Wednesday, February 23, 2011

William Golding's Lord Of the Flies

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William Golding’s first novel Lord of The Flies is ultimately a novel about the inherent evil that plagues us all, and the wickedness that thrives in the darkness of man’s heart.

Lord of the Flies can be broken into three parts. The first being the arrival on the island, the assembly, the establishment of rules and regulations, the election of Ralph as chief, the Coral Island like perceptions ‘flower and fruit grew together on the same tree…’ and the hope of rescue.

The story begins on a Pacific Island where an unknown amount of English school boys aged between six and twelve have been left stranded, after their plane was shot down. They are in the midst of an atomic war, and although Golding does not elaborate we perceive that much of the world has been destroyed and the children were in the process of being evacuated. With all adults on board dead, the children are at first over joyed at their new found freedom. It is on the beach that we first meet two of our main charcters, Ralph and Piggy. Ralph, a tall boy who is ‘built like a boxer’ and Piggy who is overweight, wears glasses and has asthma. The two boys then come across the conch which Piggy instructs Ralph to use and they call a meeting. This is where we meet the sullen dominant head choir boy, Jack Merridew who is described as being ‘…ugly without silliness.’ Ralph is then elected chief much to Jack’s disgust and under his guidance they all agree to keep the fire burning as a signal, and obey the sounds of the conch. Piggy and Ralph set about to build shelters while Jack and the choir boys are given the role of hunter’s and also volunteer to watch the fire and act as a lookout.

Everything contained in this part of the book is to do with childhood innocence and confined within law and rule. They still feel the constraints of society and the forbidden is still evident. Roger throws stones to miss Henry because he feels that round the innocent child ‘was the protection of parents and school and policeman and the law.

The second part takes on the first parts threats as reality. With the arrival of the dead airman brings change and fear to the boys. Watching the fire and maintaining the shelters becomes tedious and its is obvious that hunting is the real attraction. Because of this a ship passes and the signal fire is left to burn out. The group is slowly broken up by a superstitious terror known as the ‘beastie.’ Jack eventually goes off by himself in an act of tyranny and one by one the novel tells of how the boys desert Ralph and Piggy. Jack’s tribe takes control and with their painted faces and strict disciplinarian ways Jack, driven by fear and superstition of the beast becomes increasingly tyrannical. Destruction is everywhere and it is now that the real beastie becomes clearer. It is not a beastie or a snake but mans own nature. Simons insight of this is in the end confined to hiimself and he pays the price for this insight with his own life when he is killed in a frenzy of tribal dance. Simon’s death highlights the true evil that has been created on the island and with the dead airmen symbol no longer needed it and Simons body is carried out to sea in a mystical high wind.

In the third part of the book the meaning and consequences of evil are explored and a moral anarchy is let loose by Simon’s murder. Every rule, regulation and moralistic obligation is destroyed because no longer can anyone remember when things were other wise. Piggy and the conch are destroyed by Jack’s sadistic accomplice Roger. And instructed by Jack and Roger the boys hunt Ralph down across the island with the intent to sacrifice him to the beast. The forest is set on fire and it is with some irony that if not for the smoke that engulfed the island then the cruiser and the Officer would not have arrived to ultimately save Ralph’s life and restore order. The naval officer is amused by the children who needed ‘a bath, a hair cut, a nose wipe and a good deal of ointment.’ And in visions there time on the island as being ‘Fun and games’ and a ‘Jolly good show. Like the Coral Island.’ It is with double irony that the naval officer rounds the children up and places them in another war, a war that is parallel to the children’s society and one which there is no saviour. With this Gloding finally restores our view to the ‘external scene’ the picture of our world.

Lord of The Flies analyses the disintegration of a group and it is through symbolism that Golding exposes the desperate wickedness and callous evil in society and the ‘end of innocence and the darkness of mans heart.’ The story is evidently grim and not in the least optimistic. It is this consistent negative view of Golding’s world that we become familiar with and why this novel is so different to Ballyntyne’s Coral Island. Although Golding has acknowledged ‘a pretty big connection’ between the two they are vastly different. The main characters in each book share the same names, Ralph and Jack. But Ballyntyne’s castaways experience little difficulty adjusting to their new surroundings. While Coral Island does show evil, it comes in the form of the Pirates and natives. With the English school boys behaving ‘proper’ throughout. Compare this to the corruption of Golding’s English boys and what you get is two different tales of life on a shipwrecked Island. One where the badies and goodies are easily distinguished and one where the two merge and are evident in everyone including Ralph.

As Phillip Drew contemplated the broken order in Lord of the Flies ‘occurs because the qualities of intelligence, address, bravery, decency, organization and insight are divided among Piggy, Jack, Simon and Ralph.’ This leads us to conclude that each of the characters represent only one side of human personality and are an embodiment of conflicting personalities or instincts that exists inside every individual. It is through this isolation on the island in which Golding seeks to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the human personality.

At the time Golding wrote this novel he had experienced two world wars and Hitler’s destruction of the Jewish race. Golding had seen first hand the evil in which man could carry out and it is because of these experiences that may have lead to Golding’s pessimistic view of society and the human condition. Newsreels of that era show Adolf Hitler adressing sports stadiums full of frenzied suporters, all chanting in unision with their leader. These secenes can be compared to the assemblies of Jack Merridew, who we see whipping his tribe into a frenzy, all lifting their spears in unsion and hanging on his every word. Both leaders appealed to their followers on an emotional level rather then rational, and like Hitler plays on his supporters fears of the unknown- the Jews- Jack plays on the fears of the unknown beastie. As one American reviewer put it ‘Golding’s analogy of World War II is obvious.’ Ralph’s indecision to take a stand against Jack parrels England’s then lack of physical stance against Germany until it was to late. Ralph encounters this same problem. By the time Ralph eventually throws a few punches at Jack in a fit of temper the power is already totally in Jack’s control.

Golding uses his characters to covey certain parts of society and with this microscope we see symobolism used to create a second meaning behind everything. Jack represetns the savgery and anarchy of society, Roger is evidence of Satan and pure evil a caharachter who is the parrelel to Ralph’s Piggy who instead maintains wisdom, intelligence and clear sightedness. Roger has no need for power btu enjoys being Jack’s henchman and delights in savagery and evilness his climax being his brutal murder of Piggy. Ralph along with Piggy represent the struggle for democracy and order. Simon represtents purity and contains no evil. Piggy’s glasses represent the state of social order on the island.

Although Ralph is seen as an example of democracy and order he himself suffers in the end of the dehumanization of the others. He is not immune to the pressures of conflict from Jack. Through out the novel Ralph reveals traces of the irrational. After wounding a pig he admits ‘that hunting was good after all’ and when a hunter comes to steal Piggy’s glasses he lashes out with a ‘passionate hysteria’. While fighting with Jack he must be reminded to why he is fighting, and in the final stage of Ralph’s deterioration from man to animal, when being hunted by Jack and the tribe he attacks one of his hunters: ‘Ralph launched himself like a cat: stabbed, snarling with the spear, and the savage doubled up.’ Ralph’s William Blake like transition from innocence to experience to eventual experienced innocence, at the arrival of the Naval officer proves that even in the noblest of humans evil will subsequently rise to the surface once the rules of civilization are depleted.

The theory of Blakes in which innocence turns to experience which end in experienced innocence is a theory that fits so well with Golding’s Engligh school boys. At the start they are excited school boys talking of ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy,’ and choir boys who once sung like angels. They then turn into wild savages murdering eachother and pigs in a mindless blood shed. But in the end of the novel at the arrival of the Naval officer the boys are reduced to exactly what they are, boys. Jack once the brutal sadistic leader is now nothing more then ‘a little boy who wore the remains of an extrodiainry black cap on his red hair and who carried the reamins of a pair of specatles at his waist…’ The spears are no longer spears and the tribe no longer triumphant in stead they are nothing more then a ‘semi circle of little boys, their bodies streaked with cloured clay, sharp sticks in their hands…’ It is this arrival of the outside world that gives the boys the right to once again cry and takes the great weight of responsibility off their shoulders.

