
http://www.npca.org/media_center/press_releases/2004/page- 27600358.html.

National Park Service US Department of the Interior. Great Smoky Mountains. nps.gov. November 2010. 12 November 2010. http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/things2do.htm

Public Service Ads. Things to do: Smoky Mountains. 2010. 12 November 2010.
http://www.thingstodointn.com/2010/07/things-to-do-smokey- mountains.html

November 2010.US National Parks. Great Smoky Mts. National Park: Tennessee and North Carolina. ParkReservations.com and Yellowstone Net, Bruce Courtley, 2007. 12

Walls, Michael. Parks and Recreationin the United States: The National Park System. Washington, D.C. Resources for the Future. 2009. Print.

Bioregionalism

Bioregionalism is the phenomenon of understanding the process of environmental ecosystems in a way justifiable to the human cultures. It is a way of merging various human territories into what the universal territory holds in the form of global environment, which is only possible through human motivated effort towards environmental problem solving.

Environmental ecology has long before the Second World War has left reasons for us to manipulate the causes to study this subject. However, it occurred just after the anti-war peace movements of the post world war that the bioregional activists started realizing the hazards in the form of environmental crises caused by wars, human overpopulation, air and chemical pollution, and overconsumption.

The primary cause of our current environmental woes rests with the negation of bioregional process that we often do by not responding to the political and environment power relations of global economy. Bioregionalism requires a complete grasp of local and global integration of economic resources that in this era of capitalism should not have been ‘limited’.

By limited, I mean reserved talks that in this globalized era must not be encouraged. Unfortunately globalization does not go hand in hand with bioregionalism. Both are inversely proportional to each other’s needs and contribute to each other’s development respectively. For example, cheaper energy is not permitted by globalization and expensive energy is not allowed in bioregionalism.

So, we must remain open in our bioregional expressions to break the ice regarding what globalization has to offer us in context with policies and measures. What we are in our closed bioregions is not what today’s globalized era wants from us. In this manner we are isolated within what ecology does not want us to reckon. Isolated in terms of not integrating our ecological affiliations with that of our culture, or when we consider our ecosystem to be a separate entity, though it is not.

Our ecosystem is a part to be stemmed out of our larger landscape that means environmental activities like watershed, rainfalls, culture that makes us close to the nature, local community knowledge, environmental history, and climatic concerns. Environmental activities are not understood by us the way they are supposed to have been analyzed. This ignorant attitude has only left us in dark where habitat destruction is obvious in the longer run.

Thus, in order to preserve our environment and ecological stability, it is necessary to focus on the hazards that are caused by the “commercial, industrial and agricultural globalized developments, natural resource extraction, tourism and war, because all these initiate a new chain of ecological and cultural disruptions” (Mcginnis, 1999, p. 122).

In my opinion, the most significant aspect to analyze the threat of bioregionalism goes against the globalization phenomenon. If we talk about better health, we are not talking about the opportunities which in this case global health specialists are capitalizing on. Similarly, the more pollution factor, the least will be the cleanliness benefitting the global health trends. The more industrialization of the weapons of mass destruction, the more would be the production, the greater destruction caused by the warfare.

The concern arises why human warfare in this modernized age is a concern? Just because of the fact that we have chosen globalization over bioregionalism. We have put an end to all our communication modes along with the patience to bear aside. Since there is no communication understanding, we are more prompted to adopt the warring than to give in any room for peace.

Thus, weapons of mass destruction not only destroy humanity in the wake of warfare, but also disrupt our ecosystem. This is highlighted by many theories of globalization that asserts that our environmental problems possessing able solutions are not limited to overflow through national boundaries and borders.

Communication barrier with no understanding on either side is a common drawback that goes against bioregionalism. This applies to global climatic change, which is already unable to cooperate with our increased globalization trends, thus, leaving room for the water, air and environmental pollution.

The Philosophy

The main philosophy behind bioregional assumption is the geographical characteristic that asks explanation of physiographic ‘boundaries.’ Unlike humanly sketched political borders, it is difficult to define a hierarchical legitimacy in halting the spread of environmental causes and issues. For example, pollution is difficult to be dealt with as long as there is human existence. Globalization extension beyond borders has given rise to the economic and political relationships with that of technological cause.

This on one hand has produced tremendous capitalist results, while on the other it is making global world a future plight for us, where everything on earth will be materialized. What would be left with us will be the destruction in the wake of greenhouse effect, climatic severity in the form of increased volcanic disruptions, and tsunamis.

What the globalized trend has made us today is not the answer to the problems of bioregionalism. Instead, globalization itself has raised the concerns that make environmental NGOs to rake over the environmental crises. Thus, it is not wise to turn a blind eye to “the physical realities of environmental, resource, and biodiversity issues by not considering natural divisions within physiographic regions” (Thayer, 2003, p. 19).

Globalization has given rise to environmental awareness, leading to think about the consequences of the international trade and environmental conservation. The role of transportation in the environmental crises management has helped us in thinking about the policies that govern ports.

Similarly, port areas are considered to be the “functional organization of activities and operations that are designed specifically to attain high standards of environmental protection and the goal of sustainable development” (Pinder & Slack, 2004, p. 191).

Effective environmental management in this era of globalization requires high tech based evidences on which to base upon the key decisions governing ecosystems. Such decisions must rest upon some criteria marked by the key performance indicators so as to ensure the achievement is reliable and practical.

Globalization has become so much of our daily lives that we cannot deem to assess our performance without reckoning its significance. Therefore, environmental practice requires effective monitoring procedures that do not negate globalization or transportation weaknesses that come in the way of globalization.

Instead, it requires assessing “both the efficacy of management and the quality of the environment itself, the trend that most of the seaports within Europe have been developing towards this level of environmental practice” (Ibid, p. 191). These trends are policy based answers to the growing threat of environmental concerns and technology based.

Policies that are helpful to limit the globalized effect of the increased machinery based needs. Technology, of course cannot be set apart from what the machine generated environmental performance can be monitored with the environmental management systems.

How does it work?

Each traffic controller whether seaport or airport is geographically unique for it geographically possess a central position in providing and maintaining a significant source of data for the commercial analysis. Furthermore, it is governed by a set of principles that are limited by the considerations of political ownership and culture. It is this political uniqueness that makes up legislation.

This is a clear indication of how the environmental management tools along with auditing machines are utilized in detecting the sartorial nature of specific circumstances that take place on every port and harbor. In order to avoid the risk factor, maximum assurance is to be taken by shaping up legislation driven policies and user friendly solutions.

Similar to the traffic controller is the concept of bioregionalism that does not go after a materialistic market. It underlies no hidden physical or economic motives to opt human resourcefulness in order to “respond to impending shortages and existing problems with new expedients that, after an adjustment period, leave us better off than before the problem arose” (McConnell, 1999).

In order to see about the ecological destruction of the machine based civilization, it is necessary to first analyze the disadvantages of globalization that goes beyond creating weapons for wars. War, economic crunches, and capitalist competition are some of the menace that globalization has brought to us.

So, first of all, it is necessary to settle down the regional issues that lie inside the territories. This indicates that the first attempt in resolving the bioregional issue is to place bioregional deracination, the concept that envisions the humanity as one, no discrimination among habitat.

No discrimination among habitat is further accompanied by a homeland, where habitats are free to transform into commercial, industrial and agricultural developments, but without ecological disruption. It is through the disruption caused by the globalization era that today we face so many plights to humanity that are themselves a freefall call in a disaster.

