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Outline Difference between a syllabus and a curriculum. An account of the salient factors we have to consider for constructing a syllabus. 1. Introduction. 2. Syllabus and curriculum A. Definition of syllabus B. Definition of curriculum C. Difference between syllabus and curriculum a. Basic difference b. Differences in detail approaches 3. Factors to construct a syllabus A. Type A: What is to be learn B. Type B. How is to be learn C. Van EK's necessary component D. Selection of the content E. Organization of the content F. Components to design a syllabus a. Set A b. Set B c. Set C d. Set D G. McDonough about syllabus design H. Criteria for selection and grading a. Structural b. Topic c. Functional 4. The need for a syllabus A. Should a syllabus be explicit, and if so, to whom? B. Basic organizing principles 5. Creating and reinterpreting a syllabus 6. Conclusion Introduction: Throughout the 1970s while language teaching theorists and practititioners excited themselves with course design for Specific Purpose language teaching, and while needs of adult migrants and private sectors or industrial language learners were extensively examined, the majority of learners of English continued to struggle with large classes, limited text books, few contact hours, and years of unintensive study. The work of many teachers had either been ignored by syllabus or curriculum designers, or had been interfered with by insensitive and too rapid application of ideas from ESP theory or Council of Europe discussion by administrations who did not fully realize the implications of the innovations so proudly presented. As a result, several national educational systems have 'gone communicative' or 'gone functional-notional', and then retreated after a brief trial period whatever they had before. It seemed worthwhile, therefore, to convene a symposium at TESOL Convention in Toronto in 1983 specifically to examine the role of syllabuses in normal state education. And it is also seemed worthwhile not to rush too quickly into arguments about the detailed design of syllabuses, but to clear the ground first on the definition, function and purpose of the syllabuses, for many of the difficulties in discussion of for example Wilkins' influential 'Notional Syllabuses 1976' result from the enormously varying interpretations of the term syllabus. Since a language is highly complex and pervasive, all of it which can hardly be determined cannot be taught at a time. Moreover al the phenomena related to the language might not be relevant or necessary to be taught to the learner/group of learners. Therefore, successful teaching of the language evidently requires a selection and then an arrangement of the teaching items/materials depending on the prior definition of the objectives, proficiency level to be developed in the learner, duration of the program, and the like, on the one hand, and on the other, upon the consideration of the learner's needs, lacks, aptitudes, motivation, age, personality memory transfer of training, cognitive style, and so forth. The selection and the sequencing absolutely take place in the syllabus planning stage. With the advent of much complicate theories of language and language learning, as well as recognition of the diversity of the learners' needs, wants, and aspirations, the concept of syllabus for SL/FL teaching has taken on new importance. It has also become highly elaborated, and has been examined at length, particularly in the context of ESP programs, and generally ELT planning. Thus the syllabus is now viewed as an instrument by which the teacher, with the help of the syllabus designer, can achieve a degree of fit between the needs and aims of the learner as social being and as individual and the activities, which will occur in the classroom. A syllabus is required to produce efficiency of two kinds-pragmatic and pedagogical. The former is concerned with the economy of time and money. It needs the setting of instructions to be planned, and that not all learners are to be given the same treatment. So syllabuses differ according to the practical factors present in given situation. The latter kind of efficiency is related to the economy in the management of the learning process. Instruction provided in an institutional setting is assumed to be a more efficient method of dealing with learning than allowing the learner to proceed in a non-structured environment. It is then clear that the syllabus of any kind is viewed as providing a better control of the learning process, generally by the institution and/or the teacher, but in some instance control can be and should be exercised also by the learner himself/herself. The degree and the type of control that the syllabus exercises depend on the institution-as-society. That is, in a highly democratic institution, the syllabus has to be determined and constructed by consensus. Definition of syllabus: This term covers the teaching learning items, materials, equipments and the evaluation tools. A finished syllabus is an overall plan the learning process. It must specify what components, or learning items, must be available, or learned by a certain time; what is the most efficient sequence in which the are learned; what items can be learned simultaneously; what items are available from the stock, and the whole process is determined by consideration of how long it takes to produce or learn a component or item. The process is under continual scrutiny by means of stock checks, or tests and examinations. If we point out the main ideas of syllabus it comes as follows: 1. A syllabus is a specification of work of a particular department in a school or college, and it might be broken down into subsections, which will define the work of a particular group or class. 2. In practice, it is often linked to time semesters, terms, weeks, or courses, which are tied to these. But this link is not essential, and may be counter productive in that the time is teacher based rather than learner based. But a syllabus must specify a starting point, which should be related to a realistic assessment of the level of beginning students, and ultimate goals, which may or may not be realized by the end of the course, depending on the abilities of the learners and their progress in a particular course. 3. It will specify some kind of sequence based on- a. Sequencing intrinsic to a theory of language learning or to the structure of specified material relatable to language acquisition; b. Sequencing constrained by administrative needs, materials. 4. A syllabus is a document of administrative convenience and will only be partly justified on theoretical grounds. Hence it will be negotiable and adjustable, enshrining the most useful experience of the past in order to ease the workload of the present. 5. A syllabus can only specify what is taught; it cannot organize what is learnt. It can, methodologically, allow for opportunities for acquisition and/or learning, but such opportunities cannot spelt out in detail as they will reflect the personalities of learners and continuing relationships established as the class progresses. 