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The Unjust Isolation of Frankenstein's Creation and Other Reasons to Never Become a Model: Societal Prejudices in Shelley's Frankenstein A Swiss Proverb once enlightened, "When one shuts one eye, one does not hear everything". Sadly, vision is the primary sense of mankind and often the solitary basis of judgment. Without human's limitations of the shapes, colors and textures of our overall outward appearances, the world would be a place that emphasizes morals, justice and intelligence rather than bravado, cuteness, and sexual attraction. For if there were no predetermined ideal models defining the beautiful possibilities of the human body's variation, one would never suffer isolation due to one's disability, unattractiveness, or unusual physical attribute. Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, sheds light on the eternal illusory and importance of appearance through the tale of an unwanted creation that is never given a chance. Ironically, the supposed beast was initially much more compassionate and thoughtful than his creator, until his romantic and innocent view of the human race was diminished by the cruelty and injustice he unduly bore. Not only does the creature suffer the prejudice of an appearance-based society, but other situations and characters in the novel force the reader to reflect their own hasty crimes of judgment in an intelligent and adult fashion. The semi- gothic novel includes several instances of societal prejudice that include the isolation and outcast of Frankenstein's creation, the creature's biased opinion of the cottagers, and the unbalanced and inappropriate classification of Victor. Throughout the course of the creature's isolated and pathetic journey, he is never given the opportunity to participate in human interaction, as he so deeply deserves. Upon his creation, the reaction of Victor, his maker, is so vividly appalling; one forgets that this is actually the birth of a human being. His 'father', Victor, is so selfish and has such a lack of responsibility and foresight, that he creates a human being for the simple purpose of recreation, intellectual stimulation, and the thrill of 'the chase'. Frankenstein himself refers to his own creation as, ""¦the life which I had so thoughtlessly bestowed" 88; ch.1; vol. 2. Victor is solely interested in the beneficial aspects on the surface of creating, just as his interest in the exterior 'monster' is superficial. Not only is Victor's quest selfish, but his goal is frivolous as well. Victor's initial opinion of his creature is that of disappointment, although he succeeds in his destination to create a living being from inanimate pieces. The disappointment is not only irrational, but also shows his further jaded ideal of perfection in the fact that he considers ugliness a weakness. If that were true, ugliness would be the creature's only weakness, as the story goes on to tell of the selfless acts of kindness the creature administers. Victor describes his supposed miserable failure as a deformed monster when he says "His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of lustrous black, and flowing his teeth of pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only form a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips" 56; ch.5; vol.1. Later, Victor sees the creature after a long period of his aimless roaming, and he "trembled with rage and horror" 95; ch. 3; vol .2. Victor wished to engage in mortal combat because he had a faint premonition the creature might have possibly killed his son. The senseless idea was formed simply because of the creature's physical features, and that he may have been in the vicinity. Even though the monster was shunned, hated, labeled prematurely as a killer, and cursed by his very own maker, he sees the goodness of the human heart and desires to learn more about the human race. As the supposed monster journeys onward, he is delighted and allured by the moon and sun, and other peaceful, natural and romantic settings. He describes a community as, "miraculous" 102; ch. 3; vol. 2, and sacrifices his own hunger by refusing to steal from poverty-stricken cottagers. Contrary to the creature's serene emotions, the villagers react in an absurd frenzy: "the children shrieked, and one of the women fainted" 102; ch. 3; vol. 2. The creature's deformity even took a profound effect on his own state of mind. The creature reflects, " Alas! I did not entirely know the fatal effects of this miserable infirmity" 110; ch. 4; vol. 2, and ponders, "Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all woman disowned?" 117; ch. 5; vol. 2. The reader wonders if the creature has fell into the unfeeling void of prejudice and believes he is an outsider to mankind that deserves his bleak fate. Finally upon hearing the creature's story Victor expresses a hint of pity for the creature, "I compassioned him and sometimes felt a wish to console him"¦" 142; ch. 9; vol. 2, although Victor goes on to say, " But when I saw the filthy mass that moved and talked, my heart sickened and my feelings were altered to those of horror and hatred" 142; ch. 9; vol. 2. At the conclusion of the novel, Victor refuses to create another, and end the creature's miserable asylum due to the simple belief that beasts cannot nor should live peacefully in the comfort of love and kinship. The cottagers also display a contrast of truth and appearance. The creature almost falls in love with the family from a distance. He thinks they exude natural innocence and kinship by simply viewing them from afar. Without actually interacting physically or emotionally with the group, the monster incessantly passes discernment while safely camouflaging himself in the background and daydreaming. Although the monster notices the differences of age and varying