Non-fiction

19

Guns, Germs, And Steel By Jared Diamond: Chapter 11-14 Plot Summary

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 is mainly about the effect livestock had on the people along with warfare. Livestock proved to be a leath gift given to the Eurasians. The Eurasians used livestock and domesticted them, which yielded a result. This was the transfer of illness between the domesticated animals and the people who handled them and were around them. Diseases such as the flu, smallpox, the plague and many others all came from animals. The information of illness from animals was extremely important because as the author states in chapter 11 on page 197 “The winners of past wars were not always the armies with the best generals and weapons, but were often merely those bearing the nastiest germs to transmit to their enemies. ” This being said it shows they used the diseases to their advantage to gain power through war. Even to this day some adults and many children pick up infections diseases from our pets.

This chapter goes on to talk about how over time, populations of people either die off or they must develop immunities to diseases. This directly affects the diseases themselves. They must either die out or change into new, more dangerous diseases (natural selection).

Chapter 12

Chapter 12 is mainly about how language affects societies. The explorers from Europe could both read and write. This gave them an advantage over all the other illiterate societies that they conquered. Since the Europeans were literate they were able to create maps, written sailing directions, accounts by earlier explorers, and much much more. The author next discusses how come the Europeans had all this writing while many other culture did not along with where writing came from. He says that there are 3 basic strategies for languages in written symbols… Alphabetic (written signs), logographic (display words as signs), and syllabic (syllables as signs). While the first written language cuneiform didn’t fit these because it was a mix of all three types. Jared Diamond compares the diffusion of agriculture (the difference in the spread of ideas to the spread of actually crops). To the diffusion of language (the difference between spreading the language to just spreading the idea of the language).

Chapter 14

In this chapter the author’s main focus is that of religion and government. He starts by dividing societies into 4 groups… Bands, tribes, chiefdom and states. First bands, they were never really agricultural. The had almost no specialization for their people, this was basically the opposite of what was view as important during this time. Tribes were seen by their importance placed on family and the structure of family. These societices believes that unlike tribes order is not found in a ruler but in the family/ community structures. One of the highly important parts of chiefdom is how the chief builds and takes power from violence. The best type of chief provides their services through listening and settling arguments, and leading their people to a military victory. Lastly, states. States have hierarchies of power, like the passing down of jobs through generations. Like chiefdoms, states put a lot of pressure on specializations, kleptocracy (which is in the title of this chapter!) and religion. Religion was of GREAT importance it allowed large amounts of people to gather over one system of ideas.

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18

The Murder Of The American Dream

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood unfolds the murder of the Clutter family by two outsiders, Dick Hickock, and Perry Smith. Dick and Perry attempt to attain their version of the American dream, while the death of the Clutter’s symbolizes the demolishment of such dreams. The American Dream is twisted through the fates of those who do achieve and through the jealousy of those who cannot achieve it.

The Clutter family is displayed as having achieved the American dream. However, the fates of the Clutters contradict the dream’s promises. Mr. Clutter “labored eighteen hours a day… but after a decade [his] domain consisted of over eight hundred acres owned outright” (11). Mr. Clutter’s success is because of his determination and perseverance throughout all those years. He was a self-made success with a prosperous farm and was well respected by his employees and the community. Not only was Mr. Clutter successful and praised in the community, but the rest of his family was also as well. His children were also greatly accomplished; Eveanna as studying to be a nurse, Beverly as engaged to a young biologist, “Kenyon, who at fifteen was taller than Mr. Clutter and one sister, a year older— the town darling, Nancy,” (7). The Clutter family is illustrated as a perfect all American family, who meet every standard of the American dream. Yet, all of their achievements are thrown away in a single night.

The murder of the Clutters not only generates fear through the city of Holcomb but the whole state of Kansas. As one woman, a school teacher told Detective Dewey,”Feeling wouldn’t run half so high if this had happened to anyone except the Clutters. Anyone less admired. Prosperous. Secure. But that family represented everything people hereabouts really value and respect, and that such a thing could happen to them … It makes life seem pointless” (88). The Clutters, regardless of their advantages and morality, lose their lives. The flaws and realities of the American dream are displayed through their murder. As a result, the community of Holcomb begins to challenge the value of honor in a society where others demolish their success not out of revenge, but for money. Dick and Perry exhibit the how the lack of success can provoke jealousy against those who do. The two misfits came from backgrounds antithesis of the glorified concept. Dick was raised in a stable, middle-class lifestyle. However, he still yearned for more and felt as if anything less was below him. Especially after being involved in a car crash, his father noticed he began to alter. His father stated, “After that, he wasn’t the same boy. Gambling, writing bad checks. I never knew him to do them things before,” (166). Perry, unlike Dick, had an extremely traumatizing childhood. He was raised by abusive parents, orphanages and foster homes. As he recalls “it was not long afterward [his] mother put [him] to stay in a Catholic orphanage.