6. Not to have a syllabus is to refuse to allow one's assumptions to be scrutinized or to enable different teachers to relate their work to each other's. It is consequently an essential feature of work in a democratic profession or as part of democratic education. Definition of curriculum: It is considered to be a broader term used in a institution to cover politics, plans, teaching, learning items, materials, equipments, logistics everything. The first view of curriculum shows a concern with objectives and content, which are two of four elements in the traditional model of the curriculum. The second view of adds methods to the model. The methods are the means by which the ends-the objectives-are to be achieved and this forms the basis of a process view of a curriculum. The third perspective adds a fourth and final element evaluation. This brings to us the situational model of curriculum. Evaluation, as feedback, will also form a component of the construction systems model, since quality control will be an important element of any production system. It is through monitoring and feedback that planned and actual outcomes can be compared and appropriate remedial action taken to repair failures or deficits. Thus feedback will have a formative effect on action. The third perspective may represent a more realistic approach, since it takes accounts of existing systems before initiating proposals for change. The systematic changes and the installation of the new elements will, of course, require planning and the effective use of systems in order to realize new objectives, so that each of the first two approaches will make important contributions to an overall process of curriculum development. Difference between curriculum and syllabus: Some confusion exists over the distinction between syllabus and curriculum, since the terms are used differently on either side of the Atlantic. Curriculum is a very general concept, which involves consideration of the whole complex of philosophical, social and administrative factors, which contribute to the planning of an educational programme. Syllabus, on the other hand, refers the subpart of curriculum, which is concerned with a specification of what units will be taught. The European term 'syllabus' and its North American counterpart 'curriculum' often seem to be very close in meaning and sometimes further apart, depending on the context in which they are used. In a distinction that is commonly drawn in Britain, 'syllabus' refers to the content or subject matter of an individual subject, whereas 'curriculum' stands for the totality of content to be taught and aims to be realized within one school or educational system. In the USA 'curriculum' tends the synonymous with 'syllabus' in the British sense. Curriculum should not simply be seen as a kind of super syllabus because there is a qualitative difference between the two. On the one hand, curriculum may be viewed as the programme of activities, the course to learn by pupils in being educated. On the other, curriculum may be defined as all learning, which is planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school. That is one school of thought regards the curriculum as a plan, while the other views it as activities. Allen distinguishes at least six aspects of levels of curriculum: 1. Concept formation 2. Administrative decision making 3. Syllabus planning 4. Materials design 5. Classroom activities 6. Evaluation Shaw confidently makes a line of distinction between the curriculum and the syllabus as he defines 'syllabus' as a statement of the plan for any part of curriculum, excluding the element of curriculum evaluation itself. And he concludes that the syllabus should be viewed in the context of an ongoing curriculum development process. Therefore, the terms are synonymous in USA, but in Britain a syllabus is a part of a curriculum made of many parts. But I should take the term syllabus as a part of a curriculum when the language is learned or taught as an integrated or supporting subject with others, or in a department of a different subject for example, Business Administration or Drama and Dramatics. And I would like to consider the 'syllabus' as an independent framework when an SL/FL is taught or learned autonomously as a subject in a department or an institution. Here any syllabus is most typically a plan of what is to be achieved through teaching and students' learning. Factors to construct a syllabus: The distinction and association occurs in the sector of syllabus are important to explain the factors of syllabub designing. The syllabus is a form of support for the teaching activity that is planned in the classroom and a form of guidance in the construction of appropriate teaching materials. It is concerned, from this point of view, with what is to be done in the classroom, not necessarily with what is perceived to be taught or learnt thereby; its role is essentially to make it possible of one teacher to draw the experience of another. All these important aspects come when we have to design a syllabus with the necessary materials. And certainly there is a process to design a syllabus in a proper way. The two main approaches of syllabus, which are considered for constructing it, are summarized below that are suggested by Davies 1976: Type A: What is to be learnt? Interventionist External to the learner Other directed Determined by authority Teacher as decision maker Content = what the subject is to expert Content= a gift to the learner or teacher or knower Objectives defined in advance Subject emphasis Assessment by achievement or by mastery Doing things to the learner Type B: How is to be learnt? Internal to the learner Inner directed or self-fulfilling Negotiated between learners and readers Learner and teacher as joint decision maker Content= what the subject is to the learner Content= what the learner brings and wants Objectives described afterwords Process emphasis Assessment in relationship to learner's criteria of success Doing things for or with the learners Several different factors related to the networks of psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and pedagogy claim to be taken into consideration for framing a syllabus. The syllabus is indeed concerned with the specification and planning of what is to be learned, frequently set down in some written form as prescription for actions by teachers and learners. It is also concerned with the achievements of ends, often, though not always, associated with the pursuance of particular means. It is necessarily, though not obviously, imbued with particular educational philosophies, views of the subject matter, and how it may best be learned, beliefs about the relationship between the teachers and learners, all of which underpinned by particular definitions of a desirable social order and world view. Now it is patent that the factors, which are considered for constructing a syllabus, are manipulated by the syllabus and vice-versa. Van Ek lists the following necessary components of a language syllabus: a. The situation in which the SL/FL will be used, including the topics which will be dealt with; b. The language activities in which the learners will be engaged c. The language function which the learner will fulfill d. What the learner will be able to do with respect to each topic e. The general notions which the learners will be able to handle f. The specific topic notions which the learner will be able to handle g. The language form which the learner will be able to use h. The degree of scale with which the learner will be able to perform Here the social, psychological and pedagogical factors are confidently advocated as preconsiderations for syllabus construction. That is, the selections of the teaching items, and then their sequencing are obviously affected and even controlled by the social and psychological factors of the learner as a social being and as an individual. And the factors ultimate relate to the pedagogical factors and the overall concept of the syllabus planning. Selection and Organization: In the account of syllabus the focus is also on selection and organization of content, whereas, as we firmly consider, there are other approaches to syllabus which shift attention to methodology and evaluation. As a consequence of the foregoing review and discussion, it is obvious to propound a collection of typical components actively considered in designing a syllabus. Typical Components: Set A 1. Statements about the learner: a. Age, sex, motivation, attitude, aptitude, learning style, educational level, type of institution, previous attainment etc; b. Specific features- derived, elite, mono/bi/multi-lingual/cultural. 2. Statement about aims and needs: a. Reason for SL/FL learning/ teaching; b. Skill- all or two or "¦.. to be taught; c. Specific features, if any. 3. Starting and target level needs, and the determination of deficiencies, if any. 4. Information about duration/offer: a. Length of courses, number of classes per week, total duration; b. Homework, self-study; a. Qualification; b. Training; c. Competency; d. Seriousness, punctuality, honesty, sincerity, regularity and the like; e. Friendly, polite, sympathetic, humorous, democratic etc. Typical Components: Set B 1. Content: a. Specification of content; b. Grammar, vocabulary and others. 