Charles Dickens Views on America

Views on America: Charles Dickens America in the 1800s was often understood by many countries in Europe to be a land that had finally managed to free itself of the various wrongs of the old world and institute a new era in which men were born free and died free, where all disputes were settled equitably and fairly regardless of class or wealth and where the rights of man were staunchly upheld regardless of what that man had done. For instance the French political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville in his widely influential work, Democracy in America, observes that, he had seen “the freest and best educated of men in circumstances the happiest to be found in the world…” (Democracy in America, 1832 and 1840) It was with this generalized concept of America in mind that one of this century’s best-known authors journeyed to discern for himself just what America had done right that Europe needed to copy. English novelist Charles Dickens had very high hopes in mind as he made his way across the Atlantic; He was fated to be sorely disappointed though.

The polish was off the brass for Dickens almost as soon as he arrived as he experienced constant suffocating attention from the uncouth American public, which perhaps colored his criticism. But more interestingly the exact reasons why Dickens was disillusioned with America and became so critical of its society in fact reflected the writer’s nationality and particular social upbringing. Dickens traveled to America already well versed in the available travel literature that had been produced both to help reforms at home as well as in America as each social structure was examined and compared.

Prior to his departure, Dickens had high expectations for the new country as a source of information regarding how best to fix the social ills in England at that time. Prior to his first visit to America, Dickens was active in the suffrage movement as well as the anti-slavery movement, but he had changed his mind, at least somewhat, by the time he returned home (American Notes, 1842). In many ways, this change of heart has been linked to the type of treatment Dickens experienced while visiting and touring the prescribed route between historical or picturesque vistas and places of social reform such as schools and jails.

Throughout his tour, though, Dickens also experienced a suffocating press of public attention as well as numerous shocks to his sensibilities regarding the manners and behaviors of his American cousins. Dickens’ unhappiness in America arose, in part, from the enthusiastic reception he received from America’s public. This is a case of too much of a good thing creating something unspeakably bad. During his tour, he wrote to Thomas Mitton, “I am so exhausted with the life I am obliged to lead here … If I go out in a carriage, the crowd surround it and escort me home.

If I go to the Theatre, the whole house (crowded to the roof) rises as one man, and the timbers ring again. You cannot imagine what it is” (Grass, 2000). No matter where he went, Dickens was to experience the invasiveness of constant surveillance, while he slept and no matter what he did, as well as constant requests for the most personal items – locks of hair, pieces of clothing, knick knacks left behind, etc. That he recognized the damaging psychological ramifications of this type of constant surveillance can be found in his writings regarding his tours of the American prisons.

Although they do not focus on this effect on the psyche of the prisoner, Dickens unmistakably writes from an informed position regarding some of what these men must endure during their years under the watchful eye of the guards (Claybaugh, 2006). The torment of the situation was not lost on him as he found it agreeable to recommend constant surveillance through such structures as the Panopticon model for Britain’s new prisons, while criticizing the relatively light treatment of prisoners, which were permitted to perform useful work during their daytime hours.

An examination of his writings regarding the prisons is helpful in discerning Dickens’ psychological experience of America’s practices. One of his strongest criticisms regarding the American prisons had little to do with the psychological effects of constant surveillance and instead focused on the effects of constant isolation from the company of others and the dehumanizing effect this had on them. “The system here, is rigid, strict, and hopeless solitary confinement. I believe it, in its effects, to be cruel and wrong. ” (American Notes, 1842).

As per the system known as the Philadelphia plan, the prisoner was kept in isolated chambers all the time. Every kind of communication with any other individual, including the prison guards was forbidden and the prisoner was left alone to reflect on his crime. The prolonged solitary confinement was not only cruel and unusual, but as Dickens noted, were dehumanizing in its effects. The dehumanized individual underwent a change from a prisoner during admission to a cowed subhuman after the course of several years precisely because the horrors of his crime have haunted him through the years.

Despite the changes this necessarily brings about in the prisoner, his changes remain unknown to even the prison guards assigned to monitor him. To Dickens, this undocumented change was unthinkably horrible. “Despite his mild criticism of the Silent System, Dickens was horrified by what he saw at Eastern Penitentiary and New York’s The Tomb, recognizing the continual solitary confinement as a torture of the mind and the destruction of a soul. Grass, 2000) Although he felt that the other form of prison correction was too lenient on the prisoners because they were engaged in meaningful activity during the day, the revulsion he felt toward solitary confinement caused him to embrace the Silent Associated System. Under this system practiced in New York during Dickens’s time, men were allowed to work together during the daytime, although they were forbidden to talk with each other and were kept under constant and strict supervision.

Ideally, they were meant to sleep in separate cells but often they were kept together in dormitories albeit under strict discipline. At least here men had the opportunity to interact with other human beings during the course of every day as they were engaged in work that would benefit the outside society (nail making, cobbling, etc. ) even if their language and actions were severely restricted and under constant surveillance. However, this too showed Dickens’ inconsistencies in that he criticized this system because it was too much like regular work.

While he praised these systems in America, he “remained an opponent of such ‘productive’ employment for convicts back at home, advocating instead the use of archaic punishments like the wheel, which provided wholly unproductive physical labor. The Silent Associated prisons that Dickens saw both in America and at home in England erred on the side of humaneness rather than on the side of cruelty, at least in Dickens’ initial estimation of Boston and in his later writing upon English penology” (Grass, 2000).

It is important to emphasize however that for Dickens, constant surveillance compounded with long-drawn isolation remained sufficiently brutal to be a recommended practice. It was the result of the constant surveillance, as the ever-present ghost in the room, that worked its terrifying dehumanizing effects upon the prisoners confined to a single solitary cell, according to Dickens and it was this that made it so horrible.

After having been exposed to this form of constant surveillance without even being able to necessarily see the watcher, Dickens noted that the individual produced by this painful psychological transformation was fundamentally different from the individual who had entered the cell at the beginning of his term. “The individual in Dickens’ hypothetical narrative emerges as a man intent upon ‘heavenly companionship … easily moved to tears; gentle, submissive and broken-spirited. ’ This man is a man no longer, for the terrors of his phantasmic surveillance have turned him into a race of being distinct from the typical human” (Grass, 2000).

In his American Notes Dickens emphatically asserts that having witnessed firsthand the unspeakable pains caused by the silent cells and constant surveillance, he, for one, by no means is ready to be a cause or consenting party to this inhuman practice. The prisoner in Dickens’s account is no longer human as his identity has been reduced to a mere number: “There is a number over his cell door, and in a book of which the governor of the prison has one copy, and the moral instructor another: this is the index of his history. Beyond these pages the prison has no record of his existence…” (American Notes, 1842).

The system of solitary cells and constant surveillance, Dickens noted, can have such deep and dark effects on a human mind that he is turned not into a reformed man, not into a beast either, but a dead vegetable with no interest in life whatsoever, not even in the prospect of his release from prison. Understanding this extent of damage Dickens attributed to the mere practice of constant surveillance helps to understand the level to which the constant surveillance of the public upon Dickens’ daily activities in America might have influenced his opinion regarding American issues and American practices outside of the context of the prison.

It also helps one to understand why the constant and unwanted attention showered on him by the American populace played a major part in the shattering of his ‘American Dream’. As has been mentioned, Dickens went to America partly with the idea in mind of examining the practice of slavery as it was practiced in the south with an eye toward giving a proper direction to his abolitionist efforts. Here, too, critics have found fault with his lack of discussion of the issue during his tour. “Dickens was an abolitionist throughout his career.

In his non-fictional writings, his outbursts on slavery are fairly unequivocal, and he is given to straightforward pleas in his letters: ‘But I want to help the wretched Slave. ’ His relationship to slavery was, however, more complex than such remonstrations suggest” (Purchase, 2001). Although some have seen Dickens as a blatant racist because of his lack of appropriate outrage for the slave and his general failure to consider the black man as in any way equal to the white man, he nevertheless did contribute heavily to the anti-slavery movement. He became more and more committed to writing against it, but he also redefined the requirements for such writing. In American Notes, he confesses to a fear that he will not be able to reveal any of slavery’s horrors. In particular, he fears that he will not be able to see beneath the ‘disguises’ in which slavery will surely be ‘dressed’ and, indeed, during his visit to a Virginia plantation, he was not permitted to witness the slaves at their noontime meal or to inspect their cabins” (Claybaugh, 2006).

At the same time, it is unclear how much of slavery Dickens did actually see, as he seems to have had little stomach for witnessing the true nature of the institution. In fact it has now been proved beyond doubt that Dickens took most of the accounts of slavery in American Notes from a pamphlet entitled “American Slavery As It Is” (1839), compiled by Theodore D. Weld. Ten years later, Harriet Beecher Stowe consulted the pamphlet while writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin (American Notes, 1842).

Despite his assertions of support for the idea of abolition, he proved remarkably unwilling to speak out against the institution, particularly as he traveled further south. While some suggest the reason for this unwillingness was his concern for incurring the wrath of the critics against him, as had happened to earlier authors who had toured America, there remains some validity to the argument that this was also as a means of attempting to garner the support of the Southern landholders, many of whom depended upon slave labor for their wealth, in his fight regarding copyright infringement (Purchase, 2001).

Lending some support to these accusations is the fact that Dickens changed his travel itinerary to avoid visiting the southern states shortly after having come into contact with real slaves. However, Claybaugh (Claybaugh, 2006) argues that Dickens changed his travel itinerary because the thought of the Southerner’s inability to understand the atrocities they were committing was more than he could bear to witness. “Pausing in Washington DC, he balances his desire to witness plantation realities against ‘the pain of living in the constant contemplation of slavery’.

It is at this point that he alters his itinerary, and this alteration is thus presented as proof of Dickens’ sensitivity. Where slave owners live with ‘senses blunted’ to the suffering around them, Dickens cannot even bear to see it” (Claybaugh, 2006). However, Dickens continued to be ambiguous in his stance regarding slavery for the remainder of his life, constantly working against slavery as an institution but never demonstrating any higher regard for the black man per se. Dickens’ reaction to the Morant Bay Rebellion in the former British slave colony of Jamaica, and his views on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s slave novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, are equally full of ambiguous and contradictory voices. As controversy mounted in Britain over whether or not Governor Eyre should be prosecuted for taking such bloody retribution as he did against the Jamaican rebels, Dickens famously joined Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Charles Kingsley in giving vocal support to Eyre’s actions (Purchase, 2001). Dickens’ opinions on the matter, as expressed in his letter to W.

W. F. de Cerjat, seem to indicate that his lack of sympathy for the American slave was born out of a sense of injustice being committed upon the British workers and a disgust for the British who would lament the state of the slave without doing anything to advance the needs of those closest to them. This is an idea that seems echoed to some extent in his fiction as well, such as in the character of Mrs. Jellyby in Bleak House who is so busy doing charitable work for her African cause that she doesn’t even have the time to properly take care of her own children (Bleak House, 1852-1853).

Dickens also criticizes Stowe for her defenses of the slaves, telling her “you go too far and seek to prove too much. The wrongs and atrocities of slavery are God knows! case enough. I doubt there being any warrant for making out the African race to be a great race” (Purchase, 2001) even as he praises her work in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. These seemingly contradictory stances become more understandable when one considers that while Dickens may have suffered from the same arrogant sense of superiority experienced by most Englishmen during this period, particularly when it came to the ‘lesser’ races of the uncivilized, he evertheless felt that slavery was wrong. Thus Dickens seems to have shared much of the world’s general contempt and lack of respect for the equal humanity of the people of Africa. He accorded them a much higher propensity for violence and a much lower potential for thought, compassion and understanding, yet he also seemed to feel that enslaving them because of these supposed racial flaws was morally wrong. Moore, for example, makes the point that Dickens’ racism peaked and then became less severe after the 1850s, in the period after the Indian Mutiny (1857) and despite aberrations such as his response to the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica (1865” (Purchase, 2001). In his defense regarding his silence on the topic of slavery, Dickens seems to have been aware that the abundance of literature available on the horrors of slavery were having little to no effect upon the people who needed to make the changes – primarily, the slave owners themselves.

This was because they were already too familiar with the sights, sounds and smells of slavery and were unable to recognize its brutality despite the obvious nature of it or the more traditional arguments being brought against it. Only by defamiliarizing the cruelty of slavery would the Southern landholders be reached. This was done by reprinting the advertisements Southerners themselves had published, taken out of the context of a completely acceptable advertisement for the return of runaway slaves and emphasizing the brutality inherent in the ads as they were seen by the people of the North and the rest of the world. And this tactic had its effect. Southern readers were shocked to see what their own newspapers looked like through unfamiliar eyes, as their indignant reviews of Dickens’ book made clear. Reprinting proved to be the ultimate technique of defamiliarization” (Claybaugh, 2006). After Dickens returned home from his tour of America, he was so disillusioned with the nation that he ceased all his transatlantic efforts and re-focused his attention on local matters. “During these same years, Dickens also wrote his great novels of reform.

But these novels tend to ridicule any attention to the world beyond the nation. … It is through local attention … that the nation as a whole will be remade (Claybaugh, 2006). Although he wrote of his American experiences in American Notes, Dickens real feelings regarding his trip to America are found in his first fictional novel following this visit. As America appears in Martin Chuzzlewit, the country is characterized in a completely negative light as well as the people being seen as violent, corrupt, and profusely spitting everywhere (Martin Chuzzlewit, 1844). From the outset, the text visualizes America as a corporeal, aggressive but rather dirty country full of menacing individuals” (Purchase, 2001). It is a prime example because it reflects how disgusted Dickens might have been while in America and dealing with it’s people on a day to day basis. Throughout Chuzzlewit as well as many of his other works, Dickens continues to allow the subject of slavery to dwindle into silence without actually addressing it to any real extent. An example of this can be seen in his treatment of the New York newspaper boys upon Martin’s arrival in America. In Martin Chuzzlewit, Dickens attacks the American press, for instance, without acknowledging what he well knew—that it was embedded in an importantly Anglo-American print culture. The first voices that Martin Chuzzlewit hears in the United States are those of newsboys, hawking the ‘New York Sewer,’ the ‘New York Stabber,’ the ‘New York Family Spy,’ the ‘New York Private Listener,’ the ‘New York Peeper,’ the ‘New York Plunderer,’ and the ‘New York Keyhole Reporter. ’ The joke is clear.

Dickens, who had been harassed by American newspapers at every turn, now accuses them of being intrusive, sensationalist, and rapacious” (Claybaugh, 2006). His disillusionment complete, Dickens spent the rest of his life focusing on more local efforts and leaving the transatlantic discourse for other writers to pursue. Through this paper, it has been shown that Dickens experienced a profound disillusionment with America as a result of his first-hand observations of the country’s real practices and structures.

The author’s almost immediate dislike of America was brought on not only by the inconsistencies in the society and inhumane practices at the prisons, but also by the uncouth manners of the public, the intrusiveness of their constant attentions and the harsh criticisms they expressed of himself. These observations are significant as it highlights how England, the mother country, continued to look down upon its upstart offspring, coarse and still uncivilized in many ways. Works Cited Claybaugh, Amanda. Towards a new Transatlanticism: Dickens in the United States. New York, New York, (2006): 440-459.

Dickens, Charles. American notes. 1842. Project Gutenburg. 28 July, 2006. Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. 1852-1853. Project Gutenburg. 30 January, 2006. Dickens, Charles. Martin Chuzzlewit. 1844. Project Gutenburg. 27 April, 2006. Grass, Sean C. “Narrating the Cell: Dickens on the American Prisons. ” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 99. 1 (Jan. 2000): 50-70. Purchase, Sean. “Speaking of them as a Body: Dickens, Slavery, and Martin Chuzzlewit. ” Critical Survey 18. 1 (2001): 1-17. Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America volumes 1 & 2. Henry Reeve. 1832 & 1840. Project Gutenberg. 21 Jan. 2006 and

Fate and Destiny in the Aeneid

Destiny, the Gods, and Fate in the Aeneid Playwright Lucius Annaeus Seneca said that “Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant,” (Beautiful Quotes) and perhaps nowhere is this idea better illustrated than in Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid. Fate drives the course of events throughout the twelve books of The Aeneid, pushing both the mortal and divine, to the unwavering destinies laid before them, and destroying those who attempt to defy, or even hinder, the course of destiny.

Today, fate is regarded as a benign force which can be easily combated with free will. However, As Virgil conveys in his epic, fate was once considered to be so unyielding that not even the gods themselves could intervene to prevent its coming to fruition. There are those in Virgil’s epic who recognize the great power that is fate, and their inability to change it, such as Aeneas, a man who carries, perhaps the largest mantle of destiny on his shoulders.

However, even though Aeneas accepts his fate, this does not free him from tribulation, as others, both human and immortal, attempt to resist fate, and alter its course according to their will. Juno, queen of the gods and the main antagonist in Virgil’s foundational fiction, is not affected by the same fate that rules over humans. Nevertheless, she actively attempts to obstruct Aeneas in his journey to fulfill his own destiny, which Juno suspects will be responsible both for the downfall of her favorite city, Carthage, and the death of her most cherished mortal, Turnus.

Although some may argue that Venus is responsible for foiling Juno’s intentions, it is ironically Juno herself, in her actions to thwart Aeneas, who brings about the fated events she tries to prevent. This is demonstrated by Dido’s death coupled with Carthage’s fated demise as well as Aeneas’ prophesied founding of Rome. Upon learning that he is fated to destroy her city of Carthage, Juno vows to do everything possible to hinder Aeneas’ course of destiny.

However, even this divine god realizes that there is no way to change what is fated, and all she can do with all of her power is meddle, perhaps even helping Aeneas’ destiny along, as Jupiter says “Even haughty Juno, who, with endless broils, Earth, seas, And heaven, and Jove himself turmoils; At length atoned, her friendly power shall join, to cherish and advance the Trojan line,” (Book 1). Juno is never informed explicitly that Aeneas will be the one responsible for destroying Carthage, though she “had heard long since that generations of Trojan blood would one day overthrow her Tyrian walls,” (Book 1).