Our ecological system, our earth that is protecting us is being torn apart through our deeds and actions. Thanks to the violence of corporate globalization that has torn apart our ecological eco system and has combined with the war on earth. No alternatives are being thought of to cooperate and live with universal brotherhood because every effort to maintain peace and order in this world would be an effort against war.

That would mean market non-sustainability. No weapon market would be flourished and social and economic upheaval would be a common imperative. “These alternatives need to combine our making peace with the planet and our making peace among people from diverse cultures” (Albritton, 2004, p. 53). The reason is that we are dependant upon each other and it is not possible to root out the real terrorism, violence and war if we need to sustain bioregionalism in the world.

Securing the environmental and ecological conditions is what matters to secure our people’s fate. “People’s security does not lie in larger military budgets, bigger bombs and stronger police states. It lies in ecological and economic, cultural and political security. Rebuilding these multiple securities can recreate peace, justice and sustainability” (Albritton, 2004, p. 53).

The threat of war to bioregionalism requires that various legislative policies should be renewed encompassing punishment and accusation, in which culprits are being taken care of by international powers. What fans globalization is the prevalence of mafia-style economies, boosted under the threat of economic and cultural warfare proposed by international interventions?

This situation sketches out a gruesome political economy dependant upon its capability to phase in various sorts of intra-state wars. This can be seen in United States where a complex economic crunch witnesses a multidimensional interplay between its local, regional and international forces, but also in between its regional territories.

This situation in which a super power deems war as a necessary weapon has two reasons to figure out its economy. First of all the growing era of unemployment that keeps on growing with every passing day, and secondly the consequence that people has to bear with the deceased economy, the brain drain, commonly take place in third world countries.

This many believe is the general school of thought that “the age of globalization is characterized by a gradual erosion of state authority, as in an industrialized world this development can be associated with the liberal substitution of military strife by economic competition, this idea does not apply to the social reality in large parts of the world” (Jung, 2003, p. 2).

One might ask the link between the proposed topic ‘Bioregionalism’ and the political histories that we envisage in the form of contemporary globalization. There is a link that defines “environmental degradation to be a product of localized and bounded political economies and histories that are often dependent on biology and geography” (Mcginnis, 1999, p. 101).

So, if we wish to call upon the root causes of ecological destruction, we must see our ecological states and phases in context with the political economies and histories that reveal that whenever war had been chosen to be the ultimate solution of ‘securing a territory’ it only has resulted in a political and economic chaos.

Political histories are the best medium for providing us an insight of how to build a legislative framework or a policy guide for addressing the dilemmas of our planet earth. The problems are further aggravated by the ‘globalized phenomenon’ backed by the emergence of creating latest weapons of mass destruction. The revenue produced by the global market, instead of spending on the donations, is utilized in warfare in the name of ‘foreign military assistance’, thereby acting as a catalyst in war economies.

Is it feasible?

When the Second World War was over, a common perception that emerged in the public was about the magnificent advantages of science and technology. People get convinced that science and technology has been advanced to the extent where any limitations could be placed on the warring strategies and thing is possible in the wake of war.

This perception not only influenced the general public who remained aloof from the technological transformations at a global level, but was also felt by the governmental actions and policies. Every developed nation experienced such stimulations which arise at a result of the ‘baby boom’.

This generation went less skillful and knowledgeable in terms of ecology and was more interested in the dramatic wartime successes. The developments of laser weapons, radars, communication modes, antibiotics, and atomic bombs gave a unique understanding to the naive who believed that these advancements have been possible only through war like developments, and that it is good to secure the territories through nuclear strategies.

Soon the foundation of scientific understanding tumbled down when in every nook and cranny destructions of such weapons were witnessed. The final blow to the weapons was blown on the initiation of ‘war on terror’ where lessons were there to realize the economic and ecological devastation by the general public and government leaders.

Modern day ecological destruction is primarily due to increase in military weapons, arms, and ammunitions. Each year military budget keeps on increasing and comes up with scores of reasons to justify the significance of war.

This is not right to our ecosystems because war entrepreneurs in the context of present day ecological disturbances do not consider the notion that the zones of conflict are created by us. Regions do not consider that it is at the same local pace proliferating the national and global economic players who multiply their wealth by investing in the threat of peace at the cost of not only millions of lives, but at the cost of our earth’s disruption.

On the way to justify various excuses for promoting the military business, a new war ‘war against terror’ has been initiated. This on one hand eradicate the terrorists, on the other it creates theme at even greater speed. This illustrates the rate at which terrorists are alleviated, is doubled when they are investigated, thereby creating terrorists at a significant rate.

Thus, the analytical distinction between formal and informal economies is governed by all sorts of war and weaponry and the tools used in ‘war against terror’. This is further encouraged when anti-terror law enforcement gets the official internationalization stamp by various socio-political institutions, negating any bioregional strategies of their non-democratic allies.

A healthy community with least ecological threats is what is needed in the current society which has no room for any war. Thus, the ‘just war’ doctrine which suggests that “war must be controlled by a code forming a framework for evaluating decisions to kill for advantage and defence” (Klumpp, 2009) does not work any more. There is a need to think about emergence of the nation state which thinks about the ecological well being above all war and threatening states.

Environmentally, war is condemned and should be condemned at all levels. However, to many of socialists, negating war is a hopeless goal. I do not hold such opinion because we humans possess the ability to think about the hazards and destruction that the war causes. Instead of minimizing the environmental harm, we can think about the attempts to stop the root cause of war. That lies in open communication and coming straight to the problem.

Unlike “the military attempt to minimize civilian casualties and damage to the infrastructure (e.g. water supply, sewage treatment, power plants, hospitals, and other civil services) of the nation-state under attack” (Cairns, 2003) it is better to take necessary steps to put a halt on the global warfare phenomenon.

“The United Nations is processing more than US$70 billion in claims for environmental damage in the invasion of Kuwait through the Gulf War” (Cairns, 2003). That indicates the lesser destruction incur to ecology and our environment, the lower the cost for creating a wiped out economy.

Solution rests with the implementation of science in policy matters and policies in scientific matters. This can be illustrated through many examples of how it can be achieved to some extent. Environmental science should be analyzed and studies with the coalition of government policy.

“The creation of the Survey of the Coast in the early years of the nineteenth century stimulated the science and technology of geodesy; the resulting charting of the coastline and coastal waters led to the installation of aids to navigation and contributed to the growth of a profitable maritime industry” (Fleagle, 1999, p. 199).

A larger part of the process required the implementation of regulations that involved coastal shipping and the coordination of the working of the Coast Guard that went in hand in hand with the enforcement of legal jurisdictions.

Another illustration of the Signal Corps of 1870 reveal how public safety was considered as the priority in implementing the usage of telegraph system to transmit weather reports that later became National Weather Service. “Because these applications involve many national interests and the missions of several agencies, the Weather Service necessarily becomes engaged in policy issues requiring negotiations with other U.S. agencies and with international organizations and other countries” (Fleagle, 1999, p. 199).

This provides us a glimpse and explains how it could be possible if government policy discourage and support peace based reaching decisions, necessary to demote warfare. In order to promote ecological based scientific awareness, there is a need to ensure that policy decisions are based on institutional mechanisms. Following points should be considered to analyze the necessity of warfare, conducted by governmental support.

First, specification of national security missions; second, assessment of present ecological functions; third, assessment of impact of the war on ecology; fourth, the rate of ecological disruption between the expected and the unexpected; fifth, various modes of the resources likely to be involved in research; sixth, regulation controlling public and governmental concerns and the probability between negotiation and the rate of compromise.

