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Ronald Reagan’s Space Shuttle Challenger Speech – Speech Criticism

Ronald Reagan is known to be one of the best masterful communicators of his time. His skill was remarkably tested in the situation that ensued after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. At that time, Americans were desperate to hear from him, and his insight and comfort were highly sought. Reagan delivered the speech behind his oval office. Overall, the structure of the speech was quite straightforward and short, perhaps because it was being delivered to a broad and diverse audience. It had short paragraphs and sentences that were easily comprehensible.

Read also U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster Decision Making Process And Political Dynamics

            In terms of rhetoric, Reagan used precisely the right amount of ethos, pathos, and logos to appeal to all audience segments. The death of seven crew members was at the heart of his emotional response. He responded with a frank and a calm attitude without dwelling on the tribulations. Instead, he celebrated the lives of those who died. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, “Give me a challenge, and I’ll meet it with joy.” (Ronald Reagan Foundation, 13). Reagan’s use of pathos was gently accompanied by a degree of ethos and logos.         

Read also Managing Organizational Change – The Challenger and Columbia Shuttle Disasters Case Study  

            Conversations about sorrowful events can be difficult. However, Reagan maintained a sense of confidence and steadfastness, coupled with steadfastness. With a strategic balance on solidity and tenderness, his speech restored the psyche of American citizens with a strong and nourishing massage. His use of tone was compassionate and comforting. Words such as “faith”, “brave,” and “daring” are apparent throughout his discourse.   

Read also English transcript of Osama bin Laden speech           

In conclusion, Ronald Reagan showcased his masterful skills in communication during the emotionally tense Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy. The rhetoric, structure, tone, and writing style of his speech matched well with the needs of the audience.

Response Essay to Naomi Riley’s Article “It’s a terrible idea to allow cellphones in schools”

Cell phones have become a central facet of life to such a high degree that it is difficult and even unnerving to think about their total deletion from our existence. The reality of this seemingly far-fetched notion rings true when one considers the controversial nature of the ‘smartphone’ in the hands of an adolescent. On the one hand, a cell phone functions as a channel of connection with friends and family. Since we live in a world where virtually everyone utilizes a phone, it is tough and outwardly impossible to maintain connection with loved ones without a mobile phone. Moreover, cell phones act as facilitators of autonomy development among adolescents in the contemporary setting. It is through cellular phones that most teenagers manage their interests and social contacts. On the other hand, cell phones are many-sided in that they offer a multi-layered set of services to the user, such as internet-surfing, gaming, and media recording. This makes it hard for parents and educators to regulate them through policing. In her article “It’s a terrible idea to allow cellphones in schools,” Riley submits her stance on regulation of cell phones in schools. She presents a strong claim against their use in educational settings by citing concerns of time wastage, distraction, and obstruction from critical academic tasks. This essay is a direct response to her claims. Although most adolescents share intimate connections with their parents through cellphones, Riley’s concerns are compelling and strikingly insightful especially when one considers the degree of complexity that defines modern-day cell phones.

Read also Are Cell Phones Dangerous To Have For Teenagers Or Not?

            One logical claim brought forth by Riley to protest the approval of smartphones in schools is their deleterious effects on education. Riley asserts that the authorization of cell phones will only heighten the incapacity of kids to attain good grades. Her assertion is consistent with a larger part of studies documenting the influence of smartphone use on academic performance. Excessive cellphone use has been cited as a negative predictor of academic performance in a variety of educational environments spanning from middle school to college (Mendoza 52). The underlying notion is that students who engage in ‘electronic’ activities spend less time attending to academic activities. Some adolescents may even forego academic duties at the expense of their school obligations, whether in or out of school. Moreover, cell phones tend to inhibit the ability of students to comprehend and synthesize new information presented in class. Phone use in class impairs students’ comprehension and performance in a number of ways. Riley mentions diversion of attention and distraction as key means by which students’ level of awareness is inhibited. In essence, adolescents have a tendency to use cell phones for communicating with friends, playing games, and sharing media, all of which are now part of social media sites. Today, social media use is so pervasive among teenagers that students often check their phones multiple times per day. They are likely to not only check notifications but also engage in habitual smartphone use in a bid to retain social ties with their friends. The immediate consequences of checking notifications and texting in school are the time lost when using the device as well as the extra time needed to regain focus on educational duties. Phone-induced distractions can escalate to stress and frustration.

