Thursday, June 30, 2011

competency

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TNT Competency Statement


TNT Consulting consists of owners and. We have a combined 1 years of experience in the IT Industry. We have experience in the following core competencies networking, client/server computing, application support, remote administration and documentation/knowledge transfer.


In the networking arena, we have worked on Cisco hubs and switches as well as the 600 router series. We can implement basic Access Control Lists as well as segmented VLAN’s. We also have a great deal of experience in troubleshooting connectivity issues within buildings (LAN’s) and between physical locations (WAN’s). We are adept at setting up VPN’s and using RADIUS authentication for secure communication.


In client/server computing, we have done everything from building a Windows NT domain to designing a Windows 000 Active Directory domain that contains over 1000 objects to building a dedicated web server cluster that serves over million pages a day. We have also built dedicated application servers for 50 different applications, print servers, file servers, intranet and extranet servers. We have experience with Novell Netware, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, and Windows 000. We have architected systems from hardware requirements to disk allotment to client side drive mappings. We have also worked on the client side to troubleshoot all manner of issues.


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As far as Application support is concerned, there is almost nothing that we haven’t seen. We have worked with over 50 different applications. Some of these applications resided on a single server and others have been run on clusters as large as 7 servers. We have connected to and run both MS SQL Server and Oracle 8. We have also setup Terminal Services application servers that allow multiple users to simultaneously access a remote server and run the applications on it as if the application was running on their desktop.


For the past 4 years, we have administered over 60 servers in 5 remote locations. In a Windows 000 environment, we use terminal services and in the older Windows environments, our preference is to run PCAnywhere. We have been able to apply service packs, install new software and troubleshoot any issues which arise that do not require a hardware change. In situations were there was a semi-skilled employee on site, we have been able to resolve all issues without the need to travel to the server location.


In regards to documentation, we have documented the install procedures, all upgrades, hardware configuration and physical and logical layouts of all systems we have worked on. We also provide a knowledge transfer with complete documentation at the completion of any work done. This will include working side-by-side with any employees who may continue on-site maintenance in our absence.





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“Analysis of a Narrative: George Orwell’s “Shooting An Elephant”

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George Orwell’s works are very compelling and descriptive. I have previously read the story “Animal Farm,” which was also by Orwell. Seeing different works by the same author has been beneficial because I know that there is more than one way to write an interesting essay. In “Shooting An Elephant” Orwell depicts an intriguing narrative essay that motivates his readers’. In it Orwell describes how he is hated by the Burmans and Buddhist priest because he is an officer for the British Empire. One day a sub-inspector from the police station calls and tells him there is an elephant that has broken loose and is going through the village causing destruction. The trainer is too far away from the elephant, so Orwell has to think of something. After he finds the elephant he is faced with the decision on whether or not to shoot it. All the Burmans are there waiting on him to kill the elephant so they can use it as food. So finally, he gives into the pressure from the Burmans and kills it so he doesn’t look like a fool. At first this essay may seem bland to some, but as the reader continues they are captivated by his conflicts, narrative points, how he relates everything back to his thesis, and his descriptive details. This is what makes Orwell’s essay such a good example of a narrative.


Displayed in the essay are not only internal conflicts that Orwell deals with, but external ones as well. The first conflict introduced was man versus man. The Burmans and Buddhist priests do not like Orwell because he is a European police officer for the British Empire. This is ironic because he disliked the Burmans too. He stated “that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest’s guts” (10). This is a good example of how there can be more than one conflict within a story and within a main character. Then, the conflict man verses self came about after Orwell finds the elephant and he has to make a decision on whether or not to shoot it.


People can perceive this essay’s narrative point differently because there are many good ideas illustrated. Some may be hard to find but personally, I found the narrative point easily at the beginning of the essay. Orwell states, “It was a tiny incident in itself, but it gave me a better glimpse than I had had before of the real nature of imperialism-the real motives for which despotic governments act” (10). Reader’s may go over and over an essay and never find it, but if it happens to be expressed as explicitly as it is in Orwell’s, there will be no difficulty in identifying it.


Evaluating Orwell’s essay, it is apparent his details flow together and are consistently interesting. In the beginning he has a descriptive introduction that causes the readers’ to reflect back and remember why he shoots the elephant. Throughout this essay, how the people will react and think of him is important to


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Orwell and his actions. He states that, “in every crisis he has got to do what the “natives” expect of him,” (1). Again, this leads to the outcome of the remaining


paragraphs in the essay and is crucial in keeping readers attentive.


The details described in Orwell’s essay are so realistic; it makes the reader feel as if they are really there. For example, when the elephant was on the rampage he killed and trampled an Indian. The words he uses to explain him were very visual and specific; it made the reader feel as if they were present. He also stated how he felt as he was looking at the Indian, which gives the essay extra meaning. He said, “Never tell me, by the way, that the dead look peaceful. Most of the corpses I have seen looked devilish” (11). This allows the reader to picture the Indian’s corpse more clearly, through someone else’s eyes. Also, when Orwell shot the elephant, he uses descriptive terminology to keep the reader’s attention. It was not just one shot and the elephant was dead, it was a drawn out tedious task that took a while. He wrote, “I waited a long time for him to die,” and “It seemed dreadful to see the great beast lying here, powerless to move and yet powerless to die, and not even be able to finish him” (1). These statements affect the reader because they are so descriptive and they take them into the story.


Overall, Orwell wrote a narrative essay that had an unusual conflict that made the readers’ realize how weak humans are when their integrity is challenged. The arrangement of the essay was effective. The conflicts he wrote about were interesting and displayed his narrative point quite well. The descriptiveness


present keeps the readers’ attention until the end. Once the reader starts the essay, it will be difficult to put it down before they are done with it.





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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

27-17 Francisco Goya. Third of May. 1808What was the political event that proceeded this painting? How does this compare with Gros?Napoleon in the Plague House at Jaffa?What was the background of Goya’s career?How did he paint the royal family of Spain? T

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7-17 Francisco Goya. Third of May. 1808


What was the political event that proceeded this painting?


How does this compare with Gros?Napoleon in the Plague House at Jaffa?


What was the background of Goya’s career?


Write your 27-17 Francisco Goya. Third of May. 1808What was the political event that proceeded this painting? How does this compare with Gros?Napoleon in the Plague House at Jaffa?What was the background of Goya’s career?How did he paint the royal family of Spain? T research paper


How did he paint the royal family of Spain? To whom did he pay homage in this painting?


7-1 Joseph Mallord William Turner Snowstorm Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps


How does this painting address the issue of the Sublime? What concept was opposed to the Sublime?


What event does it illustrate?


Who was Ruskin, and what did Ruskin think of Turner’s work?


What medium did Turner help to revolutionize?


How does this painting compare to Casper David Friedrich, Monk by the Sea?


What were Friedrich’s views on God?


How does Turner’s painting compare to that of John Constable, The White Horse, 181?


7-5 Thomas Cole. The Oxbow. 186


Where was this painting first exhibited?


What does it depict? How big is it?


What was the Course of the Empire about?


How might this painting relate to the theme explored in that series of four paintings?


How is this painting related to 7-6, George Caleb Bingham’s Fur Traders Descending the Missouri?