The one where the Black Widows were always at [him]. Hitting [him]. Because of wetting the bed,” (132). Hence, he dreamt to grow past those ominous years and become an American success. While the two were in prison, one Floyd Wells told them about the Clutters: how successful, generous and most importantly, rich they were. Floyd recalls what Dick had described to him:“Next thing I knew, Dick was talking about killing Mr. Clutter. Said him and Perry was gonna go out there and rob the place, and they was gonna kill all witnesses—the Clutters, and anybody else that happened to be around. He described to me a dozen times how he was gonna do it, how him and Perry was gonna tie them people up and gun them down” (161). Out of hatred and jealousy, Dick had decided to rob and kill the Clutter family. This is because The Clutters depicted everything Dick and Perry wanted out of life, through the depicted concept of an uphill battle leading to a lifetime of success and happiness.

Throughout the novel, the American dream ideal is the prevalent focus. Dick and Perry’s version of the American Dream seems to compels them to commit their crime while the Clutters, who represent the dreamt, loses everything all at once. Capote demonstrates the corruption of the American dream through the tragedy of the 1959 murder. It depicts how in our society, both those who have and haven’t achieved success can all lose everything out of greed and jealousy.

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17

Guns, Germs, And Steel: The White Hegemony And Black Lack Of Power

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

Unlike other subjects in the world, facts can only be black or white, there can never be gray. This is what everyone searches for and wishes to accomplish at the end of the process. We as authors wish this to be valid, but unfortunately, it’s not. Human history is one of those few subjects where we always can find gray facts. “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?” that was Mr. Yali’s question to Dr. Diamond. Mr. Yali was a local politician. Dr. Jared Diamond was a biologist. We will discuss how Dr. Diamond responded to this question, and we will also address the things that he ignored.

300 years ago the European people or the western side of the word started classifying the human species with a scale of hierarchy. They had the European as the superior just because they believed that they had pure genetics and the others species were denoted as sub-species. This was not only a thought that they had on paper, but they actually put this in to action, and the slavery period started to grow from here. This might be the reason behind their domination! That’s what the whole world is thinking, but is it the truth though? No, it’s all luck. Dr. Diamond answered Yali’s question, and he focused only on the environmental factors rather than the biological ones. He addressed that the White European had the opportunity and the reasons that pushed them to do such a thing, and skills were never one of the reasons that he addressed.

When did the inequalities started? It started when people stopped being hunters and gatherers and shift to the civilized or to the agriculture life-style. People then had to risk themselves to get food and they had to face different obstacles every day in their life. When the revolution of agriculture started, they had more time on their own places which allowed them to stay busy but the advantage was that they were safe which important thing is. What this also mean is that they had more food to eat which allowed them to expand more rapidly and had more time to build their infrastructure.

First, the shift from Hunters and gatherers to settle is extremely hard and there were many factors behind its success. You would need crops to start that agricultural life-style, simply because of the rich nutrition that it has, luckily, they had crops. You might think why would crops be so much important at that time? Not only because of the vitamins and nutrition that it has, but also because of its ability to be stored for a long time. Also, you would have to have a dry climate to keep store those crops. Storing extra food can be really bad, but not when you have domestic animals to feed. With all of these factors, you can grow your population really easily, and more people means more power, more building, and more technology. Luckily, this was the case with the Eurasian, they had pretty dry climates and lots of animals that could be domesticated. They had different types of wheat, sheep, horses, donkeys… etc. Eurasia had 14 animals that could be domesticated, but Africa didn’t. However, in Africa they over hunt animals which could have been domestic ones.

Second, the immune system that the white Europeans people had, was extremely one of the most important factors behind their success. This also goes back to the domestic animals they had. However, when you live near domestic animals, then lots of disease would be transferred from those animals to you. Over thousands of years you would develop a great immune system which will make you secured against different types of viruses. As they traveled, they had these types of viruses with them, which killed thousands and thousands of people who had never been exposed to such viruses

Third, their location on the world played a very good role too. They were in a middle of everything. Due to the fact that the Eurasia continent stretches from east to west, this allowed more trade to occur, which resulted in exchanging more domestic animals and diseases. You might think, why this is so critical! The Tropical line is stretched from east to west, this means that climate and the temperature stays almost the same around it. While this is not the same case with America or Africa, where it stretches from north to south. This will make it impossible to exchange living things like domestic animals and crops, simply, because of the climate change between the two areas. They had pretty good location in which allowed them to transfer domestic animals and crops from southwest Asia to Europe, which gave them the priority in learning all the techniques and strategies on how to plant and raise animals. This grew the chances of getting more jobs and technology, so they grew economically. Therefore, this allowed them to build their power. Since they had all the resources needed they started developing guns and steel, which let them to colonize the world.

