Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Comparing/Contrasting the acts of Thich Quang Duc (“Burning Monk”) and Bohamed Bouazizi who set themselves on fire as protest:

My Thoughts:
There is MUCH conflict with the people and the government in both of these situations. I feel as though the act of self-immolation is a modern form of nationalism. I personally believe that both Thich Quang Duc and Bohamed Bouazizi did what they did because they wanted to make an impact and they desperately wanted change in their country. This is similar to nationalism because Thich and Bohamed sacrificed themselves for the sake of their country, which is what a soldier on a battlefield does.

A poem that conveys my thoughts:
Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
 Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
 But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
 To say that for destruction ice
Is also great,
 And would suffice.
By: Robert Frost
Discussion Questions:
Do you think Thich and Bohamed self-immolated out of nationalism?
Are these acts respected? Why or why not?

~Elizabeth :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

OPTION 1/Literary Analysis

OPTION 1/Literary Analysis of WWI
Objectives of the assignment:
Here are the steps for being successful with OPTION ONE.
  1. Choose a(n) topic/event/person leading up to WWI.
  2. Find a poem/song/piece of writing that applies to your topic/event/person.
  3. Analyze the poem/song/piece of writing by EXPLAINING how your topic/event/person and your poem/song/piece of writing are related!!! BE CLEVER, but not lofty! There are times when things are obvious and times when things are unseen by the naked eye. Choose your path wisely. I’m confident that BOTH will challenge you.
FORMAT FOR OPTION ONE…please number your response as shown below.
  1. Type your topic/event here. Then provide a summary. Now post a link where someone can learn more about the topic/event.
  2. Copy and paste the poem/song/piece of literature you found here. Now post a link where someone can find it.
  3. Now write your analysis. (for each piece of commentary you have, copy and paste a line from the poem as a concrete detail and include specifics about the event.)
My Topic/Analysis
  1. Alliances prior to WWI
alliance; a union or association formed for mutual benefit, esp. between countries or organizations
Here is a list of some influential alliances formed prior to WWI (*Note: The more important alliances have summaries, but all have links to get more information from. Also, the alliances are in chronological order):
The dual alliance was made between Germany and Austria-Hungary It was simply an agreement between them saying they had each others back if Russia or France tried to attack.
In 1882 Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy formed the Triple Alliance. The three countries agreed to support each other if attacked by either France or Russia. France felt threatened by this alliance. Britain was also concerned by the growth in theGerman Navy and in 1904 the two countries signed the Entente Cordiale (friendly understanding). The objective of the alliance was to encourage co-operation against the perceived threat of Germany.
  • Austro-German-Romanian Alliance (1883)
The Austro-Romanian alliance is barely known between people since both countries were not “dangerous” to others. When Serbia and Romania joined the triple alliance, Romania and Austro-Hungary had alliances with each other, because Austro-Hungry wanted to take over Romania, and Romania needed protection. Eventually, the triple alliances broke and everything fell apart even before Austro-Hungary could do anything to Romania. 
  • Franco-Russian Alliance (1894)
The Franco-Russian Alliance was a military alliance between the French Third Republic and the Russian Empire that ran from 1892 to 1917. The alliance ended the diplomatic isolation of France and undermined the supremacy of the German Empire in Europe. France would remain the principal ally of Russia until 1917, from an economical, financial and military point of view.
  • Russo-Bulgarian Military Convention (1902)
  • Entente Cordiale  (1904)
The Entente cordiale is a series of agreements signed on 8 April 1904 between the United Kingdom and the French Republic. Beyond the immediate concerns of colonial expansion addressed by the agreement, the signing of the Entente cordiale marked the end of almost a millennium of intermittent conflict between the two nations and their predecessor states, and the start of a peaceful co-existence that has continued to date. 
Russia, who feared the growth in the German Army, joined Britain and France to form the Triple Entente. The Russian government was also concerned about the possibility of Austria-Hungary increasing the size of its empire. It therefore made promises to help Serbia if it was attacked by members of the Triple Alliance.
  1. “Lean On Me,” by Bill Withers
Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won't let show
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'd understand
We all need somebody to lean on
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'd understand
We all need somebody to lean on
If there is a load you need to bear
That you can't carry
I'm right up the road
I'll share your load
If you just call me
Call me (if you need a friend)
Call me (Call me)
Call me (if you need a friend)
Call me (if you ever need a friend)
Call me (Call me)
Call me 
Call me (if you need a friend)
Lean on me...
(continues until it fades into the end)
Link for song (with music):
  1. For this assignment, I chose to focus on the alliances in World War I, and how they apply in the song “Lean On Me,” by Bill Withers. 
I will begin with the first verse. “Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain. We all have sorrow. But, if we are wise, we know that there's always tomorrow.” This verse illustrates the fact that everything, (human, society, empire, country), has their downfall. However, this verse makes the point that “if we are wise, we know that there's always tomorrow,” which could refer to the benefits of forming an alliance and looking into the future knowing that someone else, (a country for example [making this relate to alliances in WWI]), has your back.
Secondly, the verse that consists of “Please swallow your pride, if I have things you need to borrow. For no one can fill those of your needs, that you won't let show.” I think this relates to alliances because it shows how despite the reputation of any commended country, everybody needs some help every now and then. I think the “things you need to borrow” could be supplies from the countries part of the alliance with the struggling country. 
Also, the second part of the verse, “For no one can fill those of your needs, that you won't let show,” demonstrates the sometimes dishonesty of alliances. An example of this could be with the country of Italy, which started in the Triple Alliance, but conformed later into the Triple Entente.
Another example of the relationship between alliances in WWI and “Lean On Me,” is the verse, “If there is a load you need to bear, that you can't carry. I'm right up the road. I'll share your load, if you just call me.” I think the parallels of this and alliances is that the load to carry could be the eminence of a war or political/military trouble that could be consuming the leader of an empire in an alliance.
Lastly, the most commonly used verses, or refrain displays the similarities quite well. 
“Lean on me, when you're not strong... Somebody to lean on,” could refer to the “friendship” of  countries in an alliance.  In most healthy friendships, friends return favors, and the message that you can rebound (get a country back on it’s feet) and from each other’s help comes across in this verse.
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on. I just might have a problem that you'd understand. We all need somebody to lean on.” This verse means that a type of brotherhood (or “countryhood”) could be formed between countries in an alliance. 
There are many alliances, therefore there are good and bad alliances. Similarly, there are good and bad brothers. This song focuses on the positive brother that helps you in your time of need. A good alliance would do the same.
That concludes my thoughts about how alliances apply to the song “Lean On Me,” by Bill Withers.