7- William Fox-Talbot The Open Door 184


What is a calotype?


What were the advantages of Fox-Talbot’s methods over those of Daguerre?


How was a Daguerrotype made?


What role did Julia Margaret Cameron play in the development of photography as an art form?


Why did Gaspard-Felix Tournachon, better know as Nadar, begin taking photographs?


What role did he take in promoting the Impressionists? http//www.artchive.com/74nadar.htm The Artchive’s Virtual recreation of Nadar’s exhibition of Impressionist art�also a good paper topic!


Who was Charles Baudelaire? http//www.empirezine.com/spotlight/bau/bau-bio.htm


7- John Augustus Roebling and Washington Augustus Roebling. Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, 1867


What was the new technology used to created this bridge?


How does the support of this bridge function?


What elements in the bridge reference the romantic taste for past eras?


How does this compare to Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace 7-8?


What was the reason that the Crystal Palace was constructed?


7-48 Gustave Courbet. A Burial at Ornans. 184


What event has Courbet depicted here?


How is the treatment of peasants different than that of 7-47, Jean-Francoise Millet, The Gleaners, 1857?


Why was this painting shocking to the conservative public both in terms of subject matter and style?


What were Courbet’s politics?


How does this painting compare with 7-4, Honore Daumier, The Third Class Carriage?


7-56. Edouard Manet. Le Dejeuner sur L’Herbe 186


Why did this painting inspire the first exhibition of the Impressionists in 1874?


Why was this painting so shocking to critics that they missed the classical references in the painting?


What was the Salon de Refuses (Salon of the Rejected)?


What print did he copy when he did this painting?


What influence, if any, did Titian and Giogione’s Pastoral Concert have on this painting?


How does this painting relate to 7-57, Olympia?


7-5 Claude Monet Boulevard des Capucines, Paris. 187


What is plein air painting?


What was Japonisme?


How is this work related to the Academic tradition of making quickly painted sketches?


Who was Baron Von Haussmann and how does this view of wide city streets relate to his efforts? http//7.111encyclopedia.org/H/HA/HAUSSMANN_GEORGES_EUGENE_BARON.htm


7-6 Mary Cassatt, Woman in a Loge, 187 and


7-6 Edgar Degas The Rehearsal on Stage


How are these two paintings similar (hint they both show aspects of Parisian night life)?


How are they different?


Why might the difference be attributed to Cassatt’s gender?


Why was Cassatt’s painting originally called Lydia in a Loge?


7-6 Paul Cezanne. Mont Sainte-Victoire


7-7 Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 1884


7-7 Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night 188


7-74 Paul Gauguin. Manana no atua (Day of the God)


What is Post-Impressionism?


Who were the four major post-impressionists?


How did these four painters differ from the Impressionists in their approach to painting?


What were Seurat’s beliefs about complimentary colors?


How did Van Gogh transform Seurat’s divisionism/pointillism into his own unique style?


What idea does Van Gogh’s Starry Night illustrate?


Was Gauguin’s painting actually painted in Tahiti? Why did he go there?


7-8 Victor Horta, Stairway, Tassel House, Brussels 18-


7-8 Hector Guimard, Desk 18


What was Art Nouveau?





What did this style have in common with symbolism?


How did Art Nouveau artists feel about modern industry?


What are some of the characteristics of the style of art nouveau?





Who was Hector Guimard?


Who was Henri de Toulouse Lautrec?


7-7 Jacob Riis. Tenement Interior in Poverty gap An English Coal-Heaver’s Home 188


What were Riis?views on poverty?


How did his views differ from Social Darwinism?


What was the book that Riis published entitled?


How were the photographs of Riis different from those of Alfred Steiglitz, 7-6,


Winter on Fifth Avenue, 18?














Essay Question


Go to your text book and the artchive (www.artchive.com ) and select one of the following early twentieth century movements to write about.


1. Cubism


. Fauvism


. Die Brucke


4. Der Blau Reiter


5. Futurism


6. Constructivism


Keep the following questions in mind as you are writing about the movement that you have chosen


1. What were the major goals or aims of this modernism movement?


. How did this work relate to the art of the four major Postimpressionist artists?


. Who were the members of these modernist groups?


4. What are the stylistic characteristics of their work?


5. Remember that it is extremely important that you don’t plagiarize. Put everything in your own words.





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War In Iraq

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Introduction Bush said after the terrorist attack in New York, “Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom � the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time � now depends on us. Our nation � this generation � will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.” Shortly before Bush started making plans for the invasion, he stated that “The purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced � the just demands of peace and security will be met � or action will be unavoidable. And a regime that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power.”(NBC.org)


Main Points


I.) Saddam Hussein has given Bush no choice but to invade.


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A) Since 18, Saddam has not allowed U.N. weapons inspectors to have access into Iraq (NBC.org).


B) The weapons inspectors have gathered evidence that Saddam has produced thousands of tons of chemical weapons and is working on a nuclear weapon


C) Saddam openly harbors terrorists in Iraq and strongly supports terrorist action.


D) Iraq continued to support terror and flaunt hostility toward America.


II.) All Americans should support the troops and the war effort.


A) President Bush said “Our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives (NBC.org).”


B) Thousands of Americans are rallying in anti-war protests.


1) I do not agree with this behavior.


) Everyone has the right of freedom of speech but I fear that the soldiers fighting for our country will be treated like outcasts when they come back just as the many soldiers coming back from Vietnam were.


C) Even if you think the war is not morally right, you should still support your country and the soldiers fighting for it.


III.) The effects of the war vastly range from bad to good.


A) Naturally, as the war progresses, the number of Iraqi and U.S. deaths is rising.


B) In some Iraqi cities, residents have been seen thanking U.S. and British soldiers as people told them of incredible stories of brutality that Saddam’s troops have shown their own people (CNN TV).


C) It is thought that the war might finally bring peace to the Middle East (USA Today).


D) The threats are being destroyed as chemical weapons stockpiles and military facilities are being seized (CNN .com).


Conclusion Saddam Hussein’s violent dictatorship cannot be tolerated. We cannot sit by idle and wait for terror to strike. It may not be pleasant, but we are doing the right thing. Remember that when you think of the soldiers involved because they all deserve your support.





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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Industrialization and Urbanization of America

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The Industrialization and Urbanization of America


In the late 1th century and early 0th century, industrialization began to change the complexion of the American population, moving many from rural communities into the cities and many from the urban areas of the cities to its suburban areas. This change had many positive and negative effects but overall the positive effects outweighed the negative ones.


One of the main reasons for the population shift was the instillation of large factories in big cities. These plants attracted millions of workers into the cities’ urban areas, and by 100 the urban population in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia had swelled to 6.5 million each.


Citizens in these large cities enjoyed the benefits of electric lighting in the cities, along with transportation provided first by horse cars and later by trolly. The municipal government also improved in these cities, becoming more centralized and better administered. These governments undertook numerous public projects, such as water aqueducts and sewage systems.


