“Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, And How We Live” By Marlene Zuk
What is Paleofantasy? We define paleofantasy as a fantasy about how things were in the distant or geological past. Recently I read a book called “Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live”, by Marlene Zuk, and she explains in depth about how evolution actually works much faster than we realized. Many people argue that we have finished evolving, however, Zuk points out many things throughout her book that that is not the case and that we’ve never actually stopped evolving. She points out many factors focusing on our lifestyle, sex and diet proving that we aren’t suited to our environment leading towards evolution. These factors also prove that we have adapted to our environment, which is proof of evolution occurring.
In this book you will also find how Zuk uses information on what we know about our ancestors to have a better understanding of how we have evolved into what we are now and towards our future. Like the book says, evolution is about change, and every organism is full of trade-offs (Zuk, 2014). We just have to be able to see these changes to understand evolution and how we have adapted to these changes. After reading this book, I wanted to focus on some of the points Zuk has talked about that I really agreed towards her understanding that evolution has never stopped. It is our ability to adapt around these changes in the environment that makes this the process of evolution.
One of the chapters I would like to talk about is chapter four, “The Perfect Paleofantasy Diet: Milk.” In this chapter Zuk explains the ability to digest lactose, but to understand this concept, she goes back to explaining the domestication of cattle and the biology. We all know that in order to digest lactose, we must have the lactase enzyme in our system. But the real question she argues is how did majority of the people now have become lactase persistence? Scientists have determined lactase persistence is a dominant trait, which states that it can be passed down to the offspring with only one copy of the gene (Zuk, pg. 74). Due to how easily it can be passed down and the number of people having the ability to digest lactose, pretty much proves that evolution exists.
As our environment continues to develop and grow, people in general adapt to their circumstances, which makes the ability to digest lactose a great example. Erin Wayman from Science News wrote a little brief review about this book and also agrees that since domestication began and agriculture spreading, people have developed adaptations that allowed them to digest milk as adults (Wayman, 2013). According to this video I watched of Zuk giving a lecture about the book, she explains when people started herding cattle, began to digest milk advantageous, lead to lactase persistence, made lactase persistence become more prevalent, which made it selected for more cattle herding (Harvard Museum of Natural History, 2014). This is what we call gene – culture coevolution, the product of two different interacting evolutionary processes.
Another chapter I would like to focus on is chapter nine, “Paleofantasy: In Sickness and Health.” In this chapter, it really caught my attention because it goes in depth about our resistance to diseases have evolved. After reading this chapter, it made me think about my lifestyle and actions that may or may not have helped me build a resistance to certain diseases. However, it also makes me wonder that since our life expectancy has greatly increased, aren’t we bound to have more diseases as we age? I think this because as we age, we tend to get sick easier, which then leads to diseases, and depending on if there may be a cure or treatment, we become healthy again in order to continue our growth. This clearly sounds like in order to live a longer life, we are bound to have diseases or get sick.
As we get certain diseases, certain people build up a biological characteristic that improves reproduction and/or survival (fitness). One great example that Zuk talks about is malaria and John Hawks explains that malaria is one of the examples that prove recent adaptation towards environmental shifts. He states that malaria has influenced many genetic adaptations in tropical people the past few thousands of years (Hawks, 2013). We all know that malaria is a disease caused by a plasmodium parasite and it is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. However, we discovered that only specific people that carried the sickle cell anemia disease were resistant to malaria.
I believe this book provides great information that we need to know about our ancestors, biology, and evolution. There were many points that Zuk pointed out that either I have forgotten about or never came in mind to question about. One thing I really liked about this book is that it combines all these three types of information into one whole book with a very detailed explanation behind each topic and factor. Furthermore, I believe that her real message behind this book is that all the evolution that occurred till now, it is unintentional. There isn’t any specific goal behind evolution, which is why no organism or we has never stopped evolving. Her specific words were, “No organism gets to a point of perfect adaptation, heaves a sigh of genetic relief, and stops” (Zuk, pg. 202).
Another strength I noticed throughout this book is how Zuk provides statistical information on evolution itself. She provides specific percentages that focus on the topic and how it relates to evolution. For example, she talks about how there is a certain percentage that distinguish us differently between chimpanzees, and just that small percentage, it is very crucial to helping us determine the differences (Zuk, pg. 48). Not only does she provide this statistical information, she also incorporates it within learning the knowledge with our ancestors, chimpanzees, bonobos, and many more. By incorporating all these into one, it is very easy to grasp the concept and topic she wants for the reader to focus and understand about.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to someone because of the descriptive language the author uses to help her explain her understanding of evolution, biology, and history of our ancestors. More importantly I believe the information the book provides other students should learn it as well. Especially when evolution itself is very broad and not everyone knows about evolution down to its core. Furthermore, she focuses mainly on our lifestyles, diets, and sex, to determine how these factors incorporate with evolution for us to adapt to the way we are now compared to our ancestors. Like Zuk states, “everything about evolution is unintentional” (Zuk, pg. 175). Also this book makes me want to research more about evolution and what other adaptations that have occurred that we are unknown about.