Read also Response and Critique: Euripides Medea – ENG 2030 Critical Essay

            The capacity of modern cell phones in multi-tasking further adds to the problem of regulation. Riley notes that even if schools introduce policies to regulate phones within the school premises, as well as in class, students can still sidestep the rules, thanks to the multiple features of a phone. This claim is particularly genuine considering the computing capabilities of prevailing smartphone technologies, which allow the user to multi-task and even conceal activity. Multi-tasking cancels out the choice of involving the teacher in supervision, meaning instructors cannot fully monitor what is happening the students’ devices. What is more, the tremendous computing capacity of smartphones could get exploited to cheat in quizzes and exams through the utilization of the internet and applications. That the smartphone helps the student to enter a virtual world exposes them to cyber vices such as cybercrime and cyber bullying which Riley quotes in her article.

            Beyond the multiple features of a smartphone that keep adolescents distracted, the level of development emerges as a problematic issue. Adolescents are generally at a critical stage of the development of their lives. At their teenage years, they are typically engrossed in social development wherein they refine their sense of self and relationships with others. Indeed, it is at the adolescent stage that kids start to form romantic relationships, social behaviors, and identities (Blair, Bethany, and Anne Fletcher 156). The danger with cell phone use in this stage is that students strive to meet online strangers, especially from the opposite sex, at the cost of real relationships in the real-world, and especially in school. While it is easier for students to feel connected to the world through smartphone-induced relationships, smartphones can act negatively on important relationships such as those related to family, since connections through the phone are only virtual.

Read also A Muslim Response to the Second Crusade – Analytical Review Essay

            Although cell phones are distracting and damaging in academic contexts, it is irrational to ignore how deeply embedded technology has become in human life. Mobile phones offer adolescents with a new way of activating social interaction and maintaining ties with peers (Blair, Bethany, and Anne Fletcher 156). The many modes of communication, including texts, video calls, voice calls, and instant messaging, make it easier for youngsters to communicate across time and space. Communication and social connectedness among adolescents is an essential part of development. Teenagers who fail to form social bonds with peers can suffer mental issues and experience unhealthy social relations in adult life. Therefore, smartphones facilitate social attachment, which is an imperative part of social development. Be that as it may, social connections induced through cell phones still lack many aspects of relationships in the real-world. For instance, texting and instant messaging do not portray real emotional responses.  

Read also Article Response Essay : Schizophrenia: A Sibling’s Tale          

In conclusion, Riley’s article presents a strong claim against the authorization of cell phones in educational settings. She mentions concerns of time wastage, distraction, and obstruction from critical academic tasks. This essay agrees with her claims by noting that although most adolescents share intimate connections with their parents through cellphones, these devices can distract them from academic activities and contribute to low grades, above and beyond, create a challenging task of monitoring and controlling their use. Riley’s concerns are compelling and strikingly insightful, especially when one considers the degree of complexity that defines modern-day cell phones.

Edward Theodore Gein and Factors that led to his Criminal Behavior

Edward Theodore Gein was an American serial criminal who gained celebrity status in the 1950s due to his atrocious and horrifying crimes of murder and mutilation. Besides admitting to have killed two women within his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin, Gein exhumed corpses from local graveyards and created trophies and keepsakes from human bones and skin (Blanco, 2020). His activities were unknown to authorities until 1957 when the missing status of one of his victims impelled a search around his home. The police not only found the body of the missing person but also a collection of body parts belonging to other victims in Gein’s shed. On account of his acts, Gein was initially confined in a mental health institution, but was later tried in 1968 and sentenced to life imprisonment in a mental facility. Gein may not exemplify the characteristics of typical serial killer because of his few murders. Nevertheless, his real-life case is a demonstration of the psychological and behavioral leanings of a serial criminal. Were it not for getting discovered, Gein would have most likely continued with his deadly actions. This essay delves into the biological, situational, environmental, and developmental factors that led to his criminal behavior.

Read also The Potential Causes of Serial Offenders – Serial Killers

            In order to fully comprehend the conditional aspects that may have influenced Gein’s behavior, it is essential to explore the context of his upbringing and social life. Gein was born in La Crosse County to George and Augusta, both of whom were Wisconsin natives (Blanco, 2020). He was the younger brother to Henry George Gein. Although the marriage between his parents was quite unhealthy, the family was bound together by religious beliefs. Augusta had a deep hatred towards her husband and an extreme custom of preventing his sons from gaining influence from outsider. This custom was manifested more patently when she bought a farm in the outskirts of Plainsfield to safeguard her children from harm. Augusta restricted the movement of her sons to the farm and limited their beliefs (Blanco, 2020).

Read also Analysis of an Offender – Theodore Robert Cowell

As a fervent Lutheran, she occasionally preached to her children about the innate immorality of the world, the sin of drinking, and the idea that women were instruments of evil and prostitution. At school, Gein was a target of bullies on account of his effeminate demeanor, and since he was not allowed to make friends, he would exhibit socially awkward behaviors. Gein’s frequent attempts to please her mother were meant with coldness and disapproval. The deaths of family members turned the situation from bad to worse. After the death of his father in 1940, Gein and his brother began to work at odd jobs, such as baby sitting. Soon, his brother died under mysterious circumstances while his mother passed on after a series of strokes. It was after the bereavement of all his family that Gein began to read death cult magazines and adventure tales.