body forms, he nonetheless gives the cottagers decent and moral roles with no intelligent basis. The creature remarks, "One was old, with silver hairs and a countenance beaming with benevolence and love: the younger was slight and graceful in his figure, and his features were molded in the finest symmetry" 105; ch. 3; vol. 2. Merely due to the disparity of the creatures physical attributes and the cottagers, the creature looks upon them as, "superior beings" 111; ch. 3; vol. 2, and believes "that they would be disgusted by my gentle demeanour and conciliating words " Satirically, the gentle and soothing words of the cottagers would be natural and fitting, as the 'monster's' appears repelling. Alas, the creature discovers the true souls of these treasured humans whom he has so greatly bestowed the hope of equality. When the younger cottagers invade the comrades' peaceful discussion, their horror and consternation is indescribable to the articulate being. The blind man slightly penetrates the inhibitions of appearance when he says, "there is something in your words which persuades me that you are sincere" 130; ch. 7; vol. 2. Although even he falters the evil test of true equipollence when he utters, "I am blind and cannot judge of your countenance" If the blind man only knew the error of his words, the creature may have found a true home. The untimely assessment of Victor as an inoffensive and harmless existence symbolizes the generous leniency one gives to another that through appearance is viewed as a reflection of oneself. Victor has several nervous breakdowns and becomes reclusive at times. His unusual behavior goes unnoticed by his family and friends due to his seemingly safe and passive physical stature. Victor reflects on the grievances of his beloved Elizabeth and father. He sheds light on the disagreement between his image of innocence and the true broken shell of a man he inhabits: "Frankenstein, your son, your kinsman, your early, much-loved friend; he who would spend each vital drop of blood for your sakes- who has no thought nor sense of joy, except as it is mirrored also in your dear countenance" 86; ch. 8; vol. 1. After several episodes of intense worry and emotional drain, Victor descends into another world of physical and emotional pain that proceeds to affect the emotional states of his family and friends. Victor's guilt is expressed when he says, "My father's care and attentions were indefatigable; but he did not know the origin of my sufferings" 179; ch. 5; vol. 3. Even when Victor avoids society and is in a state of utter despair, his father refuses to acknowledge that this normal, pleasing-looking, blood-related, and seemingly sane human is indirectly responsible for such horrendous acts of malice. Victor, like his creation, was the victim of hasty opinions regarding the nature of their personal inner countenances. The semi- gothic novel includes several instances of societal prejudice that include the isolation and outcast of Frankenstein's creation, the creature's biased opinion of the cottagers, and the unbalanced and inappropriate classification of Victor. The universal quest for acceptance has led many humans to irrevocable and indecent acts. No one truly desires for their own brethren to lead a life of eternal heartache and hardship, yet we allow it to happen everyday. The simple meaninglessness of a person's appearance can cause isolation no human should have to endure. The flashes of airbrushed and plastic beauty that are copied and pasted on every media outlet in today's information age give usually intelligent and morally-intent human beings short attention spans for anything other than our own selfish well-being. For the small duration of time we do think about anything beside ourselves, we are bombarded with pity cases for the specifically cute and child-victims. In the meantime, the not-so-cute and older victims are left to fend for themselves and most human beings go on pretending the confidant and assertiveness that come with knowledge and modern civilization rule society. Meanwhile, people of all ages, sexes, and races continually binge and purge, starve and isolate themselves, and become depressed or angry. We incessantly turn a blind eye to the superfluous suffering of our brothers and sisters, and even condone the labeling of Victor's benevolent 'child' as 'monster'. Had the image-obsessed society paused for one moment to introspect the personality that they feared, a multitude of lives could have been saved.
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The Unjust Isolation of Frankenstein's Creation and Other Reasons to Never Become a Model: Societal Prejudices in Shelley's Frankenstein A Swiss Proverb once enlightened, "When one shuts one eye, one does not hear everything". Sadly, vision is the primary sense of mankind and often the solitary basis of judgment. Without human's limitations of the shapes, colors and textures of our overall outward appearances, the world would be a place that emphasizes morals, justice and intelligence rather than bravado, cuteness, and sexual attraction. For if there were no predetermined ideal models defining the beautiful possibilities of the human body's variation,...
and older victims are left to fend for themselves and most human beings go on pretending the confidant and assertiveness that come with knowledge and modern civilization rule society. Meanwhile, people of all ages, sexes, and races continually binge and purge, starve and isolate themselves, and become depressed or angry. We incessantly turn a blind eye to the superfluous suffering of our brothers and sisters, and even condone the labeling of Victor's benevolent 'child' as 'monster'. Had the image-obsessed society paused for one moment to introspect the personality that they feared, a multitude of lives could have been saved.