The Comparison Of The Movies “Nacho Libre” & “Modern Times”
Modern Times, released on February 25, 1936, compared to Nacho Libre, released on June 16, 2006, theyshould almost complete opposites but, surprisingly after analyzing both movies they have quite a lot ofsimilarities. The main one being that they are both satires about their different modern societies.Nacho Libre is either a movie you hate, or a movie you love. With a 40% rotten tomatoes score, manypeople found it offensive, and unnecessary. Although, underneath the controversial jokes, the moviepresents the twisted views of society. It has the monastery filled with orphans and Ignacio who cooks forthe orphans and can barely provide food for them. On the other hand, there’s Ramses, a famous luchadorwho is praised by the community. This shows that the community has its priorities upside down and leftthe orphanage in the dark.
Modern Times has the same satire with Charlie Chaplin and being in and out of jail without a steady job and many people struggling to stay in their homes and put food on their family’s plate. In the movie it shows how Charlie would rather stay in jail because the inmates get three meals a day and a bed to sleep in, guaranteed. It also shows how the government is going through the industrialization period, and instead of worrying about its citizens, its worrying about the factories being build and the number of products they are producing. One thing about the two films is Nacho libre has a box office of $99.3 million and Modern Times had a box office of $1.4 million which would now be worth $14,332,790.70. Which is almost 14% of NachoLibre’s box office, I’m almost entirely sure that’s because during that time movies were still a new thing and only available to the people who could afford it.
Along with price, Charlie Chaplin has a rotten tomato score of 100%, while Nacho Libre has a score of 40%. This must be because of the critics, movie ratings are a huge deal in movies now, but 82 years ago, movie critics were barely starting up in the movie world. The critics that did exist could not have possibly been as harsh as they are now. The reason Nacho Libre has such a low score would be because a lot of people were offended by the way the movie portrays the Mexican culture and the casting of the main character. Modern Time’s budget was $1.5 million, and Nacho Libre’s was $25 million. As well as box office andratings, the reason for this is because of the time the movies were produced, movies now a days must beperfect because they are under so much pressure to get a good rating from critics. Also, money’s valuedeflated from them to now so was $1.5 million was worth in 1936 is worth a lot more now.
Still,compared to Nacho Libre, it’s a lot less. Nacho Libre and Modern Times have many things that make them different, like budget, revenue, boxoffice, and ratings. The one thing that makes these two movies seem less like opposites, are the satires ofthe movies. The satires both show how society and government puts so much money into things that don’tneed it and leave the rest of the community in the dusk, struggling to meet their basic needs. Althoughtwo things may seem like complete opposites, the analysis of them could shine light on their similarities.
The Analysis Of Comedies “Step Brothers’ & “Superbad”
The two comedy movies that I have chosen for the project are Step Brothers and Superbad. These are my personal favorite comedy’s because the humor in these movies relates to my personality. These two movies have similarities and differences that I will further be explaining. The movie “Step Brothers” debuted in 2008 and was directed by Adam Mckay. This film is about two families combining forces when a man and a woman get married. Coincidentally, both people have middle aged sons that still live with them. During the film, satire is used when the two brothers act like young kids and fight with each other. Satire is also used throughout the film because the idea of having a new step brother or any new “siblings” can sometimes lead to fights. This movie conveys the message of having to go through change in your life such as going through a divorce and have a new father/mother figure in your life as well as new siblings.
The movie “Superbad” debuted in 2007 and was directed by Greg Mottola. This film is relevant to my high school experience because the 3 main characters are high school students just trying to fit in. In today’s society, we see this a lot with high school students doing things they are not comfortable with such as buying alcohol underage just because they want to seem cool. We see that in the movie when it is obvious that the character “Fogel” has a fake ID but is still unsure if buying the alcohol will get him in trouble. This film really teaches us to be yourself and not let peer pressure get the best of you.
When the main characters in the movie realize they did not need alcohol to be cool, they were still able to get the girls they did all that for just by being themselves. This is a positive message that this movie shows and is one of the reasons I enjoy watching it so much. These two movies are similar in the way that they present the comedy styles. Both of the movies use satire to address issues that we still see very often today. They also have differences. In Step Brothers, you see middle-aged men acting like children, but in Superbad you see highschool kids trying to act like adults. Each film can relate to any period of time because these are issues we will always see. Both of these movies are extremely funny and will never get old.
The Discovery & Development Of Novel Drugs From Plant Derived Products
Plant derived products have proven to be an excellent source for the discovery and development of novel drugs. Currently, there are more than 120 chemotherapeutic agents of plant origin (Franceworthe, 1988), many of which are still acquired directly from plants in which they are synthesized (Craig, 1999). Many herbal plants contains anti-oxidant compounds which protects cells against degenerative effects of reactive species (Ansari et al., 2013). It is commonly accepted that reactive oxygen species such as superoxide (O*2), Hydroxyl (OH*) and peroxyl (*OOH, ROO*) Radicals are produced under oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species play important role in degenerative or pathological process, such as aging (Burns et al., 2001), cancer, coronary heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease (Diaz et al., 1997).