At the end of their discussion they both, Mr. Yali and Dr. Diamond, agreed on one thing which is the European were not smarter than the New Guinean people, it all at the end depends on the culture and the environment that they both had to live in. You can make a strong argument that the none- Europeans like the Africans were even more intelligent, due to the fact that they invented all of the inventions by 1500 like writing, paper, calendars, time scale (watches), complex aggregation systems, agriculture…etc. Also, their kids had better social life not like the Europeans, where they were busy with technology and indoor activities Where the European had nothing but adapting others ideas. There were many attempts on trying to test the level of their smartness, but in fact all failed because there was no such a way. They tried the IQ test but this also failed due to the fact that it measures cultural learning and not pure intelligence.

I believe that the author, Dr. Diamond, listed very strong and logical points. He claimed his reasons with enough evidence to prove him right. However, this does not mean that he gave us enough reasons behind the success of the white European over the past 200 years. Dr. Diamonds summarized his book saying “history followed different courses for different peoples because of difference among peoples’ environment, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves”. He argued about the biological side of the story only, but not the social one. The racist of the white European was at its highest at that time and it played a strong role in the human’s history. This period was one of the very main factors that Dr. Diamond missed or ignored. We should accept the fact that not all the winners deserved the win, in many times it’s only luck.

To sum up, Yali asked Dr. Diamonds “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?”. Dr. Diamond answered him focusing on the biological aspects. He illustrated the reasons behind this were mainly based on the geographical location that the Eurasian had. He said that they simply had the most critical location in the world which made them grew enormous power in a very short period of time.

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18

“Into The Wild”: Book and Movie Cross-Reference Analysis

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

There are tons of differences between the book and the movie and those differences make a world of difference when deciding which one you like better. Personally, I liked the movie better, I usually do. However, on occasion I like the book more, but that is not the case this time. I like how the movie shows extras about his life, how it shows why Chris left home, how we can see the scenery instead of Krakauer going “off into page-long descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness” (AVCLUB), and when the movie jumps around, it makes sense, but it didn’t in the book.

The movie showed extras about Chris’s life that we had not seen in the book and that made the whole story line a lot more interesting. Let me suggest this, Krakauer uses both Chris’s story and part of his own to make the story more interesting. However, I was more interested in just Chris’s story. That is exactly what Sean Penn did, he only made the movie about one story and one life, and that was Chris’s.

According to “AVCLUB”, Krakauer used his story to try and show that McCandless was not suicidal, which I already felt that he was not, so I guess that Krakauer’s excerpt of his life was not needed, but it did reinforce my original thoughts. Here is why I believe that Chris’s just wanted to get away for a while. Towards the beginning of the movie it says, “He picked up goods to live of the land for a while” and then again towards the end of the movie when he ate the sweet pea, he was scared, he was screaming for help. Wouldn’t a suicidal person not scream for help and just let the nature of the pea take its course? I guess I don’t really know since I have never been to that point in my life, but if I had to take my best guess, I would assume that they would not scream or try to get help.

In the book, it more or less says that McCandless is moody and that is the reason that he left, at least I believe that we can infer that. Now, in the movie we can see that that is not the case. Everyone that he comes across he is very polite with and everyone pretty much takes a liking to him. I believe that he is not portrayed in the book for who he truly is. Sometimes less is actually more. Now, when I say that the movie showed more about his life I actually mean that in a different way. The movie left out some major periods in his life such as mostly his childhood. I think that us reading about his childhood shaped our minds into believing that he resented his parents and that he left because of them. However, without us seeing things from his childhood in the movie, it almost seems like his parents were just like most. They aggravate us daily because, as parents, that is their job. But it seems as if his parents cared about his wellbeing and that they just wanted the best for him. It shows his parents crying and being tricked into thinking he was there, when really, he wasn’t. It also shows his dad dropping to his knees in the middle of the street. Now to me it seems as if his relationship with his parents was okay, just like most peoples.

Here is what the film made me see as to why Chris left home. It seems as if the business world was not for Chris and that is not who he truly was. He was an adventurous kind of person at heart and it just took a while for him to find that side of him. I also believe that he knew what he was getting himself into as he said, “This is the last you’ll hear from me Wayne… It might be a very long time before I return south. If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t ever hear from me again, I want you to know you are a great man…I now walk into the wild. ” (69). But as you can see, he means to come back, but it may be a very long time. This specific topic as many grey areas and is a very debatable topic.

We can see the scenery in the film as well, which I loved. I am kind of a scenery fanatic, I find so much beauty in the world. However, I did not like how it took Krakauer, sometimes, one full page to explain what the scenery was. It almost felt as if I was wasting my time reading that much just to see where Chris was and what he was seeing. Page 32 is a good example as to what I mean. But in the movie, we can see the scenery as well as other things can happen at the same time, such as some writing come across the screen or Chris can narrate part of his story at the same time. Now, I understand that in a book the author cannot show us a landscape without effectively explaining what it looks like. Which is another reason why I like the film better. Alaska is such beautiful territory that we should be able to see it with this interesting storyline, instead of having to read and try and imagine what it looks like.

