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Throughout the study of the semester, we have learned how the human nature shapes the community. The invisible rules that enact on the population in some ways that the people who have power can control the result.
When I was around 10 years old, there was one cartoon that really inspired me, even though I couldn’t fully understand the meaning behinds every sentence, but it was the first ever work that opens my door to the “reality”. Lately, I found out that it was the adaptation from Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. There are also film and musical play versions. The setting of the story is in the early 19th century in France. The story is based on a man named Jean Valjean who were guilty of theft. When he began to follow his old tracks-stealing. A bishop forgives what he had done in the past and gives him a second chance to start a new life. Because of bishop’s kindly reaction, Jean Valijean was pulled out from this ugly world by the bishop. He understands that human nature is good and kind, there may be many different kinds of flaws and injustice exist in the world, but people can be changed, from bad to good. All people shall be threat equally. The pre-judgement prevents people from correcting themselves. Later on, he focuses on the way to make himself a “better person”, eventually, he becomes mayor of a local town and owner of the factory. However, there is one police inspector named Javert, does not allow him to go back to “normal” life, he believes that Valjean once a law-breaker, he cannot change into a good person. One of the factory workers – Fantine, willing to do everything for her dearest daughter – Cosette, before she dies from the illness of being over working or bully by other people, she asked Valjean to take care of her illegitimate daughter. In those turbulent moments, Valjean stays his ground and helps others as much as he can.
The concept of being justice is an intangible abstract idea that controlled under the powerful people to create their ideal world. So, what is justice? The meaning of justice doesn’t fully explain by just pulling out the meaning from the dictionary. Friedrich Nietzsche thinks that the meaning of justice is unspecific that is it flexible with no fixed meaning. The ultimate definition of being justice is to be “positive” or “good”, but Nietzsche tries to challenge the norm that people have forgotten and the meaning of the concept, by raising some questions of how do we know what is included and what is excluded? The concept of justice may not exist because it is a use of language that people tries to approach the truth. The community has hard time to define some moral action, in that said, they need to create some sort of laws to help them identify which action is “good” or “bad”. It’s just a metaphor that people use to judge the world.
The concept of responsibility also occurs in both cases. Because there is no fixed meaning of justice that’s given by God, therefore, people or the community should come together to create a “definition of justice” in order to make the society function well. In addition, everyone has their own responsibility to follow what is written on the paper. The concept of justice is rational and no true meaning. It can be changed as time goes on, and develop with the growth of the society. In the story, The visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt, the people of the town that are under the control of Claire, agrees that Ill’s death can be deemed as Justice because of the mistakes that he had done. By sacrificing Ill, the debt of the whole town can be resolve. Even though Claire comes back for the revenge, she has more control in the town than Ill does, so does this action can be seen as justice? People pushing Ill to death in order to clear the debts, they think that it is justice because Ill was guilty. The “justice” that we see in here has a lot of negative images. However, in Les Misérables, we can see two different kinds of “justice”, one is positive and one is negative. The action of the bishop by forgiving Valijean can be defined as a positive justice which he gives a guilty person an opportunity to start a new life. This act would be doubt in a modern society since people who admitted crime shall be punished by law. The “justice” that the police inspector Javert is the opposite of the bishop, he believes that people who once done wrong, they will not change to a better person.
Overall, the human nature is pure and good, the action of being justice is the highest transformation that wakes up the conscience.
Recently, I watched the Phantom of the Opera which is one of the great Broadway show in the history. When I watched this show, I was shocked by the scene, the music, and the performance. Everything presented on the stage was perfect and amazing. Some of the musicals are pushing us to fall asleep, but The Phantom of the Opera can make us fall in love with the musical show. The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running show in the Broadway history that it is a story about the love and revenge. The phantom was considered as a mysterious ghost haunts the opera with a mask to hide his ugly face. He fell in love with Christine, and then he taught her the skill of singing and help her become the leading character in the performance. However, Christine fell in love with Raoul, who was her friend in the childhood. The Phantom felt that he was betrayed by Christine, then he began to revenge because he thinks that Christine should belong to him. The ending of the show was interesting because the phantom disappeared and just left a mask on the stage which gives us a space to imagine the result of the Phantom. One thing makes me impressive was the music, such as “ the Angel of music,” “the Music of the Night,” and especially “ the Phantom of the Opera.”