To stem this threat the Trojans pose, Juno instructs Aeolus to cause a storm which will destroy the Trojan fleet. Venus intervenes to save the Trojans, though the initial disturbance drives their ships off-course, away from Italy and onto Carthaginian shores. Thus, in trying to destroy the Trojans and contradict fate, Juno’s storm sends Trojan ships to the very place she is trying to keep them away from, while she inadvertently elicits Venus’ protection over the Trojans. Juno therefore makes possible the first step leading to Carthage’s prophesied downfall; Aeneas’ exposure to Dido, queen of Carthage.

Not all those that go against fate have the benefit of being immortal, and Aeneas’ Carthaginian love Dido meets her demise when trying to stay him from his course. Although under the influence of Venus’ subordinate Cupid, and driven mad with love, her attempt to possess Aeneas for herself fails completely, proving that even a power such as love has no effect on the greater force of fate. Aeneas’ willingness to part with her whom he loved in pursuit of the destiny laid before him alludes to his acceptance of the role of fate within his life.

This determined pursuit of destiny is illustrated most clearly after Mercury visits Aeneas from Jupiter, who understanding that fate must be obeyed sends the message “What means thy lingering in the Libyan land? If glory cannot move a mind so mean, nor future praise from flitting pleasure wean, Regard the fortunes of thy rising heir: The promised crown let young Ascanius wear, To whom the Ausonian scepter, and the state Of Rome’s imperial name is owed by fate,” (Book 4). After receiving this message, Aeneas grows restless, “Revolving in his mind the stern command, he longs to fly, and loathes the charming land,” (Book 4).

This is all just another step towards Aeneas’ greater destiny; He flees, and Dido is driven into a suicidal rage; she throws herself upon a sword in view of all of her subjects, ending her existence, as well as her kingdoms. Despite the fact that Dido felt love for Aeneas before Juno attempted to cause their wedding, Aeneas did not, and the love he returned as a result is arguably what drove Dido into the throes of her maddened passion. Thus, without Juno’s forced nuptials, Dido would have acted more rationally in response to Aeneas’ leave, and probably would have lived.

In this way, Juno is responsible for the very fall of Carthage she struggled to prevent. With his potential wife no longer living, Aeneas is free to take on an Italian wife, a union that leads to the foundation of Rome. The manipulation of Dido by Venus, in an attempt to make the way for Aeneas easier by motivating the queen to assist him with quarter and goods, shows again how even the Gods must obey the dictates of the Fates. Even after failing to prevent the downfall of Carthage, Juno remains steadfast in her efforts to contradict fate as she tries to trap Aeneas in Sicily to prevent him from continuing to Italy.

Seeing that the Trojan women are growing tired of their journey, Juno sends down Iris to exacerbate their worries and distribute torches among them. Frightened to continue themselves, the women then set the Trojan ships ablaze while the Trojan men celebrate. Sobered by the flames, the Trojan ships are saved only when Aeneas’ prayer to Jupiter is granted and rain begins to fall. Nevertheless, the riot Juno inspires causes severe doubt within Aeneas himself, and he is unsure whether or not he should continue.

This doubt, however, brings forth encouragement from the shade of Anchises, Aeneas’ father, who is sent in Response to Aeneas’ prayer: “’I come by Jove’s command who drove away the fires from your ships… Obey the counsel… given by Nautes: embark for Italy,’” (Book 5). Aeneas is heartened by these words and gains new vigor to complete his mission, which “now stood decided in his mind,” (Book 5). Thus, if Juno hadn’t caused the Trojan women to retaliate, Aeneas would have had no need to pray to Jupiter, and the new vigor brought on by the encouragement of his father’s Ghost never would have inspired Aeneas to continue.

Therefore, Juno’s plans once again backfire and instead of discouraging Aeneas from continuing, she is in fact responsible for motivating him to push on with renewed hope. At this point, Juno recognizes that she can no longer keep Aeneas away from Italy, but decides that she might still have a chance to defeat him by stirring war between the Trojans and the otherwise welcoming Latins. To do this, Juno sends down Allecto to enrage the Latin queen, Amata, and Turnus, her favorite Latin, to oppose a wedding between the Latin Princess Lavinia and Aeneas.

Allecto then ignites war as instructed by causing Ascanius, Aeneas’ son, to kill a Latin stag. Amata and Turnus cry for war and the neutral Latin king relinquishes his power over the kingdom. Though Juno succeeds in inciting conflict and initially preventing Trojan occupation, her arousal of Latin furies proves to be the first in a series of events which lead to the fall of the Latin empire, clearing the way for fate. One of the great prophetic moments that serve to reveal the secrets of fate is the magnificent shield Vulcan makes for Aeneas.

The shield holds various images of Rome’s founding and magnificent future, including the battle of Actium, which hadn’t yet occurred in the time of The Aeneid, showing that the gods, though unable to change fate, are privy to more of their secrets. Throughout the epic, similar occurrences help guide Aeneas on his journey, from his lineage as told by his father, in the land of the dead, to the prophecy from his deceased wife, who tells him that “after many painful years are past, On Latium’s happy shore you shall be cast, Where gentle Tiber from his bed beholds The flowery meadows, and the feeding folds.

There end your toils; and there your fates provide A quiet kingdom, and a royal bride: There fortune shall the Trojan line restore,” (Book 2). Though fate does determine the course of all things in The Aeneid, apparently it is a power that still requires minute amounts of prodding to remain on course. Apart from the larger destiny of Aeneas to found Rome, several prophecies are made of him and his men that are fulfilled in the course of The Aeneid, sometimes even just by accident.

Aeneas’ wife had made mention “a queen for you” (Book 2) when speaking his prophecy, which later turned out to be Lavinia, the Italian princess with whom the basis of Rome is set. It was also prophesized that the Trojans would eat their own tables by a witch who claimed “Fierce famine is your lot for this misdeed; Reduced to grind the plates on which you feed,” (Book 3). This also comes to pass when, the Trojans sit down to feast, and “Beneath a shady tree, the hero spread his table on the turf, with cakes of bread… and soon devour, to mend the scanty meal, their cakes of Flour.

Ascanius this observed and smiling said ‘See, we devour the plates on which we fed,’” (Book 7). In these ways Aeneas and his company prove that prophecies must always be fulfilled and they must never make a mindful effort to prevent the progress of destiny, in fact, as proven here, destiny is sometimes accomplished through unconscious proceedings. However, the character of Turnus, Lavinia’s suitor, proves to be the polar opposite of Aeneas when it comes to fulfilling one’s destiny.

Turnus knows that he is not destined for greatness, but rather to step aside for Aeneas, for the prophecy told King Latinus to “Seek not, my seed, in Latian bands to yoke Our fair Lavinia, nor the gods provoke. A foreign son upon thy shore descends, whose martial fame from pole to pole extends. His race, in arms and arts of peace renowned, not Latium shall contain, nor Europe bound: ‘Tis theirs whatever the sun surveys around,” (Book 7). Determined to change the tides of his destiny, Turnus builds an army to defeat Aeneas, but all to no avail.

Turnus fails even to burn their unattended ships, for destiny will not allow him to violate his fate and conquer the Trojan army, and as Dido was struck down after her attempt to overcome destiny, so also was Turnus, defeated in battle by Aeneas, after attempting to slay him, further illustrating that to go against your pre-ordained destiny is not only foolish, but often times fatal in The Aeneid. At first, it seems the rage Juno rouses in Turnus is enough to keep the Trojans at bay, as Turnus kills many influential Trojan allies, notably a young Pallas.

However, Aeneas quickly retaliates in response to Pallas’ death and Juno is forced to separate Turnus from the battle to save his life. It is at this point that Juno is told by Jupiter that Turnus must be killed sooner or later and that she can only act to delay his death, not prevent it (Book 10). We therefore learn that it is Turnus’ fate to die, a fate which Juno clearly tries to contradict by momentarily saving his life from Aeneas. However, not only is Juno powerless to change this fate, but she is largely responsible for the now Inevitable death of Turnus since she incites him to fight to prevent Aeneas’ destiny in the first place.

As a subsequent result of Juno’s attempt to save Turnus, Turnus begins to lose support from his army and is forced to settle the war with Aeneas in a fight to the death. When the fight finally commences, Aeneas soon has Turnus pleading for mercy. Aeneas is initially moved by Turnus’ reasoning, but spots the young Pallas’ belt on Turnus’ arm. This sight reminds Aeneas of Turnus’ own brazen ruthlessness and Aeneas executes Turnus, which clears the way for the founding of Rome.

Since Juno originally inspires Turnus to fight against the Trojans, and Turnus murders Pallas, she secures Turnus’ doom. When Juno tries to save Turnus’ life for her own pity’s sake, Turnus loses his men’s support and is thrown to Aeneas, who serves to fulfill Turnus’ destiny as well As Aeneas’ own. Therefore, Juno, both in her actions to hinder Aeneas’ destiny and save Turnus’ life, actually makes herself indirectly responsible for Turnus’ fated death as well as Aeneas’ prophesied founding of Rome.

Following her realization that her actions to prevent destiny are futile, Juno tries to exercise the last ounce of influence she has by pleading to her husband in order to abolish the Trojan name: “‘Never… change [the Latins’] old name… never make [the Latins] alter their dialect or dress. Let Latium be… Troy fell, and with her name let her lie fallen,’” (Book 12). Jupiter willingly agrees, and Juno’s wishes are granted. Thus, it seems that even though Juno concedes that she cannot win, she struggles to erase the Trojan name from memory, a subtle revenge she is finally awarded.

However, in having this plea granted, she resigns her grudge against Trojan prosperity, withdraws herself from the epic as the antagonist, and clears the way for Roman success, exactly what had been prophesied. By finally having her desire to cause injury to the Trojan race fulfilled, she relinquishes her mischievous efforts and makes the fate she originally sets out to prevent possible. Among all the players in The Aeneid, only Jupiter seems to not be subject to the Fates, as when Venus worries that that Aeneis’ foretold destiny will not come to pass, he claims that “No councils have reversed my firm decree.

And, lest new fears disturb thy Happy state, know, I have searched the mystic rolls of Fate,” (Book 1). From this, it appears almost as if fate and the will of Jupiter are one and the same. No matter what your beliefs on the subject are, the fact that destiny, the Gods and fate were central in Virgil’s epic poem is undeniable. As Seneca claimed, the great power of fate truly did drive Aeneas to his goal of Rome, and drug all of those who tried to hinder his course, both man and god alike. In the ancient world of The Aeneid, following the will and course of the Fates is the only one true way to live life to its fullest.

The Trojan Aeneas embodies this ideal, and on that value, overcoming all who oppose him, he builds the great city of Rome, and finally fulfills his destiny. Works Cited iLand. 10 December 2008. “Beautiful Quotes about fate. ” 11 December 2008. http://mayaa. rediffiland. com/blogs/2008/02/05/beautiful-quotes-on-FATE-. html Virgil. The Aeneid. Bibliomania: 10 December 2008. http://www. bibliomania. com/0/2/173/1106/frameset. html Virgil. The Aeneid. Trance. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated: 2006.

Relationships, Personality, Violence, and Manhood in the Third Life of Grange Copeland

Relationships, personality, Violence, and Manhood in the Third Life of Grange Copeland The novel ‘The Third Life of Grange Copeland’ by Alice Walker can be seen as a set of lives depicting the gradual formation of the personality living in the environment of racial discrimination and striving for human happiness. Alice Walker demonstrates how families can be adversely affected by the culture in which they live, and are often blind to its effects through the depiction of ruthless and violent treatment of family members.

The author argues the impact of economical and racial oppression on the development of manhood and interpersonal relationships in addition to centralizing social inequality and its interference with the family life of ordinary people. The author demonstrates relationships between a father and his son. Through this idea, Walker tries to depict the theme of manhood. Brownfield, a victim of the lack of love, especially by the father, is metaphorically blind because he is unable to love. Grange’s coldness and occasional violent words toward Brownfield set a ruthless violence in motion.

Brownfield’s father “never looked at him”; (Walker, 9) consequently, Brownfield never develops a sense of self worth. Furthermore, at least once Grange utters something violent to Brownfield; “I ought to throw you down the god dam well. ” (Walker, 12) Racial inequality and discrimination is one theme raised by the author as in the presence of white people, Grange’s figurative blindness intensifies: “A grim stillness settled over his eyes and he became an object”. (Walker, 8) Grange also has “veiled eyes”: they are unseeing of the truth.

When drunk, he “would make his way across the pasture and through the woods, headlong, like a blind man”. (Walker, 14) Grange is blind to options of how he can make his life different from his forefathers and how he does not have to be reduced to the low position in society, which he accepts. Manhood is also stressed through symbolism in the novel. The gun is a symbol of masculinity as it frequently appears and represents the violence, which will dominate the lives of the characters. Grange sits on the porch, “cradling something in his arms.

It was long and dark, like a steel rod, and glinted in the light. ” (Walker, 27) A gun appears again later in the novel when Grange has a final chance to rectify some of his past mistakes and attempts to show Brownfield that to continue the way he has, is not necessary, but Brownfield has only followed in his father’s footsteps of violence. “Brownfield lurched out onto the porch waving his shotgun. ” Mem, his wife, “walked blindly toward the gun and Brownfield shot her face off”. Her child asks piteously, “’She sleeping . . . in’t she? ’ trying to see closed eyes where there were none at all”. (Walker, 172) Mem is blind also, which manifests itself in her refusal to see Brownfield for the fiend he has become, or to see herself as a whole person who deserves a normal life. This is evident in the question posed by her children: why had she walked toward him after she saw the gun? Was she blindly accepting the way things had become and her fate? There is even the possibility that she welcomes it as a final end to the continuous violence as her only option.

The concept of violence is expressed through the relationships between family members and early in the novel, violence is shown to be a part of the culture in which the Copelands live. Questions to ask are what is it in a society or a culture that creates the perpetual cycle of violence and why do individuals, generation after generation continue to accept it? Part of it is that it has happened before and future generations follow the example of those, who have lived before them and are never taught any other choices. For example, Brownfield watches as his father berates his mother, calling her names and treats her poorly.

The notes of violence are shown after Brownfield’s father has abandoned the family and his mother is dead. The young Brownfield did not start out violent, as most children don’t. He had the same dreams that all the young share, of a better life than their parents. He eventually goes on to meet Mem and falls in love, with dreams of giving her a good life, including treating her well. Brownfield wants to treat Mem better than his father treated his mother, but His dreams soon are confronted by the reality of the Southern world, where he is still a black and considered no more than a slave.

Under the system he is doomed to be indebted to a white master, live in abject poverty, and have his masculinity threatened. He reached a level attained by earlier generations, of frustration and hopelessness. As a result, the wife Brownfield had found so attractive and loved so much became the victim of beatings, out of frustration and depression. Mem, with her own depression and frustrations, aged rapidly and was changed by Brownfield. “Everything about her changed, not to suit him…He changed her to something he did not want, could not want, and that made it easier for him to treat her in the way he felt she deserved. (Walker, 57) Mem had entered the novel as an educated woman, a schoolteacher; this combined with Brownfield’s illiteracy only adds to his frustration and lack of self-esteem. Brownfield wants to believe in himself as ‘the man’ and as such the provider. He feels his masculinity is threatened when Mem, frustrated and sick of living in leaky cold huts decides to take matters into her own hands; she finds a job and a decent home for the family to live in. Brownfield despises her because she will earn more money than he ever has and does a better job taking care of the family than he ever could resulting in him refusing to move.

Mem, for the first time responds with violence. She threatens him with the shotgun, pointing the barrel at his genitals and pistol whipping him. She has decided to lay down the rules, which include demanding an end to the beatings. Brownfield complies and it appears for a number of years that the family is content. (Walker, 133) However, Brownfield only complies, to wait for her to fall. He cannot accept his contentment because he did not achieve it by his own hand. He wants to avenge himself against Mem. He wishes to rid himself of her and remove her from the world, but he waits patiently to actually do it.

Walker stresses a gradual formation of personality living under the pressure of personal emotions and social injustice. Brownfield’s children openly despise him, frequently plotting in their childish ways to murder him. Their thoughts unknowingly are similar to their mother’s, but no one acts. The children are witnesses to their mother’s murder and all but one are taken north. Ruth who remains behind goes to live with her grandfather Grange. Grange had returned to try to right what he had done wrong with Brownfield, but Brownfield has hardened beyond the point of forgiveness or love.

Grange wants to demonstrate to Brownfield that life does not have to continue in abject poverty, that caring for one’s family is important and violence is not necessary, but Brownfield does not listen. Grange himself turns to Ruth as the object of his new life, loving her and teaching her to better herself, not to become white but to be a better black. Despite his ‘new life’, Grange does harbor some of his old self, as seen in his treatment of Josie. He calls her names and berates her for being nothing but a whore. “You lazy yaller heifer! ” he would start out, “and don’t you come saying nothing defending to me.

You no-good slanderous trollop, you near-white strumpet out of tallment, you motherless child, you pig, you bloated and painted cow! Look to your flopping udders hanging out in mass offense! You lustful she-goat! Close up your spreaded knees before this innocent child and my gray head! ” (Walker, 179) He also continues to hate white people, if not more than before. He views them as evil, only there to try to take away from him what is his. (Walker, 197) In his hatred, although somewhat justified, he allows a pregnant white woman to die in a lake in New York.

He occasionally says that the reason he puts up a fence is to draw the line against whites and blacks and should they attempt to cross it, he will kill them. (Walker, 245) He does not hold Blacks in high esteem either, allowing themselves to be controlled by the whites and continuing in their violent behaviors. Both in the North and the South, violence in the family is common. In New York, Grange speaks of the deacons with their “rough pious hands that beat their women to death when they couldn’t feed them…” (Walker, 154) Violence in the family appears present everywhere.

The novel ends with the last act of violence in the Copeland family as Grange shoots and kills Brownfield, rather than let him take Ruth and subject her to his miserable ways. In turn, Grange flees, only to die at the hands of law enforcement. We are left with the hope that in educating her and loving her, Grange has broken the cycle of violence at least in one family. Works Cited Walker, Alice. The Third Life of Grange Copeland. Washington Square Press. 2000. Assisted in research by Nikkala Martinez. (646)400-2584. Assisted in editing by Omar Amin. (201)388-3081.