The last topic I would like to throw my views on is the fact that both the film and the movie jump around, but Krakauer did a very sloppy job with and just made it a confusing, tangled mess. Penn does a nice job with it. Krakauer jumps around from time to time, and even at one part goes as far as throwing his own life story into the mix, which just made it that much more confusing. Penn really does a nice job at moving scenes. He would occasionally move from the present times and go back past times. The difference between the two is that Penn’s reflections went with the present scene instead of a scene twenty minutes earlier. Krakauer goes from reflection to reflection without putting them into numerical order, for a lack of a better term.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the film more because of the simple, but effective, differences between the two stories and the reasons that I like how the movie shows extras about his life, how it shows why Chris left home, how we can see the scenery instead of Krakauer going “off into page-long descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness” (AVCLUB), and when the movie jumps around, it makes sense, but it didn’t in the book. I did like both stories, but the movie still holds more of an interest in my opinion.

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17

Nickel and Dimed: The Horror of Low Wage Jobs

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of “Nickel and Dimed,” wrote about her experience living on poverty-level wages in America. She abandoned her lavish life of being a journalist with a Ph.D. in biology to work in various “underpaid” and “unskillful” jobs. Her main goal sought to prove that the low-class workers’ wages were not enough to provide for themselves, along with their families. Moreover, she wanted to represent them as well as stand up for their rights by proving that their jobs require an abundant amount of effort, in comparison to the amount of money they are paid in an hour.

Ehrenreich utilizes a variety of different techniques, such as writing in first person and providing statistics to prove her argument. Among them was going undercover – she wanted to understand how low waged, and non-skilled workers were able to make it work while jumping through all the other obstacles thrown at them. Through her chronicled description, the readers can see the significant struggles a low wage worker faces, as well as how it can affect them in the long run. Ehrenreich states, “There are no secret economies that nourish the poor…If you have no money for health insurance…You go without routine care or prescription drugs and end up paying the price. Gail, for example, was doing fine, health-wise anyway, until she ran out of money for estrogen pills. She is supposed to be on the company health plan by now, but they claim to have lost her application form and to be beginning the paperwork all over again. So she spends $9 a pop for pills to control the migraines she wouldn’t have, she insists, if her estrogen supplements were covered.

Similarly, Marianne’s boyfriend lost his job as a roofer because he missed so much time after getting a cut on his foot for which he couldn’t afford the prescribed antibiotic.” (Ehrenreich 21) Through her detailed description, the readers are able to see how physically demanding a low wage workers’ job is – some might even say physically damaging. However, they do not have the privilege to quit and wait around until something better comes along. They are forced to endure these horrible conditions and push through the pain until their work is done. They work rigorously in order to keep a roof above their heads and food on the table, to the point they are injury-prone. Barbara Ehrenreich tried working multiple low wage jobs, in which she tried living off of the money she had earned. Even with the various roles she was working; she was still unable to afford a place to live, food, and other necessities. How are they expected to provide for their families and stay healthy, if they are unable to provide for themselves?

Unlike other low wage workers, she had money set aside for emergencies, in which she used when necessary. By having access to extra money, she justified her argument, as real low wage workers do not have that type of money to fall back on. They live in a constant whirlwind, in which all that runs through their mind is work, money, repeat. With time, they eventually reach a “flow state,” in which emptiness sets in, and they get used to the routine. This lifestyle forces them to forget about life outside of this small bubble, in which surviving isn’t the only thought occupying their minds. How are they expected to take care of themselves and worry about their health when there is no one giving them a break? Even when they are hurt, they are still expected to work without the proper medication needed to ensure their health and safety.

This type of workforce blatantly forgets about the well-being of their employee. They are still expected to work even when they are injured – if not, they lose their job, which is precisely what happened to her co-worker’s boyfriend. Due to this rule, numerous people were obligated to live in their cars. By working these low wage jobs, she highlighted the struggles these people faced daily. They did not have the privilege to acquire extra money for emergencies – there is no escape from poverty. They are stuck in this cycle that prevents them from being able to establish themselves and create a stable living situation. Without access to medication and a healthy lifestyle, they are unable to remain able-bodied, let alone live past the life expectancy rate.

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17

Nickel and Dimed: A Biased Experiment

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

The book Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, she stated that it is impossible to live off of one minimum wage paycheck. Points being, that she is being paid to little, not enough benefits, rude management, and not enough hours. Working at Mcdonalds, cleaning services, and walmart, ect. all have something in common. All having a high workload and lower pay, because of this, many struggle to make ends meet. Her starting with nothing and working these highload and lower pay is what set her up for failure.