One theme that we learned related to the Phantom of the Opera is the rationalization. In my opinion, the existence of the phantom was considered as irrational because he was named as opera Ghost that he should not exist. The Phantom was a talented music singer, but the ugly face push the Phantom became an inferiority person that he eager to gain attention and be accepted by the public. He was lived in the darkness alone for a long time without contact with others so that he was attracted by Christine who is a young, beautiful girl when he saw her. He considered Christine as his redemption and belonging, so he taught Christine how to sing, and he used his ‘power’ to help her to became the leading role in the play. He is an irrational person because of his radical behavior. He made the backdrop collapse without warning to scare the original soprano and made her angry so that she refused to perform. Then he pushed Christine to be the new soprano to perform. In addition, he is a crazy man in the play because he threatened and commanded the owner of the theater to let Christine replace the original singer to be the main character or there would be a terrible disaster. He made accidents and killed the man who controlled stage prop when the owner did not follow what he says. Moreover, when he found that Christine falls in love with Raoul, he forced Christine to stay with him forever or to kill Raoul. From his existence to his behavior, I can strongly feel that he is an unreasonable man. However, the Phantom became rational at the end of the show because he freed himself when he released Christine and Raoul. He understood he could not compel Christine to love him.
The Phantom of the Opera is related to Bewitched. In the show, the existence of the phantom is irrational because he was not accepted by the public due to his ugly face even though he had a talented skill of singing. In the same way, the existence of Manago is also irrational because she is the incarnation of the serpent demon that the society can not accept her. In addition, when Christine didn’t saw the face of the Phantom, she admired him and treated him as “angel of music.” However, when she saw the real appearance of the phantom, she felt so scared of it. Similarly, Toyo-o fell in love with Manago and wanted to marry her when he didn’t find that she was a serpent. He Toyo-o also felt scared and tried to escape from her when he found that Manago was the carnation of the monster. Furthermore, in the show, the Phantom killed the character who should perform with Christine and pretended the man to perform with her. But Christine found that she was singing with the Phantom and exposed his disfigured face to the audience. For the bewitched, Mango killed Toyo-o’s wife and dominated the body his wife and appeared in front of Toyo-o. However, Toyo-o discovered her was not his wife because Manago’s behavior was different from his wife. Therefore, the Phantom of the Opera and Bewitched have many plots that we can connect to each other.
Throughout life we all go through obstacles or tough times. Some have it worse than others and many times we are lucky to not have to go through things other people have to be put in other countries. As i was reading “This way for the gas ladies and gentleman” i found difficult at certain parts to read because what was described was really disturbing. You see how all the Jewish people had to deal with all this torture during WWII it was really heartbreaking reading this story. So many live were lost during that time from men, women and even infants, it makes you wonder how people can be so heartless and feel no sympathy towards the people they are murdering. I was amazed at how little feelings they had it shows you how cruel this world really is. Many of these people were fighting for their survival, which bring me to my main theme which is survival and death, because that what this was all about so many deaths occurred while many other were fighting for their own survival whether that meant even abandoning their own children.
As i kept reading this story at one point i told myself how can you be so cruel and just murder people the way the Nazis did and then i realized that there so many tragedies quite similar occurring now. Let’s take a look at what has been all over the new and occurring in Syria as of late. The recent event with the chemical gas which was described by the New York Times as one of the worst chemical attacks in years as it left many people death, it’s the exact same way they would murder the Jews in the story with chemical gases, it crazy to know that this methods that were used with the Jews are still being used now in a more destructive way through bombing. As i was reading this article from New York Times which described in detail how many children were writhing, choking, gasping and foaming at the mouth because of this chemical gas that was dropped, just picturing that scene make me so heartbroken all these people in Syria are suffering slow deaths which make so much worse they have to go through all this pain. I can’t imagine all the suffering all the people are going through right now but right now they are fighting for their survival while some may survive others die it’s all they can do the same way the Jewish had to fight for their survival during WWII they had no other choice all they can do is hope for a miracle for things to get better. The toughest part was seeing these images and videos of Syria all the chaos that was caused it really broke my heart how can you just do something like that all these people were helpless and theirs nothing we can do to help which makes us feel vulnerable as humans. We are lucky we don’t go through that we just live our daily lives while other people are fighting for their own survival when you think about it.
