09 Oct 2011

Sample Essay: The Handkerchief: A "Napkin" of Many Meaning

The handkerchief plays an important role in Shakespeare’s play “Othello”. It is Othello’s first gift to Desdemona and hence it is much cherished by Desdemona as a token of his love (3.3.1). Iago with the intention of making Othello doubt his wife’s chastity plans to steal the handkerchief from Desdemona through his wife.  Iago is aware of the sentimental value of the handkerchief and its symbolic value to Othello who considers it to be a symbol of Desdemona’s fidelity.  He therefore uses it to manipulate Othello’s mind so much so that when Othello sees the handkerchief in Cassio’s possession he is totally convinced that Desdemona had been unfaithful to him. This shattering of his trust in Desdemona leads ultimately to the tragic deaths of Othello and Desdemona. The handkerchief holds the plot of the play together. Every character that comes to hold the handkerchief at some point is affected by its power. From this angle, the handkerchief may be seen as an instrument of fate – one that has the evil power to cause destruction to lovers.  Iago used it to carry out his diabolic plans but ultimately there is poetic justice in it when it finally becomes tangible proof of Iago’s guilt.  The handkerchief has a multifaceted role in the play “Othello”; it is a token of love, an indicator of character, a test of relationships, the key factor to the ending of the play and a symbol of major ideas in the play.

The handkerchief is white in color and has red strawberries hand stitched on them and Othello describes to Desdemona that they thread had been dyed with blood from “maidens’ hearts” (3.4.10). This shows that in the eyes of Othello, the handkerchief is symbolic of the white wedding sheet that is stained with a virgin’s blood.  As Othello’s gift to Desdemona, the handkerchief becomes a mark of her chastity and when Desdemona loses the handkerchief, Othello feels that she has lost her chastity.  The handkerchief also has historical meaning to Othello. He confides to Desdemona that the handkerchief was given by an Egyptian “charmer” to his mother in order to keep his father “faithful” and under her spell (3.4.9).  This endows the handkerchief with magical qualities and greater significance. By linking the handkerchief to the chastity of Desdemona, Othello interprets the loss of the handkerchief as conclusive proof of Desdemona’s adultery.

Iago plants strong suspicious in Othello’s mind about Desdemona and it is in this frame of mind that Othello goes for having dinner with Desdemona. Desdemona senses his tension and asks what is wrong. Othello responds that he has a headache at which Desdemona takes out her handkerchief to wrap around his head. Othello is irritated and remarks: “Your napkin is too little: / Let it alone. Come, I’ll go in with you” (3.3.287-288), and rushes out of the room, followed by Desdemona, during which period, the handkerchief drops down. Emilia, noticing the handkerchief falling, picks it up as she knows it is very precious to Desdemona. She knows its Othello’s first gift to Desdemona and that she always kept it with her “To kiss and talk to” (3.3.296). She also confesses: “My wayward husband hath a hundred times / Woo’d me to steal it” (3.3.292-293). Iago appears and she spontaneously tells him that she has found Desdemona’s handkerchief. Iago snatches it from her ignoring her protests and moves away with the handkerchief.

Talking aloud to himself, Iago says that he plans to drop the handkerchief in Cassio’s vicinity so that he would pick it up. When the handkerchief is in Cassio’s possession it would be easy for him to convince Othello that Desdemona has an affair with Cassio. Iago is sure the small napkin is weighty enough to be a proof of Desdemona’s adultery because “Trifles light as air / Are to the jealous confirmations strong / As proofs of holy writ” (3.3.322-324). He later goes to Othello and reminds him of the handkerchief, adding that he saw Cassio wipe his beard with that very handkerchief. By this time, Othello has been blinded by jealousy due to Iago’s constant comments against Desdemona so much so he believes Iago’s blatant lies. Here the handkerchief exposes the weakness of mind of Othello who is easily swayed by jealousy and also brings to fore his basic insecurities.

Desdemona searches for the handkerchief and asks Emilia “Where should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?” (3.4.23). Emilia now lies to her that she does not know where it is though she knows that Iago has it.  Desdemona feels guilty about losing the handkerchief, but in her mind she thinks that Othello would not be base enough to judge her character based on the loss of the handkerchief. She is happy to think that “my noble Moor / Is true of mind and made of no such baseness / As jealous creatures are,” because otherwise the loss of the handkerchief might be “enough / To put him to ill thinking” (3.2.26-29). This shows Desdemona’s trust in Othello.

However, Othello is already into ill thinking and he checks out Desdemona directly asking her for the handkerchief. When Desdemona reveals that she has lost it, Othello is furious He says that it was given to his mother by an Egyptian charmer with prophetic powers.  The handkerchief had magical powers and that “if she lost it / Or made gift of it, my father’s eye / Should hold her loathed” (3.4.60-62). Othello also says “‘Tis true: there’s magic in the web of it” (3.4.69).  He further reveals that the silk was taken from silk worms and “it was dyed in mummy which the skilful / Conserved of maidens’ hearts” (3.4.74-75). Desdemona becomes alarmed and says that she wishes she had never seen it: “Then would to God that I had never seen’t!” (3.4.77). This makes Othello very mad and he soon shouts at Desdemona asking her if she had lost the handkerchief or misplaced it. In fear, Desdemona lies and says “It is not lost; but what an if it were?” (3.4.83). This convinces Othello that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio and this conviction makes him enter into a tempestuous exchange of words with Desdemona before he storms out of the room. Desdemona is shocked to see his behavior and wonders if there must be some magical powers in the handkerchief: “Sure, there’s some wonder in this handkerchief: / I am most unhappy in the loss of it” (3.4.101-102).

Cassio who had picked up the handkerchief planted by Iago gives it to his prostitute girlfriend Bianca to copy it. She is filled with jealousy to see that handkerchief and loathes the sight of it. Cassio explains that he found the handkerchief in his chambers and that there is no need for Bianca to be jealous over it. Later Iago continues his evil work of poisoning Othello’s mind over the lost handkerchief of Desdemona: “So they do nothing, ’tis a venial slip; / But if I give my wife a handkerchief –“(4.1.9-10). He directs Othello’s thought process in a subtle manner. Iago pretends to be unaware of the significance of the handkerchief and remarks that Desdemona is free to give it to any man. Othello asks: “She is protectress of her honour too: / May she give that?” (4.1.14-15), to which Iago says that her honor cannot be seen but only through her handkerchief.  Iago brings the focus of Othello on the handkerchief repeatedly so that he would link it with Desdemona’s chastity, until finally the totally deluded Othello says: “Lie with her! lie on her! We say lie on her, when they belie her. Lie with her! that’s fulsome. — Handkerchief — confessions — handkerchief!” (4.1.35-38). Othello happens to see Bianca give back the handkerchief to Cassio with jealousy tinged words such as: “There; give it your hobby-horse: wheresoever you had it, I’ll take out no work on’t” (4.1.154-155).  Iago uses the situation to poison Othello further – “Yours by this hand: and to see how he prizes the foolish woman your wife! she gave it him, and he hath given it his whore” (4.1.175-177). Othello kills Cassio.

Othello wants to kill Desdemona and before killing her he accuses her of having an affair with Cassio: “That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee / Thou gavest to Cassio” (5.2.48-49). Desdemona denies this accusation, but Othello is in no mind to listen and kills her. Emilia realizes that Iago is behind everything and accuses him of lying. Othello talks to himself and reveals that he had seen in Cassio’s hands “a handkerchief, an antique token / My father gave my mother” (5.2.210-217). Emilia blurts out: “O thou dull [stupid] Moor! that handkerchief thou speak’st of / I found by fortune [chance] and did give my husband” (5.2.225-226). She adds, “For often, with a solemn earnestness, / More than indeed belong’d to such a trifle, / He begg’d of me to steal it” (5.2.227-229). Emilia calls the handkerchief “a trifle” thereby suggesting that it’s of small significance and nothing worth killing over. Iago kills his wife for telling the truth.  Othello later confronts Cassio directly about the handkerchief to which Cassio replies that he found it in his room and that it was planted there by Iago. Othello realizes that he has made a grave mistake of interpreting the presence of the handkerchief in Cassio’s hands as a sign of adultery and he kills himself.

Thus one finds that the handkerchief is used by Iago to corrupt the mind of Othello and tarnish the character of Desdemona. It reveals the deceptions of the characters in the play – Iago seems honest and isn’t. Othello does not seem jealous but is.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William (1886). Othello. J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia

30 Aug 2011

Sample Essay: Women and Feminism in America Since 1877

The present study attempts to trace the struggle of women in American society post 1877.It aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the different feminist movements vis a vis the political developments.

In the nineteenth century, the ideological ascendancy of science and medicine joined the spread of industrialization to promote the ‘sexual division of labor’ based on the assumption that ‘biology is destiny’. Women’s fixed role as caregivers was ideologically determined by their biological capacity to bear children. Associated with that biological capacity was a host of psychological attributes — passivity, dependence, moodiness — which further reinforced a growing emphasis on the gendered separation of the domestic and the public spheres. The qualities requisite to economic or political success were linked to biologically based notions of masculinity and femininity, according to which men’s bodies and minds are naturally suited to positions of power and women’s are naturally suited to positions of subordination. While the resistance to this view of sexual difference varies historically and culturally, it is against this backdrop that modern and contemporary feminism must be understood.

Not surprisingly, feminism often consolidates into a political movement as a result of women’s participation in other radical, reformist, or revolutionary activities.

Equality Through Difference

During the Victorian era, there was a model of womanhood founded on ideals of domesticity. This model, True Womanhood, rarely held true for real women, but it nevertheless effected women’s lives. Women, particularly white middle-class women, often lived at least partially conforming to True Womanhood. They generally stayed in the home to devote themselves to their family, allowing their husbands to fulfill the male role of breadwinner. They remained sexually pure and devotedly religious. An important part of living this ideal was not interfering with men’s public affairs, remaining untainted from public life.

Throughout the 1850’s, women continued to meet in conventions and less formal gatherings to discuss their economic, educational, political, legal, and familial rights. The women, who were mostly white and middle class, participated in a broad spectrum of protest movements, fighting against alcohol and slavery, and for the rights of immigrants and the poor. All of these movements gave women the opportunity to develop and sharpen organizational and ideological skills. However, women were often discouraged or even barred from holding positions of power equal to those of their male counterparts. Thus, women began to focus more and more on their own status in America.

Works Cited

1. Boris, Eileen “Black and White Women Bring the Power of Motherhood to Politics,” in Mary Beth Norton and Ruth M. Alexander Major Problems in American Women’s History. Lexington: D.C. Heath and Company, 1996.

2. Cott, Nancy Bonds of Womanhood: “Women’s Sphere” in New England 1780-1835. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.

Women and the American Civil War

When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, women turned their attention, and their considerable energy, to the conflict. In both the North and the South, women gathered in aid societies, circulated petitions, and, at home, took over the masculine duties of running the household. (i) While these activities kept the women at home busy, many women wanted to support their causes closer to the battlefield.

Rather than face low-paying, grueling factory work or even prostitution, poorer women followed their husbands, brothers or fathers to camp. Slave women also found protection in camps. These women, in particular, were vulnerable to the horrors of war, often forced to protect themselves and their children from Confederate raiders who might rape, kill, or capture them. Escaping to a Union camp was often their most promising option. (ii)

Many of the poor and middle-class women who joined the troops worked as nurses, or even as soldiers. Throughout the war, about 10,000 women served as nurses on either the Confederate or the Union side. (iii) Smaller numbers of zealous women enlisted with the troops, disguised as men. Cautious estimates place approximately 250 Confederate and 400 Union female soldiers on the battlefields. (iv)

For both the nurses and the female soldiers, their jobs required forgoing the modesty and innocence attributed to white women at the time of the Civil War. No illusions of feminine weakness could be sustained in the face of the day-to-day hardships of war. There existed, however, yet another option for patriotic women who wanted to work for their cause — spying. This option could allow a woman to not only maintain her femininity, but also greatly capitalize on it.

The American Civil War dramatically altered the roles women played in American society, if only temporarily. Gender roles became malleable as even white, middle-class women stepped out, or were forced out, of their traditional private sphere. At home, they took over the duties of running the household previously performed by their husbands. On the battlefront, they bandaged wounds or fought side by side with men. Somewhere in between, one particular woman enchanted men with her femininity, bewitchingly betrayed them, and consoled herself that “All was fair in love and war.” (v)

Endnotes

i. Sara M. Evans Born for Liberty. (New York: Free Press Paperbacks, 1997) p.117.
ii. ibid., p.113.
iii. Linda Grant DePauw Battle Cries and Lullabies, Women in War from Prehistory to the Present. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998) p.156.
iv. ibid., p.151..
v. ibid., p.216.

