Life and Debt Documentary: Summary and Analysis

Life and Debt Film Write
The tourist who comes to Jamaica focuses on the beauty of the island. Jamaica is the island where Antiguans suffer and want to escape. However, the natives are too poor to escape the island. Antiguans try their best to satisfy the tourists. The natives envy the tourists because the tourists have the ability to leave their boredom and turn Jamaica into a pleasurable vacation. Stephanie Black, the filmmaker of Life and Debt, is attempting to demonstrate that the tourist, through Jamaica Kincaid’s description, witnesses the beauty of the island while being oblivious from the harsher realities of the natives. The major themes that Kincaid addresses include the influence of homeland on identity, culture, and the desire for independence.
The first themes that will be argued are the perspectives of the tourists, the natives, and the omnipotent’s view on Jamaica. The first concept that will be argued is the tourists’ perspective on the natives. In the tourists’ perspective, they stereotype natives as being relaxed, laid back people, without realizing that natives are working hard to satisfy the tourists.
In the tourists’ perspective on Jamaica, they are fond by the beauty of the island and the continuing sunshine. The continuing sunshine in Jamaica represents a lack of rainfall. This lack of rainfall is a lack of fresh water. This lack of fresh water for the natives does not interest the tourists because the beauty and the sunshine of the island is all that really matters to them. Tourists who swim in the sea have no clue the amount of waste that they create. Also, the tourists do not notice that the food that they are eating is from Miami.

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The second concept that will be argued is the natives’ perspective on the tourists. When the tourists arrive in Jamaica, natives automatically label them as being a tourist. In the native’s perspective, a tourist is an ugly human being because they do not look, eat, or speak the same way as the natives do. The natives view the tourists as people who make use of poor people for their own satisfaction.
The natives must work hard in order to prove pleasure for the tourists. The natives are living in poor conditions wishing that they can be the tourists, because tourists have the ability to leave their boredom and come to a place such as Jamaica to relax. However, in Jamaica, getting off the island is not as easy for the natives then it is for the tourists who are visiting the island. The third concept that will be argued is the omnipotent’s perspective on Jamaica. The US and European countries may not have authority over Jamaica, but they push their influence and instigate their authority within Jamaica.
The United States of America and European countries took advantage of the Jamaicans by creating a trade system in order to earn extra money for themselves. This, in turn, jeopardizes businessmen and farmers in Jamaica because it is harder for them to compete with the US and Europe. Jamaicans are manipulated by the IMF, WB, and WTO. The US and European countries have power over Jamaica because the tourists commodify and exploit the natives by still treating them as slaves.
Tourists do not recognize that the natives’ history, culture, and religion and what Jamaica is all about. All that the tourists care about is their vacation time to relax and be treated as royalty. This is similar to the way they were treated before their independence.
The history of Antigua includes Britain controlling the Antiguans. The old Antigua includes many racist moments and slavery work for the Antiguans. The Antiguans speak the same language as Britain. Since English is the Britain’s language, it is also the Antiguans language. The Antiguans did not have any independence until the time of the Earthquake. When post-colonial happened in 1974, the Antiguans went to the church and thanked a God, a British God. Even though the Antiguans got their freedom and independence, they still had to speak the language of those who enslaved them. Also, the Antiguans had to follow the Britain religion because they have been adapted to this religion.
In conclusion, these perspectives have been linked together to prove that tourists are lacking conscious awareness of how the natives live their lives.
This type of agency relates to the book “A Small Place” by Jamaica Kincaid because the Government is also taking advantage of his power of Jamaica. He is taking advantage of his power by delaying the reconstruction of the library because he has, in his perspective, his own priorities to deal with. The library is a symbol of education and culture for the Antiguans. The library can only be re-built if the Antiguans have money to provide for it. The rich people of the Mill Reef Club would help if the old library was re-built. The Government is not doing what is right for the Antiguans. There has been a corruption of the Government because there have been many abuses of power in Jamaica. The funds have been wrongly placed. Drug smuggling is an issue in Jamaica. Also, there has been a misappropriation of political violence.
In conclusion, “Life and Debt” shows the ignorance of tourists who travel to Jamaica for their own enjoyment and satisfaction. Stephanie Black, the filmmaker of Life and Debt, is attempting to demonstrate that the tourist, through Jamaica Kincaid’s description, witnesses beauty of the island while being oblivious from the harsher realities of the natives. The major themes that Kincaid addresses include the influence of homeland on identity, culture, and the desire for independence. The lives of the natives have no interest to the tourists because the tourists come to enjoy the beauty of the island. In the native’s perspective, they view tourists as ugly human beings because tourists are oblivious to how the natives live their lives. The Government is abusing his powers by wrongly placing funds. The United States of America and Europeans took advantage of the Jamaicans by creating a trade system in order to earn extra money for themselves. The Government is also taking advantage of his power. The library has been pending repairs since 1974. The library is very important to the Jamaicans because the library represents a symbol of education, culture, history, and independence.
 

The Life and Death of Hannah Baker

Abstract

In the United States, depression is the second leading cause of psychiatric disorders that affects about 300 million citizens each year.  The main risk factor with regard to depression, would be having recurrent thoughts of death/suicide.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death in children and teenagers.  The main character in a television series suffered from a majority of pain, sorrow, and humiliation from her classmates in high school. The high school was not supportive/helpful in regards to her feelings/thoughts when it came to the mass amount of bullying. Depression can affect a citizen’s classification by affecting their life/activities, school and work, and social functioning.  An individual can express psychological, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional symptoms with regard to depression.  There are many resources and opportunities to seek treatment for depression.  Cognitive behavioral therapy, biomedical treatment combined with medication or brain stimulation, and psychotherapy are helpful towards for treating depression in the client. 

Keywords:  depression, suicide, treatment

13 Reasons Why: The Life and Death of Hannah Baker 

Depression, also known as Major Depressive Disorder, is the second leading cause of psychiatric disorders worldwide that affects 298 million individuals each year (Sue et al, 2015). In the United States, suicide is considered to be the third leading cause of death in children and teenagers between the ages of 10-24 years old (Kaslow, 2013).  Suicide is usually the main risk factor in regards to depression.  The Netflix television series “13 Reasons Why” is a portrayal of the main character Hannah Baker, who committed suicide after facing bullying, sexual assault, and lack of support from her high school.  Hannah recorded a series of cassette tapes explaining thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life.  She displayed number of depressive symptoms such as loneliness, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, and negative thinking all of which lead to her ending life. Depression can affect an individual’s classification by affecting their well-being, school, work, and social functioning.

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Hannah’s School Life

In the Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why”, 17-year-old girl named Hannah Baker, commits suicide at the beginning of her junior year in high school. The first season focuses on the individuals Hannah discusses on the cassette tapes.  The first two characters on the first cassette tape are Justin Foley and Jessica Davis.  Justin was the first guy Hannah had a crush at the beginning of her sophomore year.  While on a date at the park with Justin, Hannah went down the slide in a dress—inadvertently showing her underwear.  Justin took the embarrassing photo with his cellphone (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017). Justin showed the photo in school the next day to his best friend, Bryce Walker who group-texted the photo to the entire school.  Jessica Davis was Hannah’s first friend at Liberty High, since she was also a new student.  After the pair became close friends, they met Alex Standall at a local coffee shop.  However, Jessica and Alex started dating which led to an altercation between the groups of friends (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  Jessica accused Hannah of having a crush on Alex over a “Best of, Worst of” list.  The “Best of, Worst of” list indicates different names of females that are categorized as having the “Best of, Worst of” figure. 

The second group of characters on the second tape was Alex Standall and Tyler Down.  Alex Standall created a “Best of, Worst of” list that stated Hannah had the best butt and Jessica had the worst at Liberty High.  This listing led the jocks to treat Hannah like a sex object (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  Tyler Down was the considered as Liberty High’s “yearbook photographer”.  However, Tyler began stalking Hannah because he had a crush on her.  While playing a game of Truth or Dare, Tyler took a photo of Hannah and Courtney Crimsen kissing Hannah’s bedroom (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  After Hannah declined Tyler’s offer to go on a date, Tyler group-texted half the school the photo of Courtney and Hannah kissing. 