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"Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" is said to..."Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" is said to have been about Nathaniel Hawthorne's study of right and wrong in human conduct. The story is about an old doctor who introduces water from the Fountain of Youth to his four elderly friends. The friends drink the water, re-experience the youthful pleasures of life, and seem to make all the same mistakes over again. The reader may believe that the study of right and wrong is only about the four elderly people, since they made so many mistakes as they were growing old and then made the same mistakes as they were growing young. However, with a deeper connection into the story and an analysis of word choice, the conclusion can be made that Dr. Heidegger was playing a mean trick on his four elderly friends using magic and strong liquor which he called "water from the Fountain of Youth" that was so strong the four elderly people actually believed that they were becoming young again. There are a few details in the story which advocate that Dr. Heidegger was simply playing a trick on his friends. The reader must first realize that the doctor is not the nice old man he seems to be. This is revealed in the fourth paragraph of the story: "Above half a century ago, Dr. Heidegger had been on the point of marriage with this young lady; but, being affected with some slight disorder, she had swallowed one of her lover's prescriptions, and died on the bridal evening." Hawthorne 535 This shows that he was actually cruel enough to kill his own bride. It may have been an accident, but one would think that he would take the utmost care in ensuring the safety of his loved one. One detail which reveals that the water from the Fountain of Youth is a gag is that Dr. Heidegger does not partake of the water himself. He provides an excuse for this when he says, "For my own part, having had much trouble in growing old, I am in no hurry to grow young again." Hawthorne 537 However, although he advised his friends that is would be wiser to drink the water slowly, he kept the glasses full and allowed them to drink as much and as fast as they wanted. At the end of the story, when Dr. Heidegger saw the mess he had made of his friends, he started to regret what he had done. "'Come, come, gentlemen! "“ come, Madam Wycherly,' exclaimed the doctor, 'I really must protest against this riot.'" Hawthorne 539 This is said after they had fought and overturned the table, shattering the vase in which the water was held, so Dr. Heidegger felt the need to put an end to his mischief. It is made clear by description and various actions of Dr. Heidegger that he is a lunatic who practices magic. The description of Dr. Heidegger's study reveals some evidence that supports this. First of all, there is a bronze statue of Hippocrates "with which according to some authorities, Dr. Heidegger was accustomed to hold consultations in all difficult cases of his practice." Hawthorne 534 This could mean that he is downright crazy, but it could also mean that the statue has magical properties which somehow advise him in his work. Another part of the description of the room is the big black book. "It was a ponderous folio volume, bound in black leather, with massive silver clasps "¦ It was well known to be a book of magic." Hawthorne 535 It may be a rumor, but rumors such as this usually have some truth to them. Some of the actions of Dr. Heidegger also disclose that he is practicing magic. The rose, for instance, was a trick that he performed in order to get his friends to believe that the water from the Fountain of Youth was legitimate. His friends didn't even believe it at first. "'That is certainly a very pretty deception,' said the doctor's friends: carelessly, however, for they had witnessed greater miracles at a conjurer's show"¦" Hawthorne 536 The second trick the doctor performed was with the mirror in his study. As Widow Wycherly gazed into it after she had "become young", the doctor enchanted the mirror so it would reveal to Wycherly the image which she hoped it would reveal. There is quite a bit of evidence that the water is nothing more than strong liquor. Even when it is first seen in the story, the table on which the vase of water was placed is set also with champagne glasses. The appearance of the water also suggests that it is liquor, with its little bubbles and its "cordial and comfortable properties." Hawthorne 537 At times, the author even ventured to call it liquor. As soon as the four drank their first glass, they were already feeling the effects, "not unlike what might have been produced by a glass of generous wine." Hawthorne 537 They were already so intoxicated as to imagine that they were getting younger. The more they drank, the younger they believed they were becoming. They were not really growing younger, however. This is suggested by certain key words thrown into the text, such as in the following sentences: "They gazed at one another and fancied that some magic power had really begun to smooth away their wrinkles" Hawthorne 537 and "The Widow Wycherly adjusted her cap, for she felt almost like a woman again." Hawthorne 537 More proof that the fluid they were drinking was alcohol is the way they were acting after they swallowed it. One of the four, Mr. Gascoigne, began babbling about politics, "but whether relating to past, present, or future could not easily be determined" Hawthorne 538 since he was drunk and didn't really know what he was talking about. Another of them, Colonel Killigrew, "all this time had been trolling forth a jolly bottle song, and ringing his glass in symphony with the chorus, while his eyes wandered toward the buxom figure of the Widow Wycherly." Hawthorne 538 This is a clear illustration of a drunken man. Although many people may believe that Hawthorne's study of right and wrong in human conduct is seen solely in the actions of the elderly people, after closer examination, a reader will find that it is also in the lack of morality of Dr. Heidegger. It is clear that Dr. Heidegger was playing a trick on his friends using magic and liquor. The story could appropriately be renamed "The Cruel Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", because Dr. Heidegger is clearly a cruel man.   

"Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" is said to have been about Nathaniel Hawthorne's study of right and wrong in human conduct. The story is about an old doctor who introduces water from the Fountain of Youth to his four elderly friends. The friends drink the water, re-experience the youthful pleasures of life,...