Three main feminist movements: 1870s-1919

From the 1870s until World War I, many feminists became more conservative in their views and goals. They were divided into three major groups of reformers:

1. The Suffragists

After 1870, suffragists focused on winning for women the right to vote. Their arguments were slightly different than those of suffragists before the Civil War. Early reformers had argued that women, as human-beings, had a natural right to vote. From the 1870s on, however, suffragists took their cues from the Cult of True Womanhood and argued that women were different and, in some cases, better than men. Women, for example, were more noble, more spiritual, and truer of heart then men. Granting women the right to vote, they argued, would help purify political corruption in the United States.

2. The Social Feminists

Social feminists agreed with the suffragists that women should get the vote, but dedicated themselves to social reforms other than suffrage. Prominent social feminists were often leaders of the settlement movement, such as Jane Addams and Florence Kelley. Florence Kelley (1859-1932) was a prominent feminist and social reformer. Part of that generation of women who first gained access to higher education, Kelley graduated from Cornell University in 1882. However, like many women graduates of her time, she had difficulty finding work that was worth her talents. She went to Europe, studied law and government in Zurich, and translated major works of Marx and Engels into English. In 1891, she joined Jane Addams at Hull House. From 1898 until 1932, Kelley served as the head of the National Consumers’ League (NCL), a lobbying group for the rights of working women and children.

In addition to the NCL, there were a host of other reform organizations headed by women: the Woman’s Trade Union League, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the National Council of Colored Women. These groups saw the state as a potentially beneficial agent of social welfare.

The new generation of social feminists were more conservative, but also more pragmatic. In 1890, these new feminists reunited the squabbling AWSA and NWSA and formed the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). NAWSA was led from 1900 to 1904 and again from 1915 to 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947). Catt was born in Ripon, in the great state of Wisconsin, went to school in Iowa, and worked for women’s suffrage, eventually becoming a close colleague of Susan B. Anthony. Catt believed it was a woman’s natural right to participate in politics, and also wanted women to have the vote in order to reform society. Catt reasoned that if women had political power, they could not only improve life for themselves and for their children, but have influence over more global issues such as world peace. Catt founded the League of Women Voters in 1920.

3. The Radical Feminists

Radical feminists offered a much stronger critique of American society, economics, and politics. The most prominent radical feminist was Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), a sociologist, author, lecturer, and self-proclaimed socialist. In 1898, Gilman achieved international fame with her book, Women and Economics: The Economic Factor between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution, a condemnation of the Cult of True Womanhood. Her chief arguments in the book were quite radical for America at the turn of the century. She argued that:

Common humanity shared by men and women was far more important than sexual differences

Social environment, not biology, determined the roles of men and women in society

In an industrial society, women would be released from the home, enabled to make a broad human contribution rather than a narrow feminine contribution to society

Alice Paul, who organized the Woman’s Party in the 1910s and introduced the first Equal Rights Amendment in 1916, represented the other facet of radical feminism. The campaign for the ERA during the 1910s was so radical that most social feminists rejected it out of fear that the proposed constitutional amendment would endanger protective legislation for women. As a result, the campaign for the ERA remained a minority movement within feminism.

The Nineteenth Amendment

In addition to the ERA, another point of division among various feminist groups was World War I. Jane Addams and other social feminists were vocal pacifists who opposed Wilson’s decision to enter the war. Hard-core suffragists, led by Carrie Chapman Catt, endorsed Wilson’s decision, with the understanding that Wilson would support women’s suffrage at war’s end. After the war came to a close, Wilson pointed to women’s loyalty in the war effort and urged Congress to pass the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

One thing was obvious to everyone: In the course of the century the United States had undergone a profound transformation. From an agrarian nation of independent settlers it had changed into a largely urban and industrial society with millions of new poor immigrants and vast social problems. The subjection and disenfranchisement of women only added to these problems, because it made their solution more difficult. Other nations which experienced similar pressures finally took corrective action. New Zealand gave women the vote in 1893, Finland in 1906. The First World War produced social upheavals in Europe and secured the vote for women in the Netherlands and the Soviet Union (1917) and, to a limited extent, in Great Britain (1918). Germany followed suit in 1919. Under the circumstances, the lack of women’s suffrage in the United States became an embarrassment. Therefore, in 1920, the country finally adopted the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution granting the right to vote to women. A struggle of over seventy years had finally been won.

Feminism in the 1920s

Still, as feminists well knew, this victory was hardly enough, since sexual discrimination continued in many other subtle and not so subtle ways. Unequal pay for equal work, exclusion from influential positions, and innumerable specific legal restrictions denied women equal opportunities in American life. The economic exploitation of women was far from over. The feminist movement supported welfare legislation for maternity and infant care, birth control, stricter labor laws, and government regulation of business. This led to a vicious “red smear” attack by the established powers which denounced feminists as “bolshevik dupes” and “communist conspirators” and accused them of “undermining the family”. Primitive and transparent as they were, these smear tactics proved nevertheless to be very successful. Many “respectable” middle-class women were frightened away from the movement and dissuaded from defending their interests.

In the 1920s, the women’s rights movement practically died down. This was due, in part, to the achievement of the goal of suffrage, but also because of a general retreat from activism in post-WWI America. Feminists of the time made three discoveries:

Women did not vote as a bloc; there was no such thing as the “women’s” vote

The struggle for suffrage no longer united disparate elements of the feminist movement

Younger women were less interested in reform and more interested in rebelling against social conventions

To put it simply, the daughters of the early feminists were more interested in smoking, drinking, going without corsets, bobbing their hair, reading daring literature, and dancing the Charleston. They were enjoying new economic and sexual freedoms in the prosperous years that immediately followed World War I. The technological and economic boom that fueled a higher standard of living for many Americans is a crucially important reason for that.

27 Aug 2011

Essay Topic: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

‘Death of a Salesman’ is the complete life history of Willy Loman, who was a salesman by profession living in Brooklyn. The presentation style of the author ‘Arthur Miller’ is so rich that the whole play gives an impression of playing live before our eyes. The whole story revolves around Willy Loman and his family, which includes his wife ‘Linda’ and his two sons ‘Biff Loman and Happy Loman’. The general perception about this play is that it is a tragic piece of literature; however, the comprehensive analysis of this play imparts a different approach because the theory of Willy Loman about gaining success for happily living was quite fussy and rusty in its nature. His stumbling nature made him resistant to adopt the flexible philosophy of life for coping with the modern social world and his dogmatism eventually leaded him to take a suicide like coward step, in spite of his caring wife. The moral of the story is that egoism and stubbornness never leads to success.
The author has concluded that Willy’s character cannot be quoted as a tragic hero because tragedy requires some incidents or natural flaws incurred to the tragic heroes. Bradford also appreciates the attempt to become a tragic hero but also criticizes the senile attitude of Willy. Though Arthur Miller has endorsed the same notions and philosophies in this play but it will be still difficult to decide as the author has shown concerns about that at the end of this review analysis. Arthur Miller seems to describe the vagueness of typical American society. At the same time, the main character ‘Willy’ gives different outlook as in the other plays. Willy stands for the American dreamy world and also reflects the real issues that the Americans are facing due to illusionistic ideas. In other words, the protagonist of this play was living in a dreamy world and was obsessed with obnoxious anti-Marxist ideas. The major rationale behind his failure of life was his unrealistic philosophy of life that contributed mainly for compelling him for suicide. Willy was highly obsessed with the concepts of conservatism and arrogance. His egoism and erroneousness has leaded him to make multiple suicidal attempts and finally, he succeeded in killing himself. His whole life, as sketched by Arthur Miller, described his inflexible nature towards the changing societal values and also shows his typical nature as is usually of an American middleman. Hence, he should have more pragmatic approach to gain access to his dreams and to compete with modern societal challenges (Bradford, About.com).
‘Death of a Salesman’ is composed of three main sections that are Act I, Act II and Requiem. The play starts with Act I, which includes also the opening scene of the play presenting the true picture of a middle-class American, named Willy Loman, who was a resident of Brooklyn in the New York City and was a sixty three year old traveling salesman. After a non-productive routine official tour, his wife ‘Linda’ shows her deep concerns on his tiresome facial expressions, which denotes her supportive nature for her husband. At this point, the author, Arthur Miller, seems to be well-acquainted with strong matrimonial emotions. Willy’s today was completely different from his hopes and dreams that were not atypical from the middle-class American dream. Willy’s two sons, Biff and Happy, were also back to his home at that day. Willy criticized Biff on coming back to home after such a long period of 15 years with no cash in hand. On the other side, these two brothers found their father as an absent-minded person in his old age. They also ridiculed their father in a sense that he could not cope with societal changes (Bradford, About.com).
Willy has displayed arrogant and obstinate nature throughout his whole life. The lack of parenting skills has also produced flaws in his personality that has been presented by author at various scenes of the play. While, taking Willy back to his past, the author described his unethical parental coaching to his son on his act of stealing a football because he did not react to him in an expected manner. The author has also described the romantic nature of Willy, when the love-affair of Willy was described during a scene of the play. These all thoughts of Willy were disturbed, when his neighbor, Bernard, complained about the educational illness of Biff on which Willy got short-tempered and started searching for Biff with intensive aggravation and this scene was also the closure of flashback (Bradford, About.com).
In another scene, the author has described the ideal of Willy who was Willy’s own rich brother, named Ben. Ben used to extract diamond in the jungles of Africa and Willy also remembered his proposal to join him in this venture, but Willy did not accept his proposal. Here, Miller has again indicated his egoistic nature. Retaining the same depressive emotions, Willy started to daunt Happy for his obsessed thinking. In the mean time, his next-door neighbor Charlie came into his home who was an owner of a sales-firm. During playing cards, Charlie offered him to join his firm, but he again declined here and even insulted him. His nature of conservatism and arrogance leaded him to his failure and eventually to suicide. Here, Willy has idolized his father also to an extent, assuming that he was a rich and successful man (Bradford, About.com).
Biff was quite confused to see his father’s awkward attitude and also queried her mother about his state of mind for its duration. Here, Linda, Willy’s wife, proved herself as a loyal wife and accused them to be the sole cause of his current insanity. Here, she also tried to convince them for being responsible by telling them about his suicidal attempts. She also appreciated her husband’s effort to make them able for keep pace with social needs. After listening his mother’s lecture, Biff promised his mother for gratifying his father in the future. During an argumentative conversation between Biff and Happy, they began to investigate the underlying reason behind the failure of Biff in the business world and in the meanwhile, Willy joined this discussion. On his entrance, Happy tried to please his father by presenting the plan of Biff that he was going to his ex-employer for requesting loan and Biff also reluctantly confirmed this statement, even Biff was not ready to go for it. This plan presentation made Willy smile, which shows here his greedy nature. However, at the end of this scene, there was again a conflict between two brothers (Bradford, About.com).
Willy seems to be well-equipped with the elements of arrogance and egoism. In the same evening, Biff was also carrying a bad news for Willy because he could finalize his deal with his ex-boss. Then, Happy tried to convince Biff to make a bluff with Willy so as to please him, but Biff was again reluctant in doing so. When Willy arrived, Biff started to tell the whole story, but Happy was again and again interrupting him so as to distract him from the truth. Willy left the dining table. On their return to home, Linda castigated their behavior with their father. Then, the climax of the play came when Willy drove his car into death. The last section described the funeral ceremony of Willy (Home Work Online).
Bradford believes also that Willy was the self motif behind his failure because he could not walk with contemporary society. The author also indicates that his suicide attempt was only meant for insurance company which has become common in the middle-class Americans. The author has also concluded that Willy’s character cannot be quoted as a tragic hero because tragedy requires some incidents or natural flaws incurred to the tragic heroes. Bradford also appreciates the attempt to become a tragic hero but also criticizes the senile attitude of Willy. Through Arthur Miller has endorsed the same notions and philosophies in this play but it will be still difficult to decide as the author has shown concerns about that at the end of this review analysis. Arthur Miller seems to describe the vagueness of typical American society. At the same time, the main character ‘Willy’ gives different outlook as in the other plays. Willy stands for the American dreamy world and also reflects the real issues that the Americans are facing due to illusionistic ideas (Bradford, About.com).
Arthur Miller has used various themes in this work; however, the major thematic expression is the American Dream. As the protagonist of this play belongs to a middle-class, this play reflects the overwhelming ideology of the American society. Similarly, abandonment is another thematic expression of this play which is quite vivid in the Willy’s character. Willy Loman has been observed as the character with frequent and subsequent denials and deviations from the truths. He has been in a state of continuous abandonment throughout the whole play. Loman has been in a state of confusion because he never tried to understand what he really wanted to be. Arthur Miller has used various motifs in this play among which mythic figure is an important aspect. Thus, Arthur Miller has been found a person with a strong vision of the Western world (Sparknotes, Analysis of Willy Loman).
Conclusively, it would not be righteous to label this play as a tragic play because Willy was highly obsessed with the concepts of conservatism and arrogance. His whole life, as sketched by Arthur Miller, described his inflexible nature towards the changing societal values and also shows his typical nature as is usually of an American middleman. His dreams were quite opposite to his actions. But the work of the author is undeniably realistic because Arthur Miller has selected the American Dream as the topic of this play in order to present the flaws and dilemmas prevalent in the middle-class society of the America. From the perspective of socio-economic theory, as illustrated by Mandel, Marxism is a flexible philosophy for accommodating contemporary changes in the social and economic system of the modern world. The protagonist of this play was living in a dreamy world and was obsessed with obnoxious anti-Marxist ideas. The major rationale behind his failure of life was his unrealistic philosophy of life.