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Unfortunately, as the cities began to see these great improvements, so they saw the negative effects of urbanization. The overabundance of new citizens in these cities inevitably meant overcrowding, with many families living in cramped, airless apartments. The streets in these areas were filthy and badly maintained, and during early springtime, when the snow began to melt, the streets often turned into filthy, garbage filled rivers. In many cities, the smog from the factories nearly blocked out the sun.


Many of the elite moved out of the cities and into the surrounding country sides, where the air was free of smog and the noise of the big city was nowhere to be heard. The advancements in transportation, such as new railway systems, allowed them to move for distances from their places of occupation, building impressive mansions on huge plots of land. Despite the rush to the outskirts some of the rich opted to stay in the city, and helped create high class neighborhoods in the heart of the city. For example, Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and the Gold Coast in Chicago were high class neighborhoods centered in the cities.


The poor were hit hardest and most negatively by the urban changes. As land values climbed after the civil war, many of the small homes and shacks which they occupied were torn down and replaced with cheaply constructed buildings designed to house the masses. These new tenements had poor plumbing, were cramped, and often times were very unsafe. City planners attempted to solve the problems with building codes, such as New York’s Tenement House Law of 101, which required interior courts, indoor toilets, and fire safeguards. The problem with codes such as this was that they guided the construction of new structures but had little effect on those buildings already existing.


As for the middle class, they migrated to the suburban world, which provided a safe and comfortable location for family life. The middle class of the past had been made up of lawyers, doctors, merchants, and proprietors, but with the industrialization they were joined by managers, accountants, engineers, chemists, salesmen, and advertising executives, among others. By 110 almost million people held white collar jobs, compromising a fourth of all employed Americans. Middle class families became smaller, with the average family consisting of two parents and three children.


Many immigrants took residence in the big cities in the early twentieth century, usually in congested downtown ghettos or outlying factory districts. Immigrants tended to settle by ethnic group, sectioning themselves off from other groups by neighborhood. These groups became tight nit communities which aided each other in times of need. For example, the Italians of Chicago organized mutual aid societies that provided help in times of sickness and death.


Religion remained a very important aspect of American life during this era. African Americans sought a place of refuge form racism and discrimination, and the church provided that place. Emigrating Jews from Eastern Europe held on to tradition, such as keeping a kosher kitchen and conducting services in Hebrew, among others. Catholics struggled with issues of change, on issues such as intermarriage with non Catholics. Protestants tried to accommodate the changing make-up of the urban population by offering nurseries, clubhouses, and vocational schools.


In conclusion, the urbanization and industrialization of the late 1th century and early 0th century did have both positive and negative effects. What is more important though, is that the positive effects certainly outweighed the negative ones.





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The Retreat of a culture

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Im into having sex, I aint into making love


So come give me a hug if you into to getting rubbed


WOW! Now that’s poetry if I have ever read it? Understand that there is nothing wrong with having a good time, but why does this song stand above every other song on the artists LP? The lyrics are blunt, sexy and crude. The beat is catchy. The artist has even survived gang war and a life through hell to deliver this life-changing message to us. These are the lyrics and beat that a major record label knows a retreatist society will adopt. Our society will not only adopt this “art-form”, but it will feed a pretty penny for the copy and make this young man rich and successful. Which, in the end, is all were really after. 50 Cent can attest to that, the title of his album is Get Rich or Die Tryin’.


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So what effect does the stranglehold of major record labels on today’s popular artists have? And what effect do they have on shaping and molding the music of today’s society, and its values? If you go into any club across America you will probably need to be twenty-one to get in, does that mean only the clubbing crowd or audience buys these discs? No. These songs are played constantly on the radio, MTV, clubs, everywhere, pounding the lyrics into our heads like a Christmas jingle. So what social-class are buying these discs? Is it the white-collar politician up on the hill? No. It is more likely to be a teenager born and raised in the ghetto, a teen that can relate. What do these artists preach? If nothing else, have “a good time”. Let the upper class stay above the lower class, and let the people of the lower class adopt a culture that will keep them in the lower class. This is what they may be unintentionally teaching them.





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Monday, June 27, 2011

alcohol

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In Enoch Gordis’s article Cognitive Impairment and Recovery from Alcoholism, he talked


about a lot of the effects alcohol can have on the brain. He also talks about how those


effects on the brain change and affect our bodies. This article reflects many of the ideas


and concepts that the class has been faced with and serves as a warning about the


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consequences of drinking. Many people may have friends and family who drink alcohol


socially and they probably know someone who is a drunk, or had their lives changed by a


drunk driver. So this article could touch people on so many levels. Personally my father


and several of my uncles were heavy drinkers for years and three of my friends were


involved in alcohol related automobile accidents. In this country liquor seems to be


emphasized by people instead of advertised by companies, with the exception of beer. So


why is alcohol so popular? I think it is because American society is based on being number


one in whatever you do and the mind-altering effect of alcohol gives people that sense of


being on top and some people just can not let it go, while others can not stand the


hangovers. Alcohol frees people from their insecurities and inhibitions, the superego, and


replaces it with the cravings of the id, the most primitive part of personalities. Which


would lead to the conclusion that alcohol keeps people from thinking clearly.


Cognition is defined as the mental processes involved in thinking, knowing, perceiving,


learning, and remembering. It is no secret that consuming alcoholic beverages tends to do


everything it can to impede cognition. But the long term effects of drinking may or may


not be insurmountable. Brain damage may occur as the result of years of heavy drinking


and some people even develop brain disorders which make them incapable of remembering


new information for longer than a few seconds. Alcohol does not need a lot of time to


effect your brain because even adolescents who participate in binge drinking show signs


that liquor is interfering with their ability to learn and be successful in classes. There have


even been studies which showed that the brain damage caused by drinking may even slow


the process of recovering from alcoholism even after one’s drinking days are over. Other


studies show that brain damage caused by alternate studies may also contribute to


alcoholism(Gordis 11).


Even though alcohol may impair cognition and cognitive processes drinkers and


non-drinkers will probably score the same on intelligence tests. But if given a test that


involves critical thinking or “thinking outside the box” the non-drinker will almost always


do better, because alcohol interferes with higher thinking processes especially. In essence


alcohol strips a person of their creativity as well as their ability to think. If a person who


was a heavy drinker was asked to file papers he or she would be able to complete the task,


but if they were asked to create a new system for filing papers they would not be able to


do it(Gordis 1). Alcohol in a sense may take away your ability to be extraordinary or to


be an innovator. So it is of great interest to understand how alcohol does this to the brain,


when college students are thought of as the leaders of tomorrow and they are also


associated with the world of binge drinking and drug abuse.