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Historical Background The late 18th... Historical Background The late 18th and early 19th centuries were an era of great change in Europe. The Industrial revolution happened in many countries, but was initially focused on Britain. The Industrial Revolution centered on the production of iron and the steam engine. Later, railways and increasingly mechanized forms of manufacturing would develop. The urban population increased rapidly and cities were transformed into centers of industrial production. They became overcrowded, as people moved from rural areas. A combination of coal-fired stoves and poor sanitation made the air heavy and foul-smelling. Immense amounts of raw sewage was dumped straight into the Thames River in London. Even Royals were not immune from the stench - when Queen Victoria occupied Buckingham Palace her apartments were ventilated through the common sewers, a fact that was not disclosed until some 40 years later. For all the economic expansion of the Industrial Revolution, living conditions among many of the workers and the poor were appalling. Children as young as five were often set to work begging or sweeping chimneys. It was not uncommon for employers to use children as cheap labour. For some women, industrialisation meant independence, but for the majority, it meant the necessity of being employed and enduring the hardships of dreadful working conditions. Women were often subjugated. Even though their productive efficiency was only slightly lower than that of men especially with the invention of machines, their wages were often only one third of that earned by men. Men assumed superiority over women. The working and living conditions were often atrocious. Working days were long, and wages low, as employers often exploited their workers and increased their profits by lowering the cost of production by paying meagre wages and neglecting pollution control. Safety measures were often ignored and workers were put out of jobs by the introduction of machines that created a surplus of labour. The rate of accidents was very high. A handicapped worker was doomed to extreme poverty, as there were no social security or insurance payments. The New Poor Law of 1834 was based on the "principle of less eligibility," which stipulated that the condition of the "able-bodied pauper" on relief it did not apply to the sick, aged, or children be less "eligible""”that is, less desirable, less favorable"”than the condition of the independent laborer. This reasoning was absolutely correct from the scientific and the Utilitarian point of view, but it rejected any emotional considerations. Men and women were materially very poor by contemporary standards and were uncomplaining in their poverty. They led lives of hard work but rarely expected to find fulfilment. Family and interpersonal relationships were difficult and their intellectual and cultural horizons were strictly limited. Very few concerned themselves with national events or politics, or even with local trade union or labour movements. They were uninterested in material acquisition or achievement as such and were not socially mobile. There was no consciousness of class beyond a recognition that the "masters" constituted a different order of society into which they would never penetrate. Their aspirations were modest: to be respected by their fellows; to see their families growing up and making their way in the world, and to die without debt and without sin. Trade unions did appear to introduce and protect workers' rights, but in the initial stages of industrialisation, the workers were not protected. New classes emerged during the Industrial Revolution: the working class that laboured in the factories, mines and mills, and the middle class that controlled them. As discussed above, the middle class the owners of the factories was concerned chiefly with their profits. The Church of England became heavily dependent on donations from the middle class and was effectively promoting their interests. In the government the workers had no voice and neither did women. The middle classes were clearly able to advance their own interests. Against this background, a concept of democracy was being evolved and considered as a form of government. Democracy has similarities with the principle of Utilitarianism, which is a doctrine that teaches that the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct. That is, what the majority agrees to is correct. Bentham 1748-1832, an economist and social philosopher introduced the idea of 'Utilitarianism'. He stated that 'happiness' or 'pain' could be measured quantitatively, which gave Utilitarianism its scientific basis. Because of this, in a Utilitarian world only facts are believable, as universally acceptable and tangible pieces of evidence. Imagination and feelings were disregarded as irrelevant and so were the minority groups who for some reasons did not agree with the majority. Purely theoretically, it can be proven that Utilitarianism poses a threat to humanity. For example, if one person must suffer to make other people happy, then in the Utilitarian terms it is acceptable to make that person suffer. A classical case would be gladiator games, whereby watching a few people kill one another makes a larger audience somewhat happier. According to the doctrine of Utilitarianism, gladiator games are morally right, even though they seem a morbid violation of humanitarian principles. Moreover, since Utilitarianism assumes that what is good for majority is good for everyone, individual preferences are ignored. The majority answers are always right. Minorities are subjugated and oppressed, instead of being asked for their opinions. Their feelings are ignored and society becomes increasingly practical, and driven by economics. The theory fails to acknowledge any individual rights that could not be violated for the sake of the greater good. Adam Smith as a Follower of the Utilitarianism Many prominent people living in that time adopted the theories of Adam Smith 1723-1790, an economist and a philosopher, who believed that self-interest should be the sole regulating force in the economy. He argued that social welfare and government intervention were not needed the laissez-faire doctrine. He evaluated societies in general terms, without singling out individuals and consistently resorted to Utilitarianism for policy advice. "The patriot who lays down his life for"¦this society, appears to act with the most exact propriety"¦appears to view himself in the light in which the impartial spectator naturally and necessarily views him, as but one of the multitude"¦ bound at all times to sacrifice and devote himself to the safety, to the service, and even to the glory of the greater number." The rapidly changing society and its ideology affected the literary works of the time. Many of Dickens' contemporaries, for example, William Blake, condemned the Industrial Revolution and the idea of Utilitarianism it brought. Dickens felt very negative about the Utilitarian principles, as he felt that they served to destroy individuality and brought about a social malaise. This view is clearly voiced out in his novel "Hard Times", published in 1854. "Hard Times" and Utilitarianism Coketown, as described in 'Hard Times' is a construct of a typical industrial town, many of which were sited around the newly founded factories. It may be a fictional location of the industrial age, but it serves Dickens' purpose of presenting Utilitarianism at work. Many of the details of Coketown are based on truths about industrial towns, but Dickens slightly exaggerates them to focus the readers' attention on the points he would like to