Works Cited

Bradford, W. “Death of a Salesman- Review”. About.com. 06 Aug. 2011

Home Work Online. 06 Aug. 2011 < http://www.homework-online.com/doas/index.asp>

Mandel, E. An Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory. Australia: Resistance Books, Chippendale NSW 2008. 2002.

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Viking Press: New York. 1949.

21 Aug 2011

Essay Topic: Black Women in Wars

African women living in war-torn African states such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, among other states have surely felt the impacts of conflict to their lifestyle. For instance, the brutal war in Liberia transpired in three successive phases, which lasted fifteen years from 1989 to 2003. The war in Sierra Leone began in 1991 when Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone guerrillas, who were being trained in Liberia, made invasions in their own state.
The war brought on board many actors and lasted ten years, until January 2002. Additionally, the civil strife in Ivory Coast started in 2002 when insurgents in the northern region attempted to overthrow President Laurent Gbagbo; though after international involvement, an accord was agreed upon in 2003. It can be noted that all the wars led to the deaths of many women; some were displaced, while some lost their breadwinner husbands. Presently, all but Ivory Coast are largely at peace. Peacekeepers are on the job or closely in control. The United Nations and global aid bodies are helping recovery. Some light arms have been recovered by the governments; some expatriates have gone back to the countries. Ivory Coast is recovering from the latest political instability that was sparked by the refusal of former president Gbagbo to concede defeat after he was defeated in the country’s elections held late 2010.
Although most African states are largely at peace, which sound unclearly hopeful, in actuality they are so disintegrated, so troubled and, more so in the instances of Sierra Leone, and Liberia, the situation is so distraught and indigent that they may not be capable of securely practicing or enjoying the fruits of peace. In the recent past, Sierra Leone arguably substituted Afghanistan as the tail-end ranked state on the United Nations’ index of human development; the reports gauges literacy levels, healthcare and poverty (Voice of America 1.
As is the case in Afghanistan, the state is a society of widows. Notably, of all those who endured the West African conflicts, it was hapless populations who underwent most suffering. Specifically targeted in terrorist acts as a war strategy, they were rendered homeless, exiled, abducted, tortured, assaulted, injured, maimed and executed. And of all the ordinary populations who suffered, no population segment suffered as excessively as women. Presently, millions of females in such three West African states are still under pressure recovering; for them, the conflicts aren’t actually over at all.
The level of sexual violence and rape in Ivory Coast, when the armed conflict transpired has not been properly evaluated. Majority of the women have suffered gang-rapes or have been kidnapped and forced to be sexual slaves by fighters. In addition, rape has usually come along with torture, including sexual torture one the victim. Unfortunately, all armed sides have executed and continue to implement sexual violence with amazing aplomb, meted on women under the age of 12 to 63. A more topical and thoroughgoing revelation by Human Rights Watch indicates the rape of minors as young as three was prevalent in the countries (Africa Action 1).
At the time the civil strife transpired, women and young girls were captured in their dwelling places or at roadblocks erected by the militaries, or were located in their hiding places in the scrubs. Some of them were raped in front of their families or in public. Some were coerced to witness the execution of spouses or parents. Eventually they were whisked away to military barracks or camps, to prepare the soldiers’ meals during the daytime, only to be gang-raped under the cover of darkness.
Majority of the women suffered rape so ceaselessly and so viciously with sticks, gun barrels, knives, burning coals, some die in the process. Several others sustained injuries and trauma that still remain, many years after the conflicts. Majority still find it difficult to settle or stand, or walk. A number have long lost their capacity to see or their recollections; many more got infected with venereal diseases and HIV.
On the other hand, in Liberia, when the conflict came to an end in 2002, over a million Liberian nationals had been rendered homeless in their own country. Nearly a million others had reportedly fled the country. In a state of three million persons, the statistics translate to 30 percent of the citizens gone. Moreover, more than 270,000 people were killed. And here also, the simple targets were females (Voice of America 1). A World Health Organization report in 2005 suggested that a whopping 90 percent of the women in Liberia had experienced sexual and physical violence; 75 percent of whom suffered rape.
In Kolahun, Lofa County, where the conflicts were high, and women survivors her scars to prove the torment they underwent: a string of parallel straight ridges beginning just under the ear and running down, to the neck. For instance, guerrilla militias in the Charles Taylor forces of the former president of Liberia, who died while being tried by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity charges, held women tightly and gradually, inch by inch, tore the flesh of the victims’ neck in blood.
But that isn’t all. Taylor’s militias went breaking fingers of women. For instance, one woman survivor living in the region had her back slammed so vehemently with firearm butts that one foot and a hand are presently paralyzed. In the small rural community of Dougoumai, a woman referred to only as “the sick lady” exists. Her sister opines she was seized by mercenaries waging war against the Taylor regime and was recurrently gang-raped by ten men (Voice of America 1). The militias rammed their rifle butts into her rear– evidently an ordinary technique, which resulted to the paralysis of her legs.
Moreover, they crashed her hands, hence rendering her hands useless. In the recent past, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities visited the surviving women living in Lofa County, the core of Taylor’s offensive. Over 98 percent said they were rendered homeless during the final phase of the armed conflict; more than 90 percent lost their jobs; more than 72 percent lost at least a kin.
In Sierra Leone, where horrifying the ordinary man was the primary war strategy, the war against women and kids were, as Human Rights Watch has indicated, even more atrocious. All warring factions in the conflict perpetrated countless killings. Official reports record appalling criminal activity: fathers coerced to rape their daughters; brothers coerced to rape their siblings; child soldiers were forced to gang-rape old women, before cutting off their hands; pregnant women were disemboweled alive and the breathing fetus removed from the uterus to satisfy militias’ gambling on its sex status.
These criminal activities, which go against primal norms, aim to damage not only the victims but the entire culture. In the recent past, every manner of terror has been perpetrated on women and girls in Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone for being inferior in gender.
In an interview a guerilla fighter in the Democratic Republic of Congo, smiled saying he had “made love” to several women. When asked if all the females were willing, he chuckles, admitting that majority fight him, but he subdues them by calling for reinforcement from his colleagues. Additionally, when such an act is labeled by the interviewer “rape,” the militia insists that sexual violence happens in times of war and that peace is not normally accompanied with rape.
It is notable; nonetheless, that the peace accords signed in the West African region did not entirely trickle down on women, in terms of ending any forms of aggression against the female gender. Studies indicate that well over 50 percent of the women residing in two Liberian provinces, incorporating the capital, Monrovia, had experienced at least one brutal sexual harassment during a one-and-a-half-year period in 2006 to2007, years following the end of the war (Voice of America 1).
Black Women in Wars, Especially in Poor African Countries. Alice Auma Lakwena-The woman who inspired thousands into Battle with mere sticks and stones.
January 1986 was a perfect era for numerous Ugandans; it was the period when the present President, Yoweri Museveni, came to authority. Majority of the middle and western areas of the nation delighted, but in the region of the ACHOLIS, there was a feeling of obscurity; it seemed all they had battled for had been lost. The ACHOLI had lost their authority in Uganda, their control and feeling of identity. They had acquired that authority by being several of the finest soldiers in the military of Uganda, becoming individuals of control and autonomy (Allen 370). Into this manly custom of soldiers and warriors, enter an important woman who was short of all the recommendations. She was deprived, un-learned, plainly lacked and still it was this female who would become the mother of the greatest battle in Uganda.
Alice Auma Lakwena stayed in the little city of Obit, a city where she survived through selling flour and fish. She was married twice but divorced in both instances as she could not give birth. Lakwena stands for messenger in the Acholi idiom and Alice definitely became that. Led by her spirit, she started a movement that would conscript up to fifteen thousand males and guided them into war in opposition to the new administration army in Uganda without modern weapons but plainly sticks and stones. She gave them a stern spiritual system, involving the rejection of witchcraft, stay virtuous, no smoking, drinking, or disagreeing, to surrender all sin in their being and bestow themselves to the duty of cleansing the Acholi individual and the country of Uganda (Allen 372).
Lakwena employed a mixture of legend, voodoo and traditional customs with her exclusive sort of Christianity thrown in. She became a motivator of Acholi individuals; this priestess hero entered her people’s chronology at their period of want and desolation and the period was just correct for her mission to take effect and cultivate. The initial attack in opposition of the National Resistance Army took action close to Lira in Northern Uganda. Equipped with bags of stones, sticks, singing songs, spraying water all around, their bodies smeared with oil to stop the bullets they marched into battle. Amazingly to the majority, they imposed major losses on the National Resistance Army that initial day even while the rocks did not detonate into grenades, and the bullets were not halted by the oil, the warrior priestess soldiers triumphed.
What is astonishing is that she never hit in furtive. She would candidly publicize the looming attack of her troops. Her militia, armed with sticks and stones, with the wails of battle, motivated by the warrior princess, progressed against a military with fatal weapons. The association supplemented arms later on and several of NRA soldiers were murdered in battle and even superior officers were executed and killed. Alice Lakwena did not fall short of soldiers and augmented new regions in and close to the Acholi region of Northern Uganda. It was remarkable to many how this female with no education could motivate numerous individuals (Allen 399). She took her forces to Eastern Uganda where again, her movement triumphed and even a superior officer from NRA was captured.
Alice passed away in a refugee site in Northern Kenya in 2007, following a long term disease and is still mentioned in Uganda by those she motivated, those she battled and those that were in the way of her army. Despite being childless in her natural life, she gave birth to the greatest battle in Uganda. Alice was the mother to what would be the battle of battles in the Pearl of Africa. Something she possibly never perceived in her mind when she carried on with her undertaking. Alice Lakwena will persist as someone exceptional in the pages of Uganda’s past.

Leymah Roberta Gbowee is a Black African peace activist accountable for arranging a peace movement that brought a conclusion to the Second Liberian Civil battle in 2003. This resulted to the voting of Ellen Johnson Sir leaf in Liberia, the initial African country with a black woman president. She was born in Central Liberia. While she was the age of seventeen, she progressed to Monrovia, when the Second Liberian Civil battle sprouted. She qualified as a stress analysts throughout the civil battle in Liberia and was employed as a counselor with the ex-child soldiers of Charles Taylor’s army (Nagbe 7). Bordered by the sights of battle, she recognized that if any alterations were to be implemented in community it had to be by the black women. She is a mother of six, and in 2002, Leymah was a communal worker who planned the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace.
The harmony association began with the regional women praying and chanting in a fish market. She planned the Christian and Muslim women of Monrovia, Liberia to implore for peace and to hold peaceful demonstrations. Together, they conducted out a sex thump in which Liberian women rejected to have relations with their partners throughout the battle. Due to the rejection, Charles Taylor accepted to meet Gbowee and guaranteed to take part in peace talks in Ghana. The females joined forces at the venue of the peace talks and rejected to depart until a consensus was arrived. Gbowee then spearheaded a designation of Liberian women to Ghana to progress to implement pressure on the battling groups through the peace procedure. They conducted a soundless demonstration outside the Presidential Palace, Accra, conveying on a consensus through the mired peace talks (Nagbe 7).
Leymah Gbowee and Comfort Freeman, leaders of two differing Lutheran churches, arranged the Women in Peace building Network (WIPNET), and subjected a declaration of purpose to the president. The statement read that the women were silent previously, but following the murder, rape, dehumanization and infection with illnesses, and viewing their children and relations harmed, battle educated the women in saying no to war and yes to harmony. Gbowee insisted that the demonstrations would not concede until peace triumphed. The lobby group brought a conclusion to the Second Liberian national war in 2003 and resulted to the voting of Ellen Johnson Sir leaf in Liberia, the initial African country with a black woman leader.