Alcohol has the ability to shrink the overall size and density of the human brain as well


as change brain cell activity throughout the brain(Gordis 1). The fact that alcohol tends


to change the way your brain physically works is most intriguing. This classifies alcohol as


a psychoactive drug because it is a chemical that affects mental processes and behavior by


their effects on the nervous system. Computerized tomography (CT Scan) and magnetic


resonance imaging (MRI) are two forms of brain scans used to generate pictures of the


living tissue inside the brain. A CT scan creates a computerized image of the brain from X


rays passed through the brain at various angles. MRI’s use powerful pulses of magnetic


energy to get different responses from different types of tissues inside the brain to form


images. Positron emission tomography (PET scan) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy


allow neurologists to see brain cell activity. The PET scan detects brain cell activity by


tracking the movement of radioactive substances in active regions of the brain. PET scans


rely on the detection of atomic particles known as positrons that are emitted by a


radioactive administered to patients(61). It is through brain scans that scientists can tell


that an alcoholic’s brain almost always has less volume and density than a nondrinkers


brain. The two regions of the brain that lose the most volume are the frontal lobes of the


cerebral cortex and the cerebellum(Gordis 1). The frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex or


the pre-frontal cortex, is responsible for planning, deciding, one’s personality,


temperament, speech, and control of the body’s voluntary muscles(Zimbardo 66). The


cerebellum located near the back of the brain is coordinates movement, controls posture,


and maintains equilibrium. The cerebellum is also involved in learning, specifically classical


conditioning, which allows us to give responses to new cues, like when a bell rings we


know it means something, rather it be time for the next class in high school or it’s time for


church to begin(6).


But some instances of brain impairment caused by alcoholism are reversible by


abstaining from drinking. Recovering alcoholics begin to regain problem-solving abilities,


short term memory, brain volume, and their ability to pay attention after several months to


a year of not drinking. The brain itself has the power to change the patterns and pathways


of brain activity. Scientists have seen the brain send information away from those regions


of the brain that have been damaged due to alcohol through alternate brain systems with


the help of brain scanning, in recovering alcoholics. Pfefferbaum and colleagues examined


the brain activity of cognitively impaired alcoholic participants during a series of tests


designed to assess cognitive function. The results of the test concluded that the brains’ of


the alcoholic participants would use different nerve systems than, the control,


non-alcoholic participants to complete the tasks equally well. This finding is especially


uplifting for the young drinkers found in college because their brains are still creating


nerve-cell networks which send the information out from the brain to the rest of the


body(Gordis 14).


For all that scientists know about the brain and alcohol they are not sure how cognition


effects alcohol treatment. That is they know how alcohol effects cognition but they do not


know how the effects of alcohol apply to curing alcoholism. Cognitively impaired patients


may not have the means to understand the therapy and might not use strategies presented


to them to cure alcoholism. Another possibility is that cognitive functioning may not


influence alcoholism but it may have an effect on something else that could help stop


alcoholism. A few examples include getting a patient to focus on the importance of


exercising and nutrition, this may cause a recovering alcoholic to view alcohol as toxic to


their bodies. One last view on cognition’s effect on recovery is that a patient wait after


the first weeks of being clean to try any therapy because cognitive impairment is usually


the worse in this period of time (Gordis 15-16).


After reading this article I felt like I had a better understanding of alcoholism and in


particular recovering from dependency. I also found out a lot about the realm of


psychology and how all the disciplines interact in the “real world.” I say the “real world”


because I have been sheltered from so much, but alcoholism is one of the few social ills I


have been a witness to and had to live with. In doing this project I was somehow able to


link the old school theories of Freud with the technology of today, which also gives a lot


of meaning to what we do in class, and lets me know that this is information I am going to


use in my life.





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Volunteer Organizations

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Its hard to summarize a project that I would do no matter whether it was assigned or not. I work as an volunteer because I know there is not enough money to be had to pay enough people to do what volunteers do. In a selfish way I do it for myself too, I get great joy out of being able to help someone in some way. I have all praise to give to my parents for being the examples they where in my life to make me who I am today.


I choose Big Brother/Big Sister because you can give one-on-one time with a child so you can make an impact on their lives. I get to see my Little Sister from the beginning and see the changes she has made at the end of our time together. I make life long memories and hope I can give her life long memories and qualities.


From being with my first Little Sister I learned that I had more than I deserved growing up. That I took a lot of experiences and material possessions for granted. She taught me to be patient and to really make time for her. With my new match I have a new found joy for life. She takes what life gives her and makes the most of it. She is positive in every situation. She has made me stop and think about being happy about everything I take time do. One thing in the program that you find is that your Little will start to mimetic you. She will talk the way you talkor smile when your smiling. These seem like little things, but when you are working with a child who needs an impact little things add up to huge things. A symbolic interactionism would take place in this in this relationship as you become closer to one another.


Sometimes it easy for me to become ethnocentric when working with the program. I think of my life and my childhood and can not understand why these kids are not getting the big picture or the little picture as it might be sometimes. I really have to take set back to think this child is not me. She is not growing up in the same environment that I did. But at the same time she is still a child reaching out and I am there to pick her up. The culture differences (sometimes large, sometimes small) do not make a difference when friendship and caring is truly involved. As I learn more and more about her I find their really are not that many differences. She has the same values, norms, and sanctions in her life as I did and do. Her mom wants nothing but the best for her, which is why she has me, and that is nothing different than what my family is like. I think that in society today we dwell too much on differences instead of trying to find what is alike.


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An overwhelming feeling can over take me sometimes knowing that I am being an significant other to her. I know that I am being watched whenever I am with her. I feel like I really do not add up to what she needs or what she expects of me. I guess this would be like self realization that I am not great. I make mistakes and mess up, but in her eyes just now I can do no wrong. This scares me because I know someday I will make a mistake and it will change her outlook of me. Working with young children can be challenging at times to know what to do or say. You can be changing this child’s life for the best or the worse. My social interaction with my Little is much different than when I am with my friends or family, but sometimes I think that is wrong. If my Little Sister saw me out would she still want to look up to me, and for me to be her role model.


I guess that it is that way with everything you do in life we take on different roles depending on if we are at home, work. friends, or out volunteer placement. I do understand to a point that my social interaction does have to be different, but I guess the question is, How different?


Being a volunteer brings negative and positive status to ones life. Since I have started Big Brother/Big Sister I have been looked upon as a hero to children, but at the same time I have been looked at as someone wasting their time. I do not like to think of myself as an hero, but a waste of time? The people who say this usually back it with, That child will always be that way because of their social class or it’s a waste of time they will just go back to their old ways. I wish for a moment those people could see that the world does not revolve around them and their negative altitudes. The only way that there is going to be a change in the lower class (I know that is stereo typical use of lower class) is for it to start with the children. To make a difference in one life, so that they can make a difference in their children’s lives and the trail continues on, is what Big Brother/Big Sister is about. That is why I want to be a part of the work, and to be proud that I am a part of their organization.


To sum it all up, sociology to me is the art of watching people. When watching a Little learn new task or achieve something big it makes you proud that you have been a part of their lives. It not only makes us proud, but most of the time the parent (guardian) is proud their child has found a bond with a Big. Step my step children can learn and change all it takes is a friendly smile and lots of encouragement.


Thanks so much for giving this assignment, it made me look deeper at my reasons and whys for taking part in Big Brother/Big Sister. I know that its not just fun, but its for a change of my Littles life and My life!!!


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

budgeting made easy

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Title BUDGETING MADE EASY


Topic Budgeting


Specific purpose To inform my audience of the importance and ease of budgeting.


Thesis statement We must know how to budget our money so that we are not on the verge of financial crisis.


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Introduction


Attention material Eating crackers all week because you simply can’t afford a decent meal. Borrowing your friend’s underwear because you don’t have laundry money. Skipping showers for a week. These are all a result of not being on a budget.