So the policies must be devised in such a manner that prevents war at the utmost. Long term envisioning of future science policy is required which sees issues in the light of all possible advices and the lessons that have been learnt from the past, particularly from the war-torn societies.

Science and technology should be limited to produce only such machineries that are not a threat to human existence, not even at the cost of destroying in the name of national security. There is a need to ensure various advisory committees are being properly monitored with justification at every level.

Most significant is the need to understand the problems that are likely to appear when policies are implemented in the way to prevent war. This requires various measures such as introducing additional content in the syllabus of institute and universities to enable our youth see about the future global changes. This would enable them to have a broad spectrum of how we might encounter challenges in the next decades if effective measures were not implemented in the short span.

Thus, this is the time that we expect the same efficiency from our elected government to recognize the notion how much it is important to take action in putting halt to the coming global change. Institutional structure must be examined from top to bottom to sift out any defects and weaknesses it has in the course of implementing a renewed global change policy.

“Programs of environmental assessment should be established at universities and national laboratories with the support of the major environmental agencies and with coordination of the Science and Technology policy” (Fleagle, 1999, p. 218). This will make our youth understand how to cope up with the upcoming ecological challenges that are the consequences of science and technology.

References

Albritton Robert, Bell Shannon, Bell. R. John & Westra Richard. (2004). New Socialisms: Futures beyond Globalization: Routledge: New York.

Cairns Jr. John. (2003). War and Sustainability. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology. 10 (3), 185.

Fleagle G. Robert. (1999). Global Environmental Change: Interactions of Science, Policy, and Politics in the United States: Praeger Publishers: Westport, CT.

Jung Dietrich. (2003). Shadow Globalization, Ethnic Conflicts and New Wars: A Political Economy of Intra-State War: Routledge: London.

Klumpp. F, James. (2009). Argumentative Ecology. Argumentation and Advocacy. 45 (4), 183.

McConnell. R. A. (1999). Population, Environment Globalization and the Survival of Civilization. Mankind Quarterly, 40(2), 155.

Mcginnis, Michael Vincent. (1999). Bioregionalism: Routledge: London.

Pinder David & Slack Brian. (2004). Shipping and Ports in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Technological Change and the Environment: Routledge: New York.

Thayer, L. Robert. (2003). Lifeplace: Bioregional Thought and Practice: University of California Press: Berkeley, CA.

A Comparative and Contrast analysis of Everyman and The Wanderer

Everyman is an old English morality play with an anonymous writer. The play presents the idea of salvation in the Christian context. It is believed that the author of the play wrote it during the late fifteenth century (Frohman, 10; Flesch, 179). The play shows Everyman traveling on a long journey to account his life to God.

The teaching the play presents is that God records Everyman’s character and actions, which represents the actions and characters of an ordinary person, after death as in a book. On the other hand, The Wanderer presents the case of a man who is in exile and roaming the earth (Channing, 1). This man laments for the loss of his family members, friends and he hates being away from his kind king.

In the middle of disillusionment and despair, The Wanderer remembers that it is good to have faith in God in order to be saved. According to The Wanderer, salvation is based on faith in Christ rather than in a man’s own deeds. The Wanderer and Everyman have both similar and contrasting ideas.

The author of Everyman used allegorical characters to present his message (Cummings, Para. 6). These characters include Death, Everyman, God, Fellowship, Goods, Good Deeds, Knowledge, Strength, Five Wits, among others. The first scene of the play shows God looking at Everyman from heaven.

He sees that Everyman loves the goods and possessions of this earth and has forgotten him. Everyman is young, rich and preoccupied with worldly things. He not only forsaken God, but also despises his fellow human beings who are poor. God therefore becomes angry with Everyman and send his servant Death to take a message to Everyman that he has to embark on a long journey (Effinger, para.1).

Everyman is therefore required to put himself in order and be ready for the journey because Death reminds him that there is no returning from that journey. Because of his love of the world, Everyman tries to bribe Death to leave him to continue enjoying his life on earth. However, Death refuses. Everyman tries to ask his Friends, Fellowship and Kinsmen to accompany him for the journey but they let him down.

After prayers and penance, his friend Good Deeds, whom he had forgotten for a long time, gets enough energy to accompany him and assist him in presenting his case before God. All the other friends who had promised to go with Everyman like Strength, Discretion, Beauty and Knowledge leave Everyman as he enters the grave.

The wanderer is an old English poem that presents an old warrior who roams the world in search of accommodation and help (Gerould, 63). The poem is a monologue where the aging warrior presents his grievances. The unknown author gives the introduction and conclusion of the poem.

The wanderer is sorrowful for being in exile (Alexander, 63). He laments for losing his family members, friends, and his home and remembers his caring king. Through his dreams, the Wanderer sees himself in the company of his friends and kinsmen and sees himself embracing his king.

He wakes up from his sleep to find himself in his exile, faced with gray winter, snowfall and hailstorms (“The Wanderer Summary”, Para. 1). Further, on the Wanderer’s second monologue, he considers giving up self-control since he considers them similar to ways of meeting diversity. The wanderer also sees many negative things and destruction happening in many places as he travels than in his own society.

This poem also links the values of pagans and Christians in an unfair combination. The author’s voice in the poem refers to God and shows the importance of having virtues like faith, an issue that the wanderer seems to have forgotten. The Wanderer through his lamenting, however, gives an indication of upholding values like loyalty, generosity, courage and strength. The wanderer appears resigned in life. The wanderer appears resigned in life (“The Wanderer poem,” para. 3).

However, at the culmination of the poem he brightly illustrates his lack of companionship and anticipates for the previous days in which life was more interesting. He finally concedes to his faith in God.

There are several themes and characters presented in both Everyman and The Wanderer. Some of these point towards similar ideas while others are contrasting. In both episodes, faith in God is presented and God is shown and acknowledged as the sole controller of the universe.

Men are seen to forget God and concentrate more on the cares and concerns of earthly issues and only come to remember God when they are in problems. Everyman forsakes God and loves earthly goods and riches than God. This is why he is not ready to leave his earthly possessions and even offers to bribe Death to leave him stay on Earth.

Everyman remembers his good deeds when he finds that no one stands with him. We are also informed that he remembered the days he used to serve his God. The Wanderer also is too much worried of his fate on earth and forgets his God as he journeys the earth. The wonderer comes to remember his God when he is aging and admonishes us to put faith in God.

They also agree that man needs some virtues while travelling through this world. They agree that man often needs to put his relationship right with God. He needs generosity, strength, good deeds and courage. For Everyman, he needed Good Deeds to present his case before God when he reached heaven. He also needed Strength, Beauty and Five Senses to go with him in the journey.

The wanderer also admonishes us that we need strength, courage, generosity, loyalty and faith in God throughout our journey on Earth. These works use allegorical characters to present their message. While Everyman uses allegorical characters such as Goods, Good Deeds, fellowship, Five Senses among others (Cummings, Para. 6; Lawrence and Reich, 204), The Wanderer uses an allegorical character of “the life of a man in the image of a sea-journey” (Gordon, para. 1).

There are a number of differences that can be identified from the two literature materials. Everyman is a play while The wanderer is a poem. Everyman uses many allegorical characters to present the message while the Wanderer uses one soliloquy character to present the message. The narrator in The Wanderer makes the introduction and conclusion. Everyman believes that good deeds are necessary to save a person.

