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.

Read also Miss Rinner as a Metaphor for Racism

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.

Read also Personification in The Street by Ann Petry

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.

Read also Written Analysis of a Particular Metaphor

            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.

Read also How Is Racism Explained From A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective?

            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.  

Read also Racism in India vs San Francisco          

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.

Personification in The Street by Ann Petry

Personification is a literary technique through which human traits are ascribed to nonhuman entities. Authors utilize personification in literary works to bring out human characters in animals and nonliving things with the ultimate goal of presenting their narratives in an allegorical style (Bloomfield 162). When personified, nonhuman entities typically acquire a human identity or a ‘face’ that is readily recognized by the audience. The value of personification is embedded in its potential to highlight characterization using animated descriptions of abstract and natural phenomenon. More specifically, personification expands the imagination ‘sphere’ through which authors communicate and narrate to their readers. Ann Petry’s novel The Street uses personification to give life to the “cold November wind.” In the first chapter, Petry describes the actions of the wind as if they were outcomes of an actual human being. The wind is portrayed as tossing objects and driving people from the street in the same manner that a self-determined person would (Petry 2). In fact, the author depicts the wind in a way that suggests it has a purpose and intent.

Read also Personification and Figurative Language in Because I Could Not Stop for Death

            The actions of the “cold November wind” are an illustration of the struggles that Lutie Johnson, the protagonist, will encounter in her life and a prediction for the rest of the novel. In particular, the harsh currents of the wind symbolize the challenges and obstacles that will work against her ambitions. One of the most apparent challenges that Lutie undergoes is the struggle to raise a child while trying to save enough money to leave the street. Her quest to financial freedom is anything but smooth. Every attempt she makes to advance towards her vision is continuously frustrated by the street, along with wicked people who want to exploit her. A case in point is Boots Smith who intends to lay with her before referring him to Junto, another man who wants misuse her sexually before extending the financial help she needs.

            The element of personification continues to materialize lucidly through the incongruous relationship between Lutie and the city atmosphere. The city of Harlem is personified and accorded with a human face to help the reader distinguish the significant variation that lies between it and the protagonist. The phrase “cold fingers of the wind” (Petry 38) is repeatedly used throughout the story in an attempt to connect the human quality of touch to an inanimate entity.  This form of personification provides the most direct and personal interaction with which people can relate. The essence of touch also presents the degree to which the city invades into Lucie’s life and renders her helpless. At one point, she is unable to read an apartment sign due to the wind’s stubborn currents.

The characterization of wind as ‘cold’ also hints at the harsh and inhospitable nature of the city atmosphere. What is more, the settings in which the story unfolds epitomize limited opportunities. The subway is especially limiting as it creates a sense of overcrowding, lack of freedom, and congestion. These traits are further compounded by the underground and hiddenness of their lifestyles. That the subway is constructed underground reveals the suppression of the burdens that Lucie and her counterparts endure. Furthermore, the darkness that exists in underground tunnels is a sign of the dark and bleak future that the characters face. Lutie even remarks that the street may get her some in “some kind of trouble that will land him in reform school” (Petry 69). This flashforward tends to foreshadow her fate because, in the end, she kills Boots Smith and flees.

In conclusion, Ann Petry uses personification as a tool for developing the themes and plot of her novel The Street. Her utilization of personification creates a sense of foreshadowing, which hints to the reader what is to come and gives a clear picture of the path through which the account will follow.

For the Least of These, The Bible and Poverty

For the Least of These is a collection of twelve essays termed “the biblical answer to poverty.”  Notably, each essay is written by a different author, but the entire book is compiled and edited by theologian Art Lindsley and economist Anne Bradley. The book entails three distinct but related sections: the biblical perspective on the poor, markets and the poor, and poverty alleviation practices. Thus, the book is informed by theological and economic perspectives on poverty.

Read also Income Inequality, Poverty and Wealth, and Socialism

In the first section, biblical perspective on the poor, the primary theme is that Christians have an obligation to care for the poor in a way that is characterized by dignity. The book presents poverty alleviation as a partnership whereby the fortunate have a responsibility to ensure that the less fortunate get the opportunity to improve their situation. As for the less fortunate, they are obligated to maximize the presented opportunities. Concurring, the book makes a valid point as it is evident in various Bible verses. For instance, Deuteronomy 15:7 states that “if among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother.” Therefore, the biblical perspective on the poor as presented in the book is correct as the Bible emphasizes society to extend a helping hand to the poor. Regarding the poor taking advantage of opportunities presented, “The Parable of Talents” in Mathew 25:14-30 best explains the argument by For the Least of These.