Lord of the Flies gives the suggestion that evil is not unique to little boys standed in an abnormal situation but implicit in nearly every deatil our our daily life in the civilised world as well. But as Phillip Drew questioned ‘if we were to take on Golding’s view of society and the individual is man perfectable through the instituions of law ad religion, or is he damned because he is born evil?’ But no matter what our conclusion may be Golding must be celebrated for raising the question and bringing the issue to our attention.



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The Grapes of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath is a novel by John Steinbeck that exposes the desperate conditions under which the migratory farm families of America during the 1930's live under. The novel tells of one families migration west to California through the great economic depression of the 1930's. The Joad family had to abandon their home and their livelihoods. They had to uproot and set adrift because tractors were rapidly industrializing their farms. The bank took possession of their land because the owners could not pay off their loan. The novel shows how the Joad family deals with moving to California. How they survive the cruelty of the land owners that take advantage of them, their poverty and willingness to work.

The Grapes of Wrath combines Steinbeck adoration of the land, his simple hatred of corruption resulting from materialism (money) and his abiding faith in the common people to overcome the hostile environment. The novel opens with a retaining picture of nature on rampage. The novel shows the men and women that are unbroken by nature. The theme is one of man verses a hostile environment. His body destroyed but his spirit is not broken. The method used to develop the theme of the novel is through the use of symbolism. There are several uses of symbols in the novel from the turtle at the beginning to the rain at the end. As each symbol is presented through the novel they show examples of the good and the bad things that exist within the novel.

The opening chapter paints a vivid picture of the situation facing the drought-stricken farmers of Oklahoma. Dust is described a covering everything, smothering the life out of anything that wants to grow. The dust is symbolic of the erosion of the lives of the people. The dust is synonymous with "deadness". The land is ruined way of life (farming) gone, people ^uprooted and forced to leave. Secondly, the dust stands for profiteering banks in the background that squeeze the life out the land by forcing the people off the land. The soil, the people (farmers) have been drained of life and are exploited:

The last rain fell on the red and gray country of Oklahoma in early May. The weeds became a dark green to protect themselves from the sun's unyielding rays.The wind grew stronger, uprooting the weakened corn, and the air became so filled with dust that the stars were not visible at night.

As the chapter continues a turtle, which appears and reappears several times early in the novel, can be seen to stand for survival, a driving life force in all of mankind that cannot be beaten by nature or man. The turtle represents a hope that the trip to the west is survivable by the farmer migrants (Joad family). The turtle further represents the migrants struggles against nature/man by overcoming every obstacle he encounters: the red ant in his path, the truck driver who tries to run over him, being captured in Tom Joad's jacket: And now a light truck approached, and as it came near, the driver saw the turtle and swerved to hit it. The driver of the truck works for a large company, who try to stop the migrants from going west, when the driver attempts to hit the turtle it is another example of the big powerful guy trying to flatten or kill the little guy. Everything the turtle encounters trys its best to stop the turtle from making its westerly journey. Steadily the turtle advances on, ironically to the southwest, the direction of the mirgration of people. The turtle is described as being lasting, ancient, old and wise: horny head, yellowed toenails, indestructible high dome of a shell, humorous old eyes.

The driver of the truck, red ant and Tom Joad's jacket are all symbolic of nature and man the try to stop the turtle from continuing his journey westward to the promise land. The turtle helps to develop the theme by showing its struggle against life/comparing it with the Joad struggle against man.

The grapes seem to symbolize both bitterness and copiousness. Grandpa the oldest member of the Joad family talks of the grapes as symbols of plenty; all his descriptions of what he is going to do with the grapes in California suggest contentment, freedom, the goal for which the Joad family strive for: I'm gonna let the juice run down ma face, bath in the dammed grapes.

The grapes that are talked about by Grandpa help to elaborate the theme by showing that no matter how nice everything seems in California the truth is that their beauty is only skin deep, in their souls they are rotten. The rotten core verses the beautiful appearance.

The willow tree that is located on the Joad's farm represents the Joad family. The willow is described as being unmovable and never bending to the wind or dust. The Joad family does not want to move, they prefer to stay on the land they grew up on, much the same as the willow does. The willow contributes to the theme by showing the unwillingness of the people to be removed from their land by the banks. The latter represents the force making them leave their homes. Both of these symbols help contribute to the theme by showing a struggle between each other. The tree struggles against nature in much the same way that the Joad family struggles against the Bank and large companies.

The rains that comes at the end of the novel symbolize several things. Rain in which is excessive, in a certain way fulfills a cycle of the dust which is also excessive. In a way nature has restored a balance and has initiated a new growth cycle. This ties in with other examples of the rebirth idea in the ending, much in the way the Joad family will grow again. The rain contributes to the theme by showing the cycle of nature that give a conclusion to the novel by showing that life is a pattern of birth and death. The rain is another example of nature against man, the rain comes and floods the living quarters of the Joads. The Joads try to stop the flood of their home by yet again are forced back when nature drops a tree causing a flood of water to ruin their home forcing them to move. In opposite way rain can helpful to give life to plants that need it to live. Depending on which extreme the rain is in, it can be harmful or helpful. This is true for man, man can become both extremes bad or good depending on his choosing.

Throughout the novel there are several symbols used to develop the theme man verses a hostile environment. Each symbol used in the novel show examples of both extremes. Some represent man, that struggles against the environment, others paint a clear picture of the feelings of the migrants. As each symbol is presented chronologically through the novel, they come together at the end to paint a clear picture of the conditions, treatment and feelings the people (migrants) as they make there journey through the novel to the West.



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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

3 Types of Mobile Phone Users

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Before the mobile phone became part and parcel of most people’s lives, it functioned as a telephone and little else. It looked like a walkie-talkie and was often the size of a brick. Today mobile phones do a lot more than enable users to communicate with each other on the move. They contain additional accessories of appeal to a large range of mobile phone users. The mobile phone has become a necessity for the teenager, the businessman and the occasional user.

Being able to change the cover of a mobile phone is not a technological breakthrough. However, it is only one of the many trends that have been marketed toward the teenage user. Surveys have shown that young people aged between 18-25 and students in particular, conduct telephone conversations merely to pass the time. Having recognised the need for diversion, service providers have introduced cheaper call rate plans, text messaging (SMS), graphics and logos, email and fax capabilities, games and musical ring tones. These features are ever increasing and are appealing to the younger user.

Mobile phones are also used as a status symbol amongst teenagers. The telephone model has become a factor in determining the users image. Is it the latest and most expensive model with the widest selection of extra features, or is it purely functional? Teenage users become social actors in that one is aware of being watched and possibly judged by others regarding the use of a mobile phone. The mobile phone acts as a fashion accessory.

Today’s businessman is dependant on the use of his mobile. It allows him to become accessible to his customers and fellow staff during most times of the day. Service providers offer high usage plans for the business customer, offering low call rates during peak usage times with a monthly service charge payable. Some providers may also offer the business user a scheme referred to as ‘free minutes’, where the customer may speak during allocated times without charge.

The mobile telephone also assists with the business user’s professional image and working performance. Clients of the user would automatically assume him or her to value the importance of communication. A business user would be more inclined to own one of the latest models, as to utilise all functions available. Features commonly used by a business user would include voicemail, text messages (SMS), hands-free, ring tones, email and faxing capabilities. These details are designed to enhance the mobile phone users’ efficiency at work and play.

The occasional user, on the other hand, is a low level user, generally owning a mobile for emergency use and is happy accessing the telephones’ basic functions. An occasional user does not require the access to other advanced features. He or she is concerned only with its practicality. Surveys have shown that members of the middle-aged generation (e.g. 40-50 age group) are most likely to rate as occasional users.

The occasional user dislike ring tones, which are not reminiscent of a conventional telephone ring along with people talking loudly as if they were having a conversation with someone in the same room as them. This is the issue that is believed to have led the Virgin Train Company in England to introduce ‘Quiet Coaches’, where the use of the mobile phone is prohibited.

The occasional user is likely to keep his or her mobile phone in the car in case of a breakdown. His or her phone is mostly turned off as its purpose is ultimately for the user to make a call if in dire need. The occasional user is reluctant to use his or her phone for social reasons as it compromises the importance of face-to-face contact.

The mobile phone has become a significant factor in most people’s lives. To some it functions as a telephone and little else, but to many, it represents effective communication, novelty, image and diversion. The mobile phone has an every growing range of features, as the service providers continue to cater for a large range of people. In turn, the mobile phone has become a necessity for the teenager, the businessman and the occasional user.



