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Criticism

Who shot the Tiger?

In the following analysis, the given source will be examined and interpreted by the means of an appropriate working method and background knowledge.

In this visualisation which can be found on economist.com, alternatively taken from the Central Statistic Office Ireland or from the Central Bank of Ireland, the gross domestic product (GDP) as well as the gross national product (GNP) of Ireland are depicted in percental change according to the years of 1985 until the forecast of 2010. The gross national product is described by the line graph whereas the bar chart shows the course of the gross domestic product. Since both aspects are closely connected to each other, the course of theirs are rather similar so the differences are not considerable. Hence, the description below refers to both of them.

In 1985, no change of the GNP/GDP is remarkable. In the following years, one generally recognizes an increase of the GNP’s/GDP’s change up to 6,5% in Ireland until it declines to 0% in 1995. Within that period of time, the growth is not steady but inconstant. That means that the GNP’s/GDP’s change rose from 1985 till 1987 from 0% to 4% and drops to 2 % in the following year. It reaches its next peak of 6,5% change in the subsequent 3 years, in 1990. Fallen by 4,5% to 2% again in 1991, a barely rise to 3% in 1993 and a rapid one to 6,5% in 1994 is obvious before it reaches its low points of 0% in 1995.

In the years of 1995 to 2006 , a significant and rapid change to 10% is noticeable which drops to 6,5%. From 1995 to 1996, the GNP’s/GDP’s change goes through a sudden increase from 0% to 8%. In 1997, the change increases by 2% to 10% and drops at the same rate to 8% in the subsequent year 1998 which is followed by the peak of 10% in 2000. It falls sharply to 3% within 2 years, in 2002 but in 2003, it rises again to 6,5% . One year later, it falls to 4% and increases in 2 years to 6,5%.

From 2007  to 2010 (forecast), a steep decrease to the low point of -11% in 2009 is considerable which weakens to -2% in 2010.

 

With the help of background knowledge, this course of GNP’s/GDP’s change will be explained. The GNP/GDP shows indirectly the prosperity of a country so does it in this case. Since only its changes are depicted in that visualisation, the annual progress can be seen.

From 1985 until 1995 everything is normal but the short depression symbolizes the cause for the decrease in the latter half of that period. Reason for the increase of GNP’s/GDP’s change in the approximately following 11 years till 2006 is the Celtic Tiger, which represents an economic boom in Ireland. This economic development is based on several factors which mainly are the capital investment, the immigration, the lower labour costs, the pro business government and the membership in the European Union. Closely connected to this success are in general advanced prosperity and less poverty. The role of Ireland during the Lisbon Treaty may throw a bad light on its reputation probably causing the decrease in 2000. Aspects which lead to the drastic fall of the GNP’s/GDP’s change into the negative area, so the economic bust, are the excessive oil prices,the financial crisis, the liquidation, the inflation and the inappropriate dealing with money. The forecast of the year 2010 shows the data stabilizing  its economy by approaching 0% change.

Cartoon.

Hereinafter, I start with an objective description of Kevin Dietsch’s cartoon published on cagle cartoons.com in the year 2008. The subsequent part of the approach is an interpretation including my background knowledge in reference to the African-American history and it finishes off with an justified conclusion.

This black and white cartoon of the year 2008 depicts two dark coloured men in suits on a platform. The black platform consists of two parts whose bigger part is below on which one can read ‘HISTORY’ in white and capital letters. That podium takes nearly the lower half of this image. Being on the way up to the top, the left man whose thin shape, big ears, big chin, thick eyebrows and oval face with few hair are striking, reaches out his right hand for that of the other man.  While his left hand and his left foot search stability on the top of the podium, his right knee backs on the bottom step. His facial expression highlights the effort he makes because due to corners of his mouth just as the position of his eye brows, he is rather curious, discontent and worried. The right man is in ratio to the left male exaggeratively huge that means his width is tripled of the man on the step whereas in comparison, one cannot see the height since the part from the pectoral area upwards is out of sight. The more corpulent and higher man on the right side of the podium wears as well as the left man a black suit with tie and white chemise but in contrast to his fellow, ‘MLK’ is written on his breast pocket and in his left hand he holds a bundle of papers on which ‘ I HAVE A DREAM’ and ‘ 28 August 1963’ is considerable.

With regard to the description, one is capable of associating the two illustrated men with two black man of tremendous importance for the history of African-Americans. The tiny man making his way up, represents Barack Obama, the present US President of America whereas the big one images the prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement Martin Luther King.