Read also Treatment of Offenders with Psychological Factors

            The backdrop of Gein’s childhood events provides an apparent picture of the situational factors that eventually led to his shadowy habits. One of the most significant factors that constrained Gein is her mother’s strict ethical and social limitations as well as her aggressiveness towards her sons. These limitations acted negatively on Gein’s social and mental development (Mitchell & Aamodt, 2005). Social, interaction, intimacy and a sense of belonging are necessary needs for human social and mental development. It is by interacting with others that children are acquire a frame of reference for developing their social identities. Relationships are particularly essential in childhood during the development of identity and lifetime trajectories of behavioral and emotional behavior (Matthews et al., 2015). By restraining Gein’s social connection and behaviors, Augusta was controlling his thoughts, feelings and behavioral influences. The absence of social relationships and interactions may have disadvantaged Gein’s development since all he could experience was the harmful and aggressive attitudes of his mother (Cohen, Brown, & Smailes, 2001). The lack of a frame of reference for his identity is manifested by his effeminate nature. It seems that Gein used her mother’s character as a model of reference because of the absence of any other role models in his life. This was compounded by the fact that Gein’s father did not add value to Augusta’s parenting habits. Rather, he was an alcoholic who served as bad example in all of Augusta’s counsels.

Read also Social Factors Responsible for Murderer Henry Lucas’ Behavior

Apart from social restrictions and poor role models, Gein was subjected to intimidation not only by his mother but by the very peers who were supposed to be his friends. The constant bullying he received from school may have made Gein more insecure and on guard. Even if he was not being actively bullied all the time, he was aware it could start anytime. This made his feel isolated, unaccepted, withdrawn, and possibly angry. The resulting stress may have further acted on Gein’s neurological development. High levels of stress have been proven to activate the stress system and promote over-secretion of hormones, resulting in strange behavior, such Gein’s occasional laughter’s in the classroom (McEwen & Karatsoreos, 2015). Victims of bullying may experience long-term mental effects accompanied by social pain and feeling of rejection. The mental effects of Gein were clearly evident in his average academic performance and odd behavioral mannerisms.

Read also Criminal Profiling in the Detection and Apprehension of Offenders – Answered

Since Gein was mostly confined to his mother’s environment, the relationship of attachment he gained with her was unusual and psychologically damaging. He regarded her a saint just as she had referred herself indirectly during her regular religious teachings. Augusta continually brainwashed Gein and his brother with the notion that all women were evil except herself. It is likely that Gein developed a saintly perception of his mother to cope with the psychological abuse. The bond that he developed through his childhood later controlled him for the rest of his lifetime. The home became a shrine where he mutilated bodies and corpses. Gein was so attached to her mother that he was confused as to whether his personality ended and where her mother’s began. His actions showed that he only relate to himself through his mother’s character. Hence, once she was gone, he attempted to revive himself by collecting parts of dead bodies.

Read also Using Delinquency Theories To Explain Delinquent Behavior Among Juveniles

In conclusion, the situational, developmental, environmental, and biological factors context of Gein’s childhood are what steered him towards his criminal behaviors. The environmental and social restriction he underwent under the abuse of his mother led him to develop a strange personality. This was worsened by the absence of a reliable father figure and the imposition of harsh and aggressive treatment towards him. Short-term effects of her emotional and mental torture materialized in poor academic performance and discordance with peers.

Enterprise Resource Planning Implementation at Hershey

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are software systems that support and automate key business processes to provide timely and accurate organization-wide information for decision-making purposes (O’Leary, 2000). A typical Enterprise Resource Planning consists of integrated applications that an enterprise can use to collect, store, interpret, and manage data from business activities. Besides optimizing business processes, Enterprise Resource Planning systems provide accurate forecasting, improved process efficiency, integrated information, and the opportunity for departmental collaboration. There are many popular implementations of ERP software. This paper focusses on the case of Hershey Chocolate & Candy. This American multinational company employed an Enterprise Resource Planning environment to boost profits and gain a competitive edge, only to fail catastrophically. The company’s unsuccessful execution resulted in a 19 per cent decline in quarterly profits and an eight per cent drop in stock prices.