This is why he goes for repentance and penance to give Good Deeds strength to accompany him in his journey. The Wanderer on the other hand believes in salvation by faith. He believes that faith in God is enough to save a person without deeds. Thus, The Wanderer presents the theme of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, while Everyman presents the theme of salvation by works.

In conclusion, the two literature materials present the themes of Christianity, isolation and betrayal by the trusted friends (Marin, Para.2; Marsden, 327; Treharne, 42). They use characters that are in a journey on earth. The Wanderer is in exile while Everyman is traveling to God. Even though these materials present similar themes and messages, they also conflict in some ideas. Conspicuous in the texts is the difference in the means by which people gain salvation.

While Everyman believes it is by works, The Wanderer believes it is by faith in Christ. Everyman and The Wanderer reflect the life of ordinary men on earth and their Christian walk. Everyman shows the evils people do against their fellow human beings and against God. The two stories reflect the life on an ordinary person on earth and advices people to live a life they know they will give an account of at last.

Works Cited

Alexander, Michael. The earliest English poems. London : Penguin, 1991. Print.

Channing, William E. The wanderer: a colloquial poem. Boston : J.R. Osgood and Co., 1871. Print.

Cummings, Michael J. “Everyman: A morality Play Written in the Late 1400’s by Unknown author.” Study guides. N.d. Web. 15/11/2010. http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides3/Everyman.html

Effinger, Sandra. “The Summoning of Everyman: A Student Guide.” MsEffie. N.d. Web. 15/11/2010. http://homepage.mac.com/mseffie/assignments/everyman/everymansg.html

Flesch, William. The Facts on File companion to British poetry 19th century. New York: Facts on File, 2010. Print.

Frohman, Charles. Everyman : being a moralle playe of the XV centurie. Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger, 1903. Print.

Gerould, Gordon H. Old English and medieval literature. Freeport, NY: Books for Libr. Press, 1970. Print.

Gordon, I. L. “Traditional themes in The Wanderer and the Seafer.” Justor. N.d. Web. 15/11/2010. http://www.jstor.org/pss/510874

Lawrence, Cunningham, and Reicg, John J. Culture and Values: a survey of the humanities. Boston, M.A.: Wadsworth Pub. 2005. Print.

Marin, Lucian E. “The poem the Wanderer.” The Wanderer. N.d. Web. 15/11/2010.
The poem “The Wanderer”

Marsden, Richard. The Cambridge Old English reader. Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 2004. Print.

“The Wanderer Poem.” World Lingo. N.d. Web. 14/11/2010.
http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/The_Wanderer_%28poem%29

“The wanderer summary.” The Wanderer (Magill Book Reviews). 2010. Web. 14/11/2010.
http://www.enotes.com/wanderer-54431-salem/wanderer-0089900480

Treharne, Elaine M. Old and Middle English c.890-c.1400: an anthology. Malden, Mass: Wiley Blsackwell, 2004. Print.

Budgeting Preparation

Budgeting entails preparation for the achievement of specific targets and missions within a given duration by calculating the necessary funds together with the funds at hand. The budget is meant for use by the government in putting its policies to work by regulating the money spent by various agencies in the government (Robert & Lynch, 2004).

There are various methods of budgeting and they are namely line item budgeting, program budgeting, program planning budgeting system, performance based budgeting, zero – based budgeting, program assessment rating tool and priority based budgeting.

There are several models that should be considered before a budget is prepared because they influence the kind of budget to be prepared. Line item budgeting incorporates the government revenue into the government system. This kind of budgeting is usually presented as vague account of returns.

In program budgeting, the funds are distributed to various programs according to their relevance. On the other hand program planning budgeting system considers the possible results that can be achieved by injecting certain volumes of funds and it is most appropriate for capital ventures.

Three principles of public budgeting should be exercised when preparing a budget; they include answerability, effectiveness and value. Arthur and Sheffrin (2003) explain that answerability addresses the flow of funds into a government project thus it is used as a regulatory tool in project management. Effectiveness concentrates on how a given system uses the available funds to generate profits. This principle is usually applied in performance based assignments.

Lastly, value refers to the comparisons of funds injected into a system to the outcomes of a given system by identifying the effects brought by either side. After highlighting the most important aspects of public budgeting, it is important to consider the stages that a budget goes through before it is published. These stages involve funds assessment which is usually done by the ministry of finance or an independent audit organization.

The second stage is known as budget formulation, which entails drafting of the budget and referring to previous budgets with the aim of identifying faults which can be avoided in the current budget. The third stage involves applying the budget as a government strategy by inviting suggestions from head of departments and the public in general. The final stage is the actual verification of the public budget as a valid strategy of government disbursement of funds.

There are two types of public budgets which can be prepared by the government, namely capital and operating budgets (Stiglitz, 2002). Operating budgets refers to documents that explain how government funds are spent in relation to profits earned for a given timeline in order to keep government agencies afloat. Capital budgets describes how an organization will buy goods and services in future and how those particular goods and services will be availed and their modes and durations of payments details.

Robert and Lynch (2004) argue that there are no known public budgets that are a hundred percent effective. However the accuracy must outweigh faults in any given budget. If the budget does not distribute funds fairly there is bound to be conflict in the government.

For instance, the executive drafts the budget which is then verified by the legislature. If the legislature does not approve the budget some government agencies will be grounded because they wont be able to perform their tasks hence they will have to wait until funds are disbursed or until the next financial year.

The intensity of the above mentioned conflict depends on the system of governance and is most likely to occur in a presidential system of governance. If the same problem occurred in a country governed by a parliamentary system the present parliament would be dissolved to allow for fresh elections to take place.

Budgets faults may occur during budgeting formulation. These are referred as shortfall which occurs because of inadequate funds. These faults can be corrected by borrowing money from the public through bonds which come with low interest rates.

Musgrave (2008) states that these faults are also enhanced by abrupt changes in commerce such as decline in economy and taxation which leads to employee retrenchments hence the government is made to pay for these retrenchments that arise when they are least expected hence government expenditure swells.

This may be due to the fact that prior to the drafting of the government budget there were many people who were not employed, which means by then the government was collecting very little taxes from employees hence there was low expenditure.

To make sure these financial faults do not occur again, it is advisable to establish methods of generating income for the government before preparing a budget. These methods include taxation, government borrowing and non tax revenues such as selling of properties.

Taxes are monetary fees paid by individuals or corporate entities to the government. They may be paid candidly or in some way. Taxes are paid using currency or in form of labor and they are not optional hence they guarantee the availability of money for the government.

The main aim of taxation is to generate income for the government that’s necessary towards completing its tasks. Wolff (2001) insists that taxation also promotes evenness in prosperity and proceeds. Additionally taxation prevents the spillage of money into spending which would lead to increase in commodity prices.

There are several types of taxes and they include stamp duty which is paid for documents, exercise tax which are paid by manufacturers for the production and selling of their products, sales tax which is mostly paid for by consumers when they purchase items and services from service providers and manufacturers, vehicle registration tax, gift tax, taxes on imported items, corporate income tax, assets tax and personal proceeds tax.

The economy is an extension of the government because it can influence the status of the economy by improving it or by declining. The stability of an economy is rated by evaluating several aspects that include stock prices, price of items, exchange rates, inflation, interest rates, unemployment, and circulation of money, government expenditure and foreign trade.

Governments can also borrow money from its individual citizens or foreign agencies like the international monetary fund. Johnson (2007) explains that this money is borrowed with the aim of sustaining government projects. Treasury bills and bonds are used as security for these loans. This money is not included in the government budget because the budget only account for the money at hand.