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Anthropomorphism

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In light of the description of anthropomorphism, I think it is only fitting to use the novels Charlotte's Web and Watership Down to demonstrate them. While both of these novels show animals behaving in different manners, they are both uncharacteristic of normal animal behaviour. Charlotte's Web shows animals behaviour as primarily human while Watership Down demonstrates animals behaving mostly as animals. This said, we see that both these novels show their characters with human traits, however they are all confined to their physical limitations as animals. A perfect example of this is Charlotte, from Charlotte's Web.

However the activities, physical and mental, actions and behaviour demonstrated by the rabbits in Watership Down are typically the things that humans would expect from rabbits. This said, Charlotte's behaviour in Charlotte's Web, is what we might expect to see from a human being. Her spinning of the web with a word or two in it is not common activities for spiders. While examining the animal's actions, partially sheds light on the stories that we are reading. It helps unravel the ideas and advance the plot. It does not however, give us insight into the behaviour, specifically the god-like actions that demonstrate anthropomorphism in both these novels. While all the characters in both these novels are earthly there is usually at least one in each that has some God-like character traits. The anthropomorphism that we see in Charlotte is the prime example being examined from both novels. While Charlotte is Wilbur's savior and protector, she is still only a spider. White does not give her the physical ability to do things that a spider cannot normally do. Therefore, she must save Wilbur in a way that makes it possible for a spider to do. She spins a web that becomes a miracle, which in turn saves Wilbur from his almost uncertain death. The thought of that is nonsensical within itself. How could a spider have the brainpower to devise such a clever plan to save her friend? This is where White returns to the idea of animals behaving as humans.

While Charlotte is only a spider, she uses the ability that she has (spinning webs) to demonstrate some human actions. The ability to spin a web in such words as "Some Pig". While to a child this might not seem to be as thought provoking as adults make it out to be, it is. The behavior that Charlotte exhibits is the single action that saves Wilbur life for the second time the first time that Wilbur's life was saved was by Fern. Although the reasons that Fern Saved Wilbur's life was for very different reasons that Charlotte's. As examined in the reading pack, Fern was going through a stage in her life where little girls like to mother and care for smaller and needier objects.

Charlotte is a very different character with very different motives. Charlotte saves Wilbur because of the person that she is. It is in her inherent mothering nature, as well it demonstrates her martyrdom. She uses her abilities as a spider to save Wilbur's life. In doing so she is not able to live her life to the fullest. She recognizes that spiders live short lives, regardless of their actions. She disregards this thought to save Wilbur. By the end of the novel her actions have come full circle. In the final chapter of the story, Charlotte passes away and it is up to Wilbur to take care on and educate her children. In her sacrifice she becomes a saint. Giving of herself and eventually her life for the good of others.

The characters in Watership Down are an interesting comparison for Charlotte's Web. Charlotte's Web was written many years before Watership Down. While all the characters in Watership Down are all rabbits and subsequently behave as such. They do not seem to have extraordinary talents and abilities, the way the animals in Charlotte's Web do. They have a society that governs them as rabbits but their behaviour has no affect on the outside world, especially human characters. That is the main visible difference between the two novels.

Our protagonist, Hazel, has a younger brother Fiver. Fiver was the runt of the litter and its constantly being watched over by Hazel. While in the does provide us with some early insight into the characters, it is not till much later on that we are given a full scope off all the characters and their behaviour. This said that it takes us almost to the completion of the book to have a greater understanding of the characters and their roles in their rabbit society.




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Monday, February 21, 2011

Searching for Thematic Connections

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Searching for Thematic Connections

As opposed to focusing on different movies and connecting their similar themes, I instead am going to focus on the themes and funnel my ideas accordingly. The three themes that got my brain juices flowing the most were as follows; guilty consciences, narcissism to compassion, and symbolic wounds.

The first theme I am going to focus on is guilty consciences. Before I make any connection to any of the movies that we saw in class, I am first going to give a general description of how I feel a guilty conscience tends to affect the psyche a character. A guilty conscience leads to self-punishment either in the form of physical or mental abuse. This can be the root of the characters struggle or journey, or it can be a sacrificing result for the betterment of someone or something else.

The first character I will link to this theme is Jack Lukas. Jack Lukas’ guilty conscience is due to the killing and injuring of innocent people by one of his listeners. Jack’s guilty conscience is the root of his struggle, and the whole storyline of the Fisher King is imbedded with Jack’s attempt to make-up for what he feels somewhat responsible for. This is apparent when Parry is in a catatonic coma and Jack is confronting his own conscience by having a guised conversation with the inaudible Parry character. It is here where it is apparent that Jack will go to any length to help Parry, which is synonymous to cleansing his own conscience.

The next character that I will link to having a guilty conscience is Father LaForge. His guilty conscience is not the root of his journey, but is the consequence of his quest. Because of his beliefs he went on a quest to conform other peoples belief systems. His guilty conscience came at the end of his journey, when he baptized the Hurons. It was at this point that he realized that the Hurons were not accepting his faith out of choice, but out of desperation. In Father LaForge’s mind his guilty conscience was a sacrifice for his beliefs.

The next theme I would like to analyze is narcissism to compassion. An example of this is a flower bud and a flower. The petals inside of a bud only can see themselves and nothing else, but when the bud blossoms into a flower the petals can see everything around them. This transformation can be seen easily in relationships. The two relationships that I am going to look at are between Jack Lukas and Anne Napolitano in Fisher King and L.B. Jeffries and Lisa Fremont in Rear Window. Jack and Jeffries situations are almost identical. They are both at the bottom of their conceivable worlds. Jack because he has basically turned into a drunk, and Jeffries because he is confined to a room for weeks. They both also have everything they can possibly want from a lover, but they are both too concerned about themselves they are unable to open up and be compassionate. The only part that these two male characters differ is in the conclusion of their respective movies. The audience is still ambiguous to whether or not Jeffries has opened up ("blossomed") toward Lisa. Jack on the other hand has a complete blossoming and he realizes what he has with Anne.

The last theme I wanted to discuss is symbolic wounds. The symbolism of a wound in the Fisher King I would like to discuss wasn’t even on the character it symbolized. The wound is on the head of one of the hospital patients. The first time we see this wound it is open and bleeding profusely. At the time it appears in the movie is also the same time that Parry is confronting his inner demons. The second time we see this wound it is neatly bandaged symbolizing the healing process that Parry is also going through. The other noticeable wound came in the movie Rear Window. This wound, more obvious to the viewer, came in the form of a broken leg. This wound was necessary to the plot with Jeffries being physically confined to his room, but is also symbolic to the emotional constrain of whether or not he should marry Lisa. Hitchcock uses this symbolism at the end of the movie when Jeffries now has two broken legs. This leaves ambiguity in the mind of the viewer to whether or not Jeffries will marry Lisa.



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Salvador Dali

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Salvador Dalí (Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domenech) was born May 11, 1904 in Figueras, Spain, which is a small town near Barcelona. His father was a notary and leading citizen in the town. Salvador had a very unusual childhood. His older brother, also named Salvador, died before he was born. They treated the new Salvador as though he was their first son. The second Salvador was very confused growing up because of this. Dalí acted very differently from other children. He had strange dreams and fears and always wanted attention. He would throw fits of hysteria and acts of rage at his family and playmates. On several occasions, Dalí flung himself down a stone staircase to frighten his classmates. He spent his childhood in Figueres and at the family’s summer home in the coastal fishing village of Cadaques.