Clothed in white t-shirts to signify harmony, and figuring in the thousands, Leymah Gbowee spearheaded the women in what became a political movement in opposition of hostility and their administration. She has become triumphant in beseeching other African administrations for harmony. Leymah Gbowee is the main personality in the 2008 documentary film entitled Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Nagbe 7). The movie has been employed as a promotion instrument in post warring regions for instance, Sudan as well as Zimbabwe, assembling Black women in Africa to implore for tranquility and safety. Leymah Gbowee is the senior manager of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa, founded in Accra, Ghana and is responsible for establishing associations across West African sub-areas in maintenance of women’s capability to thwart, turn away and finish wars. She is a founding participant and previous director of the Women in Peace building Program/ West African Network for Peace building (WIPNET/WANEP). She also acted as the elected commissioner for the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Mbuya Nehanda – Led In Resisting Colonization by the British. The invasion by the British resulted to the obliteration of the political, monetary as well as profitable and religious array of the individuals of Southern Africa. The obligation of the hut tax, compelled labor, repression of religious endeavors and land estrangement crystallized African opposition. The military movement to drive away the British, referred to as the Chimurengas or the battle of liberation was begun by the Ndebele in May 1896 and their traditional foes, the SHONA, combined them in October of the similar year. The exceptional aspect of the Chimurenga was the pioneering duties conducted by three MHONDORO: Mukwati in Matabeleland, Kagudi in western Mashonaland and Nehanda, the only woman, in central and Northern Mashonaland (Cairnie 165-170). They hit directly at the center of Shona traditions and hence detained the minds of the individuals by efficiently persuading them that Mwari accused the whites for all their anguish and ruled that the whites should be taken from the land.
Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana was regarded to as the woman embodiment of the revelation spirit Nyamhika Nehanda. Regarded to as Mbuya Nehanda, she is generally called the grandmother of current day Zimbabwe. She encouraged the SHONA individuals to drive away the British from the land, motivating them to strengthen the battle and rallying them on. Using covert messages to converse with each other, Nehanda efficiently harmonized her hard work. Kagudi was arrested but Nehanda escaped the British a while longer until she was ultimately arrested in December. They both were accused of killing an African policeman and the Native Commissioner Pollard, and sentenced to bereavement by hanging.
Nehanda’s passing phrases were that her bones would rise again, envisaged the second Chimurenga, which terminated in the autonomy of current day Zimbabwe. Facing the advanced expertise of the British, the insurgence astonishingly lasted until the end of 1897 in spite of British actions of revulsion and cruelty. Though the British casualties were statistically less, they symbolized one tenth of their inhabitants (Cairnie 165-170). The main aspects of Nehanda’s cults were ancestor reverence and spirit custody, which persevere among the individuals of current day Zimbabwe. Through the Second Chimurenga, Ian Smith, then Prime Minister of Rhodesia, in an above ground leaflet drop, summoned the names of royal MHONDORO in a distressed attempt to attenuate widespread back up for Zimbabwe African national Liberation Army. The spirit of Nyamhika Nehanda got a new medium in an old woman, who was whipped to shelter by ZANLA guerillas. The unconquerable Mbuya Nehanda, innovatory prophet and ruler of the initial Chimurenga, has currently been buried in Zimbabwe’s Heroes’ Acre.

Aya Virginie Toure is a peace activist in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). She became recognized for arranging fellow women in non hostile demonstration in opposition of President Laurent Gbagbo who declined to seize being the president of Ivory Coast in the presidential election to Alassane Ouattara. Toure worked to assemble women as the deputy Director for Ouattara’s Ivorian presidential voting. In the rally of the Republicans (RDR), the leading political party in Ivory Coast, Toure is the appointed President of the Rally of Republican Women. She spoke in opposition of Gbagbo and his interior ring of individuals who were purportedly sending taxpayers’ contribution out of the nation as their individual income (Bender et al 271-358).
Aya Virginie Toure arranged many peace demonstrations all through Ivory Coast throughout the 2010 to 2011 Ivorian calamity. In a fervent interview on BBC news, Virginie contrasted the progressing second Ivorian civil war to the 2011 Libyan national battle and requested for back up from the intercontinental society. She asked for armed forces interference to take away Laurent Gbagbo from authority in the similar manner Charles Taylor was forced to step down in the second Liberian national war.
In December 2010, Aya spearheaded hundreds of women in a diplomatic demonstration through the progressing crisis in Abidjan, the financial capital of Ivory Coast. They thumped pots to caution the advent of the militias. March 2011, she headed fifteen thousand women who collected in the town of Abidjan, in Ivory Coast, to demonstrate in opposition of the serving leader Laurent Gbagbo, who persistently declined to step down following his lose in November’s leadership voting. Several of the women were dressed in all dark clothing while others were totally naked, both of which are dreaded taboos in Ivory Coast (Bender et al 271-358). In Africa and Ivory Coast, it is like an abomination. The women were cursing the leadership of Gbagbo.
Other black women carried leaves signifying peace, and shouted that they did not recognize the unlawful leadership of Gbagbo. As the demonstrators who were singing and dancing, moved into the uninviting environs of Abobo, tanks approached the demonstrators. The women rejoiced, supposing the new advents had come in back up of their rally. But the men in the approaching troops begun shooting and killed seven of them. During the worldwide women’s’ day, Toure mobilized forty five thousand women in a nonviolent demonstration all round the nation. The women were once again met with young men equipped with machetes and repeated firing into the air at Koumassi.
In response to the demonstrations, Leymah Gbowee gave a proclamation of back up for the nonviolent demonstrations of the Christian as well as Muslim women in the Ivory Coast and contrasted them to those of her country. At the ECOWAS meeting in Nigeria a one thousand women demonstration was arranged by peace activists in West Africa in back up of the female of Ivory Coast. They dressed in white t-shirts and symbolized nations all over West Africa involving Ivory Coast (Bender et al 271-358).
They subjected press liberation and presented declaration to the ECOWAS heads of nations. March 23, Goodluck Jonathan, leader of Nigeria recommended the United Nations to surpass a declaration to take influential activities, stating volatility facades a peril to safety in West Africa. At the end of March, the United Nations Security Council resolution was acquired commonly, demanding that Laurent Gbagbo resign as leader and permit worldwide realized leader Alassane Ouattara to take over. The declaration obligated approvals on Gbagbo and his close acquaintances. The declaration was funded by France and Nigeria.

Lalla Fadhma n’Soumer in Kabyle was a significant person of the KABYALE resistant movement through the initial years of the French colonial conquest of Algiers. The effect of her participation was such that she has been viewed as the personification of the war. Lalla is a term used to regard to women esteemed as saints. N’Soumer was born in the Kabyle town. Established sources note that she demonstrated an influential and obstinate personality from her untimely young life (Salhi 79-101). For example, she emphasized on following teachings in the Koran in her parent’s institution, very uncommon conduct for a female child in that tradition. At the age of only sixteen, her relations organized for her wedding, as was tradition. Though, she declined so as to go back to her spiritual schooling.
Consequently, being regarded as a woman obsessed by the spirit, she pursued a life of severity, focused to the endeavor and research of religion, and progressed her schooling. Her reputation became widespread so much that Muslims from all Kabylie came to her for counsel and give her presents. To every person, the young girl appeared not only devoid and astute, but in addition youthful and pretty: she took much concern of her body as well as clothes, and routinely dressed in expensive ornaments. The French started their inhabitation off Algeria in 1830, beginning with a landing in Algiers. As inhabitation altered into colonization, Kabylia insisted the only area free of the French administration. Demands on the area heightened, and the longing of her people to fight away and safeguard their region also heightened.
A turning period in Lalla Fadma’s being was the settlement in Kabylie of a strange man who portrayed himself as Mohamed ben Abdallah. He was almost certainly an ex-lieutenant in the military of Emir, conquered for the last period by the French. He denied to give up at the war, and settled at Kabylie. From there, he started a war in opposition of the French military and their friends, frequently using guerilla techniques. Baghla was a persistent combatant, and expressive in Arabic. He was also very spiritual and various legends tell about his techniques (Salhi 79-101). He frequently went to summer to speak with the High ranking associates of the spiritual society and Lalla Fadhma was soon engrossed by his great character. At the same period, the unrelenting participant was drawn by a woman so decisively prepared to take part, by any way probable, to the battle in opposition of the French.
With her stimulating speeches, she persuaded numerous men to battle as volunteers prepared to pass away as martyrs, and she included, in association with other women, took part in combat by availing cooking, treatment and console to the warring armies. Fadhma was individually available at numerous battles in which Baghla was include, specifically the war of Tachekkirt triumphed by Baghla troops, where the French General was captured but was able to run away. Tired of progressive war activities from the Kabylie movement, General randon, selected Marshal of France, resolute to hold out in the late spring, what was referred to by the French the appeasement. For the attack she collected a troop of close to forty five thousand individuals grouped in numerous columns to hit.
Overwhelm was unpredictable for the community individuals, being out figured and out armed by their foes, and their homes as well as families crashed one following the other in just several months. The initial tribe to be conquered was that at YIRATEN; on their province the French begun to construct a fort. A sturdy protective line was able to halt, with major defeats and only momentarily, the attackers at other provinces recognition to a spontaneous hit derived from channels concealed in the territory (Salhi 79-101). Established sources say that Lalla Fadhma participated in the war and commanded that the armed forces must be attached to each other with chains so no one was enticed to run away.
In several days, though, employing armaments, the French army was able to penetrate the defenses and all the main tribes surrendered. Lalla Fadhma n’Soumer was captured as a captive mutually with close to two hundred additional women and young ones, who were taken with her to an imprisonment site at the Zaouia under the rule of a regional authority devoted to French. On 26 December 1854, Baghla was murdered; several resources assert it was as a result of the sedition of several of his associates.
The confrontation persisted with no compelling principal and a commandant competent to direct it competently. For this motive, through the first months of 1855, on an asylum constructed top of Azru Nethor climax, not away from the community where Fadhma was nurtured, there was a big assembly between participants and significant numbers of the clans in Kabylie. They accepted to award Lalla Fadhma, helped by her brothers, the authority of fighting. After numerous years following her passing away, Lalla Fadhma’s reputation persists alive and current all through Algeria, and in exact in her area, Kabylia. Particularly, numerous players and bands painted pictures and wrote songs about her, one of the greatest well-known songs devoted to her is by Tagrawla, an Algerian group.
An Algerian feminist linked was renamed Daughters of Lalla Fatma N Soummer in her tribute. Lalla Fadhma, and her illustration of a persistent and courageous lady, is still fascinating at the current time; specifically when in 1995 her vestiges were moved to the conqueror’s cemetery of El Alia, Algiers, the definite day and instance of the ritual was not proclaimed in progress, but only exposed to the media what had taken place after it occurred. The Algiers power were viewed by the media as discomfited to do this move just after passing a bill about Family Code which was enormously cruel with women; in this manner, the powers would not have to safeguard probable disagreeable demonstrations by the women’s relations which unearth in Lalla Fadhma an imperative stature exemplifying an intensely sovereign and contemporary woman (Salhi 79-101).

Conclusion

Generally, the violence meted against the female gender continues. Murderous brutal attacks, not astoundingly, cannot be eradicated in a hurry. In West Africa, as is the case in other regions of Africa such as the DRC and Somalia, rapists thrive and use the act as war strategy; it has become a practice carried flawlessly into the contemporary Africa that is largely at peace. Nevertheless, where usual policing and justice mechanisms have been rendered obsolete by war, former combatants and ordinary men alike normally prey upon females with impunity. Even so, it may not be easy to know precisely how common the challenge is, because girls and women who have been raped are usually too humiliated by the despicable acts to report them.
Most rape cases are committed by a friend or member of the relations and are habitually “influenced” by a token cash payment. Although, rape is currently illegalin many African nations, irate parents in Africa increasingly report cases of child defilement to authorities. For instance in Kailahun District, Sierra Leone, womenmobilize efforts to fight brutal attacks and sexual violence meted against them. Domestic violence, wife-battering, marital rape, torture, emotional abuse, economic marginalization, and such like acts are also widespread and have soared across the African continent, and technically continuing the customary hostility of war.

Annotated Bibliography

Africa Action. Africa: Women in Post-War Reconstruction, (Web, 30/04/2011). Retrieved from http://apic.igc.org/docs99/aft9909.htm
The paper explores the African women living in war-torn African states such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other states have surely felt the impacts of conflict to their lifestyle.
Allen, Tim.Understanding Alice: Uganda’s Holy Spirit movement in context. Africa, 61.3 (1991): 370-399.
This paper indicates that majority of the middle and western areas of Uganda delighted, but in the region of the ACHOLIS, there was a feeling of obscurity; it seemed all they had battled for had been lost. She has made enormous contribution toward the liberation of women from the pangs of war in the country.
Bender et al. Proto-Micronesian Reconstructions. Oceanic Linguistics, 42.2 (2003): 271-358.
As noted in the work Bender and the rest suggest Aya Virginie Toure is a peace activist in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). She became recognized for arranging fellow women in non hostile demonstration in opposition of President Laurent Gbagbo who declined to seize being the president of Ivory Coast in the presidential election to Alassane Ouattara.
Cairnie, Julie. Women and the Literature of Settlement and Plunder: Toward an Understanding of the Zimbabwean Land Crisis. English Studies in Canada, 33.1/2 (2007): 165-188.
According to Cairnie (165-188) the invasion by the British resulted to the obliteration of the political, monetary as well as profitable and religious array of the individuals of Southern Africa. The obligation of the hut tax, compelled labor, repression of religious endeavors and land estrangement crystallized African opposition.
Nagbe, Horace P. Promoting Gender Equality in Postconflict Liberia: Challenges and Prospects. Peace & Conflict Monitor, (May2010): 7.
Leymah Roberta Gbowee is a Black African peace activist accountable for arranging a peace movement that brought a conclusion to the Second Liberian Civil battle in 2003. This resulted to the voting of Ellen Johnson Sir leaf in Liberia, the initial African country with a black woman president.
Salhi, Zahia Smail. Between the languages of silence and the woman’s word: gender and language in the work of Assia Djebar. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 190. 1 (2008): 79-101.
According to Salhi, Lalla Fadhma n’Soumer in Kabyle was a significant person of the KABYALE resistant movement through the initial years of the French colonial conquest of Algiers. The effect of her participation was such that she has been viewed as the personification of the war. Lalla is a term used to regard to women esteemed as saints.