Natural antioxidants have attracted attention of users on account of adverse toxicological reports on some synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisone (BHA) and growing awareness among consumers (Ramalakshmi et al., 2007). Medicinal mushrooms and fungi are thought to possess approximately 130 medicinal functions such as anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, radical scavenging, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal among others. Several of the mushroom species have been subjected to phase I, phase II and phase III clinical trials and have been used extensively and successfully in Asia to treat various cancers and other diseases (Wasser, 2014).
Oso (1975) reported that traditional doctors employ T.microcarpus found in mushroom as a medicinal preparation for the treatment of gonorrhea. Ganoderma is a genus of lignicolous polypore mushrooms that grow mostly on deciduous trees. G. lucidum is the most investigated and best known medicinal mushroom species, while G. applanatum has been inconsiderably reported to contain useful antitumor polysaccharide in liquid cultured mycelium (Lee et al., 2007). Their secondary metabolites are responsible for the biological effect such as anti-oxidant (Ferreira et al., 2009; Zhang et al., 2015), antiviral, antibacterial, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulatory (Hu et al., 2002; Paterson,2006). G. applanatum had pronounced the greatest activity of anti-oxidant than G.
lucidum hence proved to be better source of natural anti-oxidant. Medicinal plants contains some organic compounds which produce definite physiological action on human body and these bioactive substances include tannins, alkaloids, carbohydrates, terpenoids, steroids and flavonoids. Phenolics have been known to possess a capacity to scavenge free radicals. The anti-oxidant activity of phenolics is due to their redox properties, which allows them to act as reducing agents, hydrogen donors. They are commonly in leaves, flowering tissues and woody parts such as stems and barks. Studies have shown that they play an important preventive role in the development of cancer, heart diseases and aging related diseases (Soni & Sosa, 2013).
Use of seaweeds as potential producers of pharmaceutical products have been reviewed. Recently, a great deal of interest have developed to isolate bioactive compounds from marine resources. Seaweeds have attracted special interest as good sources of anti-inflammatory agents. Earlier studies on anti-inflammatory study of sargassum spshowed increase in inhibition with increase in concentration. Marine algae extracts have been reported for strong antioxidant properties (Yuvaraj & Arul, 2014). Several species of seaweeds have caused an emerging avenue in biomedical field due to their great potential as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-tumor drugs.(Yilmaz et al., 2016) From the literature, different medicinal plants, marine algae and mushrooms contain different levels of antioxidants, phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory activities, but it does not compare antioxidants and phytochemicals or justify the suppression of anti-inflammation as reported in the literature.
There are no reports on the comparative evaluation of antioxidant activity of seaweeds belonging to different groups. Thus, it would be necessary to investigate the detailed study on anti-inflammatory potential of crude extracts that may lead to promising compounds. G. G was observed to be a potential candidate rich in phenolic and flavonoid, it is necessary to evaluate the effect of long term storage and solvent extraction of total phenolic and total flavonoid content. Medicinal plants, marine algae and mushrooms selected in this research have different contents of anticancer, phytochemicals, radical scavenging and anti-inflammations. G. applanatum have proved to have higher antioxidant activity and total phenolic content than G. lucidum (Raseta et al., 2016).
Seaweed have attracted special interest as good source of anti-inflammation agents, antioxidant and anticancer (Yuvaraj and Arul, 2014). Study also shows that triterpenoid, which is known for its anti-inflammatory effect, had previously been identified in P.africana bark extract (Kadu et al.,2012). Important phytochemicals such as saponins, steroids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds and tannin were found to be present in all the B.micrantha samples (Leaves, bark and roots) (Mburu et al., 2016). The FTIR analysis of U.dioica proved the presence of aromatic rings, alkenes, carboxylic acid, phenols, nitro compounds and esters (Huda et al., 2015). Coreleopsis have not been studied.
Review Of The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas
The young adult novel The Hate U Give (2017) by Angie Thomas focuses On Star Carter, a young black teen who commutes daily from her low income neighborhood to her predominantly white suburban preparatory high school. After a party, Star witnesses her childhood friend Khalil being shot in the back by a police officer during a traffic stop. Star struggles to decide whether or not she should come forward as a witness to the shooting to prove it was racially motivated. Revealing herself could potentially ostracize herself from her classmates or endanger herself to a local gang conflict. Thomas was inspired by the shooting of Oscar Grant III in 2009, after finding the majority of her white college classmates felt that he “deserved it”. Thomas also cites the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as inspiration.
The 2017 New York Times article “New Crop of Young Adult Novels Explores Race and Police Brutality” by Alexandra Alter provides insight on the recent expansion of young adult novels. While nonfiction has been tackling the subjects of police brutality, BLM, and racial profiling for some time, fiction has begun to spring up. The number of black fictional characters may have increased dramatically in recent years, but the number of black authors has stagnated. Alter argues that these novels can not only help frame and illuminate the persistence of racial injustice for impressionable. readers, but also provide further representation for young black readers, who may not feel represented in popular Y.A. novels such as Harry Potter or The Fault in Our Stars.