Courtney Crimsen and Marcus Cole were discussed on the third tape. Courtney was Hannah’s former friend after the photo of her and Hannah was released by Tyler.  Courtney decided however, to become “friends” with Hannah again and invited her to drive to the school’s dance.  At the school dance, Courtney started a false rumor about Hannah’s desire for a three-way and as well as the alleged sexual activities between Hannah and Justin (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  Courtney made up the rumor because she was afraid that her secret about being gay would come out and realized how suspicious the popular kids were becoming.  Marcus Cole was the schools’ student body president and Hannah’s “Valentine’s Day date”.  On their Valentine’s day date, Marcus began touching Hannah’s leg inappropriately, which made her feel extremely uncomfortable (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  This led to Marcus stating that he only wanted to date her just have sex with her because of the rumors saying she was “easy” (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  

Zach Dempsey and Ryan Shaver were discussed on the fourth tape.  Zach initially had a crush on Hannah for a long time, which prompted him to express his feelings to Hannah after their encounter at the diner (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  Hannah denied Zach’s feelings which led to an altercation between them.  During compliment day in their class, Hannah left a letter in her own compliment bag for Zach to read.  During an anonymous class discussion, Hannah left a note in her compliment bag that said “What if the only way to feel bad is to stop feelings anything at all, forever?” (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  This note represented the pain sorrow that Hannah was feeling.  This led Zach to not clarify the author of the note; thereby letting their classmates believe that someone else wrote the note.  Ryan Shaver was Hannah’s mentor who helped her write a poem for their daily poem sessions at school.  Ryan suggested to Hannah that she should publish her “work of art” into the school’s Lost and Found magazine/paper.  Hannah ignored the suggestion, but Ryan published her poem in the school’s Lost and Found magazine despite Hannah’s wishes (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017). 

The fifth tape Hannah talked about Justin and Sheri Holland. Hannah stated that there were three tragic events that occurred on the night of Jessica’s back-to-school party (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  Hannah indicated that Bryce had sexually assaulted Jessica while under the influence of alcohol.  Justin was involved since he and Jessica started dating at the beginning og the semester, and Justin knew that Bryce had sexually assaulted Jessica the night of her party (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  Sheri was one of the popular kids in school and Hannah’s friend. On the night of Jessica’s party, Sheri and Hannah were driving home when Sheri knocked over a stop sign.  This led to a car accident occurring at the same intersection, killing Jeff Atkins who was Clay’s friend/mentee/wingman and student at Liberty High. Before the accident occurred, Hannah convinced Sheri to contact law enforcement about the broken stop sign. Sheri refused however, since she was more concerned about getting in trouble (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  In school, Sheri expressed to Hannah that she is not allowed to speak to anyone about the situation. 

The next two characters on the sixth tape were Clay Jensen and Bryce Walker.  Clay Jensen was one of Hannah’s true friends and someone she had always admired since the first day they met.  The night of Jessica’s party, Hannah confessed her feelings to Clay which led to them kissing in Jessica’s room (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  However, the kissing stopped when Hannah began having flashbacks from all of the jocks that humiliated/bullied her.  Hannah stated on the tape that she would have ruined Clay because of her “reputation”. Few days later, Hannah took a walk around the neighborhood and came across Bryce’s house party. Afterwards, Bryce sexual assaulted Hannah while the pair were in the jacuzzi together at his house party (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017). 

The last character who was discussed on the seventh tape was Mr. Porter, the school’s counselor.  After the sexual assault, Hannah decided to give life one more chance and sought help from Mr. Porter.  She expressed her feelings and thought about her experience at Liberty High and the incident at Bryce’s party (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  Mr. Porter informed Hannah that if she is not able to confess about Bryce sexually assaulting her or involve law enforcement, that Hannah should move forward from the incident (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).  Hannah hastily left Mr. Porter’s office expecting that Mr. Porter would come after her due to the emotional and stressful nature of their discussion.  When Mr. Porter did not come after her, Hannah realized that her life did not have meaning to her classmates, the school faculty, or to herself (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).

Hannah’s Potential Syndrome: Depression

Hannah displayed symptoms that dealt with loneliness, worthlessness, isolation, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, and negative thinking.  Hannah’s potential syndrome in this case would be Depression since it involves intense sadness and loss of interest in daily activities. In the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”, Hannah expressed a majority of these symptoms while narrating her tapes and explaining her reasons. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), the person should be experiencing five or more symptoms during a two-week period (Shelton, 2018).  A main concern with regard to depression would be recurrent thought of death or suicide. Anyone who experiences the symptoms of depression may act on suicidal thoughts if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Hannah expressed these emotions to her friends while she was under the influence of drugs (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2018).

The Multipath Model is a model that explains the biological, psychological, social, and sociocultural aspects of certain disorder.  In the biological aspect, for depression, it merely focuses on the neurotransmitters and irregular brain functioning. There are low levels of neurotransmitters which are serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Regular brain functioning can activate our neurotransmitters to regulate emotions and physiological processes including sleep, appetite, energy, and libido (Sue, Sue, 2017).   For the psychological dimension, this involves negative thinking, rumination, and learned helplessness. Beck’s theory states that people experiencing depression tend have a negative way of looking at themselves having a pessimistic outlook regarding their present experiences and expectations (Sue, Sue, 2017). Negative thinking can also lead to having irrational thoughts or ideas when dealing with depression.  For example, Hannah expressed a pessimistic outlook to Mr. Porter when she stated that her friend Clay Jensen hates her (Yorkey, Incaprera, 2017).   In the social dimension, lack of social support/resources and maltreatment can lead to an increase risk of depression.  For sociocultural aspect, culture, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender are associated with depression. Depression is more common in women than in men regardless of race/ethnicity or social class.  Research shows that depression is higher among women than in men (Sue, Sue, 2017).  Depression can also negatively affect an individual’s well-being, school and life/activities and their social functioning. This affected Hannah’s classification due to the deterioration in her grades, social withdrawal, reduced motivation, and pessimistic attitude.   

Discussion

Depression can easily affect an individual’s well-being, perception of life, and social functioning.  The important factor for diagnosing a patient with depression is to be aware that the patient did not experience any hypomania or an episode of mania.  Clinicians are able to consider how severe and chronic the patient’s depressive symptoms may be.  Depression, also known as Major Depressive Disorder, follows impaired functioning due to having a major depressive episode.  This disorder usually occurs with severe depressive symptoms that can affect most of the day for at least two full weeks (Sue, Sue, 2017). Depression is more common in women than men regardless of race/ethnicity and social class.  Women have a 70% increased lifetime risk of experiencing Major Depressive Disorder than men, and are more likely to seek treatment for depression than men based upon physiological and psychological factors.  For example, life stressors can influence gender differences in regards to depression. This means that females have increased risk of encountering an emotionally stressful event, e.g. sexual abuse, which can lead to a lifetime risk of depression (Sue, Sue, 2017).  An individual’s cultural background can influence some descriptive depression symptoms, decisions for treatment, doctor-patient communication, and a prospect of outcomes. Depression can be expressed in regards to certain type of somatic/bodily complaints.  For example, Latino and Mediterranean cultures express depression in regards to having a headache.  Asian cultures are associated with weakness, tiredness, or “imbalance” and Middle Eastern cultures express complications of the heart and “heartbroken”. 

There are a majority of options to seek treatment for depression/depressive disorders.  This is important because longer depressive episodes can lead to long-term outcomes which means less likely chance for the symptoms to be improved.  Treatments for depression include behavioral activation therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy.  Behavioral activation therapy can motivate the patient to participate in activities and have some social interactions.  Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is associated with changing any negative thinking/feeling in the client. Biomedical treatments for depression include circadian related-treatments, electrical stimulation for the brain, and the use of medication (Sue, Sue 2017).  A form of medication that can be used to help treat depression would be antidepressants.  Antidepressants can help increase the accessibility for the neurotransmitters in the brain, which includes norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine.  Circadian related treatments involve resetting the circadian clock for sleep recovery to help improve sleep deprivation.  Brain stimulation therapies are used in case of life-threatening symptoms such as lack of eating and severe suicidal intentions (Sue, Sue, 2017). 

References

Kaslow, N. (2013).  Suicidal Youth and Their Families: Overcoming Barriers to Receiving Help. American Psychological Association, 2018. 

Shelton, J. (2018). Depression Definition and DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria.  PSYCOM, 1996-2018.

Sue et al. (2017).  Essentials of Understanding Abnormal Behavior, 3rd edition. Cengage Learning.

Yorkey, B. (Creator/Executive Producer), Incaprera, J. (Producer), Trombetta, L. (Editor). (2017, March 31).  13 Reasons Why. United States: Netflix.

 

Factors Of Increased Life Expectancy Health And Social Care Essay

People around the world are now living longer. According to the government information life expectancy in the UK has increased (Office For National Statistics 2004). Their data showing that life expectancy for women increased from 49 years in 1901 to 81 by 2002, and for men it increased from 45 to 76 years. This paper examine the factors that contribute to increased life expectancy in the UK and in the World.