Credibility material I’ve done research and found that University students are vulnerable to financial crisis, especially if they are not on a budget.


Thesis statement We must know how to budget our money so that we are not on the verge of financial crisis.


Preview College students do need to be aware of how to follow a budget.


(Transition “Let’s look at the first step in planning a budget.”)


BODY


I. First you have to start by estimating your expenses.


A. Starting by making a list of all expenses.


1. You can use a worksheet to help you do this.


. Or simply make your own list.


. You should include everything from rent, gas, and other bills to food, entertainment, vacation, and savings.


4. According to the College Student Journal (001), good money management includes “regular generation of financial statements, budgeting, control of spending, and recording income and expenses.”


B. This will help you see exactly what you can afford and where exactly your money goes.


1. By doing this you can see how much money you need for your most important expenses.


. You may also be surprised at where a lot of your money goes.


. According to the credittalk.com, you should “use extra caution spending only what you can afford, pay your bills on time, closely monitor your bank account, and charge only what you can repay.”


C. As a college student, you will find you have a lot of different expenses that can add up quickly.


1. Some of these can include rent or housing costs, books, fees, food, clothes, utilities, entertainment, and those unnecessary credit card bills.


. In order to plan a budget you will have to look at all of these and take each of them into account.


. Just because you have expenses doesn’t meant that you need a credit card.


4. According to the College Student Journal, “approximately 80% of full-time undergraduate students have credit cards with an average outstanding balance of $,6 and 10% of them have outstanding balances of more than $7,000.”


5. So, starting a budget is the first step to your financial freedom.


(Transition we’re gonna look at how to put a budget into effect.)


II. Next you will want to figure out your monthly income.


A. As a student, you may have several sources of income.


1. Some of these can include your parents, a job, financial aide, a loan, savings, etc.


. According to All Things Financial, “As time goes on, more of your income goes toward paying the accrued interest and less towards saving, buying goods and services, and keeping up with necessary living expenses.”


B. Now that you know all of your monthly income, you want to add up your income from all of the sources.


1. Once you get a total monthly income, you will want to write this in the blank provided on the worksheet.


. Planning a budget will help you reach your financial goals.


. According to firsttennessee.com, “A financial plan is a method of taking control of your financial life by setting goals and reaching those goals. Its a plan that can help you protect, accumulate and conserve your assets.”


(Transition “Once you have all of the figures worked out you can figure out the difference.”


III. Finally we can use these numbers to figure out the difference.


A. All you have to do is subtract your monthly expenses from you monthly income.


B. The amount you get will be your NET, which can mean one of two things according to credittalk.com


1. “The amount of money you’ve got left over if you have more income than expenses.”


. Or, “the amount of money you’ll owe if you have more expenses than income.”


. The definition of NET according to Webster’s Compact Dictionary is “the remaining after deductions.”


4. Getting a handle on the flow of your money is “the key to successful money management”, according to firsttennessee.com.


C. If you have more expenses than income you have two options.


1. Your first choice is to increase you income by getting a second job or a better paying job.


. The second choice is to cut your expenses.


(Transition “In Conclusion”)


CONCLUSION


Summary statement Take the simple steps of budgeting one at a time and step into financial freedom.


Concluding remarks I know that if I can put the simple steps into effect, so can you.





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"In Retrospect"

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In Retrospect


By Robert S. McNamara


Vietnam had long since been a place of controversy, and where the American government focused its fear of communism for many years. Throughout the Kennedy and Johnson administrations the government maintained that the war between the Communist north and the south could have only been won by the South Vietnamese, and that US military could not have won it for them. It stressed that the fall of South Vietnam to communism would threaten the rest of the western world.


McNamaras book, In Retrospect The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, begins with a dozen or so interesting but terse pages on the authors background; his schooling; his meeting, and marriage to, Margaret McKinstry Craig, to whose memory the book is dedicated; his wartime service as an air corps statistical control officer; and his postwar service with the Ford Motor Company. He had been president of that company for only seven weeks when John Kennedy made him Secretary of Defense in 161. The problems of Vietnam from 161 to early 168 occupy virtually the rest of the book. Although the war lasted some eight more years, the story ends with McNamaras transition to the World Bank in 168, as the Tet offensive begins.


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In the period 165-67, Robert McNamara came to believe that Vietnam was a problem with no solution. This is the theme of his book. His frustration arose because the war was fought under five rules, which, as he saw it, proved incompatible with victory. These rules were (1) that Southeast Asia as a whole must be kept from communist control; () that US troops should not be sent outside the borders of South Vietnam; () that the South Vietnamese should achieve political stability and--with US tutelage and military aid--learn to defend themselves; (4) that the United States under no circumstances should initiate the use of nuclear weapons; and (5) that the enemy operated under the assumption that it could win a long inconclusive war. In the face of these rules, McNamara came to believe that the United States should withdraw from Vietnam, because Rule proved impossible of attainment, and the costs of withdrawal (Rule 1) would be tolerable. To a degree impossible to determine, his conclusion, by his own account, was influenced also by the anti-war sentiment in the country which extended to his immediate family.


Robert McNamara wrote In Retrospect because he wanted to “Put Vietnam in context,”(xx). McNamara wanted to explain why the mistakes of Vietnam were made, not to justify them, but to help the American public understand them. He relies not only upon his memories, but upon the record whenever possible. People have often called Vietnam, McNamara’s war, because he made it his responsibility. As he learned more and more about South Vietnam, he became well acquainted with its leader Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem portrayed himself as a man who shared western values. Though as government would soon realize he was not the man they had hoped for. Diem needed to be removed from power; he was becoming more and more unpopular with his people. The Kennedy Administration seemed split on how democratic Diem really was. His conflicts between the Buddhists and Catholics were becoming more outrageous than ever. The administration supported a general’s coup to get Diem out of power. Diem and his brother Nhu were both assassinated during this coup.


On November , 16, Kennedy, himself, was assassinated on the streets of Dallas. McNamara poses many questions as to whether the war would have continued on the same route had Kennedy not been killed. McNamara feels that had Kennedy lived he would have pulled the US out of Vietnam. His reasoning was that Kennedy had told his cabinet “We are not going to bungle into war.” Kennedy was ready to start pulling the troops out because it was obvious that the war was impossible to win.


Lyndon B. Johnson then becomes president. Many debates were being held on what to do in regards to Vietnam. After Diem’s death, the Johnson Administration faced political problems in Saigon. The demands for U.S. military actions were growing. On August , 164, North Vietnam launched an attack against an American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin. A second attack was supposed to have taken place on August fourth, but McNamara has now concluded that the second attack never happened. Using the Gulf of Tonkin event to his advantage Johnson went to congress. The Gulf of Tonkin resolution gave the president the broad war powers. Meanwhile this resolution had been based on an attack that might well have never taken place.


