Free Essays

Obesity is an increasing global health problem, and one of the leading preventable causes of death


Obesity is an increasing global health problem, and one of the leading preventable causes of death. The definition of obesity taken from the NHS website is; Obesity is when a person is carrying too much body fat for their height and sex. A person is considered obese if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater . The main problem here is that there is numerous health problems linked to obesity, therefore if Obesity is helped and reduced, it would be like solving the root to the numerous health problems it is linked to. In other words instead of tackling the health problems that are caused by obesity, you tackle obesity itself which would then in theory lead to a general decrease in obesity related health problems. This will not only be beneficial to the patients, but in this current economic climate will save the medical sector money that they would use on treating obesity related health problems.

Obesity is a medical condition in which an excess amount of body fat has accumulated within the body to an extent that it may have a harmful affect on health. This can in turn lead to reduced life expectancy and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The main problem here is that obesity increases the risk of many physical and mental conditions however regardless of this it is increasing and needs to be tackled. The main cause of obesity is a combination of excess food energy intake and a lack of any physical activity however there are cases when the cause is due primarily to genetics, medical reasons or psychiatric illness. In contrast increasing rates of societal level obesity is thought to be due to an easily accessible and palatable diet, increased reliance on vehicles and mechanized manufacturing.

There are three main ways obesity is being tackled, and it is these three solutions that I am going to focus on in my study.; Diet, Surgery and Drugs. The main solution I will focus on will be surgery.

Diet – Alternative to Surgery

The classic approach to tackle obesity is a low-calorie diet; this still remains the core treatment of obesity.

These diets have the best short-term benefits.

There are three types of low-calorie diets that can be distinguished:

Personalized and moderately restricted diet: This is dependant on a pre-therapeutic assessment. This diet takes into consideration the daily energy expenditure of each individual including their professional and family environment and their food habits. The desired level of caloric intake will equal to two thirds of the average energy expenditure; 1200 – 2000 calories per day.
Low-calorie diet: Total caloric intake averages 800 – 1200 calories per day. This is a considerable reduction in the individuals daily intake and can not be maintained for a long period of time as the patient’s physical activity is hindered and the body is faced with nutritional deficiencies. This ambitious treatment is proposed during hospitalization.
Very low-calorie diet: This is a less than 800 calorie per day diet also known as a protein diet. The medical follow up to this must be very accurate.

Cutting off the usual supply of calories the body gets causes the body to break down fat in order to supply itself with energy thus causing the patient to lose body weight. This dietary treatment is effective for short term benefits however requires a lot of dedication on the patient’s behalf.


A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band also known as a lap band is an inflatable device made of silicone that is placed at the top of the patients stomach through laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery also known as Keyhole surgery is a modern technique of surgery in which operations that take place in the abdomen are carried out through small incisions, usually measuring from 0.5-1.5cm. This type of surgery uses images displayed on a monitor which can be magnified. Keyhole surgery is a very beneficial and efficient procedure as the patient feels less

pain and discomfort and recovery time is considerably reduced.

Gastric banding is the least invasive surgery of its kind however it carries the usual risks of any gastrointestinal surgical operation. The patient’s intestines are not re-routed as the stomach is not staples or removed therefore the patient is able to absorb nutrients from food in a normal procedure. Gastric bands are able to stay without causing harm in the patient’s body as they are made entirely of biocompatible materials.

They way this procedure works is that the gastric band is placed on the top portion of the stomach using keyhole surgery. The placement of the band creates a small pouch at the top portion of the stomach. This pouch approximately holds about half a cup of food, in contrast to its normal six cups of food. The pouch fills up quickly; this is where the band comes into effect. The band causes food to pass slowly from the pouch into the lower part of the patient’s stomach. As the upper part of the stomach fills the brain is sent a message that the stomach is full therefore the patient’s hunger dies. This causes the patient to eat a reduced amount of food and stay full for a longer period of time thus decreasing overall caloric intake which can lead to a decrease in weight over time. As the patient starts losing weight the gastric band will need to be adjusted to ensure effectiveness and improve comfort. It is adjusted using a saline solution introduced through a small access port placed underneath the skin. To avoid damage to the port membrane and prevent leakage a specialized non-coring needle is used.