2. Time Terms/ semesters/courses/years 3. Sequence of teaching items Which to be taught, which second/next. Typical Components: Set C 1. Methodology: Which method to apply-Direct method or Audioligual method or Communicative Language Teaching Approach or eclectic method. 2. Aids and equipment: Chalk board, market board, OHP, VCR, TV, computer, cassette player and the like. 3. Books and material. Typical components: Set D 1. Examination 2. Other Educational levels The relation between preceding and following courses. 3. Relation to teacher training: Short or long-term training. According to McDonough the syllabus designers seem to have a relatively homogenous idea of the order of difficulty of various grammatical devices of simple English. Some kind of empirical validation of this, or empirical challenge is required, because despite gradual replacement of structural criteria by communicational criteria of sequencing in recent textbooks, the presentation of grammatical construction is still ordered according to intuitive ideas of relative difficulty. An early attempt to work out the implications of such findings of organizing language syllabuses was made by Valdman 1974, who discussed whether the process of pidginization could be used as a basis for grading teaching materials. But there is a problem that a little language would contain stigmatized forms, which could become fossilized. To avoid this Valdman proposed the 'Focus Approach' which Pieneman summarizes as follows: 1. The learners are allowed to use reduced and deviant forms in communicative activities. 2. However, these forms will not be brought in focus in the syllabus. 3. The learners are exposed to a fully formed input filtered only by the application of pedagogical norms. 4. The syllabus will be graded according to what is easy to acquire. Halliday, McIntosh and Strevens have noted a surprising lack of published guidance on syllabus grading, a number of criteria have been proposed and have become accepted through use and these are listed below according to focus: structural, topic and functional. Structural: Frequency, coverage ability, simplicity/complexity, learnability/ teachablity, combinability, contrast, productiveness, generalizability, natural order of acquisition. Topic: Interest and activity, need, pedagogic merit, relevance, depth of treatment, practicality, utility. Functional: Need: immediate and long-term, utility, coverage and generalizability, interest, complexity of form. Alternatives Priorities in Design: The predesigned content syllabus captures the designers selection form, and organization of the target language and its use in certain situation. The designer draws the map beginning at the destination. The result being that the whole of the rest of the map- the route through the new language and performance- is most often shaped and constrained by its own objectives and predetermined outcomes. An alternative orientation would prioritize the route itself: a focus upon the means towards the learning of new language. Here the designer would give priority to the changing process of learning and the potential of the classroom-to the psychological and social resources applied to a new language by learners in the classroom context. One result of this change of focus would be that the syllabus would be the plan for gradual creation of the real syllabus of the classroom, jointly and explicitly undertaken by teachers and learners. Such a plan would be about designing a syllabus, and therefore, a guide for the map-making capacities of its users. The need for syllabus design: Since language is highly complex and cannot be taught all the time, successful teaching requires that there should be a selection of materials depending on the prior definition of the objectives, proficiency level, and duration of the course. This syllabus takes place in syllabus planning stage. It is the appropriate strategy of presentation. It is the natural growth hypothesis, then, which appears to constitute the most serious challenge to traditional concepts of syllabus planning, and for this reason, it is worthwhile to exploring it in a little more detail. In assessing the role of the non-analytic growth model it is convenient to consider it first in the context of informal task-related programme where there is a serious commitment to the achievement of fluency in a rich target language environment. The principle of organizing a general syllabus can be structural, functional, experiential, or some combination of the three. We need this form to make the students able to communicate properly with the subject they are assigned to. The control over the text material should be exercised in a more subtle and flexible way than can normally be achieved by means of a traditional structural syllabus. Creating and reinterpreting syllabus: Although, we may follow a predesigned syllabus, every teacher inevitably interprets and reconstructs that syllabus so that it becomes possible to implement it in the classroom. Similarly learners create individual learning syllabuses from their own particular starting points and their own perceptions of the language, learning and the classroom. We may regard learners either as people who are trying to redraw the predesigned plan, or we may see learners as uncovering the route for the first time in a sense, discovering the new language as if it had never been explored. The classroom is therefore, the meeting place or point of interaction between the predisgned syllabus and individual learners syllabuses. This interaction will generate the real syllabus- or the syllabus in action-which is jointly constructed by the teachers and learners together. In the lesson-to-lesson reality of language teaching, we are continually concerned with three syllabuses: the teacher's version of the predesigned plan, the individual learner syllabuses, and the unfolding syllabus of the classroom- this last being the synthesis of the other two. One important implication of this for syllabus design is that a 'good' predesigned syllabus is one, which is positively amenable to the alternative interpretation and open to reconstruction through interactive in the classroom. Conclusion: More recent research into SLA has indicated a natural acquisition order, thus giving rise to the possibility of developing structural selection and grading principles in tune with this natural order. Pieneman has suggested modifying grading to bring the two in line, though without requiring learners to produce correct forms before they are ready to do so. To construct a syllabus the designer has to have adequate experience of the social, psychological and educational factors directly or indirectly related to the teaching program. Here is no scope for adopting any arbitrary or notional matter. As the rationale behind designing of the syllabus transforms into component part, the syllabus designer becomes bound to follow the established criteria for selecting and ordering the content, choosing the methods, prescribing the material and equipment, recommending the teacher's qualifications and determining the assessment system. When it is done the syllabus might be approximate or result in the expected or required success. While, non-deviate input will be provided, focus on current forms in learner output will be planned to coincide with the learner's stage of readiness to produce such forms. As yet, however, the kind of detailed evidence on which to base such a progression is lacking, although the accumulation of research may result in the evolution of new criteria for organizing language input to learners to avoid some of the learning problems, which appear to have arisen from syllabuses planned according to traditional criteria for structural sequencing. Anyway, a proper designed syllabus, followed by the accurate process, is the right path for the learners.