McNamara discusses whether the Gulf of Tonkin resolution gave too much unlimited power to the president. He does not feel that the Congress understood what was happening in Vietnam or how the Johnson administration would respond to it. Though he never answers his own question as to whether the administration was given too much leniency when it came to its actions in Vietnam, it seems as if the Congress was misled on all the facts pertaining to the Gulf of Tonkin. After the Gulf of Tonkin, U.S. military troops were increased in Vietnam from ,000 to 175,000. McNamara in hindsight looks back and wonders, why? Why did they escalate and not withdraw? South Vietnam seemed like a lost cause. Their leaders were fighting among themselves and yet we continued to fight on their behalf. He believes that the US could have withdrawn without any negative affects on the country. Was there another way to stop these injustices? McNamara feels that all other resources were not exhausted before they ventured into a war that they had little hope of winning. The government overestimated the fall of South Vietnam. Would it really have threatened the rest of the western world? Probably not.


At the end of the book McNamara attributed the failure of the war to eleven major causes, including poor organization, lack of understanding of the enemy and its culture, and a decision made in the Presidents office to withhold information from the Congress of the United States and the American public. He blamed both himself and other government officials, including President Johnson, for not engaging in more detailed debate that might have illuminated the problems surrounding the war. The book generated controversy, with many people questioning why McNamara waited three decades to speak out against the war. There are also eight pages of reflection on post-Cold War military policy and a final word on Vietnam, the heart of which is


Although we sought to do the right thing--and believed we were doing the right thing--in my judgment, hindsight proves us wrong. We both overestimated the effect of South Vietnams loss on the security of the West and failed to adhere to the fundamental principle that, in the final analysis, if the South Vietnamese were to be saved, they had to win the war themselves.


When McNamara left the state department he had realized that the U.S. “could not achieve their objectives in Vietnam.” In the last few months of his term he came to the conclusion that continuing on the present course would eventually prove fatal and cost many of innocent lives. Johnson did not agree so he purposely left McNamara’s views out of discussions regarding the next course of action. What they needed was a rapid end to this war, and he felt that the bombing and the expansion of the ground war would not do the job. He proposed a list of alternatives such as stopping the bombing of the north to bring about negotiations, transferring the responsibility from our military to the South Vietnamese. Although he made his contentions well-known to the president, the president was not ready to hear him. His last deed in regards to Vietnam was to oppose General Westmoreland’s petition for 00,000 supplementary troops.


McNamara’s reasoning behind this book was to tell the American people what went on behind the scenes during the Vietnam War. Many critics of the Vietnam War feel that it was the inexperience of the state department, though they were extremely intelligent, they were not trained in the finer workings of the military which caused the escalation. There were several times when the US could have pulled out of Vietnam, but they thought that it would cause the United States to lose rank with the rest of the world. Both Administrations, I feel, overstated the threat that if South Vietnam fell to communism, then the rest of the east would fall like a line of dominoes.


One returns to the wild card in this story the manner in which the United States, including McNamaras own family, was driven into painful controversy over the war. And that is a part of the equation that all Americans must weigh for themselves. In fact, only McNamara can weigh all the factors which have driven him into the position that, whatever the cost, the United States should have withdrawn its troops from Vietnam. McNamara summed up a lot of misconceptions of what really happened, he comes right out and honestly says “We were wrong, terribly wrong.” The book makes a lot of valid points though it is hard to follow at times. In Retrospect has allowed me to become painfully aware of a war that I knew relatively little about. This book shows reasons as to why, right or wrong, the US intervened in Vietnam, and why the US should have withdrawn sooner than it did.





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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Equal People, Equal Rights

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Throughout history you can see that the Americans have always seemed to think they were better than someone else in one way or another. It started when our ancestors came to America from Europe. Did we not think that the Indians were savages? They were the ones who were not smart enough to rip apart and civilize the land. After that it was the Africans that were not good enough for the white man. We had to enslave them and turn them into possessions to be bought and traded, and thrown out like yesterday’s trash when work was not tolarable. Asians, Jews, Irish, and even the physically and mentally handicapped have all had their share of discrimination. But in our society the laws make it difficult to discriminate. We have determined that gays can not be discriminated against in jobs, housing and the like. But marriage, perhaps understandably, has been placed off limits to them. In the two opposing essays the authors have both given reasons why gays should or should not be given the right to be married.


The essay Let Gays Marry by Andrew Sullivan states many reasons why the American government should allow gay couples to be married. One reason Sullivan states is that “They [gays] are citizens, entitled, like everyone else, to equal protection- no special rights, but simple equality.”(Sullivan p.466) Homosexuals are people too, just like their heterosexual counterparts, and everyone should be granted the chance to marry the person they see fit. These men and women want to marry for the same reason everyone else does. They just want to share their love and support with one another. Sullivan also brings up the argument of raising families. If the only purpose of marriage were for procreation, then some would have a valid argument. However, marriage is a great deal more than that. You can ask any happily married couple. Although the strongest point Sullivan brings up is the fact that as times change, we have always changed the laws to work around the ever-changing community. Now most people view others of different races to be just as good as anyone else. With this change we are no longer limited to marrying someone of the same race without becoming a social outcast. Women are now seen as equals, and are no longer the man’s property. As society changes we must work around the mold to keep every citizen happy. We no longer degrade other races and sexes so why do we choose to still denigrate the gay members of the community?


The opposing essay, Leave Marriage Alone by William Bennett, does not have many strong arguments to support its case. The only main reason that Bennett really presents is that gays should not marry because, as he states, “many advocates of same-sex marriage simply do not share the same ideal; promiscuity among homosexual males is well known.” (Bennett p.467) This is his most relevant example and it is an opinion, not a fact. As for the rest of his essay Bennett gives few additional arguments. For example, he claims that it is dishonorable to be letting couples of the same sex marry. They would shred the foundation of what we now call marriage. He compares gay marriages to other socially unacceptable marriages such as father and daughter or sister and sister. toward the end of his essay he introduces one more topic, family. Bennett has no support behind his ideas and this does not give him a strong case. Bennett basically states that marriage is about raising a family. Although that may be one of the reasons behind marriage, it is not the only one. Obviously if the government is not ready to let gays marry then they will not feel so comfortable letting them raise children.


Bennett’s essay was not as strong as it should have been. All his statements are arguable and can be easily defeated. So there might be some promiscuous gay couples, there are many heterosexuals that are promiscuous as well. For example, look at the long list of Elizabeth Taylor’s lovers. If anything, for those who take marriage seriously it promotes monogamy and loyalty. People of the same gender are easily capable of maintaining a monogamous relationship with each other and fulfilling their obligations to each other as life partners. Marriage is about love, support, and companionship. If someone of the same sex can offer you that, then let him or her be happy. As for the family issue, there are many people who are not fertile, have a contagious disease, or can not bear children for one reason or another. But our government does not stop these people from getting married. It would be unconstitutional. What makes gays any different from these people? It seems the only reason Bennett does not support gay marriage is that he is uncomfortable with it. Why can’t we let people be who they are? These couples are not hurting anyone in doing what they are doing. Granting the right to marry is not going to set a bad example for the children; you can not change someone’s sexuality like that. Homosexuals want and need to contribute to society like every other motivated American citizen. They should not be outcasts, shunned by the rest of society. People of all different lifestyles have differences between one another, and usually we celebrate them; why now do we choose to show prejudice to just another difference? Man was created equal and we must give everyone the opportunity to take advantage of their equal rights.