Mother and Daughter Relationship in “Lucy”

Mother-Daughter Relationships in “Lucy” Relationships are a prominent and frequent theme throughout many of Jamaica Kincaid’s novels. One example of this can be seen in “Annie John,” which deals with relationships the protagonist has throughout her childhood, particularly, the relationship between mother and daughter. This paper however will explore the mother-daughter relationship that can be found in “Lucy” and how it affects the protagonist’s relationships with the people around her. Lucy” tells the story of a young woman who escapes a West Indian island and reaches North America to work as an au pair for Mariah and Lewis, a married couple, and their four girls. As in her other books, Kincaid uses the mother-daughter relationship as a means to expose some of her underlying themes. And this is clear within the plot of “Lucy. ” Lucy has an ambivalent relationship with her mother; one that has moved from a very intimate and loving one to one full of deception and contempt.

Lucy does not like her mother, but she does love her. The reader can see evidence of her mixed feelings toward her mother when Lucy quickly walks away from her mother after criticizing her mother’s traditional Christmas Eve viewing of a Bing Crosby movie. She states that her “thirteen-year-old heart couldn’t bear to see her face . . . , but I just couldn’t help myself” (Kincaid, 1991). Lucy’s mother tries to impose her way of life on her daughter, being puzzled about how someone from inside her would want to be different from her (Barwick, 1990. I had come to feel that my mother’s love for me was designed solely to make me into an echo of her; and I didn’t know why but I felt that I would rather be dead than become just an echo of someone” (Kinkaid, 1991). Despite her physical absence, however, Lucy’s mother continually occupies Lucy’s thoughts, inspiring feelings of anger, contempt, longing, and regret. This is put side by side with the various aspects of British culture imposed on Lucy’s home island. As a child, Lucy attended “Queen Victoria Girls’ School” (Kinkaid, 1991), a school with a British educational system where she was taught British history and also British literature.

Lucy remembers being forced to memorize British poems, specifically one about daffodils. She “had been made to memorize it, verse after verse, and then had recited the whole rhyme to an auditorium full of parents, teachers, and [her] fellow pupils” (Kinkaid, 1991), even though she would not actually see the flower until becoming almost twenty years old; Lucy sees the daffodils Mariah shows her as a reminder of her colonial education. The reader can notice a parallel between the interactions between Lucy and her mother, and Lucy’s colonized country and its colonizer or “mother country,” England.

The presence of her mother haunts Lucy’s mind while she is in America; she cannot seem to escape the traits she has inherited. Although Lucy’s mother seems to allow some kind of separation by allowing Lucy to travel to America, she has no intention of making it forever and doesn’t want to completely let go of Lucy; she consistently writes her letters. Similarly the legacy of colonialism is almost impossible to escape from. It has integrated itself into the ways of the country and its native people and it takes great efforts to even try to slightly disconnect from it.

Lucy struggles to settle what she has internalized from her mother with what she discovers about herself, “I was then at the height of my two-facedness: that is outside I seemed one way, inside I was another; outside false, inside true” (Kinkaid, 1991). The mother-daughter dynamic of Lucy and her mother can also be seen as a vessel through which the system of patriarchy is imposed on Lucy. The relationship begins to decline upon the birth of Lucy’s three brothers, when Lucy realizes the greater hopes that her mother and father have for their “three male children” than those they have for her.

She understands her father’s expectations for his sons who are “his own kind,” but to see her mother agree was seen as a betrayal by her (Kinkaid, 1991). “I did not mind my father saying these things about his sons, his own kind and leaving me out… I did not expect him to imagine a life for me filled with Excitement and triumph. But my mother knew me well as well as she knew herself: I, at the time, even thought of us as identical; and whenever I saw her Eyes fill up with tears at the thought of how proud she would be at some deeds her son had accomplished; I felt a sword go through my heart, for there

Was no accompanying scenario in which she saw me, her only identical offspring, in a remotely similar situation” (Kinkaid, 1991). Patriarchy, like colonization, is a system of oppression; a system that imposes male dominance over the female. Lucy’s mother appears to be a victim of That (Barwick, 1990). According to Lucy, her mother was “devoted” to her husband and her “duties; a clean house, delicious food for [the family], a clean yard, a small garden …] the washing and ironing of [their] clothes. ” Unfortunately, she was devoted to a man who “would die and leave her in debt,” (Kinkaid, 1991).

Despite her intelligence and strength, Lucy’s mother confines her role to the sexist and stereotypical roles linked to women. In Lucy, this festers further resentment, because she wonders why a woman as strong as her mother would marry an irresponsible man who would die and Leave her in debt, “I am not like my mother… She should not have married my father. She should not have had children. She should not have thrown away her intelligence. She should not have paid so little attention to mine… I am not like her at all” (Kinkaid, 1991).

Mariah’s husband Lewis is also used to demonstrate the harmful system of patriarchy. Although the reader hardly ever encounters him, his infidelity with Mariah’s best friend, results in the ruin of their family. Like the British forces that aren’t always present whether during or after the colonial period, these secondary male characters seem to have a huge and devastating impact on the female characters lives and affect them profoundly through their dealings. Kincaid further complexes her criticism of the mother daughter relationship by exploring the relationship between Lucy and Mariah.

Mariah takes on a maternal Role for Lucy acting as her surrogate, “The times that I loved Mariah it was because she reminded me of my mother. The times that I did not love Mariah it was because she reminded me of my mother” (Kinkaid, 1991). Differing from the relationship with Lucy’s mother, Mariah takes Lucy under her wing and attempts to treat Lucy as one of her own. However this relationship is never fully built. It is complex because of the employer-employee, or more bluntly put, master-servant dynamic, which is only complicated by race.

When Mariah takes her to the field of daffodils, Lucy thinks that if she had “an enormous scythe, [she] would just walk along the path, dragging it alongside [her] and [she] would cut the flowers down at the place where they emerged from the ground” (Kincaid, 1991). And yet, Lucy knows Mariah simply wishes her to love this field of flowers, perhaps for her to love them as much as Mariah has grown to love Lucy. But Lucy is not capable of such love, at least not at this point in her life. She tells the reader that “nothing could change the fact that where she saw beautiful flowers, I saw sorrow and bitterness” (Kincaid, 1991).

Part of this anger perhaps comes from recognizing that Mariah longs to share her world with Lucy, maybe even to the point of drawing her in as part of that world. Lucy, however, wants no part of anyone else’s world; she resists being like Mariah, just as she has resisted her mother for so long. Lucy actually surfaces as an unruly character that fights an internal and emotional battle with herself to reconstruct the person she once was into the person she is learning to be (Barwick, 1990). In an effort to quiet her mother’s voice within her, Lucy refuses to open any of the letters her mother sends her.

She makes it “the object of [her] life” to “put as much distance between myself and the events mentioned in her letter as I could manage” (Kinkaid, 1991). For example, she uses her sexuality as a tool of defiance as well, “I reminded her that my whole upbringing had been devoted to preventing me from becoming a slut; I then gave a brief description of my personal life… as evidence that my upbringing had been a failure and that, in fact, life as a slut was quite enjoyable, thank you very much. I would not come home now, I said.

I would not come home ever” (Kinkaid, 1991). Her final defiance against her mother is to burn all the unopened letters, a symbol of their separation. Lucy eventually meets a girl named Peggy, an au pair as well, when she is taking one of the children for a walk in the park; and is fascinated by her almost despite herself. The two young women are nearly complete opposites of each other, but come to feel a mutual kinship. In fact, these differences seem ideal at first, as “what we didn’t have in common were things we approved of anyway” (Kincaid, 1991).

Despite these differences, Lucy and Peggy form a deep friendship. They share all of their troubles and personal thoughts, “even when we knew the other didn’t quite understand what was really meant” (Kincaid, 1991). When Mariah’s marriage is breaking down, Lucy moves into an apartment with Peggy. Lucy is excited by the move because she is at last becoming independent. She states that “the next day I woke up in a new bed and it was my own. I had paid for it with my own money” (Kinkaid, 1991).

But within a day of moving in with each other, Lucy is already wondering if she can remove herself from the shared living arrangements. Lucy had been unwilling to identify with anyone, fearing a loss of her own identity. Because of the strain and collapse between herself and her mother, as well as with Mariah, the relationship she has with Peggy breaks down as well. At the end, when she writes that she wished that she “could love someone so much that [she] could die from it,” she feels shame.

Life for Lucy has become like the words on the page, a “great big blur” and she is lost within herself because she cannot love and knows that that is very incorrect (Kincaid, 1991). Works Cited Kincaid, Jamaica. Lucy. New York: Plume, 1991. http://bookshare. org/. Barwick, Jessica. “Stranger in your own Skin. ” 1990. VG: Voices from the Gaps: Women Artists and Writers of Color, University of Minnesota. 15 November 2009. http://voices. cla. umn. edu/essays/fiction/lucy. html.

The American Dream and Identity Explored in “A Raisan in the Sun”

The American Dream and Identity Explored in Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” Dreams are the very essence of individuality. While we live in a world that tries to shape us into becoming what they want us to be, we have our dreams that guide us to follow our own tendencies. The American Dream is one that everyone understands; the notion is practically synonymous with the United States. Hundreds of thousands of individuals come to America to pursue this dream because they know that when they are working toward something positive, they become better individuals.

The idea of identity is closely linked with the American Dream because to have a dream, one must have some sort of idea of what one likes to do. In addition, success generally follows making attempts if one is good at something. Those that achieve the American Dream are perceived as successful, intelligent, motivated individuals. The search for self and the quest for an identity become central themes in Lorraine Hansberry’s play, “A Raisin in the Sun. ”

In the play, Lena Younger’s children, Walter and Beneatha learn what it means to think, behave, and react like an adult before the conclusion. Walter and Beneatha are searching for their identity in a world that is not going to give them much in the way of achieving anything significant for their futures. They learn different lessons about who they are as a result of their circumstances and this helps them understand what the American Dream is all about and what it is worth. Powerful characterization makes Hansberry’s play a success in that we can feel their pain as well as the pride.

Historically, the play is significant because it reflects the sentiments of many African Americans during the 1950s. Prejudice was a very real thing and racism kept many African Americans from simply achieving a decent life much less one that could be remotely close to the notion of this American Dream. This is significant because the American Dream is real to all races but many African Americans felt they were fighting a losing battle when it came to their dreams because they were still living in a white man’s world.

Things have certainly changed with the election of Barack Obama but almost 60 years ago, racism was a very real and very large stumbling block. This reality affects Walter in many ways because he sees it in action every day when he goes to work; In addition, most of the wealthy people he encounters are white. When he comes home, he lives with his mother and sister because he cannot afford to provide for his wife and child; they live in a cramped apartment where children encountering rats is not a surprising event. Walter sees the good life and wants to live that life, too.

He is working against a system that has not encouraged him to be all that he can be so his aspirations are often coupled with notions of get rich quick schemes. Walter chooses this route because he feels as though it might be the only way for him and his family to experience a better life. His identity is under assault throughout most of the play because he feels inadequate in that he cannot provide for his family. Through the deal with Willy, Walter discovers who he is and emerges a stronger and wiser man. L. M. Domina notes, that by “choosing life, they defy their struggle.

In defying their struggle, they refuse the possibility of defeat. ” (Domina) This is the essence of the play; it tells us we do not win by giving up or giving in but by moving forward despite how we feel or how things might look. A sense of self and a sense of identity are established through difficult circumstances because it is through tough times that we realize our abilities. Kimball King asserts that Hansberry emphasizes the search for identity by exploring the “pursuit of and disillusionment with the American Dream. (King 296) “She shows that the American Dream is within the black people’s grasp, though, in order to win it, they must often face and overcome not only institutionalized racism but also internal racist ideas. ” (King 296) King suggests that the Youngers’ struggle is significant because it demonstrates that everyone “strives for recognition, love, and happiness. ” (297) The old adage that anything worth having is worth fighting for is demonstrated in the Younger’s fight for what they believe to be their right and by fighting against preconceived notions about African Americans.

While racism is a theme in the play, it is not emphasized as heavily as the search for significance through identity. Domina suggests that racism is important to the structure of the play because it “considers racism specifically within the context of a particular family’s dreams. Mama Makes her decisions . . . based on her love for her family rather than primarily on an ideological opposition to segregation. ” (Domina) She is simply selecting the best neighborhood for her family to live.

Domina maintains, “It is eventually the family members’ ability to live by their own decisions rather than to simply react to the decisions of others which affords them their greatest dignity. ” (Domina) This is significant to understanding the play’s theme because the Youngers are living in a world in which they have needed to react to many circumstances. To have the chance to make a decision based on something other than their environment provides a sense of stability and pride. Walter becomes the central focus of the play because it is through him that everyone learns a valuable lesson.

He must suffer through this horrible event in order to discover his true identity. Gerald Weales notes that the play is “concerned primarily with his recognition that, as a man, he must begin from, not discard, himself, that dignity is a quality of men, not bank accounts. ” (Weales) This becomes a difficult concern in that Walter has it in his mind that he can elevate his family’s status with a simple investment. Through action, he is attempting to discover what defines manhood and he learns that it is not what he believed it to be initially.

He wants to provide a good example for his son and he would dearly love to give his family a nice home. Walter is selfish because he wants the money to himself and behaves like a rotten child when he gives all of it away. He wants to blame his life, his circumstances, and finally his mother for his troubles. He tells Lena that she does not understand him and his feelings of his life being a “big, looming, blank space–full of nothing” (Hansberry 2228) and has the nerve to tell her that she “butchered up a dream” (2238) of his. Walter cannot see beyond his own fear of failure to see what would happen if the liquor store deal fell through.

He did not consider the law of unintended circumstances and lived to regret it. Lena is the matriarchal figure that provides a solid base for her family and her dream for her family is straightforward – she wants her family to live in a nice home in a decent neighborhood. From her perspective and life experience, there really is nothing else to do with the insurance money. Weales agrees, adding that she is “a more conventional figure, the force, compounded of old virtues and the strength of suffering that holds the family together. She is a sentimentalized mother figure. (Weales) The money will provide the solution that they need to escape their immediate circumstance. Lena is also aware that this might be the only time that she has to do something significant for her family. When Walter confronts her about this issue, she tells him, “We was going backward ‘stead of forwards–talking about killing babies and wishing each other was dead . . . When it gets like that in life–you just got to do something different, push on out and do something bigger. ” (Hansberry 2238) She understands that the money is her chance to do something bigger.

David Krasner contends that Lena is determined that her children will “embrace the rightness of certain moral values that she holds. ” (Krasner 174) Her belief that no one should be owned by anyone else demonstrates her desire to expose her children to a healthy lifestyle and that includes moving into a white neighborhood because it is the safest place for her family to be. Krasner likens Lena’s attitude to that of Rosa Parks in that she is refusing to accept the constraints that society is thrusting upon her.

Lena provides Walter with “two weapons against his oppressed existence as a Chauffeur to the rich: the money that he sees as proof of having made it in America and the moral courage and acuity capable of transforming him. ” (Krasner 174) L. M. Domina suggests, “Mama cares for all living things, even those that do not seem to thrive. ” (Domina) She is less concerned about getting on someone’s good side than she is providing for her family. She also wants to do the right thing when she can. Her forgiveness of Walter despite what he has done illustrates what a caring person she is.

Domina maintains, “Throughout the play, Mama has been trying to lead Walter into the realization of his own dignity, and it is finally through her forgiveness and trust that he achieves it. ” (Domina) Lena is the anchor that the family needs to keep them still in the midst of stormy waters. The conflict between Walter and Lena is also significant to developing a sense of identity because that is what Lena wants her son to have. Charles Washington maintains that the presence of Walter and Lena and their conflict give the play its dramatic tension as well as “intellectual and emotional appeal. (Washington 112) This structure also “points to the primary meaning of the play: the tragedy of Walter’s reach for the American Dream. ” (112) Washington maintains that Walter has many positive qualities that are often overlooked until the play’s conclusion. Washington asserts that Walter has an “iron will” (112) along with high expectations and a strong determination. At times, however, these qualities reduce him to the “role of villain” (112) when compared to Lena but Washington believes this is a poor comparison.

Lena might project a more positive image but Washington suggests that this is because Lena must “rely on, and fight with, Walter using the only tools available to her: patience, understanding, selflessness, and love. ” (112) these qualities are no doubt genuine but Washington believes that there is “no real enmity” (112) between the two of them because they are both seeking to improve their lives. Washington does not believe that being African American should affect Walter too much in his aspirations. If it did, Walter would have no reason to attempt anything: good or bad.

Washington maintains that those who view Walter as a man with expectations that are too high have a problem as opposed to Walter having a problem. He asserts, “If one has been conditioned to expect little, as many Blacks have been through racism … then the demand for any degree above this conditioned less will seem extreme. ” (112) from this perspective, Lena’s dream seems more reasonable, normal, and logical. She wants her family to have a nice home in a nice neighborhood and this notion seems so much more “sensible” (113) than Walter’s dream of starting his own business.

Washington also contends that Lena is from a different era than Walter and this plays heavily in their relationship. Lena’s line of thinking is coming from a more racist society than what Walter knows. In addition, her children are modern in ways to which she cannot relate. Her fears stem from lynching while her children are unable to relate. It is the typical generation gap that parents often encounter with their children. Lena’s experiences as an African American woman have had a profound effect on her.

Racism has shaped her thought processes from a young girl to a grown woman with children of her own. Washington maintains that while Lena’s experiences did not “destroy her self-esteem, they did color her outlook on life, narrowing her perspective and restricting her beliefs about what a Black person could reasonably expect to achieve in American society. ” (113) her actions prove that she is a fighter that makes the necessary changes to ensure the best for her family. Washington says that Lena is no less a fighter when she is older and this is demonstrated in her decision to buy a house for her family.

Her decision, however, is what sets her at odds with Walter. She is still looking at her piece of the American Dream but it is not the true version of it but rather a “second-class version of it reserved for Black Americans and other poor people. ” (Washington 114) Washington also claims that she cannot be faulted for doing what she does but that her dream is unacceptable to Walter who will have “nothing less than the complete American Dream, since her version of it only amounts to surviving, not living in the fullest sense. (114) Walter did not have the same experience as Lena did and Washington posits that he is an American before he is anything else, believing in “American values, rather than stereotypes, myths, and untruths about Blacks. ” (114) He believes in the notion that in America, one can achieve anything. Washington notes that it is ironic that his family’s influences and their values are what prepared Walter to “accept mainstream American values and strive to reach his goal. ” (Washington 114) He wants the complete American Dream and Washington notes that a significant aspect of Walter’s dream is the “power that money brings.