criticise. It was believed that higher industrial output would increase the wealth of the country and therefore be desirable. Because of this Coketown exists solely for its industrial output and provides no comfort for its working class citizens. Everything inside it is extremely practical; no precious resources are wasted beautifying it, as they do not lead to an increase in industrial output. Dickens' contempt for Utilitarianism is conveyed through the opening description of the town. The colours of the town are black and red "“ red brick covered in ash from the factories. Even on the surface, Dickens associates Coketown with "the painted face of a savage" "“ the implication is that like a "savage", industrialisation is cruel, barbaric and uncultured. On a deeper level, this image links to the colour symbolism that runs through the novel. Dickens associated richness of colour to the preservation of life and individuality; neither black, nor white are considered as colours, and hence, Coketown rejects the idea of individuality and identity. It is robbed of it by the Utilitarianism that is is manifested in industrialisation. The lack of identity is further emphasised by all public inscriptions in the town being written in "black and white". The "inscriptions" "“ the voice of the town are devoid of any identity. Everything in the town "“ a river, a canal is of dark colour, firstly, because of pollution, secondly, at symbolic level, because the town lacks an identity. Dickens describes it as being 'severely workful' but significantly it is also in a "state of melancholic madness", because everything in the town is dedicated to production. Coketown's buildings are faceless. With bitter irony, Dickens describes the confusion between identifying the "infirmary" and the "jail" "“ utilitarian practicality has deprived each of them of its own air and made the process of healing in an "infirmary" be of little difference from serving a sentence in a "jail". Even the Church is not different from a "warehouse" "“ a building used to store the products of the industrial process. The Church was affected by industrialisation and utilitarianism. Its decorations are compared by Dickens to the "wooden legs" of a piano "“ items manufactured in great amounts,looking totally alike and hence lacking any identity. The destructive effect of Utilitarianism seemingly affected even the spiritual aspect of life. The picture is made more complete by the addition of description of the streets "“ "very like one another" and the final stroke of the brush is Dickens' epithet: "Fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the material aspect of town; fact, fact, fact everywhere in the immaterial" This summarises the Utilitarianism that the town is drenched in "“ everything here serves a material purpose. The need for skilled labour produced the need to educate people. However this education was not for the development of personality, but for the benefit of the whole society. This is why the education that existed in those days adopted an impersonal approach and students were taught in large groups, when a teacher did not even know their names. "Hard Times" deals with Utilitarian education as well. Students are taught to be extremely practical and education is based solely on facts and the Utilitarian principle: right answers must be universally right. The process of memorising as many facts as possible is referred to as "educational cramming" and this is one of the less grotesque metaphors found in this novel. A teacher is compared to a "cannon loaded to the muzzle with facts, and prepared to blow them [the children to be educated] clean out of the regions of childhood". Children have no names and are referred to by index numbers. The most successful products of this system, for example, Bitzer, have a white complexion "“an indication that education has literally stripped them of individuality. A chapter, where this process is described is named "Murdering the Innocents" which refers to replacing the rich personalities of children with cold and impersonal utilitarian attitudes. In his description of the Coketown community, Dickens highlights the fact that it is not a healthy society. The workers have no escape from their problems. People resort to alcohol and drugs; crime is rampant and there is no counseling for these people. The middle class only impose harsher restrictions on them and view them as utilitarian elements, not as people, thus only promoting social problems further. It is important to note that all of the imagery associated with Utilitarianism has negative and often violent connotations. The town itself is associated with a "face of a savage", a teacher is related to a "cannon", the bells of a utilitarian church drive the "sick and nervous mad""¦ There is no comfort in Utilitarianism. Such is the Utilitarian society. Coketown resembles London or any other Northern industrialised town. Dickens also goes on to show the readers the effects of Utilitarianism at a personal level. These utilitarian characters are Thomas Gradgrind and Bounderby. Both are materialists and firmly believe in the superiority of facts to imagination or "idle fancy". Both belong to the middle class. Bounderby shares many features with Adam Smith "“ another Utilitarian. He pushes his ideas forward out of self-interest. He wants to maximise production of his factory and he wants to improve his own life by marrying Louisa. For that, he is ready to sacrifice anything, including what belongs to others. For example, he is afraid that Louisa might be influenced by Sissy Jupe's vibrant imagination and therefore tries to keep the girls apart through depriving Sissy of education, even though she wants it. Bounderby is a gross caricature of Utilitarianism. Bounderby is boastful and selfish. He does not care about the needs of other people. And since he is in power, he is obeyed. Here, Dickens satirises the idea that a society can be regulated by self-interest. Dickens invites his readers to imagine people like Bounderby in power. Thomas Gradgrind is a different matter. He has adopted Utilitarianism because he believed it was in the interests of the people. His is a genuine mistake, as he did not try to advance his own interest by suppressing those of others. He believes that Utilitarianism is the "One Thing Needful" and he does actually seek to help people. He wants to tell Sissy, the girl from a local circus about her father abandoning her, because he believes that knowing the truth is the best option. He does not intend to hurt her feelings. Dickens feels that many people simply abused the theory of Utilitarianism to indulge their egoism. That is why he is more tolerant of cases like that of Gradgrind, who at least acts out of the best motives. In Coketown, women are oppressed by men, because they are perceived as impractical and their work does not benefit the society as much as that of men, as men are physically stronger. Therefore, women have less value in this society. Mrs.Gradgrind has no voice and no opinion of her own. Even physically, she is always ill and subdued, especially by Bounderby. Another woman is Rachael, who is unable to find happiness trapped