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Outline Difference between a syllabus and a curriculum. An account of the salient factors we have to consider for constructing a syllabus. 1. Introduction. 2. Syllabus and curriculum A. Definition of syllabus B. Definition of curriculum C. Difference between syllabus and curriculum a. Basic difference b. Differences in detail approaches 3. Factors to construct a syllabus A. Type A: What is to be learn B. Type B. How is to be learn C. Van EK's necessary component D. Selection of the content E. Organization of the content F. Components to design a syllabus a. Set A b. Set B c....
will be provided, focus on current forms in learner output will be planned to coincide with the learner's stage of readiness to produce such forms. As yet, however, the kind of detailed evidence on which to base such a progression is lacking, although the accumulation of research may result in the evolution of new criteria for organizing language input to learners to avoid some of the learning problems, which appear to have arisen from syllabuses planned according to traditional criteria for structural sequencing. Anyway, a proper designed syllabus, followed by the accurate process, is the right path for the learners.
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Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of... Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz certainly provides a stark contrast to F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. While Fitzgerald epitomizes descriptive writing techniques, Richler is far more reserved and subtle in terms of description when juxtaposed. However, both writers are able to successfully reveal the precarious journey of, essentially, the same character. Richler's Duddy Kravitz and Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby, exemplifies the accomplishments that result from pursuing a dream. Kravitz obediently follows his grandfather's advice: "A man without land is nobody" Richler, 49. Meanwhile, Gatsby follows his heart and pursues Daisy Buchanans' unrequited love. While there are parallactic views on whether each character's actions are inspiring or denouncing, the similarities between the two are blatantly obvious. The psychological structure of Kravitz essentially parallels that of Gatsby because both rise to prominence from meager existence, both attempt to conceal their inauspicious past, both pursue their goals through questionable means, and both base their entire existence on a dream which ultimately proves to be their downfall. A common past may partially be responsible for the close psychological similarities between Kravitz and Gatsby. During their initial portion of life, both characters were confronted with similar problems. Due to their impoverished state, both characters appeared bound to a lifetime of mediocrity. As Richler describes, "Where Duddy Kravitz sprung from the boys grew up dirty and sad, spiky also, like grass beside the railroad tracks." 45. Kravitz's background is further exposed when he claims, "He's a hack and he picks up extra money pimping. My father's a pimp"¦That ought to be good for a laugh. My old man's a lousy pimp." 105. Certainly, Kravitz was never brought up under ideal conditions, and neither was Gatsby, who encounters much of the same problems. "For over a year he had been beating his way along the south shore of Lake Superior as a clam-digger and a salmon fisher or in any other capacity that brought him food and bed." Fitzgerald, 95. Fitzgerald further reinforces this fact, "A young major just out of the army and covered with medals he got in the war. He was so hard up he had to keep wearing his uniform because he couldn't buy some regular clothes"¦Start him! I made him...I raised him out of nothing, right out of the gutter." 162. Undoubtedly, both characters begin their journeys with similar challenges. While Kravitz desperately attempts to avoid a lifetime of "nothingness," Gatsby struggles to overcome his status as a "poor boy, who can't marry rich girls." In essence, poverty is the major contributing factor responsible for the irrepressible desire exemplified by Kravitz and Gatsby. Thus, it is vital that each character experience it. Since Kravitz and Gatsby are exposed to the same challenges during their childhood years, both are able to develop similar psychological characters. Thus, the resounding desire possessed by each as a result of poverty, proves that Kravitz and Gatsby possess the same psychological mindset. Kravitz and Gatsby have essentially created a mythological past to obscure their inauspicious backgrounds. Both characters demonstrate an overwhelming sense of arrogance, which partially forces them to conceal their backgrounds. Kravitz has created a fictional brother, who had, Run away to the States at fifteen, lied about his age, joined the air force, and sunk three Jap battleships in the Pacific. They were going to make a movie about his life, maybe. After the war Bradley rescued an Arizona millionaire's beautiful daughter from drowning, married her, and bought a ranch. Richler, 12. Richler later reveals the falsehood of this statement: "Familiar with all of Bradley's exploits the boys also suspected that he was a fictional character, but nobody dared accuse Duddy of lying." 12. In addition to creating a fictional past, Kravitz also greatly exaggerates his position in life. "He told her about his brother Bradley and that the Boy Wonder, an intimate of his father's was willing to back him in any line he chose." Richler, 89. Much like Kravitz, Gatsby also creates a mythological past to conceal his mysterious background. I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West-all dead now. I was brought up in America but educated at Oxford, because all my ancestors have been educated there for many years. It is a family tradition. My family all died and I came into a good deal of money. After that I lived like a young Raja in all the capitals of Europe- Paris, Venice, Rome- collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little, things for myself only, and trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago." Fitzgerald, 64. Partially fueled by their arrogance, both characters obscure their past in order to satisfy their conscience. As a result, it can be concluded that Kravitz and Gatsby hold the same vision of themselves. Both are unwilling, or unable to accept their past, and thus, feel obligated and entirely justified to create a self-molded image of themselves. Kravitz chooses to hide his background among the other boys at St Agathe, while