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Nostalgia: Relive the Lost An essay on The Glass Menagerie

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Nostalgia Relive the Lost


Dr. Fred Davis once wrote of the nostalgia phenomenon saying, “It leads us to search among remembrances of persons and places of our past in an effort to bestow meaning upon persons and places of our present” (Davis, vii). Amanda Wingfield is a character whose entire being relies on this very definition of nostalgia and her past. Throughout the play, The Glass Menagerie, she is continuously searching for remembrances of her better days to reflect on with her children. The incessant theme of nostalgia in the Tennessee Williams’ play is significantly portrayed through Amanda’s continual flashbacks to the gentile southern lifestyle that she once wreaked of and is mirrored in the her expectations of her daughter, Laura Wingfield.


Amanda’s yearning for the past, in reality, is quite credible. The audience is continuously reminded of the luxurious, plantation-like lifestyle that she once lived and the presumably less-than-fantastic life she now leads. She is a faded southern belle who has faced the reversal of social and economic fortune. Her flashbacks are an escape from the reality that she is a struggling single-mother with two unsuccessful children and a husband that ran out on her. Williams even describes her character as one of great confused vitality clinging frantically to another place and time; a place and time when Amanda’s future was bright and prosperous with gentlemen callers and “niggers” waiting for her every need (Williams, 47). The flashback to the day at Blue Mountain has obviously been told numerous times by the outcries of her children when she begins the story. The details are meticulous first names, last names, jobs, and current statuses of almost all seventeen gentleman callers are recollected. By reliving the story over and over again, the possibilities of an alternative lifestyle are able to be fantasized in her head. It is almost as though she can go back for one imaginary moment and change the course of the past. According to Dr. Fred Davis, author of the book “Yearning for Yesterday” this would be considered am extreme case of nostalgia, due to the fact that she yearns for the past because she is currently unhappy with the present (Davis, 4).As in Amanda’s case, nostalgia “... Reassures us of the past happiness and accomplishment and as it were, in the bank of our memory, it simultaneously bestows upon us a certain current worth, however much present circumstances may obscure it or make it suspect,” (Davis, 4). Amanda realizes that she picked the wrong gentleman caller of the seventeen from that day at Blue Mountain, but regardless tries to justify her decision to herself and her children. She says, “Hadley Stevenson who was drowned in Moon Lake...Bates was shot through the stomach. Died in an ambulance on the way to Memphis,” (Williams, 441). Yet, she still thinks that the widows were better off than her because at5 least their husbands left them money, land, or some kind of tangible item, whereas hers left her nothing but a postcard. At this point in the play the audience sees that she is truly unhappy with the path her life has taken. It is when she tries to live her past through her own daughter that her case of nostalgia becomes a family issue and not just a personal issue.


“Resume your seat, little sister,” Amanda tells Laura, “I want to you to stay fresh and pretty for�gentleman callers!”(Williams, 440). A statement or a pathetic plea from mother to daughter, I believe the latter of the two. Laura is in her early twenties and has yet to have to have one gentleman caller come to the house, but Amanda neglects the truth and everyday hopes for a gentleman caller to come rescue her daughter back into reality and save Amanda’s own stability as a mother. To relive her own ‘old south’ past in her daughter is on the verge of caring and psychotic. Davis declares this is because, “Discontinuities of too great a magnitude can only give rise to chaos or psychosis; and it is precisely these states that nostalgia in its sometimes charming, sometimes pathetic way aims to arm us against it,” (Davis, 50).Amanda’s intense nostalgia for a bygone word may have something to do with the fact that neither she nor her children have managed to succeed in the more modern world in which they now live (Lichtenstein). Because of Laura’s failures at Business School Amanda has to resort to the only type of success that she knows, flirting with men. Amanda’s perceptions of what is socially appropriate for her daughter are skewed by the fact that none of the family members have been able to succeed in the day and age that no longer entails gentleman callers, guest suppers, and lemonade with dessert.


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Overall, Amanda Wingfield means well for herself and her children. It is that she is trapped within her own thoughts of nostalgia to point that she begins live them out some twenty years later.





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Friday, June 24, 2011

Laura's Glass Managerie

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Laura’s Glass Menagerie


The Glass Menagerie in “The Glass Menagerie”, by Tennessee Williams, is used to describe, or symbolize Laura’s character in the play. Laura, a very frail and insecure character from the play, lives in a world of illusions. Crippled with one leg shorter than the other from a childhood illness called pluerosis, Laura lives her life through her collection of glass animals that provide her refuge from reality. A “fragile and rare” particular glass animal called the unicorn symbolizes the character’s sufferings. The brilliant use of the imagery of the glass unicorn helps express the emotional anguish of Laura. Only when the unicorn loses its horn, and becomes like the other glass horses, does Laura learn to break from her fantasy world, snap into reality and realize that she is not a “freak” as she thought she had been.


Laura’s obsession of her glass ornaments is first eminent in scene two where she is seated in her delicate ivory chair, washing and polishing her collection. Her obsession is also prominent in this scene where it becomes obvious that her mother has criticized her many times for her unusual fascination of the glass animals because at the sound her mother approaching, she nervously shoves away them away. And before entering the room, the mother, Amanda, peeks through the door to see what Laura is doing and “purses her lips, opens her eyes very wide, rolls them upward and shakes her head” (65). Amanda scorns Laura for deceiving her by pretending to go to business school even though she dropped out. Her reason was that “I couldn’t go back there. I--threw up�on the floor! ” (661). Since Laura does not have the courage to live a normal sociable life, the glass collection in this scene represents her hopes and dreams of another life. This fantasy life that Laura longs for could be why she thought she could get away with deceiving her mother about going to business school.


In scene three, the glass ornaments represent Laura’s shattered emotion. Amanda and Tom get into a quarrel, and Tom accidentally breaks some of Laura’s treasured glass collection as he dashes out the door. Laura screams “My glass!--menagerie”(665), covering her face and turning away. The shattered glass represents Laura’s shattered feeling as her family is in turmoil. She turns away from broken glass because she wants to turn away from reality. It is obvious that Laura feels at fault for the tension in the house, hence the reason why she persuades Tom to apologize to Amanda and make peace in scene four. It is in this scene where Amanda tells Tom that Laura cannot spend the rest of her life playing the Victrola and fooling with the pieces of glass. The reference to the glass in this scene used by Amanda suggests Laura’s wasting life. In scene two, Amanda’s fear is exposed when she ridicules Laura of how she will stay home and amuse herself with the glass menagerie and eternally play the worn-out phonograph records for the rest of her life. In scene five, Tom and his mother discuss about the gentleman caller that Tom has invited over for dinner to meet Laura. Amanda goes on about what traits men should have and not have and Tom tries to snap Amanda into reality by telling her that, she should not expect too much of her crippled daughter who lives in a world of glass ornaments. Since they love Laura so much, they do not realize what other people visualize her as--a very different girl. In this scene Tom’s reference to the glass refers to Laura’s different and fragile character. She is very fragile because she gets sick at the slightest uncomfortable situation, such as being in public or when she is asked to eat dinner with the gentleman caller. In scene six when Amanda desperately asks Laura to open the door for the gentleman caller, Laura is very hesitant and tells her mom she’s sick. Amanda replies “she’s sick too ---of your nonsense! Why can’t you and your brother be normal people?” (678). Laura ends up very sick, and Amanda tries to cover up by telling the gentleman caller that she got ill from standing over the hot stove. Amanda just could not face the fact that Laura was indeed very different from other girls.