This graph has been taken from and gives an overall idea of the extent to which a gastric band can help weight loss.

According to the study participants who had a gastric band lost 22% of their body weight in two years in contrast to the controls who in which only lost just 6%. This resulted in the ‘gastric band group’ to be healthier and happier.

This is one proof of evidence that shows that this type of solution to tackle obesity is highly effective.

I do not believe taking drugs alone such as AMPHETAMINES is effective as there are many side effects and there have been many cases where patients have become addicted and dependant on the drug itself therefore I do not look at this as a solution personally.

Gastric Banding I believe is the most appropriate as it shows and has been proven to considerably decrease body weight and help obesity. And being a laparoscopic surgery rather than open it has its many advantages;

Reduced chance of needing blood transfusion as haemorrhaging is reduced.
Small incisions are used which reduce pain and discomfort to the patient. In addition recovery time is reduced along with less post-operative scarring
Less pain due to small incisions also means that less pain medication is needed
Procedure times are slightly longer however, hospital stay time is less often same day discharge. So patient can be back to everyday life more quickly and efficiently.
Exposure of organs is reduced due to small incisions therefore chances of contamination and disease are reduced.

However it does come with its disadvantages;

Due to the small incisions the doctor has a limited range of motion at the surgical site. Dexterity is lost.
Poor depth perception
Tissue can be damaged due to tools being used rather than hands.

However I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages so keyhole surgery is a effective and efficient solution.

However I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages so keyhole surgery is a effective and efficient solution.

There are many risks that come with this type of surgery as with any type of surgical operation.

The biggest risk is from an instrument called a trocar. Injuries are caused to either blood vessels or small or large bowel. This risk is increased with patients that have a history of prior abdominal surgery.

Benefits of gastric banding compared to other bariatric surgeries.

There are many benefits of gastric banding compared to other bariatric surgeries. Mortality rates are considerably lower; 1 in 2000. Due to small incisions, keyhole surgery recovery times are very short along with a short hospital stay. These benefits can make the surgery greatly appeal to the patient as along with losing weight, the pain and overall time is small.


[1.5] Google images.

[2.5] Wikipedia. AS Biology CGP Revision Guide. – overall knowledge

[3.5] Dr Patrick Jordan .










Free Essays

What is Fire Regulation? A Critical study of Death or Action


1.0 Historical Background

There has long been a concern with fire safety in buildings dating back many centuries. The earliest references to rules or what could now be termed legislation date back to Emperor Nero after the fire of Rome. These rules appear somewhat reactive in that they where enacted following a major incident or tragedy of the time. The reasons for their introduction has changed little over the centuries with the public and governing authorities anxiety and concern to the fore in demanding actions following a serious loss of life or property. As time progressed the influence of European Directives, World Summits and Commerce added a voice to the demand for action and consideration of other issues such as the environment, business and heritage.

In medieval England we see the first attempts to legislate for fire safety through simplistic rules developed due to problems at that time. In the middle ages houses were usually built of timber frames filled in with wattle and daub. Roofs were thatched and chimney construction basic, and within the congested walled towns houses were built in narrow streets with overhanging upper storeys. These factors combined with the central hearths and straw floor coverings enabled rapid fire spread and devastating conflagrations. William the Conqueror required that all fires be extinguished at night. The popular method of achieving this was to use a metal cover which excluded the air. This cover was called a Couvert Feu which in use became Curfew.

In 1189 the first recorded attempts to legislate for fire safety were by the mayor of London who stated that all houses in the city were to be built of stone. Thatched roofs were not permitted and minimum dimensions were specified for party walls

The common historical reference point for fire safety rules is the Great fire of London which occurred in the early hours of 2nd September 1666 and burned for 4 days. Five-sixths of the city was destroyed including 1300 houses and many major monuments. Although loss of life was minimal London acquired its first complete code of Building Regulations and means for its implementation.

These are just the first historic dates in the evolution of fire safety legislation over time. There are many more famous dates where new legislation has being introduced however for this dissertation I want to focus on a few in more detail..

1.2 Aim and Objectives


To identify case studies that have impacted on the fire regulations and to investigate what effect research has had on the fire regulations.