Power being the essence of the only kind of manhood he is willing to accept. ” (118) Washington goes on to say that an aspect of Walter’s dream is a “radical change in his family’s living conditions” but it is a wider scope than what Lena intends because Walter wants more than a home in a safe neighborhood, he wants to “move up the socio-economic ladder” (118) and completely abandon poverty. In its complexity, Washington insists that Walter’s dream “rests on a morally sound foundation” (119) and the fact that he does not achieve it makes him a tragic hero of sorts.

Not in the traditional sense, of course, because Walter does redeem himself at the end of the play and within his newfound character, we find a sense of hope that he is a changed man. The most encouraging aspect of Walter’s character is the fact that he learns from what has happened. From Willy, Walter now understands that there are those that take from others and the “tooken’” (Hansberry 2258), knowing he has been taken and adding that he is “mixed up bad. ” (2258) unfortunately, he has to learn an expensive lesson when it comes with the lesson of those who take and those that allow themselves to be taken.

Walter can be commended in that he does not let the experience ruin him for life. While it is true that he threw away his family’s security, we can rest assured that he will never do such a thing again. He learns to keep his “eye on what counts in this world. ” (2258) it is as if he had to lose almost everything to come to a point in his life where he began to look at things differently. Before he was swindled, he continued to believe in getting rich quick, and had the liquor store failed, he would have simply moved on to the next scheme to make money fast.

However, he takes what he can from the lesson and turns it into a positive thing, which is incredibly difficult to do. After thinking things over, he decides that he can still salvage something from his life and takes a stand against Mr. Lindner. Walter tells him that his family is proud of who and what they are and they are planning to move to Clybourne Park because his father “earned it. ” (2261) He also tells Mr. Lindner that his family “don’t want to make no trouble for nobody or fight no causes – but we will try to be good neighbors.

We don’t want your money. ” (2261) this scene is compelling because Walter rises up to defend not just himself but also his family and his dead father. Walter undoubtedly, shocks everyone in the room. Margaret Wilkerson suggests that Walter is important to the play at this point because he “signals the wave of the future. He is restless, hungry, angry – a victim of his circumstance but at the same time the descendant of proud forebears. ” (Wilkerson) Walter is struggling to “transcend his victimhood” (Wilkerson) at this point and he does so with grace.

Wilkerson notes that when Walter refuses the payoff, he becomes the “symbolic father of the aggressive, articulate black characters. ” (Wilkerson) The family moves knowing that Walter has assumed the role of the powerful father figure that the family needs since his father’s passing. Domina claims that Walter “finally realizes that there is always something left to love, even in himself. ” (Domina) Furthermore, Walter comes to understand that “just as his dreams cannot be realized for him by others, neither can they be destroyed for him by others.

He rises into renewed dignity not simply because he has access to some money but because he has a renewed sense of himself. ” (Domina) While his change does not right the wrong that the family suffered, it goes a long way in establishing Walter in a position that allows him to be positive. In mentioning the search for identity, Beneatha cannot be overlooked. Her character evolves as the play progresses and she has Walter to thank for much of her growth. However, Beneatha is spoiled, even for a girl from such humble roots.

She jumps from one hobby to another and simply expects that someone will take care of her needs for her. She expresses interests in horseback riding, acting lessons, and other things that become a waste of money as she never stays with anything for very long. In a way, she seems to think she is entitled to certain things, such as an education. However, Beneatha is not a despicable character. While she is spoiled to a certain extent, she has drive and that goes a long way in her world. She is determined and independent and explores her heritage along with being a woman.

Beneatha is also an interesting character because she is actively pursuing a way of life that offers some sort of improvement. She is attending college and actively doing something to improve her life while it seems that Walter wants to believe in the dream but not work hard for it. Beneatha’s ultimate dream is to become a doctor. She believes it to be one of the “most marvelous things in the world. ” (Hansberry 2253) Beneatha’s dream is noble even though her perception of it might be naive. Her attitude changes as a result of Walter’s actions.

At one time, healing the sick was all that mattered to Beneatha and she truly believed that she could make a difference in the world. After Walter’s bad deal, she seems less enthusiastic about such an endeavor and confesses that healing any physical illnesses could not come “close enough to what ails mankind. ” (2254) Walter’s stupid mistake shatters his sister’s dream and allows her to witness the cruelty of the world. It is important to note that Beneatha finds a way to accept her brother’s mistake and gain some respect for him at the end of the play.

Beneatha is significant to the play because she represents the growing number of intellectual African Americans that have real dreams in a real world. She also has a realistic view on relationships. When Asagai states that love should be enough for a woman she responds with a vengeance, telling him that she is not interested in being a part of anyone else’s dream; she wants to pursue her own dream and if that happens to fit into her man’s plan, then all is good. When Asagai wants her to return to Nigeria with him, she hesitates, as if she is not ready to make such a commitment.

While she was wearing Nigerian robes earlier with pride, the notion of actually moving to a different country with a different culture is threatening, even if that country happens to be in her heritage. She comes to realize that she might be happier keeping Africa in her heritage and in the past; therefore, she does not have to face a completely new set of circumstances that she may not enjoy. Again, this action reveals that she is a strong woman not afraid of being alone or without a man.

Don Rubin suggests that the issue of identity with Beneatha who is confused about “Many things, including her identity. ” (Rubin 424) To emphasize the struggle, Hansberry presents her with two suitors. George despises Africa while Asagai encourages Beneatha to explore her African roots and heritage. In Rubin’s opinion, Beneatha’s choice is more than simply choosing one man over the other. The choice “represents a system of values, a way of life and an identity. ” (424) She knows how Asagai feels about women and she understands that she does not like that aspect of him.

She also realizes that if she relocates to another locale, she will be more dependent on Asagai than she would be in the states. This would be a situation that he would like but she would find detestable. Dreams are significant because they accentuate life and give meaning to human purpose. The American Dream is unique in that it becomes a goal of millions of people that live within its borders. The American Dream is appealing because it is not a selector of persons; hard work and perseverance allow individuals to achieve their dream.

Dreams are important because they help us determine who we are. We know more about ourselves when we are able to determine what it is we want from life and what we are willing to do to get that. For African Americans on the brink of the civil rights movement, the American Dream was significant because the fight for that dream held hands with the attempt to overcome racist thought and preconceptions. “A Raisin in the Sun” focuses on these ideas with a look at the Youngers. They have a chance to achieve that dream but they are sidetracked by Walter’s notion that he can get more.

The family’s loss is tragic because it seems to indicate a sense of finality for the family. However, the characters least likely to rise up and fight for what is right stand up and save the day. Lena is exhausted at the play’s conclusion; she is also bewildered and broken. Beneatha is so completely distraught over Walter’s mistake that she calls him a toothless rat. It would seem that he deserves the wrath of his family since he did throw their dreams away. However, Walter decides that he will not let his mistake wear him down or get the best of him. When he stands up to Mr.

Lindner, we see a new man that has pride not only for himself but also for his family. He decides that the past is finished but the future is not. Walter loses the most from his mistake with Willy but he also gains the most from the experience because he is willing to take it and turn it into something good. In short, he finds himself in all the mess. He learns the value of dreams as they relate to his family; he learns the importance of working hard for a living. He learns who he is after all is said and done and nothing is more significant than this.

The American Dream suddenly becomes something that the entire family will work together to achieve and from this work, a sense of self emerges. Works Cited Hansberry, Lorraine. “A Raisin in the Sun. ” The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Vol. II. Lexington: D. C. Heath and Company. pp. 2202-63. Domina, L. M. “An Overview of a Raisin in the Sun. ” New York: Gaile Group. 1997. Krasner, David. A Companion to Twentieth Century American Drama. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers. 2005. King, Kimball. Western Drama through the Ages.

Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group. 2007. Rubin, Don. The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre. London: Taylor and Francis. 2000. Washington, Charles. “A Raisin in the Sun Revisited. ” Black American Literature Forum. 1988. JSTOR Resource Database. Site Accessed April 21, 2008. Weales, Gerald. “Thoughts on a Raisin in the Sun. ” New York: Gale Group. 1959. Wilkerson, Margaret. “The Sighted Eyes and Feeling Heart of Lorraine Hansberry. ” Black American Literature Forum. 1983. JSTOR Resource Database. Site Accessed April 22, 2008.

Female Perspective on Communities and Relationships Between the Women of Brewster Place and Paradise

Communities in “The Women of Brewster Place” and “Paradise” It is true when it is said that, “All paradises, all utopias are designed by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in” (Online Newshour 1998). There is no perfect utopia, no place where pain doesn’t exist. The idea of paradise is just an idea because it is not reachable. No one lives in paradise and no one ever can because if they did, it wouldn’t be paradise anymore; just another world where ideas of how to make it perfect arise.

The world moves forward and its inhabitants evolve; all people have their likes and their dislikes and that has somehow integrated with our feelings and preferences towards other people, even other races and genders. Surprisingly, though humanity has largely grown past the point of outwardly expressing it (most of the time), prejudice remains at the forefront of what is hidden in our minds. There were times however, when prejudice wasn’t hidden and intolerance was shared with as many as would hear. “Paradise” by Toni Morrison and “The Women of Brewster Place” are two such examples of the types of prejudice people faced.

In “Paradise,” Toni Morrison writes about a town called Ruby that consisted of mainly African Americans. These folk believed that they were a strong community, but when things begin to become dire, the men turned their frustrations to a female community called, “The Convent” (Morrison 3). Another community having its own problems can be seen in “The Women of Brewster Place,” by Gloria Naylor; but these problems are somewhat diverse. Fundamentally, the perspectives on the feminine communities found in “Paradise” and “The Women of Brewster Place” show how prejudice toward gender and race affect the characters in the two novels.

This paper is a comparison of these two novels and how they show similarities and differences in how prejudice affects the main characters. All African American communities were a part of life before the Civil Rights Movement. Many cities had a section of town that was only for African Americans and whites refused to let them move into their own sections of town. Morrison already had knowledge about the life of blacks, yet she still researched what many of these sections were like so she could create a better story based on these lifestyles.

Morrison also wanted to show the feminine perspective of this life and how prejudice against gender affected people at that period of time. Mandolin Brassaw states, “The Convent turns itself into a paradise for the women living there, demonstrating that improvement relies on the viability of change and fluidity that the men in Ruby eschew” (Brassaw 17). Critics have argued against Morrison for the way she uses the settings of the story of the African American people, especially from the feminine perspective (Gauthier 395).

The feminine perspective of the communities in “Paradise” shows how discrimination affected the women in the novel, who lived in their own “community. ” Morrison describes an African American town that isolated itself from others who believed this would make them a strong community; what they did not realize was that their blocking out of others would not make them any safer. The men in the community set rules and standards that would keep people who were different out of their community. “That is why they are here in this Convent. To make sure it never happens again. .. That nothing inside or out rots the one all-black town without pain” (Morrison 5). Often, people believe that prejudice is shown toward people who are from different races, cultures, or ethnic backgrounds. However, the fact is that gender is also often a reason for bias. The community of Ruby wanted isolation from the white world and the one way they believed they could do this was to stop anyone who was different. The women from the Convent were different; they allowed people into the Convent that the people in Ruby would have rejected.

These women believed in giving people a second chance and not being judgmental (Staples 1998). To help the readers understand the feminine perspective, Morrison used various female characters to show how they were different than the people of Ruby; she also wanted the readers to understand the bias that the men of Ruby had toward these women (Romero 415). Morrison approached “Paradise” with the goal of presenting the way women were treated before Civil Rights. She also wanted the readers to understand that African American men were abusive to the African American women the same way that white men abused their women. Paradise presents a fuller account of a healing individual and collective historical trauma” (Romero 415). The reason for this is because, often readers are not aware of the healing that African American people have needed after the way they were treated as slaves(Romero 415). Morrison tells a story of a community that believed the right way of living was to eliminate those who were not African American or those who were of the female gender. In essence, Ruby was a town that oppressed those not living up to their standards of life, including the women living in the Convent.

In order for the citizens to prevent any type of oppression, they established “a rigid, isolationist code of behavior that refuses to allow any new ideas, beliefs, or ethnicities to interfere with their sense of racial pride and community” (Romero 416). The men in Ruby had isolated the community believing this would stop oppression, but in reality, it actually caused it. When problems were seen as beginning to occur, the men in Ruby looked for those who were different so that they could blame them; they failed to look at their own community and what was causing the problems they were having.

Prejudice can lead to violence and this is seen with the intolerance the men in Ruby had against the women at the Convent; they wanted someone to blame. Since the women at the Convent were different and they accepted others who were not accepted, the men decided that they would eliminate the problem. Morrison tells how nine men from Ruby decided to murder the women at the Convent, beginning with the only white girl (Morrison 3). The men of Ruby wanted to keep away and purge any evil from the community and often they would turn people away if their skin color was different.

These men believed that the Convent was the place that the devil owned and the only way to eliminate the problems was to murder the women. “Did they really believe that no one died in Ruby? Suddenly Pat thought she knew all of it. Unadulterated 8-rock blood held its magic as long as it resided in Ruby. That was their recipe. That was their deal. For Immortality. Pat’s smile was crooked. In that case, she thought, everything that worries them must come from women’” (Morrison 217); “the men actually wanted the women to become pure or transform away from sin, but even when the women did transform they were murdered” (Brassaw 17).

As a result, it can be seen that the men in Ruby were prejudice against gender and even against the lighter population. The men in Ruby wanted someone to blame for their problems and they looked at the women at the Convent because they were female and they were different. , the men in Ruby had stricter standards (Romero 419); The fact that the women unconditionally accepted others who had diverse races, ideas, or behaviors made them different and so, dangerous to the men’s way of life.

If women do not know their place, they can gain independent thought, strength of will, develop new ideas and goals, and challenge the way of things to make it more to their liking. “Who could have imagined that twenty-five years later in a brand-new town a Convent would beat out the snakes, the Depression, the tax man and the railroad for sheer destructive power? ” (Morrison 17). From the feminine perspective, the women did not have the prejudice that the men from Ruby had nor did they follow the standards required by the community of Ruby (Romero 419). “When problems started, the first place they looked was at the Convent.

How they come to pin the blame for this disruption on the strange women in the Convent is a tale of Faulknerian complexity and power” (Gray 1998). What Morrison shows in the novel is that prejudice is not found only in race, but also gender. While the novel, “Paradise,” shows the feminine perspective of life in the community of Ruby, the female perspective of the novel written by Gloria Naylor, “The Women of Brewster Place,” shows how difficult life can be for women. Naylor begins the story by using the epigraph from Langston Hughes’s poem, “Harlem,” that asks the guest ion about the dream deferred (Chapter VI: Contemporary Fiction 147-193).

Naylor tells about how she discovered the world of African American female writers that included Toni Morrison, Terry McMillion, and Bebe Campbell and the affect these authors had in encouraging her to become an author (DiConsiglio 16). “She discovered feminism and African American literature which revitalized her and gave her new ways to think about and define herself as a black woman” (Gloria Naylor 2009). For an African American woman who grew up with the belief that only white men could become authors, this was exciting for her. She realized that her dream of becoming an author was possible.

She also saw the need to tell stories about African American women, because most authors write either from the point of view of a white man or an African American male perspective. The novel, “The Women of Brewster Place,” is about different African American women who go through oppression and prejudice. Further, it is a novel about a community of women who suffer and struggle from different problems that life presents to them. The importance of writing from the feminine perspective is to show the way women have struggled and how they have overcome these struggles; in the past, African American women have struggled and still survived.

For instance, many African American women were separated from their husbands and even their children during slavery, times of war, etc, but they managed to survive. The point of view that Naylor wanted to present was that life is a celebration regardless of the problems faced and that the problems in the novel can be seen as a “black female experience” (Gloria Naylor 2009). The story begins by telling how Brewster Place was built and the reasons for its existence (Naylor 1). It is important to realize that Brewster Place was not originally created for the poor, but to help soldiers coming back from the war (Naylor 1).

The novel tells how Brewster Place became a dead-end street, how an African American became the caretaker of the buildings (Naylor 2), how African American women moved into these buildings, and how they would stay there. To further elaborate, “stay” means that these women would have no brighter hope for the future. “You constantly live in a fantasy world—always going to extremes—turning butterflies into eagles, and life isn’t about that. It’s accepting what is and working from that” (Naylor 85). The novel is about the community of women who lived at Brewster Place, specifically about seven different women.

The stories of these women are told from the feminine perspective. “Each woman’s story sheds light on her personal past, explains how she arrived at Brewster Place, and characterizes her position compared to the rest of the community” (Chapter VI: contemporary Fiction 147-193). What makes the novel unique is that it is about a community of women who are bound by sisterhood; the sisterhood of African American women that have brought them into Brewster Place creates the feeling of community; and these women hold little hope for improving their lives (Matus 49-65).

Brewster Place has many different people living within its confines. Although they all face discrimination, each has their own story. Kiswana Browne is one character. She is one of the six women portrayed in the novel. Kiswana, whose real name is Melanie, was born and raised in an affluent black suburb, Linden Hills, However, she dropped out of college, changes her name, and moves into Brewster Place in order to fight for the cultural and class revolution she so ardently believes in. Kiswana is young and naive but full of optimism and ideals (Gloria Naylor).

Lorraine is One half of the lesbian couple in the novel. She is light-skinned, sensitive, and overly concerned with the way people treat and judge her for her sexuality; she tries to fit in with the other women of Brewster Place but is rejected. She eventually finds comfort in Ben, whom she murders after being gang raped in an alley (Gloria Naylor). Theresa is the other half of the lesbian couple. She is darker and is a strong-willed, commanding woman who tries not to care what anyone says about her, but she is obviously disturbed by the prejudice she and Lorraine encounter. “‘They, they, they! Theresa exploded. ‘You know, I’m not starting up with this again…. Who in the hell are they? And where in the hell are we? Living in some dump of a building in this God-forsaken part of town around a bunch of ignorant niggers with the cotton still under their fingernails because of you and your theys. ’” (Naylor 134). Ben is The oldest resident of Brewster Place and a drunk. Ben is the first African-American to move into Brewster Place. He arrives from the South after his wife and daughter abandon him. He is tormented by his memories and is constantly seeking solace in alcohol.