Read also Codifying Processes Into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems

            Hershey’s initially set out to shift from a legacy IT system to an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning environment. The firm selected three main applications: SAP’s R/3 software, Seibel’s CRM software, and Manugistics Supply Chain Management (SCM) software. SAP’s R/3 is designed to coordinate resources, activities, and information that are required to complete business processes such as billing, order fulfilment, production planning, and human resource management. The software was top-rated in the 1900s when Hershey’s decided to utilize it to manage its order processing. Its naming was based on the architecture of its three-tier client and server structure which was segmented into the presentation, application, and security layers. Siebel’s CRM was meant to manage Hershey’s relationship with customers by generating leads and retaining the existing pool of customers. In the 1990s, Seibel’s CRM was a dominant solution among companies that wanted to automate their sales and customer services. The Manugistics Supply Chain Management (SCM) software was used to plan and execute steps in the Hershey’s supply chain, including demand planning, inventory acquisition, manufacturing, and distribution.

Read also Enterprise Resource Planning Research Paper

Although the recommended implementation period was 48 months, Hershey settled on a 30-month time frame in order to roll out the system before Y2K, a shorthand term for “the year 2000.’ Accordingly, the cutover was set for July 1999. This scheduling corresponded with one of the market’s busiest period – just about when the company was about to receive the bulk of Christmas and Halloween orders (Barker, & Frolick, 2003). The hard-hitting scheduling demand only forced the implementation team to compromise on critical system testing phases. When the system was put into action in July 1999, unforeseen problems prevented the system from displaying orders. The company was subsequently unable to process $100 million worth of orders despite having the required items in stock. The greatest mistake in the company’s decisional capacity was the cutover. Based on the circumstances that endured during the busy holiday season, it was imprudent to overlook the value of the testing phase. The risk of failure and exposure to large-scale damage was too significant to be ignored. Nevertheless, Hershey’s team made the fundamental mistake of prioritizing expediency over systems testing.

In an exemplary ERP implementation, the testing phase acts as a safety net for shielding an enterprise from suffering irreparable financial damage. Hershey’s should have given precedence to the testing phase even if it meant setting back the launch date. The potential consequences of ignoring testing outweighed the benefits of maintaining a more extended schedule. The testing phase should take place in a series of steps to make sure that all operating scenarios are covered comprehensively. The more realistic the testing phase, the higher the chance of discovering critical issues before they cripple operations during the implementation phase. In the case of Hershey’s, the first testing stage should have taken account of major functional issues. Initial testing is usually aimed at validating key business processes. The company should have then moved to test the most frequently used business scenarios and ‘day-in-life’ situations. Perhaps one other major mistake that Hershey’s made is the choice to launch three different systems at the same time (Perepu, & Gupta, 2008). This ‘big bang’ implementation approach would have been unsuccessful despite the style of execution. The outcome of the firm’s decision was worsened by the project’s timing. In addition to squeezing a massive ERP implementation in a short time frame, Hershey’s planned the cutover in a busy shopping season. It was unreasonable for the company to anticipate that it would meet the peak demand when its workforce has not been well familiar with the new systems and workflows.

Eventually, Hershey’s unsuccessful Enterprise Resource Planning execution resulted in a 19 per cent decline in quarterly profits and an eight per cent drop in stock prices. The failure was attributed to a range of factors spanning from concurrent implementations of ERP packages to lack of experience in implementing ERP systems. During the implementation phase, Hershey did not put in place processes to keep its managerial department aware of the progress. The resulting assessment indicated that the top management had not understood the scope of the project. To date, the case of Hershey is quoted among the biggest failures of Enterprise Resource Planning implementation and one of the exemplary examples of why companies should use meticulous planning before putting ERPs into operation.

Tituba & Gerda Lerner’s Definition of Patriarchy

The concept of patriarchy has been pivotal to the advancement of feminist thought in recent decades. The basic premise is that the general societal structure in which men hold power over women is a major factor in the subjugation of the female gender and a significant aspect of historical incidences of sexism. Patriarchal societies have existed for a better part of human history. Gerda Lerner traces their initiation to the fourth millennium in ancient Mesopotamia (Lerner 7). She claims patriarchal structures were manifested in kinship formations and economic relations, as well as the establishment of religious and state bureaucracies. In patriarchal societies, legal and social powers were mainly wielded by men. Women would only access such power by limiting their child-bearing capacity and restricting their marital relations to a single man. Lerner (238) perceives patriarchy as “the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over women and children” and the extension of such power in the wider community. In this sense, she depicts patriarchy as a precursor of female oppression that has endured the ages. This paper attempts to use this definition to deconstruct the persecution that befalls female characters in Condé’s fictional novel I, Tituba, black witch of Salem. The novel reimagines the historical account of Tituba, a slave and significant figure in the notorious Salem witch trials, whose oppression and subjugation is directly connected to patriarchal practices. By summoning Tituba to the realms of literary imagination, Condé gives a new identity while drawing the reader’s attention to the patriarchal roots of her oppression through dramatic irony, allusion, and parody.