Works Cited

Africa Action. Africa: Women in Post-War Reconstruction, (Web, 30/04/2011). Retrieved from http://apic.igc.org/docs99/aft9909.htm
Allen, Tim. Understanding Alice: Uganda’s holy spirit movement in context. Africa, 61.3(1991): 370-399.
Bender et al. Proto-Micronesian Reconstructions. Oceanic Linguistics, 42.2 (2003): 271-358.
Cairnie, Julie. Women and the Literature of Settlement and Plunder: Toward an Understanding of the Zimbabwean Land Crisis. English Studies in Canada, 33.1/2 (2007): 165-188.
Nagbe, Horace P. Promoting Gender Equality in Postconflict Liberia: Challenges and Prospects. Peace & Conflict Monitor, (May2010): 7.
Salhi, Zahia Smail. Between the languages of silence and the woman’s word: gender and language in the work of Assia Djebar. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 190. 1 (2008): 79-101.
Voice of America. US Groups Help Africa’s War-Affected Women (Web, March 24 2011). Retrieved from http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/US-Women-Help-Africas-War-Affected-Women-118594794.html

Essay Topic: Meaning of Murder

It is a common idea shared by everyone that murder is a heinous crime of taking another person’s life. “Murder is not crime of criminals, but that of law abiding citizens” (Schmalleger, 2001). However, simply killing someone does not make it murder under law, rather the act should fall true in law’s criteria in order to be claimed as murder.
Murder, in its legal sense, means the act of killing someone unlawfully. Hence, there are circumstances where the act of killing will not be tantamount to murder in the court of law. Such cases exist where homicides have not been punished. Such examples can be found in assisted suicide, wars and self-defense cases.
With the advent of development and improved standards of living, people are becoming more civilized and have come to believe that executions and other forms of assassination must not be permissible under any circumstance and must get penalized. This idea has altered the meaning of the word (in legal sense) as people tend to label any act of killing as murder without understanding its legal nature.
People across the world have started recognizing and appreciating the highest standards of human rights. In many countries death penalty has been abolished, Australia is one such example. Citizens of such countries consider execution as a murder on the state’s part. That is why the United States and other countries where death penalty is still intact are under constant pressure from various human rights activists to make reforms in their laws and abolish this punishment. Such a case was witnessed when a 25-year-old Australian national Nguyen Tuong Van was sentenced to death by a Singaporean court for the crime of drug trafficking. Many Australians felt for their fellow citizen and demanded the release of Nguyen (Hogan, Cooke, & Butcher, 2005). However, after all appeals were denied he was executed. This particular case moved Australians and they claimed this to be an incident of state murder. Protest against the Singaporean government was showcased at a mammoth scale. People demanded release of Nguyen; the least they wanted was his life to be spared. In this particular case Australians made a mistake by confusing execution and death penalty with murder (Hogan, Cooke, & Butcher, 2005). Execution is entirely different from murder, in the former a convicted criminal is sentenced to death, while the latter stands as the act of ending an innocent person’s life unlawfully (Hogan, Cooke, & Butcher, 2005).
Similarly, Euthanasia, which is legal under certain circumstances, is considered a murder on part of physician by most people who consider that pain should be endured by the patient no matter how harsh the suffering is. However, assisted suicide can be legally practiced where the patient has given his consent and is certain that he will not survive and keeping him conscious and alive will only result in further suffering and pain. Thus, there are certain circumstances where assisted suicide is legal, but many journalists and people who share the same point of view that killing under any circumstances is wrong, use the word murder for euthanasia, which can jeopardize the career of a devoted physician who merely acted on the patient’s advice.
There has been a similar case where euthanasia was practiced by a physician after the endorsement of the patient’s wife, who requested the death of her husband after learning that keeping him alive will only bring more suffering (Sabbatino, 2011). Biased media reports surfaced and the court decided this practice was murder and illegal. Sabbatino criticizes the practice of euthanasia as murder and claims that it should not be practiced under any circumstance. This argument might seem to be acceptable emotionally, but legally and rationally, it does not stand possess any substantial weight (Sabbatino, 2011).
Euthanasia is a legally accepted practice where a physician provides complete detail to the suffering patient or to his family, when the patient is not in a condition to make a decision for him. After considering all the variables, after which that option is chosen, that which seems less painful and relieving for the patient.
In these cases people should be cautious before charging the physician with murder, as the physician is not the decision maker; in fact he just merely acts on the direction of patient or his heirs. Judging and labeling medical practitioners as murderers where they can legally practice assisted suicide is unethical and such judgments can definitely ruin their career. In a recent survey where medical students were interviewed as to whether they would ever consider such a practice, some suggested that 16 percent of the practitioners would consider it, 55 percent would not consider practicing euthanasia under any circumstance whereas 29 percent were not sure and planned to make the decision depending on the nature of the case (Kane, 2010). This survey goes to show that our society really considers death as a terrible incident and most of the people would not get their hands dirty under any situation. Nonetheless, labeling euthanasia is not at all acceptable (Kane, 2010).
Similarly, the supposed execution of a convicted killer, Michael Morales who in 1981 raped and killed 17-year-old Terri Winchell in a gruesome manner was claimed to be unfair and inhumane as this would result in pain to the murderer. The society has grown so sensitive to any kind of violence and suffering that people now even consider the execution of the convicted murderer as unfair (Ryan, 2006). America has been under constant pressure from many human rights activists and organizations to ban death penalty in all of its states. People have become so concerned about human rights that they are unwilling to tolerate lawful execution of a killer. Even the physicians who were assigned the task to give lethal injections to execute Michael Morales backed out at the last minute, fearing that they would be labeled as murderers and this would ruin their careers as medical practitioner. In today’s society many people consider painful death unjust even for a convicted killer. The way medical practitioners are trained and educated, most of them now believe that death penalty should be abolished completely and doctors who take part in such a task would automatically risk their careers (Ryan, 2006). Even if a doctor acts as a tool to implement justice, he could be called an assassin while he is actually executing a person who feels no remorse.
In another story covering the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown, a convicted killer charged for abducting, raping and murdering 15 year old girl, Brown’s lawyer on death row claimed death penalty to be unconstitutional and unfair and that his client was unable to choose the method of his execution. In case of failure he was supposed to be executed through a three drug cocktail, which the lawyer considered cruel even for a killer and rapist. People might tag this act as a murder on the part of state, for not allowing a convicted killer the manner in which he has to die.
In some circumstances people also tend to label an individual acting in self-defense as a murderer where the person just tries to save himself from injury and in the process inflicts a blow on the attacker which results in latter’s death. These situations have been witnessed in cases where a child has been bullied at young age by another kid; when the child acts in defense and accidently kills the bully. He was labeled as murderer by the family of the deceased child; while in the rational and more importantly, the legal sense, accidental killing in self-defense is not murder at all.
This casts a negative impact on the child who has already gone through an emotional trauma by being bullied and in addition, people have branded him as murderer too. This judgmental behavior and label are deemed to affect an innocent individual’s psyche (Kalkstein, 2011).
Summarily, it can be stated that our society has become oversensitive for no reason at all, while totally overlooking the atrocity of the crime previously committed by the criminals. Even killing of convicted killers is being opposed; USA and other countries are being pressured by human rights organizations to abolish capital punishment. They consider such executions as murders by state, as exemplified in Nguyen’s case.
Murder should be separated from other acts of killing which are legalized by law and practical under certain circumstances. Thus, we should be careful while using this word so that we do not fallaciously accuse someone of being a criminal.

References:

Schmalleger, F. (2001). Criminal law today: An introduction with capstone cases. Prentice Hall.
Hogan, J., Cooke, D., & Butcher, S. (2005, December 02). Australia wide protests. The Age
Sabbatino, R. J. (2011, July 03). Suicide is not a crime, but euthanasia is. Pocono Record
Kane, L. (2010, November 11). Exclusive ethics survey results: Doctors struggle with tougher-than-ever dilemmas: other ethical issues. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/731485_7
Ryan, Joan. (2006, February 23). It’s about the killing, not the pain. San Francisco Chronicle,
Kalkstein, Meghan. (2011, July 01). Father says son, accused of murder, and acted in self-defense. Retrieved from http://www.katu.com/news/local/124839584.html

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10 Aug 2011

Sample Essay: Development of Jay Gatsby Character Including His Maturity level and Its Relationship With Society

Deconstructing The Reality Behind The Illusion

In his novel The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald depicts how Gatsby’s desire for acceptance and prestige reflects not only his misconception of self-worth, but also how the society he lives in imposes a false ideal on aspiring minds such as his. Gatsby believes that gaining a luxurious lifestyle will help him to win over the affections of his beloved Daisy. He learns that Daisy is in love with another man, and he attempts to create a new identity that reflects society’s ideals. The novel illustrates that Gatsby’s desire for requited love only blinds him to the real implications of the world around him. He views being wealthy as vital for feeling a sense of fulfillment in a society that enshrines the pursuit of riches; however, he later becomes aware of the false nature of society’s values. Gatsby views wealth as a means of moving beyond the past, but he ultimately realizes that maturity is the only means of finding a new direction in his life.

The novel illustrates that in order for Gatsby to elevate his status, he must create a false identity in order to give the impression that he is wealthy and prestigious. The society he lives is in is based on gaining self-worth through the endless pursuit of wealth and reputation. Gatsby creates a role for himself as he becomes an actor who maintains the appearance of being in perfect conformity to society’s ideal. The false nature of his role as a wealthy man reflects how society is based on a false ideal. Gatsby views society as being full of promise as he believes that he can finally achieve what he desires and thereby become the object of Daisy’s affections. He views Daisy’s life as safeguarding the guarantee of real happiness, but his pursuit of wealth only enslaves him to society. The ideal of this society deprives people of their independence and true self-worth. Gatsby believes that chasing Daisy is based on his own objectives, but his goal of becoming wealthy is actually society’s objective. Gatsby’s view of Daisy reflects society’s view of the American Dream: “[T]here was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life.? [Gatsby had] an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness” (Fitzgerald 1). After becoming wealthy, he is viewed as a celebrity in society due to his lofty reputation and lifestyle; however, the novel illustrates that Gatsby is deprived of self-worth, which is actually based on maturity rather than wealth.

Gatsby creates a persona for himself as he views his true identity as failling to provide a means to overcome the past. He has always desired to have luxury and wealth as he views his old status as being a source of misery. He believes that his new identity allows him to discard his old life and move away from the past. His old life is based on a lack of fulfillment as his existence revolved around a low social and economic status. He views his childhood and parents as an embarassment as his old life never satisfied him: “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people – his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all” (Fitzgerald 98). Gatsby’s false identity reflects how society creates a false appearance that conceals its true identity. It reflects how society is based on appearance rather than reality as it actually fails to provide the kind of fulfillment that Gatsby is searching for.

Gatsby’s false identity is based on how he exists solely for maintaining society’s false identity. His personal illusions are inseparable from the illusions that society imposes on itself for the sake of creating a false image of self-worth. The following passage illustrates that Gatsby becomes the slave of society’s ideal, which is the American Dream. His enslavement to the American Dream conforms to his narrow view of self-worth as a teenager, and hence he fails to develop a mature understanding of true self worth: “He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen year old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end” (Fitzgerald 98). Gatsby’s illusions involve validating society’s illusions through his abandonment of his actual identity and self-worth.

Gatsby’s failed relationships with his friends and family imply that he has never been satisfied with himself. His dissatisfaction with his old life reflects how he lacks the maturity to appreciate who he truly is. Society’s failure to satisfy his desire for acceptance is based on how he fails to accept himself for who he truly is: “When the Jazz History of the World was over, girls where putting their heads on men’s shoulders, swooning backward playfully into men’s arms, but no one swooned backward on Gatsby, and no French bob touched Gatsby’s shoulder, and no singing quartets were formed with Gatsby’s head for one link” (Fitzgerald 50). Gatsby’s friends fail to make him happy as he is never really happy with himself. Gatsby slowly comes to terms with how his life of luxury is merely superificial as it fails to provide the sense of completion he yearns for.