Ben becomes a brief father figure for Lorraine, and reveals the depths of his compassion and emotion. He is killed by Lorraine after she is gang-raped (Gloria Naylor). Mattie Michael is the most important character in the novel. Mattie moves to Brewster Place late in life, after her son abandons her and forces her to lose her home. Mattie quickly becomes a surrogate mother to several of the women in the housing complex, offering love and support to women who, like her, have only one another to rely on. Mattie demonstrates how rough ife was for African Americans; similar too many African Americans in the past, Mattie suffers from abuse and betrayal. In a way she can be compared to the women in “Paradise” because she also accepts others that the community would reject. Mattie is not only seen in the beginning of the book, but she plays an important role in helping one of the other women. She offers acceptance to others because she knows what it is like to be rejected. Mattie plays the role of accepting the relationship between Lorraine and Theresa as she does not judge them because they are gay. She refuses to join in the community condemnation of Lorraine and Theresa’s lesbian relationship, preferring to mind her own business… ” (Matus 49-65). Mattie takes the feminine perspective of acceptance of women in that she believes that women can have different types of love for one another (Matus 49-65). This makes her a very valuable character because ironically, While Naylor tells the story about Lorraine, a gay woman, it is important to remember that the gay movement has been slow in acceptance even by the feminine viewpoint (Chapter VI: Contemporary Fiction 147-193). Cora Lee is yet another character.

Cora, from a young girl, is obsessed with new baby dolls, demanding a new one every Christmas of her childhood; She grows up to have a number of different children by different men (Gloria Naylor). Naylor, in essence, creates a female character who believes she has been rejected by her father when he refuses to give her any more dolls. Cora Lee desires to have babies, but the problem is that these babies (like puppies) grow up (Gloria Naylor). Often in the past, the duty of women was to have children. A look back into history will show that many African American slaves had babies they had to give up; they were sold to other slave owners.

By doing this, Naylor is trying to show how difficult it was for African American women to have children and to lose them. In Today’s World, If Cora Lee had babies and failed to attend to her older children, the children would be removed to a foster home. “Cora Lee is actually living in a fantasy world of dolls, except the dolls are babies” (Khay 2006). Only when her neighbor, Kiswana Browne tries to help Cora Lee see what she is doing to the other children does she wake up to the fact that the children are not getting their needs met. Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over” (Naylor 70). Brewster Place can be stated to be a feminine community that offers an anchor for women to survive, but also a burden because these women know there is little hope of improvement in their lives. “Brewster Place is an anchor as well as a confinement and a burden; it is the social network that, like a web, both sustains and entraps” (Matus 49-65).

These women want the same things that other women crave, but know that finding love and improving their lives is almost impossible as they have hit the end of the road. “…practically every apartment contained a family, a Bible, and a dream that one day enough could be scraped from those meager Friday night paychecks to make Brewster Place a distant memory” (77). Even the location of Brewster Place is at a literal dead end, which actually should signal to the readers that each of the women will not find their dreams. The wall separating Brewster Place from the main avenues of the city serves several important purposes.

Following its initial creation, the wall comes to symbolize the indifference with which Brewster Place is treated by the men responsible for its creation. Because of the wall, Brewster Place is economically and culturally isolated from the rest of the city. The wall has forced Brewster Place to fend for itself. For the residents of Brewster Place, the wall symbolizes the fact that for most of them, Brewster Place will be the end of the road; their lives will go no further, regardless of how much they may hope or dream (Khay 2006).

The wall, for them, represents the wall that has been built around their lives, either by failed opportunities or by a series of misfortunes. The true disastrousness of the wall becomes evident at the end of the novel. Along this, Lorraine drags her nearly lifeless body after she is gang raped, and it is from this wall that she grabs the brick she uses to kill Ben (Matus 49-65). “The Women of Brewster Place share a gender prejudice with the women of “Paradise. ” These problems for the Brewster place women is that they also “don’t know their place” in the grand scheme of things.

Mattie left her parents home at a young age and was pregnant without being married. This is seen as negative by the men of that time because a woman is supposed to save herself for the man she is going to marry. She is only supposed to have children with the man she is married to. Theresa and Lorraine are in a loving relationship, but that doesn’t matter to most that live in Brewster Place. The fact that they are lesbians make it impossible for them to gain acceptance from anyone because a woman is only “supposed to be” with a man. But I’ve loved some women deeper than I ever loved any man…. And there been some women who loved me more and did more for me than any man ever did…. Maybe it’s not so different…. Maybe that’s why some women get so riled up about it, ‘cause they know deep down it’s not so different at all” (Naylor 141). Just like in “Paradise,” Men affect the lives of these women in drastic ways. For example, Mattie’s grown up son, Basil, while out on bail after killing a man during a fight, selfishly decides to flee and forfeit his mother’s house rather than risk the chance of going to jail.

As a result, Mattie loses her house and is forced to move to Brewster Place (Matus 49-65). C. C. Baker, who is a local thug and drug dealer, rapes Lorraine after she gave him attitude earlier. C. C. was aware of her being a lesbian and this again falls under prejudice because he wanted to show her “what a real man could do” (Naylor 162). When Basil leaves, Mattie is never the same because she has lost everything and has nothing left to lose. When Lorraine is raped, her mental state degrades to the point of thinking that Ben is trying to hurt her when all he wanted to do was help; this results in her murdering him.

In essence, these two women were killed by men in their lives. If they weren’t killed physically, then definitely emotionally because all their hope was taken away. Naylor and Morrison created novels that tell the stories of women who have struggled to survive. These women live in different communities, but they are similar in the fact that they are all women struggling with problems that life presents. The characters that Naylor and Morrison create are similar in nature in the fact that they have dreams for the future that are unlikely to be fulfilled.

In the case of “Paradise,” The women were murdered and have no dreams or future at all because the men of Ruby decided it so. In the case of “The Women of Brewster Place,” although none of the women were literally killed, the women have reached the end of their perceived potential and have no hope or dreams, which essentially meansthat they were murdered inwardly and over time. All these women could have been real and they could have lived when life was difficult for African American women.

While prejudice against African Americans was a problem before the Civil Rights Movement, gender prejudice against women was also a real problem that can be seen in the female characters that Naylor and Morrison created. Violence by the men of Ruby not only killed the African American women, but they also “kill the white girl first” (Morrison 3). An assumption that can be made is that the men killed the white girl first because they might have seen her as even lower than the black women because she was white as well as being female.

Clearly, they had a bias towards all women. Prejudice led the men of Ruby to believe that the problems the community were having was caused by the behavior of the women in the Convent; They failed to consider that the cause could lie within their community and that trying to find the actual problems would have been better than murder. Morrison writes, “They think they have outfoxed the white man when in fact they imitate him. They think they are protecting their wife and children, when in fact they are maiming them” (Morrison 306).

They essentially did what they never wanted to be like; like white men who abused and murdered African American women. Their gender Prejudice against the female has caused the men of Ruby to take the lives of others who are similar to them; at least in skin tone. In Naylor’s story, Brewster Place was first created by the community (Naylor 1) and not by reclusive who want their own path outside of the community. Brewster Place possessed the type of intolerance that doesn’t aim to kill, but rather, aims to drag everyone down with it while keeping them alive to feel the pain.

In some cases, rape can be considered worse than murder because the woman that was raped has to live with what happened. in both novels, sisterhood plays a role whether it is in the Convent or in the lives of women at Brewster Place. These novels are similar in the fact that women suffer from the experiences of men. They are also similar in the fact that bias caused problems to the women that might have been prevented if the communities had been more acceptable of the women. Both novels have female characters that bring the stories alive as they embrace the sisterhood of the feminine gender.

The main characters of the women are affected by the prejudice toward the female gender. Works Cited Brassaw, Mandolin. “Sacred Spaces: Feminist Revisions in Toni Morrison’s Paradise. ” International Journal of the Humanities. 5. 11 (2008): 15-22. 14 Dec. 2009. “Chapter VI: Contemporary Fiction. ” Students’ Guide to African American Literature, 1760 to the Present (2003): 147-193. 14 Dec. 2009. DiConsiglio, John. “The Hidden World of Gloria Naylor. ” Literary Cavlcade 50. 8 (1998): 16. 18. Gauthier, Marni. “The Other Side of Paradise: Toni Morrison’s (Un) Making of Mythic History. African American Review 39. 3 (2005): 395-414. 13 Dec. 2009. “Gloria Naylar: Voices from the Gaps. ” 26 June 2009. 13 Dec. 2009. . Gray, Paul. “Books: Paradise Found. ” Time. 19 January 1998. 13 Dec. 2009. . Khay. “The Women of Brewster Place: Novel Examines the Female African American Experience. ” 18 November 2006. 16 Dec. 2009. . Matus, Jill. “Dream, Deferral, and Closure in the Women of Brewster Place. ” Black American Literature Forum 24. 1 (1990): 49-65. 13 Dec. 2009. Morrison, Toni. Paradise. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. 12 Dec. 2009. Naylor, Gloria.

The Women of Brewster Place. New York: Penguin Books, 1982. 12 Dec. 2009. “Online NewsHour: Toni Morrison. ” The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Transcript. PBS. ORG 8 Mar. 1998. 18 Dec. 2009. http://www. pbs. org/newshour/bb/entertainment/jan-june98/morrison_3-9. html. Romero, Channette. “Creating the Beloved Community: Religion, Race, and Nation in Toni Morrison’s Paradise. ” African American Review 39. 3 (2005): 415-430. 14 Dec. 2009. Staples, Brent. “Eden, Oklahoma Trouble in Toni Morrison’s Paradise. ” 14 January 1998. 13 Dec. 2009. http://slate. msn. com/? id=3039.

Presidential Greatness-Fdr

Presidential Greatness: An Analysis of FDR’s Presidency Presidential greatness has many aspects, but it primarily means demonstrating effective, inspiring, visionary, and transformational leadership in times of great challenge and crisis. There have been many effective presidents, but there have only been a few great presidents because simply being effective and successful does not make one a great president.

The distinction between presidential effectiveness and presidential greatness is that presidential greatness can only be attained when the exceptional leadership, visionary, and transformational accomplishments of a president have a long-term positive impact and change the course of American history. Franklin D. Roosevelt achieved presidential greatness because he led the United States out of the Great Depression and to victory in the Second World War.

His transformational accomplishments during his four terms as president changed the course of American history because his comprehensive reform of the economic and banking systems revived the shattered economy and generated decades of prosperity. Also, his visionary leadership during the Second World War transformed the United States from an isolationist nation into a global superpower. FDR was also one of the nation’s great presidents for a number of other reasons.

He was the first and only president to be elected to an unprecedented four terms in office, (Some believe he might have even reached a fifth term if he hadn’t died in office) handing over the presidency to Harry Truman, He reacted bravely to the national emergency of Pearl Harbor, which entered the country into World War II, As mentioned before, he resurrected the country from the Great Depression, and he was the nation’s only disabled president. His presidency accomplished a great deal, and many of the programs he implemented while in office are still in place today.

Franklin Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York on January 30, 1882, his parents were James Roosevelt and Sara Delanor Roosevelt, and he was an only child (of his father’s second marriage. He did have a much older brother who died in 1927). He did not attend traditional elementary schools or other schools because he had tutors and his parents taught him until he entered preparatory school. His parents were extremely wealthy; some considered them the “aristocracy” of American society. One iographer writes about his very privileged youth and notes, “His first trip to Europe, at the age of two, years, was followed by annum voyages between his eighth and fourteenth birthdays. At fourteen he was enrolled in the fashionable Groton School, and four years later he entered Harvard College” (Abbott 1990). He attended Groton from 1896 to 1900, and received a BA in history from Harvard in only three years, from 1900 to 1903. He studied law at Columbia University in New York where he never received a degree, but still passed the bar in 1907.

He practiced law in New York City for three years, and entered politics in 1910, when he ran for the New York State Senate and was elected. From then on, most of his life was spent in politics and public service (Biography 2007). In 1905, he married his distant cousin, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (the niece of former president Teddy Roosevelt), and they had six children; unfortunately, one died in infancy. The survivors included Anna, born in 1906, James in 1907, Elliott in 1910, Franklin, Jr. in 1914, and John in 1916.

His wife, known as Eleanor, would become one of the most famous first ladies in her own right, and is given much of the credit for Roosevelt re-entering politics after he contracted polio in 1921 Abbott 1990). Roosevelt was re-elected to the New York Senate in 1912, and began to receive national attention from the Democratic Party during this time. He supported Woodrow Wilson in the presidential election of 1912 and as a reward, Wilson named Roosevelt the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1913, a position he held until 1920 (Abbott 1990).

This experience, which occurred during World War I, helped prepare him for dealing with World War II when he was president. In 1920, the Democratic Party offered him the position of Vice-President on the Democratic ticket, but Wilson’s foreign policies were unpopular, and Warren G. Harding was elected to office. As a result, for the first time since his Senate election, Roosevelt went back into private life (Biography 2007). This was perhaps the most influential and demanding time in Roosevelt’s life. Up until 1921, he had been a vigorous and healthy young man, enjoying sports as well as intellectual pursuits.

However, during a vacation at Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Roosevelt fell ill. He had contracted polio, and the disease paralyzed his legs. While he could sometimes struggle to his feet with the aid of canes or crutches, he spent the majority of the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He was only thirty-nine when he was stricken with the disease, but with encouragement from his wife and friends, he convalesced and then re-entered the political arena (Abbott 1990). In 1924, he nominated New York Governor Alfred E. Smith for the presidency.

Smith lost the nomination, but ran again in 1928; when he suggested Roosevelt replace him as governor. Roosevelt won the election for New York Governor in 1928, and was re-elected in 1930. In 1932, he was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the Presidency, which he won, defeating Herbert Hoover (Abbott 1990). One of the reasons Roosevelt was elected was his no-nonsense approach to the Great Depression that was gripping the country after the stock market crash in 1929. His solutions were unique, but they are lasting legacies to the man, his vision, and his approach to problems (Walker 2003).

Roosevelt knew the American people wanted a solution from the terrible days of the Great Depression. His first act as president was to create a special session of Congress that he called “The First Hundred Days. ” During these first one hundred days in office, he was determined to make sweeping changes that would help end the depression and get Americans back to work (Biography 2007). These first hundred days in office accomplished a wide variety of goals and objectives, and created many new government agencies set to deal with the economy, employment, and agriculture.

Some of the agencies he created in these first hundred days include the AAA which is the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to support farm prices and get people back to farming and agriculture, the CCC which is the Civilian Conservation Corps that employed young men across the country in forests and other natural areas, the FDIC which is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to ensure funds in banks were ensured and the banks would not fail again, and the NRA which is the National Recovery Act that encouraged industry to voluntarily raise wages, regulate hours, and create employment (Biography 2007.

Roosevelt approached the Great Depression head on, creating a variety of measures set to get people back to work while shoring up the economy. One of the greatest problems of the Great Depression was severe unemployment, so Roosevelt created government agencies to put people back to work. However, another problem had been widespread bank failure because people rushed to the banks to take out their money all at once, and the banks could not cover all the deposits. When Roosevelt was inaugurated on March 4, 1933, the first thing he did was close all the banks n America on March 6 (Abbott 1990. They remained closed for one month to help them regain their equilibrium and funding. In an address to the nation in July 1933, he said, “One month later ninety per cent of the deposits in the national banks had been made available to the depositors. Today only about five per cent of the deposits in national banks are still tied up” (Roosevelt 1946). He also implemented the FDIC (still in existence today) to ensure the deposits in all banks are ensured in case of a disaster or panic; he knew this was a major priority of the first hundred days.

In his inaugural address to the nation he said, “In our progress toward a resumption of work, we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order: there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments, so that there will be an end to speculation with other people’s money; and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency” (Roosevelt 1946). Banking was at the forefront of his policies in the first hundred days, but there were many other priorities, as well.

In addition to closing the banks and implementing many new federal agencies during the first hundred days, he and Congress drafted legislation regarding mortgages and loans. They created the Home Loan Act, the Farm Loan Act, and the Bankruptcy Act, which all helped safeguard property owners and workers who were out of work. There were also stricter regulations for the stock market, which had essentially created the Great Depression when it crashed in October 1929. He also created the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), which Congress allocated millions of dollars to help those in the most need around the country Biography 2007).

However, Roosevelt did not sit back after the first one hundred days in office. The Great Depression essentially continued throughout the 30s until the advent of World War II, and because of this, Roosevelt continued to create programs and agencies that would help the country get back on its feet throughout his administrations. Roosevelt knew one hundred days would not be enough to cure the ills of the country, and so, he created new policies throughout his first administration. Many of these policies are referred to as the New Deal, which continued through 1936 and the next presidential election.

Some of the most meaningful legislation that occurred during the New Deal was the Works Projects Administration (WPA), which was a far-reaching program to put Americans back to work. The WPA implemented a huge building program including dams and other public works projects that employed Americans all over the country; it was a time of massive exploration and building, from highways to public buildings and monuments. The project was meant to put blue-collar workers back to work, but it also designated programs for artists, photographers, writers, and other creative white-collar workers who were also desperate for work (Abbott 1990).

The New Deal also created various social programs aimed at helping people get back to work, but also to ensure all those in society were taken care of. Roosevelt created the Social Security Act in 1935 that would provide monthly payments to everyone over the age of 65, and would provide benefits to surviving spouses and disabled people as well; The Social Security Act is still in existence today and still provides income and assistance for millions of Americans. One writer calls Social Security one of Roosevelt’s most enduring legacies.

He writes, “Roosevelt’s other profound legacy, the transformation of the federal government into an instrument of income redistribution through Social Security, which established the responsibility of the state for the welfare of its elderly citizens” (Walker 2003). It was relatively unheard of at the time, and it is one of Roosevelt’s enduring legacies. Many of these programs were initiated by Roosevelt and his advisors and then sent to Congress, while Congress passed and modified several acts on their own.