Dalí was educated first at public school, later in a private academy in Figueras conducted by Brothers of the Marist Order. Dalí had a great imagination and became interested in art as early as eight years old. At age 22, he attended the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1921 and had not yet decided what direction his art would take. In 1924, Dalí was suspended from the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts for a year on a charge of causing the students to revolt against school authorities. He was later imprisoned at Figueras and Gerona for anti-government activity. After all of that, he returned to art school and received early recognition with a one-man show, held in Barcelona in 1925. He received international fame when three of his paintings were shown in the third annual Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928. Dalí was later expelled from the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts for extravagant personal behavior. This didn’t matter much to Dalí because he had grown tired of the old-fashioned way of art taught by the school. Dalí was more interested in the new styles of art being invented in Paris, France. He had seen some of Pablo Picasso’s paintings and liked them a lot. He met Picasso on some of his trips to Paris. Some of Dalí’s early work looks much like Picasso’s. Dalí also became interested in a group of artists and writers in Paris known as the surrealists. They painted what was remembered from their dreams or what popped into their minds. They hoped it would help people have feelings they had never had before. The surrealists asked Dalí to join their group because they liked his paintings. They liked his paintings so much that they all traveled to Spain with him to watch him paint at his house. Dalí fell in love with a surrealist poet’s wife, named Gala Eluard. After divorcing her husband, Gala and Dalí got married. Dalí had Gala as a model in many of his paintings. Dalí was also influenced by Sigmund Freud’s writings on the significance of dreams. Dalí’s paintings were becoming very popular in Europe and America, although “he depicted a dream world in which commonplace objects are juxtaposed, deformed, or otherwise metamorphosed in a bizarre and irrational fashion.” Some of the surrealists thought that some of his paintings were too strange and Dalí left their group. In the late 30’s, Dalí painted in a more academic style under the influence of Raphael, a Renaissance painter. From 1950-1970, Dalí painted religious things while exploring erotic subjects representing his childhood memories and his wife Gala.

Dalí’s health began to decline in 1982, after Gala’s death. He was severely burned in a fire in Gala’s castle in Pubol, Spain, in 1984. A pacemaker was implanted in his heart. Much of his last years were spent in total seclusion in his private room in the Torre Galatea, adjacent to the Teatro Museo Dalí. On January 23, 1989, Salvador Dalí died from heart and respiratory failure.

Salvador Dalí is one of the few artists that was as famous as his artwork. There are five interesting facts about him. First, even after Dalí was a grown man, he still did things to get attention. For example, he arrived at an event in a limousine filled with cauliflowers. He also gave a talk about his art while wearing a deep-sea diving suit. He stated he received messages from outer space through his moustache that acted as an antenna. Second, he tried to enter the subconscious world while he was painting in order to bring up subconscious imagery. For example, he attempted to stimulate insanity while painting. He also tried setting up his canvas at the base of his bed to paint before sleeping and when he woke up. Third, his paintings up close looked like photographs. Dalí worked with tiny brushes to make is brush marks as tiny and as invisible as possible. Dalí sometimes painted with artificial light and a jeweler’s eyepiece. Certain images repeated themselves in his art. For example, eyes, hands, hands, noses, crutches, clouds, mountains, blood, soft bodies, and objects. He had a fetish about crutches. Dalí often hid images and faces within his paintings. Many of his paintings are self-portraits. He often showed that things aren’t often what they appear to be at first glance. Fourth, Dalí accomplished many other things during his life. He designed clothes, fancy perfume bottles, ads for magazines, worked with famous moviemakers including Walt Disney, and wrote his autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí. Lastly, Dalí has a museum in Cadaques, Spain, the coastal fishing village that he loved. He would always return there during the summers on a bus that was transformed into a piece of artwork itself.




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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Discrimination in the Workplace

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Discrimination is very common especially in the workplace. The self knowledge thesaurus defines discrimination as:

Discrimination

1. The act of discriminating, distinguishing, or noting and marking differences. "To make an anxious discrimination between the miracle absolute and providential." Trench.
2. The state of being discriminated, distinguished, or set apart. Sir J. Reynolds.
3. The arbitrary imposition of unequal tariffs for substantially the same service. "A difference in rates, not based upon any corresponding difference in cost, constitutes a case of discrimination." A. T. Hadley.
4. The quality of being discriminating; faculty of nicely distinguishing; acute discernment; as, to show great discrimination in the choice of means.
5. That which discriminates; mark of distinction. Synonyms - Discernment; penetration; clearness; acuteness; judgment; distinction.”

Webster defines it as “the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment racial discrimination”. There are various types of discrimination, especially in the workplace. There is discrimination against people because of race, sex, sexual preference, appearance and the list goes on.

People have been discriminated against since the beginning of time, even today in a developing economy. Some say that “things and people are changing with time”, but I think that we still have a long way to go. There are many laws; federal, state and local to try and protect people from being discriminated against. Sometimes it can be hard to prove that you really have been discriminate against, depending on the situation. People experience discrimination every day but most of them don’t know that they have been discriminated against. One is discriminated against for various reasons and in various ways, weather it’s for a promotion, position or certain benefits or perks, job training, and pay.

Many people are discriminated on their race or color of their skin or nationality. Blacks and people of color have always been and will always be discriminated against in one way or another. As time pass it becomes less and less but it (discrimination) will always be there. I have talked to people on the phone and had nice conversation, but when I meet that same person in person things change. It is very obvious that they didn’t expect me to be a black American or maybe it is my appearance. Following the events of September the 11th more and more Muslims are being discriminated against.

There are many laws to protect us from racial discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which was amended in 1972, 1991 and 1994), this is a very broad statute. Bacically it prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion discharge, pay benefits job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment, on the basis of race, religion, sex or national origin. It also protects against discrimination in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. This law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Civil Rights Center. The 1991 amended version of the Civil Rights Act “provides for compensatory and punitive damages and jury trials in cases involving intentional discrimination; requires employers to demonstrate that job practices are job related and consistent with business necessity; extends coverage to U.S. citizens working for American companies overseas”.

Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating based on ones race, color religion, sex, or national origin. This law is enforces by the Office of Federal contracts Compliances Program.

Affirmative Action is a program that “requires employers to analyze their workforce and develop a plan of action to correct areas of past discrimination”. Today affirmative action is “no more”.

Years ago and even today women are discriminated against because of their sex. Women were not accepted in many career fields and many colleges. During World War II, many women attended went to train as engineers at Harvard University and had a problem, because Harvard didn’t accept women there were no restrooms for the women to use. Many Pregnant women are also discriminated against because they are pregnant or have a new born.

Equal Pay Act of 1963, Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 along with the Civil Rights Acts, are just a few laws that protect women against discrimination.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 “requires all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and others to provide equal pay for equal work regardless of sex”. This law ensures that women will be paid the same as their male counterparts. With that law in effect studies have shown that women are paid $1.70 less than their male colleagues.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was put in place to “broaden the definition of sex discrimination to include pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant women in employment benefits if they are capable of performing their job duties”. Being introduced to congress to amend the Pregnancy Discrimination Act is a “New Mothers’ Breastfeeding Promotion and Protection Act”. It is to ensure that breastfeeding is protected under civil rights law.

Gays and lesbians are not exempt from discrimination. There are no federal laws that solely protect people based on their sexual orientation or gender-identity. Studies show that “as of mid-1996, Americans can be legally fired from their jobs simply because of their sexual orientation in 41 states”. The number was unchanged by mid-2000. As of late 1998 twelve states and approximately 160 local municipalities have passed civil rights legislation protecting gay and lesbian workers.

Persons with disabilities are protected by laws in cases of discrimination. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 “prohibits discrimination in employment against persons with physical or mental disabilities or the chronically ill; enjoins employers to make reasonable accommodation to the employment needs of the disabled; covers employers with fifteen or more employees”. Another is the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which protects individuals with disabilities in cases dealing with federal contractors and subcontractors. The Rehabilitation act is enforced by the Office of Federal Contract compliance Programs.

Veterans are also protected by discrimination law. The Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 “protect individuals who enter the military for short periods of service”. The Vietnam Era Veterans’ readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 protects veterans in cases of federal contractors and subcontractors.

Persons with physical infirmities such as obesity can be protected under Americans with Disabilities Act or Civil Rights Act. Studies show that more than half of Americans are overweight, yet are greatly discriminated against in the work place.

Minorities aren’t the only people discriminated against. There is a thing called reverse discrimination. Reverse discrimination is “giving preference to members of protected classes to the extent that unprotected individuals believe they are suffering discrimination”.

There is also a legal form of discrimination called bona fide occupational qualification, which permits discrimination where employer hiring preferences are a reasonable necessity for the normal operation of the business.

Discrimination in the work place is alive and well and until we can change the world and its ignorance things won’t change. We must educate ourselves of the laws to protect us and enforce them.