as she is by the circumstances of Coketown. In this situation she has much in common with the man that she loves: Stephen Blackpool, he too is an oppressed member of the working class, who is first deprived of his emotional comfort and then is forced to leave the town. He is charged with a crime he has never committed, but his voice is not heard "“ it is drowned by young Tom's claims, a voice of the middle class. Stephen Blackpool is the only worker described in details in "Hard Times" and like many other characters in the novel is representative of his class. The workers are referred to as "the Hands" "“ that is, the Utilitarian society is only interested in their ability to work Workers are described "clattering" home and this reminds of machinery, which has become a part of them. Stephen's own "iron-grey" hair is associated with the Industrial Revolution, which made heavy use of iron. His hair is colourless "“ his personality was replaced and destroyed by machinery and utilitarianism. Indeed, life had "its roses and thorns" "“ the Industrial Revolution and the Utilitarianism had their benefits and disadvantages. But, as said in the novel, someone else "“ particularly the employers of the middle class - possessed the "roses" "“ the benefits "“ the workers too were supposed to receive. Dickens accuses Utilitarianism of being responsible for the social malaise; the destruction of personality; for robbing people of probably the only real valuable thing they have "“ their individuality; for oppressing the women and the working class; and finally of depriving the children of a special stage of their life "“ their childhood. Dickens feels that Utilitarianism is wrong. At the end of the novel, all of the Utilitarian characters suffer a crisis. However, the unselfish ones are rescued by people who have preserved their humanity amidst all the destruction and violence. Sissy Jupe, a healer which is symbolised by the bottle of "nine oils" she carries with her helps Louisa, the daughter of Mr.Gradgrind, to live through her crisis. This is Dickens' way of showing that Utilitarianism tends to blow up and explode like a "balloon" "“ another image associated with the boastful and self-important Bounderby, whose domination over the others burst like a balloon, when his true origins are revealed. Dickens shows his readers that Utilitarianism is based on unsound principles, which might get a person to the top, but will not keep him there. Perhaps, he is trying to predict a crisis of the utilitarian society, but his book seems to work more on personal level. The fact that humanity rescues the 'lost' people shows, that there is "Another Thing Needful" in this society. The society needs an understanding of human feelings. According to Dickens. The Victorian society needs to recognise the significance of human emotion. This philosophy is put simply through the words of Sleary, the master of the circus "“ "people must be amuthed". Materialism and practicality are impractical in the long run after all. Concluding Remarks: Is the Utilitarian nature of 'Hard Times' relevant to Asian Society today? Dickens lived through an era of great social change. He witnessed urbanisation, the improvement in transport and communications and he saw the industrial changes that transformed manufacturing processes. There is a striking similarity between the society described in "Hard Times" and today's modern Asian society; in the way that both are examples of rapidly changing societies. Both societies are centred on revolutionary change. In the case of "Hard Times" it was the industrialisation associated with coal and iron: in today's Asia the driving force is the I.T. Revolution and globalisation. As the Industrial Revolution was triggered and later symbolised by the steam engine, the I.T Revolution is the result of the invention and application of the microchip. Although the Industrial Revolution is defined only as a process of rapid mechanisation of production, it had far-reaching social implications. Railways gave people more mobility and at the same time helped to unite the different parts of the country and ptomote a sense of national identity. Factories were responsible for the formation of a new social class "“ the workers. Likewise, in the case of I.T. revolution new jobs have been created instead of the old ones that have been made obsolete by technology. For example, the software for tuning a piano converts a process that traditionally took three hours into one that takes twenty minutes. There is software for payrolls, for inventory control, for delivery schedules, and for all the other routine processes of a business. Now, people that are able to program this software are in demand, just like in the days of the Industrial Revolution when people who made the machines work were in great demand and those whose work could be done by the machines became outdated. The building of the railways in the era of the Industrial Revolution caused the world to shrink. In the modern world the Information highways brought about by the I.T. Revolution that led to globalisation has almost erased national borders, but the question remains "“ Who benefits from all these changes? Has modern Asian society developed a conscience? Or are the same problems still evident that Dickens recognized in his attack on Utilitarianism? The same problems are still there, but the scope has changed as the exploitation now occurs not on a class basis within one country, but rather between international boundaries through multi-national companies. The Industrial Revolution worsened the living conditions of the poorer groups of people, compared to those of the middle class "“ that is, the rich-poor gap increased. The I.T. Revolution works more on a more global level, with the rich-poor gap now being measured in international terms. This is unfortunate if you are not a wealthy country as poorer countries have become in relative terms even poorer as they do not have the technological base from which the exponential growth takes place. Families in the third world are still forced to endure harsh conditions in countries that are heavily dependent on child labour. There is little difference between the exploitation of Stephen Blackpool and the employees of large multi national companies that pay low wages in Pakistan and Indonesia to keep wage costs down. Thus, in a way "Hard Times" is applicable in this context. The developed countries are the prospering middle class and the developing ones are the exploited working class who carries out all dangerous and harmful production for minimal financial reward. 'Hard Times' is a novel that has Utilitarianism at its heart and it serves as an amusing and poignant satire of the social conditions that the Industrial Revolution brought about. There are lessons that can be learned that we would still do well to heed today.   

Historical Background The late 18th and early 19th centuries were an era of great change in Europe. The Industrial revolution happened in many countries, but was initially focused on Britain. The Industrial Revolution centered on the production of iron and the steam engine. Later, railways and increasingly mechanized forms...

