As many as 50 characters who appear in the Holy Bible also appear in the Holy Qur’an. This includes that of Abraham, Issac and Ismael as well. The Qur’an, having appeared seven centuries after the Holy Bible, believed by Muslims to be the more authoritative text. Consequently, there are many differences between the stories of these characters in the two texts, with followers and clerics divided on which account is the more truthful one. This paper will take up the historical character of Abraham (and his extended family) and identify how it is portrayed differently in the two religious scriptures in question. In particular, it will argue that the tone and moral stringency associated with the life of Abraham (and his family) comes across as less lenient in the Holy Bible when compared to that in Holy Qur’an.
There are similarities in the two accounts, in that messengers come to Abraham’s abode (on their way to destroying Sodom and Gomorrah) and promise . . . Read More
The First World War, also called the Great War would shake-up then existing power equations within Europe and prime the region for the Second World War two decades later. While America’s participation in the latter was more substantial than the former, it nevertheless played a crucial supportive role to its conventional allies. It’s support to the French cause would prove to be a major factor in the eventual outcome of the war. Robert Bruce’s book titled The Fraternity of Arms: America and France in the Great War traces this alliance and places it in the historical, political, ideological and imperialist contexts. (Thesis) Carefully researched and meticulously documented, the book offers new insights into officially recognized events and behind-the-scene realpolitik manoeuvrings during the war. More importantly, it is unique in terms of its historiography, adding new dimensions to the study of history.
Where the book diverges from other . . . Read More
The movie Freedom Writers is one of the most touching to have come out of Hollywood in recent years. Starring Hilary Swank in a lead role, the movie takes up a subject that is at the heart of American culture, namely the economics of race and gender. On a cursory viewing the story looks deceptively simple. But when the storyline, screenplay and other nuances in the film are observed, numerous interpretations are made available. Embedded within it are themes of economics, especially that applying to race and gender. The rest of the essay will elaborate on such observations.
The term ‘Economics of Gender and Race’ is usually employed by economists to talk about disparities in income and work opportunities among different races and the two genders. In the American context, these disparities are skewered in favor of white Americans, especially the White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP) group. The whites generally have a headstart in terms of standard of living . . . Read More
It is only a tiny minority of employees who are found out for taking illegal (or recreational) drugs during their term of employment. The list of banned drugs include Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamines, etc. Excessive use of alcohol can also be in conflict with terms of employment. The Medical Review Officer (MRO) collects samples of urine, blood, etc from employees (or candidates) and performs comprehensive exams in a laboratory to screen for drug usage. Once tell-tale traces are found out the employeee is liable to legal prosecution.
The most extreme action that an employer can take is to terminate employment or refusing to hire (as the case may be). The scope of actions on part of employers are provisioned in the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, promoted and passed by President Ronald Reagan during his final year of presidency. There are other federal and state regulations which allow termination only if it is inevitable. On detection of an employee drug . . . Read More
There are several reasons why people give importance to their looks. Firstly, we all have to present ourselves in an acceptable manner in social occasions. The appearance need not be lavish for all occasions but at least pleasant. Women generally tend to be give more importance to their appearance than men – this is because they are the fairer sex and it comes naturally for them. Men tend to focus on such things as fitness, body building etc. But one strong motivation for both genders is to be attractive to the opposite sex. Apart from appearance being helpful in attracting partners, it also helps establish status among peers. A good dressing sense and a well-kempt appearance will help gain respect among peers (provided, of course, that the individual’s behavior is in line with his/her sophisticated outward appearance)
What aids and facilitates this obsession is the multi-billion dollar advertising industry which repeatedly projects images of beauty and . . . Read More
(Introduction) Eudora Welty has made vital contributions to twentieth century American fiction. Renowned for her insight-filled short stories, she focuses on women and minority issues in her works. The short story A Worn Path is also about women’s issues but but is also about old age and poverty. This essay will argue although A Worn Path is a work of fiction the issues raised in it are pressing realities in contemporary American life.
(Background) One prominent theme in the story is the perseverance of Old Phoenix in crossing so many hurdles on her way to the town hospital. Adding to the dramatic effect of this journey is her very old age (possibly in her eighties or nineties). Despite the physical challenges of the long journey she trudges on with a cane stick as her only aid. The distance from her place to the town hospital is so long that even the young White man she encounters en route admits to the arduousness of covering that distance. The author is . . . Read More
MBO (Management by Objectives) is a process whereby a consensus between managers and employees on business objectives is brought about. The term Management by Objectives was first coined by management Guru Peter Drucker in his book The Practice of Management published in 1954. The core of the system is the belief that by making employees active participants in the goal setting process, they are more likely to accomplish the goals. A periodic appraisal of actual employee performance against previously agreed upon standards would indicate the degree to which employees have succeeded in achieving those goals. Employees are also made to understand how their individual contributions influence overall success of business objectives.
Drucker and other management experts have identified six steps in the MBO process. The first step is Motivation, whereby employee’s inputs are considered and respected in setting goals for each individual. The keywords during this step are . . . Read More
A Short History of Reconstruction by Eric Foner is an important addition to documented American history. The American Civil War and its aftermath is a critical period in the nation’s history and one that profoundly influenced subsequent socio-political developments. The Civil War would have its most important effect on the lives of millions of African American slaves, as a large proportion of them would be decreed ‘free’ toward the end of the war. Having achieved this concession from their white masters, African Americans would rejoice their newly won liberties and rights in the years following the war – also referred by historians as the period of Reconstruction. Eric Foner’s book offers an in-depth analysis and commentary on this crucial period in American history. Since there are already numerous books dealing with the Reconstruction era, the necessity for yet another authorial perspective and interpretation is to be questioned. But Foner . . . Read More
The underlying theme in the story Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin and the poem In Response to Executive Order 9066 by Dwight Okita is that of trust (or lack thereof). Both works of literature leave a lingering poignancy in the mind of the reader, probably because all can relate to the concept of trust as it is central to all human relationships. The thesis of this essay is: the two works in discussion can be taken as moral lessons for those of us who tend to distrust fellow humans, either due to lack of goodwill or prejudice or false beliefs. The following paragraphs will weigh up points in support of this thesis as well as those countering it.
The distrusting characters in the two literary pieces – Armand Aubigny and Denise O’Connor – should respectively be judged based on the cultural mores of their time as well as their age. In the case of Armand Aubigny, a white propertied man and a slave owner, his display of shame and shock upon discovering his . . . Read More
An element of my personal philosophy of life is related to the dynamics of ‘contentment’. Since the whole canon of Western Philosophy is centered on the causes, states and conditions of contentment, it is fair to say that my contribution through this narrative is a minuscule one. Yet, I would like to voice my assessment of this universal human concern and try to refine my theory through the responses it will elicit from the audience. I have synthesized my personal experience with a larger political event and have studied them both in a philosophical framework. I hope that the audience will eventually agree with me as they see the logic and weight of my arguments given below.
I would describe my personal philosophy of life as closely allied to Epicureanism. Although this school of thought is grouped under Hedonism, it is markedly more moderate in the principles it espouses. As opposed to Hedonism, which is living life for the sole purpose of sensory enjoyment, . . . Read More