Much of this depended on Roosevelt closely working with Congress and selling his policies to the American people, which he did with weekly radio broadcasts that he called “Fireside Chats. ” Many of these “chats” have been preserved on tape and in print, and they show a man who was determined to end the depression and put Americans back to work, no matter the cost or difficulties involved. Many critics of Roosevelt and his policies felt his policies were too liberal or socialistic, and that he put the country in deficit spending.

As the country began to slowly emerge from the Great Depression, production and jobs did begin to increase, but it was the war in Europe that really brought the country out of the depression. Because of events in Europe and Asia, Roosevelt also had to deal with foreign policies and increasing world tensions on the eve of World War II (Abbott 1990). Presenting an informed analysis of the main controversial issues surrounding the Office of the presidency requires examining how a president deals with controversies nd frames issues in order to generate public support for him and diminish public support for his political opponents. For example, the expansion of direct government intervention in the economy was controversial, but FDR framed it as an absolute necessity and a course of action that would have long-term positive effects (Landy and Milkis 2001). FDR achieved presidential greatness through effective, visionary, and inspiring leadership during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, when an unprecedented economic crisis destroyed the confidence of the American people in their government and economic system.

Through fireside chats, speeches to the nation, and direct interaction with Americans during his travels throughout the United States, he inspired Americans to believe in themselves, restored their confidence in government, and demonstrated the self-confidence, courage and determination required of presidents when crisis threatens and the survival of the nation is at stake (Neustadt 1991).

During the Great Depression, FDR faced specific challenges such as massive unemployment, the collapse of the banking system, loss of public confidence in the government, and the threat that fascism or communism would emerge in the United States (Rothbard 2000). He was trying to achieve a restoration of economic stability, but in a broader economic context, he was trying to reform the banking and economic systems because greed and corruption had been the primary causes of the stock market crash in 1929 which had triggered the Great Depression.

Critically examining the aspects of leadership and the ways in which to evaluate the success or failure of presidents requires analyzing whether they achieved their goals and whether their achievements had a long-term positive impact. FDR’s transformational accomplishments in his first two terms demonstrate that the distinction between presidential greatness and presidential effectiveness is based upon the scale and historical impact of a president’s effectiveness.

For example, FDR’s comprehensive economic and banking reforms not only had a short-term positive impact on the entire nation, but a long-term one as well (Landy and Milkis 2001). If FDR’s actions as president had only had a short-term positive impact, he would have been seen as an effective president but not as a great president. His transformational impact on American government demonstrates that aspects of leadership such as a visionary approach to governing play a vital role in determining whether a president achieves reatness or is merely effective over the short-term. In terms of historical and political context, FDR governed during the worst depression in American history, when one out of every three Americans was out of work and the danger of complete economic collapse was very real. When conditions are so bad for so many people, frustration and anger can intensify to such an extent that violence and chaos spread throughout society. Economic collapse can and often does lead to the collapse of the political system and results in revolution or dictatorship.

Fortunately, this dire outcome was avoided because FDR was very effective during his first one-hundred days as president (Neustadt 1991). Critically important legislation was passed in Congress and his leadership convinced millions of Americans that the ideals of courage, determination, and hard work would get America through the Great Depression. His effectiveness continued throughout the rest of his first term because he brought the American economy back from the brink of complete collapse and generated jobs Through programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration.

In discussing the relevant scholarly literature on presidential greatness, it is evident that historians and political scientists are in general agreement that FDR was a great president because his leadership style was inspirational and was characterized by charismatic, transformational, and situational elements of leadership. Furthermore, as Erwin Hargrove notes in his book The Effective Presidency, “political leadership must contain a moral element and must be in accord with the ideals embedded in American culture if it is to be fully effective” (Hargrove 2008).

These elements were reflected in FDR’s New Deal policies, which were based upon the traditional American ideals of fairness and equality. His New Deal agenda was transformational in a political and economic context, and many of his economic and political policy responses to the Great Depression reflected his rejection of Hoover’s failed policies and determination to restore fairness and equality to America’s economic system (Rothbard 2000). As the discussion on Chapter 12 of Debating the Presidency notes, “great leadership requires being an agent of democratic change” (Ellis and Nelson 2009).

FDR was an agent of democratic change during the Great Depression and achieved this change through communicating effectively in order to generate and maintain public support for his transformational New Deal policies. His fireside chats and public speeches restored the faith of American citizens in their government and his New Deal Programs were exactly what were needed for economic recovery. During the New Deal, Roosevelt again ran for the presidency and was overwhelmingly re-elected in 1936. He continued his work domestically, but began to broaden his foreign outlook as well.

He was again re-elected in 1940, after Germany invaded Poland, which marked the beginning of World War II in Europe. In 1940, Roosevelt ran as a peace candidate who promised to keep the country out of the war (Biography 2007); That would all change of course, at the end of 1941. Roosevelt’s foreign policies were complex and vastly important to the nation. In 1933, as a reaction to trade difficulties with Central and South America, Roosevelt created the Good Neighbor Policy, which “emphasized cooperation and trade rather than military force to maintain stability in the hemisphere” (Good Neighbor Policy 2003).

Throughout the early 1930s, Roosevelt continued to work for foreign peace and against intervention by one country into another. Roosevelt first spoke of his good neighbor policy during his inaugural address, so it was not a new idea that came into being as the situation in Europe deteriorated. He says, “In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor–the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others” (Roosevelt 1946). In a 1935 speech, he continued this theme.

He states, “The primary purpose of the United States of America is to avoid being drawn into war. We seek also in every practicable way to promote peace and to discourage war” (Roosevelt 1946). Many critics of Roosevelt felt the policy was isolationist and kept the United States from interacting with European nations during a time of crisis, but at the time, most people supported the policy and hoped to keep out of the war in Europe. While America remained a neutral ally in the first years of World War II, Roosevelt recognized the threat Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party represented to Europe and democracy.

In May, 1941 he says of Hitler, “Adolf Hitler never considered the domination of Europe as an end in itself. European conquest was but a step toward ultimate goals in all the other continents. It is unmistakably apparent to all of us that, unless the advance of Hitlerism is forcibly checked now, the Western Hemisphere will be in range of the Nazi weapons of destruction” (Abbott 1990); He recognized Hitler was a great threat, but still felt Europe could combat him on their own and without American intervention.

In his attempt to keep Hitler from world domination, he gave aid to Great Britain with sea escorts to help ensure supplies arrived safely, and provided them with weapons and ammunition (Abbott 1990). In another address in October 1941, he notes, “For example, I have in my possession a secret map made in Germany by Hitler’s government by the planners of the new world order. It is a map of South America and a part of Central America, as Hitler proposes to reorganize it” (Roosevelt 1946).

Roosevelt recognized Hitler’s menace, but it was the Japanese who would force him to actually put the United States in jeopardy in Europe and Asia. On December 7, 1941, at approximately 8am (Hawaii Time), the Japanese attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the United States was sucked into World War II. Roosevelt’s speech to Congress called the attack “a day which will live in infamy” (Roosevelt 1946), and it is still recognized as one of the darkest days in American history, outdone only by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Immediately after hearing about the attack, Roosevelt drafted a speech he would deliver to Congress the next day on December 8. In it, he asked Congress to declare war on Japan, and because Japan was an ally of Germany, Germany as well. This brought the U. S. directly into World War II. In the speech, he noted Japan had launched several simultaneous attacks against other Pacific nations such as Hong Kong and Midway Island. He says, “Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves.

The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation” (Roosevelt 1946); However, Roosevelt did not simply ask Congress to declare war and then did nothing to support it. As expected, Roosevelt quickly had a broad plan that would help ensure American superiority in machinery and manpower. In a December 9 address to the nation, he noted he was asking any industry involved in warfare machinery or production to work seven days a week at increased production.

He also urged companies to build more new plants quickly, so they could add to the production of wartime necessities, such as planes, ships, ammunition, and transportation. At first, rationing did not take place, but later during the war, Roosevelt would implant food and some material rationing, such as gas and rubber, to ensure there were enough raw materials to service the armed forces first (Abbott 1990). By early 1942, however, rationing was in place, and the American people were getting used to doing without everything from sugar to butter and nylon stockings.

Roosevelt went into action immediately after the attacks on Pearl Harbor and showed the nation a strong and determined man who was resolute in righting the wrong against the American people. He brought the country into the war as a safety measure, and then ensured the American production industry was up to the challenge. He also met with allied leaders many times in an attempt to forge peace, but he would not live to see it. Of course, the United States went on to dominate the war, winning the European war on “V-E Day;” After that, Eventually, Germany did finally sign a surrender in Berlin.

Victory in the Pacific came on August 15, 1945, (V-J Day) when Japanese Emperor Hirohito signed the articles of surrender on board a U. S. ship anchored off the coast of Japan; But Roosevelt did not live to see peace; he died in April 1945. FDR was a very effective president during the Second World War because he inspired unity, projected determination, and generated nationwide public confidence in victory by demonstrating his own confidence in victory.

This projection of presidential determination and confidence was particularly important early in the war when Allied defeats in Europe and the Pacific were all too common; He provided reassurance to the American people that the war would be won. All of these elements of greatness were evident during FDR’s first two terms as president, and his inspirational leadership during these years was the foundation for his effectiveness and success as president during the Second World War.

Through his leadership and actions during the Great Depression, he had forged a bond of trust with the American people, and their trust in him and confidence in his leadership motivated them to make the great sacrifices necessary to win the global war against fascism and Nazism. The United States had never suffered a defeat as shocking as Pearl Harbor, and had never faced such powerful enemies, so it was extremely important for FDR to demonstrate determination and confidence (Schoenberg 2009).

He understood how critical the psychological aspects of leadership are, and this is one of the significant distinctions that separate effective presidents from great presidents. In that context, implementing good policies and making good decisions are not enough because achieving presidential greatness requires combining good policies and good decisions with visionary leadership and a deep understanding of history (Gergen 2001).

FDR understood the importance of these elements, as well as the foundational importance of instilling public trust and confidence in the government and in the president as the chief executive. Great presidents achieve this while focusing on assuring the public that even the toughest of challenges can be met and overcome. Connections are evident between the development of the presidency and the history of democracy in the United States because weak and ineffective presidents have undermined public faith and confidence in democracy, while great presidents have generated it.

As the presidency developed, democracy developed along with it in accordance with how well presidents performed in their constitutional role as chief executives. Strong, decisive, and assertive presidents like Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and Lyndon Johnson expanded the powers of the presidency and rendered Congress secondary in political influence and importance, while weaker presidents diminished them, which resulted in Congressional dominance over the federal government and policy making.

Historians and political scientists have debated the effectiveness of FDR’s presidency, and one of their most important assessments has been that the courage and determination he had to summon in order to overcome polio were the foundation of his effectiveness and success as president (Schoenberg 2009). These character strengths were ultimately the most important sources of FDR’s success as president because he relied upon them to overcome great political and economic challenges. In conclusion, Franklin Delanor Roosevelt is one of the great American presidents; He accomplished so much during his twelve years in office.

He campaigned for the presidency and was elected despite the crippling physical impact of polio, a debilitating disease which would have prevented most people from even considering running for local or state public office, much less for the Presidency of the United States, He helped bring the country out of the Great Depression, led the country into war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and created some of the most far reaching and memorable legislation and government agencies in the history of the presidency.

There is another legacy that can never be taken away from Roosevelt. After he died, Congress passed legislation that no president could serve more than two terms in office. Roosevelt was the only man elected to four terms, and unless Congress modifies the legislation, he will remain the only man to ever do so (Walker 2003. FDR’s courage and determination, which were forged during his struggle to overcome the physical limitations polio imposed, enabled him to be very effective throughout his presidency.

During his first two terms as president, FDR was an agent of democratic change and provided the inspiring, confidence-building, and transformational leadership necessary for the United States to overcome the ravages of the Great Depression (Ellis and Nelson 2009). During his second two terms as president he provided the inspiring, confidence-building, and transformational leadership necessary to transform the United States from an isolationist nation into a global superpower capable of defeating the Axis powers during the Second World War.

He will always be remembered for proclaiming, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself” during his first Inaugural Address in 1933 (Roosevelt 1946). These words epitomized how Americans must respond to great challenges, especially in times of crisis. These dramatic words inspired the entire nation and clarified the importance of courage and determination in overcoming great challenges. The great president who proclaimed them provided not only a positive example for every American during his first months in office, he provided an inspiring example for them to emulate throughout his entire presidency.

Works Cited Abbott, Philip. “Franklin D. Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition. ” Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1990. Retrieved on 7 Dec. 2009. Gergen, David. “Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership Nixon to Clinton. ” New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001. Retrieved on 10 Dec. 2009. Editors. “Good Neighbor Policy: 1933. ” U. S. Department of State. 2007. Retrieved on 7 Dec. 2009.

Problems and Prospects of Marketing

International Journal of Business and Management September, 2009 Problems and Prospects of Marketing in Developing Economies: The Nigerian Experience Sunday O. E. Ewah & Alex B. Ekeng Department of Business Administration, Cross River University of Technology Ogoja Campus, Nigeria Tel: 80-5901-4300 Abstract The study takes a holistic view of some of the problems facing marketing in developing economies, such as low marketing education, preferences for foreign products and low patronage for non-essential products, high cost of production, inadequate infrastructures.

Others are few competitive opportunities, excessive government regulations and interference, political instability and civil unrest. Despite these problems, there are prospects for improvement in the nearest future based on the high growing population of most developing countries such as Nigeria large unexplored markets, attractive government incentives, growing affluence, to mention but a few. Therefore, it is concluded that developing countries such as Nigeria must put their arts together and overcome these few difficulties in order to exploit the marketing opportunities that are abound in their various domains.

Keywords: Marketing, Developing economies, Problems, Prospects and developed economies 1. Introduction Marketing is an evolving and dynamic discipline that cuts across every spectrum of life. This explains why contemporary societies are now involved in one form of marketing activity or the other. The recent advancement in technology, has aided the free flow of goods and services as well as information amongst businesses and institutions, thereby turning the marketing environment into a global village (Ewah, 2007).

For the purpose of this article, marketing is defined as the performance of both business and non business activities for the satisfaction of humanity and society’s well being through judicious exchange processes. On a general perspective Kotler and Armstrong (2001) described marketing as a social and managerial process whereby individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others. Marketing is intricately linked with the economy of virtually all nations of the world.

It is the major factor, especially in developed economies responsible for the wealth of nations and the means of resuscitation during economic depression. For the developed countries as a whole, marketing experience has occurred as part of the evolutionary cultural process and also progress of these nations. Therefore practical problems are profoundly handled as they had arisen, with available resource means at the material time. But the developing countries are evidently operating in an entirely different context today.

Time has changed many things. Many circumstances in the business world now appear to be affected by standardized but chimerical factors, so that operating in these situations amount to operating under conditions of fait accompli. Countries like U. S. A, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and Belgium have tremendously benefited from the performance of their marketing activities, which have really helped to boost their economies and contribute to the GNP.

But for most developing countries, (including Nigeria) the scenario and the business climate have not been too favourable, due to some attendant problems, such as poverty, fragmented markets, weak investment culture, prevalence of sub-standard local products, and the unwillingness of the majority of manufacturers and businesses to imbibe ethical marketing practices. These problems make it difficult for marketing to grow and prosper in developing economies.

Consequently the economy of most developing countries has not been better off because of the poor development of marketing as the bedrock for improving the economic prospect of contemporary economies. However, the economy of developing countries to a large extent dictates the direction and tempo of marketing activities in these countries. Though, they remain ready markets for the developed countries’ products, yet little or nothing is done to equate their height, if not completely but partially. 87 E-mail: [email protected] com Vol. 4, No. 9 International Journal of Business and Management Developing countries are characterized by high birth and death rates, poor sanitation and health practices, poor housing, a high percentage of the population in agriculture, low per capita income, high rate of illiteracy, weak and uneven feelings of national cohesion, low status rating for women, poor technology, limited communication and transport facilities, predominantly exports of raw materials.

Others include political instability, low savings and low net investment, military or feudal domination of state machinery, wealth in the hands of a very few, poor credit facilities, prevalence of non-monetized production, wealth sometimes exported to save in developed countries, civil unrests such as in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, and a host of others (Onah, 1979). Therefore countries with these kinds of peculiarities find it difficult to develop their marketing potentials.

There are equally conditions in an economy that favour and compel the full application of marketing activities to achieve the objective of growth and profit, while there are conditions which do not favour, or make nonsense of it (Alatise, 1979). Therefore the essence of this study is to critically look at those immediate problems that inhibit marketing and also visualize those factors that give hope for improvement in the near future.

The other sections of this paper include the following: theoretical conceptualization, importance of marketing to an economy, problems of marketing in developing economies, prospects of marketing in developing economies, conclusion and references. In seeking to ensure that every country designs and implements the best method of achieving socio-economic transformation, marketing can be a veritable vehicle (Aigbiremolen and Aigbiremolen, 2004). Marketing can ensure that the values and environmental opportunities of an economy are taken into consideration with a view to achieving an integrated approach to development (Kinsey, 1988).

The new marketing concept is a philosophy of business that states that the customer’s want satisfaction is the economic and social justification for the existence of any company or organization. Therefore all companies activities and effort must be devoted towards achieving this objective, while still making a profit. The changing social and economic conditions in the technologically advanced countries were fundamental in the development and evolution of the marketing concept. In spite of the fact that the concept evolved in the advance countries, the boundaries of marketing have extended remarkably to different frontiers.

Generally, marketing strives to serve and satisfy human insatiable needs and wants. Therefore, marketing can be considered as a strategic factor in the economic structure of any society (either developed or developing). This is because it directly allocates resources and has a great impact on other aspects of economic and social life. Thus the link between marketing and growth and development of contemporary economies is quite obvious (Ogunsanya, 1999). It is pertinent to note that the power of marketing is the same, but there exist qualitative and quantitative differences, depending on the particular situation at hand in a given country.

