Saturday, March 14, 2020

How the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab influenced everyday life in Saudi Arabia The WritePass Journal

How the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab influenced everyday life in Saudi Arabia Introduction How the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab influenced everyday life in Saudi Arabia IntroductionReferencesRelated Introduction Commins (2006, p. 97) asserts that the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab have influenced the contemporary political and cultural environment in Saudi Arabia. This religious movement, commonly referred to as the Wahhabi movement started in central Arabia in the mid-18th Century and grew because of the preaching and scholarship of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. According to Zayd (2006, p. 41), Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was a scholar of Islamic jurisprudence who received his education in Mesopotamia and Hijaz and then returned to Najd (central Arabia) to advocate for Islamic reforms. This paper explores how his teachings influenced the everyday life in Saudi Arabia. Allen (2006, p.89) says that Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was concerned with the practices of the people of Najd, which he regarded as polytheistic and wanted them to stop the practices. He wanted reforms that would remove all practices that were added to Islam after the death of Mohammad. He was against practices like using votive and sacrificial offerings, veneration of caves, stones and trees, celebration of birthdays of prophets, praying to saints and making pilgrimages to special mosques and tombs. These were common practices in Najd and the people here regarded them as being in compliance with Islamic teachings. However, to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab they were polytheistic. He was concerned with these practices because he perceived them as being lax in terms of adherence to Islamic law. In addition to this, he was also concerned with the fact that the people were reluctant to perform religious devotions like disregard to obligatory prayers, not showing care to the widows and orph ans, rampant adultery and failure to give women their fair share of inheritance. These practices formed the basis of his preaching as he was determined to make the people change their ways of life and start living in full compliance with Islamic laws. Weston (2008, p. 11) asserts that his teachings revolved around the breaches of Islamic laws and emphasised the need to comply with all customary practices like jahiliya. He initially encountered opposition but eventually overcame it by forming an alliance with Muhammad ibn Saud, a local chieftain. This alliance ensured that his influence endured through difficult times because Muhammad ibn Saud was very powerful in southern Najd. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and his descendants converted the alliance that was initially for political loyalty into religious obligation that had to be followed by everyone. In his teachings, he insisted that all Muslims must present an oath of allegiance (bayah) to Muslim leaders when alive so that they can get redemption when they die. He emphasised that Muslim leaders must be given unquestionable allegiance from the people as long as they are providing leadership that is in full conformity with Islamic laws. He held the perception that the purpose of the Muslim community was to be a living embodiment of Islamic laws (Hegghammer Lacroix 2011, p. 64). The responsibility of ensuring that the community knows and conforms to the laws of God lay squarely on the legitimate rulers. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and his followers then started a jihad targeting the backsliding Muslims in the region to ensure that there is total obedience to Muslim rulers and God. This was the beginning of religious intolerance in Saudi Arabia. Fatah (2008, p. 77) claims that the key message in the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was tawhid (oneness of God). Tawhid is very important in Saudi Arabia and it is emphasised by both state and religious leaders. It is for this reason that its adherents call the movement as the call for unity (ad dawa lil tawhid). He was against third party intercession and all prayer rituals because he considered them as leading to shirk. This is why he objected Sufi mysticism, celebrating the birthdays of prophets and Shia mourning ceremonies which were considered as religious festivals. As a consequence grave marking, building of tombs and any other shrines are forbidden in Wahhabism. However this is partly practised in Saudi Arabia because the shrine of Prophet Muhammad is in the country and Muslims go there to pay pilgrimage. They only accept authority from the Sunna and Quran and disregard any reinterpretation of the two books on issues that were already settled by the previous jurists. They totally remain opposed to reinterpretation but give allowance for interpreting the areas not decided by the earlier jurists. Livingstone (2011, p. 50) suggests that they literally interpret the Sunna and Quran and aim towards enforcing parochial Najd practices. The religious and political