I believe Barbras argument is not 100% arguable because of the fact that as people grow up you accumulate things. Usually the household stuff, but most people, even poor people have cars, television, fernature, jewelry, or other ideas that constitute some sort of wealth. This is called accumulated wealth. Where as in Barbara’s case she started off with nothing, and set herself up for failure. She doesn’t include a car from her whole ordeal, and has no house, no tangibles, nothing to sell. Thus starting her experiment at a lower point than all of her co-workers, many whom at least owned cars or trailers (while Ehrenreich was renting transportation and a living space at high weekly rates). So part of moving up includes things you no longer have to purchase on a dailey, or weekly, basis.

Ehrenreich’s job choices, even with her small selections, were for sure rigged so she got her desired answer. She never not once took a higher paying job. Waiting tables isn’t always good money, but it also can be quite rewarding. Waitressing at a higher end/popular restaurants and bars can bring in more than $100 a night. She many try and pull the “I’m too old or not good looking enough,” there are many older waitresses and waiter that make great money. While it’s true some restaurants like Hooters higher women that have to “meet the standards, most other companies have no problem hiring older men or women, as long as there dependable.

All the jobs she worked were definitely very physically demanding, which caused her to basically not work to her best abilities. Working long days were exhausting for her. And I feel like she didn’t consider all the other factors when working as a low wage worker. Many being that nobody just starts out with nothing and goes off those first paychecks. Also many of the people that work these hard jobs, have most likely been working there for a good while. Meaning there wage is definitely higher, they receive better benefits, and hold higher positions because of their time there.

In today’s society it is ingrained that getting a job means getting out of poverty, but Barbra discovered that it’s just untrue. There are many bills one must pay to sustain a basic lifestyle. She spent no money on any nice clothes or going out for a fun night. In turn she lived off of chopped meat, beans, and noodles or fast food with only $9 a day. She struggled a lot in Key West but was most successful in Portland.

I believe her experience was pretty bias, because when she started she was very picky on what job to choose. This is not fair because people in this situation cannot be picky when they get offered a job they take it because it might be a while till they receive another. Also in the book she says she will not go a day without food even if she has to cheat and use her credit card. I also believe this to be unfair because some people in low wage situation do have to go a day or more without food. Readers should know that this investigation is kinda boring in a sense. To get past the biases I think this experience should have been done by someone whom is actually living in such a way. Barbra being from the middle class, is obvious that she isn’t getting the whole experience.

Another reason I think her final thoughts were bias was because she did do many things wrong. She didn’t do any research On where she was going to move, which includes Florida, Maine, and Minnesota. I think that if she was smarter about her approach to this assignment she would have tried living in three different social class areas, such as high class cities, a middle-class, and a lower class city. I had a hard time reading this book because she complains quite a bit and doesn’t try to look for the positives of anything good that comes her way. Barbara in my opinion gave herself too much money for extra expenses, and emergencies, she would not have that much in savings if she was actually lower class. She didn’t give the experience a chance I feel, going into this journey with an idea and she would do anything to make her idea true. The last problem I have is that she didn’t give herself enough time to fully understand what living on minimum wage means. She could have spent more time and actually learn to survive.

In conclusion I feel this experiment could have been way more realistic if she followed some simple guidelines. One being, starting off with at least some things, like household items. also not being picky with jobs, like working for a company with higher pay unlike some that she picked. some examples being McDonald’s, Walmart, and restaurants that aren’t very successful. going into this she knew that the job she would pig were very physically demanding with a lower pay; she could’ve been smarter. also she could have picked a high-class area, middle-class area, and a lower class area to get the full experience. with this conclusion I believe this experiment was not successful and pretty bias.

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34

The Hong Kong’s Political Game: Conquering the Independence

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

In 1997, Britain handed over Hong Kong to China, under the agreement that it would still remain semi-autonomous. The agreement allowed for some democratic freedoms to be maintained such as the right to vote, freedom of speech and of the press. However, these allowances opposes China’s more socialistic views. For years China has unsuccessfully tried to gain more power over Hong Kong by infringing on the terms of this agreement. This included their attempt to ban people in Hong Kong from speaking out against the Chinese Republic in 2003 and their interference in the Hong Kong elections in 2014. Today the people in Hong Kong are protesting yet another threat to their independence, an extradition bill that will give China more authority over Hong Kong. In this essay I would like to provide evidence to show China as a modern example of how Machiavelli advises a sovereign or ‘prince’ to govern a newly annexed city, specifically a republic. I will also attempt to explain China’s motivation for claiming sovereign legitimacy in Hong Kong by referring to arguments made in the Melian Dialogue.

In Machiavelli’s book The Prince, he addresses how newly conquered cities should be governed. In Chapter 5 he counsels on cities that are accustomed to their own laws and freedoms. “In republics there is more vitality, greater hatred, and a greater desire for vengeance in such circumstances; republics will never permit the memory of their former liberty to rest, so the safest way is to destroy them or to reside there.” I think that this would be an accurate description of what is happening in Hong Kong right now. Hong Kong is used to its autonomy and the people are fighting with great spirit to uphold their rights. Machiavelli proposes two solutions to successfully take over a republic, reside there and gather an influential and trustworthy ‘oligarchy’ to support you or, destroy the city.