Identify case studies that impinged on the fire regulations
Investigate if and how research has improved the fire regulations over time
And therefore ascertain if future research should be better focused
Identify possible weaknesses in the fire regulations at present

In this Dissertation I have taken the opportunity to review the history and evolution of Northern Ireland’s built environment fire safety legislation in order to achieve my aim and objectives.

The identification of the most relevant pieces of fire safety legislation was carried out through a literature review on the subject and through discussions and structured interviews with key personnel involved in its use.

2.0 Literature Review

The subsequent literature review is concerned with providing knowledge on the different fire legislation that is currently in use.

2.1 Fire Legislation in Northern Ireland

The development of fire safety legislation particular to Northern Ireland is largely based on and is equivalent to legislation which has evolved for England and Wales either at the same time or frequently with a time delay of 3-5 years. Consequently the evolvement of fire safety legislation in Northern Ireland can be categorised as being reactive and overlapping.

In general terms new legislation will be proposed through one of the following mechanisms: –

By public pressure
Government’s direction
European pressure

Fire safety legislation in Northern Ireland has two main strands, one seeks to ensure that buildings are designed and constructed in a way which will contribute to a reasonable degree of fire safety the other is concerned with the continuing control and management of the buildings while occupied. This consolidation of legislation into two strands developed following recommendations from Sir Ronald Holyroyd in 1970. The major pieces of legislation that are currently in force are as follows: –

Design and Construction

The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (Under the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) Order 1979)
The Building (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006.
The Building (Amendment No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006.
The Building (Amendment No.1) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.
The Building (Amendment No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.

Buildings in Use

The Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.
The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.

This legislation forms the backbone of the fire safety requirements and implications placed on industry and essentially cover all use classes. Up until the 15th of November 2010 there was over 70 different pieces of legislation that was used for non-domestic buildings in use. The new legislation stated above replaced and simplified the old legislation into one document. The old legislation required buildings to obtain fire certificates and not all buildings were required to do this but the new legislation requires all non-domestic buildings to comply with fire safety duties such as carrying out a risk assessment.

2.2 Existing Authorities for Application and Enforcement of Legislation

2.2.1 Building Control Service

In Northern Ireland District Councils have a statutory duty to enforce Building Regulations and they do this through their Building Control Services. At present in Northern Ireland there are 26 District Council areas each with its own Building Control Service. The power for District Councils to enforce the Building Regulations comes from Article 10 of the Building Regulations (NI) Order 1979. All district Councils carry this out through authorised officers of their Building Control Service.

The power to make new Building Regulations or amend existing regulations also comes from the Building Regulations (NI) Order 1979. The current local Government Department given the power by this order is the Department of Finance and Personnel who will propose changes to all aspects of the regulations including fire safety after consultation with the Northern Ireland Building Regulations Advisory Committee and in line with powers conferred by the Order.

The regulations are now expressed in functional terms such as an ‘adequate means of escape, which can be safely and effectively used at all material times’. This allows the designer flexibility in building form, which prior to 1994 would have been difficult to justify under the more rigid fire safety regime in place for the design and construction of new buildings. The designer now has the choice of following a specific fire safety code of practice such as technical booklet E or the BS9999 series to achieve a reasonable degree of fire safety. This is known as the ‘deemed to satisfy approach’ which by following the specific recommendations of the various codes in full a designer is deemed to have satisfied the functional fire safety provisions within the Building Regulations. In complex buildings or where a designer finds it difficult to comply with the provisions as set out in these codes there is the opportunity to follow an ‘alternative approach’ whereby compliance with the functional regulations can be demonstrated by an alternative means, for example through fire safety engineering.

The current provisions relating to fire safety in buildings as contained in Part E of the regulations can be seen in Appendix A

In terms of the fire safety aspects of the Building Regulations a Fire Safety Panel has been set up to ensure consistency of approach in terms of interpretation and application throughout Northern Ireland. This fire safety panel consists of 8 members from Building Control Services throughout Northern Ireland to discuss all aspects of fire safety relevant to Building Control.

2.2.2 Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) is the statutory fire and rescue service for Northern Ireland. They are overseen by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board (NIFRS Board). It is classed as a Non-Departmental Public Body with its funds allocated by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

The NIFRS Board was established on the 1st of July 2006 under the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006. It replaced the Fire Authority for Northern Ireland (FANI). The FANI was formed in October 1973 when, as the result of the reorganization of Local Government in Northern Ireland, the functions of the Belfast Corporation Fire Brigade and the Northern Ireland Fire Authority were combined. It was established by the Fire Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1973, and this piece of legislation was consolidated and expanded by the Fire Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1984. It was also in July 2006 that the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade (NIFB) changed to the NIFRS.