leadership work collectively in ensuring that there is conformity in behaviour throughout the country. Life in Saudi Arabia is guided by Wahhabism as the government remains committed to ensuring that there is full compliance with Islamic laws (Brym Lie 2010, p. 31). In addition to this, the government has supported the Wahhabi literal interpretations of right and wrong behaviour. Prayer performance in a ritually correct and punctual manner is required of all men. Livingstone (2011, p.54) says that all the believers are forbidden from taking wine because literally, the Quran forbids it. They have extended this ban to include all intoxicating drinks and stimulants like tobacco. Both men and women are required to dress modestly in accordance with the Quran. These conservative regulations have direct influence on all aspects of life in Saudi Arabia. The leaders of Saudi Arabia support the conservative religious establishment and monitor closely the people who present potential threats to their regimes (Lacroix Holoch 2011, p. 96). In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia ranks as one of the most conservative and restrictive countries with those who do not subscribe to the Islamic religion barred from practicing their faith even in private (DeLong-Bas 2007, p. 66). It is this harsh, conservative and restrictive environment that has led to radicalisation of some people in Saudi Arabia as they have no tolerance to other religious faiths. In school the religious curriculum teaches students that there are two types of people; the first one is the Salafis (Wahhabis) who are the chosen ones and will go to heaven because they are the winners. The other group are Muslims, Jews, Christians and all other religions. These ones are either, enervators, or deniers of God (kafirs) or they put their gods next to God (mushrak). The Sunni Muslims are called enervators because they do things that are proscribed by Salafis like celebrating the birthday of Prophet Mohammed (Husain 2009, p. 15). All these groups of people are not accepted b y the Saudi Arabians as Muslims and as such, they are supposed to be hated, persecuted and even killed. This is what the government is encouraging and has led the Saudi Arabians to be intolerant to any other dissenting views on religion because of the rapid radicalisation and fundamentalism (Allen 2006, p. 77). This paper has shown that the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab influenced everyday life in Saudi Arabia. His teachings, which were originally intended to bring reforms to the Islamic faith, have gone to the extent of radicalising the people of Saudi Arabia. As the paper indicates, they have no tolerance for other religions. To them, the people of other religions should be hated, persecuted and even killed. This is what is fuelling fundamentalism and radicalism in Saudi Arabia and has already brought about extreme terrorists like Osama bin laden among others. References Allen, C. (2006). Gods terrorists: the Wahhabi cult and the hidden roots of modern Jihad. Cambridge: Da Capo Press. Brym, R. J., Lie, J. (2010). Sociology: Your compass for a new world, the brief edition. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Commins, D. (2006). The Wahhabi mission and Saudi Arabia. London : Tauris. DeLong-Bas, N. J. (2007). Wahhabi Islam: From revival and reform to global jihad. London: I.B. Tauris. Fatah, T. (2008). Chasing a mirage: The tragic illusion of an Islamic state. Mississauga, Ont: John Wiley Sons Canada. Hegghammer, T., Lacroix, S. (2011). The Meccan rebellion: The story of Juhayman al-Ê »Utaybi revisited. Bristol, England: Amal Press. Husain, E. (2009). The Islamist: Why I became an Islamic fundamentalist, what I saw inside, and why I left. New York, N.Y: Penguin Books USA. Lacroix, S., Holoch, G. (2011). Awakening Islam: The politics of religious dissent in contemporary Saudi Arabia. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Livingstone, D. (2011). Terrorism and the illuminati: A three-thousand-year history. Joshua Tree, CA: Progressive Press. Weston, M. (2008). Prophets and princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the present. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley. Zayd, N. A. (2006). Reformation of Islamic thought: A critical historical analysis. Amsterdam: Amsterdam Univ. Press.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Network Sevens situational comedy Will and Grace and romantic drama Essay

Network Sevens situational comedy Will and Grace and romantic drama The L word have both garnered critical and public praise for their use of significant homos - Essay Example l and Grace, and day-soap romantic drama in the case of The L Word, has a lot to do with the success of these shows and helping to make the lifestyles of gays and lesbians less suspicious, less mysterious, less threatening and have served to increase the gay and lesbian community’s base of heterosexual support for individual choice in same-sex relationships. Will and Grace follow on the success of shows like Mad About You, where the relationships were situational and the public at large, across gender identities, could relate to the events on a comedic level. More importantly, Will and Grace captured the â€Å"formula† for