“At present, the pro-establishment camp occupies 43 seats in the council, while the pan-democrats hold 24 seats.” The pro-establishment (AKA pro-China) camp holds the majority of the electoral seats in the Hong Kong Legislative Council. All laws passed by Hong Kong’s Legislative Council must be approved by the Chinese government. From this information it seems that China is doing it’s best to install its own oligarchy of loyal supporters in Hong Kong. This would ensure that all of Hong Kong’s government decisions are in the best interest of China. Why does China not destroy and seize Hong Kong? Machiavelli would advise China to take military action and ruin anyone who opposed them. However because of the agreement between the Brittish and Chinese, if China took military action, the other powerful countries in the world support Hong Kong and may join forces to fight against them creating an “international backlash.”

The fact that people who have tasted liberty are willing to take great risks fighting for it, must mean that liberty is what is best for social welfare. Millions of people in Hong Kong feel that socialism and the kind of authoritarianism Machiavelli refers to, is an unwelcome form of oppression, they express open hostility towards authorities who are allowing the extradition bill to pass. Even Machiavelli senses this tension and that is why he proposes the destruction of such a city. Considering that The People’s Republic of China is one of the few socialist states that still remain, I cannot help but wonder, if the Chinese people were to experience liberalism, would they aswell fight so eagerly to keep it?

Hong Kong is about 0.01% the size of China and only makes up about 2.7% of China’s GDP. Therefore it can be said that China does not have a significant economic or territorial incentive to occupy Hong Kong. This leads me to believe that just like the Athenians in the Melian Dialogue, China’s motivation lies in protecting their own dignity and appearance of supremacy. “Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever they can.” Thucydides maintains that it is natural for any entity to seize power over the weak. It is the way of the world, even of the universe. Anything that has the opportunity to overpower another being, will do so. He suggests that if an entity does not take advantage of such an opportunity, it must mean that they are the weaker party. Thus the strong and able must continue to conquer in order to preserve their status. China has a very recent history of imperialism and this would explain why, like the Athenians, they strive to advance their empire. Like the Melians, the people of Hong Kong are perhaps being idealistic in their approach to protest against the Chinese. They are the weaker party, perhaps if activists surrender to the Chinese authorities, they may suffer less when inevitably China gains full power over them after the expiration of the agreement.

Although Machiavelli and Thucideds both seem to encourage China’s encroachments on Hong Kong, I think that this is an old fashioned and outdated view. The concept of a ‘prince’ acting in self interest has long since become inapt. The world is no more a playground where the powerful challenge each other to duals. A modern government is not formed to assist the ambitions of its leaders, but to serve the best interests of the individuals of the public it represents. It is an establishment often full of flaws and corruption, to deny and to try and hide this as in the case of China’s government, might just be its biggest mistake. There must be no sense of supremacy which the establishment must deceive its people in order to uphold.

China embodies the Machiavellian example of a ‘prince’ who conquers a republic almost perfectly. Although destroying the city is not an option due to political circumstances, they are gradually trying to gain power in Hong Kong by appointing their supporters as influential leaders in the Hong Kong Legislative Council. Maintaining their liberty would be the best outcome for the social welfare of Hong Kong. China’s main incentive for overpowering Hong Kong seems to be maintaining their international and national reputations, but this is not a reasonable justification for a government anymore. The protestors in Hong Kong are battling against the odds and still have almost irrational hope. I admire the courage of the Hong Kong protesters who are refusing to give up their rights in the face of potential violent ruthlessness.

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17

Following One’s Wishes in Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant,” once said Roman Poet, Horace. People frequently come across obstacles, and their true self becomes evident during those times. Horace’s assertion about adversity is shown in many situations with people throughout the world. In the novel Into the Wild told by Jon Krakauer, a young itinerant named Chris McCandeless goes on an odyssey in the Alaskan wilderness to find happiness upon himself. Chris takes this journey with very few supplies and ends up perishing through starvation. His true talents are shown during times of adversity and for his quest for happiness. Horace’s statement is legitimate with most people in society. People faced difficult decisions all the time, and like Chris McCandless in the novel Into the Wild, certain aspects of people’s talents show during those onerous situations, including living life to the fullest, overcoming obstacles, and being able to adapt to particular circumstances.