Young adult novels all have one thing in common: high emotional stakes. Being written in the point of view of youth, they are able to give a voice in not only fiction but in our current society. Y.A. creates a safe space to experience intense emotional events, a “rehearsal for life”. Y.A. combined with Social Fiction (literature that address a social issue current for when it was written) are crucial to shaping youth culture. Typically met with some form of resistance or censorship, Y.A. has tackled current topics from drug addiction (Crank by Ellen Hopkins) to sexual assault (Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson). Adding police brutality and racial profiling onto the growing list of current topics only makes sense. Writing about such subjects provides a voice for teens to know they are not alone and familiarize themselves with healthy ways to cope.
The Hate U Give’s immediate critical and commercial success proves that there is an interest and market for books addressing these issues.
Analysis Of Literary Devices In The Poem “Tearaway” By Winona Linn
When one is little, one may often feel beaten down by the social or emotional pressures of peer acceptance and believe that owning a certain object will determine one’s fate. Owning this object becomes one’s focus, dream or obsession and is often linked to heart break and negative self-esteem. In the poem “Tearaway” by Winona Linn, the poet demonstrates that no matter how many times one fails at achieving one’s dream, one must never give up as eventually it will lead to success. The poet shows this theme through the use of colloquialism, allusion and repetition. The poet demonstrates theme with the use of the literary device colloquialism; words that are not formal, or literary, typically used in ordinary day-to-day conversations of most readers.
Colloquialism is used in “Tearaway” to help the poet connect to and inspire younger readers. Phrases such as “He was a dumbass anyway” use language familiar to young readers to engage readers and to illustrate the point in a understandable method. In this phrase the term “dumbass” conjures up a specific set of negative characteristics of the person (such as stupid and not important) known in modern language to quickly convey to the reader the author’s perception of the character. In this case it also shows how the character tries to hide her disappointed feelings by instead characterizing the male negatively (i.e., as a “dumbass”) to soften the blow of his rejection of her invitation to the dance. Another colloquialism used to make speech between two people more realistic and relatable to the select audience is the phrase “I said I dunno”. In more formal pieces of poetry, poets would most likely use the proper version of the word (I don’t know). However, Winona Linn purposely chose a colloquialism or slang to further remind the reader of the age and mindset of the character.
This colloquialism is also an important illustration of the mindset of the 9 year old main character as children will say “I dunno” as an excuse to not have to embarrass themselves in trying to explain their feelings and circumstances. Colloquialism is an effective literary device to relate to the readers and to illustrate the age and mindset of the author, further connecting readers of all ages to the thoughts and beliefs of the author as a younger child.
An additional effective use of a literary device to make the theme evident to the reader is the use of allusion; an implied reference to something everyone should know. Similar to colloquialism, allusion is used to connect to the reader, in this case, with a shared image or experience. The use of the term “praying she’ll be lucky like Peter Parker” quickly takes the reader to the human form of the super hero Spider Man and his luck when he transformed from an awkward young boy bullied by others to a well-respected character. Peter Parker is lucky in that he develops superhero powers to make him feel confident and better able to handle challenges successfully, but interestingly, most people do not know that Peter Parker is Spider Man so he is still able to lead a normal life most of the time. In the comics Peter Parker is also considered lucky because when he became Spider Man he had the girl of his dreams fall in love with him, as she barely noticed him when he was human. This allusion helps the reader realize that the author would like to have super powers like Peter Parker so the boy she has a crush on might like her in her superhero form, as he rejects her in her human form. This desire to transform to be like is well-illustrated by the Peter Parker/Spider Man allusion.
Another effective allusion is the comparison of her mother’s message “sticking” to her like a pair of Levis that have to be put on with pliers or sticking so tightly to the human body. Everyone can imagine a pair of jeans that are so tight they look as if they are attached to or painted on the person. Use of the term Levi’s further illustrates the picture as the reader quickly knows Levi’s are jeans and can picture the scene. This allusion suggests that the teaching of her mother will stay as close to her as those tight Levi’s. Allusion is an important literary device that combines familiarity and imagery to have the reader quickly relate to the poem.
Winona Linn further demonstrates theme with the use of the literary device repetition; the recurrence of an action or event. The use of repetition establishes a specific pattern of ideas, or pattern of dialogue between characters, all connected to the main theme of the poem. The specific idea of tearaway pants and how much they are wanted by the main character is emphasized by the author’s repeated use of the words “tearaway pants”. It becomes clear to the reader that it is a very specific type of pants wanted which demonstrates how important they are to the character. Repetition of the term highlights the symbolism of these pants- to the reader they may seem like just pants, but to the author they are actually a method of gaining social acceptance and popularity in her school community. The literary device repetition of the impact of the mother’s message (“my mother has other plans”) to the author is also used to show the frequency with which the mother has to share the same advice to repeatedly pick up the pieces of the author’s frequently broken heart or low self-esteem. Noting with repetition that “my mother has other plans” also means that the author frequently experiences a redirection in her plans due to the wisdom and experience of her mother. Repetition is a subtle but effective literary device used to re-remind the reader of key messages in the poem and their importance to the author.