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Firstly medical changes have allowed life expectancy to increase because as Tallis (2005) state better health information, medicine can prevent many diseases and special medical care available. In the UK many improvements in the health care “have made a significant contribution to the major and sustained increases in life expectancy” (Gray et al, 2006, 107). In particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009) point to ten health advances that increased life expectancy in the last 100 years. For example immunisations, control of infections, safer food and reducing heart illnesses. Marmot (2003) point to research that show the level of death from heart disease is lower in countries where there is higher supply of fruit and vegetables.
Another factor is the effect of healthcare in the area pregnancy an infant caring. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA 2010a) state that the increase in life expectancy of the World’s population is because of improvements that has been including “lowered infant and child mortality; better nutrition, education, health care and access to family planning;” (UNFPA 2010a, np). The UNFPA (2010a) emphasise how health in the early years is increasing life expectancy because for example young children are eating better The UNFPA also indicate the importance of healthcare and family planning and for women mean less pregnancy and infant health problems. An example of a health factor that is reducing death at birth and pregnancy issues is the increase in skilled health staff (UNFPA 2009). According to Wilkinson and Marmot (2003) this increases life expectancy because this means when young children grow up they will have less illness connected to infant ill health.
Additionally, the UNFPA (2009) state that education is also another important factor to increasing life expectancy. They say this is so especially for women that finish secondary school education because it means that girls are stronger physically and emotionally and this lead to fewer infant deaths. This make sense because education across all countries give people more knowledge and they are able to make better decisions, choices and live healthier life (Marmot 2009).
Meanwhile a report by the World Health Organisation show that there are also many social factors affecting the life expectancy (Marmot 2009). In richer developed countries life expectancy has increased because the social conditions are better because the people that are living longer are not suffering from issues relating to poverty such as not eating well, access to medical care and clean water (Marmot 2009). More of the world now has access to cleaner water (UNFPA 2010b). So over the past 100 years in richer countries there have been improvements to health, water and nutrition which is helping to increase life expectancy.
Improvements in economic situation of people has led to increases in life expectancy around the world (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003). According to Wilkinson and Marmot (2003) diseases are less common if the social position of the person is better because these people can pay for better food and better medicine and better care. However at same time they say not only about rich or poor because as stated by Wilkinson and Marmot (2003) the social factors increasing life expectancy can affect all level of society. For example they state that “even among middle-class office workers, lower ranking staff suffer much more disease and earlier death than higher ranking staff” (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003, p10). This is because social factors that can effect life expectancy can happen at any level. The people that are living longer have good social factors such good family relations and support, good education in the youth years, secure employement, job satisfaction and good housing. All these factors find the World Health Organisation can improve life expectancy (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003).
Furthermore reduced stress is example of social factor that is helping people live longer. The World Health Organisation say that “continuing anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem, social isolation and lack of control over work and home life, have powerful effects on health” (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003, p12). Consequently life expectancy is increasing around the world for people who are experiencing these problems less and less.
Stress can also include stress at work which can have affect in life expectancy. According to Wilkinson and Marmot 2003 the “psychosocial environment at work is an important determinant of health “(p18). Other employment factors that increase life expectancy are high job security and high job satisfaction (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003).
Social isolation is another factor that affect life expectancy. “Life is short where quality is poor. By causing hardship and resentment, poverty, social exclusion and discrimination cost lives” (Wilkinson and Marmot 2003, p16). Therefore society where people are not isolated is helping to increase life expectancy. So then in countries around the world factor is helping to increase life expectancy where people experience less isolation and there is more community and relationship. Wilkinson and Marmot (2003) say however that this factor can also include for example discrimination, racism and unemployment. In the UK there is higher life expectancy in areas where there is less social isolation and unemployment. Rich areas such as Chelsea and Kensington in London say the BBC (2009) have highest life expectancy in the UK, which is 84 for men and 89 for women. But in Glasgow which has many social problems (BBC 2006) the life expectancy is only 70 years for man and 77 years for women.
The evidence it seems that people are living longer for many reasons. Either for health, better medicine, better support and social connection or increase in wealth. People not only living longer in rich countries but also in poor countries where the country is maybe still poor but there improvement in health and education. As long these factors increase for people then more people will live longer.
 

Should childhood be seen as an apprenticeship for adult life?

Should Childhood be seen as an apprenticeship for adult life?
The term ‘apprenticeship’ implies a form of training, whereby a younger, inexperienced individual becomes educated in a particular field. This is achieved through taking part in a period of observing, learning and imitating important skills from a senior exemplary individual in order to develop this skill as their own. Childhood is seen by many as an apprenticeship for adult life, whether this is a fair statement has to be discussed. This essay will discuss the notion of childhood as an apprenticeship, why it is seen in this way and how the learning of skills is important in later life. It will then discuss the negative issues that arise when this concept of an apprenticeship for adult life occurs. The essay will finally look at the belief that there is no apprenticeship for adult life, and that the idea of it is an unfair burden on children. The foremost point of this essay is to look at the arguments of both sides of this view and to analyse both opinions to form a conclusion that childhood can be seen as an apprenticeship for adult life, despite its often negative consequences.

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Firstly, the notion of childhood as an apprenticeship for adult life will be discussed as a positive period, which produces competent and well developed adults. The ‘senior exemplary individual’ previously mentioned, is most often a parent or guardian but can sometimes be a sibling, peer or even a teacher. “Parents have always been viewed as being the most appropriate source of guidance and discipline in matters relating to behaviour and morals” (Loreman, 2009). Children require adults as guidance to assist them in learning about society’s norms, values and expectations. During childhood children develop important life skills such as: communication skills and how to think; their subconscious minds are also developed and are greatly influenced by how their parents treat them.
Furthermore, Ideas and views held in childhood tend to stay constant into adult life and experiences, good or bad will also remain. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development (1971, 1976), an important skill required during adulthood, consists of three stages. Kohlberg found that not all of these three stages develop in childhood, and some, only in adulthood. A child’s ability of moral reasoning is only in stage one. This is pre-conventional, and is driven only by the personal consequences of their actions and their own advantage gains. However Hundt (2001) believes that this view is not a fair one and that children develop further morally than Kohlberg suggests. Hundt found that children, when provided with the reorientation and support of an adult, are capable of acting selflessly and in beneficial ways to others. This supports the idea of an ‘apprenticeship’ and that children learn how to behave from influential adults.
Sharon Michaels (2009) argues that in childhood, every child is given a ‘Childhood role’. This role is a special and defined niche within the family unit; the child is loved and praised for remaining in their assigned role. This role will become the child’s identity and personality; it will remain with them into adult life. In adulthood the decisions that are made and the way the individual will behave will often be a reflection of this ‘childhood role’. “Unconsciously it is part of your adult identity” (Sharon Michaels, bellaonline.com 2009). Taking this idea and analysing it more deeply, both the positive and negative effects of ‘role giving’ become evident. If the child is given a positive ‘childhood role’, for example ‘the intellectual one’, the child will strive to do their best to stay within this role, they will feel the need to work hard and put a considerable amount of effort in throughout their education. The child will be praised for these actions which encourage further similar actions and could ultimately lead to an intellectual and successful adult. However, the child may see their role as a burden, and will be frowned upon if they fail to live up to this, this inadvertently could cause the child to feel they have to act a particular way, and this ultimately in adult life will make them see themselves as a failure as they could not withhold their given role. Another negative outcome of this theory is that, if a child is given a negative ‘childhood role’, such as ‘the dumb one’, it could be said that the parents covertly are preparing their child for failure in adult life.
A study by Rosenthal (1968) wholeheartedly supports this theory. Rosenthal performed tests on a class of children; she then gave the teachers false feedback on the tests. She labelled some of the class, whom did no better than the rest, “bloomers”. The teacher of the class then began to behave differently towards these “bloomers”, giving them more one-to-one attention and sitting them closer to the front of the class, thus they became more involved. The “non-bloomers” were criticised by the teacher more often and saw themselves as intellectually inferior to the “bloomers”. After a re-test, the “bloomers” actually performed better in the test than the “non-bloomers”. This shows the theory of childhood roles and labelling children as something they might not necessarily be has subconscious and conscious effects on how they behave, perform and how other people treat them.
Next the negative implications of the idea will be considered. Many people view childhood as an apprenticeship for adult life, sometimes subconsciously. It has become a widely presumed issue that children should learn how to become adults and how they should behave before they come close to reaching adulthood. The period of childhood has, in effect, become a period of apprenticeship. Everything children do can be seen as preparation for their lives as adults, not their times as children. This is not always a good and healthy way to grow up, and in actual fact can be dangerous and harmful to the child’s development.
It has been found that if a child is treated in a particular way it will often grow up to treat people in this same way, whether it be positive or negative. “The transference of beliefs from parent to the susceptible child is a key point to understand and why children often grow up to be very similar to their parents” (Martins, Eruptingmind.com). If a child is abused throughout their childhood, then they are likely to be aggressive and abusive in later life as this is the apprenticeship they experienced. Childhood abuse has been found to have a negative effect on adult self-efficacy, (Uemura, R, 2007) this will in turn have a negative effect on their whole lives, the adult that childhood abuse often produces has difficulties engaging in relationships, experiences disordered behaviour and painful subconscious minds (Dr Dombeck, M, 2009). Bandura (1973, 1977, 1986) demonstrated extremely effectively that children learn from observation and imitation. In the 1960’s Bandura carried out a number of experiments involving children to study how they learn. The “Bobo doll” experiment showed a film of an actress beating an inflatable doll, after watching the film the children were exposed to the doll and it was evident that the children imitated the actions of the actress with extreme precision and even created their own weapons using neutral items that were present in the room to attack the doll. Bandura’s experiment can be applied to children who grow up in violent apprenticeships and experience abusive conditions.
Moreover, it was evident that if a child’s father hit their mother then the child was also likely to act in this violent way towards their mother (Ulman and Straus 2003). Children who witness violent behaviour or that are victims of aggression will often encompass this behaviour when they are adults. Also if a parent punishes a child frequently to stop bad behaviour, it will have the adverse effect. The child will immediately change their behaviour but, this change is often quickly forgotten, behaviourists such as Skinner (1953) found that punishment is the least effective way of correcting bad behaviour. If the child has to grow up without parents the child will often seek another individual in whom they trust to take this role. If a child’s childhood has been controlled by their mentor and the child has been under a lot of extreme pressure to learn quickly how to be, and act like an adult then the child will often miss out on their childhood.
Taking a much discussed example in Michael Jackson, he was forced to grow up extremely quickly and put under a lot of pressure to live in an adult dominated world. He became famous quickly and had little time to do the typical things that children do, instead he was pushed into a strict routine of rehearsing and performing. His father was his mentor, and Jackson’s apprenticeship was intense, but it did not focus on developing him as an adult but as a famous performer, so it can be said that his apprenticeship was very successful. However Jackson in adulthood, did not act as a typical adult, when studied it could be said that he was stuck in his childhood, which he missed out on, and he seemed to refuse to grow up, his characteristics were overly child-like. From this example it is evident that children who have little experience of childhood, and are under an intense apprenticeship will often never develop fully as adults and will subconsciously try to live out their childhood during adult life.
Ultimately the proposal that childhood is an apprenticeship for adult life can be seen as a disrespectful view of childhood. Loreman (2009) argues that many people will disagree that middle age is a period of preparation for old age, but that these same people will strongly agree that childhood is an ‘apprenticeship for adult life’. Loreman states that childhood “has become a period in life where we tend to view activities largely as preparation for the future” (Dahlberg et al 1999). Loreman however, disagrees with this view of childhood and sees it as a disrespectful outlook. Children are often referred to in clichés such as, ‘the future’, this alone puts considerable pressure on children and their childhood. (Dahlberg et al 1999) Politicians and other figures with high positions in society see children as the means to certify future national economic prosperity, Bernake’s view: “educating children is useful because it offers a return for investment in the future” (Loreman p12) is a utilitarian style of doctrine which is supported by many. The status of children has been reduced not to what they are in the present, but solely to what they can produce in the future. Loreman presents a more balanced view of childhood and is successful in doing this. He agrees with the earlier argument of Aurelius that children should be taught for the present, for living life in society as children, these skills can then be adapted and used then in the future, instead of teaching children how to live as adults in society (Aurelius 2006 p107). As children mature, the skills they have from childhood can be modified for particular parts of their lives. This, as Loreman effectively argued, is a much more reverential way to view and to teach children.
In conclusion, childhood should be seen as an apprenticeship for adult life, and is, overall, a positive period whereby a child learns important skills to live as an adult, despite the adverse being evident occasionally. However it should also be noted that it depends entirely upon how a child grows up, as to whether their childhood was a good or bad apprenticeship, or ultimately, whether it was even an apprenticeship at all. Overall it should not be presumed that childhood is an apprenticeship for adult life, each child must be thought of separately and their case taken into account, as both positive and negative experiences are apprenticeships nevertheless. Childhood should be given respect and should not just be presumed to be a period of preparation for adulthood. Children may seek guidance from an adult but this is not an apprenticeship and throughout their childhood children are not seeking to be adults or even to learn to be adults but to just be children.  