            Condé uses dramatic irony and parody to portray the themes of discrimination, religious intolerance, and oppression of women, all of which are somehow linked to the societal practices of Tituba’s setting. The novel overtly dissects the power of women in an inflexibly patriarchal society by diverting the responsiveness of the reader to instances of oppression with dramatic satire. The intimacy that the book instills in the mind of the reader in the first epigraph and the account itself is likely to make one believe that the book is a celebration of Tituba’s heroism. However, this is far from the impression that is left after the culmination of the tale. The novel ends with Tituba’s demise. Here, Condé uses a high measure of irony to showcase how the identity of Tituba is lost during mayhems of her life, as well as how her glimmer of expectation fades away as she confronts patriarchal practices at the cost of her freedom and liberty.

Nonetheless, the author convinces the audience that Tituba has ultimately taken her place in history, and her role is alive despite her character’s death. The deep contrast between the expectations at the beginning and the ending of the novel is what creates the aspect of parody in the story. As Condé’s fictional tale unfolds, the reader is continuously confronted with the hesitation between irony and seriousness, especially in the characterization of Tituba. This presents Tituba as a mock-epic character who seeks to open the minds of the audience to the oppressive realities of her setting.

            The use of satire and allusion helps the reader to present the perspective of Tituba’s character in contrast with that of her adversaries. This is patented by the irony presented in the second epigraph “Death is a porte whereby we pass to joye; / Life is a lake that drowneth all in payne.” This epigraph refers to a quote by a sixteenth-century poet John Harrington who also happens to have been a puritan. Although Tituba’s story did not negate his message, the reference to the endurance of life rather than its enjoyment represents the puritan philosophy, which is inverted as soon as the audience enters Tituba’s notions. As the story unfolds, one immediately begins to see the puritan concepts as diverse and thematically different. Tituba endures mistreatment by the puritans precisely because of her differences and social status. Yet, it is because of her narrative that the fulfillment of the second epigraph is satisfied. The irony of the first and the second epigraphs operate in an inclusive, relational, and differential manner to communicate to the reader about the unsaid oppression.

            The parody aspect of Condé’s story particularly emerges in the manner in which the narrative shifts from the traditional epic form towards the representation of serious events. Traditionally, mock-epics are mainly used to treat a trivial matter. In I, Tituba, black witch of Salem, the author wavers between irony and the weightiness of the repression endured by characters at Halem. The result is a novel that exploits epic and mock-epic elements to suit its purpose. The epic qualities are seen in opposition to puritan hypocrisy and the dissimilarity between their idea of evil and Tituba’s virtue. The author takes an ethical approach to examine the position of the puritans who consider anything different from their culture as evil. On the other hand, the mock-epic details emerge through Condé’s reversal of the extremes. She characterizes Tituba as a right person who dies under the tyranny of the puritans.

            Symbolism also appears in Condé’s novel in instances where she wants to highlight the repression against female characters. The acts of violence that ensued at the beginning of the book are a symbol of the anarchy that will develop in Tituba’s life. This form of foreshadowing is manifested straightway when the white world is first presented as violent and cruel. At the beginning of the book, the reader witnesses the act of violence against Tituba’s mother, Abena, who is horrifically and violently raped. This violence is, however, later linked to the white male sexuality since both Abena and Tituba manage to secure friendships with their puritan mistresses as opposed to their repressive husbands. The first pages of the novel describe Abena’s company with Jenniffer Darnell in similar terms as those that Tituba uses to describe her connection with Elizabeth Parris.

And then I would ask myself, how could their yearning and nostalgia [for Barbados] possibly be compared with mine? What they yearned for was the sweetness of a gentler life, the life of white women who were served and waited on by attentive slaves. . . . We did not belong to the same universe, Goodwife Parris, Betsy, and 1, and all the affection in the world could not change that (Condé 63).

Seemingly, the female puritan mistresses chose to take different moral positions from those of their husbands. In so, white puritan characters shift sides in the moral positions of good and evil as they wish. Condé introduces two more white characters, Benjamin Cohen d’Azevedo and Hester Prynne, who diverge from the order of things after persecution by the puritans. In the end, the two establish positions of counter-resistance and end up disturbing the dichotomies of good vs. evil and black vs. white.            

In conclusion, I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, represents the legacy of atrocity and violence committed by a patriarchal society. The novel depicts the slavery and horror of society while commenting on the evils of society that is drowned in hypocrisy and female oppression. By summoning Tituba to the realms of literary imagination, Condé gives a new identity while drawing the reader’s attention to the patriarchal roots of her oppression through dramatic irony, allusion, and parody. She offers a voice to the ‘voiceless’ Caribbean slave Tituba so that she can retell the tale from her perspective. Her use of magical realism deviates from the traditional narratives that retell the story of the Salem Witch Trials from the view of the white slave-owners. In Conde’s narrative, Tituba is not a slave, but a hero who enjoys the privilege of spiritual and magical power. She raises her voice against the oppression and hypocrisy of a white and male-dominated world. The use of magic, ghost, and witchcraft alienates her from societal norms and expectations. However, these are the very tools she uses to escape gendered and racial violence.