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1 Summary of Character Traits a...1 Summary of Character Traits a School smart Maya is smart. When she moves to San Francisco from Stamps, Arkansas, she is skipped a grade. b Caring sister she always talks of her devotion to Baily c Determined she wants to get a job with the streetcar company and she keeps bugging them until they finally give her a job d Proud she lives with the junkyard kids instead of going back to her father's; she slaps Dolores for calling her mother a whore 2 Appearance a African American, tall, skinny, small and squinty eyes, big feet, large gap between her front teeth, black hair 3 What The Character Wants a Maya wants, ultimately, for her family to be happy. She wants the segregation of blacks to end she is disgusted when young white girls call her grandmother by her first name. 4 How the Character Changes a After being raped, Maya stops talking as much b After spending time living in the junkyard, Maya learns tolerance, which will help her through out her life. She matures from a young girl to a mother, as well. c Becomes more mature once she gets her job with the street cars 5 Key Statements About the Character a "Ritie, don't worry 'cause you ain't pretty. Plenty of pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than a cute behind." p.56 b "In those moments I decided that although Baily loved me he couldn't help. "¦ I knew that because I loved him so much I could never hurt him" p. 73 6 Key Actions a Father comes to Stamps and takes them to their mother b Moves back to Stamps, then to SF c Drives home from Mexico d Slaps Dolores e Stays with the junkyard people f Gets pregnant 7 What Others Think Of the Character a When they are younger, Baily really looks out for Maya. As they grow up, and after she spends time with her father, they drift apart. b Her grandmother loves Maya very much, and knows that she is a very smart girl with a lot of potential. c Her mother seems to care much more about her than her father did. Thesis Statement: Maya Angelou faces many hardships, yet manages to overcome them all, in her autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Maya Angelou faces many hardships, yet manages to overcome them all, in her autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Maya is a strong willed, often stubborn, outgoing, somewhat outspoken, and rather intelligent girl. She becomes very tolerant due to some of her experiences. She also matures faster mentally than many other girls her age because of her situation and experiences. From the time she was young and through adolescence, Maya considered herself ugly. She was a tall, somewhat lanky African American. She was skinny, and felt that her eyes were too small and squinty. She was also ashamed of her large feet. Throughout the story, Maya is discouraged by the segregation of the blacks. For a long time she is denied the job that she wishes to have because of the color of her skin. Also, she wants her family to be together and to be happy. She is separated from her parents at a young age and lives with her grandmother and uncle for most of her childhood. When she is with her parents, she tends to feel secondary. There is always something a touch more important that she and her brother Baily. Maya Angelou faces many hardships, yet manages to overcome them all, in her autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." When the book begins, Angelou is a young child, a mere three years old. As she grows up, though somewhat sheltered by her grandmother's position as a general store owner, her eyes are opened to the current ways of the South. Blacks are lesser people that whites, and that was the way it was for her. On several occasions she watched in horror as young girls called her grandmother by her first name, when they should have been respectful and at lease used "Miss". Once breaking the segregation barrier for herself, she gets a job with the Streetcar Company. Having a job, and the responsibility that comes with it, she mentally matures faster than the other children her age. While living with her mother the first time, Maya is molested by her mother's boyfriend. After this, she becomes almost completely silent. She avoids talking as much as possible, which is a contrast to her previous behavior. Maya spends time living with other children in a junkyard after her father asks her to leave. He asks her to leave because she and his girlfriend, Dolores, get into a fight and Dolores hurts Maya. After spending time with those children, she learns tolerance and matures more. Also, after becoming pregnant and realizing that she is responsible for another human life, she matures even more and becomes more responsible. Maya and her brother Baily were very close during their childhood and most of their adolescence. Baily was always proud of Maya for her intelligence, even though at times she wished she could have forfeited it for good looks. Baily expresses his pride by saying, "[Maya], don't worry 'cause you ain"t pretty. Plenty of pretty women I seen digging ditches or worse. You smart. I swear to God, I rather you have a good mind than cute behind." p. 56 After being raped, Maya wishes to protect her brother. She doesn't want anything to happen to him because, according to her, she isn't as good of a person as she should be. Through out her life, Maya looks out for Baily and does what she can to protect him. After spending time in the hospital after her abuse, Maya resolves not to reveal the entire truth of what happened between her and her mother's boyfriend. In those moments I decided that although Baily loved me he couldn't help. "¦I knew that because I loved him so much I could never hurt him." p. 73 Maya is reluctant to go when her father comes to Stamps to take her and Baily to their mother. After living with her mother for a short time, Maya returns to Stamps. Later after that, she moves back with her mother, in San Francisco this time. At one point, while visiting her father, she goes to Mexico with him. He gets drunk at a bar, and is out of commission, so Maya drives to the border, where she gets in a car accident, and her father is woken up. After the horrendous trip to Mexico, Maya and her father return home to find his girlfriend enraged. In an outburst, the girlfriend calls Maya's mother a whore. Maya slaps her, which provokes Dolores, the girlfriend, to attack her. After that situation, Maya goes and lives with children in a junkyard. After living in the junkyard, she returns home to her mother. Later on after that, she gets pregnant. Although Maya is younger than he is, Baily admires his sister for her academic abilities, among other things. Maya's grandmother loves her very much. She instills in her strong beliefs and good morals. She knows Maya is a very smart girl and does the best she can to work Maya to her full potential. Maya's mother spends more time with her than her father does. Although both parents love her, the love of her mother is more apparent. It is her hope that the segregation will end, and the black people will be equal to the white race. The way in which Angelou portrays her life makes the reader feel pity at times, for the way Maya and her family is treated, rage at other when Maya acts badly, and joy when good things happen for their family.   

1 Summary of Character Traits a School smart Maya is smart. When she moves to San Francisco from Stamps, Arkansas, she is skipped a grade. b Caring sister she always talks of her devotion to Baily c Determined she wants to get a job with the streetcar company and she...