Many talents become evident during difficult situations, including the ability to be able to live life to the fullest. Throughout the story of Chris McCandless in the novel Into the Wild, Chris acknowledges that he would be happier without the presence of people and the stresses of everyday life. Chris goes on an odyssey throughout the American Southwest, Mexico, and eventually up the Pacific Coast to Alaska. In doing so, he discovers himself more as a person and finds that solitary causes happiness for him. As Chris was moving around, he wrote a letter to his old boss saying, “The freedom and simple beauty of it is just too good to pass up” (Krakauer pg. 33). Chris McCandless feels more content with the serene of the wilderness, the beauty of self-acknowledgement, and the connection he feels with nature. Chris McCandless took the risk of leaving society to follow his desire to be in the wilderness. Chris left everything to be able to follow his passion of living life to the fullest. Many harsh and difficult events in his life boiled up inside him, and all this adversity led him to live life to the fullest on his terms.

Chris takes his journey with every intention of spending the rest of his life with the presence of nature. This young audacious man seeks the desire to live his life to the fullest, throwing away all the usual deprivations of life. Chris’s talent is to be able to recognize that he does not relish the normal life he has, and takes it upon himself to pursue the bliss of nature. All the adversity in what was his young life, led to his independence and his yearning to be free from all the troubles of humanity. This becomes clear when an old cross-country teammate of Chris’s states, “He was looking for more adventure and freedom than today’s society gives people” (Krakauer pg. 174). Chris’s adversity was struggles and the suffocation of modern day society. If life had been able to give Chris more of his desired opportunities, his vision of living life to the fullest may of been different. He struggled with the fact that he was not able to live out his life that way he wanted, if he stayed with the presence of people. Every day, people face the same struggles that Chris did, with the hardships of life, and the annoyance of certain individuals. People cope with these scenarios differently, in any way that ceases the adversity they feel. Living life to the fullest was Chris’s way of handling his affliction, residing his life in the wild.

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16

Into The Wild: Courage to Search For True Happiness

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

Venturing off into nature can help find a sense of true meaning of who someone is and belonging in life. However, it is the environment nature that unfortunately takes his life. Towards the end of his life, McCandless discovers what he never realized before. He realizes his purpose and need of other people. After the death of Chris McCandless in Alaska, Krakauer took it upon himself that he wanted to let the world know about who Chris McCanldess was and write a book of his life. Krakauer portrays McCandless with a variety of characteristics. He characterizes Chris as a young man who is arrogant, selfish, and reckless. But at the same time charismatic, determined, intelligent, and independent. Although Chris McCandless was foolish and unprepared, but was also a good minded intellectual. Chris was intelligent but an impractical man. He was a unique young man, but he was also arrogant, which caused him to unfortunately be led to his death. Krakauer is accurate in describing Chris as selfish because he left his family behind without any communication on his departing. He left his family to go start a new one with a new alias and no track of his old life. He met other people along the way in his trio and introduced himself to them as Alex Supertramp. However, while Chris was on his trip to Alaska, he was unprepared which ultimately caused him to have his life taken away from him at a very young age of 24 years old. Christopher McCandless died August 1, 1992 in Stampede Trail.

“Because he lacked a good map, the cable spanning the river also remained incognito.”(174) John Krakauer describes how McCandless decisions had a major impact on his life. Some argue that his life depended on his determination, while others argue that McCandless was not prepared. Krakauer implies that Chris could have survived if he had made smarter decisions. John Krakauer’s argument is important because it describes various factors that lead to the tragedy of Chris McCandless. Krakauer gets the audience thinking if McCandless personality played a role in his death. They audience can also wonder if his stubbornness was enough to impact his decision making. Krakauer believes that McCandless just gave up and felt unmotivated to keep going. He lost his drive to keep on going with his journey and the loss of motivation led him to his death. It is pretty strange to say because Chris was not the type of person to give up on a task he’s been working on for so long. Chris was a hardworking man who always finishes any task that was dealt to him. Especially with the trip on going to Alaska, which is what he wanted to do ever since he left his family behind.

People can see Chris McCandless as a foolish young man who left his life behind. Others can see Chris as being admirable. Chris lived his life the way he wanted, not what his parents set him out to be. He wanted to break free from society because he thought it was bland. He wanted to follow his dream of going into the wild and surviving. He portrayed a new life for himself and was able to sustain himself in the wild for two years. Unlike many people who sob about their classic 9-5 job, Chris lived his life the way he wanted to. He ultimately achieved the happiness and purpose that he was seeking during his lengthy quest. If it weren’t for the toxic mold on the wild potato seeds he ate, Chris McCandless would live to tell his tales and would be admired. “Some readers admired the boy immensely for his courage and noble ideas. Others fulminated that he was a reckless idiot, a wacko, a narcissist, who perished out of arrogance and stupidity. He was under serving of the considerable media attention he received” (Author’s Note). Krakauer describes how many people shared different views on Chris’s death. Some people argue that McCandless had a good enough reason to go into the wild, while others have various reasons to be against McCandless. Krakauer implies that individuals have a distinct view on Chris’s death. Krakauer’s argument is important because it implies how the audience has different views on McCandless. He suggests that Chris influenced some individuals positively and negatively. Krakauer also believes that McCandless changed many people’s perspective of life or attitude towards life.