For instance if there is severe inflation in a country and if left uncheck it will reduce the standard of living of the people as a result of the fall in their purchasing power. This situation could have a multiplier effect, because sales may drop, workers may equally be laid off, etc. Globally, the major role of marketing is to ensure the continuance in growth of economies and individual’s standard of living (Baker, 1985). In developing economies marketing can act as a catalyst to institutionalize and propel economic growth and commercial life of the people.

It can also lag behind it, depending on whether marketing is practice and used actively, or whether it is allowed to evolve in a passive fashion (Onwuchuruba, 1996). During the oil boom period, the totality of the Nigeria economy expanded rapidly. However, one of the activities that lagged behind was marketing and its auxiliary branches. (This encompasses advertising and distributive trade). The trends and patterns of distributive trade in Nigeria reveal that, some indigenous firms embark on sales promotion, but had not been able to control the channels of distribution because of the chaos in the distributive structure.

This lacks of control manifest itself in multiple pricing of products. A report on the survey of management training needs in Nigeria carried out by the centre for management development in 1975 revealed that marketing was one of the problem areas where remedial management effort should be intensified. Poor marketing generally is reflected in poor quality of products, inadequacy and shortages of essential products that would have improved the standard of living of the people (CBN, 2000). This ugly scenario helped to compound the problems of marketing in Nigeria before now. 2.

Theoretical Conceptualization Alatise as enunciated in Onah (1979) suggested when marketing is most necessary in an economy to include: 1) Free Supply of Goods: When there are enough goods for consumers to buy. In other words when supply exceeds demand, warehouses for finished products as well as raw materials are near bursting at the seams. 2) Competitive Conditions: The consumer has many choices almost equally well-matched brands. These are equal satisfaction in an economy, such that they do not have cause to complain about scarcity of products as a result of non availability of competing brands. ) Competition at Distribution Points: There is no bottleneck in the distribution chain, and all brands are well represented at all relevant distribution outlets in the entire market. 188 International Journal of Business and Management September, 2009 4) High Margins for Marketing and Profits: There are prospects for generating profit and marketing potentials from every business venture. Therefore the more you sell the more profit you make. 5) Rapid Change in Technology and Consumer Taste: This keeps marketing managers/executives as well as production managers on their toes to be innovative and creative.

There is always the pressing need to sell off what you have today to avoid the obsolescence of tomorrow, and also try to beat your competitors in the game of being the first to offer the product of tomorrow, or at least a better product. 6) Frequent Purchases by Consumer: Marketing is most effective in mass consumable goods with quick and continual repeat purchases. It does not function well in an economy where the purchasing power of the people/consumers’ is not reasonably appreciable because their demand pattern will be downwardly skewed. ) Good Opportunities for Product Differentiation: This enables producers and sellers to woo and appeal to consumers and buyers in different ways that will give them satisfaction. 3. Importance of Marketing to an Economy Olakunori and Ejionueme (1997) identified the importance of marketing to any economy, which was later up dated by Olakunori (2002) to include the following; 1) Marketing Impact on People: There is no doubt all over the world that marketing activities are affected by people’s beliefs, attitudes, life styles, consumption pattern, purchase behaviour, income, etc.

Marketers help organizations and businesses to develop products, promote, price and distribute them. Consumers’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction with these products and activities will go a long way in determining their consumption behaviour. The importance of marketing can therefore be felt by the extent to which it affects the earlier mentioned demographic variables. 2) Improved Quality of Life: The activities performed by marketers and others in the economy of most countries, especially developed ones, help to identify and satisfy consumers’ needs.

This is because most consumers can always trace their knowledge and persuasion to patronize the products they feel much dependent on such marketing dominated stimuli as advertising, personal selling, E-commerce, sales promotion, etc, by presenting consumers with new, better and different brands and options of products which can meet their needs and helping them to easily obtain and safely enjoy these products. Marketers principally and functionally help to improve consumers’ awareness and quality of life (Stapleton, 1984). ) Improved Quality of Product: The importance of marketing is not being over emphased, because contemporary firms and multinationals have now seen the need to produce quality products. The business climate is quite different from what it used to be in the past. Competition has become more intense, such that only fast moving companies and multinationals are surviving the heat. This is because they have really capitalized on quality improvement in products to enhance the dynamic consumers’ quest for goods and services.

The advertising of own brands which began some years back is fast becoming vogue and compels manufacturers to improve on the quality of their products or be prepared to be extinct (Stapleton, 1984). 4) Contribute to Gross National Product: The strength of any economy is measured in terms of its ability to generate the required income within a given fiscal year or period. Thus such a country’s GNP must appreciate overtime. Marketing is the pivot and life wire of any economy, because all other activities of an organization generate costs and only marketing activities bring in the much needed revenues (Ani, 1993).

Available data showed that advanced countries accounted for 69. 1% of world output while developing countries accounted 30. 9%. Nigeria’s trade was estimated at U. S. $47,346 million representing 0. 8% of the emerging market share (CBN, 2005). Table 1 indicates that the annual average growth rate of real GDP for Nigeria appreciated from 1. 6% to 2. 4% during the period 1980 to 1990 and 1990 to 1999. However, this performance falls short of Malaysia, Ghana and Egypt.

Further breakdown of the sectoral growth shows that Nigeria still perform less than Egypt, Malaysia, and Kenya in Manufacturing; Malaysia and Ghana in agriculture; Malaysia, Egypt and Kenya in the services sub-sector. These are all indices that determine the performance of marketing activities in any economy. Therefore any economy especially, developing that pays lip service to marketing is doing that at its peril. Table 2 provides detailed analysis of the performance of world trade with particular attention to the marketing of goods and its contributing activities between 1990 and 2000 in the aforementioned regions.

Findings clearly show that North America had 15. 4% (1990) and 17. 1% (2000) in export while its figure for import was 18. 4% (1990) and 23. 2% (2000). Western Europe had 48. 7% (1990) and 39. 6% (2000), its share of import was 48. 7% (1990) and 39. 6% (2000). Asia’s figure for trade dealings in export was 21. 8% (1990) and 26. 7% (2000), while its import was 20. 3% (1990) and 22. 8% (2000). Latin America had 4. 3% (1990) and 5. 8% (2000) in export and its import involvement was 3. 7% (1990) and 6% (2000). Developing Africa had the least in export and import for both years under review with the following percentages, 3. % (1990), 2. 3% (2000) all in export and 2. 7% (1990) and 2. 1% (2000) all in import. From the 189 Vol. 4, No. 9 International Journal of Business and Management performance of these economies, it can be concluded that advanced industrialized countries of North America, Western Europe and emerging economies of Latin America and Asia have impacted more on the marketing horizon. This is noticed in the trading dealings of each region. But for developing Africa it has not been a fair tale based on it’ s decline between 1990 and 2000.

This result is not far from the problems limiting marketing in developing economies. 5) Acceleration of Economic Growth: Marketing encourages consumption by motivating people in a country to patronize goods produced to meet their identified needs. When people buy goods that are produced in a country, there is the tendency that producers will equally increase production to meet up with future demands. In so doing, marketing increases the tempo of economic activities, creates wealth for serious minded entrepreneurs and accelerates the economic growth of a nation.

Thus, the more marketing philosophy is institutionalized in a country, the more developed and wealthy the country becomes, all things being equal. 6) Economic Resuscitation and Business Turn- Around: The economy of most developing countries have suffered a lot, passing through one economic hardship to the next business upheaval, told and untold stories of business distress or economic recession to mention a few. Marketing is the most meaningful means for achieving economic resuscitation and business turn-around strategy when such occur.

By practically adopting the modern marketing philosophy (consumer satisfaction through integrative effort), fine-tuning its offerings to meet consumer’s changing taste or counter competition, developing new and better products and exploiting new markets at home or abroad, industries and organization can achieve economic resuscitation and a more viable open widows for business prosperity. The recent financial crisis in USA and spreading to other parts of the world calls for proactive marketing techniques to bail the situation. 7) Provide Job Opportunities: Marketing provides job opportunities to millions of people the world over.

This is mostly experienced in well industrialized countries and emerging markets. Most people in these economies are engaged in private endeavours as investors and entrepreneurs. Some of these marketing opportunities are abound in areas like, advertising, retailing, wholesaling, transportation, communication, public relations, services, manufacturing, agents and brokers, to mention a few. It is gratifying to note that the number of jobs being created by marketing has been increasing just as the development process of modern technology is a contributing factor.

In Nigeria most of the school leavers (graduates precisely) are self employed, in one area of marketing or the other. The idea of working for the government only is now a thing of the past, though the jobs are equally scanty to meet the needs of the teeming unemployed. 4. Problems of Marketing in Developing Economies There are series of constraints that hinder the performance of marketing in most developing countries. The experience of Nigeria and other Africa countries is worthy of note. These problems include the following; 1) Low Marketing Education: A well informed and educated people tend to be prosperous investors and consumers.

This is because they will imbibe the culture and tenets of marketing. But marketing education is still generally low in developing countries. Many policy makers and managers of large organizations still do not know what marketing is all about. Even when some people acquire higher degrees in the field of marketing and business administration, they come out doing the contrary, instead of practicing the true marketing concept or relationship marketing for the benefit of the society as a whole. In situations like that, marketing cannot contribute meaningfully to the development of these economies.

Nigeria is an example of one of those countries suffering this fate. Most of the people, though educated, yet often compromise ethical marketing practices for worst alternatives such as sharp practices, unwholesome behaviour and smuggling that contribute less to gross total earnings of any country. For example a report on the survey of management training needs in Nigeria carried out in 1975 revealed that marketing was one of the problem areas where remedial management development effort should be intensified (CBN, 2000). ) Preferences for Foreign Products: Because of the development process of most African countries and their inability to produce most goods (especially technologically sophisticated products), they tend to prefer buying from the more industrialized countries. This makes the development process of local industries and commercial life of the people more impoverished. Developing countries constitute 71% of the world’s population, but only contribute about 12% of the world’s industrial production that often boost marketing in these economies.

Why should this be the case, and who is to be blamed for the structural discrepancy and imbalance? What actions could these countries adopt to accelerate the pace of industrialization and development in order to boost the tempo of marketing (Mkpakan, 2004). It is generally felt that locally-made goods are only for the poor, uneducated, and those who are not fashionable, while the consumption of imported goods and services is taken as a status symbol for the elite and affluent in developing countries. Even when some countries products are of less quality when compared to similar local brands.

This situation makes the growth of marketing and satisfaction of consumers locally difficult (Olakunori, 2002). 3) Low Patronage for Non-essential Products and Services: The majority of the people in developing countries are poor, and their per capita income is below average. This makes it imperatively difficult for them to buy much of luxury 190 International Journal of Business and Management September, 2009 goods. Rather their purchases and expenditure are directed towards satisfying the basic needs for food, clothing, and accommodation.

Non essential goods and services receive low patronage. Therefore low patronage for certain category of goods do not present attractive marketing opportunities that will ginger investment overture. 4) High cost of production: Marketing has suffered dearly in most developing countries because virtually all production techniques are imported from the developed world. The cost of acquiring equipment and other inputs used for production locally to boost marketing is sometimes extremely exhaubitant for the poor developing countries to buy and finance.

To worsen matters, the bulk of African’s production is mainly in agricultural products that contribute less to GNP or Net National income of their various economies. This is because these products are sold at lesser prices in the world market. The income generated from them can only buy little from all that is needed to encourage domestic production, in order to enhance marketing. Where it is possible to import the equipment, the production techniques and skillful manpower requirement is sometimes too expensive to bear, hence the high cost of some local products when compared to the same foreign brands.

This reason strengthens consumer’s preference for imported products and results to low demand for locally made goods. This affects the marketing potentials of the home industries and equally has an adverse effect on macro- marketing of developing countries. 5) Inadequate Infrastructures: Most developing countries are very poor, such that some of them depend on aids from abroad. There are cases of debt accrual and debt burden hugging on some of the African countries that are yet to be paid.

It invariable becomes difficult for some of them to provide the necessary infrastructures that would engender and propel smooth marketing scenario. Ethiopia, Somalia, Rwanda and a few other third world countries rely on aids from abroad to revamp their economies. The present situation where Power Holdings or National Electricity Power Authority (NEPA) is fond of giving epileptic and erratic power supply has made it difficult for businesses to function in Nigeria. Coupled with the poor road network and transport facilities, poor communication, distressed banks, malfunctioning ports and trade zones, among others.

Apart from the deliberate embezzlement by some top government officials, the government is yet to provide these infrastructures, and this has made it difficult for marketing activities to be performed effectively and efficiently. Moreover, the inadequacy and poor state of these infrastructures contribute to high cost of doing business in developing countries. From table 3, it can be observed that amongst the six developing countries (Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and Malaysia) described, Nigeria is the most starved in terms of availability of infrastructural facilities and usage.

The electricity consumption per capita is 85; telephone per 1000 persons is 4 and internet users (‘000) to 100 persons. South Africa tops the list in terms of provisions of these facilities. With such poor level of infrastructural facilities the cost of marketing is always too high in developing countries, especially in Nigeria. Foreign investors will also not be attracted to do business or invest in Nigeria and thus they will be more interested in countries where the state of low cost infrastructure generates competitive advantages.

The inability or unwillingness of some developing countries to provide these necessary infrastructural facilities that will facilitate the performance of marketing in these economies is in itself a major problem worthy of note. 6) Few Competitive Opportunities: Lucrative competitive businesses are not much in developing countries. What are commonly found within African continent are peasant farmers, petty traders and negligible number of investors that are not engaged in multimillion dollars businesses.

In Nigeria one can find competitive businesses mostly in the service industry, which contribute less than two percent of GDP (CBN, 2002). But in the manufacturing sector nothing can be said of it, because there is no competition. In most developed societies economic policies have long assumed that competition among businesses is the most efficient method of producing and marketing goods and services. Proponents of this philosophy contend that it results in maximum productivity and forces inefficient organizations and businesses to erminate their operations. It gives the consumer or buyer an opportunity to choose from several competing companies rather than buy from a monopolist, and stimulates creativity in seeking solutions to marketing problems especially in developing countries where such problems are more (CBN, 2000). But marketing in the true sense is usually at its best where and when there is real competition. Unfortunately, competition is at the lower ebb in developing countries, this might not be unconnected with the level of poverty and underdevelopment in the continent.

But developed countries like USA, UK, Japan and emerging economies in Asia are competing amongst themselves in the manufacturing and supply of different types of products to newly found markets in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because they have the technology and financial backing. 7) Over- Regulation of Business by Government: Another major problem that has be-deviled the performance of marketing especially in Nigeria has been the issue of government regulations and interferences in the activities of businesses and corporate firms.

For instance, the over regulation of the Nigeria economy especially between 1970-1985, including the enactment of the indigenization decree, which excludes foreign interest from certain investment activities as well as the existence of a complex bureaucratic requirements for direct and portfolio investment were among the major constraints that hindered the development of marketing climate and foreign investment inflow (Balogun, 2003). Sometimes in 2004 the then administration of Olusegun Obasanjo banned the importation of certain items into Nigeria, 191

Vol. 4, No. 9 International Journal of Business and Management but this is contrary to the tenets of free enterprises. Locally, state governors reserve special areas where businesses are not supposed to operate and if structures, housing corporate firms are erected there, they are bound to be demolished. In developing countries, it is usual to find governments promulgating laws to regulate the prices of consumables, fuel (as in the case of Nigeria), transport fares, exchange values of national currencies, accommodation etc.

Nigeria is one of those countries that have passed through one form of regulation or deregulation to another depending on the political class that is in power. Instead of allowing the market forces of demand and supply to operate and determine how much consumers are to pay for the consumption of the goods and services. The haste to get their economies developed and quickly catch up with advanced Nations often lead developing countries to over- regulate business activities and restrict the activities of free enterprise.

This makes marketing difficult, since decisions cannot be taken from a purely economic perspective. 8) Political Instability and Civil Unrest: Rapid economic growth and development of marketing techniques cannot be achieved or attained in an environment of political and social instability or political hostility. Political stability implies an orderly system for a positive change in governance and peaceful co- existence amongst the citizenry that, poses a great challenge to marketing. Therefore, marketing does not thrive where there is political instability and insecurity or civil disturbances.

The experience of most African countries like Liberia, Sudan, Rwanda, and Nigeria are typical examples of where the political climate and business environment had been in perpetual turbulence over the seat of power and who controls the resources (petroleum product) in the Niger Delta region. For Nigeria the issue in the Niger Delta gives cause to worry because most of the foreign investors and multi-nationals are thinking of relocating based on the continuous molestation and threat by militants, if nothing is done to salvage the situation. Table 4 shows the conflict rating of Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.

Amongst the five countries Nigeria has the highest figures especially after 1998. The above Situation reinforces uncertainty, instability, and increases the risk of doing business in Nigeria. Thus investment overtures become difficult in such localities or geographical areas and this undermines the performance of marketing. 5. Prospects of Marketing in Developing Economies Despite the numerous problems confronting marketing in developing countries, there exists prospects and opportunities for future growth and development of marketing as the pivot of developing economies.

These prospects are explained as follows; 1) Growing Population: Before multinational companies establish their hold in any country they expect to have a ready market for their products and services. No business flourishes where people are not living or where it is not habitable by people. Developed countries with their small population and saturated domestic markets prefer marketing their products and services to emerging markets in developing countries. Nigeria being one of the most populous nations (about 120 million people) in Africa is a ready market for both domestic products and foreign brands.

This is because marketing does not operate in a vacuum but requires a large population of people with the willingness to do business and patronize businesses. Therefore the high and growing population of developing countries is an attractive incentive, as they represent large potential markets. 2) Absence of Competition and Large Unexplored Markets: By virtue of their large populations and underdevelopment, developing countries have large markets that are not yet served or are partially served.

Thus they are not as saturated as those of developed countries. Hence, there is hardly any form of intensive competition especially amongst serious manufacturers like “ANAMCO” a motor manufacturing assembly in Nigeria. The economies of these nations hold great opportunities for innovators, investors and marketers to enjoy booms in their markets with much challenge from competitors within and outside. Attractive Government Incentives: Trade policies in most developing countries are becoming quite favourable 3) to both local and foreign investors.