The NIFRS is the main body responsible for enforcing the new Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 under The Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006. The NIFRS serves the entire population of Northern Ireland for the enforcement of the above legislation and this is carried out by the 4 area headquarters situated at various locations in the North, South, East and West of the province. Changes to this legislation are made by the relevant local government department who at present are the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. This department are advised on changes to legislation by the safety committee of the NIFRS.

3.0 Methodology

The aim of my dissertation is as already stated is to identify case studies that impinged on the regulations and to investigate what effect research has had on the regulations. This will involve determining how the fire legislation has evolved over time and the factors that have influenced this. Through this I hope to find the answer to my title. Which has the most influence on the current evolvement of legislation; Research or fire tragedyThe methodology for this critical appraisal will involve the following research techniques:-

Literature searches
Identifying Case Studies
Structured Interviews of key personnel

Following the analysis of current situation of fire legislation an attempt will be made to identify the shortcomings of the present.

3.1 Literature Searches

In order to undertake this dissertation it was necessary to carry out literature searches to get sufficient background information into fire safety. It was essential to determine the different fire safety legislation that is in place today and where it evolved from. It was also important to look at existing systems for application and enforcement of legislation in Northern Ireland. A full literature Review (see 2.0) on the subject was carried out utilizing a variety of sources detailed given in the bibliography.

3.2 Case Studies

As already mentioned the basis of my dissertation was to identify case studies that changed the fire regulations so therefore it was crucial to look through the history of the fire legislation. It was necessary to identify the different pieces of legislation that have being introduced between the period of the first legislation being introduced until present and to determine the reasons new legislation came into place. For the scope of this dissertation it is not possible to examine every fire that occurred throughout the centuries. Therefore I am going to choose a few of the most recent fires that changed the fire legislation and focus on what caused the fire, how many people were killed and the legislation that came into place as a result of that tragedy.

3.2.1 Summerland Leisure Centre, Isle of Man, 1973

Figure 1 External view of the Summerland leisure complex (Rasbash, 2003 pg.36)

Figure 1 shows Summerland leisure centre before the fire destroyed the building in 1973. The fire was started by children at 7.30pm in a small kiosk adjacent to the centre’s mini-golf course at point X (See Figure 2). The exterior wall beside where the kiosk was on fire was clad in Galbestos. This was a bitumen coated steel material that had passed a standard fire test but after this fire the material was found to have a limited fire-resistance. There was a cavity of 0.3m wide and 12m long between the steel outer layer of the exterior wall and the inner wall which was made of Decalin ‘… fibreboard (class 4, which is the lowest grading in the BS 476, Part 7 Spread of flame test).’( Rasbash, 2003 pg.36). The fire spread to the fibreboard inside the cavity which caused an explosion which in turn ignited the Oroglas, highly flammable acrylic sheeting which was covering the roof and most of the wall shown in figure 1 and 3. The fire spread across the length of the leisure centre in just under 2 mins. The Oroglas melted so burning melted material fell causing more fires to start and also injured those trying to escape. It is quite obvious from the materials chosen for this building that the designer either had no consideration or knowledge of the flammability properties these materials contained.

Figure 2 Main Solarium level, Summerland (Rasbash, 2003 pg.37)

An interesting point in this case is that the fire services were not called for nearly thirty minutes and the call was made from a ship at sea who could see the fire. There were some 3000 people present in the building at the time of the fire. Therefore when signs of the fire were spotted this caused people to panic and rush to the exits.

In total fifty people were killed in this fire. Their bodies were found in different parts of the building. Some were found on staircase 1 shown in figure 2. This was an open staircase that people were using to escape from the upper floors and was fully exposed to the burning flames. Stairway 2 was a protected stairway and was actually supposed to be used in a situation like this. However more bodies were found here as a permanent opening was made between one of the floors so the stairway could be used as a service stairway. Another factor that caused some of the deaths was the fact that some of the exit doors were locked which lead to people getting crushed. The building after the fire was extinguished can be seen in figure 4.