Theme is demonstrated the use of many literary devices such as colloquialism, allusion and repetition. In the poem “Tearaway” by Winona Linn, the poet demonstrates that no matter how many times one fails at achieving one’s dream, one must never give up as eventually it will lead to success. This message is very important for young readers as it encourages them to persevere through difficult or socially awkward times with the hope that their efforts will lead to future success.
The Analysis Of The Novel “A Long Walk To Water” By Linda Sue Park
“If you want to start learning to appreciate what you have and stop wanting more we have to become educated of the reality of those who have less. There is a saying that states “When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect towards others.”- Dalai Lama.
In the novel A long walk to Water by Linda Sue Park the two main characters Salva and Nya are two children living in the middle of a war in Southern Sudan 1985, facing a harsh reality of a sequence of extreme challenges and events presented to them at an early age. This novel is a perfect example of learning to appreciate and being grateful for the small things we take for granted each day. The novel is divided into two storylines that present the theme of survival in a unique way. Both children fight on a daily basis for the basic necessities of nutrition and safety. The book shows In addition to striving to survive both children have hope a crucial element to surviving. Having hope and being of strong character is almost as important as oxygen and water. A trait that both children have in common is the love they have for their family and relationships that motivates them to continue pushing through to overcome the struggles their presented with.
In the novel Salva is faced by the reality that the concern for one’s own survival overpowers the need to help others as well. There are several scenarios we are presented with that adults that are against the government just like Salva refuse to give him protection, food and water to save themselves. Even though Salva is a child who lost his family at war, the adults worry because he is a child he will slow them down and be an extra weight on the team. In one scene Salva identified a group of adults that were from his tribe and village and had hope they would take him with them. The tribe began speaking within themselves and said “He is a child. He will slow us down. Another mouth to feed? It is already hard enough to find food.” “He is too young to do any real work- he’ll be no help to us.” (Park 20) Although Salva is a lost, defenseless child fleeing from the war just like they are the adults are taking in consideration their own wellbeing before anyone else’s.
To survive in treacherous time people need to want to survive, which requires finding a source of strength, determination, and hope. Salva has shown his desire to survive throughout the novel repeatedly. The narrator show how important hope is through the relationship between Salva and his uncle Jewiir. Uncle Jewiir teaches Salva how to remain positive and hopeful even when it seems that there is no escape out of the situation. One of the most touching scenes in the book was when, Salva collapses in the middle of the desert, overcome not only by hunger and thirst, but by despair. “Uncle continued to do this for the rest of the walk.
Each time, he spoke to Salva using his full name. Each time Salva would think of his family and his village, and he was somewhat able to keep his wounded feet, moving one step at a time.” (Park 70) Uncle Jewiir encourages Salva to keep moving, urging him to make progress by focusing on taking one step at a time. Jewiir is a very wise man his purpose is to teach Salva that the key to holding onto hope is concentrating on completing one task at a time instead of becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the greater goal. If Salva were to stop and think about what is asked of him to complete walking in the scorching dessert all the way into Ethiopia—he might give up. Instead, his uncle keeps pushing him and giving him tough love calling him by his full name. Salva continues having hope and being strong to continue forward in his journey to the refugee camp. At the same time he continues to be strong for the sake of the memory of his family and village.
Although Salva believes his family has perished their memory helps him get through his daily struggles. It is his family that gives him strength and guidance during his horrific experience in his journey. Every time Salva faces a tough situation he thinks of his parents. “Marial was gone. Uncle was too gone, murdered by those Neur men right before Salva’s eyes. Marial and uncle were no longer by his side, and they would never be again, but Salva knew that both of them would have wanted him to survive, to finish the trip and reach the refugee camp safely. It was almost as if they had left their strength with him, to help him on his journey.” (Park 80) In the midst of his sadness Salva feels stronger. His tough journey has made him a warrior. There is a saying that says “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”-Friedrich Nietzsche a German philosopher. As a child Salva has had to grow up and be tough even when all he needed was the comfort of his parents. He faced the war without looking back, always forward. He always mediates on knowing the true desires of his family.
Park demonstrated significant and powerful words throughout the novel making things feel the physical reality of how people struggled to survive in need of water and a safety A Long Walk to Water also focuses on the mental and emotional aspects of struggling to survive. It’s not enough to have food, water, and be walking by others of your tribe. There has to be hope to overcome obstacles and tomorrow will be better than yesterday. Salva’s hope to have a re encounter with his family kept him strong and unshakeable throughout the storms. Family was the theme that kept Salva driven throughout the story. Next time you see your family hug them a little tighter because it is a privilege.