Observing Shabbat Affects The Jewish Way Of Life Religion Essay

Shabbat is a Jewish holy day which occurs each week from sunset on Friday till sunset on Saturday. Observing Shabbat every week emphasizes the discipline and commitment of Jews because they have to follow 39 of the 613 mitzvot that apply to Shabbat. As with any festival, Shabbat affects the life of the people observing it. In some ways there are positive effects and in others there are negative. Orthodox Jews’ lives are affected more than reform Jews’ since it is simpler for reform Jews because they can almost ignore certain melachot that they believe do not suit modern society. Furthermore, young Jews are affected in different ways from adult Jews but from everyone a high level of obedience is required.

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In Judaism Shabbat is an opportunity to get away from the boredom of everyday life. It is a time to enjoy and relax, but most of all to spend some quality time with the family which for many is not possible throughout the week, since they are occupied with their working lives. The family and community are very important within Jewish life, but many Jewish families don’t have the opportunity to sit down around the table as a family, chat and have a meal. Shabbat allows these families to spend time together and reflect on the previous week because it is insisted by the melachot that no work may be done. This allows them to relax without any interruptions such as the telephone ringing. If there are children in the family then parents will tell stories too which is a fun way of continuing the Jewish tradition. So one good way in which Shabbat affects a Jew’s life is that families can form strong bonds with one another and can learn how to enjoy one another’s company. In addition, in Shabbat women can socialise with family and close neighbours. If one is living in a Jewish community then others too will be celebrating Shabbat so therefore Jews feel a sense of belonging.
Furthermore Shabbat is also known as the day of rest, reflection and prayer and is a time for Jews to find the true meaning of life and find peace within oneself. Some Jews will become so worked up within their lives that they may forget their sole purpose of living: ‘To hallow G-d’s name’, and ‘To love G-d (mitzvot). Shabbat allows a day to remember God and devote time to worship and thank him. Because no electrical items can be used such as computers, TV’s and mobiles there are no distractions. A lack of distractions helps to encourage a greater spirituality. For nearly all families Shabbat will be the only day when such distractions won’t be present. Also, the boys of the Jewish family will go to the synagogue and study the Torah which brings them closer to God. Throughout Shabbat the family will listen and recite different prayers which again bring them closer to God. So another positive effect Shabbat has on Jewish living is that they are more likely to use the quality time to pray, worship, and thank and remember God.
Although there are some advantages of observing Shabbat in terms of the way of living of Jews, there are many disadvantages too. First of all, Jewish laws prohibit doing any form of work on Shabbat. This includes turning on a light, lighting a fire, cooking, cleaning, driving a car, and writing. There are many things that don’t seem like work to us; however the Jewish concept of the word work involves creating something. Because of these rules everything for Shabbat has to be prepared before. All food must be cooked before or can be kept on a blech so it slowly cooks. All lights must be turned on before and have to be kept on through the duration of the festival. This is a big responsibility for the woman of the house since she also must beckon in Shabbat. This festival is extremely demanding of commitment, patience and time. The men have to repeatedly go to the synagogue with the boys of the family and have to study the Talmud, and recite Kiddush. The males also have to perform Havdalah (separation) when they come home from the synagogue.
In addition, Jews have to attend the synagogue. However they have to walk since in the Torah the melachot states that it is forbidden to carry anything from a private place to a public place. Some Jews might live far from their nearest synagogue and therefore they wouldn’t be able to walk: ‘not to travel on Shabbat outside the limits of one’s place of residence’ (mitzvah), so missing out on going to the synagogue on Shabbat. However this would then be going against another of the mitzvahs: ‘To appear in the sanctuary on the festivals’.
Another way that Shabbat affects the life of a Jew is this time from the view of a child. In order to be at home in time for Shabbat both children and adults will have to leave work and school early (about 2 o’clock). If the family aren’t living in a Jewish community then the children may easily feel embarrassed when their friends ask why they always leave school early every week. Also, children studying for GCSE’s won’t be allowed to go on trips because of the strict rule of observing Shabbat. Missing such trips could in turn affect the child’s coursework etc. In addition because no work can be done during Shabbat, children’s homework is also affected. They only have a Sunday to do it and as children grow older they’ll get big projects. So Shabbat has a negative effect on children’s education.
Furthermore, an orthodox Jewish child wouldn’t be allowed to join clubs and training sessions on weekends. They wouldn’t be allowed to go to parties which are usually on a Friday or Saturday. They wouldn’t even be allowed a weekend job. Because of this Jewish children will have a different routine to their friends and so will find it hard to find time to spend with them. Weekends are a time when most teenagers like to socialise and hang out with their friends. All during the week they have been going to school so mostly staying at home. Teenagers must find it very difficult to abide the rules since they aren’t allowed to socialise with Gentile. Shabbat isn’t a time to hang out and socialise with friends, it is valuable time that should be spent with family. This could possibly make teenagers turn against their own religion.
In addition to Shabbat affecting a child’s education and social life, it can also be seen as quite boring and tedium especially for those brought up in the modern western world. Shabbat means no TV, no mobile, no video games, no iPod, no computer. All children have is their family with whom they must talk and the Talmud which they must study. People should be quiet and introspective on this day, so for some Jewish children, their weekend is pretty boring. For adults also, Shabbat could be boring since no shopping can be done and no leisurely activitities either. This negative feeling from some Jews may result in them turning against their own religion as mentioned above. Young Jews especially may decide to discontinue this tradition in their own families in the future.
For all Jews a great deal of patience must be required to observe Shabbat. People who do not observe Shabbat think of it as a day filled with meaningless restrictions, and a waste of a weekend. Many Jewish children probably think it’s boring, and would much rather swap their weekend with a child of another religion. The woman of the family has to put a lot of work beforehand into preparations for the festival. However to those who do observe Shabbat, it is a precious jewel that God has given to his people and a time of great joy that Jews look forward to every week. It is a time to set aside concerns and enjoy the company of others. It is also a time to reflect upon oneself and become closer to Lord himself.
 