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The Need for a Clean Well-lighted Place

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The short story “A Clean Well-Lighted Place” by Ernest Hemingway consists of a dialogue that takes place between two waiters at a café, where they work. It is late and there is one customer, an old man, left in the café. The old man staying so late bothers the younger of the two waiters. All he can think about is going home to his wife waiting in bed for him. The older waiter seems to be more empathetic to the plight of the old man. He understanding the need for a clean well-lighted place such as the one they provide. The discussion between the two waiters reveals the differences in character, values, and the need for a clean well-lighted place.

The young waiter only thinks about himself and the fact that the old man is causing him to be at work late. He is young and has not yet learned the importance of providing a clean well-lighted place for people like the old man. He has a immature look at aging this apparent when he makes the comment; “ I wouldn’t want to be that old. An old man is a nasty thing.” He seems oblivious to that fact that everyone inevitably ages and faces the same destitute life in the end.

On the other hand, the older waiter seems to identify with and understand the old man and his need for the café. He wants to be able to provide such a place, “each night I am reluctant to close up because there may be some one who needs the café.” He appears to put himself in the old man’s shoes realizing that everyone ends up the same, trying to distract themselves away from the pointlessness and darkness that is life. At the end of the story the older waiter reveals that fact that he too faces the same problem as the old man.

The importance of a clean well-lighted place in this story is that it provides refuge from the darkness that is reality and life. The light represents anything that a person uses to distract themselves from the desperation that everyone eventually ends up facing.




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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Healthier You

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Healthier You

Everyone has a different perspective on what a healthy lifestyle is, but it really comes down to practicing good health habits and giving up harmful ones. With a healthy lifestyle you can only get positive reinforcements out of it, such as feeling good; you will have more energy, sleep better and be more relaxed, looking good; you will have a nice toned body, strong muscles, bright eyes healthy hair and skin, and most important you will be happy; you will have a better outlook on life. To begin per-say a new “life” you start with small steps, simple changes. Which will produce big changes in time. Two major factors I will be talking about today are healthy eating and exercising.

Healthy eating will surely gave you a edge on weight loss (PAUSE) here are some ideas to try are: eat breakfast, which I believe a lot of people skip because they don’t have time but eating breakfast stimulates how you feel for the rest of the day and also and may slow down your metabolism. Eat more fruits and vegetables; many people have a problem with this because they don’t buy them. When going grocery shopping hit the produce side first and keeping your fruit on the counter, which will be a reminder to eat them. When eating a salad, use a little bit of salad dressing. Only use 1 tablespoon. Let the dressing coat not drench the salad. When eating meat choose reduced fat or the leanest cuts. Also make sure you trim all the visible fat and drain the grease. Now fried foods, they are very high in fat and clog your arteries so try to stay away or limit the intake to very little. After dinner you always seem to have a little room for desert, if you just have to have the sweets cut down on the portion size, substitute with low-fat or fat-free goods, or choose fruit. But before you go out and buy all types of fat-free or low-fat foods and scarf them down remember they have calories so just eat everything in moderation. Another big problem is eating out, which tends to be good but very fatting and high in calories, so when ordering, you could order a lean roast beef sandwich, grilled chicken, keep portions small, and remember no cheese. And here are few weight loss tips: brush your teeth after you eat to help prevent snacking, and if you must snack eat small portions such a pretzels, whole grain cereal, pop corn, or rice cakes. Drink 8 glasses of water a day, try to take a morning walk, avoid fried foods, don’t eat 2 hours before bed, cut back or down on alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine and keep track of what you eat.

Another factor of living a healthy lifestyle is exercising. Regular exercises reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Making time to exercise 20 mins a day, 3 times a week for a start will make a world of difference as long as your keep it regular. A few type of exercises are aerobic which burns fat calories very quickly and improves and maintains heart and lung fitness. Some examples are dancing, jogging, and swimming. Next it Callisthenic exercises which is good for warm-ups or cools downs, this improves muscle endurance. Examples are chin-ups, sit-ups, and push-ups. Another one is High Resistance exercise, which is very important for athletes; examples are heavy weight training and sprints. The top 5 fitness tips at AOL health are #1 assess your fitness level and set goals. Be realistic at this one you cant just lose weight in a day it takes time, so just don’t gave up. # 2 find the exercise right for you. This means be reasonable with your self if your are just starting out don’t set your self to run 3 miles a day, there will be no way and you will get tired of working out and just stop, so try walking around your block a few times and left 3-5 pds weights. Find something you enjoy to do and that will help you stick with it longer. # 3 Cardiovascular Exercise: & How much? With cardiovascular or aerobic exercises there are many choices such as how long you do it and at what intensity at which you do it. # 4 Resistance Training, strength training, increase muscle mass which the more muscle you have the more calories you are able to burn and it improves strength and balance. Finally # 5 Design a program and stay motivated. Just staying motivated and happy with your program you will see results with your self right after working out the first time. Some safety tips for exercising are choose a exercise program that is appropriate for you, dress appropriately for the weather, don’t not exercise if you are unwell, if you have pains in joints, feet, or legs, don’t exercise within 2 hours of a meal, in the middle of the day, and don’t take a hot shower or sit in a sauna immediately after wait awhile to cool down. Always warm up and cool down and drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after working out. Always try to fit in a work out for example if you have only ten minutes you can increase you energy level with 1 minute warm up; walk in place 2 minutes do lunges, 2 minutes do push ups, 2 minutes do sit ups or crunches then 2 minutes stretch. That little workout could help you in the long run.

Remember just doing some type of activity is always burning calories. With healthy eating and exercising you are the one in control in the start of your new “life”.

Here are a few examples of abs exercises that will gave your results if you will eat right and exercise regularly.



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Dadaism

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Dadaism is a multiple, anti-art movement resulting from the social and psychological dislocations of World War 1. As a movement Dadaism is important for freeing up artistic expression and forms, as well as for being a generating influence on surrealism. Throughout dada’s history there was many different meanings and forms that developed in the four main dada centres. Dada developed firstly in Zurich and New York in 1915 then long after spread to Germany where it had four different centres (Berlin, Hanover and Cologne), and then saw the ends of it in Paris. Even though not expressed in books and so on Dada influenced many other cities and areas. There are many reasons for the differences in the different centres of Dada.

The beginning of Dada all began in the Armory show in New York, which was prior to the movement in 1913. It introduced Modernism to the U.S.A. Marcel Duchamp’s NUDE DESCENDING A STAIRCASE (a cubist and futurism influenced piece) was a sensation. Duchamp was a key figure in the development of Dada. Dada helped give the benefit of the doubt to a totally different concept of art. The Dada movement officially began in 1915 and ended about in 1923.

The reason that Dada was an anti-art movement was that a few years prior to the war the Futurist artists of Italy glorified machines and futuristic ideas. The Dadaists believed that if art was apart of the culture and society that created war. Then art was just as much as a influence as anything else, this is why the Dadaist took such a strong anti-art attitude.

Duchamp considered Dada as ideas whereas Tristan Tzara thought of it more as a revolutionary act against the normal culture and politics of human existence. This explains the multiple ideas and paths that Dada took over its history. Dada had a great multiplicity of ideas and meanings not only varying in different cities but also within them. Dada is the attitude and the thoughts of the many different artists that made up the era and the movement. Most cities refer to Dada as a “attitude”.

Dada’s intention was to confuse, they often contradicted earlier statements and opinions made about the movement. One of the key purposes of dada was to free art from the dictates of society. Dadaism was a Cultural Revolution. The dada artists revolted and had hatred against the war, Dadaist hated the society that would carry out such a tragedy , they believed that the society they lived in was corrupt and the values they held were all wrong.

The Zurich Dada officially began with the first evenings as a Cabaret Voltaire in the neutral country of Zurich (Switzerland). A small theatre founded by Hugo Ball. Principally the Zurich Dadaists consisted of Hugo Ball (poet and founder of Dadaism), Hans (Jean) Arp (sculptor, poet), Tristan Tzara (writer, poet, philosopher) others also included Janco and Huelsenbeck.

The Zurich Dadaists were all horrified by the war, which they blamed on western civilisation. Zurich had distinguished differences from the other centres of Dada because it was made to express their REVOLT. They specifically organised anti-artistic events at the Cabret Voltaire, these events were principally directed against western art. Zurich Dada can be seen as the Anti-Art Dada movement.