After reading both the story and article i realized how much things haven’t changed compared to the times during WWII. I mean just looks at what’s going on with Syria, that just shows you things haven’t changed at so many deaths are still occurring till this day to innocent people, many of them children young kids who haven’t even gotten the chance to live life and enjoy the joys of it. I mean just thinking about it make me actually hate this world we live there is never any peace anymore, theirs always war and that something that will never change sadly . So much cruelty is still happening to this day. It just shows how heartless humans are they have no remorse for their actions. At some point you wonder if these attacks will ever end or if the people that do this will return to human feelings and actually have some heart to not cause anymore suffering to all the innocent people. This is a problem which i feel will honestly never ever go away.
At the end of the day you come to realize this world we live in is a messed up one that we are in. No matter how much times passes you realize that things never will truly change there will always be these unfortunate events that occur. We can only hope for a change that will make the world a better place.
Barnard, Anne, and Michael R. Gordon. “Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Apr. 2017. Web. 08 May 2017.
Borowski, Tadeusz. This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen. New York: Penguin Books, 1976. Print.
Since Enlightenment, people began using rationality and reasoning to explain the unknown or challenge existing systems. Science prospered when many talents used different methods to explore the nature and discover a variety of useful tools that made people’s lives convenient. It was obviously pointing to a good direction. However, when people realized that they could even use it against one another and benefit from it, they focused on how to take away others’ lives in an efficient way. For example, chemical weapon was first used during World War I, killing more than thousands of people and creating a terrifying psychological impact on soldiers. It was not the only time. Chemical weapons have been used recently in Syria as well. While people are blaming that the overuse of technologies and rationality leads to the loss of humanity, the ambiguity between rightness and wrongness shows that the critique itself is just another demonstration of rationality.
First of all, according to ABC News, a chemical attack in Syria was reported on April 4, 2017. It is shock to see how children started losing breath and died in a video. Many people lost their family and even their lives due to the terrifying order given by the President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Assad’s government denied this responsibility, but still many people believed he gave out this order, killing more than seventy Syrian citizens. Barbara Starr and Jeremy Diamond from CNN Politics reported that “The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians earlier in the week.” Trump’s order aims to prevent the chemical weapon attack from happening again and signifies that U.S will get involved in this affair more explicitly. Nevertheless, it can intensify the situation which becomes more complicated. Within this dynamic atmosphere, Syria is a checkerboard with the involvement of many nations pursuing powers and trying to take advantages over others without taking consideration into the Syrian citizens who are innocent. Wars have happened throughout history in the world with a variety of forms.
People handle conflicts in various ways when there is a disagreement of interests between two parties. In some extreme conditions, people would kill opponents to strengthen their positions and authority. Wars are commonly used when it is a national conflict. During World War I, there was a big conflict between the Allies and the Central Power. With the advance of technologies, the form of war changed. For example, tanks, machine guns, and chemical weapons were introduced in a way that had not been used before. They were all the products of the use of science that was highly logical. As mentioned before, people started rationalize their surroundings and then took steps further and further to form different systems and methods to help them get a better understanding of the nature. After they have sufficient knowledge about it, they began to think if they could create something artificial. When creativity and rationality were combined and applied to war, lives were taken easily. High casualties and mortalities indicated not only the ability of human being to create lethal weapons, but also the indifference of numerous deaths that one party might only concern how many enemies they could kill, bring up an issue that the overuse of rationality objectified human beings and led to the loss of emotional attachment toward other people.
While wars were considered as a tool to gain benefits by showing dominance and authorities, Dadaism brought up a message to break the old traditions, rationality, social norms as well as any other systems. Tristan Tzara, the author of Dada Manifesto, states that “abolition of logic, dance of all those impotent to create: DADA” (652). This quote shows that people should get rid of logics and former structures which were perceptions formed by themselves. These things were not appearing naturally. Human beings have existed for many years and improving themselves with the passage of time. Structures and systems formed when ancestors realized that they were helpful to manage a group of people and relations with each other. Eventually, more structures and connections among people formed. People would not pay much attention to why those structures and systems existed until Enlightenment when they started to question, break the old one, and then form another one with rationality. In other words, community played an important role on the formation of logics and systems which were not unchangeable, such as French Revolution in which the system of monarchy and divine right from God was overthrown, and new system was constructed that emphasized the rights of citizens. However, it did not mean that the previous system was unreasonable because it also had its own path of evolution with reasons that were not accepted by revolutionists. There was no absolute right or wrong system, but when people had certain needs that could not be satisfied, they would try to find solution, and if the solution would hurt someone else, they might rationalize their reasons to justify their actions which caused harm to others. Yet, as long as they were able to give solid proof, their actions were justified.