We By Yevgeny Zamyatin: The Terrible Consequences Of The Abandonment
In this 20st century novel it can be inferred that the story is an allegory on the early Soviet Union. The story is taking place in the future and is a dystopia. Totalitarianism and conformity are characteristics of the Soviet Union society of that time. In this novel, the One State tries to indicate what causes sadness, and pretends to control mathematically citizens’ lives through an efficient system and industrial precision.
The book was written following the personal experiences the author, Yevgeny Zamyatin, had during the Russian Revolution of 1905 and of 1917 and while analyzing, throughout his life, a job’s rationality typical of big industries. The novel acts as an addition to the author’s desire to fight against the suppression of liberty and the main message is that the revolution is a number that can’t be contained and that will continue to increase until infinity, which indirectly relates to what was going on in Russia in that time. Therefore, I want to analyze how the novel shows the terrible consequences that can come from the abandonment, whether it is for the country, science, or happiness, of our moral traditions. These moral traditions can include religion such as Christianity and liberal values that recognize an individual’s dignity and intangibility. Unfortunately, not many people talk about Soviet Russians writers due to the fact that their work was usually prohibited to the public since it contained ideologies that didn’t match with the ones of that time. Many, therefore, either left the country or gave up on their writing careers.
Yevgeny Zamyatin was revolutionary not only in his writings where he would often mix realism and fiction, but also in his life when he fought against the revolution that mostly oppressed people’s liberties. The publication of “We” happened first in the United Kingdom in 1924, and in the Soviet Union later in the 80s. In fact, Zamyatin’s prohibition to publicize his work were referred by him as a “writer’s death sentence”. He, therefore, approached Stalin by stating that “no creative activity is possible in an atmosphere of systematic persecution that increases in intensity from year to year… Regardless of the content of a given work, the very fact of my signature has become a sufficient reason for declaring the work criminal. Of course, any falsification is permissible in fighting the devil. I beg to be permitted to go abroad with my wife with the right to return as soon as it becomes possible in our country to serve great ideas in literature without cringing before little men”.
The writer was soon later imprisoned and arrested, but by the help of Maxim Gory, writer of the known novel “Twenty-six Men and a Girl”, Joesph Stalin allowed Zamyatin to leave the Soviet Union. The novel is not other than a “diary” of the protagosnigt, D-503. He is a young engineer who is busy designing a spaceship, through which the One State would then be able to spread the laws and ideologies everywhere in the society. In fact, the city in which this novel takes place is separated from the wild and animal world by a green wall. In this reality the citizens are constantly being observed while respecting specific labor hours and resting hours. It is not surprising that in this type of controlled society there is no room for emotions or feelings since the One State is focused on eliminating an individual’s unique personality, while believing that free will would only cause people to be unhappy for the rest of their lives. For this sole reason, there is no “I” but only “We”. The Benefactor is the one who has the most power out of all, through whose it is not hard to resemble his figure as Stalin’s, and his main idea is a mixture of scientific positivism and collectivism. Because of him, the citizens are forced to reach mathematical happiness by following scientific norms based on calculations regarding suffering and pleasure. The Benefactor is not the only character that could resemble actual living characters that characterized the Soviet Union of the time, for example S-4711 is one of the guardians, who could represent and remember Cheka’s members. This was one of the numerous secret services that worked in the Soviet Union and follower of the most famous, the KGB. Back to the novel, the government has the total power in terms of production, since the people are allowed to have sexual relationships only during established times by doctors of the regime. The walls of the buildings are transparent, meaning that there is no intimacy or private life. Furthermore, an individual’s liberty is seen as a synonym of rebellion, and those who demonstrate this kind of behavior is right away stopped by the police. Dreams are also considered a disease, and fantasy/imagination are both “removed” from individual’s through surgery.
This novel acts as a diary that shows D-503’s own transformation into an actual human being. The narrator discovers emotions and feelings never felt before. Through this spiritual journey, Zamyatin describes the birth of a soul, an “I” that goes against “We”. This is mainly caused when D-503, a mathematician and loyal supporter of the One State, falls in love with I-330, a rebel young woman that is secretly planning into overthrowing the One State. I-330 is a member of Mephi. Mephi is a revolutionary organization that lives in the jungle outside the green wall. D-503 decides to join I-330 and uses the “Integral”, the spaceship he has been working on, against the One State. However, the Guardians arrest the conspirators of the assault and the Benefactor intervenes to prevent future damages to the state. Therefore, the entire population is forced to undergo the Great Operation, and so did D-503. The Great Operation will eventually destroy a crucial part of the brain where imagination and creativity occurred. D-503, throughout his diary, he highlights his hairy hands. Through this imagery it can be inferred that the narrator is physically different than the rest of society. By slowly, little by little, getting to know I-330 better, he finds his own natural, interior, instinctive being. Because of this he finds strength, vigor, and starts to speak up for himself more. Jealousy, frustration, fear, and love are all new feelings to him. His new soul allows him then to understand, view, analyze, and think differently than the rest, which was not permitted by the State. It is I-330’s irrational nature that stimulates D-503’s development into an actual human being. I-330 may represent culture’s early morals that had been controlled and captured by the Soviet regime.