Gatsby creates his past in order to rid himself of his previous status. Thus, because both characters create a mythological past, whose creation is fueled by similar factors, Kravitz and Gatsby share identical psychological characters. Kravitz and Gatsby use highly questionable, and at times, immoral means to obtain their goals. Kravitz's struggle to avoid "nothingness," and Gatsby's hunt for the illusive "green light" compels them to perform questionable actions throughout their journeys. Kravitz was willing to lie, cheat, and swindle those closest to him. Yvette claims: I've seen you do lots of dishonest things, Duddy but never in my life did I expect you to cheat a boy like Virgil"¦I never thought you were such a bastard"¦Do you mean to say that knowing how grateful he'd be for a job-any job- you managed to swindle him out of his thousand dollars? Oh, Duddy. Richler, 253. Kravitz believes he is entirely justified in doing such things. It's their fault, he thought, they wouldn't help me, they're forcing me into it. Pushing me, he thought, and he went into Virgil's room. The check book wasn't even hidden"¦He forged the signature by holding the cheques and a letter Virgil had signed up to the window and tracing slowly"¦I'll wait for an hour, he thought, well three-quarters anyway, and if they show up before then I'll tear up the cheque. If not-Well, they shouldn't leave me alone for that long. Not in my desperate condition. Richler, 364. Kravitz's philosophy to place his ambitions above all else is essentially equal to Gatsby's belief of the "green light." Likewise, he uses dishonest schemes to achieve his wealth. She's not leaving me! Certainly not for a common swindler who'd have to steal the ring he put on her finger"¦Who are you anyhow? You're one of that bunch that hangs around Meyer Wolfshiem- that much I happen to know. I've made a little investigation into your affairs- and I'll carry it further tomorrow"¦I found out what your "drug stores" were, He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side-street drug stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That's one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn't too far off. Fitzgerald, 127. Gatsby does whatever is necessary in order to attain his love for Daisy. His extra marital relationship with her signifies to what extent he is willing to reach. Gatsby does not realize, nor does he care, about the eventual repercussions of such relationship, much like Kravitz's disrespectful relationship with of Yvette and Virgil. Both Kravitz and Gatsby use dishonest and shortsighted means to achieve their goals. In addition, both are unable to realize the moral limits of attaining such goals. Therefore, Kravitz and Gatsby's inability to realize the moral limits of pursuing their goals clearly reveals the psychological parallels of each character. The uncontrollable desire exemplified by Kravitz and Gatsby ultimately proves to be their downfall. Both fail to realize the importance of the things around them, and thus are unable to clearly differentiate between good and evil. Their uncontrollable desire has blinded them. Kravitz is unable to evaluate the seriousness of the statement: "A man without land is nobody" Richler, 49. Thus, he needlessly pursues a goal that is hypothetically preposterous. In the end, Kravitz is unable to distinguish good from evil, allies from foes. When Dingleman offers a proposal, "It's going to cost you a fortune to develop this land"¦You're going to need lots of money, Duddy. A fortune"¦Alone, you'll never raise the money you need. With my help we could turn this into a model resort town in five years." Richler, 371. Kravitz is unable to see the seriousness in Dingleman. In addition, he also fails to realize the importance of Yvette and Virgil's friendship. In the end, Kravitz looses his friendships, but most importantly, he looses Simcha's faith. "I can see what you have planned for me, Duddel. You'll be good to me. You'd give me everything I wanted. And that would settle your conscience when you went out to swindle others." Richler, 373. Therefore, Kravitz can be considered a failure because he is unable to control his overwhelming desire to avoid "nothingness." Gatsby, however, suffers a more tragic ending. Much like Kravitz, Gatsby based his entire existence on fulfilling his dream. He became infatuated by what he lacked, instead of what he possessed. This is evident when he finally gained his vast amounts of fortunes he so desired, yet, he still feels unfulfilled without Daisy. Thus, as Nick Carraway, the narrator of The Great Gatsby puts it, He had come along way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Fitzgerald, 171. Thus, Gatsby is unable to realize his accomplishments because the idea of continually pursuing his dream has essentially blinded him from reality. Therein lays the psychological parallel between Kravitz and Gatsby. Both base their entire existence on pursuing a dream, and it is the very essence-the desire that they possess, which eventually isolates them from reality. Kravitz is unable to realize the importance of Yvette and Virgil, much like Gatsby has failed to bask in his own glory. Both have envisioned a "perfect" life, but yet, lose what they have achieved. Thus, Kravitz and Gatsby's parallel philosophy of placing dreams above all else proves to be their downfall, but more importantly, demonstrates their similar values and morals. The rise from meagre existence, the creation of a mythological past, the pursuing of a dream through questionable means, and basing an entire existence on a dream are all similar virtues possessed by Duddy Kravitz and Jay Gatsby. Thus, Kravitz and Gatsby can be considered the same characters on the same overall journey. However, there is an extreme sense of irony when observing Kravitz and Gatsby. Kravitz desires wealth, land, and social status, while failing to realize Yvette's love for him. He is surrounded by people who care for him, and appreciate his qualities. Gatsby, however, has accomplished what Kravitz yearns, yet he lacks what Kravitz takes for granted: love. Thus, there certainly is a paradox about the belief that Kravitz and Gatsby are the same character. Both live two opposite lives, yearning for what the other takes for granted. Yet, their journeys are eerily similar. Perhaps Richler and Fitzgerald are not criticizing the idea of pursuing a dream. Perhaps they are revealing the fine equilibrium that must be reached in order to avoid destruction- a man without desire is a nobody, but a man without anyone to appreciate his desire is also a nobody.   

Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz certainly provides a stark contrast to F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. While Fitzgerald epitomizes descriptive writing techniques, Richler is far more reserved and subtle in terms of description when juxtaposed. However, both writers are able to successfully reveal the precarious journey...

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Kindergarteners should not have homework;... Kindergarteners should not have homework; first graders should not have homework; fifth grade"¦maybe. In this fast-paced, super-information age, children are being given more and more homework at a younger and younger age. I imagine, sometime in the near future, pre-school students will bring home some sort of "Mommy, you have to help me with this or I'll get a bad grade", homework. Not to say that it isn't good, or isn't productive, but I say that it isn't a good idea to give early grammar school students more than they can complete in class. First of all, school already takes up around seven hours of their day, seven hours per day learning grammar and general education; do they need an extra hour of work every day? Secondly, nowadays there are many single working-parent families and families in which both parents hold full time jobs; they may not have the time, ability, or willpower left after working, making meals, keeping house, and giving baths, to help their children with homework. Also, when children get out of school they want to play with their friends, pets, Lego's, and do the things children like to do, they don't want to go home and do more schoolwork, nor should they have to. A child is only a child once, and not for very long, let him play. A school is an institution for learning, so I say let our kids learn in school. Let them learn to read and write, to add and subtract, to sit and listen. Seven hours a day, five days a week is a very sufficient amount of time to teach and learn these things, if it wasn't, I'm sure we would extend the school day, or make our children attend kindergarten at three years old. I never had homework until I was in fifth grade. When I was a child we weren't handed such "responsibilities," those were adult things and we were kids. Sure, we had to get on the right school bus, but the teacher would even walk us there until the second month of the school year. Responsibility was something I learned at home, along with family values, religious studies, and why stacking the firewood under the shelter was so important. Let our kids learn basic education at the school, let them not be weighted with the responsibility of homework, let them be kids awhile, and not rush them to learn more than is adequate; seven hours adequate. Homemaking is more time consuming than any full-time job. The work begins first thing in the morning, and ends with the closing of eyes in the night, unless the baby wakes, or a child is sick and sleepless. My wife Linda, now a homemaker, used to be a single working parent of two boys. She would get up with them in the morning, serve breakfast, give baths, see them off to school, and clean up the meal dishes all before she went to work. Upon leaving work Linda would pick the boys up from day-care, make dinner, do laundry and other housekeeping necessities leaving little or no time to get the kids' homework done for the day. Some parents have plenty of time to help their kids with homework, but this leaves the rest of kids looking like bad students, or parents feeling like bad parents because they couldn't keep up. I have complete faith that our school system is able to educate our young children just as well without burdening the parents with homework. Last year, when my sons got home from school, they would change into their play clothes, do their chores, and do their homework just in time to have an hour left to play with their friends before dark. This year I am letting them do their homework just before bed, but still, I would rather they had no homework at all until they're at an age when they are responsible and able to do it with little assistance. Kids today have too much responsibility and worry put on them by this "go-go"," be-the-best" society. Let the boy relax, or get hyper, let him dig for fishing worms, or play swords with sticks. Do not rush him to grow up or take on duties that are unfit for a free spirit, let him put on his cowboy boots and six-shooter, don't give him a pencil and more schoolwork after school, let him draw. If I had a chance to speak with the superintendent I'm sure he/she would say it is proven that children who do homework learn quicker. Maybe the teacher would suggest that introducing homework at a younger age prepares the student for later schooling when much homework will be assigned. The upper middle-class parent would suggest that the single mom should get a tutor. Of course children who do homework learn quicker, but do the goals of the learning institution supercede the goals of the family institution. Is it more important for a child to be stuffed with fact and theory than to be free from stress in his younger years? I understand the effort to increase the productiveness of school, but I question whether the motive is community healthy or not. Homework is just what it is, work done at home. It does not matter when it is introduced it will always carry the name "work," and the student will either do it or not. Some things are just the way they are, you could have given me a million pages of homework before high school and maybeI would have completed them, but that wouldn't have made me any more likely to get my algebra homework in on time. I firmly believed in tutors, so my wife set one up for our son Kevin who was in kindergarten at the time. The teacher said "Kevin is having trouble reading". I guess it's been a long time since I first entered school, I remember Mrs. Earl, my kindergarten teacher, she taught me the ABC's reading was learned in later grades. Anyhow, we had secured a tutor for Kevin and I could not believe what the tutor did, of all the nerve, that tutor gave Kevin even more homework than the school did. Mom and dad are the tutors now. In this flourishing information age, with accelerated advancement of civilization and knowledge, children are given more responsibility and expected to learn quicker than ever before. School is the place we need to teach our kids, if there's not enough time in class save it for tomorrow. The parents need to be parents, not after school teachers. There are many things other than math and school studies that children need to learn from their parents. I believe if we rush these children to gain knowledge, take on responsibility, and leave them no time to be a child, we take away from them the very thing that makes them children"¦freedom, freedom from stress and worries. Surely a good education is very, very important, so is a happy child. Really think about it, would you rather have a smart, educated, super-civilized child; or a free and happy one? I prefer the thought of a laughing, playing, free spirited child. Let them wait till fourth or fifth grade to start having to carry a backpack to and from school.   