good humor. With its characters, like Karen (played by Megan Mullolly) the show is able to create a balance with peripheral characters so that the focus and expectation is not constantly on Will and Grace (Debra Messing) as characters in the show. There are the lives of the people in their lives going on about them, and this is important so that the show does not over-focus on the dating aspect of a single gay man and a heterosexual woman living in New York City. Drama, like comedy, requires a strength in the actor to the extent that the actor can successfully carry the character (Ulea, 2002, p. 3). Researcher V. Ulea describes drama this way: â€Å"A type of dramatic drama that represents main protagonists with average or above average and strong potential (2002, p. 4): The dramatic character is responsible for connecting with the viewer in a way that draws the viewer into the character’s space, and to react to the circumstances of the situation in a way that most of the viewing audience would react, or in a way with which the viewing audience can be understanding of or sympathetic of. According to Ulea, there can be cross-over between the genres, and it might yield something called â€Å"dramedy (2002, p. 5). This is when the ending is â€Å"assigned for cheerful, sad, or drama. Accordingly, the combination of powerful potential combined

Monday, February 10, 2020

Representation of Gender In the film Ma Vie en Rose Essay

Representation of Gender In the film Ma Vie en Rose - Essay Example Gender representation in film takes many forms to the extent of having children portrayed on the films to show the state of confusion that occurs between different genders and the troubles they have to overcome in order to come to terms with their state of being. This is especially for people grappling with issue of identity crisis into which gender they belong and how they should behave and relate to their situations. As such, gender in this text is depicted as a state of conflict and as an entity with which one has to identify and belong devoid of one’s opinion lest it lead to confusion. The film generates a clear image of the troubles people go through and assists them in creating a sense of belonging in relation to assisting them cope with their situations. This is especially so in the case of drawing lines between the different genders and bringing out an expressionist side to the whole issue of gender in film and its relation to real life situations (Greven, 2009). In ad dition, the film highlights the aspects of the film director in question to draw and form a background from which the reader can build up information in order to evaluate deeper into the film and analyze its different aspect. This is in particular to those topics that relate to gender identity and roles, as well as the different misconceptions that the audience may have in real life situations regarding their state of confusion in gender issues. ... w its audience deeper into the pertinent gender issues at hand that pertain to the film in review, as it offers a form of middle ground between the positive and negative aspects of gender issues. This is particularly in providing an opportunity for the viewer to associate his or her own life experiences with the film, this is Evidence to support this lies in the depiction of the opening scene, where the main character, 7-year-old Ludovic, who is a boy walks in dressed fully as a girl (Riding, 1997). The language used to highlight this is devoid of any form of ridicule that would be evident in other films offering opinion on the film and the reversal of gender roles, as well as the state of confusion in the boy’s state of identity in relation to what gender he belongs (Zucker and Bradley, 2005). The further highlight and attention paid to the reaction of adults with a subtle sense of neutrality towards Ludovic by the author shows genuine concern in that a sense of confusion is to be expected and that it is natural. This is especially so with the depiction of the state of seriousness that Ludovic expresses after the adults laugh. This shows a profound sense of confusion in gender roles and who is expected to do what in society, especially when it comes to dress codes and a strict following of social norms. With this in mind, the film’s language does not bear negativity, but instead offers a form of understanding in that film should act as a place through which gender problems in society can be aired. The film goes ahead to indicate that which happens in life, where representation of gender in film is brought out as one in which social norms pertaining to gender must be followed and carried out in every aspect of film. Evidence supporting this can be found in the part

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Value of Christian Higher Education Essay Example for Free