Key features about the Zurich Dadaist was that they had automatic writing, abstract biomorphic sculpture, syllabic poetry, performances (often shouted) accompanied by the beating of Drums. A lot of work grew out of the use of “the laws of chance”, this technique originally began in Zurich. Zurich Dada was galvanised by the arrival of Tristan Tzara , he was a unique and charismatic individual who energised the growing group of writers, artists and independent thinkers the exact point of freeing art. Tristan Tzara wrote the Dada manifesto in 1918 it was a poetic and highly provocative statement of Dada’s aim and philosophy.

Zurich Dada did however produce new forms of graphics and new ideas in film making. It influenced modern forms of poetry, music, drama and painting. The foremost painter in the Zurich group was Jean Arp, known primarily for his painting he was also a poet of some ability and creativity. He later moved to Paris and became a sculptor. Arps forms retained their organic essence and in doing so he began the tradition which one branch of surrealism was to follow. This was the use of arbitrary and non-descriptive colour, these art forms influenced later artists such as Miro. Paul Klee was a early influence on Arp’s work.



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Friday, February 18, 2011

Wieland – The Struggle Between Faith and Science

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Wieland is an epistolary novel, and was written by Charles Brockden Brown in 1798. The story begins with a family whom originates from England and settles in America. The characters are faithful Puritan’s, and possess very strict values towards God. Three Puritan values include obedience to God, putting God over all other aspects of life, and Excessiveness. Wieland is the central character throughout the story. Pleyel, Carwin, and Clara are the other main characters of the book. There are two main conflicts throughout the story. The first involves Pleyel and Clara. In this case Wieland accuses them of improper conduct because he misunderstands one of their conversations. This accusation leads to the second conflict in which Wieland murders his wife Clara. Unfortunately, these conflicts create tremendous struggle between faith and science for Wieland. In the end, Wieland’s struggle between science and faith is overcome by scientific evidence, and leads to his death.

The basis of science is governed by the physical laws that exist in the world around us. Therefore by using science, factual evidence is arrived upon and accumulated. In the story, Wieland hears a voice prompting him to kill his family. He believes this voice to be the voice of God. Scientific laws do not support any possibility of direct communication with God. So therefore, the thought of hearing voices seems outlandish unless Wieland is insane. People believe science because it produces evidence, and evidence is factual and usually visual. In this case science is proven when Carwin later admits to Wieland that he in fact played tricks, by throwing his voice. Science also governs the law of the world by using evidence to prove guilt or innocence. Scientific law states that assault on other human beings is wrong in any case except self defense. The law does not accept sacrifice as a justifiable homicide. Wieland kills his family for sacrifice to God. According to Scientific law, Wieland is wrong. Even according to Puritan law Wieland is wrong, unless he can prove that he has a direct communication with God. Even in that situation he would have no way to collect evidence. So, through the use of science Wieland was wrong to kill his family. Wieland eventually accepts his wrong doings and commits suicide.

Puritan values are guided by faith, and since Wieland is faithful he seems to uphold his values. One of which includes putting God over all other aspects of life. Wieland upholds this value by doing what he thought God told him to do. He kills his family. It is obvious that he does not want to kill and he truly loves his wife when he states, “My wife! I exclaimed: O God! substitute some other victim. Make me not the butcher of my wife. My own blood is cheap.”. The only reason that Wieland sacrifices his family is to uphold his faith. He also shows obedience to God and excessiveness by sacrificing his family. Before he kills Clara he shows his obedience to God when he states, “It is needless to say that God is the object of my supreme passion. I have cherished, in his presence, a single and upright heart. I have thirsted for the knowledge of his will. I have burnt with ardour to approve my faith and my obedience.” Wieland seems to be upholding his puritan values, but this can been proven wrong. The biblical story of Abraham and Isaac shares a story in which Abraham intends on sacrificing Isaac, but God stops him and offers a ram for the Isaac. This story differs from Wieland because no harm is done to Isaac. One of the Ten Commandments is “though shall not murder”. If Wieland had used some reasoning, he would have seen that God surely would not want Wieland to harm his family.

Wieland is insane, and scientific evidence is the proof. Faith versus science forms a terrific struggle for Wieland. He first believes that he is being a good Puritan by upholding his faith and values, even though he struggles. Wieland struggles with his faith when God asked him to kill his wife. He states, “This is too much! Any victim but this, and thy will be done. Have I not sufficiently attested my faith and my obedience?”. As shown here he is capable of reasoning because he questions his faith, and he knows it is wrong to murder his wife. This means he is capable of reasoning that God is just, and God would certainly not want him to kill Clara. As the story advances, Wieland sees some of the evidence as to why he should not have killed Clara and becomes confused. At the end of the book he finally sees his wrong doing, and commits suicide. This proves that Wieland saw scientific evidence that proved his guilt. Therefore, science wins in his struggle with faith and science.

In conclusion, Wieland deals with several conflicts in this story that eventually tears him down. His struggle is a path of difficult decisions that walk a tight line between his values and science. Using enlightenment values, including reasoning, it is easy to see his insanity. Puritans were people also, and sane people can reason. So the only reason Wieland could not reason that he should not kill his wife is that he was insane.


Works Cited

Brown, Charles Brockden. Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.



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Adolescent

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Everyone goes through the stages of being an adolescent, although when generations go by people are advancing in almost everything. The feelings and issues with adolescents today were different to those in the past. Parents and adults should realize that adolescents are not and will never be the adolescents back then, adolescents are now interested in sex, drugs, sports, fun, and in some school. Adolescents tend to get bored when only learning things such as history, books with no meaning expect the way they have used the literature. Adults should be giving adolescents a wider variety of choices, books that adolescents could learn from and books that interest the adolescents.

At the adolescent stage, they have a lot to learn about themselves. Such as experiences, puberty, the opposite sex, school and more, most of these topics are hard to talk about to parents and adults. If given a book or two about adolescents that are going through these stages, it’ll make life much easier for the adolescents. For example, the book "Nothing Interesting About Cross Street" by Beth Yahp shows a variety of real life stories of young girls dealing with issues such as pregnancies, rape, suicide and more. Girls would be interested in this book to see how these girls dealt with the situation.

Although there are some books that don’t have a wide range of vocabulary and use a lot of slang, they are quite useful in a different perspective. These nonsense hardcore books could and do help a lot a adolescents learn and steer away from dangerous issues such as drugs, unsafe sex, suicide and many more. From other adolescents experience they will understand the unpleasant side of the situation. For example, the book ‘Back On Track’ by Margaret Clark dealt with a girl who had ran away from an abusive family and ended up on the streets doing drugs and selling her body. From reading this book adolescents can see what effects these drugs did to her.
If given the right text to adolescents they will show interest in reading, teachers should select some books for young people that reflect the actual interests of adolescents. Teachers should not only give only what interests adolescents, but a variety of text should be taught. Books that will help them learn and books that relate to adolescents, and if there were books for both that will be even better. In the article Kids' Books by Pauline Turner, Mr. Macleod said he accepts that parents and teachers have a responsibility to feed children with ‘good’ literature, but believes people should also listen to what children want.

People cannot shield the reality of life from adolescents, in today’s society we see famines, war, nuclear testing, and for adolescents themselves violence, sexual abuse, broken families and more. In the article Kids’ Books by Pauline Turner, Mr. Macleod quotes “They seem to be shying away from contemporary and realist literature. There is a real avoidance of the present. And the present might be pretty awful, but it seems that the adults are commending books which are not facing those problems”. Adults need to see that we are not in a fantasy world, life is not perfect for the adolescents. It is better for adolescents to learn the dangerous issues from books than to learn from self-experience, where minor or fatal mistakes could occur. Even then, learning about war, famine, polluting is what adolescents also need to learn about.

There are books that are about issues that adolescents like to read and are also set in a formal form. Where it is still possible to learn the right literature with a more interesting issue. For example, the book ‘So Hard To Leave You’ by Suzanne Lennox, it deals with the issue of having to move to another place and losing old friends and starting fresh. This book could have been set in informal form, but instead it had used literature formally. Adults should give text like this to adolescents and also have the more hardcore books available for adolescents. It will not steer adolescents from the hardcore books, but at least more formal books would be read.

