Brave New World is a profound literary work that encompasses themes of philosophical discourse, projection of societies in the future, the impact of technology on human relations, etc. The major theme in the novel, however, is the link between dystopian societies and an underlying technocratic socio-political order. Huxley uses conflict and control in the realms of politics, human relations, culture and technology to showcase all the malefic aspects of a technocracy. This essay will flesh out this thesis in detail.
One of the constant undercurrents in Brave New World is the dehumanizing effects of technological progress. It would be simplistic and false to blame technology per se for the situation, for there is a political angle to it as well. In other words, if sophisticated technology is wielded by powerful political institutions for vested gains then the results can be disastrous for humanity. Eugenics and scientific planning are two . . . Read More
The basic plot of the movie – that set on the last days of a dying young woman – hints at being a tear-jerking melodrama. But contrary to this threat My Life Without Me delivers a surprisingly novel representation of a life about to end. The announcement of death, instead of limiting the physical and mental possibilities of the young woman Ann, actually liberates her to explore them to the fullest. The film is rich in its philosophical content, particularly themes central to Existentialism. This essay will showcase how through the strength of her character and a preference for rationality over sentimentality Ann represents a true existential hero.
Hardly 23 years of age, Ann lives an arduous yet contented life. She lives with her young family in a caravan put out in the backyard of her mother’s house. Although the relationship with her mother is somewhat troubled, she has a loving husband and two adorable girls. Her father is . . . Read More
The three Punic Wars that were waged between Roman and Carthaginian Empires are significant events in ancient geopolitical history. The rise of the Roman Empire coincided with the decline of the Carthaginian Empire because each tried to benefit at the cost of the other. With every outbreak of war between these two great empires, the Roman Empire ended up garnering greater territorial expansion and political influence in the broader Europe. The three wars spanned a period of more than a century, starting from 264 BC and ending in 146 BC. The outcome of the wars established the enduring legacy of the Roman Empire as one of the greatest in the whole of history.
The influence of the Punic Wars on Western Civilization
The Punic Wars were important also for their influence on subsequent diplomatic and military strategies. Many theories pertaining to political and military strategy were conceived and codified during these three wars. These theories . . . Read More
Desiderius Erasmus is one of the most influential Catholic theologians in the entire history of the faith. He is remembered not only as a prominent member of the Church but also as a great Humanist. He took a middle path approach to resolving conflicts between religion and rationalism. He was despised by both sides for his preference for compromise over conflict. But his positions and views were based on pragmatism and not cowardice. The proper way, for Erasmus, was to never resort to fanaticism even if one is right. He understood well the nature of evil and he too hoped to see truth replace error and right triumph over wrong. But
“he showed discretion in his choice of tactics. If you wish to bring about peacefully true and lasting reforms, you do not, like the fanatics, indiscriminately attack not only the ideas you oppose but also the honesty, integrity, and sincerity of those who hold them. If you wish to convince a person he should change his ways, . . . Read More
(In order to limit the negative aspects, should the government regulate it, or is this responsibility more with others (e.g. families, media, schools, etc).)
Advertising targeted against kids is a concept that invokes ethical issues. The major criticism against this practice is that it abuses the vulnerability of children for commercial gain. The ‘kid market’ as it is called is a multi-billion dollar industry today. As capitalism becomes entrenched as the uncontested economic model, all aspects of life are being commoditized and commercialized. Children are taught from a very young age that in order to be happy one has to consume products and services. Even self-worth is tied into the drive for consumerism, leading children to develop the belief that they are worth what they possess. Moreover, “whilst this child-targeted marketing used to concentrate on sweets and toys, it now includes clothes, shoes, a range of fast foods, sports . . . Read More
Despite no authentic version of the play extant, Christopher Marlowe’s play Massacre at Paris continues to be of importance. The play is heavily drawn from real historical events happening in French politics at the time of it being written. The Massacre at Paris that was unleashed by the Third Duke of Guise upon all his suspected enemies is both brutal and real. Marlowe portrays Guise as a thorough Machiavellian character who is bent upon usurping power through any means. The killing of his father Francis when he was just 13 is a key event in the development of Guise’ personality. Facing this calamity at a tender age impresses in his mind the motivations for revenge. This would later transpire into a more generic blood and power lust. His immediate ascension to throne after his father’s premature death forced Guise to mature very fast. His chief nemesis would be Henry of Navarre, who is an able and imaginative administrator.
Marlowe devotes so much more . . . Read More
Racism as a construct for demographic and socio-political analysis is increasingly being contested. Today, urbanization has become the norm due to process of industrialization, and cities are getting very cosmopolitan. This makes it necessary that people from so called ‘different races’ cohabit and cooperate to achieve their shared objectives. Most advanced industrial societies today exhibit some degree of tolerance and adaptability when it comes to issues of race. But the situation is far from perfect and race continues to be a simmering point of contention. In this backdrop new scientific and anthropological evidence on the veracity of race assumes significance. They help demystify and demythologize race and racism as previously understood. In this process the very legitimacy of racial classification is questioned.
The American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) consensus on the subject of race is a rebuke to historical perceptions of race. The esteemed . . . Read More
The two music pieces chosen for this exercise are JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto 4 (First Movement – Allegro) and Joseph Haydn’s London Symphony (No.104 First Movement). These two pieces were chosen on account of the sharp differences between them in terms of style, texture, genre, period, etc. For example, Bach’s piece is written for a chamber orchestra of not more than 17 players. This was roughly the common size for the Baroque concerto format. Haydn’s piece, on the other hand was written to be performed by a much larger symphony orchestra comprising around 40 musicians. It is perhaps due to the limited resources at Bach’s disposal that constant invention in music was a matter of necessity than of will. In contrast, the bolder, simpler style of Haydn is typical of the Classical era. The following observation by Igor Stravinsky’s in his 1947 work Poetics of Music (1947) applies to both the works in question:
“All music, whether it . . . Read More
The Lewis & Clark Expedition is one of the pivotal moments in the history of the United States. Two centuries ago, under the orders of the then President Thomas Jefferson, Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark set about with a team of thirty three personnel to explore, observe and chart the vast expanses of territory to the west of the continent. Titled very aptly the Corps of Discovery, the team started their journey in Wood River, Illinois in 1804 and reached the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the continent a year later. The entire route taken by the team measured 3700 miles. It covered several states, including “Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington”. (“Lewis and Clark Bicentennial,” 2001) The expedition marked a key event in the course of the nation’s history. This is acknowledged during the bicentennial celebrations of the event that transpired in 2005. On the . . . Read More
Document analysis: Extract from Bernt Engelmann’s autobiographical memoir, In Hitler’s Germany, (1986), pp.1-4
While political violence during the reign of the Third Reich is copiously documented, the intimidation and oppression in the lead up to Nazi capture of power is less well known. Bernt Engelmann’s autobiographical memoir In Hitler’s Germany, written half a century after the event in 1986, serves to fill this lacuna. In the extract in question Engelmann recounts a dramatic event he experienced when he was a school kid growing up in late Weimar Germany. Even eight months before Germany came under the grip of the Third Reich there were troubling early signs of what is in store. Engelmann’s Jewish French teacher (Dr.Levy) was vilified and victimized right before his eyes and for not fault of his. Merely by the fact of his religious faith and by his legitimate act of removing a Swastika flag from the school mast, Dr. . . . Read More