The Value of Christian Higher Education Essay Introduction   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The choice of getting an education in order to prepare a future career or vocation is daunting for some especially those who believe the effects of training that anyone will receive from a particular institution. In these days of violence not only in streets but also within the campuses, people generally start to think hard about the education young people get within the academic halls. It is no wonder also that the family think hard where they spend the children to school. The essence of this paper then is whether Christian Higher Education distinctly can mould and contribute much to the development of citizens in their responsibilities toward the community where they revolve. This paper attempts to describe the value of Christian higher education and seeks to convince the reader about the contributions that belonging and training in academic institutions that incorporate the Biblical principles (White 1911). It starts with family values   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Every home has its set of beliefs or tradition that they hold in high esteem. This is referred to as family values. Anything that the family believes is important comprises a family values system. Among the values an individual possesses, the most important is that a person must regard most his/her values about family as the most significant.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Many people don’t usually pause and contemplate what their values are. They may not know whether these values they already have are still practical or useful in a modern day world. Moreover, they do not think how their values fit in with their kind of milieu that they evolve in.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   There are families that take time out though to impart to their children what had been passed on to them when they too were yet very young. The values may not be as strong as when were yet children because the person may have adapted to his world and adjusted his values that others may be accommodated. Through the years, a family value system may be a combination of what had been passed on to an individual and the values system of one’s friends or colleagues at work. Why are family values important? The primary reason is that what people hold as important affects how they use time, money and energy. If a family believes the importance of education then parents try to save for the schooling of their children which includes books among others. Family values influence how individuals spend their resources and make decisions. Parents then need to communicate what their own family values are, why these are important and the specifics of what are most essential that the children must also adopt or follow. Children also need to respect others who have dissimilar value system as compared to their own. Most likely values will evolve but when parents lead the children and model these beliefs, their children will be able to learn and pass these on to the next generation (â€Å"Values: what are they?†2007). Discussion   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Christianity presents as an ideology, persuasion and religion that is relevant as well as able to offer lasting solutions to the ills of individuals and societies. Because of this premise, churches ever since the pioneering days were and are instrumental in the training and upbringing of children. Historical Background   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The history of American Christian education in general point to the primary influence of the church in the establishment of education both with what is now secular and the faith – based types. The American Christian Schools approximately blossomed around the 1700s (House p2 2007; Kazanjian on Walsh p.1 2006). The schools around these decades were actually classified as more sectarian, that is, more Christian in practice and persuasion than their secular counterparts and not only that outnumber the latter in terms of demographics. Protestant schools then, according to House’s research, had been very rigid in terms of bulk and types of academic matters. Back then, their educational instruction consisted of classical languages, literature and none other than Biblical instructions. What made it more complicated was that the Biblical studies were also based on both the Hebrew and the Greek languages. Aside from these they also had to do the Iliad in the Greek version alongside Latin versions of Tacitus’ historical accounts. Even in the elementary levels a typical child in some schools during the 1700s were able accomplished such feats as finishing the elementary grades with the aforementioned subjects. The thrust for college students during these early American Christian Schools on the other hand were to establish their abilities to â€Å"reason, analysis and perspective† which can be derived from a lengthy time spent on languages both the modern and the ancient at the same time weighty amount of time and efforts on mathematics. During these times however, the colleges and schools effectively instilled among their students a love for the institution and the especially patriotic loyalty to the country (White 1911). Results of a Christian training   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The rationale for such rigidity and â€Å"highly verbal and personalized† form of instructions was primarily a better comprehension and understanding of the Scriptures. The Bible then is central to the instructive process and where the activities revolved around the applications of the Scriptural truths. This was what was called as the â€Å"colonial beginnings† and continued on to the 1900s where the impetus was to instill the values drawn from inspiration of the Christian faith. The results that this kind of education bore on the society had been very influential and significantly important. Aside from instilling a high sense of individual ethics not only in the academic performance, what was more important was that there was a prevailing worldview which was Christian. The results as well do not spill over only in their generation but benefit more those in the next generation (Dawson 1989).   