Adults have a responsibility to teach children good things, but to ignore important issues to adolescents should not be so. Adults are trying to run away from the present, and books that contain issues those parents would not want their children to hear. This is the way life is, so people cannot shield the bad from adolescents through books because adolescents will learn from a different way. People should not only give the hardcore literature, but also material that is relevant in the teaching world today. Adolescents’ need bits of everything, parents don’t want to make the mistake of avoiding an issue and find out that the adolescent experimented with it instead. It is best that adolescents read books than not to read books at all.



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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cat's Cradle

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Thesis: Cat’s Cradle is a story about how mankind use there own technology to destroy them self.

Summary:

The story of Cat’s Cradle begins as John “a writer” wants to write a book about the Atomic bomb and its creator. The name of his book is called “The Day the World End.” At first John has to found a person to write about and he chooses Dr. Felix Hoenikker.

Dr. Felix Hoenikker is one of the masterminds behind the Atomic Bomb. He’s a Nobel-prize-winning Physicist. Whose other think he is wired and he cared little for human responsibilities even to his children. Also he think that he is innocent of making the A-bomb and one day a marine general asked him to solve the problem about the mud, Felix then begin working on the creation that the general ask him to solve. Which he called the “ice-nine”, Unfortunately, Felix succeeded in that “ice-nine”, which is very dangerous to have since it can turn anything into ice in an instant and he didn’t, kept any records of how the ice-nine were made. Then after his death, his children inherited the ice-nine.

As I just say, John want to write a book about the Atomic Bomb but unfortunately Dr. Hoenikker has die a long time ago. So John has to get the information from his children who are Newt, Angela, and Frank. But unfortunately John didn’t get any information from Frank since he have been disappear in the early part of the story and didn’t show up until almost the end of the story which John already lost all of his interest in write the book. Anyway Newt did give many detail information to John about his father. He also give detail of where his father like to work which later John will go there to learn more about Dr. Hoenikker. While John was doing his research he learns that Dr. Hoenikker doesn’t care about humanity. He also learns that Dr. Hoenikker family have problem.

After learning so much thing about Dr. Hoenikker family John start to begin his trip to visit Dr. Hoenikker office or work place. When John gets to Dr. H (Hoenikker) office he met with Dr. Asa Breed, the man in charge of the General Forge and Foundry Company's Research Laboratory where Dr. Hoenikker worked. But the night before John get to meet Dr. Breed, he went to a bar where he met Sandra who use to attend the same school with Frank and she said that Frank use to have a nick name “Secret Agent X-9." He has that name because other people think he act very secretly.

As I just say John met Dr. Hoenikker boss Dr. Breed. As John interview Dr. Breed questions about the day the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the information of the A-bomb, Dr. Breed became increasingly mad because he felt that John believed scientists had no moral conscience. Dr. Breed think John think all scientist was born to make weapon to kill people. He also told what Dr. H last project was. After John heard the last project that Dr. H was working on he felt horrified. Since it could turn hypothetical mud into freeze ice, and it would turn the rest of the earth water into ice since the chain reaction of the ice-nine would seep into the streams, rivers, and oceans. If it rained, that water also would freeze upon contact with ice-nine. Then John asks Dr. Breed had actually developed a seed of ice-nine, but Dr. Breed didn’t answer his question by deny to answering it. After interviewing the Dr. Breed Miss Faust give John a tour to the lab. After the tour John go to the cemetery to visit Dr. H grave to take picture. While he was there he saw Emily Hoenikker’s grave (Dr. H wife). Her grave have a 20 feet high and 3 feet wide. And on it there were 2 poems written by Angela and Frank Hoenikker. The poems are “Mother, Mother, how I pray For you to guard us everyday. –Angela Hoenikker and “You are not dead, But only sleeping. We should smile, And stop our weeping. Frankin Hoenikker due to Newt was very small so he did write any poem but his name.

Afterward John visits Jack who’s the boss of Frankin Hoenikker. Jack said Frank is a good builder because he has built a model city which is very beautiful. After seeing the model the go back to his hotel. When he got to his hotel he read the news paper and found out that Frankin H. Having die yet and while that John got a phone called telling John that he got hired for writing an article about Julian Castle, a multi-millionaire philanthropist who’s living on San Lorenzo. So John takes the job and flies to San Lorenzo.

One the plane to San Lorenzo John met Lowe and Hazel Crosby and Horlick and Claire Minton. Lowe and Hazel were traveling to San Lorenzo to open a bicycle factory because the island legislated has no labor restrictions. Horlick was a new American ambassador to San Lorenzo. Angela and Newt both also were on the plane; the were going to San Lorenzo to celebration Frankin engagement to Mona (the beautiful adopted daughter of “Papa” Monzano, the island’s dictator or president of San Lorenzo.



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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1984 by George Orwell

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1984 by George Orwell

Outline

Thesis Statement- This paper will examine how George Orwell wrote 1984 as a political statement against totalitarianism.