The Meaning And Purpose Of Life Religion Essay

First of all life is the mostly cherished thing in the world, if we can call it a “thing”, as everything that people have, everything that they feel and experience is life itself. Questions like what is the meaning and the purpose of life are really hard to answer straight away; it takes time to think about it. Moreover it really has been the single ultimate question from the creation of earth and mankind. Every person for a moment or two in his life had to think what is the meaning and purpose of life, why am I here?

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I think that it is hard for people to believe in any kind of purpose that we have in our lives, as people don’t believe in eternal life, why should they believe in the purpose of life? It is true that when a person is young and full of energy he doesn’t really bother of thinking about the purpose of life, and what will happen to him after his death, because he forgets about it completely. As people grow older they think of their life more and more, of what they have already done, and what is still missing. Nobody wants to live an empty life, without reaching any goals, something that we would be proud in the end of our life. If people have a purpose of life, they have something that they want to achieve and reach, so it makes the life that much interesting and fuller. It can also show the way how to live for people, serve as a guide in the labyrinth of life. Like the great ancient Roman stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca said: “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind”. http://quotationsbook.com/quote/17170/ The great philosopher had a great point there, as people do need to have an aim to have some kind of a target for their life, to reach something.
Another important fact of the purpose of life is religious and spiritual side of people’s lives. All in all it was God almighty that created the Earth and mankind, so religion and belief must exist and take a very important part in a person’s life. If there were no Creator, if humans were just products and results of an ordinary system, as many in the world today assert, there would be no purpose in life. Each individual human being would strive simply to live their life with as much pleasure and as little pain and suffering as possible. Life should be seen as an eternal process of an endless spiritual discovery and growth: in the beginning stages of earthly life, the individual undergoes a period of training and education which, if it is successful, gives that person the basic intellectual and spiritual tools necessary for living his life successfully. When individuals attain physical maturity in adulthood, they become responsible for their further progress, which now depends entirely their own efforts and skills. Through the daily struggles of material existence, people gradually deepen their understanding of the spiritual principles underlying reality, and this helps them to relate more effectively to themselves, to others, and to God. http://www.allaboutworldview.org/Meaning-Of-Life.htm
Yet, different people have different purpose of life. Ones think that self-realization is the purpose of life, others think that it is memories that you leave after you die, and another group of people think that consuming and pleasure is the main purpose and goal of their life. There are still more things on the list of what do people include in the purpose of life, but some are really mistaken. Life can be compared to a school as people always learn in it, and come to this school to educate their souls. And some make an emphasis on the fun and games just like children do, while others put all their attention on the studying, and the meaning of life is so much clearer for them. Education of the soul consists of clear life-style, striving to help others, to reach the set goals, and live in harmony with God, so that people would have as little regrets for himself near the end of his life as possible. Of course we all know, there is no such thing as an ideal life, an all people make mistakes, and think about the past, wanting to change a lot of things. But that is life, and you have to move on, perhaps trying to make up for the mistakes made in the past by good deeds in the future. http://www.allaboutworldview.org/Meaning-Of-Life.htm
But how to rate a life, did people achieve their goal to reach the purpose of their life? The only time that a person can think back on all his deeds, and not do anything more is the moment before his death. The meaning of an activity is graded by the result of the activity itself. That same thing can be said about our life, which meaning we can view after death. If we are lost in our life, and can’t find the meaning and purpose of it, we can take a completely different perspective-death. We can look at our life if we would be gone now, that of course sounds creepy but it might open our eyes on many things that are there, and need to be done before we go.
As for me, I am still young and questions like purpose of life, death and so on don’t really bother me that much. But I do set clear goals for my life, putting them into priorities, from important to less important. And although it is very hard, but I try to put fun into a small “box”, that needs to be open vary rarely, only after the big boxes are emptied.
 

Looking At The Life Of Al Farabi Religion Essay

Al-Farabi was described as the founder of Arab Neo-Platonism and the first major figure in the history of that philosophical movement since Proclus. The Latin Middle Ages called him as Abunaser and the Arabs selected him as the ‘Second Master’ after the great philosopher, Aristotle. Al-Farabi’s best work contains the integration between Aristotle and Plato on concerns of the world existence, the soul, and reward system for afterlife. According to Al-Farabi, God’s core and reality is fused together with no distinction in them. But there has been neoplatonic touch in his writing too. It is uttered in Al-Farabi’s orientation to God in a negative mode; presenting the divinity by what he is not i.e. He has unique, undividable and inexpressible.

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The Neo-platonic element is most visible in his doctrine of emanation which gives hierarchy of being. The top position is the Divine Being whom Al-Farabi designates as ‘the First’ which gives birth to the First Intellect. A total of ten intellects emanate from the First Being, all being an immaterial substance. The First Intellect comprehends God and produces a third being, the Second Intellect. It also comprehends its own essence and results in the production of the body and soul of “al-sama’ al-ula”, the First Heaven. All the other following intellects emanate stars and planets. The tenth intellect is given a greater importance. It builds the true bridge between the divine and terrestrial worlds. This Tenth Intellect (active intellect) was responsible for actualizing man’s intellectual potentiality and emanating form to man and the sublunary world.
It was quite clear that Al-Farabi’s philosophical drink were relating the Quranic touches. He mentioned that God does not act directly on the sublunary world but is responsible for all actions done by his emanations. Much is assigned to the Active Intellect. He does points to God as ‘Lord of the Worlds’ and ‘God of the Easts and the West’s’.
He was Aristotelian and neo-Platonist as well. He tried to demonstrate a basic agreement between Aristotle and Plato on such matter as creation of world, survival of soul, rewards and punishment.
He described six types of intellect that exist and these are:
Prudence or discernment
Common sense
Natural perception
Conscience
Potential intellect
Division reason
He asserts that good society should pursuit goodness and happiness and where virtue will clearly abound, which he discussed in his book ‘the virtuous city’ And there are four types of cities which are corrupt and we should avoid it and these are
The ignorant city
The dissolute city
The turncoat city
The straying city
Al-Farabi was surely aware of Plato’s own fourfold division of imperfect societies in the Republic into diarchy, oligarchy, democracy and tyranny. The resemblance, however, is more one of structure (four divisions) rather than of content. Ibn Sina owes a considerable intellectual debt to his predecessor for what he got from Aristotle with the help of Al-Farabi. Islamic (particularly Sunnite) educational thought followed the course mapped out by al-Ghazali and this influence has remained valid even after the influx of Western civilization and the emergence of a modern, contemporary Arab civilization.
Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali is one of the greatest Islamic theologians, mystical thinkers and jurist, was born in 1058 A.D. in the city Tus of Khurasan to a Persian family. His father was reputed as great Sufi and died when he was young. His father’s friend takes care of Al-Ghazali and his brother after the death of his father. Both of them went to Madrasa, where they study Arabic, Persian, the Koran and the principles of religion. He also studied fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), tafsir (Koranic exegesis) and hadith (prophetic tradition).
He then moved to Nishapur, where he studied fiqh, kalam, logic and some philosophy under the guidance of Imam al-Juwaini, the most eminent Shafi’ite faqih of the day. He continued to study for five years under Imam al-Juwaini and to assist him with teaching. He also began to write and to study Sufism under another shaikh, al-Farmadhi.
After the death of his master Imam Al-Juwaini, he travelled to meet Nizam ul Mulk, the Seljuq minister, and remained with him for six years, during which time he lived the life of a ‘court jurist’. After few years, he was appointed as chief professor at Al-Nizammiyah of Baghdad, where he lectured more than 300 students.
He was a lawyer, a scholaristic, a philosopher, a skeptic, a traditionist and a moralist. His famous work was the revitalization of Muslim theology and reoriented the values of theology once again in the people of that time. It is said that he brought the orthodox Islam of his time in close contact with Sufism. His combination of spiritualization and fundamentalism in Islam had such a mark stamp on his powerful personality.
His book “the coherence of the philosopher” mask a major turn in Islamic epistemology. His encounter with skepticism led him to believe that all the casual events and interactions are not the product of material conjunction but rather than the immediate and present ‘will’ of God. And this major turn led him to convert into Sufi.
He tried differentiating between theology and mystics. We found the discussion between Al-Ghazali and mutazilities which is consider as one of the major work of Al-Ghazali. He said that God’s attributes are something different from, yet added to God’s essence. Whereas, mutazilites denied the existence of attributes and reduce them to God’s essence and act. They says that
“Both are not identical, but not different.”
He rejected all the previous philosophies. He become the real challenger to the philosophies of Aristotle, platonious, Al-Farabi and Ibn Sina. He bitterly criticized Aristotle, Socrates and considers Greek as non-believers and labeled them as corrupters of Islamic faith. His philosophies were also closer to the modern minds.
He is famous for proposing and defending the Asharite theory of occasionalism and he gave very good example of fire and cotton to explain it. He supports scientific methodology. He believed that whosoever thinks that refuting such a theory is religious duty, harm religion and weaken it. These matters rest on demonstrations, arithmetical and geometrical that has no room for doubt.
His theory of atomism claims that atoms are the only perpetual thing in existence and all the other things in the world is “accidental” which means something that last for just an instant. He stated two types of diseases, the first is the physical and the other is spiritual. He believes that closeness to good is the sign of normality whereas, distance from God leads to abnormality.
http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H021.htm
http://www.ibe.unesco.org/publications/ThinkersPdf/farabie.pdf
http://www.alchemywebsite.com/islam09.html
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&pagename=Zone-English-HealthScience/HSELayout&cid=1158321478684
http://wzzz.tripod.com/FARABI.html
http://ghazali.org/articles/gz1.htm
http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/phil/philo/phils/muslim/ghazali.html
http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/imam_alghazali.htm
http://www.cis-ca.org/voices/g/ghaz-mn.htm
http://www.ghazali.org/articles/gz1.htm
http://www.ghazali.org/articles/gz2.htm
http://www.ghazali.org/articles/watt-p1.htm
 