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Hamlet is launched extremely well because...Hamlet is launched extremely well because there is no long drawn out introduction to the plot. The story begins almost immediately with a brief yet concise 5-scene Act entailing the state of affairs within the Court of Denmark. Each scene contributes to the overall exposition significantly and Act 1 effectively captures the interest of the audience, introduces the key characters, establishes the conflicts and creates and maintains the dominant atmosphere of the play. In Act 1 "“ Scene 1, the audience is instantly shocked into interest by the exchange of short, sharp speeches between the very nervous sentries of the castle. What follows is the audience's discovery of the frequenting appearance of a Ghost and the sentries' plans to have Horatio, a scholar, attempt to communicate with it. The setting for this scene is atop a castle, resting upon cliffs high above the ocean. It is midnight, creating a more sinister atmosphere, apt for following story and the medieval time period to which it is set. When the ghost finally appears to Horatio and the others, the audience discovers through their inferences that the ghost has a strong likeness to the late King Hamlet of Denmark. The conversation that follows gives the audience a brief understanding of the current situation in Denmark, involving the details of preparations for war and revelations of conflict with Fortinbras of Norway. Scene 1 therefore serves as part of a good exposition in that it: Captures the interest of the audience with the short stabs of nervous speech between the sentries, It introduces the characters of the Ghost, the sentries Marcellus, Barnardo, Francesco and Horatio, It establishes the situation with Fortinbras and the appearances of the mysterious Ghost as points of interest and future conflict, And it contributes through mood and setting to the dominant atmosphere of tragedy within the play. Scene 2 jumps to within the castle, where the court mourning for King Hamlet has seemingly just finished and the newly appointed King Claudius is apparently making his first address to his nobility. During this gallant speech, the audience becomes informed that Claudius has married Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, rather hastily after King Hamlet's death "“ attention is then drawn to Hamlet, still in deep mourning for his father. He drifts into a soliloquy where he contemplates the act of suicide rather than go on under these "difficult" conditions. After Horatio, backed by 2 others, describe the ghost they have seen to him, Hamlet drifts into another soliloquy where he this time he briefly voices that since his father's spirit has come in armour "“ there has been some foul play. Scene 2 therefore serves as part of a good exposition in that it: Captures the interest of the audience with new characters throwing light on the situation in Denmark as well as on Hamlet himself - making the audience yearn for more information about what is going on, especially at the close of the scene where Hamlet comes to the conclusion that there is something suspicious about, It introduces new and important characters such as Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, Laertes and Hamlet and provides a brief look at their outer personalities, It provides more insight into the conflict hints at the underlying conflict between Hamlet and the newly married couple as well as the conflict within Hamlet himself, And it contributes to the dominant tragic atmosphere mainly due to Hamlet's soliloquies which provide insights into the workings of his mind and hint at his imminent, tragic demise. Scene 3 brings the audience into the midst of a seemingly "typical" family of the Court of Denmark, being Polonius' family. This scene introduces Ophelia and brings notice of the love affair between her and Hamlet to the audience. It also shows the running of this family environment, where Polonius and Laertes give constant, stern "advice" to Ophelia who remains ever so obedient. The setting provides much needed relief and contrast to the mystery and extreme seriousness of the first 2 scenes. Scene 3 can be said to serve as part of a good exposition in that it: Captures the attention of the audience with their realisation that Polonius and Laertes are not who they appear to be to the court "“ in fact they both are vain, domineering and arrogant men which raises the question of who in the play is really being ""¦true to thyself", It introduces the character of Ophelia who is a sweet and innocent young girl of interest to Hamlet, It surfaces the conflict between Ophelia and Polonius/Laertes as well as their negative underlying sentiments of Hamlet, And it contributes to the dominant tragic atmosphere with the revelations that Hamlet's "friend" Laertes as well as his supposed love interest Ophelia aren't entirely true to him leading to questioning of who is loyal to Hamlet? and what is going to happen to him? Scene 4 takes the audience back to the setting of scene 1, where this time Horatio and Marcellus wait with Hamlet for the appearance of the ghost. When it appears, Hamlet is startled at first, but soon composes himself and follows the ghost to learn of what it knows and hear what it has to say. Marcellus gives the famous remark "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" to virtually close the scene. This scene, although rather brief, serves well as part of a good exposition in terms of captivating the audience within the story. The main purpose of the scene is to create the necessary suspense leading up to the ghost's astonishing message. The tragic atmosphere is built-up with the underlying impression of gloom and doom about, due to the presence of the ghost and its mysterious message. There are no characters to introduce in the scene, nor new lines of conflict to mention. This leaves the scene's aims to merely be to capture the audience's attention and to contribute to the dominant tragic atmosphere of the play, both of which are successfully achieved in the scene. Scene 5 is the key scene of the plot. You would deduce that all of Hamlets subsequent actions in the rest of the play stem from this scene. The ghost signifies sufficiently to Hamlet that it is his father. It then clearly announces the guilt of Claudius in his death and in marrying his wife "“ Claudius having murdering his own brother thus obtaining the crown and Gertrude. The ghost describes how the murder was performed and implies a plan for revenge to Hamlet involving the feigning of insanity. This scene serves as part of a good exposition in that it deeply captures the attention of the audience with the stunning revelations of Claudius' deceit and betrayal of his own blood. The conformation that the ghost is Hamlet's father is what first grabs the audience's attention. The exposé that follows ensures their captivation within the plot. The scene establishes the impending conflict that will occur between Hamlet and Claudius later on in the play, due to the light that the ghost has just thrown upon Claudius' integrity. The scene contributes to the dominant tragic atmosphere in that there is the realisation that seeing as Hamlet is now on a quest for revenge, there is only one way in which it can end "“ death, which is tragic in itself, but made out to be more so in the play. Act 1 effectively captures the interest of the audience, introduces the key characters, establishes the conflicts and creates and maintains the dominant atmosphere of the play. Each of the 5 scenes contribute significantly to the overall exposition which launches the play extremely well.   

Hamlet is launched extremely well because there is no long drawn out introduction to the plot. The story begins almost immediately with a brief yet concise 5-scene Act entailing the state of affairs within the Court of Denmark. Each scene contributes to the overall exposition significantly and Act 1 effectively...

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