The death toll in this fire brought about a public inquiry. The inquiry lasted from September 1973 to February 1974. The delay in evacuation and the flammable building materials were condemned and changes to the building regulations to improve fire safety were introduced.

Figure 3 Summerland roof in flames. ([Summerland] n.d. [image online] Available at [Accessed 18 April 2011])

Figure 4 Summerland Building after fire was put out. ([Summerland] n.d. [image online] Available at [Accessed 18 April 2011])

3.3.2 The Stardust Dance Club, Dublin, 1981

The Stardust fire which killed 48 people and seriously injured 128 occurred in the early hours of the 14th February 1981. It was first thought that the fire started in a balcony inside the building. The initial inquiry into the fire stated that the fire was arson. However in July 2008 an independent examination of the evidence rejected the initial findings. They could find no evidence as to where or how the fire started but they did put forward their findings to say the fire could have started in the lamp room due to an electrical fault which was beside the store room in the roof space (see figure 5). The only evidence the committee had to support this was that there had previously being electrical faults in the lamp room. The contents of the store beside the lamp contained extremely flammable materials which only would have helped spread the fire.

Figure 5

The fire was first spotted in a balcony inside the building. At this point staff evacuated users of the balcony but the other patrons of the building were not informed of the fire nor was an alarm sounded. The fire spread to the west alcove (see figure 5). This area at the time of the fire was empty and partially cut of from the dance hall by a roller blind. The west alcove as can be seen from figure 6 had raised seating. The seating and backrests in this area were covered with thick PVC polyurethane foam. The back wall which the last row of seating was resting against, was covered with carpet tiles which had a class 3 or 4 performance in the standard spread of flame test. The ceiling was also covered with insulating tiles.

Figure 6 Stardust club interior (section) showing west alcove (Rasbash, 2003 pg.39)

At some point the roller blind was opened and at this time the fire rapidly took hold. The carpet tiles quickly became involved and within seconds all the seats in the alcove caught fire. The dance area quickly became engulfed in smoke and flames. The lighting failed which caused mass panic. Immediately people rushed for the exits only to find some of the exits were locked or obstructed in some way. This caused many people to get trampled. Some of the patrons also mistook the male toilets for an exit and once there found steel bars covering the windows. Experiments during the initial investigation showed that the seats were exposed to heat well in excess of that which would require spontaneous ignition.

Figure 7

Figure 8

A lot more people could have being killed in this fire if the part of the ceiling hadn’t collapsed. This collapse allowed for some venting of the smoke and fire. However if some basic rules such as provision of fire extinguishers and fire exits being kept clear had being followed a lot more people could have being saved. In the aftermath of the fire comparisons were made with the Summerland disaster. A number of recommendations were made to improve fire safety. (This can be seen in more detail at

3.2.3 Henderson’s Department Store, Liverpool, 1960

The Henderson Department Store fire was one of the worst in Liverpool’s history. The fire ripped through the store and killed eleven people. One person fell to their death and the other ten were found inside the store. Many different things contributed to the loss of life in this fire. A fire drill was never practised, there was no fire alarm and the fire brigade were not called straight away. A factor that caused the spread of fire was that the doors had all being jammed open as it was a warm day.The materials the building was constructed from also played a part.

Figure 9 Henderson’s Store on Fire ([Henderson’s] n.d. [image online] Available at [Accessed 19 April 2011]

There some 400 people in the store on the day of the fire. The general manager of the store was the first to spot the fire on the third floor. He called the reception to tell them to phone the fire brigade but for some reason the phone call was not made for another five minutes. The staff tried to extinguish the fire with no success. By the time the fire brigade reached the store the upper parts of the building had completely taken hold of by the fire with smoke and flames evident. When the fire brigade arrived at the scene there were people standing on the ledges of the building. One person fell to their death and the other six were rescued. Shortly after the fire brigade arrived they had to retreat from the building as the fire was too dangerous. For many hours after the fire began the fire brigade tried to get the fire under control. Once the fire had being put out ten bodies were found inside the store.