Life Of Pi Evaluation Literature Essay

This whole book, Life of Pi does not follow any modern structures set by society that we know of today, especially the structure set by society regarding religion. Although the main character of the novel, Piscine Molitor Patel, is a native Hindu, he supports not only Hinduism but Christianity and Islam as well on the pretext that he loves God and that all these three religions are no different than the other.

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Unlike ordinary people who supports either one religion or not at all, Pi supports three religions; Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Pi was first introduced to Christianity in Chapter 17 where he entered a church for the first time and was introduced to the role of Christianity. “I was fourteen years old – and a well-content Hindu on a holiday – when I met Jesus Christ” (Martel 67). Pi was introduced to Christianity at the age of fourteen and was a Hindu at the time. This represents post-structuralism due to the fact that people only support one religion and do not believe in associating themselves with those of different religions, let alone entering other religious buildings.
At the time, Pi was on holiday visiting a place called Munnar. Pi felt that “Despite attending a nominally Christian school, I had not yet been inside a church – and I wasn’t about to dare the deed now” (Martel 68). This connotes the structured view of only believing in one religion. However, when Pi entered the church and met Father Martin he became interested in the story of Christ and at the aspect of Christianity. “Why would God wish that upon Himself? Why not leave death to the mortals? Why make dirty what is beautiful, spoil what is perfect?” (Martel 72). A sense of post-structuralism is present since it is believed that God is immortal and cannot die. However, in the story of Christ, Jesus had died at the cross to save us.
However, in the story of Christ, Pi’s interest was piqued. Pi conveys a sense of post-structuralism since he supports not only Hinduism but Christianity as well. “I entered the church, without fear this time, for it was now my house too. I offered prayers to Christ, who is alive. Then I raced down the hill on the left and raced up the hill on the right – to offer thanks to Lord Krishna for having put Jesus of Nazareth, whose humanity I found so compelling, in my way”, (Martel 76). This emphasises post-structuralism through the fact that Pi prays to both Jesus and Lord Krishna of Christianity and Hinduism.
After successfully becoming a Christian and a Hindu, Pi sets off, a year later, to join Islam. “Islam followed right behind, hardly a year later.” (Martel 77). Post-structuralism can be seen here as even though he already supports two religions, Christianity and Hinduism, which is not the example of a typical fifteen year old boy let alone any person, he gets interested in Islam. As of now, Pi currently supports three religions, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam for the only reason that he loves God.
During this timeframe, it is when Pi is introduced to a Muslim baker. Pi makes conversation and during that conversation, the baker is called to prayers through the different sound of a muezzin, which is significantly different to Christianity which uses bells. “And right there before me, in the midst of his work place, he prayed” (Martel 80). Post-structuralism is present here in the form of the prayer. It is unusual for Muslims to perform prayer in front of other religions without some hostility. Martel does this to introduce Pi to each religion comfortably. It also reveals Martel’s true post-structured views on religion.
While witnessing the baker performing prayer, Pi was thinking that “Islam is nothing but an easy sort of exercise. Hot-weather yoga for the Bedouins. Asanas without sweat, heaven without strain” (Martel 80). Usually, most would assume that the baker is in prayer. However, Pi believes that Islam is just a form of exercise and not able to be considered a religion. However, when he returns to see the baker, he is told that his religion is about the Beloved. Martel informs us that Islam is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion (81).
Later on in the novel, in Chapter 23, Pi is confronted by the three religious men, the priest, the pandit and the imam, on a Sunday walk with his family. Since everyone in Pi’s family, save for Pi, is not religious, this chapter presents many post-structuralism views. These three religious men bring out the truth from Pi stating that he cannot be a Christian, a Muslim and a Hindu and that he must choose. The very fact that this chapter exists is to display the structure of only being able to support one religion and the post-structure towards the supporting of three different religions. They further emphasize the structured religion by stating that there is only “freedom of practice – singular!” and that he “can’t be a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim” (Martel 92).
On the other hand, Pi demonstrates post-structuralism by stating that “All religions are true. I just want to love God” (Martel 92). Pi’s views on religion are not structured since structurally you can only believe in one religion; this connotes Pi’s actions as post-structuralism. As Pi’s reason for supporting three religions is only to love God, the three wise men could do nothing as you “can’t reprimand a boy for wanting to love God” (Martel 93). This line is both structured and post-structured. Although it is set by society that religion is just a way to love God and there is only one way to do it, Pi clearly does more than support one religion which represents post-structuralism.
Not long later, Pi’s support of three religions once again comes into play in chapter 26. This chapter, once again, demonstrates Pi’s post-structured views and his parents structured views. When Pi approaches his father to talk to him about being baptised and about having a prayer rug, Martel demonstrates a structured view through Pi’s father about religion; with him stating that “You can’t be both. You must be either one or the other” (96). In a way, Martel is demonstrating the structure in which society has set with Pi’s father representing the whole of society.
Pi, on the other hand, demonstrates a post-structured view on religion. In response to his father’s views, and to society’s, he states that “That’s not what they say! They both claim Abraham as theirs. Muslims say the God of the Hebrews and Christians is the same as the God of the Muslims. They recognize David, Moses and Jesus as prophets” (Martel 96-97). Martel uses Pi to convey his post-structured view across to the audience by stating the similarities between the three religions. Due to the fact that society has stated that Christianity, Hinduism and Islam are completely “separate religions! They have nothing in common”, Pi is used to connote Martel’s post-structuralism views.
Post-structuralism is once again displayed through Pi’s argument with his mother, with her taking the role of society. Martel demonstrates structuralism through Pi’s mother stating that “if you’re going to be religious, you must be either a Hindu, a Christian or a Muslim. You heard what they said on the esplanade” (98). This establishment of structure is necessary to effectively communicate Martel’s post-structured view of religion across towards the audience.
Pi then retaliates by stating that “I don’t see why I can’t be all three. Mamaji has two passports. He’s Indian and French. Why can’t I be a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim?” (Martel 98). Martel uses Pi to show that there is nothing wrong with having three religions and that having structures set by society is not always necessary to be followed. Martel uses Pi and breaks down those religious, structured views set by society and replaces them with his views regarding religion structure.
These structures set by society come into play shortly after as Martel switches our focus towards the important discussion of whether to allow Pi to be baptised and have a prayer rug. “We’re a modern Indian family; we live in a modern way; India is on the cusp of becoming a truly modern and advanced nation – and here we’ve produced a son who thinks he’s the reincarnation of Sri Ramakrishna” (Martel 99).
Martel conveys structure through Pi’s parents with them believing that support of more than one religion is not possible. Pi ignores this and resumes his quest to love God. “Sometimes, upon finishing my prayers, I would turn and catch sight of Father or Mother or Ravi observing me, until they got used to the sight” (Martel 103). Martel shows Pi’s quest to love God through his praying.
Life of Pi contains not only structured views set by society but also shows the post-structured views of Martel. Martel’s views on structure are concentrated mostly on religion, more accurately on Pi’s attitude towards religion. Since Pi supports more than one religion solely for the purpose of loving God, Martel demonstrates his post-structured views on religion.
 

The Life Of Muhammad Religion Essay

The book “The life of Muhammad” has been authored by Abdul Hameed Siddiqui. He is considered an authority in the religious studies and he has written numerous books regarding Islam. In this book, the writer has attempted to give a brief but profound insight into the life of Holy Prophet (PBUH) encompassing almost all notable aspects. Author himself claims that this book is a modest attempt on a mighty subject. He has published it for the very first time in July 1969 through Islamic Publications Ltd. Lahore.