Gatsby later develops a sense of maturity that allows him to identify what he truly desires: a means of actually moving forward with his life. His maturity is based on finding a way to progress in his life that is based on knowing who he truly is rather than his false identity. Gatsby achieves self-discovery by realizing that happiness can only be achieved through maturity and self-awareness. His interaction with Nick illustrates that Gatsby’s life of luxury is merely a reflection of the illusions he embraced as a teenager: “You can’t repeat the past? Can’t repeat the past?”  he cried incredulously.” Why of course you can!”  (Fitzgerald 110). Gatsby’s desire for true happiness is undermined by the illusion that wealth can truly make him happy. Thus, he realizes that the past keeps interfering with his desire to achieve a happy future. Gatsby realizes that he needs to fully overcome his illusions in order to finally be able to move on with his life.

Gatsby desires to achieve maturity by learning from the past, which reflects how his false identity only blinds him to his true-self worth. He feels alienated from his dream of happiness as he has deluded himself all along. His self-discovery is based on finding a means to move forward without clinging to the false ideal of society, which remains obscure and without any real value: “His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp It. He did not know it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity behind the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night” (Fitzgerald 110). Fitzgerald illustrates that Gatsby is a reflection of a society that fails to recognize its own lack of self-worth. Gatsby becomes a victim of society as he realizes that his false identity implies that he is a servant of society that embraces a false ideal.

The novel illustrates that Gatsby desires to achieve a life of luxury for the sake of moving beyond the past and also to be with Daisy. He creates a persona for himself in order to appear as someone he is truly not. He believes that wealth and reputation can elevate him beyond the misery and unhappiness that he associates with his past. He believes that his identity as a wealthy and prestigious man can bring him maturity, but he realizes that society only deprives him of it. He realizes that his life is merely a reflection of the shallow ideals he embraced as a teenager. His persona only blinds him to the fact that true self-worth is based on maturity, which is a vehicle for effectively overcoming one’s past. The novel demonstrates that the American Dream is based on constantly renewing one’s pursuit of a lofty ideal, which always seems beyond reach. Gatsby realizes that maturity can only be achieved by moving beyond the illusions of the past, and that overcoming the past implies accepting how he has failed to benefit from a society that appears to fulfilling but is not.

09 Jul 2011

Essay Topic: Psychology in the Real World

Jared Lee Loughner’s recent shooting rampage at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ January 8, 2011 outdoor community meeting (Simon, 2011) touched on several different aspects of psychology.  On that day, 22-year-old Loughner showed up at Congresswoman Giffords’ event and opened fire on Giffords and the crowd (Simon, 2011). The gunman took the lives of 6 and injured 14 (Simon, 2011). The tragic event scarred the victims and immediate witnesses and community and brought fear to Americans and government officials nationwide.  All at once, several news outlets and commentators struggled to find answers, blame, and solutions.  Arguments that got the most attention were the assignment of blame: Was it loose gun laws? Poor parenting? Campaigning tactics of politicians? Sarah Palin?  Many news outlets scrambled to find gossip on Loughner and came up with an abundance of evidence pointing to his apparent mental health struggles (Simon, 2011).  Unfortunately, past the shock, awe, confusion of the content of Loughner’s internet ramblings and what has theorized to possibly be Psychosis (Simon, 2011), the lesson of psychological well-being was lost.  The key to preventing future similar acts of domestic terrorism from occurring again is an examination of individual psychological experience and mental health conditions such as Psychosis.

The technical term for Psychosis is “Brief Psychotic Disorder” and is code 298.8 in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual- IV (DSM-IV) which is the standard diagnostic manual for Psychiatry (Heffner, 2003).  Psychosis may also clinically fall under Schizophrenia, a more long-term diagnosis (Dilks, Tasker, & Wren, 2010). Both Brief Psychotic Disorder and Schizophrenia involve at least one of the following: severe delusions, paranoia hallucinations, disordered thought, disordered speech (Heffner, 2003 and Dilks, et al, 2010). Although there has been no official psychiatric/medical record of Loughner’s that has been made public, it can be derived by Loughner’s writings that he may have suffered from a paranoid/delusional type of Psychosis; his writings included assumptions that time, currency, and language as meaningless illusions used by government to facilitate mind control.  In an ever-advancing technological society, a tendency to fall victim to stress-diathesis if not solely environmental psychological factors by subscribing to disordered and paranoid thoughts such as Loughner did is not necessarily rare. Although conspiracy theory alone is not dangerous, it may become dangerous if an individual feels threatened by what they perceive to be a malicious “big brother” government. Though Psychosis can be devastating, researchers have found that the condition is manageable.

In a research study on the management of Psychosis published by the British Psychological Society in 2010, researchers asked what was most effective in the treatment of Psychotic patients (Dilks et al., 2010). Researchers compiled 19 therapy session tapes, 23 Psychologist-client interviews, and 31 published accounts of psychotic experiences in order to build a qualitative study on the success and failure of different treatment methods of the disorder (Dilks et al, 2010).  It was found that individuals diagnosed with Psychosis could regain social functionality in their everyday lives with active, ongoing, and consistent individualized therapy (Dilks et al., 2010).  This research is important to the issue of paranoia/delusion-fueled violence because it provides hope in solutions for severe mental health issues.  In American culture, mental health is often stigmatized and symptoms are more often seen as markers of being asocial or “weird” instead of being recognized as the characteristics of a serious disease that people may not be able to detect in themselves let alone understand that they need and will fare better with proper treatment.  Although Psychosis does not always manifest as violence, encouragement of mental health research may promote efforts to take effective measures to increase public awareness of the importance of mental and emotional well-being and the treatment of disorders that could otherwise lead to tragedy if left unchecked.

References

Dilks, S., Tasker, F., & Wren, B. (2010). Managing the impact of psychosis: A grounded theory exploration of recovery processes in psychosis. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 49(1), 87-107. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Heffner, D. (2003). Psychiatric disorders. AllPsych Online: The Virtual Psychology Classroom.

Retrieved from: http://allpsych.com/disorders/psychotic/briefpsychotic.html.

Simon, Mallory. (2011 January 13). Jared Loughner’s background reveals series of warning signs. CNN. Retrieved from: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/13/jared-loughners- background-reveals-series-of-warning-signs

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Essay Topic: Dee Dee Myers

Dee Dee Myers was born in 1961 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Her parents named her Margaret Jane Myers. She is married to Todd Purdum with two children and presently lives in Washing DC. Her inspiration in life was through the presence of strong women that surrounded her especially her mother. Dee’s father was a career navy pilot who was not very much around especially in her formative years since he was involved in active combat. His absence meant that his duties were delegated to Dee’s mother who had other children to raise besides advancing her career. Her mother earned her degrees while she was married which fuelled further Dee’s ambitions to achieve something in her life. After the dad returned to civilian life from military, they moved to Los Angeles where now the mother could concentrate on her career. The different environments and people that she brushed with were very instrumental in shaping and molding her character as a feminist (Potempa 1).

A 1983 Santa Clara University graduate, Dee kicked her career life by becoming an aide in presidential campaign of Walter Mondale back in 1984. This was a move that initiated her into the world of politics and one that would eventually propel her into the world of the mighty.    According to Stateman (1), there was no turning back for her and she changed jobs within the Californian state where she indulged in state politics wholly. However, in those entire jobs one thing which was apparent was that women were not many as the politics were regarded as a preserve of the white boy’s club. One thing led to another and in no time, she joined Bill Clinton’s campaign which catapulted her to the post of press secretary in Clinton’s administration. She served this post for one year and resigned to venture into private life, journalism and mass media. In the year 2008, she decided to summarize her life experience in a book she named “Why Women Should Rule the World” (Norris 1).

Important Contribution

Myers has had a fulfilling political career which burgeoned during Clinton’s presidency and in her occupying the post of press secretary. This is not a mean feat and consequently she became the first woman to hold the post besides being the second youngest person to hold the same. Serving under bill Clinton’s administration meant that she was among the few that were in the inner circle of the president which opened unprecedented windows of opportunities. Most of the administrations events were her initiatives like Middle East peace accords and planning and the consequent passage of the president’s first budget. This is not forgetting that she formed part of the presidential entourage and delegation to different foreign countries. Her being a woman, was a quite a significant achievement which also formed the hallmark of her achievement especially in the male dominated field (Takeuchi 1).

The feminist world has been her primary beneficiary since her achievement is mainly seen in her political career. She defied all odds to rise up the ranks and become a press secretary which is an inspiration to many young ladies who would want to conquer the world. Her career in politics gave her a vantage point in political lecturing and mass media. Her political analyses and most contribution in life are women oriented although she refused to endorse Senator Clinton in her unsuccessful presidential bid. In the media world, she has consulted for the world famed West Wing TV drama series that is concerned about life in the white house. Besides all these contribution, she has written her life memoir ‘Why Women Should Rule the World’. The book is about women decisions with regards to politics and how the decisions ultimately pay off. The challenges that women go through in this unfamiliar territory for them are also articulated in depth (Norris 1).

Dee Dee Myers Influence in the World

Her achievements are further underscored by her private life where she is involved in running of private firms and chief among them is DDJ Myers, Ltd. This firm is involved in talent scouting and recruiting of personnel in the mainstream financial firms. Her work there makes her an executive leader that is recognized the world over as a coach for developing the leadership skills in upcoming entrepreneurs. The firm is also involved in perpetuation of leadership cultures through training of mid and high level leaders in firms so as to entrench good leadership skills in different firms. By such trainings, her legacy lives on through different people who can borrow a leaf from her success in life and push the same influence a notch higher. The trainings are carried out in close association with another firm that she also founded called Advancing Leadership Institute (Myers 1).

Literal work is a major way through which an artist can influence the work and Myers is no different when it comes to her participation in the media. Her contribution to West Wing TV series is instrumental in painting a picture to the public about the happening in the White House. Though this may be a fictional work of art, it has some basis on how to mould the characters and plots based on real life experience. She also contributes to Vanity Fair editorial as a contributing editor which makes her to impart the world with wealth of experience. These notwithstanding, she contributes to political debates and has her book that has been heralded as the voice of women who seem to be marginalized politically. Her public lectures on women issues also contribute immensely towards shaping the thinking of women and femininity especially to young girls who are natural born leaders (Holloway 1).

Dee Dee Myers Influence on me and Overall Achievements

Sometimes it requires taking a bull by the horns in matters that pertain to achievement and breaking traditional barriers. This is a dominant theme in Dee Dee’s life which culminates in an illustrious political career that few women have achieved. She achieved despite the many challenges that were on the way that did not frustrate her. I believe the same challenges that she faced on her way up are the same that we young people face today and we should use them to our advantage. Breaking records and achieving is not for people with negative attitudes but positive minded people who are willing to go the extra mile. A positive mentality is one of my driving forces especially looking at what Myers could achieve from an obscure past. It must have also been her attitude especially when things got thick that got her through.

Most of Myer’s talks are feministic which give a profound meaning to women’s lives and a sense of pride. Although many people regard feminists in a negative sense, I admire them in the way they make people believe in themselves like Myer does through her life, work and achievements. There are no such things as gender oriented careers but people can work anywhere provided they have the credential and experience. The world is fast changing and traditional roles thought to be for a certain gender are up for grabs by whoever is willing and ready to work. This has really enlarged and broadened my mind with regards to the scope of opportunities that are available for me in the ever contracting job market.

Works Cited

Cullen Takeuchi. The Rules According to Dee Dee Myers. Friday, Feb. 29, 2008. Web 6 April             2011<http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0, 8599, 1718519, 00.html>

Holloway Diane. ‘West Wing’: No matter the politics, love of country was always first. May 14,   2006. Web. 6 April. 2011.   <http://web.archive.org/web/20070927225407/http://www.austin360.com/tv/content/tv/st           ories/2006/05/14westwing.html >

Myers Dee Dee . Board Responsibilities for Succession Planning. Web 6 April 2011            <http://workbloom.com/articles/miscellaneous/board-responsibilities-succession-  planning.aspx >

Norris Michele. Dee Dee Myers: ‘Why Women Should Rule’. March 17, 2008. Web. 6 May 2010            < http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88404299 >

Potempa Philip. Former Clinton female press rep. Dee Dee Myers in Chicago with new memoir.            March 6, 2008. Web. 6 April 2011

< http://www.nwitimes.com/entertainment/columnists/offbeat/article_0911dc3c-794d-   5215-947a-08ce83df7803.html >

Stateman, Alison. Journey into the whirldwind: Dee Dee Myers on politics, PR and presidential            elections. Public Relations Tactics, 11. 7 (Jul 2004): 36-37. Print.