In order for the reader to fully understand the novel, the historical time period must be analyzed previously. We are in the middle of the growing Communism, the 1917 Revolution has already happened and years since the communism war, imposed by Lenin to allow the party to take a place into the government, have passed by. Recently had also passed the Civil War of 1918 between the Whites, supporters of the monarchy, and the Reds, the party’s members. 1919 is the year in which various literary conflicts come about.
Zamyatin wrote his novel in 1920 and as discussed earlier, being disliked by the Bolsheviks, it caused many problems.The way Zamjatin incorporated mathematical metaphors show that he wasn’t only a writer who loved liberal arts, but also a man with a degree in engineering that he later pursuit in the United Kingdom.
Americahah By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Interrelation Of Language And Culture
Language is omnipresent, it is used in every moment, and it is central to all our lives, since it is the tool that sets us as humans and differences us from any other species. Without it, religion, arts, literature and science, would not occur. It is the key aspect of human intelligence and human behavior. According to Noam Chomsky, a language is a set of sentences, each finite in length and constructed out of a finite set of elements. This set of elements or symbols is being used mainly for communication. They may be spoken or written. In written form, it is a long-term record of knowledge from one generation to the next while in spoken form it is a means of communication. When communicating, people interact and this form of interaction is the main factor that characterizes a culture. A culture is a system of shared values, behaviors, practices, norms and history that can influence both language and thought. It can be innate or taught?
To be human means to give meaning to the things around us and it is central to our lives. How we create meaning is one of the most fascinating, challenging, and complex ways, in the contemporary science of language and mind. Ngugi, an African writer, says that “language carries culture, and culture carries, particularly through orature and literature, the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world”. Language thought is the basis of a culture, followed by other aspects like wealth and politics. Ngugi says that “Economic and political control can never be complete or effective without mental control. Control, through culture, of how people perceived themselves and their relationship to the world is the most important area of domination.”
As we will see in the next chapter, language in this sense is an important factor in creating identity. This chapter discusses how through language Ifemelu will construct her personality and how language influences her views about society. Even if Adichie doesn’t write her novels in Igbo language and then translates them in English like Ngugi does, that doesn’t mean that her use of the English language is not a particular one. Her mother tongue is English, yet there are differences between the American English and the Nigerian English. Not only, her awareness moves from cultural differences on how to braid her hair to language. The question of the language for the African authors it is not new. Ngugi, as mentioned before, decides to write in his own language and then translate his works into English. Achebe’s choice, on the other hand, is to write only in English, because English is the language with a major public. Even though he creates his own English. So, Adichie’s linguistic choice is reasonable. Every language has its own peculiarities and she is trying to stress them, for example by using words in Igbo, like, biko, ceiling. Therefore, the language used in Americahah is in strong connection with ideology. Language is ideology and their interconnection shapes author’s world view. If the author and the reader share the same world view then it is likely that the book will be a successful book. This is the case of the novel Americanah. “Ideology is the way people think about their world, is produced and altered in and through language.” Bennet and Royle argue that “in capitalist society, literature itself is an ‘ideological form’, both produced by and producing ideology.”
The critic should be able to look beyond. Americanah had a specific function ad effect, it could change in time because of the different perceptions. The aim to openly talk about believes and prejudices is to open the road to transformation: “The way you think what you think – about society, ethics, politics, justice, about poverty and wealth, about education and the health and welfare systems, about crime and punishment, about human rights, race, religion and ethnicity, unemployment and the minimum wage, sexuality and gender, the environment, the ecosystem and global warming, about war and revolution, about terrorists and freedom fighters – is a matter of language. You make up your mind about these and a host of other questions in and through the words you and others use to describe them. […] Ideology, the way that people think about their world is produced and altered in and through language. Ideology in that sense is language.” “This is simply the kind of immigration that is familiar to me. The people I grew up with dreamed of leaving because they felt they wanted more. We did not die of hunger. We had the chance to find a job. But we wanted more – and that more, that glittering place where we hope to end up, is generally America. I think that art, especially the realistic one, is always political.”
Ifemelu doesn’t feel comfortable to speak American English, it seems for her false and unnatural, so when she decides to switch back to Nigerian she meets Blaine: “He [Blaine] spoke the kind of American English that she had just given up, the kind that made race pollsters on the telephone assume that you were white and educated”.