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The theme of the book revolves around the life of the Holy Prophet (PB UH) and his noble mission. It is an attempt to provide a chronology of the life span of the final prophet. It is essentially liked with the evolution of Islam from its dawn in Arabia to its rapid expansion and remarkable hold in a few decades. It depicts the personality traits and teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) which are for all the worlds. The successful culmination marks the accomplishment of the goal of Holy Prophet (PBUH) to educate the purpose of life to the ignorant humanity and guide them to the path of salvation and eternal bliss. Traditionally, it is an account of events, yet coupled with due appreciation of the purpose of prophetic mission. What’s more is the overall impact of the teachings of holy Prophet form one of the main parts of the book. The steadfastness and consistent carrying out of the divine mission is the demonstration of the perfect nature of the personality of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Author’s Thesis:
Chapter one begins with the geography of Arabia followed by the character of Arabs before the advent of Islam. They were generous in tongue, eloquent in utterances, ardent lovers of poetry, confident yet self-centered and self-reliant. Then, a picture of social life is portrayed which shows excessive drinking, illicit relations, gambling, sensual pleasures and female infanticide. At the same time, the writer has described the impact of Islamic teachings which transformed the whole Arabian Society. Next in line is a description of economic life of Arabs mainly consisting of trade. It was corrupted with the system of Riba. Arabs did also have an idea of religion that there was a supreme controlling power but it was adulterated with idolatry turning them into polytheists.
Chapter two emphasizes the fulfillment of the promise of the foretold birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH. It narrates the life span from the early infancy to the youth and subsequently his marriage with Hazrat Khadija (R.A.). It also involves the removal of some misconceptions and allegations by the orientalists.
Chapter three explains the quest for truth on the part of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and finally the revelation of Divine Message assigned him the task of spreading Islam. He had to face hostile opposition that was visible during his visit Ta’if and also when he was confined to the cave of Abi Talib with his family and companions. He had to face even life threats.
Chapter four underlines various allegations levelled against Holy Prophet (PBUH) both by the old and modern critics. Then there is another gropu which demanded miracles from. All these clains were defeated and the holy Quran vindicates the fact that Allah himself became witness of the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).
Chapter five is discussion about the last years of Prophet’s stay at Makkah. It was during this period Islam was strengthened with the acceptance of Islam by Hazrat Umar (R.A.). Later, there is a brief commentary on the Holy ascent of Holy Prophet (PBUH) through heavens known as Mi’raj. It ends with the historic migration from Makkah to Madina.
Chapter six witnesses the turning of Madina as a stronghold Muslims Universal Brotherhood is established and great charter of Madina is signed to ensure peace among Muslims and Non Muslims of Madina. A brief touch is given to Prophet’s marital life followed by the emphasis on prayer, fasting and pillars of Islam. Later change of Qiblah was ordered. Then a thorough analysis of Jihad is given with the allegations of westerners and the reply to their false claims.
Chapter seven is a record of major battles fought under the command of Holy Prophet (PBUH) to defeat the veil forces. These lay down the international principles of warfare.
Chapter eight embodies the Holy marriages and justifications for polygamy. Then is discusses the historic Treaty of Hudybiyah. It also tells the dispatch of letters to foreign rulers as a call to accept Islam. The end of this chapter witnesses conquest of Makkah and the results general amnesty.
Last chapter deals with battles of Hunayn and Tabuk, and then last sermon during Pilgrimage has been discussed at length. Lastly the last days of Holy Prophet (PBUH) have been narrated following a general estimate of his personality and lifestyle.
Analysis:
The biography of Holy Prophet (PBUH) undoubtedly manifests a comprehensive embodiment of the exalted divine message that he conveyed so as to deliver the human race from the quagmire of darkness and polytheism to the highways of light and monotheism. Keeping in consideration, the writer has rendered his utmost effort to write this biography. Perhaps the most striking portion is the reply to the baseless and misleading allegations on the personality of Holy Prophet (PBUH) by the orientalists whose views are fabricated. A similar narrative of the chronicles of Holy Prophet (PBUH) life is attributed to Muhammad Husayn Haykal in the form of his book titled as The Life of Muhammad. He writes, “Whoever studies honestly and without prejudice the history of Muhammad and his preaching and the culture which is built on this foundation will finally come to the conclusion that Muhammad (PBUH) was the greatest man the history has known.”
Holy Prophet (PBUH) was perfect in his personality and disposition. A nature so pure, so tender, and yet so heroic, inspires not only reverence, but love. The book also reveals that Islam has laid down glaring principles of warfare that are applied all over the world. The last sermon, in a real sense, forms the basic of Declatation of Human Rights. It was he through whom Allah pronounced the saving of one Human life as tantamount to the saving of humanity.
Fourteen centuries have been elapsed since he delivered his message but time has made no difference in the devotion he inspired. I believe that the writher has one justice to a great extent as per his capabilities and faculties. It is also relevant to mention here that the editors of Encyclopedia Britannica to exclaim, Muhammad (PBUH) to be—the most successful of all religious personalities.
Historians are of the view that Allah indeed put before him the keys to the treasure of the whole universe but he refused it.
Be as a teacher a father, be as a commander or an administrator, the life of Holy Prophet (PBUH) has been accurately portrayed in the book. Modesty and mercy, patience and humility, generosity and compassion made part of his conduct and held the affection of all around him
Recommendations:
I suggest this book to everyone whosoever wants to know about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and early Islam. This is equally informative for a layman as well as a student of religions. This treatise is an excellent record of the life of Holy Prophet (PBUH) which adds in the intellect and faith of its readers. The book is well-researched consisting of nine chapters including footnotes and bibliography.
 

Yann Martels Life Of Pi 2001 Literature Essay

Yann Martel’s Booker-Prize winning novel Life of Pi (2001) narrates the nine months’ odyssey of Piscine Patel on the Pacific Ocean. Far from being only a fascinating adventurous tale, this novel addresses important issues such as faith, identity, universalism, religion, and areas of cultural contact. Although the plot may seem to revolve mainly around Pi and Richard Parker, Life of Pi deals extensively with the “great human project of trying to live together.” By using Pi as his trans-cultural hero, Martel seems to insist on the need to constructively reformulate the human mind in relation to cosmopolitanism, absolute truth and religious identity. This paper’s aim is to bring out the cosmopolitan message that Martel seeks to transmit to his readers and to show how the latter focuses on that part of our common human identity that links us, instead of stressing on those identities that only partially define and differentiate us. A cross-reference is also going to be made to Homer’s The Odyssey so as to highlight the idea of the equal treatment of all human beings, regardless of religion, culture, ethnicity and values, as prescribed by cosmopolitanism.