However borrowing cash comes with its problems. Government bonds are said to have very little risk on the party that is issuing the money. Economists argue that government shields lenders from loss by increasing the amount of money it manufactures to pay back to its lenders. This statement might contradict itself in the event of a coup because the incoming government may fail to pay debts that were incurred by the previous government.

In advanced states seigniorage is used to generate income for the government. This technique relies on how often cash moves from one person to another within a given country. Although the proceeds are very little they are better than if the cash was to lie idle.

Signe (2004) argues that taxation affects an entire nation thus its fairness or unfairness is felt by all people regardless of whether one is self employed or employed. Some governments are used to use taxation to oppress local industries.

This is done by subsidizing tax on imported items whereas these same items are locally available. When tax on imported items goes down the price of that item goes down therefore the local manufacturers of that item incur huge losses because customers will opt to go for the cheapest option hence the local market declines.

Governments that have its locals at heart tend to raise taxes on imported items to favor local manufacturers. This is because the customers’ taste is influenced by the price of an item versus his/her income. For instance if the government subsidized the tax on imported milk the local dairy industry will be operating at a loss because customers will be tempted to buy imported milk because its cost is slightly lower than that of the locally produced milk.

Governments should also consider reducing taxation on basic items that are used on daily basis in homes. By doing so the manufacturers of these items will have to subsidize the cost of these items hence the common man will be survive at ease. Otherwise items that are considered as luxuries such as cigarettes and alcohol should be hiked to compensate for the most important items.

Citizens appreciate a budget that caters for the needs of the majority rather than that meant to benefit a few individuals. The government takes a central role in ensuring that operational and financial budgets are prepared in line with the public expectations and the available funds from taxes or any form of income.

References

Arthur, S. and Sheffrin, S.M. (2003).Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall

Johnson, D.C. (2007).Free lunch: How the wealthiest Americans enrich themselves at government expense (and stick you with the bill). New York: Portfolio/Penguin Group.

Musgrave, R.A. (2008).”Public Finance”. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Abstract. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Robert, S.W. & Lynch, T.D. (2004). Public Budgeting in America .5th Ed. Upper saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.

Signe, K. (2004).”Are Corporate Tax burdens racing to the Bottom in European Union?” EPRU Working Paper. 04-04: 43.

Stiglitz, J.E. (2002).Economics of the Public Sector. 3th Ed. New York Norton: MIT Press.

Wolff, E.N. (2001).Top Heavy. 2nd Ed. New York: The New Press.

Kant’s Critique of Judgment

Outline

The purpose of this paper is to analyze critically the concept of the sublime as presented by Immanuel Kant in his work ‘The Critique of Judgment’.

After reviewing what the philosopher says about the sublime and putting his perspective into context by briefly looking at how he addresses aestheticism and beauty, the paper will take a closer look at how Kant sub-categorizes the sublime aesthetic sublime experience. The two categories of sublime aesthetic experience shall be reviewed further, giving Kant’s opinion on what it means to have a sublime aesthetic experience.

The paper will have a conclusion in which I will give my own opinion on why I agree or disagree with Kant’s elaboration of the sublime.

Introduction

There is the common English saying ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’. What one man deems to be beautiful, and moves him to awe, would leave another man just as indifferent and untouched. What is beauty, what element of a thing determines that it is beautiful hand renders another ugly?

These must have been the questions Immanuel Kant asked himself, though probably in more abstruse philosophical terms when he set out to write his treatise ‘Critique on Judgment’. This text has remained intriguing for philosophers and none philosophers alike for over two centuries now, and is considered pivotal in the study of aesthetics.

In this text, Kant addresses two primary issues: beauty – what I term as surface appeal- and the more complex concept of the sublime, and how judgment and reason play into the understanding and appreciation of beauty. Kant argues that judgment, or the rational faculties, have to be applied in the appreciation of beauty.

This is because there are basic tenets that apply to appreciating the aesthetic in any form, then there has to be a method to it; this method is what is based in reason, and this is what gives beauty its universality. Kant uses his discussions on the universal principles that govern the appreciation of art and the sublime to elucidate on human judgment in general (Kant 27).

It is interesting to note that with the study of aesthetics Kant attempts to bring together the two aspects of philosophy: the theoretical and the practical. Kant postulates that it is actually judgment that is the bridge between these two aspects of philosophy (Kant 15).

1. The concept of the sublime according to Kant’s ‘Analytic of the Sublime’ from his ‘Critique of Judgment’

While beauty is limited to those objects that have form, with how well defined this form determining to a large extent how beautiful the object is considered to be, the aesthetically sublime covers even those objects without form (Kant 61).

Kant looks at the dark side of the aesthetic experience, and uses the term ‘sublime’ to describe it. Ordinarily, when one thinks of an aesthetic experience, the focus is on the good and the pleasurable. However, Kant studies aspects of the natural world that overwhelm us, and instill a sense of fear. The sublime is that which overwhelms us, not only in the physical sense (Kant 62).

Kant categorizes experience of the sublime broadly into two: there is the dynamic sublime, where the viewer is faced with the violent forces of nature but with the surety that he/she can conquer these forces, or cannot be touched by them, and hence the viewer can derive a certain pleasure from the experience despite the fear. Secondly, there is the ‘mathematical’ sublime, where the viewer focuses on the physical magnitude of the object under observation, and magnitude is measured strictly in physical units (Kant 64).

Sublimity does not originate from the natural object in question, but rather from the feelings of the viewer towards the object. The sublime has more to do with the viewer, what goes on in his/her mind, than what is being viewed (Kant 65).

When one has an experience that is mathematically sublime, says Kant, the object is physically large, like a mountain or a really tall building. The dynamically sublime is that which might or might not be physically large but which exerts a force on the viewer which is not necessarily a physical force (Kant 65).

As Kant asserts, mathematical measurements do not take account of the aesthetic quantity of an object, and thus the magnitude of an object cannot be determined simply on a physical mathematical scale. The aesthetic measure must be considered as well, and this measure is still bound to be limited within units that are comprehensible by human reason, so that the largest unit marks the limits of the measurement of how aesthetically huge an object is (Kant 75).

Thus, in Kant’s view, the dynamically sublime is of more importance than the mathematically sublime. It is the former that moves the viewer, and that shows an active interaction between what the viewer perceives, and his/her judgment (Kant 77).

2. The moments of the experience of the sublime, and the subcategories of sublime aesthetic experience

The first moment in the experience of the sublime as explicated by Kant is that an aesthetic judgment has to be disinterested; disinterest here means that the viewer, finds pleasure in the object after judging it beautiful, not finding the object beautiful because of the pleasure it brings.

If we are to apply disinterest in this line, a thoroughbred horse would not be found beautiful for the pleasure of galloping off at incredible speeds and high jumps, but for its physical attributes. Disinterest means that beauty does not have to be functional. Kant asserts that if disinterest is to be applied, then the focus in considering objects aesthetically should be on the form of the object, and not on aspects of the object that would lead to a deeper connection, meaning interest (Kant 92).

The second moment in the experience of the sublime as Kant explains rests on the fact that there are universal rules of what is aesthetically appealing, though there are no universal rules as to how an aesthetic state can be achieved. This is because rational thought is applied in reaching the conclusion of what object is aesthetically appealing, same as is applied to morality, which is also universal.

Thus, it is expected that what one person will find aesthetically appealing will also be appealing to a majority. It is a difficult concept to grasp because it goes against the conventional grain of the viewer determining whether he/she finds an object aesthetically appealing or not (Kant 93).