Language and accents
Adichie has grown up in Nigeria, where over 520 languages are spoken. There are 19 institutional languages, but the most commonly spoken language is English, the former language of colonial British Nigeria. The existence of different cultural groups and languages, made her childhood a rich and easy one, but she, just like Ifemelu, has discovered what language differences bring to, only when she came to the U.S. Language and accents are markers of one’s cultural identity and the first factors that come into play when migrating. I will analyze here how these two factors are represented in the novel. Language and accents play a very important role in the novel as a marker of nationality, social class, and assimilation. The reader may first recognize that Ifemelu’s father speaks very differently than other Nigerians in the book, peppering his speech liberally with academic words. Ifemelu says he does this because of his shame that he didn’t obtain higher education. The other Nigerians in the story, on the other hand, speak a mix of Nigerian Standard English and Nigerian Pidgin, languages based on English but distinctly Nigerian in their grammar and vocabulary. Once Ifemelu is in America, she must choose whether to speak with an American accent or not, which she does at first until she is embarrassed that she takes sounding assimilated as a compliment and switches back to speaking with the accent she learned in school. With whom Ifemelu is able to speak Igbo is also quite important. For example, she notes that Aunty Uju does not allow her to speak Igbo with Dike, something he ends up regretting as a teen. Also, she and Obinze swapping proverbs in Igbo was an important part of their early relationship.
When people interact, immediately after looking at the physical aspect, they instantly evaluate the use of language of their interlocutors and they can form themselves an opinion about interlocutor’s background: where they are from, their educational level or class. These judgments are often unconscious, it depends on everyone’s background. In U.S., for example, when speaking about language, there is a strong differentiation between native and non-native English speakers, who often are seen as different, even if English is their first language. From considering different a person by using language differently, it can be linked to discrimination and racism.
Language is not only a communication tool, it reveals our world vision, our life style, it shapes the world around us and it changes perspectives. With language, we define values and meanings. So, it is important to understand and take into consideration cultural differences and their impact on users and make an effort to accommodate people in new environments. Language then can be considered as a tool for constructing identity. Considering that before leaving Nigeria, Ifemelu was not aware of her sense of belonging to a community, I can deduce that this sense can be acquired with moving in a different country. The language analysis here focuses on accent, the cultural shock in this case it is not as radical as for different language backgrounds. Ifemelu’s English differ from American English from some different aspects but it is still the same language.
The Main Keys Of Masculinity In “Into The Wild” By John Krakauer
The book “Into The Wild” written by John Krakauer is about a young boy named Christopher Johnson McCandless who left every single thing behind including his parents. He burnt all his cash and start going to live in the wilderness. He is stubborn by nature and refuse to follow the rules of the government. He changed his real name to Alexander Supertramp, now he would not call himself by Chris McCandless. Moreover, he insist to discover a future for himself by putting own efforts without accepting help from others. McCandless reckoned his road trip from West Virginia and have a desire to visit Alaska. He originates his trip by carrying a backpack and a rifle along with him. Chris commences a joyful trip without looking backward to plan a desirable carrier for him. He encounters with risks and adventures in the wild, but he terminates his trip with a tragic death. Chris storyline become a controversial topic, whether he did correct or incorrect by left his family alone. However, he was a non-fictitious man that constructs their own pathways for success. He provides an example of true manhood who is strong, willful, independent and non-judgmental about the women.
The initial aspect of realest manhood is the strength. Alex is mentally and emotionally strong human being who has a courage and spirit to create new ideas that was distinct from the world. Alex forms his own directions and source to live in the natural environment. In his letter to Ron Franz, Alex argues that, “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure” (Krakauer 57). He thinks that the rage of taking risks and experience is the basis of a male’s vital soul. According to Alex, life is all about ventures and to follow the obsession. He demanded to go out and see the different views or scenes of the beautiful nature by walk.
The strong will is the second key of masculinity. Alex was unshakeable person who took stand for his dreams and has stubbornness to complete it. Westerberg says that, “Once Alex made his mind about something, there was no changing it”. Here Westerberg explains the behavior of his friend Alex that he is the toughest guy who never shifts his plans about the future and keeps on his words. Alex was a willful guy who wants to move around every time and to watch the purity of nature by spending some time alone in it. He complete his wishes by own and he spent few months in the wild without any interference of his family.
Independent is also an important part of manhood. The true man should not be dependent on anyone. Ales were a young and independent man who abandoned his everything which includes his car and parents. He burnt all the cash he had from his family and gave his own savings to charity. Jon Karkauer reveals that, “Alexander buried his backpack in the desert on 2/27 and entered Las Vegas with no money no ID”. Here, Krakauer shows that Alex wants to be own, he abandoned his all belongings and enter a new city where he opens his days lie beggars and homeless. However, Alex belongs to well-healthy family but still he use to sleep on streets. Even then, he did not call his family to help and neither has he wanted to go back. He continues his journey by his own without any help from outsider. He even took his family name and gives himself a new name. He does not want to become burden of anyone, which was the reason he make his own journey.
In last, a real man should not be judge mental about somebody. A man should believe in gender equality. It is very important for a man to respect women. Alex was a gentleman. Westerberg says that, “He wasn’t the kind of guy who would go out and pick up girls just to get laid. He didn’t take relationships lightly”. Here, he explains that Alex is a guy who respects the women. He never plays with their emotions and takes them very seriously. He had no girlfriend but he did have soft corner for girls. In his life, he is kind of hate his mother when he says, “I’m going to divorce them as my parents once and for all and never speak to either of those idiots again as long I live”. However, he told Borah about is sister that, “He said they were pretty close”.