Monday, November 28, 2011
In this link the writer talks about how the myth of working hard to achieve what a person wants in life and going from 'rags to riches' became so popular. This was mainly due to the fact that back when Horatio Alger released his range of novels about his various rags to riches stories was at a time when anyone in society had an equal chance that if they worked hard then they would eventually make it to where they want to be in life. For example in the time when there was an industrial boom in America - this created many opportunities for practically anyone to become a businessman and so a very rich person because of this - having achieved the so called American Dream and proving the Horatio Alger myth right.
However this link (http://www.americansc.org.uk/online/American_Dream.htm) talks about how the American Dream has changed throughout the years, and the phrase 'pluck and luck' which Horatio was known for can be seen in this link in the sense that through the years the American Dream has changed and the 'luck' of winning things like the lottery, compensation lawsuits or taking part in big time game shows has replaced the sense of the Horatio Alger myth in the sense that the social divide between the rich and the poor has become to large for this myth to still exist and has been replaced with get more get rich quick sqhemes.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Alger's stories including ‘Ragged Dick’ have inspired generations of people to strive for greatness, no matter the odds. The young adolescent ‘Richard Hunter’ struggles against poverty and adversity to rise to success through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty.
The website I have looked at focuses on people who have had simple or hard early childhood problems but have not let them use these as permanent deterrents in their lives. This website reinforces the myth and strengthens the saying that ‘it’s not how you start but how you finish, that counts’. The writer also suggests that young people need to remember Horatio Alger stories as they provide hope but also freedom and that their dreams if they work hard enough can relate into reality. ‘Through hard work, perseverance, and character.’ All characteristics that help ‘Ragged Dick' empower himself. The writer Daniel McLaughlin, clearly believes in the Horatio Myth as he declares that he has seen it happen as he writes about his own personal account of someone who turned their life from ‘rag’s to riches’.
However, an interesting point to make it that Horatio Alger American dream consisted of ‘Ragged Dick’ getting an education, getting a job that pays enough for him to support himself, something that everyday people achieve. The Horatio myth can be seen to have changed as Daniel McLaughlin views it as only being reserved for people who now make millions or billions people like the guy who owns Microsoft, KFC and Tiger Woods.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The ‘Horatio Alger myth’ is a criticism of the ‘rags to riches’ message throughout Alger’s books, which is the idea that someone from a poor background can achieve success through hard work and determination.
I looked at the website http://www.fightbacknews.org/2004/01winter/algermyth.htm which was a short news article written by Adam Price, looking at the ‘Horatio Alger Myth’ and used it in relation to the story of ‘Ragged Dick’, which portrays Dick, a young bootblack, and his story to success.
The article supported the idea of ‘rags to riches’ which can be shown through the quote ‘Many poor and working class Americans did achieve a better way of life, buying a house and sending their children to college’. However it seems Price does not agree with the concept behind this of ‘luck and pluck’ which drives the characters in stories such as ‘Ragged Dick’ to succeed stating that the American Public’s success ‘had less to do with luck and a wealthy patron’. This can be seen in ‘Ragged Dick’ which contains many scenarios which appear to be due to ‘luck’, in particular where the character of Dick stumbles upon Mr Whitney in the first chapter by chance who gives him new clothes and money. Mr Whitby stirred a change in Dick as he took his advice, which led him to stop spending his money and to open a savings account, without this event perhaps Dick would have continued spending his money and stayed in the same position for most of his life, supporting the idea of luck having a positive effect on the ‘rags to riches’ idea. Price believes the success of the public had more to do with the strength of unions who forced businesses to pay a living way and the expansion of public colleges and universities rather than this idea.
I think it is hard to relate to the stories of Horatio Alger today due to the high standards of the public. Gaining a job as a clerk for $10 an hour as Dick does in ‘Ragged Dick’ would not be considered as a success in the modern world today, as the character has not become ‘rich’ as the phrase ‘rags to riches’ suggests, he has merely secured a low-level job in a company. With evidence shown in the article such as ‘Only 10% of less educated poor fathers have very successful sons’ it supports the idea of ‘Rags to riches’ idea no longer existing.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
It was really hard trying to find a website that was dedicated towards gun control but I did manage to find one. http://www.a-human-right.com/views2.html
This was one of the best websites I found as it was quite interesting as the website kind of convinces you to buy a gun. It does this by listing all these questions and you have a multiple choice answers but the one you pick or choose are the ones that make owing a gun sound more appealing. For example: Given a choice, I would prefer to defend myself with...