The third moment introduces the concepts of ‘end’ and ‘finality’, or purpose and purposiveness. Kant elaborates that an object can have a purpose, the purpose being the functional reason for which it was made. Purposiveness on the other hand implies that the object might not have any constructive use, but remains of value.

The aestheticism of an object does not include the external purpose- the utility for which the object was built, or the internal purpose- what the object is intended to be like. If an object is judged on the basis of its utility, then its purpose will be determined on how well it does the job. On the other hand, if it is judged based on how close it is to a preconceived notion of how it is meant to look, then the purpose will be perfection(Kant 93).

The fourth moment in Kant’s text, as regards the sublime is that aesthetic judgments must be found necessary. Here, Kant is trying to define the parameters within which objects are judged and why it is necessary to notice the aesthetic in an object, a truly daunting task. Kant refers to these grounds as common sense, meaning the shared sense of the beautiful in an object by different viewers, or in other words-taste (Kant 94).

Yet, as Kant points out, the purpose of beauty is not how useful an object is or how close it comes to being perfect. He charges that the sole aim of beauty, at least in the natural world, its purposiveness is dependent on human judgment, without having a specified purpose.

4. The most beneficial aspect of the judgment of the sublime in regards to the subject undergoing this experience

Kant states that the importance experiencing the dynamically sublime in nature is because it elevates a man to another level of fortitude that is beyond the narrow perception of what men are used to. Experiencing the dynamically sublime equals experiencing a total freedom, because the viewer transcends the fear that is the first instinctive reaction to forces of such magnitude in nature (Kant 79).

Kant states that beauty is a symbol of moral uprightness, since people seek beauty with the same fervor that they seek moral uprightness. It is almost an innate sense in man to seek things of beauty. Beauty inspires goodness in man, and binds him closer to his own moral code. This is another benefit on one undergoing the aesthetically sublime experience.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Kant’s study on aestheticism has been central in shaping later concepts of aestheticism to date. That said, there are aspects of his rationale with which I am not in total agreement.

In the natural world, it is easier for the concept of disinterest as Kant defines it to come into play. However, in regards to fine art, art made by man, then this art cannot be totally separated from politics. Though an artist might primarily create a work of art for its aesthetic quality, more often than not, this is not the only reason. There must have been thought that inspired the artist into action of creating his or her piece of work.

Therefore, the artwork has a utility; it makes a statement that the artist wishes to express. Those who observe this artwork will inherently infer the artist’s intended meaning, beyond looking at the work just for its aesthetic appeal. In this sense, no total disinterest can be maintained.

Kant makes a strong point for how the aesthetic contributes towards understanding human judgment, and how the sublime in nature is tied up with the man’s moral uprightness, as well as his awareness of himself.

In the argument presented in Kant’s first moment, he states that the focus on should be on form to maintain that disinterest, but the aesthetic experience must involve all the senses. We cannot ignore some aspects of the object because we have to observe the object in its totality; it has depth, tone, color and texture. If we focus on certain aspects of the object that are centered around the form, we are not perceiving the object in full, thus we are not experiencing its full aesthetic value.

Works Cited

Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Judgement. Cosimo Publishing: New Jersey. 2007. Print.

Importance of Time of Onset and Time of Diagnosis

Introduction

A recent visit to a children’s home where some of them have different forms and degrees of disability aroused our curiosity into understanding the real facts that surrounded the situation. Some of the children seemed happy while others were really disturbed all that time the visitors were in the vicinity.

Key observations were later correlated to various aspects in life. Despite the varying perspectives between individuals with disability and the society in general, it is important to understand the distinction between the time of onset and time of diagnosis.

Description

The children’s home was inhabited by both the disabled and handicapped. It is important that the distinction between the two is elaborated for further understanding. Disability can be defined as a situation that restricts the performance of an activity in the normal human range (Smart, 2009).

It is usually beyond medical curative powers. Handicap, on the other hand, is a situation that hinders the accomplishment of a role. Human agency plays a role in addressing handicap issues. Disability can manifest itself during birth or sometimes later in life.

Congenital disability refers to that observed during birth while acquired disability comes at later stages of life. A further analysis into why some children seemed contented with their physical states while others were not is that whereas the former were associated with congenital disability the latter were associated with acquired disability.

Persons who experience later-onset acquired disability are usually faced with a problem of low self-actualization and relating with able persons is difficult. According to Smart (2009), they usually undergo psychogenic pain and stress as they come to terms with the reality.

The time of onset refers to the duration of symptoms. Symptoms for the disabled vary depending on whether the disability is physical or psychological. Parents are faced with a daunting task of observing these symptoms once a child is born and applying adaptive measures in time. The time of diagnosis refers to the moment when it is clear beyond any reasonable doubt that indeed a disability is present. Differential diagnosis refers to that process that separates one form of disability from similar ones.

Early diagnosis is useful in helping family members recognize the trends in emotional and psychological behavior among the disabled. Age, gender, culture and ethnicity may have serious effects on disability. Therefore, research should be enhanced in order to probe into how these variables affect or are affected by disability. Several psychological measures are important in ensuring that cases of disability are diagnosed early enough.

Medical experts can diagnose cases of disability by use of a set of self-report inventories and projective tests .A study conducted showed that people suffering from congenital blindness had a faster perception of touch. According to Eisenberg and Glueckauf, early onset blindness was viewed to enhance the quality of life with regards to non-visual senses (1991).

The adaptation of the disabled differs among those that have congenital disability and those that have acquired disability. As discussed earlier, acquired disability is characterized by a sudden change of social and relational status. Congenital disability is characterized by a gradual change in self actualization (Smart, 2009).

Adaptation is usually regarded as a subjective process because individuals depict an array of variations. The objectivity of the adaptation process is based on the nature of response offered by the disabled person in coming to terms with the condition.

The Quality Of Life (QOL) approach has been used to understand the effects that disabilities have on life aspects. QOL is achieved when these conditions are in place: psychological well-being, physical well-being, social and interpersonal well-being, financial well-being, productivity and functional ability (Eisenberg & Glueckauf, 1991).

The onset of acquired disability is detrimental to QOL. Satisfaction in some domains is usually reduced by disability thereby reducing the QOL. Possible responses by disabled persons may be adaptation, controlled change or no change at all.

Adaptation ensures that individuals come to terms with the reduced QOL by openly understanding and accepting their states. Controlled change is characterized by a change in QOL through increasing satisfaction levels. A no-change scenario may arise when individuals depict negative response to satisfaction levels and the overall QOL (Marinelli & Dell, 1999).

It is important to note that the time of onset and the time of diagnosis are really important to counselors in terms of the rehabilitation process. The QOL approach depends on this information in order to clearly understand varying individual variations as far as disability responses are concerned.

Marinelli and Dell (1999) are of the opinion that positive and negative experiences can be clearly distinguished with a comprehensive QOL approach. The Disability Centrality Approach (DCA) examines the level of impact that disabilities have on aspects of life. It is therefore important to understand the individuals’ experience with regard to social relations, physical and mental health. Priority then should be given to the life aspect that positively affects the life of the disabled as a way of rehabilitation.

Conclusion

It is important that the onset time and diagnosis time are clearly separated and understood if clear adaptation and rehabilitation policies are to be put in place. The perception of the society towards disability should serve to enhance the common good.

References

Eisenberg, M. & Glueckauf, R. (Eds.) (1991). Disability: Empirical approaches to the psychosocial aspects. New York: Springer.

