Patrick Henry is still regarded as the ‘Homer of Orators’ within the American literary canon. He is most renowned for his words ‘Give me Liberty or Give me Death’ which he uttered to his followers on the eve of the Declaration of Independence. A recently taken public opinion poll by Gallup found that nearly one in two American associate Patrick Henry with his heroic oratory. According to the poll results, he stands alongside Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt as one of the most . . . Read More
Charles Darwin and John Stuart Mill were both influential thinkers of the nineteenth century. The lifetime’s work of Charles Darwin has been in the realm of evolutionary biology, but his theories are highly relevant for contemporary human societies as well. John Stuart Mill, on the other hand, is best known for his conception of the principle of Utilitarianism, which finds application in modern . . . Read More
‘Two Kinds’ is the last story in the second segment of Amy Tan’s highly popular debut book, The Joy Luck Club. The book is divided into four interconnected segments with each of them containing a group of stories which can stand alone themselves. While the author had intended the book to be a short-story collection, it is seen by critics as a novel due to the interrelated and cohesive narrative. Similar to other stories in the collection, ‘Two Kinds’ is a depiction of complexities in mother-daughter relationships in San Francisco’s China-town. The focus of the story is the often disruptive but inevitable “distance between mothers who were born in China before the communist revolution and thus have been cut off from their native culture for decades, and their American-born daughters who must negotiate the twin burdens of their Chinese ancestry and American expectations for success”. While the protagonist and narrator of the story Jing-mei persistently thwarts her . . . Read More
President Obama’s historic inaugural speech on20th January, 2009was powerful and persuasive. Coming at a time when the nation was confronting the worst economic slump in seventy years, the speech contained within it the necessary reassurance and the promise of change that were so desperately needed. To his credit, the new President was mild in his criticism of his predecessor George W. Bush. To the contrary, the speech appeared to focus on the progress and prosperity in the years ahead rather than point finger at the perpetrators of the present state of chaos. In the very beginning of his address, President Obama displays this forgiving attitude when he said “I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition”.
The other discernible quality of the speech is its minimal rhetoric. President Obama, having spent close to two years on the campaign trail – initially for the . . . Read More
Women’s issues have been, to an extent, independent from the broader socio-history changes witnessed in twentieth century America. The foremost issue that had not found suitable resolution since the 1920s is the wage disparity between men and women in America. While at the beginning of the century the percentage of women who participated in mainstream economy was negligible, this situation changed with the two world wars. As men were waging battle in the war front, women undertook jobs that were erstwhile only done by men. Emboldened and encouraged by their success, the social norms concerning the role of women had undergone a radical change. Yet, business enterprises did not easily accept the notion that women deserve equal remuneration as that of their male colleagues. While the magnitude of the disparity had eased up during the subsequent decades of the century, the issue is not satisfactorily resolved.
The disparity is . . . Read More
In the book Affluenza, John de Graaf and his team of authors also present an analysis of other symptoms of Affluenza, such as commercial television, inhumane working and living conditions for the lower classes and the culture of living in perpetual debt. Commercialized television, for instance, has been the preferred medium for advertisers to encourage consumption of their products. The authors assert that the program content is secondary to the advertisement slots being filled. In what is a radically new way of looking at television programs, the soap operas or reality shows were so construed to keep the audience glued to their seats when the commercials arrive on screen. In this context, it is not difficult to imagine the basis and thrust of the program content. The steady decline in the quality of television programs can be understood within this analytic framework. Moreover, mainstream broadcast content is full of portrayals of physical violence. The car chases . . . Read More
The city of London has historically been the heart of Western Europe. While across the channel Paris grew in reputation as the favored hub for artists, musicians and litterateurs, London was (and still is) the financial centre of Western European democracies. Given this background, the confines of metropolitan London had expanded gradually. Needless to say, there are limitations to any urban township and the case of London proved to be no exception. With advances in modes of commotion, ever greater numbers of people migrated to London in search of economic opportunity. In the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, these influxes of people originated within continental Europe. This was also a time when the British Empire reached its peak on back of its superior naval force. But, the twentieth century was markedly different, in that the émigré’s were from erstwhile colonies spanning all continents. Such patterns of migration have overwhelmed the city of London, that . . . Read More
In the Newport Folk Festival of 1965, the 16 minute performance given by Bob Dylan was disapproved by certain sections of the audience. In a break away from tradition, Dylan used an electric guitar in a live folk concert for the first time, which many fans came to regard as unauthentic. This event is said to have affected the further evolution of the folk genre, as well as the rock ‘n’ roll . . . Read More
Educating Rita, both in its version of a motion picture as well as a play, is a comedy contrived from class based differences of the lead protagonists. Rita, played by Julie Walters is a twenty six year old hairdresser, ailing from working classLiverpool. To the role of her tutor, played by Michael Caine, are associated middle-class markers of education, job security and social status. Having emerged from different socio-economic backgrounds, the meeting of the tutor and the pupil induces refreshing changes in both their lives. For instance, Rita aspires to overcome the attendant disadvantages of her working class background through her enrolment in the Open University. The education she would receive there, she believes, would liberate and enlighten her; by way of which she hopes to move away from the social strata of her birth. Professor Frank Bryant, on the other hand, is a middle-aged alcoholic, who has no interest what so ever in his professorship. Instead he . . . Read More
The underlying principle behind the framing of the Double Jeopardy Clause is the universal maxim of the common-law of England which is still being referred to in the United States. In the U.S, the common law rule was integrated into the Bill of Rights and hence was given constitutional importance. The Clause in question is included in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The Double Jeopardy Clause of the American Constitution that states “[N]or shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb ….” has always been a topic of debate and disagreement within the community of lawyers in the country. Many instances of confusion had risen from the interpretation of the words “same offense”, where at times the Court casually applies the Clause to offenses that are not the same but obviously different (Dibianco, 1995). For example, “premeditated murder is not the same as attempted murder or manslaughter; armed robbery . . . Read More