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18

Philosophy of Transcendentalism in Krakauer’s Into The Wild

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

For over twenty years, many different people have speculated on the reasoning behind Chris McCandless’ actions – particularly his trip to Alaska where he, unfortunately, met his demise. McCandless, the subject of Job Krakauer’s nonfictional book Into the Wild, was a young man at the time of his death – only 24 years old. It was only two years before his passing that he had graduated from Emory University; he was an excellent athlete, was incredibly involved, and did well in school his entire life. (Chris) Although estranged from his family, McCandless made many connections during his time; most notably, Wayne Westerberg who took the gentlemen under his wing before he was off to Alaska. Yet, despite his life presenting as seemingly normal, Chris McCandless was a reckless individual. Even before the fated Alaska trip, he faced death when he nearly succumbed to dehydration in the Mohave Desert. When he did eventually make his way around Alaska, he was severely underprepared and the few items he packed included a ten-pound bag of rice, a rifle, and a coat. No knowledge of the area, and no particular goal in sight. Only traveling to the middle of nowhere, away from society, and truly all alone.

The actions of McCandless traveling to Alaska that summer was neither spontaneous nor out of character. He had traveled in the past – put himself in situations where he endangered himself before. The common denominator behind all of McCandless’ travels presents itself in a transcendentalist nature. From the prolonged journeys in his Yellow Datsun to the Mohave Desert, and then finally to Alaska; each of his travels exhibits the escape from society and the necessity of self-reliance. McCandless, at the core of the ideology, was a transcendentalist; and although many college students, as he was one himself, are able to sympathize with his beliefs, the extent to which McCandless pursued such is not applicable among the modern student.

Developed in the late 1820s, and originating in Unitarianism, the transcendentalist movement sought to protest against the state of intellectualism and spiritually of the time. Particularly, the earliest transcendentalists appreciated the intellectualism behind the Unitarianism philosophy, however, they yearned for a more intense spiritual experience as well. (Transcendentalism) The spiritual nature of transcendentalist ideals entails that humans are inherently good, however, they become tainted. Transcendentalism, in the philosophy’s most basic form, is defined as the belief that society corrupts the purity of the individual. (Sacks) The philosophy is only gaining popularity, especially as seen through fans of Chris McCandless; his journey – and the account of it – speaks a lot of transcendentalist ideals that attract his followers.

However, as much as one can label McCandless as a transcendentalist, what aspect of his journeys exemplify this? Well, the most obvious example lies between the pages of a journal he kept to himself. He states in a journal entry dated 1992 that his travel to Alaska was “the climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage.” (Krakauer) A few sentences later, in the same entry, was also written that he was “no longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.” The entry was signed with the name Alexander Supertramp, interestingly enough. Yet, aside from the amusement, these two statements are the very definition of a transcendentalist’s goals. Both spiritual enlightenment and freedom from society’s plague were achieved by Chris McCandless. The fact that he specifically mentions his spiritual pilgrimage and the poisons of civilization gives insight into what he was seeking; McCandless hopes to accomplish his transcendentalist goals and he did so victoriously.

The basic ideas of transcendentalism are highly attractive to many students today. Many students, as discovered through discussion, have felt that society places pressure on the individual to follow a certain pattern: go to school, get a job, have a family, retire, and die. For example, in the capitalistic society, instead of spending time as people wish, such as traveling, individuals are forced to spend time at a job to earn money (which is often not enough anyways). Not only is transcendentalism evident in the fact that students feel pressure to attend school and follow a certain path, but the philosophy is also present on social media. Fairly often a young adult in this society will make a point of disconnecting from Instagram or Snapchat; this disconnect from this media is often a way of cleansing and destressing from the hassles of daily life. Although the common student may not acknowledge, or recognize, that their actions and thoughts reflect a transcendentalist nature, there is no denying that the philosophy is still attractive to the demographic. Of course, however, the extent of which McCandless pursued his transcendentalist experience is not appealing to us ordinary college attendee; McCandless is an extremist in this case, and it is not an often occurrence, if it is one at all among college students, to travel completely unprepared in the wild.

The philosophy of transcendentalism has most definitely maintained its presence in society. Especially through various media, it is evident that transcendentalist ideals are a common theme. In fact, transcendentalism is even a part of children’s movies; spoiler alert, the popular Disney movie Frozen captures the philosophy perfectly. The plot – put simply – is the story of a young woman who is trapped in a society who is terrified of her potential; once she escapes this debilitating society the young woman finally feels free for the first time. (Bucks) Sounds pretty familiar to the basic idea of transcendentalism. Although there are many other movies, books, songs, games, etc. up for discussion, the point is made clear. McCandless followed transcendentalist thoughts and continues to inspire many young adults to set themselves free into the wild.

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