Julie, S. (2009). Disability, society, and the individual (2nd ed). Aspen Publishers, Inc.

Marinelli, R. P. & Dell, O. A. (1999). The Psychological and Social Impact of Disability (4th ed). New York: Springer.

Characteristics of Blanch and Stanley’s Relationships in “The Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is a classic of American theater. Thomas P. Adler said that “it was the finest play ever written for the American stage” (Kolin 1). Exactly this play determined the author’s themes, thoughts and ideals.

According to Harold Klerman, it is the only play that describes the personality, society and depicts realistically the reality of that time. The setting of the play took place in contemporary times. It is a story of a decline of a Southern lady Blanche DuBois. In this play, Williams disclose a wide range of themes.

Among them are the themes of domestic violence, relationships of men and women, the fantasy and its confrontation with reality. One of the most important themes of the play turns around the relationships of the main characters, Blanche DuBois and Stanley Kowalski. These are two characters that are put in opposition. The climax of their opposition is the Stanley’s rape of Blanche.

On one hand, this episode depicts a cruel attitude and immoral behavior, “Stanley is wrong and Blanche is right, the moralists agree” (Fleche 500). On the other hand, Blanche’s rape was inevitable (Fleche 500). And through the characterization of Blanche and Stanley’s relationship, I will argue that Blanche was raped.

Blanche DuBois comes to New Orleans to her sister Stella married to rude and down-to-earth man Stanley Kowalski. Blanche and Stanley did not like each other from the very first second they met each other. Blanche saw Stanley beat his wife and behaved as an animal, “the primary example of physical abuse against Stella occurs in Scene Three, when drunk and angry, Stanley first tosses the radio out the window and then charges after his pregnant wife and strikes her” (Koprince 46).

Stanley is showed as a brutish person without moral qualities. However, Blanche is also not “an angel”. Her previous life is not perfect and all the manners and tenderness is just a mask to hide her “dark” past and alcoholism.

The only person who suspects her and wants to show her real face to everybody, “and yet it seems “natural” to read A Streetcar Named Desire as an allegorical journey toward Blanche’s apocalyptic destruction at the hands of her “executioner,” Stanley” (Fleche 504).

As it has already been mentioned, these two characters are put in opposition, however we cannot say that this is an opposition of good and evil. Thus, Blanche appears as a young, beautiful, and unhappy woman who survived the suicide of her husband and wants to start all over again.

For the first time, we see her elegant and tender. The first impression is absolutely positive. She is so light and smart, she knows French and music. However, we do not know much about her past and it is also suspiciously. We guess that she lies and Stanley helps us understand it.

The author is sympathetic to his heroine. He does not idealize her, on the contrary, he is quite objective: he shows her live to whiskey and relations with men after her husband’s death. “Blanche who has never spoken an honest word in her life is allowed, indeed encouraged, to present her life to the audience as a vocational decision…” (Toles 119). The “impurity” of Blanche’s past suggests the final of the play and it is a quite logical completion of the story.

The truth cannot be hide and everybody should pay for his/her actions. Blanche planned to marry Mitchell, but sooner or later, he would find out about her “sins”, “she cannot escape the status of victim, on many fronts, nor avert the plans which have led to her committal” (Toles 117). She could not expect other attitude to herself, especially in that social layer with it principles and relations between men and women.

Thus, the character of Blanche can be interpreted as positive and negative at the same time, on the one hand “she has been enshrined as a hallowed representative of the Old South, a secular saint. On the other, negatively, she has been branded a nymphomaniac, a liar, an infectious source of destructive feminine desire” (Kolin 3).

With this “image” of a liar and nymphomaniac Stanley fought. Stanley appears as a person with animal nature. He drinks bear all the time, “copulates, play games, smashes light bulbs, paws through Blanche’s wardrobe, throws plates on the floor, even commits rape” (Cardullo 29).

Stanley is a representative of a dark reality. He embodies the “prototypical batterer”. According to Susan Koprince, he has all signs of such person. “He is hypermasculine, believes in mail’s superiority and has dual personality” (50). Those traits make him hate Blanche.

First of all, he hates her aristocratic past and he is outraged by her attempts to fool him showing that she is better than he and his friends. This is contradictory to his image of a woman. It makes him look for “dark spots” in her past and he finds them. Stanley does everything to ruin life of this woman.

It seems to be cruel and basely. However, he is the only person who supported the truth and “justice” and reality. Stanley is a dark version of the salesman, selling the idealistic Blanche a harsh reality on the specious grounds that it is somehow good for her and willing to use force, if necessary, to make the sale.” (Cardullo 30).

The result of the confrontation of Stanley and Blanch was the rape. However, it cannot be considered as a cruel violation. Neither the context, nor the scene manifests it. In her article, Anna Fleche says, “she is the erring woman who gets what she “asks” for (her realistic antecedents are clear)” (507).

This is the way other men treated her, this is what she expected, this is how a logical flow of things should be like. All the situation and Blanche herself “suggests” rape to Stanley. If other men did it, why he cannot? Moreover, she does not resist but sinks on her knees and remains “inert”, “She is not only silent but crumpled,

immobile, while he takes over control and agency” (Fleche 508 ). Thus, the scene of the rape denies any emotions, it is a conflict that arises between two characters. In addition. With this action Stanley returned Blanche to reality. As George Toles mentions, “Stanley’s casually violent gesture recalls the rape and, less malevolently, repeats the realist’s inalterable lesson: those who live entirely in dreams will perish” (130).

Thus, Blanche and Stanley are two characters put in opposition. Neither of them is perfect. Blanche lives with her dream and she constantly lies to hide a cruel reality and her real past. Stanley is a representative of this cruel reality which opens Blanche’s eyes through the violent action.

However, both, with context, main characters’ traits of character and actions, especially in the scene of a rape, the author coverts the meaning of the rape. Now, it is not just the act of violence, but the conflict that shows who is who in the play.

Works Cited

Cardullo, Robert James. “Selling in American Drama.” Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation. (2007): 29-33.

Fleche, Anne. “The Space of Madness and Desire: Tennessee Williams and Streetcar.” Modern Drama. Vol. 38. Issue 4. (1995): 498-509.

Kolin, Phillip. Williams. A streetcar named Desire. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.

Koprince, Susan. “Domestic violence in A Streetcar Named Desire.” Southern Studies. Vol 7. Issue 2. (1996): 43-55.

Toles, George. “Blanche Dubois and the kindness of endings”. Raritan. Vol 14. Issue 4. (1995): 115-144.

Racism in the Penitentiary

Introduction

Racism in America has been a topic of discussion for a long time in the view of the fact that the country hosts people of different races. It occurs every where; in hospitals, learning institutions, prisons, and in social institutions, to name just a few. In the same country, there are a lot of people who have been put in prison as studies of Quigley( par. 3) explain that around 2.4 million American citizens have been imprisoned excluding the number which is held under probation and parole, who are over five million.

Most surprisingly, further studies indicate that despite the fact that racial minorities like the blacks and Latinos are less than a quarter of the total population, they comprise around sixty percent of the total prisoners. Therefore, it is clear that racism and racial inequality has not been eradicated but has taken a different form.

According to Quigley (par 4.), racial disparity in the juvenile justice system is also paramount. It is quite explicit that racism in American prisons is a real phenomenon. With that background in mind, this paper shall discuss more about the same problem and narrow down to root causes, history and explore the reason why it takes place as well as its impacts and consequences.