09 Jun 2011

Sample essay: Opportunities and Challenges Likely to Be Encountered By Beauty Cosmetics in Its Expansion to Europe as a Foreign Market

Introduction

Expansion and venture into new market is an important component and issue that has been for business growth. Often such strategy can be achieved through various procedures such as entrance into new geographical markets and customers or expanding the current market so as to reach more of the already existing market. However, before any company expands its operation into a new market whether local or foreign, it is important that it conducts a market research so as to determine whether the proposed market would offer its products and service the most competitive advantage and best opportunities (Stevens 31).

It is on the above ground that Beauty Cosmetics being a company specialized in manufacturing and supply of beauty products opts to explore the opportunities and challenges that it is likely to face as expands to the foreign market in Europe. Although Europe seems to be a potential market for the Beauty Cosmetic products and services because of its vast market opportunities, cultural, heritage, and language similarities there are certain threats such as political and religious ideologies most probably will pose challenge in this new and foreign market expansion venture.

Screening the Europe Market for Beauty Cosmetics

Since Beauty Cosmetics desires to Europe as a foreign market, it will explore macroeconomic factors such as the stability of its currency, its level of domestic consumptions, and the exchange rates. Europe poses to be a stable market because of stable currency and strong exchange rates owing to the fact that Euro has remained stable against the dollar. This has therefore made it possible for her to possess a high domestic product that will boost sale of Beauty Cosmetic products and services (Lee 348).

The other issues that will be evaluated by Beauty Cosmetics as far as screening of Europe market is concerned would include mode of communication and the possible threats. Communication is an important component that would help Beauty Cosmetics not only to position itself, but also to find appropriate sales representatives for the right market segment ((Lee 340)). For instance, Beauty Cosmetic has to understand that besides English being used as the native language in Europe, their languages fall in four groups; Romance, Germanic, Baltic, and Slavic languages. Such procedure would help the company high and recruit its employees with communication in mind so as to segment, target, and position its products and services without communication barriers. On the other hand, possible challenges especially those that had been faced by a similar company would help Beauty Cosmetic to be prepared with appropriate strategies for addressing the challenges during its expansion into Europe (Lee 341).

Opportunities that Beauty Cosmetics is to Attain in European Market

The market opportunities that are offered in Europe are grounded on the economic, political, and socio-cultural status of Europe. Economically and politically, Europe is free trade zones and therefore would allow Beauty Cosmetic Company to easily access the markets that are vast and spread all over Europe. The free trade region principle is attributed to political good both within Europe and its neighboring countries (Doole and Lowe 104).

In addition, most countries in Europe are members of the wider European Economic Community (EEC) and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). These bodies have the mandate of ensuring that they there is effective regulation of the international trade (Tyson and Schell 190). Beauty Cosmetic Company would benefit from the economic integration that has been created by EEC. Similarly, the bodies have not only enabled Europe to develop strong and stable currency and market base, but have also enhance large, eager pool of labor, and well developed infrastructure which would be an asset in distribution of Beauty Cosmetic Company’s products and services  (Tyson and Schell 109-1).

The other opportunity existing in Europe for Beauty Cosmetic Company is based on size, rate of growth, and the intensity of the market. Europe has a large market size because both men and women are potential consumers of beauty cosmetic products and service (Longenecker and Gale 56). In addition, the intensity of the Europe market has minimal competition because of the presence of few similar companies. Consequently, there would be limited market congestion with high potential of growth thereby making the competition healthy (Stevens 47). With such market characteristic, there is much conviction that the size, intensity, and rate of growth of Europe market offers appropriate indicators that are required for Beauty Cosmetic Company expansion into the market.

Other financial and economic issues are market factors which include the GNP, GNP per capita and GDP as at 2010 was € 16, 228.23 billion.  The state with the least and highest GNP capita in 2009 were 61% and 271% respectively. When the gross national product (GNP) is below the demands of the country, this provides an opportunity for the company to consider investing in either country in Europe. Often such conditions would possibly lead to high demand for beauty cosmetics are than the production level (Doole and Lowe 110-1). Often countries strive to satisfy the demand of the consumers and would therefore ensure that its GDP meets the consumers demand. However, Europe has so far not majored in beauty cosmetics because it is only spending 1% of its GD P in the budget thereby making it possible for the Beauty Cosmetic Company to take advantage of such state (Lee 349). This is out of the proposed € 862 billion that was supposed to be spent between 2007 and 2013.

The Europe socio-cultural factors are other aspects that will promote sales from Beauty Cosmetic Company especially on the basis that all her socio-cultural institutions and beliefs are not against the use of cosmetics. In addition, most people from Europe are aged between 15 and 35 years thereby making a larger portion of the population to be appropriate clientele for beauty cosmetic products and services. This is because the youths are known to be on the look for new products and fashions in the market; an issues that Beauty Cosmetic Company can take advantage of as it expands to Europe as a foreign market (Hisrich 68).

Challenges the Beauty Cosmetic is Likely to Encounter as it Expands into European Market

Despite the fact that there are various opportunities for Beauty Cosmetic Company in Europe, there are a number of challenges and obstacles that it will probably face during its expansion to the foreign market (Tyson and Schell 192). The first barrier is political environment in Europe which will be as a result of difference in systems of government, political instability, ideologies, and national economic priorities. Certain governments distrust foreign investors in an attempt to maintain domestic control by enacting legal barriers that would stop foreign companies from operating in such markets (Tyson and Schell 192). Under such condition, companies such as Beauty Cosmetics can only take advantage of the regions free trade zones which allow free trade and expansion of companies into new markets (Lee 349).

Legal environment is another factor that can pose serious challenge to Beauty Cosmetic as it expands in European market. These regulations would include the tariffs, quotas, documentation, and import regulation. Other regulations include various investment tax, income tax and employment laws (Doole and Lowe 118). The company will therefore have to depend on the treaties native country shall have made with Europe so as to successfully venture into the new market. For example, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a profound treaty that will allow the Beauty Cosmetic Company to be part of the international transaction of member nations and therefore eliminate the barriers associated to trading in Europe (Stevens 67).

The other issues that Beauty Cosmetic will have to contend with are linked to Europe’s economy. For instance, the level of income and expenditure patterns on beauty cosmetics is relatively low among the population in various countries in Europe as most people would prefer to spend much in health care insurance policies as opposed to cosmetics (Longenecker and Gale 62). Consequently, as Beauty Cosmetic Company takes advantage of the wide spread and high income rate among the youths, it must consider and find ways of convincing people to invest in beauty cosmetic products and services.

Beauty Cosmetic Company might also be forced to regulate its prices for health competition at the expense of maximizing profit. That is, being a new entrant into Europe, it might be forced to reduce its prices as initial introduction that is favorable with the current market price even if the products were of higher quality that those from existing companies (Stevens 67). To address the price challenge, Beauty Cosmetic Company might be forced to lease with other companies dealing in beauty cosmetics and the government to regulate its prices. However, such move might either take longer than necessary or turn to be too expensive in the long run. This is because different countries have different means and procedures of regulating prices which might not consider quality of the products and services (Hisrich 68).

Socio-cultural might also pose challenge to Beauty Cosmetic Company. For instance, some people might simply ignore the products irrespective of their quality because they are manufactured by a new or foreign company. The literacy level, general education, language, and religious affiliations of the company’s clientele would determine their take and subsequent purchase of the Beauty Cosmetic Company’s products and services especially after adverts. Similarly, the ethical consideration of beauty cosmetics in Europe has been rated as low as 20% thereby posing threat on the purchasing ability of the clients (Lee 350).

At the same time Beauty Cosmetic can choose to be mobile by introducing the beauty products that are required in the market at the moment and later on changing the strategy based on market demand. Although most of the population in Europe is literate, still majority are better speakers of their native language which will directly influence how Beauty Cosmetic Company is to be received. In fact, most people prefer and understand adverts made in native language than English. Similarly, the most countries in Europe are Catholic, Protestant, and Pentecostal faithful. These religious beliefs have trained their followers to shun the use of cosmetics (Tyson and Schell 193). Consequently, Beauty Cosmetic Company’s successful expansion will largely depend on its ability to advertise in native language and promote the use of descent work, success, clothing, food, and language. It must also respect the social values and religious beliefs, and cultural norms (Tyson and Schell 193).

World Political and Economic Effects on New Market Expansion Plans

Political uncertain can adversely affect the growth and expansion of a company to a foreign market. Its risk often results from political instability and unrest. These aspects can lead to lose of equipment and overall lose to the company and therefore poses challenge of not only lose of profitability, but also closure of the company. These effects influence the fiscal, monetary, trade, industrial, and labor development. Moreover, governments may find it hard to settle some diplomatic or military executions that might be a risk to foreign investors (Doole and Lowe 121-2).

Certain global economic factors such as recession often cause rise in the cost of production (Stevens 95). This is an issue the Beauty Cosmetic Company must explore so as to determine whether cost of raw material and the overall production of its products and services would commensurate prices of the finished products. In addition, recession has sometimes caused fluctuation in the dollar standing against Europe thereby causing changes or instability in the transaction rate (Stevens 95).

In conclusion, Beauty Cosmetic Company’s expansion to Europe as a foreign market is often aimed at taking its products and services within the reach of consumers. In doing so, the company would be able to maximize profit by taking advantage of the opportunities existing in the foreign market. However, various challenges are bound to occur which if not properly addressed by appropriate new market venture strategies might result into lose and closure of the company. Therefore for Beauty Cosmetic Company expand to Europe as a foreign market successfully, it must meet new markets regulations, demands, legal requirements, environmental requirement, and consider the changing market parameters.

Works Cited

Doole, Isobel and Lowe, Robin. International Marketing Strategy: Analysis, Development and Implementation. London: South Western Cengage, 2008.

Hisrich, Robert. International Entrepreneurship: Starting, Developing and Managing a Global Venture. Los Angeles: Sage, 2009.

Lee, Seongil. Computer-Human Interpretation. Berlin: Springer, cop, 2008.

Longenecker, Justin and Gale, Thomas. Small Business Management: an Entrepreurial Emphasis. Mason: Thomson/South-western, 2006.

Stevens, Robert. Market Opportunity Analysis: Text and Cases. New York: Best Business Books, 2006.

Tyson, Eric and Schell, Jim. Business Opportunity Analysis: Small Business for Dummies. Hoboken: Wiley Pub, 2008.

Sample essay: Spiderwoman Theatre

In the year 1975, Muriel Miguel, a Rappahannock/Kuna woman and a native of Brooklyn, New York, organized a radical workshop which has now evolved as one of the oldest and ongoing theatre group in all of the United States and Canada- the Spiderwoman Theatre. In retrospect, the pioneering workshop gathered Native and non-Native women in the country which also included Miguel’s sisters Gloria Miguel and Lisa Mayo in New York City’s Washington Square Methodist Church. Today, Spiderwoman Theatre continues its reputation as a successful Native feminist theatre group, spawning 35 years in strong existence. On that note, this research paper attempts to analyze on what brought Spiderwoman Theatre to the pinnacle of stage success. In the same way, it also highlights the theatre’s aboriginal and feminism origins.

In order to gain insight on how Spiderwoman Theatre has evolved and transformed into what is now seen as an unprecedented, widely acclaimed success, it is essential to include an overview of the theatre itself and its founders. The Spiderwoman Theatre Company was founded by a group that worked mostly with performers coming from a Native American background. The sisters Muriel Miguel, Gloria Miguel and Lisa Mayo grew up in Brooklyn, New, York, just like their mother and grandmother. Their father, on the other hand, was a Kuna Indian originating from the San Blas Islands off the Panama coast. Muriel tells that their father found it hard to make a living in the unfamiliar culture of Brooklyn. In effect, he turned to earning money by performing snake oil shows where the family dances for money. The sisters during their young ages felt uncomfortable with this kind of living which is why they shifted their attention to formal education (Amerinda Editors). In school, they were attracted by the inviting force of the theatre. Here, they spent their energies and talents by turning their performances into an art form rather than a spectacle for senseless amusement.

Having discussed part of the aboriginal roots of this theatre company, it is also significant how it basically emerged from its feminist roots. To regard it as coming from its own kind of feminism cause is explicably a matter of explaining how women became largely involved in the Spiderwoman Theatre. First and foremost, the most obvious one can be pointed out to the name of the theatre group itself.  The name of the company is coined from a goddess in the Hopi mythology. Spiderwoman, the Hopi goddess, taught men and women how to weave after ‘weaving’ them to life.  Initially, the theatre started as a workshop which experimented through the weaving of stories, images, music, feelings, bodies and spaces. The women actors practiced and structured the basics of their dreams and stories.

After that, they improvised in order to polish their works and act it out. At the start of the workshop, the group taught their audience about the hand games of the Native Americans. While creating her own story, one woman plays the Spiderwoman while doing the act of finger-weaving. To continue the story, another performer then wove her story into the first performer. The group continued in weaving, storytelling, dancing and acting out their structured stories in a spontaneous fashion while the improvising musicians played with bowls, rocks, gongs, flutes, a saw and other handmade instruments to accompany the “weaving act.”