Kindergarteners should not have homework; first graders should not have homework; fifth grade…maybe. In this fast-paced, super-information age, children are being given more and more homework at a younger and younger age. I imagine, sometime in the near future, pre-school students will bring home some sort of "Mommy, you...

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In human nature there exists a...In human nature there exists a morbid desire to explore the darker realms of life. As sensitive beings we make every effort to deny our curiosity in the things that frighten us, and will calmly reassure our children that there aren't any creatures under their beds each night, but deep down we secretly thrive on that cool rush of fear. Despite our efforts to maintain a balance of respectable emotions, we are a society of people who slow down to look at traffic accidents and find excitement in the macabre. We turn off the lights when watching scary movies, and when it's time to go to bed, we secretly make sure the closet doors are shut. Fear keeps our hearts pumping and endorphins rushing, for it is an emotion that reminds us of our mortality. How ironic it is to experience more life in our fascination with death. Two legendary writers have ruled the universe of death and horror with remarkable success, both gifted with the talent of introducing each reader to his or her own subconscious fears. Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King are the masters of their craft, blessed- or perhaps cursed- with imaginations that set higher standards in the field of writing. Both authors broke new ground in fiction that has had a significant impact on the world of literature. Similar in quite a few ways, though contrasting in many others, this paper will explore the lives and styles of these two remarkable men, paying close attention to the differences that exist in their approaches to writing. A look into Poe's childhood might shed some light on where this divergence stems from. Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts to drifting actor parents. Denying his parental responsibilities, his father abandoned his wife and three children, leaving her to support the family as best she could. She traveled through various cities acting in stage engagements as she could get them, but the struggle eventually took a toll on her health. Towards the end of 1811 while in Richmond, Virginia, she became ill and died. Her children were promptly farmed into homes, Edgar being placed into the residence of a well-off, yet unsupportive merchant named John Allan. Allan was emotionally detached from Poe, refusing to even legally adopt the boy. This move would begin a chain of events, eventually triggering a drinking problem that would induce the majority of Poe's psychological troubles later in life. He was raised in an affluent home, but lacked the emotional support needed to build fortitude and confidence in himself. In Poe's youth he didn't pursue a life toward writing, probably due to his assumption that he would eventually inherit his foster father's estate. He would attend the finest boarding schools in training to be a proper gentleman, but when it came time to go to the University of Virginia in 1826, his foster father gave him a meager allowance that would barely sustain him. John Allan had always been a harsh disciplinarian, and sometimes even cruel to the orphaned boy, but this was the first time he denied Poe the means to survive outside of his home. Adding insult to injury, he also forbids Poe study of what his heart so desired: poetry. Going against Allan's orders was not an option; what little money he was given to live off of would have been taken away. In an effort to make his money stretch out while in college, Poe turned to gambling, but like so many other gamblers he lost the money while developing a terrible compulsion. In short, his first term in college was not a success. When the semester was over Allan removed him from the University and forced him into a military academy. In 1947 Stephen King was also born into a nomadic life style. His mother single-handedly raised both him and his brother while moving about the country in pursuit of their absentee father. Instead of dying under the pressure, though, King's mother survived and proceeded to motivate her son to write as much as possible. Contrasting the Allan/Poe home, the Kings were financially deprived, though rich in family support. King lived to write, and even created his own literary paper called The Rag when he was still in grade school. He submitted hundreds of stories to magazines, mostly in the genres of horror or science fiction, and proudly displayed the rejection slips on a large nail over his typewriter. In King's book "On Writing", he recalls, "By the time I was fourteen"¦ the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing" 41. Rejection was simply a motivation for King to write better than before. King received his college education at the University of Main in Orono. He lacked a financial backer to cover his expenses, so he worked full time in order to pay his tuition. He had published several short stories by the time he reached college and was becoming a serious writer. Contrasting Poe's lack of parental support, King's mother gave him full encouragement to pursue his craft, leaving him with no doubt that this would be his undertaking in life. Because he was so well grounded in his goals, he remained focused in college and blossomed as a writer in the experience. Perhaps this is where the core difference exists between Poe and King; one lacked a strong emotional foundation in his youth and went on to make disastrous choices, consequently keeping him out of reach of success within his lifetime. The other writer was brought up with encouragement, fostering a strong belief in his talents, which in the long run probably gave him an extra push toward the success he's experienced while still alive. Before Poe was forced to leave the University of Virginia, he unfortunately discovered the curious effects of alcohol. "One glass of wine went to his head; very little more than that made him drunk. Alcohol was a dangerous stimulant for him- one that was eventually to bring about his ruin" Van Doren Stern xviii. Beginning in college and continuing through the rest of his life, Poe would struggle with a drinking problem that earned him a broad reputation for being a senseless drunk. Though he frequently tried to quit drinking, it was never long before he would fall off the wagon and drink once again. Considering all that is currently known about the sustained effects of alcohol on the brain, it is possible that he never reached his full capabilities as a writer. One also has to wonder if his subject matters in writing i.e., death, horror and fantasy would have been the same if his youth hadn't been so traumatic or his drinking so serious. Similar to Poe, King was also an alcoholic, probably addicted as early as 1975. By 1985 he also developed a drug addiction to cocaine making him feel like a prisoner in his own body and mind. Between the alcohol and drugs he was on a downward spiral, and it was showing in his writing. He relates the dramatic effect that it took on his writing, stating "The deep part of me that knew I was an alcoholic as early as 1975"¦ wouldn't accept that. Silence isn't what that part is about. It began to scream for help the only way it knew