Factors Contributing to Racism in Prison

There are many factors that contribute to racism in prison and in most cases; the same contribute to racism in the free society. For instance, superiority complex contributes to racism not only in prison and other penitentiary institutions, but also in the free society (Bhavnani, Mirza and Meetoo pp. 42).

The feeling of whites as the most superior race has persisted for a long time and the same is also present in prison facilities. Since racism is also a problem of the prison officials, whites are treated better than the other racial minorities especially if the official happens to be a white.

The nature of prison life is also a causative factor to the racism in such institutions. There are many gang activities in prison formed by the prisoners and more often than not, each gang contains members of a similar race. Given that gangs are involved in violence, prisoners are forced to join a particular gang of their race in order to be protected from the criminal activities of the other gangs. Therefore, it is clear that the existence of various gangs in prison is an important factor attributing to racism.

It is amazing but also true that some racists groups in the free society contribute greatly to the racism in prisons. Such groups incite criminals of their race by influencing them to establish racism groups in prison. A t times, they send some information and literature to them either in books or tapes to help them spread racism ideologies among the prisoners. Prisoners hailing from the racism groups are treated as heroes and often do appear in publications that spread racism ideologies (Quigley par 4).

The Root Cause of Prison Racism in America

Laws in the American constitution have contributed greatly to racism in American institutions, prison facilities included. For example, the 13th Amendment of the American constitution created a loophole which helped to influence racism in prisons as it stated, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, expect as a punishment for crime….

Shall exist within United States” (Truax par. 4). Although several states continued to revise such laws, new laws which were formed continued to contribute to racism in prison. Immediately after the abolishment of slave trade, slaves continued to be imprisoned after committing crimes such as refusing to work, insulting the workers and even handling money carelessly.

Slavery codes were changed to black codes and since they allowed blacks to be imprisoned after committing petty offences, the same can be viewed as the root cause of racism in prison. Having discussed the causes of racism in prison it is important to explorer on its history which also helps explain the root cause.

History of Racism in United States

Prison racism in United States has been in existence for a long a time; since the era of slave trade although blacks were rarely imprisoned as they were more valuable while working in the plantations. However, there were local jails and other facilities which used to control and limit the freedom of the blacks. The number of the blacks in prison increased following the end of the civil war and after the abolishment of slave trade.

Studies of Acoli (par. 5) indicate that once blacks were arrested even for the very minor and petty crimes, they were sentenced more harshly, compared to their white counterparts. Further studies indicate that immediately after the civil war, the percentage of the black citizens increased to thirty three percent.

The trend continued during the cold war era. Racism was not only being exercised by the prisoners but also by the prison guards bent on the fact that most of the guards were whites. Black prisoners were not only mistreated, but they were also deprived some of the important social amenities that are necessary even to a prisoner.

Prison life in America was a reflection of the life in the free society. During the civil rights era, life in prison was segregated and the same condition was present in the society. White prisoners and the prisoners from other races were treated differently. While the whites were allowed to be clerks, electrician and other good jobs, black prisoners were given the lowest jobs like garbage disposal, working in the farms and washing clothes.

Moreover, blacks were segregated in all other places in the prison life. For example, they were supposed to live in their known separate cells and the same segregation existed even recreation facilities such that black prisoner used to stay at the back while the white prisoners occupied the from seats.

Nevertheless, civil rights movements which were upcoming during the same era influenced the prisoners to contest gains racial discrimination which was taking place. Consequently, there was lot of violence in prison because the white prisoners and administrators were resisting any change.

On the other hand, black prisoners were not ready to take anything less than equal rights and abolishment of discrimination (Acoli par. 8). Although there was some improvement, prison racism was not abolished completely since the same problem is still present even in the twenty first century.

The Nature and the Effects of Prison Racism

United States has the highest number of people in prison at any given time than any other country in the world. The most amazing issue is the fact that majority are racial minorities.

The problem is evident in the whole process of criminal justice system starting from the arrest up to the sentencing and provision of various services like probation and parole. Of all other Americans who have been sentenced death, forty two percent are African Americans. Similarly, African Americans women are imprisoned in higher rates than the white women, actually four times more. In addition, African Americans receive harsher jail terms compared to their white counterparts Fisher (par. 5) & Collins (pp. 42).

The problem of prison racism in America starts even before any arrest has been made. For example people, of color are targeted by the police more than the whites. In the transport sector, blacks and other racial minorities are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police more than the whites. Apart from being the target, people of color are also arrested at higher rates than the whites even though they commit the same offences.

During trial, studies which have been conducted indicate that the natives are more likely to be sentenced to prison. For instance, in a place like Montana, studies of Political Research Associates (pp. 2) indicate that American Indians account for around 16% of the total prisoners even if they are only 6% of the total population in the region. Similarly, the same case also applies to blacks, Hispanics and other racial minorities in the region.

Some of the drugs laws present in the criminal justice system are also an indicator of how racism is propagated. For example, while focusing on drug laws, a person is jailed for eight to ten years if found in possession of crack cocaine of fifty grams and for twenty one to twenty seven months while found in possession of powder cocaine.

The main point of interest is based on the fact that powder cocaine is mostly used by the whites while the crack is used by the Latinos and the black population due to difference in cost. Therefore, the blacks and the Latinos end up suffering more than the whites although the two types of cocaine are the same (Truax par. 2).

Effects of Racism in Prison

The impact of racism in prison cannot be underestimated at any given time. There are many consequences but the financial cost stands out. As highlighted in the introductory part, racism leads to violence especially caused by prison racist gangs. Consequently, the prison healthcare system incurs a lot of expenses while treating the inmates injured during the violence. Any form of violence leads to great loss not only on property but also on people’s lives.

Prison is supposed to be a rehabilitative center where behavior of people is reformed. Racism thus interferes with the function of the institution for it is possible for people to leave it even worse than they were before. Moreover, once released, prisoners find it hard to relate with the members of the society due to the effects of racism and the same affects their productivity.

Conclusion

Racism in prison is as real as it is in the free society. It is characterized by segregation, discrimination and violence, to name just a few. In addition, racial minorities are disproportionably represented in most local, state and federal jails (Cole and Smith pp. 91). While there may be many causes of the same, white superiority contributes greatly to prison racism. However, the root cause of the problem can be traced back in the nineteenth century after the abolishment of slave trade.

Therefore, the problem has existed for over a hundred years and recent statistics indicate that it is still paramount. In the view of the fact that there are many negative impacts related to prison racism , the concerned parties and stakeholders in the criminal justice system ought to find the root cause of the problem to be able to come up with lasting solutions.

Works Cited

Acoli, Sundiata. A Brief History of the New Afrikan Prison Struggle. 1992. Web. 13 November 2010.

Bhavnani, Reena, Heidi Safia Mirza and Veena Meetoo. Tackling the roots of racism: lessons for success. Bristol: The Policy Press, 2005. Print.

Cole, George F. and Christopher E. Smith. The American System of Criminal Justice. Stamford: Cengage Learning, 2006. Print.

Collins, Catherine Fisher. The imprisonment of African American women: causes, conditions, and future implications. Jefferson: McFarland, 1997. Print.

Fisher, William. U.S. Overflowing Prisons Spur Call for Reform Commission. 2010. Web. 13 November 2010.

Political Research Associates. How is the Criminal Justice System Racist? 2005. Web. 13 November 2010.

Quigley, Bill. Rampant Racism in the Criminal Justice System. 2010. Web. 13 November 2010.

Truax, Jenny. The U.S. System of Punishment: an expanding balloon of wealth, racism and greed. 2010. Web. 13 November 2010.