Scott Fitzgerald’s well-crafted short story ‘Winter Dreams’ is set in the 1920s, which is also referred to as the Jazz Age in American history. Following the lull and chaos of the First World War, American society was primed to embrace a liberal and materialistic culture. The conventional structure of society was shaken up and new attitudes toward religion, morality and personal relations emerged. The widespread patronage of art and artists was central to this cultural upheaval. An important aspect of the short story is its masterly depiction of this changing cultural milieu.
The plot of the story serves as a narrative foundation and gives coherence to it. Alongside elements of fiction also lie historical facts about the 1920s America. In this respect, the story is both a well-crafted piece of art and a historical document. Through the characters of Dexter and Judy, Fitzgerald portrays the shallowness of the then American society. Judy Jones is a wealthy and attractive . . . Read More
Gloria Steinem is one of the most well known and respected leader of the feminist movement in America. Her writings and speeches have impacted the way women’s issues are perceived and understood in the last half a century or so. Alongside Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug and Shirley Chisholm, Steinem has carved a unique place for herself in the pantheon of feminist leaders.
Born on 25th March, 1934 in mid-western state of Ohio, Steinem had a difficult childhood. Her father was an antique dealer and as a result traveled frequently, while her mother worked for a publisher. Her grandmother Pauline Steinem was a revered suffragette in her day. But in the early years of Gloria’s life, there was little evidence to suggest that she would uphold her grandmother’s legacy. Since her father had to relocate to new cities very frequently, the young Gloria Steinem could not be enrolled in a regular school. All her early education was provided by her mom at home. This delicate family . . . Read More
The Multinational Enterprise has become ubiquitous in the new neo-liberal world order of the early twenty first century. However, all too often, these enterprises’ activities have lacked prudence and foresight in terms of the consequences for the local populations. Moreover, the loopholes of international business law allow these companies to go scot-free and evade accountability toward the citizens of the countries in which they operate on. The activities of Multinational Enterprises in developing countries can either be beneficial or disadvantageous to the country. Recent evidence suggests that there are more cases of the latte than the former. This essay tries to find out how far true the criticisms directed at multinational enterprises (MNEs) as a result of their activities in lesser developed parts of the world. This is done by citing examples from particular developing nations.
The primary criticism leveled against MNEs is their lack of responsibility . . . Read More
Social class continues to play a significant role in the electoral outcomes of all modern democracies. This is particularly true in Britain, as the nation still grapples with a historical legacy that is rooted in class divisions. Having embraced democracy toward the later half of the nineteenth century, political institutions have evolved to function around existing class demarcations. While class consciousness still plays a major role in British polity, it may no longer be the primary force of policy making that it once was. This essay will attempt to assess the relationship between social class and election outcomes in twentieth century Britain by way of citing evidence from scholarly literature.
Seen from a historical perspective, the British, and especially the English, “have traditionally considered themselves above nationalism”. In other words, the self-identity of British citizens is influenced more by their socio-economic background than notions of being uniquely . . . Read More
The phenomenon of globalization is as old as organized commerce. In its early days, the wealth generated by globalization was limited to a small elite community. But as modes of transport, communication and remote business organization advanced it has led to sustained living standard improvements in many industrial societies. This has happened to the extent that these days the word globalization has become synonymous with efficiency, economic opportunity and overall human security. While such developments are partially true there is also another side to the story. While the advanced nations of hemispheric West have had benign consequences as a result of globalization, key human development parameters of most Third World countries have fallen proportionately. Hence, it is difficult to present a blanket view of the impact of globalization on public health. In light of this fact, this essay will attempt to attain a nuanced understanding of globalization’s overall effect on public . . . Read More
The distinction between universal human rights and jurisdiction specific legal rights has existed from the earliest days of formal justice. The story ‘The Nights Mary Poppins Died’ provides a useful context for elucidating this distinction. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the founding document of modern human rights doctrine. Framed in the aftermath of the Second World War, “it was composed by an international committee of experts representing a great range of ethical traditions. Although its members never lost sight of the political dimensions of their assignment, they made an extraordinary effort to understand each other and to identify common ground” (Beitz, 2003). While ‘human’ rights is meant to represent what is common among all peoples across the world, ‘legal’ rights on the other hand were narrower in scope, representing the local political and cultural sensibilities. This essay will attempt to do the same by way of discussing the rights . . . Read More
The infiltration of pieces of Asian art into the museums and art houses of Europe and America goes back a long way. In spite of the obvious cultural differences between the hemispheric East and West, the exchange of artefacts across the divide is as old as international commerce. Asian art has not only found patronage in the West, but have also had a significant influence in moulding the European and American conception of art. This essay will explore these developments in greater detail and find out why Asian art and artists have found acceptance and patronage in the West. Scholarly sources in the form of journal articles have been perused for composing this essay.
Recently in the United States of America, The Asia Society organized a couple of important exhibitions, which typify the changing perception of Asian art in the West. The exhibition called ‘Buddha of the Future’ featured a bronze statue of Buddhist deity Maitreya which is nearly twelve hundred years old. . . . Read More
Australia’s foreign policy has traditionally been interlinked with the Anglo-Saxon origins of its first inhabitants. In other words,Australia almost always stood alongside Britain and the United States on many contentious international issues, the latest of which is the War on Terror. In the eight years since its inception, it has become clear that further participation in the War on Terror would only worsen the security situation in and around Australia. An indication of what is in store can be learnt from the Bali bombing of October 2002, which took the lives of several innocent Australian citizens. This was interpreted by some commentators as the Jihadists’ way of warning Australia and deterring it in collaborating with the United States. But unfortunately, the message was ignored by the Australian government, putting its citizens at ever greater risk. Bali might not be officially Australian soil, but with the organization and skill with which the Islamic . . . Read More
To understand how Islamic jihad gained support in Southeast Asia, it is important to gain cognisance of its founding principle. And the present wave of Islamic revivalism and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Southeast Asia originated during the 1970s. The movement started as a reaction to the disillusionment and failure associated with modern neo-liberal economic policies. The first world has had longstanding association with Muslim-dominant nations that are oppressive, authoritarian and dictatorial. A prime example of this would be Saudi Arabia, with whom the United States and its allies (including Australia) don’t seem to have a problem, in spite of copious evidence of severe human rights violations within its borders (Smith, 2002, p.34). This apparent hypocrisy of the west had induced a sense of discontent and anger within the wider Islamic community. That is when influential Muslim thinkers such as like Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb involved themselves in . . . Read More
The political configurations of constituent nations in the Asian continent have seen many significant changes over the last fifty years. The conclusion of the Second World War served as the precipitant event in transforming the erstwhile colonies in Asia into independent, sovereign nations. But, not all transformations have led to positive consequences. It would be simplistic to not look beyond official labels attached to governments in these nations. For example, classifying an Asian nation as a democracy or a dictatorship without taking into account the complex and often subtle political realities can lead to distorted perceptions. A nuanced approach is required to understand the real social, economic and demographic parameters that define a civil society and evaluate political transitions in Asia in this context. Many analysts have pointed out that the salient features of a vibrant democracy are quite different from superficial symbols of a democratic setup as seen in . . . Read More