Infant Changes in Lifespan Development

The lifespan development process is an integral general approach to gaining a comprehensive understanding of the changes human beings experience throughout life. According Bogin (2019), lifespan development represents a complete review of human development from conception to the end of life.  The study of lifespan development is important since it identifies significant changes individuals are bound to experience during the degeneration of the body. Furthermore, it identifies key physical changes, cognitive changes, nutritional needs, and sensory needs that occur during this process. The following is an overview of lifespan development and changes which occur in an infant.

Physical Changes

            Physical changes refer to developments and transformations in the body’s form. These changes occur in the brain, external muscle tissue, and bones. In infants, these changes can only be achieved through proper nutrition and sufficient sleep. It is common for developmental changes to occur at a rapid pace among infants due to the physiological changes that are often taking place during this phase in life. Muscle tissue also develops during infancy, which then leads to development of motor skills and reflexes, in addition to the ability perceive their immediate environment (Magnusson & Greitz, 2019). After four weeks, their mobility is still limited; although they are only capable of moving their limbs and chin while on their back. They grasp rattles by the fourth month, turn in the fifth month, and finally learn to stand by the tenth month.

Read also Human Memory Cognitive Aspect Development Throughout the Lifetime

Cognitive Changes

            Cognitive changes refer to changes in brain function among infants, especially relation to higher functions such as reasoning and memory. During this phase, neural pathways start to strengthen while they start learning about their immediate environment. It is believed that this level of learning takes place in infants as a direct result of their senses. Infants only sense and perceive their environment during this stage as the only channel for the transfer of information. The presence of this information in infants is also a consequence of their motor behavior during their interaction with the immediate environment. Goal-directed behaviors emerge among children as they start to show evidence of reaction to movements and persons in their immediate vicinity. Infants typically start to recognize the voices they around them while sharpening their overall ability to learn and think.

Read also Adult Lifespan Stages Discussion

Nutritional Needs

            Proper nutrition essentially drives growth and development in infants. Nutrients from the foods consumed during the formative stages of life combined with adequate sleep are crucial as some of the most important requirements during this initial phase. In particular brain activity and overall cognitive function depends heavily on the presence of cholesterol in the diet during the first three months (Lerner & Overton, 2020). Breast milk is commonly fed to children between the third and sixth month due to the positive impact it has on infants, while making it possible for them to develop a strong immune system. Infants should be breast fed regularly to build energy reserves before weaning them off.

Read also The Influence of Childhood Abuse on Personality Disorder Development

Sensory Changes

During the initial phases of development, infants also experience perceptible changes to their sense. Their vision and ability to observe their immediate environment improves greatly, in addition to being able hear various sounds in their vicinity. They also develop an improved sense of smell and taste, which are routinely used as instruments for learning. Sensory changes are also used as an important tool for exploring their immediate environment to acclimatize with the changes noted. Parents and caregivers are often advised to take advantage of these changes by actively participating in developing them through meaningful and consistent stimulation.

Herodotus’ portrayal of the Battle of Thermopylae Vs modern depiction of the event by Frank Miller

There are considerable similarities between Herodotus’ portrayal of the Battle of Thermopylae and the modern depiction of the event by Frank Miller as there are differences. A case in point of a similarity is the representation of Spartan women. The 300 actually represented Spartan women. The film shows a strong-willed Queen Gorgo who offers advice to her husband concerning political and military matters. At one point, a Persian messenger felt that a woman was not supposed to speak on such matters. Herodotus’ portrayal shows the same empowerment of women in the Spartan community. Another similarity is the Spartans’ culture of consulting the oracle. Just like the movie, Herodotus’ account says “for the Spartans had consulted the oracle about the war at its very outset” (p.591). Other similarities include the portrayal of the difference between Greeks and Spartans, the representation of immortals as a fighting unit, the betrayal of Ephialtes, and the actual number of Spartans who went to Battle.            

Even so, there are many differences between the two accounts. For instance, Frank Miller’s portrayal of the Persian army as some kind of monsters was historically inaccurate according to Herodotus. Correspondingly, the Persian King Xerxes also never went to the front line as the movie shows. The two accounts, however, portray Persians as weaker than they had portrayed themselves. Herodotus’ version claims that the Persian king called the army under the command of Hydarnes “the immortals” (p.586), but later cites that it “fared no better than the Medes” (p.586). Overall, Herodotus’ account and the movie both share similarities and disparities.