These incentives include profit tax holidays, reduced or even free customs and excise duties, liberalization of immigration and profit repatriation laws for foreign investors. There are also improvements in infrastructural facilities that will ginger the performance of marketing in these economies. According to Pearce (1998) liberalization encourages the adoption of policies that promote the greatest possible use of market forces and competition to coordinate both marketing and economic activities. ) Growing Affluence: Quite a large number of the consumers in developing countries are becoming affluent. This will enable them to have reasonable discretionary income and purchasing power. This means that a growing number of the consumers in many developing countries can now afford luxuries and other products they could not purchase in the time past. In Nigeria the business climate is expected to improve tremendously with the President Musa Yar Adua’s seven points agenda, the people will become more empowered and their purchasing power will be enhanced for both consumption and investment purposes.

The government has equally taken the issue of workers/staff remuneration seriously, such that salaries now come as at when due and the take home package of most developing countries these days is quite commendable when compared to what it was few years back. Available data from the Nigeria living Standard survey conducted in 2003/2004 indicated that the incidence of poverty exhibited a downward trend. It declined 192 International Journal of Business and Management September, 2009 from 70% in 2000 to 54. % in 2004 and it is expected to decline more in the years ahead (CBN, 2005). This of course presents brighter prospects for marketing. 5) Availability of Cheap Production Inputs: Most developing countries are endowed with abundant human and material resources that are yet untapped. For example, according to CBN (2000) Nigeria remains endowed with abundant natural resources, good weather conditions and a large population. These will be readily handy for companies and businesses to exploit.

Despite the high level of poverty and low exchange values of the national currencies of developing countries, labour and raw materials or inputs are often found to be cheap and it is envisaged that in the nearest future it will be cheaper because of better opportunities and more goods will be produced for consumption. The absence of serious competition also makes it easy to source these production inputs and reach different market segments. This is why most multinationals are more marketable and profitable in developing countries than their industrialized coutries. ) Rapid Economic Development: Quoting Olakunori (2002), the economies of developing nations are growing rapidly as a result of the efforts being made by their various governments and the developmental agencies of the United Nations towards this direction. This results to income re-distribution and increased purchasing power and discretionary income are also enhanced. Thus, it is expected that the demand for products to satisfy higher order needs will increase and the general atmosphere of business in the continent will become more conducive and all these mean well for marketing in sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria in particular. . Conclusion Despite the numerous problems facing marketing in developing countries, there are good prospects for the future, hence marketing is the answer to the underdevelopment of developing countries. When adopted and practiced, marketing will help to develop appropriate technologies as developing nations provide for the needs of the people and enhance their standard of living, create job opportunities for the unemployed, wealth for entrepreneurs, a means towards affording education and enjoyment of leisure.

Therefore the government and individuals are encouraged to join hands and see to the development and appreciation of marketing in all the economies of developing countries. References Aigbiremolen, M. O. and Aigbiremolen, C. E. (2004). Marketing Banking Services in Nigeria. The CIBN Press Ltd Lagos, Nigeria. Alatise, S. O. (1979). in Onah, Marketing in Nigeria: Experience in a Developing Ani, O. E. (1993). Marketing: The Life Blood of Business and Index of Economic and Baker M. J. (1985). Marketing: An Introductory Text. Macmillan Publishers Ltd. London.

Balogun, E. D. (2003). In CBN. Foreign Private Investment in Nigeria. Proceedings of Cassel Ltd. 35 Red Lion Square, London WCIR 4SG Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc. New York. CBN. (2000). The Changing Structure of the Nigerian Economy and Implications for Development. Published by Realm Communications Ltd Lagos. CBN. (2003). Foreign Private Investment in Nigeria. Proceedings of the Twelveth Annual Conference of the Regional Research Unit. Kaduna. CBN. (2005). Annual Report and Statement of Account for the Year Ended 31st December. Economy. Cassel Ltd. 5 Red Lion Square, London WCIR 4SG Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc. New York. Etuk, E. J. (1985). The Nigerian Business Environment. Macmillan International College Edition, Macmillan Publishers Ltd. London. Ewah, S. (2007). Foundation of Marketing Principles and Practice. Pafelly Printers and Publishers Ogoja, Nigeria. Reprint Edition. Kinsey, J. (1988). Marketing in Developing Countries. Macmillan Publishers, London. kotler, P. and Armstrong, G. (2001). Principles of Marketing. Prentice Hall of India, Private Limited New Delhi110001, Ninth Edition.

Mkpakan, E. E. (2004). International Investment: Theory, Analysis and Case Study. Published by University of Lagos Press. Nigeria. Ogunsanya, A. (1999). A Practical Guide to the Marketing of Financial Services. Richmind Books Ltd, Lagos. Okafor, A. I. (1995). Principles of Marketing. Onisha Baset Printing Ltd. Nigeria. 193 Vol. 4, No. 9 International Journal of Business and Management Olakunori, O. K. (2002). Dynamics of Marketing. Providence Press Nigeria Limited, Enugu. Nigeria 2nd Edition. Olakunori, O. K. and Ejionueme, N. G. (1997).

Introduction to Marketing. Amazing Grace publishers, Enugu, Nigeria. Onah, j. O. (1979). Marketing in Nigeria: Experience in a Developing Economy. Onwuchuruba, G. U. (1996). Marketing Financial Services in Nigeria. Servo Marketing and Management Services Lagos. Pearce, M. (1998). Macmillan Dictionary of Modern Economics. Macmillan Press Ltd. London. Social Development. Being the 11th Inaugural Lecture of ESUT Delivered at the Education Hall, Enugu, on 22nd April. Stapleton, J. (1984). Marketing. London: Hodder and Sronghtonal Research. 194

International Journal of Business and Management APPENDIX 1 Table 1. Growth Rate of GDP for selected Countries (%) Country 1980 to 1990 Nigeria Ghana South Africa Kenya Egypt Malaysia Source: CBN, 2003 APPENDIX 2 Table 2. Regional Shares of World Merchandise Trade 1990 -2000 Region North America Western Europe Asia Latin America Africa 1990 Exports (%) 15. 4 48. 3 21. 8 4. 3 3. 1 2000 Exports (%) 17. 1 39. 5 26. 7 5. 8 2. 3 1990 Imports (%) 18. 4 48. 7 20. 3 3. 7 2. 7 1. 6 3. 0 1. 0 4. 2 5. 4 5. 3 GDP 1990 to 1999 2. 4 4. 3 1. 9 2. 2 4. 4 7. 3 Agriculture 1980 to 1990 3. 1. 0 2. 9 3. 3 -1. 1 3. 4 1990 to 1999 2. 9 3. 4 1. 0 1. 4 1. 1 0. 2 Manufacturing 1980 to 1990 0. 7 1. 1 4. 9 -0. 2 9. 3 1990 to 1999 2. 0 -0. 3 1. 1 2. 4 5. 3 9. 7 1980 to 1990 3. 7 2. 9 2. 4 4. 9 0. 7 4. 9 September, 2009 Services 1990 to 1999 2. 8 1. 9 2. 4 3. 5 5. 8 8. 0 2000 Imports (%) 23. 2 39. 6 22. 8 6. 0 2. 1 Source: (1) WTO International Trade Statistics 2001. (2) African Development Bank Report 2004. 195 Vol. 4, No. 9 APPENDIX 3 International Journal of Business and Management Table 3. Infrastructure of Nigeria and other Emerging Markets, 1999.

Infrastructure Country Nigeria Ghana South Africa Kenya Egypt Malaysia Electricity Consumption per Capita 85 289 3,832 129 861 2,554 Telephone per 1000 Persons 4 8 125 10 75 203 APPENDIX 4 Table 4. Conflict Rating of Five Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Conflicts Country Nigeria Ghana South Africa Kenya Egypt Source: CBN, 2003. 1998 21. 4 2. 4 29. 8 48. 5 0 2000 44. 0 3. 8 41. 4 0. 0 9. 2 2001 11. 3 0. 3 2. 2 2. 9 3. 4 Users (‘000) 100 20 1,820 35 200 1500 Classification Severely indebted Moderately indebted Less indebted Moderately indebted Les indebted Moderately indebted Source: World Bank 2001, and World Development Indicators, 2001. 196

History of Uk Planning System (Contrast of Speed&Public Participation)

Assignment 1 PLANNING FRAMEWORKS (T0910 – TCP8001) November 09, 2009 Matej Privrel ERASMUS Exchange Student The history of planning system as a policy in the UK dates back to the mid-19th century, when it started to concern mostly health and social problems in urbanising areas. The emergence of the systems in a wider scope, within the world, was in those times taking diverse directions, the result of which is noticeable in the differences among spatial planning cultures nowadays. It could be said that there are always three subjects playing either an active or a passive role in the planning process – government, markets and the public.

The degree of their participation depends mostly on the political regime, the actual government, the economic climate in the country and the ability (but also the will) to get involved. Planning as such might be portrayed as a positive, pro-active and strategic place-making activity on the one hand or as a negative, regulatory and reactive function on the other. Fluctuation between these two characters of planning was observable throughout the history, when planners raised the question: Who should planning be addressed to?

To the business and private sector, which are boosting the economy through taxes, both locally and centrally, but require faster solutions in order to meet actual market demands? Or to a chiefly stagnant and ‘more public’ function where the decision-making is slower and economically not that viable? The answer seems to be ambiguous. The aim of this essay is therefore to discuss how the potential tension between speed and community engagement has been dealt in the main reforms, during developing the planning system in England, since World War II.

The turning period around the end of the war could be characterised not only by the country suffering from the aftermaths of the war but also by weakness of the state machinery. District and county borough councils were generally small and powerless. As a result of this, developers were all too often misusing the system as they believed that no local authority would face pulling down existing buildings (cf. Wood 1949: 45). Obviously, without having a state power above developers, there was no sign of public engagement either.

All the essential apparatus in the post-war period was provided by Town and Country Planning Acts, the Distribution of Industry Acts, the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act, the New Town Act and the Town Development Acts. As a breath of fresh air after the war came ‘The Town and Country Planning Act, 1947’, that took all the development under control by making it subject to planning permission. Development plans were to be prepared for every area in the country.

Moreover, development rights were nationalised and the Ministry of Town and Country Planning, which became responsible for the coordination of local plans. These changes did not foster the development in any way. Instead, circumstances led to the ‘regulatory era’ where neither public nor private sectors were successful in ‘rebuilding Britain’ (to use one of the popular slogans at the end of the war). Additionally, there was no tension between community engagement and speed (‘slowness’ would be more appropriate) as there was still no reference to public involvement in the plan-making process.

The first post-war economic boom sparked off in 1953 when both the development charge and building licensing from previous years were abolished. This reversal in policy contributed its part to a continuous 20-year period of economic growth and rise of living standards. The position of planners reached a level, where they were regarded as trusted experts transferring scientific progress to solve problems of political and social organisation (Hague 1984). At that time, lack of public participation was not recognised as a problem.

Professionals were perceived as acting in the general public interest. ‘Planning proposals are generally presented to the public as a fait accompli, and only rarely are they given a thorough public discussion’ (Cullingworth 1964: 273). This period of blind faith was in retreat in the late 1960s when political consensus had broken down and there was noticeable dissatisfaction both with the inability to access the decision-making within government and with the way in which benefits were being distributed.

The Skeffington Report (1969) is considered as a turning point in the attitude to public participation in planning. Although its recommendations were rather obvious (keeping people informed throughout the plans and asking them to make comments), it pictured the steps the British government had to take to make the community’s participation real. Another contribution was made by the Seebohm Committee (1968), which was highlighting the contrast between the traditional representative democracy and public participation.

According to the committee, participation can be effective only if it is organised. The publication of these and other works along with the will of the government to divest itself of responsibility to consider ‘the crushing burden of casework’, led to the devolving of powers and ability of other interest groups to participate in the plan making process (The Planning Act in 1968). Although the government was keeping the local communities participating, it was in the same time monitoring if their decisions meet ‘the general public interest’ or other interests which it considered to be important.

Many local authorities therefore even avoided preparing statutory development plans as they believed the ‘costs’ of procedures of consultation and objection outweighed any benefits (Bruton and Nicholson 1983). However, when planning authorities sought public participation, they often adopted a ‘reveal and defend’ or even an ‘attack and response’ strategy (Rydin 1999: 188 and 193). The following period of three successive Margaret Thatcher’s governments (1979 1990) clearly portrays the contrast between speed and public engagement.

The philosophy of her reign pursued the boost of the economy in recession years, seen in deregulation of the market, which was naturally reflected in the planning and community engagement. Numerous amendments were made to the plan-making and developing control procedures during her rule. ‘There was a consistent diminution of the significance accorded to central public participation in policy formulation, as part of an effort to ‘’streamline’’ system and reduce delays’ (Thomas, H. 1996: 177). One result of this was the downgrading of the power of strategic planning and the reduction of opportunities for public participation.

In the 1990s the government was putting an emphasis on strengthening links with citizens and devolving policies and decision making to the local levels (principle of subsidiarity). This was described as a response to ‘the new circumstances of the global age; it is a deepening or democratising of democracy’ (Giddens 1998:72). The Local Government Act 2000 made it statutory to prepare the community strategy. The community strategy should ‘allow the local communities to articulate their aspirations, needs and priorities; coordinate [and focus] the actions of the council and of the public, private, voluntary and community … nd contribute to the achievement of sustainable development both locally and more widely’ (Preparing Community Strategies: Gov. advice to Local Authorities (2001). Communities should also make special efforts to involve those, normally underrepresented in policy-making – faith or ethnic minorities ethnic communities and young people. An evaluation of these efforts by the Community Development Foundation points to some success in the government’s drive for community involvement, but notes difficulties of participation in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

In general, in terms of speed and public engagement the planning system before the year 2000 was aptly described by The Economist (10 Nov 2001:38) regarding the Heathrow 5 Saga: ‘Few countries have ended with a planning system which manages both to hold projects up for decades and to give people the feeling that they don’t have any say at all. ’ Towards the end of the millennium, planning was marked by the will to change the old, cumbersome and unfashionable policies in order to both improve the quality of planning decisions that affect places and to speed up the planning decisions.

These recurring themes of clarifying the planning machinery were thought to be solved by the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act, which was approved in June 2004 as a longest running Bill (since December 2002). Although the 2004 Act is appreciated for several contributions (integration with other strategies, community involvement, programme management, etc. ), it is also blamed for being still not clear and responsive enough. Processes dealing with major infrastructure projects were too slow and complicated.

For instance, it took six years to deal with upgrading the power line in North Yorkshire. On the other hand, from the perspective of the communities the system was perceived to be favouring the well-resourced over the less well-off communities and citizens. The current Planning Act was approved in 2008. Main amendments at the national level lead to concentration on infrastructure projects, reducing the volume of guidance and improving their clarity (chiefly distinguishing policy from advice). Changes at the regional level, apart from improving comprehensibility (cross-reference rather than a epetition of the national policy), strive to reflect regional diversity and incorporate other regional strategies into planning. On the local level, the abolition of county-level structure plans was achieved. Instead, the Local Development Framework was introduced. This change should promote streamline and proactive approach to managing development. These amendments in general were made to speed up the plan-making process, without neglecting the effective public participation in various parts of the process.

Whether the recurring task of effective plan making appropriately addressed the requirements of our present age is too soon to judge. In conclusion, the position of the speed and the public engagement in the planningprocess is always formed by the conditions in the society – the political regime, the government, the economic climate, the culture and other factors. Throughout the British history, issues of the speed and the public participation were often standing in the stark contrast to each other. During Thatcherism, there was no place for public involvement and n the contrary, the public participation in the 2000s was considered to be slowing down the decision-making process. The aim of the all Planning Acts in the recent decades has been to harmonise these two issues into the highest possible degree. If is the current Act from 2008 successful, will be noticeable by practise in the following years. Bibliography: – Lecture notes and materials given at the lectures Barry Cullingworth and Vincent Nadin (2006), Town and Country planning in the UK – fourteenth edition, Routledge, Oxon Andrew Blowers and Bob Evans (1997), Town planning into the 21st century – Routledge, London –

Battle of Kamalpur

BATTLE OF KAMALPUR INTRODUCTION 1. 1971 a new country was born in the earth named “ Bangladesh ” through a nine month bloody war . Thousands of golden sons of this soil had to embrace martyrdom . Though this historical event took place in the year of 1971 but this was a long charted dream of all the Bangles since the fall freedom in the “ Battle of Palashi ” in 1957 . Bangles thought that their dream was going to be materialized during the partition in 1947 . But it appeared in more frustrating way for the negligence of the Pakistan government in all aspects.

This latent desire was exposed as a volcanic eruption in 25 march 1971 when Pakistan Army carried a plan genocide all over the country . They attacked the innocent people of the Bangladesh like hungry Hayna and killed thousand of people in one single night . They thought they would be able to smash the dream of freedom of Bangles to the ground . But they were certainly wrong . Instead of bowing down to the evil force people of Bangladesh turn around and stood against it with what so ever they could get as weapon .

Which ultimately force the “ Mukti Bahini ” composed of people from all walks of life . Unlike many countries Bangladesh was not given freedom rather we have earned it through many fighting and many battle against the well equipped regular force of Pakistan . Among those the Battle of Kamalpur occupied a very important place in the history of liberation war of Bangladesh . Till that time liberation forces kept themselves restricted within the limit of defensive role and minor guerilla operation .

After raising , first regular “ Brigade ” the Z Force , it carried out first major offensive morale and confidence of Mukti Bahini , Which ultimately contributed to take on number of offensive action against a regular force and earn the victory . 44. Kamalpur was only a small battle in the war of liberation . But in this small battle Mukti Bahini demonstrated its ability to fight . There was no dearth of brave man to shed their blood for their shonar Bangla .

The young leader of Bangladesh demonstrated that they could stomach the hard realities of war , they had the will to lead their inexperienced , ill-equipped and hurriedly trained people forward into battle . In the final reckoning they had the ultimate courage to show their men how to die for their country . Anx : A. Location of Kamalpur . BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. The Documents of the Liberation War of Bangladesh part 10. 2. AGAROTY SECTOR BIJOY KHAHINI by Major Rafiqul Islam, psc 3. Witness to Surrender by Siddique Salik. 4. Military History precis of BMA.