To sum up, war is a detrimental event that creates huge impacts on people to an extent that one side dehumanizes and even brings more harm toward the other one. However, if there is no unchangeable rule to clarify the rightness and wrongness, wars cannot be absolutely considered as a wrong thing, even if it objectifies and categorizes different people.
“Father Grieves for Baby Twins Killed in Syrian Gas Massacre.” ABC News. N.p., 05 Apr. 2017. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
Starr, Barbara, and Jeremy Diamond. “Trump Launches Military Strike against Syria.” CNN. Cable News Network, 07 Apr. 2017. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
Tzara, Tristan. “Dada Manifesto 1918.” The Norton Anthology World Literature. 3rd ed. Vol. F. New York: W. W. Norton &, n.d. N. pag. Print.
In this movie, I believe, less conversation was emphasized and more actions and subtitles were required. I see the language through the subtitles that I had to imagine myself. Basically, there were certain classes like factory president and workers. I believe the language was just about further explanation that it aided us to understand more about those circumstances. I was wondered about this movie that players did not talk each other and only showing their motions to audiences. I think it helped us to concentrate more on those situations as well.
In the movie, I saw many scenes that mostly was related with unemployment things that I was able to understand those circumstances well. Although, society was collapsed in this movie, Chaplin had true mind that he was willing to do something new and never frustrated himself. Perhaps, it could not be easy I mean trying best in certain position, but I saw the hope and opportunity through the movie and Chaplin’s effort inspired me that some possibility could change the society at all.
After watching Modern Time from class, the superior acting of Charlie Chaplin and the unforgettable plot twist immediately intrigued me as an audience. I couldn’t help but watch another one of his signature films, the city light. The movie started with the line of “To the people of this city we donate this monument; ‘Peace and Prosperity’”, Soon after, as the monument are getting revealed, a homeless played by Charlie Chaplin was sleeping on the top of it and disrespect the monument on his way down. Just from those few scenes along, the element of satire appears in my mind nonstop. the phase of Peace and prosperity is nothing but a fake illusion, there are many serious problems occur in our society, yet many people would still pretend or ignore those issues in order to maintain a positive image of their perfect community. They can donate a tremendous amount money and resources building an artistic monument for the city hall but not enough to spend on a homeless person who has no place to live.
As the story continues, the homeless （Chaplin） met a drunk affluent who is about to commit suicide around the coast. After Chaplin successful convinced the affluent to think positively about his life, the affluent wants Chaplin to become his best friend and having a good time with this “new” friend he found on the street. However, once the affluent awake in the morning and become sober, he suddenly forgets about Chaplin and disregards him entirely. The idea of egoism and selfishness in this film couldn’t be more obvious, on one hand, when the affluent feels depress, he uses Chaplin as a tool of comfort and give Chaplin all the luxury experiences, but when the party is over, as affluent returns to his rational mindset, he instantly gets rid of the “friend” and their friendship. While Chaplin continuously provides the help every time the affluent need it even when he was treated unfairly. The contrast between those two characters is often time happen in real life where the generous ones are always treated horribly.