Figure 10 Inside Henderson’s Store after fire ([Henderson’s] n.d. [image online] Available at [Accessed on 19 April 2011])

The fire is thought to have started from an electrical fault but as the building was completely destroyed there was no evidence to back this up. As a result of this fire new laws were brought in to make conditions safer in shops and offices. This new legislation was brought in 1963 and was called the Office, shops and Railway Premises Act 1963.

3.2.4 Woolworths, Manchester, 1979

Similar to the Henderson’s fire; the Woolworths fire was Manchester’s worst fire disaster. It occurred in the month of May 1979. This fire led to major shake ups in the UK fire legislation which in turn had a big impact in the fire legislation for Northern Ireland. Ten people were killed in this fire due to smoke inhalation.

The fire started near a wardrobe beside the furniture display area. There was maybe over 70 people on the floor where the fire started. As can be seen from figure 11 all the stairwells were well positioned for means of escape. What also can be seen from figure 1 is that all the bodies were found very close to the exit stairwell.

Figure 11 Floor layout of floor that was on fire in Woolworths ([Woolworths floor plan] n.d. [image online] Available at [Accessed on 19 April 2011])

The floor manager first spotted the fire but at no time was a call made from the store to the fire brigade. The floor manager tried to fight the fire himself. At the time of the fire the store had no fire certificate which was required under the fire legislation however the store was in the process of obtaining one. There were no sprinklers in the store either but this was not a requirement under the legislation.

Figure 12 Woolworths store on fire ([ Woolworths] n.d. [image online] Available at [Accessed on 19 April 2011])

Many factors were responsible for the loss of life in this fire. First of all the staff did not raise the alarm and the fire training was poor and needed improvement. A major contribution to the loss of life was the inhalation of polyurethane fire gases. These came of the polyurethane foam upholstered furniture which after the fire was found to burn very easily. From the experiments that were carried out after the fire it was found that sprinklers could have helped those killed reach the exit stairwell and to safety.

Figure 13 Woolworths during fire being distinguished ([ Woolworths] n.d. [image online] Available at [Accessed on 19 April 2011])

Although this fire was a tragedy as already mentioned it brought round changes to the fire legislation. It led to the requirements that owners of stores have a responsibility to train their staff in what to do in the event of a fire. It also meant that large retail stores had to have sprinklers installed. The major change came in the form the type of fillings that were allowed to be used in upholstery furniture. All of these came about as a result of the Woolworths fire and therefore has contributed to preventing similar tragedies and saving a lot of lives.

Summerland, Stardust, Henderson’s and Woolworths are just a few of fires throughout the centuries that have impacted the fire legislation. There are many more fires that have had some sort of impact. As already mentioned I wanted to identify case studies that impacted the fire legislation but for the scope of this dissertation I was only able to go into a select few in more detail as can be seen in 3.2. However I would like to quickly mention a few other high profile cases.

A major fire occurred in 1887 where 186 people died. This was the Theatre Royal in Exeter which probably assisted in the incorporation of provisions for means of escape in places of public resort within the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1890. The Eastwood Mills fire in Keighley in 1956 where 8 people died led to introduction of “The Fire Precautions At 1971”. This fire also led to the fire brigade being made responsible for the means of escape. “The Fire Precautions Act 1971” was introduced after the fire at The Rose and Crown Hotel in Saffron Waldon. This fire occurred in 1969 and killed 11 people. A more local fire I would like to mention occurred at Maysfield Leisure Centre in Belfast in 1984. 6 people died and in 1988 amendments were made to the Fire Services Order (N.I.). This ensured that gym mats were enclosed in fire resistant doors with strips and seals on the doors. The last fire I want to include occurred at Bradford Football Stadium in 1985. 56 people were killed at the stadium that day but not all were killed by the actual fire some suffered from crushing. This led to the introduction of “Fire Safety and Safety of places of sports Act” in 1987.

3.3 Structured Interviews

In an attempt to achieve a number of my objectives it was important to interview key personnel involved in the enforcement and implementation of fire legislation in Northern Ireland. The key personnel identified were as follows:-

1)Building Control – Damian Mc Murray (Group Building Control Officer for Londonderry)

2)Building Control – Brian Ritchie (Operations Manager for Building Control Lisburn Headquarters)

3)Building Control – Donal Rogan (Building Control Manager for Belfast Headquarters)

4)Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service – Victor Spence (Group Commander for personnel and training south area command)

5)Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service – Mark Deeney (District Commander Londonderry District)

6)Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service – Bill Wildson (District Commander Coleraine)

The structured interviews were developed for the purpose of gathering information in relation to Northern Ireland’s built environment fire safety legislation see Appendix A.