Read also How the Old and New Testaments Handled Poverty

In the second part, market and the poor, the book explains the role of markets in poverty alleviation; thus, taking an economic perspective fused with Biblical concepts. In examining poverty alleviation approaches by the markets, the authors strongly oppose redistribution of wealth, open-ended entitlements, and unending aid to the poor. Instead, they propose that Christians adopt an evangelical approach to the market by supporting developments and formulating relief efforts that emphasize building infrastructure and creating job opportunities. According to Walker (2019), the best way to alleviate poverty is to empower the impoverished as opposed to continually giving them relief financial, food, clothing, and emergency services. Empowering them through opportunities provides them with a leeway to break from the vicious cycle of poverty. The book also advocates for a holistic community approach transformation undergirded by the transforming power of the gospel. The authors postulate that transformed believers will no longer oppress the people they employ but will instead pay a fair wage. Also, transformed believers will strive to end harmful behaviors that create and amplify poverty to embrace and cherish hard work. Agreeably, systemic injustices in the job market and laziness are some of the factors that fuel poverty (de Neubourg, Roelen, & Gassmann, 2016). Addressing these issues would prove vital to alleviating poverty.

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The last part, Poverty Alleviation in Practice, focuses on practices that can constitute a long-lasting solution to the poverty problem. Often, economists are mired in abstract theory, but the authors opt for practicability. Unfortunately, this section falls short of what its labeling suggests. Whereas most of the chapters focusing on poverty alleviation in practice are fairly informing, they do not give sufficient attention to practice. However, Chapter 12 provides a practical solution. The Chapter proposes that governments and citizens should emphasize job creation and ensure the jobs pay wages that can afford people a decent standard of living. According to the book, this not only benefits the poor but also the economy as a whole. Khairullina et al. (2016) support the recommendation. Khairullina et al. agree that increasing employment reduces poverty since when citizens are gainfully employed, they pay taxes. The collected funds facilitate the development of many aspects of the economy and alleviate poverty. According to Fields (2019), for employment to alleviate poverty, three conditions are necessary – that is, there must be: (1) creation of job opportunities, (2) increased employability, (3) efficient labor markets. Although the book proposes job creation and meaningful wages as strategies that can be used to alleviate poverty, it does not discuss how to increase employability and enhance the labor market’s efficiency. Fields elucidates that increasing employability entails providing citizens with the skills and knowledge they need to become competitive in the labor market. As for the improvement of labor market efficiency, Saleem and Donaldson (2016) explain that it entails ensuring that the labor markets match workers with jobs that suit their skillsets and incentivize both employees and employers to behave in a manner that promotes optimal productivity of human capital. Therefore, apart from Chapter 12, the third section of the book is underwhelming as it mostly focuses on US political perspectives on poverty alleviation before the modern welfare state.

To sum up, for the most part, For the Least of These, provides plausible arguments regarding the poor and how to curb poverty. It serves as a driving board from which people and governments can delve into the Biblical mandate to care for the poor using practices informed by economic principles. Despite its shortcoming in part three, parts one and two can spark a conversation about poverty and markets that can subsequently lead to the formulation of strategic approaches to alleviate poverty. The book is a compelling reminder that poverty tarnishes human dignity and, therefore, needs combating.

Should Health Insurance Companies be able to Collect Policyholders Data Through Wearable Tech

Technology has significantly shaped motor insurance premiums whereby motor insurers use telematics devices to monitor driver behavior. This trend has sparked debate regarding whether health insurance companies should do the same to policyholders through wearable tech. The viability of such a model is dependent on consumer market buy-in. It is worth noting that policyholders can grant an insurer permission to access their personal data if they find the rewards offered significantly attractive.

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Notably, the use of wearables in the health insurance realm is typically centered around three main objectives. Firstly, improve claims cost prediction whereby insurers can use data to supplement their underwriting process and pricing models.  Secondly, make people healthier hence reduce healthcare cost claims. The use of wearable tech can help increase awareness regarding healthy lifestyle and promote increased physical activity, which in turn can improve policyholders’ health; thus, eventually, reduce the healthcare claims costs. Lastly, strengthen the competitive position of insurance companies. As wearable tech’s popularity increases, insurers may have to offer them as part of their regular wellness offerings to remain competitive.

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From the above-highlighted objectives, the consumer market may find wearables considerably attractive, mainly because they are geared towards improving their wellness. However, the aspect of using wearables to supplement pricing models is likely to make the consumer market reject the paradigm. The data collected may render policy plans potentially expensive for individuals classified as high risk to afford. However, considering that benefits/rewards associated with the use of wearable tech outweigh the perceived pitfalls, then insurance companies should be able to use wearables to collect relevant data from policyholders.