· my bare hands
· an ineffective weapon, such as pepper spray
· an effective weapon, such as a firearm
This video starts out really interesting as it’s a bullet being fired at all these random food and drink objects, when the bullet makes contact with the object they make all these different and exciting shapes. This could represent the beginning time when someone buys a gun, its new very
innocent school children die because someone managed to easily obtain a gun and takes out their frustration on school mates and teachers.
Comparing the Websites…
At first the Pro Gun control website made me realise that owing a gun might not be that bad however, watching the video made me see sense and that ultimately owing a gun is dangerous and has the potential to kill innocent victims. It then made me think that the Pro Gun control website doesn’t take into consideration of when gun usage has gone terribly wrong. Even though many people when first owning a gun wouldn’t think of hurting innocent people and they would still remain a peaceful person. However, you are more likely to kill or injure your own family member than a criminal.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Anti Gun Control
The website relies heavily on the support of the public shown through the headings such as ‘Take Action’, ‘Join GOA’ and mentioning the public as having a ‘central role’ driving the point of ‘the united voice’ in order to get results. It contains news reports, a radio station and a store where the public can buy various
The feature I liked most about the website was the Source Studies page, which detailed studies that support the use of guns, which I thought was important as it actually provided reliable evidence, rather than just opinions. One I found particularly interesting was the ‘International Crime Victim Study’, which declared
The website tries its best to influence the public through bold writing such as ‘Enough is Enough’ and facts at the top of each page such as the one below, creating the feeling of urgency.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
A civilian burial party and U.S. Army officers pose over a mass grave trench with bodies of Native American Lakota Sioux killed at Wounded Knee, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. 1890
This picture was taken by North-western Photographic Co. at the end of the Battle of Wounded Knee, it shows just how catastrophic the battle was for many Native Americans as over 200 Sioux Indians were killed. The Indians were being held there by soldiers because they believed that the Native Indians were preparing for an armed rebellion. Shooting started when a Sioux Indian resisted surrendering his weapon to the army. In a struggle with several soldiers his gun fired turning a tense situation into chaotic fighting. Many out of control soldiers shot at unarmed and retreating Indians such as women and children who tried to flee the scene. The burial pit is quite deep reinforcing the view that Wounded Knee was more of a Massacre than a battle where a whole Tribe was almost wiped out. The picture shows many soldiers standing over the grave looking at the camera, posing for the picture emphasising their lack of respect towards many Natives and showing that they viewed them as savages or dogs that had to be ‘put down’. There is no remorse or guilt on their faces reinforcing the idea that many American people felt the need to get rid of the Natives as they had no place, did not belong and were only in the way of western expansion. The dead bodies are also just placed in one big dump reinforcing the fact that the army just doesn't care.
The fact that so many Natives where killed compared to the troopers suggests that the Native Americans where at a real disadvantage the picture reflects this as all the troopers have guns and weapons in their hands. Furthermore, the Natives didn’t really stand a chance against the soldiers as they were all men, whereas in the Native American tribe there were a number of innocent women and children.
Upon more research of the artist and his other drawings/paintings of Native Americans, it seemed to me that they were just sketches he'd draw on observing them. They all are wearing shirts - one with a belt [see below for reference!] and the other was entitled "Untitled Study of a Native American". Perhaps all we can really tell from this photos is an honest image (in comparison to some around this time), in which the Indians are more westernised than they were before the settlers.
Without knowing the history of this painting it shows the white settlers going in for battle against the natives and that the natives are turning and running from them in order to stand a chance. However the absence of any native women or children indicates that this is a sort of pre-arranged attack on a battle field, and so the white settlers haven't actually invaded the natives home tribe. From looking at the picture it seems that it was the native Americans who were the ones to start this particular conflict as the central native in the red looks as if he has gone ahead, attempted to spy on the white settlers and then retreated. As well as this it seems that they both have arrived in a potential space to battle as the white settlers are lined up along the left and the natives lined up along the right ready to fight.
However it seems that the natives wern't expecting so many white settlers and for them to have such advanced weaponry - and so once they realised that they didn't stand much of a chance - Begin to run in retreat. It looks like the white settlers are very calm and confident with their numbers and weaponry and so don't actually look like they are putting much strategy into the battle itself as they can already predict the outcome. Whereas the natives look like they've been taken by surprise by the confidence of the white settlers and are instead turning and running from them rather than continuing with the fight. At this point in the conflict they have one casualty east although looking further into the picture the army of white settlers seem to be more organised and look as if they are in battle formation, with a soldier in the centre of the picture looks like hes about to kill another native.