The podium on which Martin Luther King is located and on which Barack Obama climbs, shall display their role in history, seeing the captial letters. Considering that the exaggerated physical characteristics remind of these men, the different proportion of the men catches one’s eye. On the one hand, Martin Luther King’s actions as an civil rights activist practicing methods without the use of violence left significant marks on the history of modern American liberalism. On the other hand, due to his death, his time is over and as an unavoidable effect of both aspects, Martin Luther King stands on the top of the podium and is depicted in another ratio. Anyways, Barack Obama climbs up the stairs to the top. He succeeds in holding as the first black the office of  the American president. With reference to this, Obama also poses a milestone in the African-American Experience. Nevertheless, one remarks based on his facial expression his sorrow. That  implicitly conveys that Barack Obama has an arduous path to walk, facing many many troubles and grievances until he is finally able to attain his ends.

 

In how far is racism present in the movie “Finding Forrester” ?

Along the movie, one recognizes several scenes in which racial discrimination, whether hidden or obvious, are revealed. In the subsequent text, the focus will be put on those aspects in order to show exemplarily that racism still has its significant influence on contemporary society.

The American drama film ” Finding Forrester” of the year 2000, written by Mike Rich and directed by GusVan Sant deals with Jamal Wallace, a black cultivated boy of 16 years living in the Bronx who faces racial hindrance in his life. With the help of the famous but seclusive writer William Forrester, he succeeds in establishing himself as a talented black in the new ‘white private school’, so he overcomes the superficial obstacles.

The first thing to acknowledge is that there is always a separation of blacks and white present. In general, just black and poor people live in the Bronx. Their one and only affinity represents sports, especially basketball. Hence, not intelligence but sportiness deserves appreciation. The former is inevitably connected to embarrassment, so Jamal Wallace just hides his interest in literature and his intelligence in the way that he gets rather bad grades and that he asks his brother not to tell his friends about the outstanding result of the obligatory school test. What is more, Jamal Wallace writes on the quiet in his notebooks which therefore,no one is ever able to read.

In the generalized white view, the blacks are dumbed. A proof for that assumption is the BMW-scene, in which the white man, bringing goods and food for daily consumption to William Forrester, wants to ensure that his car is locked while watching the black youngsters play basketball. As Jamal Wallace notices that reaction, he claims his car just to be one as any other.  In response to that, the white outlines that it is anything but an usual car , it is a BMW. So, he is convinced that the black do not possess any general knowledge. Thus, he is more or less speechless and ashamed when Jamal shows his profound education by pointing out BMW’s history.

Instances to add are the scenes with Claire which underline that there is a separation of blacks and whites. During an event at Claire’s, they both come close to each other but Claire’s father interrupts this relation he is not content with at all. He takes his daughter with him, leaving Jamal alone which emphasizes the discriminative prejudice. In addition, when Claire offers Jamal a relationship, the latter denies referring to the distinct skin color they have and that as a consequence, this relationship would never work.

What is more, Professor Robert Crawford suspects the 16-year-old black boy to cheat since Crawford does not give Jamal credit for his striking literally works. He claims his suspicion to be true as Jamal is just 16 years old, ‘black’ and from the ‘Bronx’ where poverty rules. In this context, Professor Crawford despises and humiliates the boy whenever possible regarding at the literature competition within the school by excluding Jamal from the participation.

Apart from that, the basketball scene is also of importance. In that, Jamal is in a basketball duel with a white boy of ‘white private’ school. It becomes obvious that they both are equally blessed with talent but in the end, the white one states that Jamal may think that they are equal but they are not. This statement refers to the skin color and it highlights implicitly the subordinate position of blacks in that society.

Another example, also a basketball scene reveals hidden racism. Since Jamal is very talented in basketball, he and the school team take part in a competition which is important for the school’s reputation. The basketball coach is trying to make a deal with Jamal  signifying his incompetence, since he offers Jamal a less demanding education so that in return, Jamal is capable of concentrating on sports in a more effective way. This shows indirectly that they suppose the blacks to have a less progressive and mental capacity.

On reflection, one is forced to conclude that whether hidden or obvious, racism is always present in “Finding Forrester” and contributes to the conveyed moral. In the course of the movie, one recognizes its condemned role in our society with regard to the superficiality and the prejudice on which it is based. One must not judge due to the outward appearance.

Lessons

Sam Guidry

– racist, arrogant, superior, unsympathetic, unpleasant, suspicious (p.46)

– accepting demands of Miss Emma and Tante Lou (p.118)–> wif’e’s influence

– questions regularly the situation (p.115) –> control

– thinks of his reputation even among the blacks/ Jefferson ( p.204)

–> Sam Guidry had not learnt any lesson yet since he keeps his prejudicial and superior position. He uses every possible means to maintain white supremacy and only cares for his reputation.