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In scene seven, Laura explains the significance of her glass menagerie to the gentleman caller, Jim O’conner. The conversation carried on by Laura and Jim coincides with Laura’s self. When she described the ornament to him, she was actually describing her self as a fragile unicorn. Laura tells him, “be careful-- if you breath, it breaks!” (68). She also includes that her glass collection is thirteen years old, which is a perfect description of her. Laura is a very fragile girl who acts like a thirteen year old who is innocent, and unaware of the real world around her. Jim acknowledges that unicorns do not exist and says “poor little fellow, he must feel sort of lonesome” (60). Laura replies with, “well, if he does, he doesn’t complain about it. He stays on with some horses that don’t have horns and all of them seem to get along nicely together” (60). This means that Laura knows she is different from other people, but it does not affect her as much as other people would think it should. After the conversation, Jim asks Laura to dance. Laura is stiff like glass and has a hard time loosening up. Then suddenly, while they’re dancing, they bump the table where the unicorn is and it falls on the floor and breaks it’s horn. To Jim’s surprise, Laura smiles and acts like nothing happened. She says it makes him feel less “freakish” and “he will feel more at home with the other horses, the ones that don’t have horns” (61). This symbolizes Laura’s transformation towards a more normal person. She has shed some of her shyness by opening up to Jim. Jim’s attention has given her hope that she could be more ordinary. Laura really snaps into reality when she finds out that Jim is engaged to be married. She hands the unicorn to Jim and tells him it‘s a souvenir. The unicorn is a souvenir of the breaking of Laura’s illusion that her disability is a permanent barrier between her and the outside world. In parting with the treasure, she seems to be saying that she does not need to fantasize anymore. The author’s use of symbolism, in this case the, glass menagerie, is a way to describe the characters on a figurative level.


Williams uses a lot of symbols, such as the fire escape, blue rose and the gentleman caller to name a few, but none have more of an impact than the significance of symbolism as does the glass menagerie. The glass animals as a whole represents Laura’s fantasy world, where as the unicorn itself symbolizes Laura’s emotional anguish. Only when the unicorn loses its horn does Laura too become more like ordinary people, instead of living a fantasy life through ornaments.





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“Symbolism of the Fire Escape”

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“Symbolism of the Fire Escape”


In Tennessee Williams play, “The Glass Menagerie”, Williams uses symbols in order to try to indicate some form of escape or, difference between reality and illusion. The fire Escape in the first scene represents the bridge between the illusory world of the Wingfields and the world of reality. Even though this bridge seems to be a one way excursion, the direction varies for each character. For Tom, the fire escape is the way out of the world of Amanda and Laura and an entrance into a world of new dimensions. For Laura, the fire escape is a way into her own world, or a way to escape from her reality. Amanda perceives the fire escape as a way for gentlemen callers to enter their lives, while simultaneously trying to escape her own vacant life. Everyone in the play seeks haven from their lives, attempting to escape into an imaginary fallacy world. In The Glass Menagerie, Williams fire escape portrays each of the characters need to use the fire escape as a literal exit from their own reality.


None of the Wingfield family members enjoy living in a cramped apartment, which is one of many in St. Louis. The only reason that traps them in their submissive dwelling is their poverty. The concept of escaping their own lives and retreating into an illusion world has entered each of the characters minds. Escaping from this lifestyle, this apartment, and these relationships is a significant theme throughout the play. These escapes are linked with the symbolic fire escape as well as the absent Mr. Wingfield.


Mr. Wingfield left his family for a life on the road, He worked for the telephone company and fell in love with long distances (656). This action left Tom with all of the responsibilities in the family including taking care of his half-mad, overbearing mother, Amanda, and a disabled sister, Laura. With all of the responsibilities on Toms shoulders, he is forced to take a job at a warehouse in order to take care of the family and pay rent. Tom is unsatisfied with his life, and is always seeking for a way to escape his misery. In Toms eyes, the fire escape serves as a transit between truth and illusion. It detaches reality of the outside world, which in this case, the city of St. Louis, from the world of the Wingfields. Toms way of dealing with his misery is to remove himself from his surroundings and go to the movies, or a bar. He claims that since he lacks adventure at work he seeks it at the movies. I--go to the movies because - I like a lot of adventure” (668).


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Amanda also seeks for an escape from her own empty life. She had high hopes of marrying a wealthy man but instead, she settled for a telephone man who eventually abandons her and the kids. This incident made Amanda live her life in bitterness and paranoia. The future becomes the present, the present the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you dont plan for it (67). She constantly nags at Toms habits and tries to contour Laura into the girl that she wasnt. Amanda repeatedly lectures and corrects her children on how to present themselves, how to live life, and how to act. She tries to take control of her childrens lives as if she is trying to fit them in a mold of perfection. Try and you will SUCCEED! Why, you - youre just full of natural endowments! Both of my children - theyre unusual children! Dont you think I know it? Im so proud! Happy and - I feel Ive - so much to be thankful for (667). One of Amanda’s two worst fears is having Tom grow up to be his father. Promise, son, youll - never be a drunkard! (667). When I see you taking after his ways! Staying out late - and - well, you had been drinking the night you were in that - terrifying condition (668). Amandas other fear in life is having Laura grow old without a gentleman caller. We have to be making plans and provisions for her. She just drifts along doing nothing. It frightens me terribly how she just drifts along (66). Tom suggested to Amanda that Laura just might be what people call home girls, but Amanda refuses to believe it. Theres no such type, and if there is, its a pity! That is unless the home is hers, with a husband (66). Therefore, Amanda sees the fire escape as a way to escape her own problems and invite gentlemen callers into their lives for Laura.


Laura has issues of her own and she also finds the need to escape them. Laura leads a life of simplicity and has a difficult time dealing with the outside world. I put her in business college - a dismal failure! Frightened her so it made her sick to her stomach. I took her over to the Young Peoples League at the church. Another fiasco. She spoke to nobody, nobody spoke to her (66). Even though Laura sees the fire escape as a literal exit from her reality, her way of escaping differs from that of her mother’s and brothers. For her, escape is hiding inside the apartment. At a young age, Laura suffered from an illness called pluerosis that forced her to be slightly crippled. The illness made Laura become anti-social and insecure about herself. I- I never had much luck at making friends (686). She dropped out of high school due to being ill, and for the next six years she has done nothing but start a glass collection in which she calls it her glass menagerie. For her, escape is hiding inside the apartment. The fire escape sets apart the unfamiliar life outside of her shielded life.


The Glass Menagerie, exhibited an array of symbolism. Williams fire escape represents the bridge between truth and illusion. The use of the fire escape is altered for each character depending on their own issues. William’s fire escape portrayed each of the characters need to utilize the fire escape as a literal exit from their reality. Everyone in the play searches for a refuge from their lives, entering into a fantasy world.





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