Patriarchy in the Social Distance of Lutie Johnson

According to Lerner (239), Patriarchy is “the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over women and children in the family as well as the extension of male dominance in society.” In The Street, Petry highlights the theme of Patriarchy by representing women characters as both black and female. The incorporation of gender in addition to race is meant to emphasize the oppressive dimension of sexism which, in addition to the debilitating economic and social conditions, afflicts the female residents of Harlem. In actual fact, Lutie Johnson, the protagonist, confronts the lesser sides of racism, capitalism, and sexism in her everyday life as a result of engaging with Junto, Jones, Mr. Croose, Boots Smith, Jim, Hedges, and the Chandlers. The latter are not only racist but sexist towards Lutie, whom they only view as a “domestic.” Her skin color and female status fueled the first instance of derision towards Lutie by the Chandlers. She was openly labeled as a sexual threat to female Chandlers.

Read also Miss Rinner as a Metaphor for Racism

Apparently, it was an automatic reaction of White people-if a girl was colored and fairly young, why, it stood to reason she had to be a prostitute. If not that – at least sleeping with her would be just a simple matter, for all one had to do was make the request. In fact, White men wouldn’t even have to do the asking because the girl would ask them on sight. (Petry 45).

            Lutie’s female status also served as a criterion for the sexual stereotypes that she endured. At one point, she was questioned about her ‘encounters’ with white men. This makes the audience speculate hoe white men could like black women and dislike their kind. The cruelty of white men is also a center of controversy. Not only are they willing to sexually engage with black women, but also willing to advance their racial predispositions after their urges have been satisfied. The sexual objectification that Lutie withstands leads to mental agony. The paradox of her situation manifests more when the reader discovers the reluctance of white men to give jobs to black men despite their willingness to have sex with black women.

            Although the entire black community is subjected to endless suffering, it is the women who suffer the most. “To be Black and female” is considered double jeopardy. This is clearly evident when one considers what the black female endures in her own residence. In spite of their abused wives, black men gradually developed some kind of aversion to them. They began to see them as loose women who fancied extra sexual martial adventures. Seemingly, the stigma with which the black woman is attached, because of her slavery to the whites, receives sanction from the black man. Eventually, the black man sees the woman as her enemy and feels neglected sexually. In Petry’s account, Lutie receives a letter from her father, recounting how Jim is living with other women. The letter states, ‘ Dear Lutie: You better come home. Jim’s carrying on with another woman. Pop’ (Petry, 52). In this manner, the white man’s manipulation of the social circumstances escapes the attention of the black man.   

Read also Personification in The Street by Ann Petry         

Throughout The Street, the audience discovers the level of helplessness that women like Lutie undergo. Women are not only ‘deprived’ of their black men but also abused sexually by both whites and blacks. So the Black men were made slaves, and “women became sexual receptacles of men” (Petry 143). Their lack of security is observed in both white and black neighborhoods, implying their complete lack of security in society. The black woman’s objectification eventually materializes to her own destruction. She is seen as an ‘icon of evil’ rather than a human being who needs emancipation from male dominance.

Naturalism in the Characterization of Jones

Naturalism is the idea that only natural forces and laws operate in the world. This is in direct opposition to the belief that supernatural and spiritual principles are in control. Adherents of naturalism assert that the structure and behavior of natural elements in the universe arise from nature itself. The philosophy is naturalism occasionally emerges in Ann Petry’s novel, chiefly in the characterization of William Jones. Jones, also known as “cellar crazy,” is the building’s super who openly lusts after Lutie (Petray 301). He is portrayed as a lonely man who cannot control his nature, behavior, and intent to lust or break moral codes. Seemingly, Petray intends to use Jone’s circumstances to show that Harlem is not only a deserted city but a destructive setting that compels its inhabitants to adopt horrible and roguish lifestyles. Markedly, the deterministic philosophy of naturalism and the absence of free will comes down to Jones, who is determined to exploit and oppress other characters sexually.

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Conceivably, the city of Harlem strips Jones the freedom of partaking in his desired activities and ambitions while his skin color further limits him from enjoying social freedom. The fact that Jones is genetically black suggests that he cannot change his circumstances, despite knowing how much better he can fare if he had white skin. The social environment in which he lives only promotes the oppression that he faces and advances his restricted state of mind – he is accustomed to a lower quality of life and menial jobs that strips away his morality. It is only when the novel continues to unfold that the reader fully comprehends how the character of Jones is limited. By merely living in Harlem, he is doomed to experience a repetitive toll of bad experiences that he cannot escape and the reality of hopelessness that all city residents must adapt. The idea of pessimistic naturalism helps Petry call the reader’s attention to the prevailing injustice and illustrates the maddening, oppressive, and hostile environment to which the blacks like Jones are exposed.