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The premise for training students whether in the elementary to the collegiate or university level was to introduce the person to the mind of Christ and inculcate that kind of mind to the individual as he translates this worldview or persuasion into his/her everyday activities. â€Å"Classical Christian education is word-oriented† which implies that whatever compromises made today to enhance classroom instructions which maybe basically Christian, cannot equate with what was then introduced during the Colonial days (Dawson 1989). Modern Christian Education and its advantage   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   In schools such as the Seattle Pacific University which claims to have Christian philosophical perspective in their stance and training, the school argues that their advantage over others such as public secular schools in particular, has to with specifics like more focused thought and smaller number of students per class. This is to ensure that the students receive better awareness and consideration from their instructors which usually boosts the morale of the student/s. The extensive help and advantages that students will gain from a Christian education encompass the morals and ethics consistently taught inside the four walls of the classroom (Veith 1994). Disadvantage of Present Secular or Public School Higher Education   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Students today are exposed to a kind of education which at the surface attempts to integrate what is called a holistic viewpoint where values, democracy, intellectualism and humanistic understandings are introduced alongside art, English or languages, mathematics and others. To look from a distance these may probably develop a student to be more â€Å"resilient’ or flexible, more tolerant of differing views which is called for in this era of diversity. However, the main and essential drawback comes in the form of a lack of clear focus or direction and no apparent or unambiguous line of worldview to follow. The result is a person or individual whose sympathies and understanding of his/her world may change from time to time and consequently his/her attitudes, actions and behavior in many respects of their lives (Rushdoony 1963). Conclusion   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The value that Christian education has introduced me personally is tremendous. Many aspects in my life especially many decisions that are made are anchored on the many opportunities that the Christian faith had influenced me through the school where I am being taught.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   What are the specific benefits I gained? The ethical and moral bearings that had helped me make decisions that impact my life and the lives of people around me. This is important since whatever choice I make in some areas of my life, sooner or later this tend to affect those who love me and are supportive of me. The training is definitely different because it looks into how we treat others in the very basic human relations level. A Christian in the true sense of the word embodies one who deeply respects others even if they do not have the same religious persuasion as theirs. This is what I have observed distinctly from the general ambience of what secular schools have produced in their studentry and in their graduates. Lastly, the school personnel and staff as well as many in the teaching crew are convinced as well of the Christian faith that they are representing. Although not all may be embracing the same belief or measure of spirituality, nonetheless, there is an unwritten as well as commitment to the policies that are reflective of Scriptural truths.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Tracing the historical roots of this country’s school system back to colonial America, it is with great envy that what we have in our schools today or the Christian Schools are being hailed as â€Å"Christian† are actually far from the quality which characterized their colleges or academic institutions. Though difficult, they were able to harness the best for a better nation. Reference: â€Å"Values: what are they?†2007. Family Works : University of   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Illinois extension. Accessed December 1, 2007.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/familyworks/values- 01.html Dawson, Christopher. The Crisis of Western Education, Steubenville, Ohio: Franciscan University Press, 1989   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   pp. 8-9. House, Ben.