But the real story in this movie is the relationship between Chaplin and the blind girl. The homeless once saw a blind girl selling flower on street and start to have feeling for her. After a visit to her house, Chaplin finds out the girl is facing a serious financial situation and decide to help her pay the expensive rent. But in order to obtain such large amount of money, Chaplin was persuaded to enter a fake fight in a boxing club to earn some fast money. However, when the fight is about to start, the opponent bailed out of the fight and Chaplin was forced to fight a real boxer and eventually lose the fight. After desperation, Chaplin meets affluent in his drunk mood once again, and better yet, he decides to give $1000 dollars to Chaplin for the blind girl. While unfortunately, there is a robbery going on in the house and Chaplin again was blamed for the crime as the affluent would not recognize his “best friend” in a sober form. As Chaplin successfully bring the money to the girl and told her to use the money to cure her eyes, he was captured by cops and sent to the prison. After the release, Chaplin notices the girl in a flower shop and smile suddenly appear on his face, the girl didn’t know who Chaplin is, but after a touch of the hand, she quickly understands the man in front of her, while Chaplin simply said: “you can see now?” “yes, I can see now” a simple answer from the girl leads the movie to the end.
This movie truly displays the difference between the rational world and the true love that exist in our hearts. in the movie, Chaplin has demonstrated that in an alternate world, in a different life, even a homeless can embrace the idea of been selfless and give a hand a stranger and expect nothing in return. He becomes the lights who directs the blind girl to a bright future in a materialize world that is measured by money and rational decisions. The irony in this movie truly criticize the modern society we live in
work cited: Charlie Chaplin | Luzes da Cidade (City Lights) – 1931 – Legendado
From the beginning of enlightenment to surrealism, we’ve been discussing in class how social structures had developed in terms of logics and how the way of thinking has been changed in chronological and topical order. Before eighteenth century, people were blind in terms of having own reason and logic because they lived under other’s tutelage. As soon as enlightenment movement spread out, it gradually brought confrontation between ones who governed the world for their interest and others who claimed their rights. Then, inequality for lives has been resolved step by step. Since industrial revolution, the way of living world has changed drastically. Then, whole world is connected to each other and interacting. After then, I think modern society is all about technology since we do everything online. Young people who born with technology live with the internet. There are words coming up to describe people who hate such development like technophobia. I would attempt to discuss such modern society comparing to past and find similarity between them.
I read the interview article about “Brain Hacking” with Tristan Harris directed by Anderson Cooper on CBS news by chance. Harris said this was kind of a manifesto. In the interview it says checking phone is a kind of slot machine because it hijacks users’ attention and users get rewards, which are getting likes on Facebook and Instagram and receiving messages with cute emoji. It forms a habit for users to check it on a regular basis at first but, later, users are addicted to the rewards which arouse primitive feeling like happy, fear and anxiety. Users gradually feel anxiety when they cannot check their phone on the usual basis. When you put your phone down and you don’t check it for a while, your brain releases a hormone called cortisol. We can understand it in primitive way that this is the hormone that made a man anxious because he is aware that he is in the condition that he will be eaten by lions. So that the man feels anxiety and will run away from the condition. In order to get rid of such anxiety in modern society, the man needs to check his phone because this is only way to release that anxiety. This sounds like things just happening when we use smart phone. However it really comes from experiment and it is called “brain programming” Engineers are putting enormous efforts to track relationships between users’ behavior and brain activities. And, they create code that actually interact with your brain in order to make you more additive. The thing is you still feel anxiety even though you put your phone down. It’s because you do not shut off your brain. The only antidote for this anxiety is checking phone more often. This makes me stunned because it happens to everybody and every day. The programmers and engineers all know about this and are putting people to be more and more addictive to smart phone. One great example is Samsung smart phone. There is a small light on screen for alarm purpose. Blue for message and yellow for other social media application. Even though you turn off the notification, you can still see the lights whether something comes or not. And it means, it really isn’t turned off and your brain is interacting with the lights. You will roll your eyes to the lights in order to release your anxiety. This brings more serious addiction.
I’ve jumped from the past to modern in a moment. I would like to say people are influenced by such technology and social media even before they recognized it in similar way that old tradition and logics had already implanted to human life before they realized it. Young people become addictive to technology so easily and are wasting time on watching smartphone to get that rewards which are deliberately programmed by contributors on purpose. Such an advanced modern technology which intended to interact with human brain activity like hormones is making people blind from the real world. In the past, people were implanted under tutelage and, in modern society, people are implanted with intelligent technology. There has been always a group of a few smart people who has structured everything for their interest and hided truth. I think that is the thing that exist alongside human history in past and present.
Cooper, Anderson. “What is “brain hacking”? Tech insiders on why you should care.” CBS News. CBS Interactive, 09 Apr. 2017. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.