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Life of Pi is a novel which can be read in many different ways; as an adventurous story, as an allegory of power, as a reflection on the superiority of imagination over reason, as an explanation of the intricate and complex life of humans and animals, and, of utmost importance to this essay, as a spiritual journey or a quest for identity and as a metaphor of the cultural and religious conflicts that characterize every known human society.
Culture and identity play a key role in many contemporary wars. Many philosophers and cultural theorists argue that the resolution of protracted ethnic and religious conflicts lies in the fostering and nurturing of cosmopolitan identities. First of all, what makes Life of Pi an interesting platform for exploring trans-cultural and interfaith relationships is not merely Martel’s cosmopolitan background, but also the novel’s portrayal of the protagonist’s life before and after the shipwreck. Pi Patel grows up in Pondicherry, a former French territory on the Indian subcontinent, where Eastern and Western cultures inevitably exist in close contact. To the dismay of grownups, particularly the representatives of different religions, the “wise men” as they are almost satirically referred to in the novel, Pi shows devotion to Hinduism, embraces and practices Christianity and Islam simultaneously. After his nine months in the lifeboat, he is hospitalized in Mexico and the author finally encounters him as an Indian immigrant in Toronto. Pi’s hybrid, multiple faiths and open-mindedness not only help him survive emotionally and physically but are also strengthened after the events. His house in Canada can be used as a proof to support this statement; the author describes the devotional articles that he finds in the protagonist’s house, ranging from “a framed picture of Ganesha,” “a plain wooden cross,” “a small framed picture of the virgin Mary of Guadalupe,” to “a framed photo of the black-robed Kaaba, holiest sanctum of Islam.” Pi is therefore presented as a cosmopolitan, a citizen of the world, as he not only practices three religions but is also at home in the worlds of science and theology, having achieved university degrees in both fields.
Martel juxtaposes the young Pi Patel’s receptiveness to other cultures and religions to the intolerance of the three religious figures encountered on the beach; the priest, the imam and the pandit, each convinced of the singular truth of the path he taught. Each of them apoplectically try to impose the ‘superiority’ and ‘validity’ of their respective faiths after discovering that Pi shows devotion to three different, opposing, and often conflicting religions;
The priest looked askance at both of them. “Piscine,” he nearly whispered, “there is salvation only in Jesus.”
“Balderdash! Christians know nothing about religion,” said the pandit.
“They strayed long ago from God’s path,” said the imam.
“Where’s God in your religion?” snapped the priest. “You don’t have a single miracle to show for it. What kind of religion is that, without miracles?”
“It isn’t a circus with dead people jumping out of tombs all the time, that’s what! We Muslims stick to the essential miracle of existence. Birds flying, rain falling, crops growing-these are miracles enough for us.”
“Feathers and rain are all very nice, but we like to know that God is truly with us.”
“Is that so? Well, a whole lot of good it did God to be with you-you tried to kill him! You banged him to a cross with great big nails. Is that a civilized way to treat a prophet? The prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him-brought us the word of God without any undignified nonsense and died at a ripe old age.”
“The word of God? To that illiterate merchant of yours in the middle of the desert? Those were drooling epileptic fits brought on by the swaying of his camel, not divine revelation. That, or the sun frying his brains!”
Whereas Pi “just [wants] to love God”, the three religious leaders represent those who insist on believing in one, absolute truth. This situation of “world-wide coalition of cultures” as Claude Levi- Strauss termed it, can be further elaborated using Richard Burton’s famous words;
All Faith is false, all Faith is true;
Truth is the shattered mirror strown
In myriad bits; while each believes
His little bit the whole to own.
Like Burton, Martel implies that absolute truth is inaccessible to human beings, who will probably never be able to understand it fully. Therefore, adhering slavishly and blindly to one faith without “taking an interest in the practices and beliefs” of others only contributes to “[obstruct] empathy and [makes] ethnocentrism inescapable.” The problem with most human beings and civilizations, as highlighted in Life of Pi and as extensively discussed by Appiah, appears to be that everyone believes that their particular faith is the all-comprehending and absolute truth. Everyone seems to be holding their little bit of their “shattered mirror,” guarding it protectively (almost jealously) from others and trying to see as much as they can in it. Gilroy describes such a situation as being one in which “we are all sealed up inside our frozen cultural habits” and where there is “no workable precedent for adopting a more generous and creative view of how human beings might communicate or act in concert across racial, ethnic, or civilizational divisions.” What Appiah in turn proposes to cultural and religious differences reflects Pi’s own ideologies. For Appiah therefore, there is “no agreed-upon answer- and the point is there doesn’t need to be.” He urges that it is of central importance for the benefit of humanity that we all learn “about people in other places, take an interest in their civilizations, not because that will bring us to agreement, but because it will help us get used to one another.” In this sense, Pi’s behavior towards Richard Parker can be read as a metaphor used to promote or idealize a cosmopolitan ideology among human beings.
Appiah also carefully points out that we can perfectly “live together without agreeing on what the values are that make it good to live together.” If the world could share their “myriad bits,” human beings would have definitely been able to see a lot more clearly. Similarly, there exists no singular truth. There are many truths, depending on our moralities and experience. As Pi reproaches to Mr. Okamoto and Mr. Chiba twice at the end of the novel;
Tigers exist, lifeboats exist, oceans exist. Because the three have never come together in your narrow, limited experience, you refuse to believe that they might. Yet the plain fact is that the Tsimtsum brought them together and then sank.
And at some later point in the same conversation,
Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?”
Pi here implies that openness and the taking of interest in other’s lives and experiences are more enriching to human beings rather than further entombing themselves in what they believe is the absolute truth, thereby turning their own lives into “yeastless factuality.” Inspite of all his misadventures though, Pi not only remains faithful to all three religions but also admires the religious as well as the irreligious. Readers cannot disagree therefore with Pi’s statement that “to choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” Similarly, closing ourselves into our set of beliefs and closing all doors to the appreciation of other cultures, civilizations and people is akin to living without any enriching human and cultural progress.
Sharing a lifeboat with a tiger for 227 days is considered as quasi-impossible both to believe and as a thing likely to occur. However, Martel beautifully uses imagination over reason to ‘drag’ his readers in a kind of magical realism tour which requires a strong yet willing suspension of disbelief so as to show that such a thing is plausible and was actually experienced by the hero of his novel. Pi renounces to the initial idea of murdering Richard Parker because he realizes that if he does so, he will have no one to provide for, no one to depend on him and no reason at all to live. Thereupon, the tiger shifts from being a source of fear and a mortally threatening creature to a source of “peace, purpose… even wholeness.” What Pi does therefore is that he uses his understanding of animals, acquired at the zoo, so as to establish a peaceful cohabitation between himself and Richard. According to June Dwyer, Pi’s success lies in the fact that he respects the ‘Other’s’ instincts, needs and ‘values’ and gives him equal consideration; it is “acceptance of the Other without imposing change on him.”Since Richard has already claimed his part in the lifeboat, Pi decides to negotiate. So, instead of killing, he shares and instead of giving up his authority he makes it clear to the tiger what is his by also urinating on his territory. The tiger in turn, much to Pi’s surprise, reacts positively to the latter’s whistle-blows. What Martel is trying to show here is that the human and the tiger are capable of living together (even in a lifeboat with limited space) as long as each respects the other’s space. If two completely different creatures are able to live together peacefully, by making compromises and respecting each other, then it becomes very much possible for cosmopolitanism among humans to be completely disregarded as a mere set of utopian ideals, as is often claimed by many,or, put in simpler terms, to be seen as a ‘realistic utopia’, as Nancy Fraser puts it.
Likewise, Homer’s most enduring hero, Odysseus, celebrates “someone seeking adventure and valuing the unfamiliar and the strange.”According to one definition, cosmopolitanism represents the attempt to exhibit “a familiarity with, or appreciation of many parts and peoples of the world…” This definition aptly applies to both Life of Pi and The Odyssey. Much like Pi himself, Odysseus is also shipwrecked, which leads him to encounter different people, civilizations, cultures and languages. We witness for example his admiration for the Phaiakians at some point in the book, and we see how he admires the latter’s polity. The simple swineherd Eumaeus, remarkable for his apparent striking similarity to Odysseus, also helps to better understand the shared human condition at that time. According to Patrick Deneen, Eumaeus’s understanding of the situation of humanity relative to the gods is similar to that of Odysseus himself. This understanding leads to his realization that the human condition leads one to recognize that the parts of our human identity that link us outnumber those identities that differentiate us. As he says to Odysseus, whom he meets as a begger, upon their first encounter,
Stranger, I have no right to deny the stranger, not even
if one came to me who was meaner than you. All vagabonds
and strangers are under Zeus, and the gift is a light and dear one…
Readers are thus able to see how Eumaeus, as well as Odysseus, recognize the protection that Zeus accords to all human beings, even to the most desperate ones. Since readers are able to travel through different civilizations, cultures, mindsets and values in The Odyssey, comparisons between those who show “kindness to strangers” and those who do not (such as in the case of Polyphemus, Poseidon’s son) are made possible. In this sense, Telemachus’s meetings with Nestor and Menelaus also allow Homer to explore the Greek code of xenia, or hospitality. As Bernard Knox argues in the introduction to Robert Fagles’s translation of The Odyssey, the obligation of attending to and entertaining travelers is “the closest The Odyssey comes to affirming an absolute moral principle”. This also reminds of Nussbaum’s most explicit description of the duties or ‘obligations’ of any citizen of the world;
Our task as citizens of the world, and as educators
who prepare people to be citizens of the world, will be to “draw the circles somehow toward the center,” making all human beings like our fellow city dwellers. In other words, we need not give up our special affections and affiliations and identifications, whether national or ethnic or religious; but we should work to make all human beings part of our community of dialogue and concern, showing respect for the human wherever it occurs, and allowing that respect to constrain our national and local politics.
Likewise, the social code of ancient Greek necessitated that one expresses kindness to strangers in foreign regions by receiving them into one’s home. This social expectation of hospitality was so culturally crucial and significant that it was believed to be implemented by Zeus, the king of the gods. Both hosts offer their guest a warm welcome even before they learn Telemachus’s identity. Furthermore, this adherence and respect for the social norms enforced by the gods sharply demarcates Penelope’s careless wooers’ plundering of Telemachus’s home in Ithaca from Telemachus and Odysseus. Homer sets the right against the wrong by portraying the latter as hero and the suitors as villains. Although it is set in 700 BC, The Odyssey certainly sheds light on contemporary debates about cosmopolitanism. Martel on the other hand beautifully uses Pi as the hero of his novel, so as to transmit the innocent yet strong cosmopolitan and universal visions of a child, thereby providing more hope for a cosmopolitan future for the new generations.
On a conclusive note, it can be noted that what Martel in a way wants his readers to know is that the ‘persistent barriers’ of doubt, fear of the Other, ignorance, close-mindedness, racism and imaginative, long- held stereotypes are only vicious obstacles to the creation of a cosmopolitan world and fruitful human relations. In order for the human experience to progress therefore, these constant obstacles have to be destroyed. Indeed this book seems to suggest that the most appropriate and beneficial perspective to be adopted in the 21st century is one of cosmopolitanism.