†Classical Christian Education: A Look at Some History† 2007 Accessed December 2, 2007 http://www.reformed.org/master/index.html?mainframe=/ch   ristian_education/classic_educ.html Kazanjian, Victor Jr. and Peter Laurence (Eds). Education as   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Transformation: Religious Pluralism, Spirituality, and   Ã‚  Ã‚   a New Vision for Higher Education in America. Peter   Ã‚   Lang Publishing, New York. 2006. Rushdoony,Rousas J, The Messianic Character of American   Ã‚   Education, Philipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1963. Veith, Gene Edward Jr., Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide   Ã‚  Ã‚   to Contemporary Thought and Culture, (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1994. White, Henry Alexander. Southern Presbyterian Leaders, New   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   York: Neale Publishing Company, 1911. pp. 59-60.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The African Athena Controversy Essay example -- Ancient Civilizations

The â€Å"African Athena Controversy† is a topic that has been under attack by numerous authorities as to who is the best authority and has the best interpretation on the origin of ancient Greece. The author’s in this reading set have some form of experience or expertise and offer their different perspectives on Greece’s origins. All three authors admit that the Greek language is an Indo-European language and words that do not directly correlate were probably loaned, borrowed, but not stolen (Bernal, p. 6), (Berlinerblau, p. 16), and (Lefkowitz, p. 4). After analyzing the three reading sets, this writer agrees with Bernal’s argument that the Egyptians and Phoenicians did have a strong influence on Greece as his Revised Ancient Model asserts and that his syllogism is plausible. He infers that his Revised Ancient Model had been in competition with the Aryan Model regarding its plausibility and not over certainty† (Bernal, p. 9). He elaborates, the issue of â€Å"competitive plausibility† was in regards to the model being â€Å"plausible† despite the facts of â€Å"contemporary documents of the Late Bronze Age, archaeology, language, toponyms, divine and mythological names, religious ritual, and historical analogy or typology† (Bernal, p. 9). Bernal’s Revised Ancient Model has both strong support and the movement towards favoring the model, by documents, archaeology, language, and cult. He goes on to say that plausibility is better than predictability. That plausibility hypothesis can and should be tested, as new evidence is unearthed and that the parallels of Eastern Mediterranean civilization should and need to be crossed check as well. His opinion on â€Å"prediction is not favorable, because in light of competition, evidence can fit into eith... ...of the Greece, as Bernal’s Revised Ancient Model asserts. Works Cited Berlinerblau, J. (1999). The Aryan Models. Heresy in the University: The Black Athena controversy and the reponsibilities of American intellectuals [Portfolio reading set]. Retrieved from University of Massachusetts at Boston: http://www.UMB.edu Bernal, M. (2001). Introduction Black Athena writes back [Portfolio reading set]. Retrieved from University of Massachusetts at Boston: http://www.UMB.edu Lefkowitz, M. R. (1996). Ancient history, Modern Myths. Black Athena Revisited [Portfolio reading set]. Retrieved from University of Massachusetts at Boston: http://www.UMB.edu The African Athena Controversy [Portfolio reading set]. (2012, June). Retrieved from University of Massachusetts at Boston, CEHD, CLA, CPCS, CSM, and CNHS Writing proficiency evaluation (WPE): http://www.UMB.edu The African Athena Controversy Essay example -- Ancient Civilizations The â€Å"African Athena Controversy† is a topic that has been under attack by numerous authorities as to who is the best authority and has the best interpretation on the origin of ancient Greece. The author’s in this reading set have some form of experience or expertise and offer their different perspectives on Greece’s origins. All three authors admit that the Greek language is an Indo-European language and words that do not directly correlate were probably loaned, borrowed, but not stolen (Bernal, p. 6), (Berlinerblau, p. 16), and (Lefkowitz, p. 4). After analyzing the three reading sets, this writer agrees with Bernal’s argument that the Egyptians and Phoenicians did have a strong influence on Greece as his Revised Ancient Model asserts and that his syllogism is plausible. He infers that his Revised Ancient Model had been in competition with the Aryan Model regarding its plausibility and not over certainty† (Bernal, p. 9). He elaborates, the issue of â€Å"competitive plausibility† was in regards to the model being â€Å"plausible† despite the facts of â€Å"contemporary documents of the Late Bronze Age, archaeology, language, toponyms, divine and mythological names, religious ritual, and historical analogy or typology† (Bernal, p. 9). Bernal’s Revised Ancient Model has both strong support and the movement towards favoring the model, by documents, archaeology, language, and cult. He goes on to say that plausibility is better than predictability. That plausibility hypothesis can and should be tested, as new evidence is unearthed and