Paul Bonin

– white example for equality

– in the beginning ,no racist thinking but passive, not showing attitude openly

– in the end, going to the black funeral standing up for his way of thinking

–> change from passive player to acrtive one

My lesson

What I have learnt from the Ernest J. Gaines’ novel ” A Lesson Before dying” is the right to voice for the rights one has. What is more, the accent is put on positive egality and respect each and every human being deserves so that prejudices and superficiality shall be condemned contrary to the questioning of the contemporary system.

Letter to Vivian

Hey my dear,

I’ve been thinking about what will happen to Jefferson soon, about what progress he made, about what Jefferson means to me. You know, it profoundly affects me. You also know my initial attitude since I never wanted to do this. I avoid conflicts but Miss Emma and Tante Loue insisted on me to do them the favour of creating a man out of Jefferson, out of a hog, out of nothing. This task, it is priced at overcoming. I must have faced so many hindrances, humiliation, ignorance. I am not capable of outlining my feelings. It is so hard.

I suppose, the development between Jefferson and me is of tremendous importance. According to the talks  held, you acknowledge the positions we kept. While I was kind of forced, Jefferson represented the unresponsive, ignorant and desperate counter part. In the course of my visits, you know we approached each other, he began to show his emotions whose expression he never was capable of. What is more, we became close friends, despite the obstacles we faced. The white people, the pressure from outside which can be considered with Tante Loue, Miss Emma, Reverend Mose. Nevertheless, Jefferson is the victim of the white supremacy and oppression, a model of the injustice ruling here in our present and grievous society. He never got something, he must subordinate others, his whole life. Hence, I noticed that Jefferson and me, we have so much in common… We cannot accept our miserable situation in here. Jefferson is the ideal example of what the black community may achieve, a human being with dignity and with each and every other virtue, if there were no injustice, prejudices, the whites’ maintenance of their authority.

I am deeply hurt with regard to the coming verdict’s realization. He, my closest friend, my soul mate… I cannot even imagine!

Vivian how may life go on like this?

Passionate kisses

Grant


 


‘CNN podcast’ about the Civil Rights Movement –

Tommie Smith and John Carlos


Reporter I: Welcome to our today’s edition of the CNN podcast series about the Civil Rights Movement. Today we are reporting about the courageous act of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1986 Olympic Games in Mexico.

Reporter II: Tommie Smith, born in Texas on June 5, 1944 and Dr. John Carlos, born in New York exactly one year later, were not only intelligent students but also very talented athletes.

Tommie Smith’s biggest successes were in 1967 and 68 when he set new world records on 200 meters and 400 meters.

John Carlos had similar successes also in those years. After they became popular with sports, Carlos became a founding member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights which organized a boycott of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Reporter I: After Smith set the world record over 200 meters and became the winner, Carlos made the third place. During the victory ceremony they made a silent protest against racial discrimination.

Standing on the podium they had their heads bowed, each of them raising one fist. They were wearing no shoes, but only black socks symbolising the poverty of the blacks. At their upheld fists, they were wearing black gloves. The right fist represents black power and strength, the left one stands for black unity. Moreover, Smith wore a black scarf expressing black pride.

Reporter II: On the one hand, some praised the men for their bravery, but on the other hand some condemned them. The International Olympic Committee felt that a political statement had no place in the international forum of the Olympic Games and said that this action disgraced all Americans.

As a result, Carlos and Smith were expelled from the Games and banned from further competitions. Once, Smith commented, “If I win, I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say “a Negro”. We are black and we are proud of being black.”

Reporter I: This event also had severe consequences on their private lives: In those days, Smith reported, “We are afflicted with additional discrimination because of our behaviour. Farmers have put dead rates and manure in the post and in response to this my mother died of a heart-attack. What is more, John Carlos had to chop up his furniture in order to have firewood. And his wife committed suicide because the life as an outcast was insufferable. We both have become infamous over night, so that we could not find any jobs.” Consequently, both played football for some seasons and became coaches of different sport teams.

Reporter II: As a final suitable quotation Dr. John Carlos said some weeks ago, “It doesn’t appear that we’ve learnt anything. Forty years have passed and we’re black in the same situation.” Carlos encouraged athletes to follow his example and “go with their hearts and minds”, if they wanted to make statements about human rights.

Reporter I: This was our today’s contribution to John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Thank you for your courage guys and thank you out there for listening. See you next week at the same time when we are reporting about the next key figures in the Civil Right Movement.

