Almost two and a half millennia separate the ancient Greek version of Antigone (attributed to Sophocles) and its modern adaptation written by A.R. Gurney. The classic version is part of Sophocles’ trilogy of Theban plays: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. The great Greek myth of Oedipus continues to be integral to the Western literary canon even today. Starting from 5th century B.C., various ancient writers of the Hellenistic era made references to Oedipus in their works. The modern adaptation for theatre by A.R. Gurney offers an interesting contextualization of heroine Antigone’s fight against authority. In both the cases, the theme is the same, one of confrontation of the individual will against a powerful authority figure. In Sophocles’ Antigone, this antagonist was Creon the King. In Gurney’s play it is the Professor in Classics Department George Henry Harper. But the nature of struggle of the two heroines is the same. This essay . . . Read More
The Pursuit of Happyness was a commercially successful film whose main appeal is its ‘feel-good’ ending. It treads the much worn path of the rags-to-riches narrative, albeit with some variations in plot, characterization and context. This essay would argue that despite the commercial success of the film, it fails as a social instrument. In other words, if the purpose of cinema is not merely to entertain but also to educate, the Pursuit of Happyness fails on the latter count. The essay will also analyze the major themes in the film.
The main criticism is toward its core message that among the thousands of honest aspirants for the American Dream only a few lucky ones make through. The final shot of the film is not merely the triumph of its protagonist, but equally the defeat of multitudes of his brethren. The defeated cannot said to have all been less industrious than our hero. Luck plays a major role in deciding who succeeds. One also needs to question the kind . . . Read More
Decision making is a complex process that involves giving consideration to numerous factors and perspectives. If decision making as an individual action is difficult enough, it is all the more complicated when performed by a group. In our group, the four members Aleksandar Burneski (110064964), Rocco Guiducci (110065658), Kuir Alaak (100044490) and I Mossab Aljamdi (110079132) have different personality types and character traits. Hence we bring a wide range of inputs to the process of decision making. Two features of our deliberations are conflict and conciliation. Conflict is inevitable in any group interaction, but we make sure that it is constructive and instructive. What we strive as a group is to talk, deliberate, analyse and eventually concur on our decisions. The objective of our project was to compile a report on End User Development (EUD), which is a buzzing concept in the world of Information Technology. Numerous decisions were taken at . . . Read More
The prevailing healthcare system in the United States has drawn many criticisms – from healthcare professionals and citizens alike. The American system fares badly compared to nationalized public health systems of Western Europe. Even in terms of overall costs, the American model is more expensive, which is significantly inflated by bureaucracy costs. All comparative evidence points in one direction – that the country would benefit through an overhaul of the healthcare system. Single payer and universal insurance coverage are the cornerstones of the optimal system. Posing hurdles for this noble objective are vested private interests in the form of private insurance companies, ideologically entrenched politicians and to a lesser extent, healthcare providers.
Why is the article relevant to our course discussions on the U.S. Healthcare system?
The issue of healthcare is a pressing social problem in the United States. . . . Read More
There is no doubt that Ahab is the most uncivilized and barbaric of the sailors. Although he is the captain of the ship and holds authority over the entire crew, his actions do not merit him respectability. The harpooners carry a tarnished image by virtue of their profession – they are obligated to massacre the whales. But Ahab’s livelihood is more of his own choice. He could easily have chosen a merchant’s life and look at fishing and hunting as merely commercial opportunities. Indeed, Ahab was reminded of this saner and safer option by his lieutenants in the Pequod. But his vanity is too big for such humbling decisions. Even before the grand ship set sail, Ahab was deep in his ambition of killing Moby Dick the white whale. His battle cry is full of vehemence and bloodlust, as his final moments spent fighting the giant beast clearly reveal: “Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from . . . Read More
The white whale Moby Dick can be looked at as a metaphor or an illusion. It is true that Ahab’s pursuit of it is real and the whale’s sightings by other ships equally honest. But the highly exceptional skin colour for a whale is a deliberate literary device employed by the author. What Melville is trying to convey is the ultimate futility and folly of Ahab’s stated mission. Though Moby Dick the white whale is real and its history well documented within the fiction, its very existence is highly improbable. Zoological knowledge concurs that white whales are very rare and elusive. This fact of nature throws light on the precarious and absurd mission of Ahab’s revenge. Not only is he hunting a dangerous beast of the wild oceans, but spotting and getting near it is highly dicey. Just as ancient myths are events that are plausible yet never true, Ahab’s mission is theoretically possible but is never likely to succeed. It is in this respect that myth is expressed in . . . Read More
Both the stories in question have a female, colored protagonist. The two central characters Zuleika and Kambili are also similarly aged – it is their teenage years that are being explored. Even before they reach adulthood they go through enormous upheavals in their lives. Moreover, their stories fit into a colonial discourse with attendant features of cultural displacement, social alienation and economic exploitation. There is yet another interesting similarity between the two heroines, namely, their personal obsessions. But the objects of their obsessions are not the same. Likewise, secondary characters in the two stories have obsessions of their own. This essay endeavors to show how there are a range of psychological dispositions among various characters which account for their obsessions and how the authors’ own obsessions bear upon them.
The Emperor’s Babe is a fresh and vivid verse narrative of a young woman in Ancient Rome. Born into poverty and . . . Read More
News Corporation, under the leadership of Rupert Murdoch, has unparalleled power and reach in the news media industry. The Murdoch Empire spans several continents, with significant footholds in Australia, United States and the United Kingdom. Founded and headquartered in Australia, the company now boasts of being the number one newspaper publisher in the world, with a cumulative daily readership of 14 million in these three countries alone. Murdoch has a near monopoly in the media space in Australia, owning two-thirds of all newspaper circulation in the country. Across the Tasman Sea, in New Zealand, he owns nearly half. Further, he is the owner of two fifths of the Australian Associated Press. (Knowlton & Parsons, 1995, p. 200) These holdings are notwithstanding his considerable market share in Britain and the United States. These statistics bear testimony to the Murdoch’s media monopoly. Between the lines one can read the dangers . . . Read More
The upcoming release of Sony PlayStation 4 has created plenty of buzz among video gaming enthusiasts. With the release of this latest video gaming console from Sony the company hopes to claim leadership position both in terms of technology and market share. A set of new technological frontiers are set to be breached through the launch. The console has incorporated advanced motion capture features. It also offers new real-time networking and data sharing capabilities, which is set to enhance the gaming experience. On the marketing side, Sony aims to avoid the mistakes it did with the previous version of the console, which was introduced too late into the market, when, by then, Microsoft’s Xbox had firmly established its presence.
Apart from the apparent allure of an entertainment gadget, one can look at the upcoming product launch from critical angles. The foremost is the social implication of video games in general and PlayStation in particular. It is a . . . Read More
Henry Louis Gates Jr. makes a cogent case for pluralism in the American cultural context. In the American academia of today the formation of curricula is largely dependent on the ethnic composition of the enrolled students. This implies that courses that come under the purview of liberal arts are seldom offered in colleges with a high ethnic/racial diversity. Gates Jr. sees this practice as discriminatory and divisive. He alerts us to how “political representation has been confused with ‘representation’ of various ethnic identities in the curriculum”. (214) Hereby, instead of real diversity in the classroom, what we have is notional diversity of perspectives in the course content. The effect of this trend is one of promoting a concocted common American identity where none such exists. Political conservatives have tried to justify this practice by citing fears of ‘tribalism’ and ‘fragmentation’ in society. But considering that plurality is at the very core of American . . . Read More