that the parallels of Eastern Mediterranean civilization should and need to be crossed check as well. His opinion on â€Å"prediction is not favorable, because in light of competition, evidence can fit into eith... ...of the Greece, as Bernal’s Revised Ancient Model asserts. Works Cited Berlinerblau, J. (1999). The Aryan Models. Heresy in the University: The Black Athena controversy and the reponsibilities of American intellectuals [Portfolio reading set]. Retrieved from University of Massachusetts at Boston: http://www.UMB.edu Bernal, M. (2001). Introduction Black Athena writes back [Portfolio reading set]. Retrieved from University of Massachusetts at Boston: http://www.UMB.edu Lefkowitz, M. R. (1996). Ancient history, Modern Myths. Black Athena Revisited [Portfolio reading set]. Retrieved from University of Massachusetts at Boston: http://www.UMB.edu The African Athena Controversy [Portfolio reading set]. (2012, June). Retrieved from University of Massachusetts at Boston, CEHD, CLA, CPCS, CSM, and CNHS Writing proficiency evaluation (WPE): http://www.UMB.edu

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Hidden Power of Their Intense Fragility

Almost every human being born on our planet was given a gift of romantic love at least once in a lifetime. Being in love is the condition when even the most hardened pragmatics feel themselves capable of temerarious deeds in order to impress their beloved, to make him or her smile. And during this period, most of us, people dream about writing a poem in honor to of the object of passion. Many of us even write the products of this inspiration down, but after reading them, we understand it’s no more than a bunch of words linked by that little understanding of rhyme most of us possess. Fortunately, Edward Estlin Cummings didn’t belong to that talentless majority. His poems dedicated to the beloved women brought joy and pleasure not only to their hearts and minds, but also to the souls of thousands of the worshippers of poetry. Quite a bunch of love poems went out from under his formidable pen, but the one, called ‘Somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond’ is one of the most well-known ones. Scientists argue for whether his once wife was the inspiration for this work of art, or it was some other women, but still this piece of poetry expresses the things most of the man would like to say to their beloved woman, but couldn’t find the words to do it. Some men are afraid to fall in love with a woman, as they feel as the object of their feelings will be able to take control of their life. They are afraid of that ‘power of †¦ intense fragility’ that every woman possesses over the man who loves her. Edward Estlin Cummings wasn’t scared to be possessed by those hands, which are smaller than the rain’s, it’s rather that he gave himself into the hands of his bellowed woman, getting all the possible positive experience from this condition. When I first read this poem a word for the woman, described in the poem came to my mind, which was â€Å"mistress†, a woman, whose power is in her fragility. This poem is written by a first person narrator, the author describes his own feelings towards the object of his passion. The author of the poem is marveled by the impact that woman makes on him. Thus, the tone of the poem is admiring and even a little worshipping. The person who decides to get acquainted with the Cummings’s poems should remember that this writer uses an extremely rich imagery system in his verses. Some of the researchers even claim that â€Å"the love poetry of E. E. Cummings is well known for specifically using flowers to describe a woman's sexuality or the innermost `self. †(Everything2 Website). And it’s true, that in the ‘Somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond’ he uses two main image systems which are human anatomy and nature. He compares his woman with flowers in order to emphasize her tenderness and beauty. One more characteristic feature of Cummings’s poetry which’s clearly expressed in the ‘Somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond’ is paraphrasing. The writer sometimes ignores the rules of the English language in order to express his feelings, to make the reader understand better the feelings and emotions that overfill him. The unconventional sound of his phrases make the reader return to them again and again in order to understand why the author had organized his writings in such a way, which gives the reader better chance to understand the message expressed by the author. As this poem is a lyric, and it’s written in an open form, some critiques say it is of no great value, but most poetry lovers value the artistic and imagery filling of the poem much higher than its conformity to the common poetry standards. In the first four lines of the poem the author explains he feels that the object of his feelings possesses the knowledge of something the writer never had any idea of, something really simple, but impossible to understand for him, ‘which (he) cannot touch because they are too near’. The next quatrain tells us this woman is capable of revealing the deepest feelings and thoughts the author has just by being near him. In the next eight lines the poet explains the nature of her power, which’s