Jefferson

In the following test, jefferson, the protagonist of Ernest J. Gaines’ novel “A Lesson Before Dying”will be characterized according to the first twelve chapters.

 

Jefferson whose surname is not known yet, is a black man of twenty-one years old. He lives in Louisana in the late 1940s and used to work on plantations “…he knew that the grinding season was coming soon…” (p.8. l.5f.). Miss Emma, Jefferson’s godmother shares the home and she means everything to him and vice versa “- mama, grandmother, godmother” (p.11, l.30). As she raised him, the relationship must be very close ”  He knew taking money was wrong. His nannan told him never to steal. He didn’t want to steal. “(p.10, l.1f.). With regard to his behaviour concerning the crime of taking money and killing 3 men, Jefferson obviously is no human of intelligence but of ignorance ” But he was talking to a dead man. Still he did not run. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t believe that tis happened. Again, he couldn’t remember how he had gotten there. “(p.9, l.22ff.). Apart from that, poverty and inexperience are terms reigning his life since ” He had never dialed a telephone in his life ” (p.9, l.29) and ” he didn’t have a solitary dime ” (p.8, l.2f.). His action of not only stealing money but also the nonaction result from Jefferson’s cowardice.  Therefore, ” animal ” (p.10, l.15), ” hunger and plain stupidity ” (p.10 , l.26), ” a boy and a fool ” ( p. 10, l.34) are according to the defence lawyer suitable terms describing Jefferson. In order to get a positive verdict, he is even depicted as a ” hog” (p. 12, l.5). Calling Jefferson a hog alludes also the subordination and humiliation since animals are not capable of thinking and judging and they lack a conscience , so they are less worth than human beings.”… a thing that acts on command” (p.11, l.12) appeals the inferiority and ignorance of that individual. In addition, at Miss Emma’s and Grant Wiggins’ first visit in jail , he does not pay attention to them, they are ignored and that is the reason why Jefferson is unresponsive and rejects other people, separating himself from humanity (p.66 , l.33ff.). This preceding statement is stressed if one considers the fact that the convicted Jefferson pretends to be a hog by behaving impolitely while eating (p.76, l.29ff.) and by having no conscience and no emotions (p.76. l. 19ff.). Due to the verdict and the claim of being a hog, one the one hand, Jefferson isolates himself from the human beings and on the other hand from the society and hence he is alone, coping the grievance notwithstanding that his fellow men consisting of particularly Miss Emma and Grant Wiggins care for Jefferson.

Summary

In the novel ” A Lesson Before Dying”, Ernest J. Gaines puts focus on the drastic change of Jefferson’s life, a young black man after he is unfairly sentenced to death.

Hereinafter, the chapters 7 and 8 will be summarized which deal with the annual school visit by a white superintendent .

In the church, which is to represent the school, the annual school visit takes place. The superintendent who controls the circumstances in order to be capable of giving a feedback, treats the pupils in a more or less neutral way more caring for their behavior and shape rather than for the school’s condition. Also Grant Wiggins is neglected and not regarded as equal since his request for books is ignored.

Later, the school receives its first load of wood, showing that the winter is about to come. As an inevitable consequence of seeing the children working, Grant Wiggins himself remembers his past when he has not had the options, the children now have. What is more, he  evokes memories of his relationship between his former teacher Matthew Antoine and himself. Matthew has told him to leave Bayonne in order to escape the race-thinking.

In the novel ” A Lesson Before Dying”, Ernest J. Gaines puts focus on the drastic change of Jefferson’s life, a young black man after he is unfairly sentenced to death.

In the subsequent text, the narrative technique in the chapters from 1 to 6 will be analysed.

One can say that the narration is done by a first person narrator and that his knowledge is restricted (p.7l.7ff.). Grant Wiggins includes his own feelings and interprets the others’ actions , so the consequence of identifying with him is provided for the reader (p.15, l. 1ff.). In addition, his telling is supported with flashbacks which differ. The first one describing the accident and the happenings in court is presented in detail as if the narrator is to be omniscient( p.7, l. 25-p. 12,l.26.). In this description of different positions, there is no valuation to guarantee objectivity, I suppose. Another flashback is to find in chapter 3 where Grant’s childhood is shown (p. 19, l. 31 – p. 20, l. 15) but here  judging is remarkable since he says ” I could not imagine this place, this house, existing without the two of them (Miss Emma  and Tante Loue) here”(p.20, l.7f.). In the course of the plot, the story is told in Grant Wiggin’s view anyways and according to his feelings, his past and his thoughts or also inner monologues, one is capable of identifying with the protagonist.

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