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Jone’s sexually predatory behaviors are a significant aspect of the story that signposts naturalistic tendencies. He misreads his environment and situation into believing that he can please Lutie with brightly-painted walls. However, Lutie’s reaction is unexpected and inconsistent with Jone’s line of thought. Rather than esteeming the look by obligation, as Jone’s would have predicted, she expresses surprise: “Oh, the windows have been washed” (Petry 101). Jone’s miscalculated perception of the walls’ effect on Lutie and her unanticipated reaction provide a painful proof of Jones’s desperation and desire to please his tenant. Jone’s delusions make him dangerous as he is determined to rape Lutie and trick her son into committing a crime. Despite that, Petry wants the audience to be compassionate to Jone’s victims. The narration in the first part of the novel aligns well with Lutie’s perspective but later shifts to align with Jone’s view. This reveals the author’s aim to direct the attention of the readers to the conditions that created the characters.

Ann Petry’s portrayal of Jones’ naturalistic predispositions showcases how a man’s helplessness overwhelms him in the face of mysterious forces, leading him to morph into an immoral and dangerous person. The absurd social conditions at Harlem in part facilitates Jones’ delusions and propels him towards his corrupt disposition. In line with naturalist philosophy, the material world of the Harlem is the only one that residents like Jones experience.  Petry is keen to note the oppressive conditions that bring along malice and predation that thrives among the city’s derelict buildings and confined spaces.

Miss Rinner as a Metaphor for Racism

Miss Renner characterizes a teacher who worked in Harlem and who showed disgust towards the smell of black children. In the novel, she does not see the value of teaching black children and is portrayed as continually visualizing the day she will move to a school with blue-eyed and blond-haired children. Her behavioral inclinations divulge her racist tendencies towards the blacks as well as a sense of ignorance that stems from her prejudicial attitudes. It is no wonder that the character of Miss Renner can be rightly perceived as a metaphor for racism. In this case, racism represents harmful social and intellectual practices in the culture and politics of the interaction between blacks and Europeans. Miss Renner plays the character of a racist European, who deeply disdains the black community. Her case typifies conventional instances of racism that plague American society, where racist individuals are often unaware of their ignorance and unfamiliarity with the plight of those they hold in contempt.

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            Perhaps the most evident representation of racism is seen in chapter 14, where Miss Renner’s reflections about her work are expressed through the property is the smell. She perceives the schools as a repulsive setting with a suffocating concoction of odors, “the dusty smell of chalk, the heavy, suffocating smell of the pine oil used to lay the grime and disinfect the worn old floors, and the smell of the children themselves” (Petry 327). Although the author attaches a better part of these attributes to the poorly maintained, forty-year-old buildings of Harlem, Miss Rinner is also sickened by the smell of “rancid grease” on the children’s clothing, which is later rendered as the smell of Harlem and its inhabitants (Petry 328). The ‘mixture of nauseating’ odors’ that Miss Renner cites is not logically attributable to the black race. Instead, it can be traced to the poor conditions in which they live. Indeed, by the time the reader learns about Miss Rinner’s racially prejudiced views of Harlem, Petry has already offered numerous architectural and economic clues to explain the poor ventilation and stuffy smells of the town’s low-income apartment buildings. Miss Rinner’s reactions to the smells show her level of stigmatization whereby the uneven distribution of fresh air is attributed to the skins color instead of the poor state of the segregated and poorly maintained buildings. According to Abedin (7) defective properties lead to crime, poor sanitation, and health hazards in black and Latino neighborhood. Yet, these facts are rarely recognized by people who hold discriminatory views against marginalized races, even in modern-day America. Krysan (528) asserts that the persistent racial segregation that permeates residential choices among whites and blacks can be traced to the quality of housing and residential ratings more than it can be traced to identity and stereotypes. This assertion is particularly evident in the Petray’s account.

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            Rinner’s horrified illusion of the racialize smell that pursues into her own home is an allegorical representation of the prejudiced thought patterns that mismatches the causes and effects of the odors. Instead of acknowledging the Harlem’s unhealthy apartments and the poverty of its inhabitants, she views the black race that lives there as a group that has “no moral code’ and which is probably ‘diseased.’ Petry’s use of olfactory characterization brings out the different ways through which the characters in her novel interpret the town’s suffocating smells. On the one hand, Lutie distinguishes the smells as a limitation to her ambitions. She is not only physically obstructed by wind, but also psychologically disturbed by the smell, mold, and gases emanating from the residence. On the other hand, Rinner expresses a loathing for the smell which she wrongly attributes to the physical appearances of the residents.  

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In sum, the character of Miss Rinner typifies conventional racist ideologies that do not harmonize with reality. Rinner’s ignorance of Harlem’s limiting condition represents the inexperience of Americans who hold racist philosophies without accounting for the limitations that marginalized American communities face in their localities. The mismatch between reality and actual situations on the ground further complicates the problem as it exposes prejudiced thinking patterns in the minds of the population.