her ‘intense fragility’. In the closing quatrain Cummings tells that her beauty is one more source of her power. ‘your slightest look will easily unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers’ – the poet writes. In this lines the concept is expressed that has been proved by the experience of centuries. Through all the history of the humankind, which was created, as it’s officially thought by man, women had influenced all that crucial decisions that changed the lives of millions of people on the Earth. It often happened that the mistresses, wives or sultanas were those, who actually ruled the states because of the tremendous influence they had on their man. The older I become, the more I understand about the woman’s influence on their husbands, sons and brothers. My mother has never openly opposed any of my decisions, even if they were wrong and harmful in her opinion. She always agreed with my claims at first, but than, gradually, she made me think about the reasons why I wanted to do this or that thing, and about the consequences of my actions. Her ‘intense fragility’ was the way she used to make the man in her family act sensible and rightful. The men have always been the thrillseekers. The nature of this longing is nowadays explained by the biologists and genetics, but women knew that for thousands of years, maybe even on some subconscious level. For the man to be interested with the woman her eyes should ‘have their silence’ ‘somewhere (he) have never traveled’, ‘gladly beyond any experience’. And it’s quite understandable for me, as in my opinion the communication between the partners should enrich both of them, and it’s impossible when they knew each other thoroughly. It is said that all of those, who are deeply in love, are like the blind, they are sick with their happiness. The man, who loves is ready to get the star from the night sky for his darling, or to dedicate her wonderful poem. Those, who are really in love, are really happy, as they know for sure they’ll be together forever. Edward Estlin Cummings and his wife Anne Barton got divorced in a year after this poem was written. Their relationship didn’t survive the period needed for the ink this poem was first written with to fade. Still, today, dozens of years after the death of the poet, his wife and their relationship we open the book to read: ‘the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands’

Monday, January 6, 2020

Amy Tan Chinese Cultural Identity - 1615 Words

characters of the novel, Amy Tan s parents adopted a pluralistic identity. According to E. D. Huntley: Daisy and John Tan continued to cling to many elements of the culture of their homeland, living essentially insular life and socializing mainly with the members of California s Chinese community, although their ambitions for their children included a certain degree of Americanization. (2) Despite the fact that Amy Tan s parents immigrated to the United States with great ambitions for making their children enjoy better conditions of life than those they experienced in China, they did not assimilate into the American way of life. They†¦show more content†¦Tan continued to reject anything Chinese until she was thirty five when she visited China with her mother for the first time in 1987, where she realized the worth of her homeland. This trip actually allowed Tan the opportunity to reconnect with her Chinese heritage (Darraj 11). On arriving in the land of her ancestors, Tan completely changed. As Mary Ellen Snodgrass points out that, the fear of the old country disappeared as soon as Amy arrived in the People s Republic of China, she felt distinctly at home [...]. She hoped to blend in with other Asians [...]. For the first time she visited her three half-sisters and created an instant family bond that changed her outlook. As the warring sides of her ethnicity made peace, she felt complete for the first time. The reunion serve the closing chapter of The Joy Luck (1989), in which June Woo reunites with her twin half- sisters, whom the family had not seen in forty- five years. (15) The Joy Luck Club is a series of sixteen stories; eight stories deal with the lives of the Chinese immigrant mothers in both China and the United States. Each mother narrates two stories except for the two stories of Suyuan Woo which are narrated her daughter Jing- mei June Woo due to her mother s recent death. The other eight stories focus on the lives of their American- born daughters; each two stories are narrated by one of the four daughters. The novel is setShow MoreRelatedAmy Tan: A Brief Biography757 Words   |  3 PagesAmy Tan is an American Chinese writer most notably known for her critically acclaimed novel The Joy Luck Club, amongst many others. Amy Ruth Tan was born on February 19, 1952, in Oakland California to John and Daisy Tan. Both of Amy’s parents were Chinese immigrants who fled from China to escape hardships. Amy’s mother, Daisy, divorced her abusive husband and left behind three daughters before immigrating to the United States and ma rrying Amy’s father, John. The marriage produced three children,Read MoreAmy Tan s The Joy Luck Club1385 Words   |  6 Pages Amy Tan s The Joy Luck Club Mona A. M. 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