~Elizabeth :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The White Man's Burden & Imperialism

Imperialism was often glorified both by those actively involved in it and by the public at home. Part of this glorification involved perceiving imperialism as a Christian and nationalistic venture. More broadly it involved portraying imperialism as a heroic deed carried out by idealistic leaders of Western civilization in an effort to spread the "benefits" of "true civilization" to 'less advanced" peoples of the world. One of the most popular expressions of this is found in the writings of Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), particularly in his poem "The White Man's Burden," written in 1899 to celebrate the American annexation of the Philippines.
The White Man's Burden
Rudyard Kipling
Take up the White Man's burden-
Send forth the best ye breed-
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild-
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.
Take up the White Man's burden-
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek another's profit
And work another's gain.
Take up the White Man's burden-
The savage wars of peace-
Fill full the mouth of Famine,
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
(The end for others sought)
Watch sloth and heathen folly
Bring all your hope to nought.
Take up the White Man's burden-
No iron rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper-
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go, make them with your living
And mark them with your dead.
Take up the White Man's burden,
And reap his old reward-
The blame of those ye better
The hate of those ye guard-
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:-
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"
Take up the White Man's burden-
Ye dare not stoop to less-
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness.
By all ye will or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent sullen peoples
Shall weigh your God and you.
Take up the White Man's burden!
Have done with childish days-
The lightly-proffered laurel,
The easy ungrudged praise:
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.

1. Determine what Kipling means by "the White Man's Burden."
“The White Man’s Burden” to me, means the obligation that western culture has for other countries and the people of those countries. 
Also, in most of the stanzas of this poem, especially the first, it exploits the idea of rupturing (metaphorically) part of the “White Man.” By part of the “White Man” I mean the nationalist mentality and heart of this character. The “White Man” knows that imperialism risks the safety of soldiers to appease the leader of an empire. I feel as though this could also be “the White Man’s Burden” because the “White Man” doesn’t want to see the people of his country obey under a monarch.
“The White Man’s Burden” could be the burden of the monarch because royalty was mostly white, and there would be a load of pressure on that political figure leading an empire.

2. Does Kipling justify imperialism? How so?

I don’t think Kipling justifies imperialism. The personality of the “White Man” seems to be nationalistic. The character wants to obey by the monarch, however, he has a difficult time excepting the consequences of always following orders.
The “White Man” also exhibits the sometimes unjust outcomes there is when you do another country’s work for them. 
I think it is also frustrating to the “White Man” the fact that after his country has stepped out of their way to help another, they get slapped in the face and get blamed and hated.
By these reasons, Kipling doesn’t seem to justify imperialism.
However, I think Kipling does illustrate at the end of the poem the great accomplishment you get if you have served your empire well. He also makes a point about how people will remember you as a great leader (or official, negotiator, peace-maker, etc.).

3. Why might such a justification be so appealing?
If Kipling was to justify imperialism, it might be appealing to the monarchs because they would have power over the people of their empire.
Almost everyone somewhere in their lifetime seeks power, and it can look attractive from afar, and yet dangerous, untamable, and deadly once acquired.
I think this justification could also be appealing to people who wanted to form a legacy of themselves. Many people want to be remembered in a positive way, and they want to make their mark in history. I think Kipling writes of the emotions one would have if he/she would accomplish that.

~Elizabeth :)