In the “Women in Violence” performance, women were portrayed to have emerged from strong causes. Each of the performers in this particular act presented herself as a clown which comes from a peculiar, goddess-given trait of her own. For instance, a strong circus woman named Gloria, placed a flashlight which is hidden in between her skirt’s metallic skirts for her to be able to search for herself beyond the reflected image beneath. Lisa, an “exploiting iconic blonde beauty,” used a tight black dress painted with white lines that outlined her fundamentally female parts and long blonde curls which were held together with a huge sparkling bow. According to Muriel, the aim of this workshop answers the necessity to work with the feelings of anger and isolation, feeling about the Indian situation and movement in the current period and the women’s own violence as women and as Indians. In many ways, the “Women in Violence,” as a paradoxical depiction of women undergoing the strains of feminist aspects and cultural issues, has been instrumental in achieving the goals of the Spiderwoman Theatre’s founders and confirmed the group’s long-standing existence in the theatrical sphere.

According to Wilmeth, Spiderwoman Theatre emerged as one of the so-called feminist movement. In order to connect this theatre company to its feminism roots, it is also crucial to determine how feminist movements surface and how these movements moved to achieve their aims. Feminist theatre, as an alternative theatre movement, began in the early part of the 1970s decade. It proliferated alongside the radical political movements that time which created manifestos gathered around urban centers all throughout the country. These local and innumerable groups comprising of women performer in theatres spoke directly to the public regarding gender equality, women’s subordinate position in the dominant culture and the potential and practical solutions to those issues (255).

The theatre production is an interwoven dialogues, actions/movements and music that connect to various narrative strands which often add “slapstick comedy.” The first Spiderwoman production, “Women in Violence,” premiered in 1976 in New York with huge success, which consequently brought the group to Europe. In the year 1979, the motion picture “The Spiderwoman Theatre Group from New York” was produced during the “Lysistrata Numbah” tour of the company. During the premier of their “Lysistrata Numbah” performance in 1977, the Spiderwoman Theatre produced a satire of female gender stereotypes through a spectacle of likeable and less likeable characters. In its typical production genre, Spiderwoman Theatre serves to scrutinize the contemporary society, the history, resistance and survival of the Native Americans and most fundamentally the feminist ideals and issues portrayed in many of the theatre’s performances (React Feminism Editors).  Rebecca Schneider, assistant professor of theater and performance theatre, said that the manner of story weaving that is intrinsic to the Spiderwoman Theatre gives more than just mere delight to the audience experience of its stage plays (Cornell University Editors). These story weavings are accorded with some tiny flaws which allow each one of us to reconsider our human experiences, our roots and our view of feminism.

In any organization, one of the most defining parameters that measure success is in terms of how well does one particular organization perform in achieving its goals and mission statements. Spiderwoman Theatre states that their mission is to “present exceptional theatre performance and to offer theater training and education rooted in an urban Indigenous performance practice. We entertain and challenge our audiences and create an environment where the Indigenous, women’s and arts communities can come together to examine and discuss their cultural, social and political concerns” (Spiderwoman Theatre.org Editors).

From the very beginning, the theatre has centered on diversity as their foundation. The Miguel sisters spearheaded such collective diversity of women who come from varying races, ages, worldview and sexual orientation. This joint effort to create a team, a theatre company, is rooted from the feminist movement in the 1970s decade. Similarly, it also sprang out from cynicism with the way women were treated during the radical political movement of that time. They began to question cultural stereotypes, gender roles, economic and sexual oppression. They raised significant concerns involving issues of racism, sexism, ‘classism’ and violence in women’s lives.

The Spiderwoman Theatre was a breakthrough in terms of its storytelling and story weaving which became the basis for creating their moving theatrical pieces. With Muriel as the critical “outside eye” of the theatre company, the performers wrote, performed and portrayed personal and traditional stories. Their performances were wholly layered with text, movement, music, sound and visual images. By weaving humor with popular culture and personal accounts, coupled by their shocking styles of presentation, the theatre was able to excite the hearts and enliven the spirits of women, along with men, in their audiences not only in New York but also in the United States, Canada and in many places around the globe.

On how the Spiderwoman Theatre has imbibed aboriginal contexts and roots can be traced back particularly in the beginning of the 1980s. During that decade, many of New York’s Indigenous communities which are based nationally and internationally hailed the women of the Spiderwoman Theatre as a “powerful voice” which gives avenue for the rest of the world to hear their concerns. Because of this, the theatre company emerged as a foremost power for artists, cultural artisans and for Indigenous women. Moreover, the works of the Spiderwoman Company relatively connect the traditional art forms of cultural dance, storytelling, music and practices of the contemporary theatre of the Western world. Originating in Brooklyn, the works of this theatre group is sourced from their personal histories and experiences in being “city Indians.”  By becoming the precursor of the Indigenous theatre movement in America and Canada, the original members of the Spiderwoman Theatre have become mentors to the Indigenous writers, performers, and educators. Apart from presenting their personal works, the group is collaborating and integrating the work of these artists into the theatre company. The women of Spiderwoman Theatre are relentlessly putting their best foot forward to continue their dream of creating an artistic domain wherein indigenous forms of the culture and the arts are autonomous to become the important element of the entire environment of the arts (Spiderwoman Theatre.org Editors).

The aboriginal lineage of Spiderwoman Theatre is linked to their own sense of identity which plays sensibly in a manner of irony, illustrated by double visions and contradictions. In many of their stage plays, they humorously emphasize their lack of familiarity with the Native languages in paradox to their childhood identification and fascination with a typical white girl in the Western world. It initially gives the impression of being somewhat detached to a certain degree from their aboriginal origins, as a way to portray how the new culture has influenced the people with Native roots. Eventually though, their authentic identities are slowly unraveled in wayward manner.  Along with the inevitable humor and funny scenes injected in the theatrical pieces, the concept of Native identity is never set aside. Such practice is crucial to convey the essential message staged in every presentation. Without such stable element , the theatrical piece itself is barren and lifeless despite the humor it integrates (Diner). Thus, as Rebecca Schneider puts it: “Much of Spiderwoman’s work is related to the issue of Indianess, adroitely played in the painful space between the need to claim an authentic, native identity and their awareness of the appropriation and the historical commodification of the signs of that authenticity ” (Schneider, 161).

Of course, the concrete proof of success is also determined by citations and awards given to this theatre company. Over the years, they have been recognized and honored with various awards and distinctions. In the year 1997, as part of the Native American Women Playwrights Archive at Miami University located in Oxford, Ohio, as the founding contributors, they were given honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts for their personal works and great contributions in the theatre field. During the year 2005, the Spiderwoman Theatre received another honor as they were included a vital part of the exhibit, New Tribe, New York, in New York City’s National Museum of the American Indian by the Smithsonian Institution. Last year, the Spiderwoman Theatre was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art (Spiderwoman Theatre.org Editors, 2011).

At this point, let us look at one of the Spiderwoman Theatre piece and its portrayal and impact to either or both contexts of feminism and aboriginal roots, particularly that of a Native Indian. In Winnetou’s Snake Oil Show from Wigwam City, there is a sort of destabilization in terms of stereotype centered at the multiple differences created by the Spiderwoman Theatre itself. Spiderwoman challenges the fixity of the term “princess” when they portray such role aside from declaring a commitment to challenge the so-called ‘multipurpose’ view of feminism. Spiderwoman’s princesses portray a danger of purposely re-fitted identities (Haugo). Hence, parodies are created which intensifies the disruption of the images.

Some known authors have critically examined elemental value of the Spiderwoman Theatre, the kind of theatre which hosts feminine audience for the most parts. In his Processual Encounters of the Transformative Type, Jill Carter called the Spiderwoman Theatre a “newly mobilized feminist collective.” He also adds that the clowns created by this theatre company that aims to carry its artists an audience in the course of the stories are the “archetypes of contemporary feminine humanity. Such archetypes serve to eventually become the medium of discovery and revelation at the end of the day. By way of their involvement and assistance, both performer and the spectator are drawn in an unconventional way of revealing and confronting themselves in public through their own histories and accounts. The aggressive environments which enact violence towards women and where women play and act with their own violence are transformed into a healing avenue wherein the fundamental human responsibility, accountability, value, possibility and dignity may be recognized, reclaimed and most of all, celebrated (Carter, 264).

Apart from its reference to feminism, Carter suggests that the theatrical pieces, written and produced by the Spiderwoman Theatre, consist an additional and supplementary store to what he termed as Indigenous Knowledge. They have victoriously documented the survival and resistance of the Natives. The theatre also celebrated the “artful existence” despite of the seemingly unwelcoming society and the deceitful urban social structure of America during the last part of the twentieth century. With specificity, the mola or the multi-layered quilt used by the Spiderwoman Theatre as a signature backdrop since 1976, serves a cultural and aboriginal purpose. This particular material signifies the Miguel sister’s connection to their Kuna ancestry. Aside from that, it is also a “material representation” of the processes of drama and performance which is viewed to have originated from the artistic mola-making craft of the Kuna (271).

Furthermore, molas are the Kuna nation’s traditional textiles which come from the independent territories of Kuna Yala, or known today as the country of Panama. These molas, as large part of the Spiderwoman Theatre contain the founder’s aboriginal Kuna roots from Kuna perception, cosmology and identity.  The crucial role that the mola plays in Kuna heritage is best described in Monique Mojica’s own words that goes “It is this thickness, this multi-dimensional knowing applied from the principles of Kuna women’s art that I believe is the centre pole of my writing and following the lead of Spiderwoman Theater, it has become the heart of my theatrical form. And I want that thickness in my work.” Mojica, as an actor and playwright of the Spiderwoman Theatre, is committed to the “strengthening the continental links among the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.” (Knowles). The works embodied in the Spiderwoman Theatre is a bridge built by the contemporary artists in an attempt to share the process while they are still searching for means to tightly ground themselves in artistic forms and structures, crafted in an aboriginal way.

k.Spiderwoman Theatre has endured as their works surface from the foundations of their cultural heritage. The subjects explored by this theatre group are certainly not exclusive to the Native communities including violence towards women, domestic abuse as well as the assimilation and loss of culture.  The theatrical pieces incorporate the themes of oral tradition and native myth, in other words- a storytelling tradition- which has the realms of the contemporary life that are used to analyze the issues (Abbot, 167). Again, by using the personal histories and life experiences as the basis of their story weaving and storytelling, Spiderwoman Theatre mirrors the “tapestry of humanity and weaves a web of connections among people. Just like the Hopi goddess, Spiderwoman is ever present to give guidance and counsel by way of their work.

Works Cited

Carter, Jill. Processual Encounters of the Transformative Type from the book Troubling tricksters: Revisioning critical conversations by Linda M. Morra, Deanna Reder .Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010.

Schneider, Rebecca. The Explicit Body in Performance. New York : Routledge, 1997.

Wilmeth, Don B. The Cambridge guide to American theatre. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Web sources

Diner, Robyn. “Not-So-Exotic-Indians: Irony, Identity and Memory in Spiderwoman’s Spectacles. Thirdspace.ca. March 2002. <http://www.thirdspace.ca/journal/article/viewArticle/diner/57> 08 May 2011.

Abbot, Larry. “Spiderwoman Theatre and the Tapestry of Story.The Canadian Journal of Native Studies. 1996. <http://www2.brandonu.ca/library/cjns/16.1/abbott.pdf> 08 May 2011.

Amerinda Editors. “Professional Bio: Spiderwoman Theatre.” Amerinda.org. 2004.

<http://amerinda.org/naar/spiderwoman/spiderwoman.htm> 08 May 2011.

Cornell University Editors. “Cornell will host symposium on Native American representation.” Cornell.edu. 28 March 2002. <http://www.news.cornell.edu/Chronicle/02/3.28.02/indiansindians.html> 08 May 2011.

Haugo, Ann. “Colonial Audiences and Native Women’s Theatre: Viewing Spiderwoman Theatre’s Winnetou’s Snake Oil Show from Wigwam City.” Journals.ku.edu. 1999.

<https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/jdtc/article/download/3327/3256> 08 May 2011.

Knowles, Ric. “Monique Mojica”. The Literary Encyclopedia. 05 March 2008

<http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12028> 09 May 2011.

Mojica, Monique. “Spiderwoman Theatre.Eastcoastnative.com 2008. <http://eastcoastnative.com/page04.html> 09 May 2011.

React Feminism Editors. “Spiderwoman Theater (USA, founded 1975).”

<http://www.reactfeminism.org/artists/spiderwomantheatre_en.html> 09 May 2011.

Spiderwoman Theatre Editors. 2011. “Mission.” Spiderwomantheater.org. 2011.

<http://www.spiderwomantheater.org/SpiderwomanAboutUs.htm> 09 May 2011.

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