I Introduction

II Summary of 1984

III Roles of major Charters

A. Big Brother

B. Winston

C. O'Brien

D. Julia

E. Shop owner

IV Propaganda

A. Ministry of Truth

B. Ministry of Love

V Orwell's thoughts on Totalitarianism

A. From life experiences

B. From a writers point of view

VI Conclusion



"Orwell observed that every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it" ("George Orwell"). George Orwell has been a major contributor to anticommunist literature around the World War II period. Orwell lived in England during World War II, a time when the totalitarianism state, Nazi Germany, was at war with England and destroyed the city of London. "I know that building", said Winston finally. Its a ruin now. It's in the middle of the street outside the Palace of Justice.' That's right. Outside the Law Courts. It was bombed in-oh many years ago'". This reflects Orwell's own life experiences as a citizen in war torn England and how he uses this in 1984. George Orwell is famous for two major novels which attack totalitarianism. The first is Animal Farm a satire describing the leaders of the Soviet Union as animals on an animal farm. The second novel is 1984 a story of dictators who are in complete control of a large part of the world after the Allies lost in World War II . The government in this novel gives no freedoms to its citizens. They live in fear because they are afraid of having bad thoughts about the government of Oceania, a crime punishable by death. This is the gem in Orwell's collection of novels against totalitarianism. This paper will show how George Orwell wrote 1984 as a political statement against totalitarianism. 1984 is about life in a world where no personal freedoms exist. Winston the main character, is a man of 39 who is not extraordinary in either intelligence or character, but is disgusted with the world he lives in. He works in the Ministry of Truth, a place where history and the truth is rewritten to fit the party's beliefs. Winston is aware of the untruths, because he makes them true. This makes him very upset with the government of Oceania, where Big Brother, a larger than life figure, controls the people. His dissatisfaction increases to a point where he rebels against the government in small ways. Winston's first act of rebellion is buying and writing in a diary. This act is known as a thought crime and is punishable by death. A thought crime is any bad thought against the government of Oceania. Winston commits many thought crimes and becomes paranoid about being caught, which he knows is inevitable. He becomes paranoid because he is followed by a young woman who is actively involved in many community groups. Winston is obsessed with the past, a time before Oceania was under strict dictatorship. He goes into an antique shop and buys a shell covered in glass which is another crime punishable by death. He sees the same woman following him. Many thoughts race through his mind "I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks ago I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone. If you really want to know, I imagined that you had something to do with the Thought Police". The girl who was following him slipped him a note while at work. The note said "I love you". They make plans to meet each other and carry on an illegal love affair. This love affair is another rebellion against the government. It goes on for some time. Winston rents a room where he and Julia can be secluded from the outside world. They meet a man named O'Brien who indicates that he is another revolutionary. Winston and Julia go to his house to meet with him. O'Brien gives than a seditious book to read. Soon after that, they are caught by the Thought Police and never see each other again. O'Brien, becomes Winston's rehabilitator and torturer for the next 9 months. O'Brien tortures Winston in stages. The first two stages are to force the party's beliefs on him then learn and understand what is expected of him. In the third stage, Winston is made to face what he secretly fears most, rats eating his face. After being completely rehabilitated by O'Brien, Winston now loves the establishment and the government. He is set free. Big Brother is the figurehead of a government that has total control. The Big Brother regime uses propaganda and puts fear in its citizens to keep the general population in line. "Big Brother is watching you" is just one example of many party slogans that puts fear in its citizens. Big Brother uses various ways to catch people guilty of bad thoughts "In the world of 1984 the tyrant Big Brother does employ a vast army of informers called thought police, who watch every citizen at all times for the least signs of criminal deviation which may consist simply of unorthodox thoughts". Winston Smith represents Orwell's view on totalitarianism. Winston rebels against the government of Oceania by starting a diary and constantly having bad thoughts against the government. "Winston knows that he is doomed from the moment he has his first heretical thought . The tensions of the novel concerns how long he can stay alive and whether it is possible for Winston to die without mentally betraying his rebellion". Winston starts writing in a diary for two reasons. The first is that he wants to be able to remember the daily occurrences in the world. In 1984, the memory of individuals, is effectively manipulated, programmed, and controlled from the outside by the party. People don't know what they are consciously remembering and what is told to them. "The party had invented airplanes" is just one example of the party's propaganda and false statements that change every day. The other reason for the diary is so that people in the future will be able to read what went on during Winston's time and to tell them about his daily reflections on his feelings about the party. These are the same reasons why Orwell wrote 1984. He wanted to expose a communist country (the Soviet Union) . The specific political purpose that had aro used Orwell's sense of urgency was his desire to explode the myth of the Soviet Union as the paradigm of the socialist state. He also wanted to expose the dangers of totalitarianism, which the devaluation of objective truth, and the systematic manipulation of the common people through propaganda ("George Orwell"). O'Brien is an informant to Big Brother. He is not who he seems to be. He appears to Winston as a fellow conspirator, but actually becomes Winston's torturer and rehabilitator. O'Brien and the party can't tolerate Winston's betrayal of the government. O'Brien tells his victim : You are a flaw in the pattern, Winston. You are a stain that must be wiped out... It is intolerable that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. ("George Orwell"). In fact, the party can't comprehend his disbelief and must change his thoughts through torture and brainwash. "You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves". O'Brien represents the core of communist or totalitarian rule, making the victims suffer by using brainwashing to control them. O'Brien also tells Winston what he should feel about Big Brother when Winston is at his lowest point mentally and physically. O'Brien's speeches to the broken Winsto n Smith in the Thought Polices' torture chamber represents for Orwell the core of our century's political hideousness. Although O'Brien says that power seeks power and needs no ideological excuse. he does in fact explain to his victim what this power is ("George Orwell"). Julia is considered a sexual deviant in the oppressed world of 1984. In a normal world sex is free, in 1984 it's a forbidden act only allowed for reproduction purposes to keep the party's numbers constant. Julia has been sexually active since her teenage years. "She had had her first love affair when she was sixteen, with a party member of sixty". Love and sex is not allowed in this totalitarian state so Julia has to look as pure as possible so that she does not show any guilt. "You thought I was a good party member, pure in word and deed. Banners, processions, slogans, games, community hikes all that stuff. And you [Winston] thought that if I had a quarter of a chance I'd denounce you as a thought criminal and get you killed off ". The owner of the antique shop is another example of someone appearing to be what he is not. Orwell uses the shop owner to illustrate a point. Orwell shows that no one can be trusted in a totalitarian country. Someone who appears to be your friend will actually turn you in and have you killed. The shop owner appears to be an old widower who enjoys having conversations with Winston Smith. Throughout the book it can be seen that looks can be deceiving. He is actually a member of the Thought Police and gets a good laugh when Winston and Julia getting caught. Now all he can do is wait for his next victim to enter his store. The Ministry of Truth is a place where history and facts significant and insignificant are rewritten to reflect the party's utopian beliefs. They thoroughly destroy the records of the past; they print up new, up to-date editions of old newspapers and books; and they know corrected versions will be replaced by another, re-corrected one. Their goal is to make people forget everything- facts, words, dead people, the names of places. How far they succeed in obliterating the past is not fully established in Orwell's description; clearly they try hard and they score impressive results. The ideal of complete oblivion may not have been reached, yet further progress is to be expressed. Winston and Julia are workers at the Ministry of Truth. Winston gets more mentally involved in his work than Julia. "Winston Smith and his fellows at the Ministry of Truth spend their days rewriting the past: Most of the material you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie'" ("George Orwell"). Winston is not as strong mentally as Julia. His work affects him more. The Ministry of Truth is like a totalitarian country, because it has ways to scare its citizens. People guilty of crimes are erased from having ever existed. "Your name was removed from the registers, every record of your existence was denied and then forgotten". Again people were taken away without any rights. "...there was no trial no report of arrest". The actual purpose of the Ministry of Truth is to spread lies and to have control over its citizens using memory erasing techniques. "...the distinction between true and false in their usual meaning has disappea red. This is the great cognitive triumph of totalitarianism: it cannot be accused of lying any longer since it has succeeded in abrogating the very idea of truth. These same control techniques are used by totalitarian nations that seek control over there citizens. The Ministry of Truth is a complete contradiction of itself. A Ministry of Truth should not change past occurrences or say people never existed. It should exemplify the truth and not erase records of the existence of people. The Ministry of Love is where all criminals are tortured, rehabilitated, then set free or killed. As soon as Winston is captured he knows he is going to the Ministry of Love. The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. Winston had never been inside the Ministry of Love, nor within half a kilometer of it. It was a place impossible to enter except on offical business, and then only by penetrating throu gh a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine-gun nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons. In a totalitarian state something resembling a Ministry of Love is common place. It's a place where the government can inflict pain on its subjects for crimes big and small. That is how totalitarian nations keep, power over their citizens by fear of pain. The name Ministry of Love is a contradiction of itself. Its name shows a feeling of love and warmth, but in actuality it's the complete opposite. It's a place of hate and pain and is cold and dark. A better name for it would be the Ministry of Hate. George Orwell lived during a time when Europe was in a period of rebuilding after World War II. During that time Soviets gained six nations as satellites. England was helpless and had to worry about their own problems and had to watch the Soviet Union take control of half of Germany. The leader of the Soviet Union, Stalin, closely resembles Big Brother. They were both larger than life figures in there respective countries. In the Soviet Union you could easily have found large posters with Stalin's face on them. The same holds true in 1984; Big Brother's face is everywhere. A famous quote from 1984 is "Big Brother is watching you". Meaning if his Thought Police don't catch you, his telescreens and hidden microphones would. In the Soviet Union, Stalin's K.G.B. sought criminals who plotted against the government. In Stalin's regime over 10 million people were killed. In 1984 hundreds of criminals were killed daily. Another aspect of the 1940's were the new broadcast T.V.'s and mainframe computers. The new technologies could be used for means of control. Orwell saw communist countries using these technologies for control ("George Orwell"). This is where Orwell's idea of telescreens and hidden microphones came from. Before World War II, Orwell had his worst encounter with communists. While Orwell was in the Spanish Civil War, he was running away from Soviet communists who were trying to kill him. After that experience he got out of the army and became a writer full time. "Another shock to Orwell was when the Nazi-Soviet pact signaled the breakdown and the beginning of the mental and emotional state out of which grew Animal Farm and 1984". Orwell may of have extracted what he saw in his world while writing but it was done to get people's attention of problems in the existing world. "Orwell's primary purpose is to distort disturbing conditions tendencies and habits of thought that he saw existing in the world"("George Orwell"). Orwell saw, the whole world steadily moving toward a vast ruthless tyranny. He felt nothing could stop it's monstrous progress. 1984, in spite of its setting in the future, is not primarily a utopian fantasy prophesying what the world will be like in thirty or forty years but a novel about what the world is like now. Orwell always relates characters in his books to points of view and real people. In Animal Farm every farm animal represents a person in the Soviet Union. In 1984, Orwell represents his point of view in Winston. He shows a totalitarian leader, in O'Brien and Big Brother, while Julia is the desire and lust in every human being. George Orwell had deep resentment against totalitarianism and what it stood for. He saw the problem of totalitarianism in his existing world. He also understood how the problem could fester and become larger due to instability in Europe's economy after World War II. He purposely makes the story, 1984, unrealistic and blown out of proportion to capture people's attention and make them think maybe it wouldn't be unrealistic in the near future. With his deep resentment toward totalitarianism it became the focal point of his novels. George Orwell's, novels were directed toward against totalitarianism and for Socialism and what it stood for.



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