The painting very much centres on the chief and the act of painting by Catlin, potrayed by the glow the figure of the chief and the canvas seem to give off. This can be contrasted to the dull colour of the tribe which causes them to almost blend into one other. Catlin's european clothing is starkly contrasted with the elaborate clothing of the chief, which is very detailed unlike that of Catlin and also the tribe around him. Most of the tribe are sitting down or potrayed as stooping, causing the effect of the chief to appear as the tallest. He is also central to the painting and potrayed in a noble stance, suggesting importance. Many members of the tribe are displayed with open mouths and most seem to be watching Catlin closely suggesting they are in awe of the activity. This represents the simplicity of the Native American way of life who would not have watched an activity such as this and would have found this experience entirely new.
Many members of the tribe are displayed with weapons, Catlin is surrounded by people with bows and arrows and the chief is holding a spear. Although weaponry is primarily linked to violence, the painting gives off a sense of serenity and comfort. Catlin is clearly at ease with the tribe, and they are the same with him. This shows that the Native Americans were not always the savage and fierce characters they were often depicted to be.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
For a few reasons it seems difficult to accept much accuracy from this image. The connotations it brings are quite important though. In terms of it's accuracy, the clothes seem to be far too bright in colour. They seem to have been enhanced and as a consequence, are more European, or British even. His clothes are royal blue and red in colour, when they would much more likely to be a beige. Wi Jun Jon by George Catlin demonstrated more clearly what the attire specifically looked like. This is most definitely, an interpretation.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
The Tea Party believes, that a small government that has checks and balances to prevent a small number of people having too much power is a successful government and the video persuades watchers to believe this when comparing it to a soviet or communist government. Whittle lists example of poor governed countries that have failed to change real human nature, introduce communism and socialism as having been unsuccessful, for example the Russian Rev. Britain in the 60s-70s, the French Rev, Cuban communism and many more. This persuades watchers to believe and support the Tea Party but this view is biased as he doesn’t list countries that have
been successful in other political ideologies.
Also Whittle suggests that in reality human nature can’t change as people will always be motivated by self interest nevertheless, this is a generalization as not everyone acts like this as more people can be seen as becoming publicly involved and less self indulgent. This leads on to the Tea Party second core belief, free enterprise. Once again when making his point Whittle assumes the government projects and services as being useless, a disappointment and generally a pain in people lives. Instead he ‘glams up’ private business as being ‘faster, friendlier and having better services’ as it can be seen as being a ‘miracle.’ This assumption is misleading as what’s to say you won’t get a good customer service in post office and a poor service with FedEx. Also The Tea party paints the government as being controlling as they suggest the government can ‘take your many at gun point’ whilst private business is the way forward and better for
The main feature of the site that I was first drawn to was how patriotic it is with the red, white and blue colour scheme with the stars and stripes in the main banner background. In the video clips, they use phrases like 'we the people' and how they are fighting and trying to preserve their sense of freedom. After the colours on the site you are drawn to this main video clip - where all around it there are links to sign up and donate/contribute to the Tea Party which is mainly what the website has been set up to achieve
Along the right hand side of the page are many additional links including - About us (TheTeaParty.net organisation), Join the Movement, Who to Vote For, Tea Party Calender, Forum etc - which all offer a wide range of information on what the TeaParty.net are trying to achieve and how others can get involved in their cause.
The site itself is very easy to navigate and is very user friendly - it makes it easy for anyone to find out about the Tea Party movement and how they could get involved if they wanted, as well as a forum where others are able to express their views and opinions with other like minded people. TheTeaParty.net is also a good web page as it offers a range of different media features (eg - videos, text, pictures etc) and so will be able to attract a wider audience as their messages are very easy to get across to everyone.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
On first clicking on the website i was immedietly drawn to the recurring image of the 'stars and stripes' which I felt encouraged a sense of patriotism, through the image of the Tea Party representing the country. I thought patriotism was a good aspect to use as it is a vital and natural part of the american way of life and by using it in this way presents the Tea Party as the 'natural' path to America's improvement, thus appealing to the public. The phrase displayed on the left hand side of the website and repeated on other pages throughout, further enhances this idea,