how, through my fiction and through my monsters. In late 1985 and early 1986 I wrote Misery the title quite aptly describing my state of mind, in which the writer is held prisoner and tortured by a psychotic nurse. In the spring and summer of 1986 I wrote The Tommyknockers,"¦ where these alien creatures got into your head and just started"¦ well, tommyknocking around in there. What you got was energy and a kind of superficial intelligence"¦ What you gave up in exchange was your soul. It was the best metaphor for drugs and alcohol my tired, overstressed mind could come up with" On Writing 96-7. Unlike Poe though, King had a wonderful sense of support in his wife and friends, and in 1987 his wife Tabitha stepped in and gathered his friends for an intervention of sorts. With the help of those who love him, King was able to get clean and stay sober. It took a while for him to find his pace, but eventually he was able to exceed his abilities as a stoned writer and his success never suffered. Poe and King both share an interest in horror, terror, death, and murder. Their many works reflect an imagination that most of their readers will only experience when dreaming at night. Death is a theme visited in more of Poe's works, though. While many people and things have died in King's stories, Poe takes death a step further and explores the processes and avenues of death. Nearly all of his works consisted of variations of a single theme. "Berenice," "Morella," and Ligeia" all deal with the deaths of beautiful women, the subject which Poe called "the most poetical topic in the world" Van Doren Stern 191. "The Fall of the House of Usher" is another tale focusing on death, and is probably his best known. Other stories that ponder the realms of death include "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar," "The Assignation," "The Masque of the Red Death," and "The Premature Burial." The inventory of Poe's death-inspired works could go on for days. Regardless of the story, though, Poe had a powerfully descriptive voice that made the reader identify with what he was trying to portray. One website characterizes his work as having ""¦ the power of such a narrative voice, many a tale is indelible. Poe"s imaginative sociology in "The Man of the Crowd" will tell you more about loneliness in the crowd than David Riesman did. The psychological analysis in "William Wilson" is an excellent and frightening exploration of split personality two generations before Freud" Edgar Allan Poe- The Life of a Poet. In some of his earlier work, such as "Carry," "Cujo," and "Salem's' Lot," King's characters rarely overcome their struggle with evil. Even in his book of short stories, "Night Shift," many of his main characters die untimely deaths. Coincidently, these were written during the time of King's alcohol and drug addictions. In most of King's later writing, though, there is a recurrent theme of a struggle and survival that is absent in many of Poe's works. In "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" King has a young girl not only survive in the woods without food or shelter, but he also has her defeat the terrifying beast stalking her throughout the story. Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" is very similar to King's "The Stand," where both center on the demise of an entire population by means of illness. However, King's characters come together to build a better world and overcome the evil guy trying to do them in. Poe's characters simply lock themselves behind the gates of a mansion and die painful deaths. Another way that Poe and King differ is in their style of writing. In his book "On Writing" King states, "One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for the long words because you're maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones" On Writing 117. Poe, on the other hand, seems to delight in the use of all the language that he can possibly fit into one sentence. Perhaps a look at comparative sentences would help to illustrate this. In Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher," the narrator states, "He admitted, however, although with hesitation, that much of the peculiar gloom which thus afflicted him could be traced to a more natural and far more palpable origin- to the severe and long continued illness- in-deed to the evidently approaching dissolution- of a tenderly beloved sister- his sole companion for long years- his last and only relative on earth" Van Doren Stern 252. It took Poe all of 59 words to say that his friend was upset because his sister was dying. It is very descriptive and eventually gets his point across, but it can also be difficult for the modern reader to digest. In contrast, King is known for his 'less is more' approach to writing. In this excerpt taken from his story "Needful Things," King creates a description that draws his reader into the tale: "When Nettie saw Polly's white, puffy face and haggard eyes, her own fears, which had gnawed at her like sharp weasel's teeth as she walked over, were forgotten" 233. The opening picture of these two women is vividly created. Though some refer to his style as 'shock value writing', it is easier to digest for most readers in our day and age. He is careful not to shock the reader back out of the story with stilted language. The reader becomes one with the story, whether they approve of the tale or not. One of the most common praises for Kings work is that ""¦he is able to piece together a large number of characters and tell a story from a variety of angles. The story is complex, but not difficult to understand. The characters are well developed and not one of them is superficial" Trotter. However, all things being equal, King's writing would not have been well received in the nineteenth century when Poe was writing. The context of their work reflects their own period in time. Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King where brought up in two very different worlds, yet somehow both of their imaginations slithered off into the murky depths of horror and death. One came from an affluent yet unsupportive home, and the other from a struggling family trying to make ends meet, nevertheless full of support and love for each other. Both battled addiction, although only one was successful in getting sober before it took control of him. They both eventually conquered the field of writing with admirable success, and even if Poe's use of language may be difficult to understand in this day and age, his subject matter is just as timely as Kings is. They have followed the norms in style of their respective cultures and times, even though their themes don't exactly adhere to society's morality. They are different and stand out because of it. We may never know if any of this affected either writer's ideas or successes, or if they simply were destined to write the way they have. What we do know is that as readers we will never be the same. The things that have secretly scared us since childhood are forever entrenched in the stories by these two great writers, and the subject of fear will never grow cold.   

In human nature there exists a morbid desire to explore the darker realms of life. As sensitive beings we make every effort to deny our curiosity in the things that frighten us, and will calmly reassure our children that there aren't any creatures under their beds each night, but deep...

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