These initial interviews were used to gain an understanding and insight into the following: –

Current fire safety legislation and responsibility for enforcement. (Primary legislation and subsequent Regulations or Statutory Rules).
What effect research had on fire legislation and to determine the future of research.
Current procedures for liaison between statutory bodies.
How fire safety legislation for Northern Ireland evolves and is implemented
Views on the future of Fire Safety Legislation in Northern Ireland.
Current problems, difficulties and weaknesses in established fire safety legislation in Northern Ireland

The interviews were carried out in person with each of the individuals involved, following a briefing on the background to the dissertation. Full details of these interviews including, discussions, answers and information gleaned is contained in Appendix A. This information was utilized to establish all the current fire safety legislation and fire safety provisions applicable to buildings in Northern Ireland, the regulatory bodies involved, current consultation procedures and their professional opinion on the current situation of research.

4.0 Discussion

Although the world has changed a great deal from the fire of Rome the reactive nature of our fire safety rules now termed legislation and regulations has not, with current legislation continuing to develop in a piecemeal fashion as it did over the many preceding centuries.

The information attained from the literature review gave me a good basis to identify the case studies needed for this dissertation. The literature review gave me an in depth knowledge of the different fires that occurred over time and their significance to the fire legislation. From this I was able to choose four key case studies that would hopefully back up the aim of my dissertation which I believe they have.

Starting of with the Summerland disaster the delay in evacuation and the flammable building materials used were condemned. Because of this tragedy changes were made to the building regulations to improve fire safety. The same can nearly be said for the Stardust fire in Dublin in terms of the materials used. They too were extremely flammable contributing to the loss of life. But other factors contributed to this fire as well see 3.2.2. This tragedy also led to improvements in fire safety.

The other two case studies I researched in more depth were two shopping stores; Henderson’s in Liverpool and Woolworths in Manchester. As in the first two case studies after these fires took place changes to the legislation were introduced. Between these two fires sprinklers in large retail stores became a requirement. There were controls put on the type of foam to be used in furniture and they also led to owners having a requirement to train their staff in the event of a fire occurring. As can be seen from these case studies and the other fires I briefly mentioned there seems to be a common theme of fire legislation being introduced after a loss of life in fire.

The structured interviews undertaken for this dissertation helped me establish what impact research have on the fire legislation. From talking with key personnel within building control and the NIFRS I have found that the general feeling is that research probably doesn’t have enough of an effect. However this was not a negative point its just reality there is only so much research bodies can do with limited funds. The work they do carry out at the minute is invaluable and naturally if more funds were available more could be done. But even if that was the case I found out that the majority of the personnel I interviewed believe that it is always easy to see the faults after a major incident has occurred. Sometimes it will take a loss of life for people to sit up and question what went wrong and then make steps to rectify these faults within the fire legislation.

A point was made in the first interview that I then proceeded to ask as one of my questions in the following interviews. Sometimes people react too quickly after loss of life in a fire has being experienced. This led to the fire legislation in the past being too stringent with strict constructional specifications. Sometimes it is better to sit back let a little time pass and then investigate should changes be made in a more rational manner. At present the fire legislation is less strict. Within building control designers can refer to part E of the building regulations or to BS: 9999 to provide the minimum requirement for fire safety to new buildings. Rigid controls are being replaced by a more flexible system which allows other solutions to be considered. Fire engineering is being used more to provide software that helps in fire safety.

As already mentioned the general opinion from the interviews was that research into fire safety at the minute maybe isn’t changing the main fire legislation. However research bodies are doing as much as they can with the funds they are getting. Even though research has not impacted the legislation it does have an impact in fire safety. Research bodies carry out valuable experiments on new products that come out and state that they have fire resistance materials. Any product that states this has to provide a certificate from a recognised research body shown the fire resistance capabilities. The general consensus form the interviews was that if research bodies had more funding in the future maybe changes to fire legislation would come from here instead of having to wait for a fire tragedy to happen and loss of life to be experienced. However this seems very unlikely.

Both the literature review and the structured interviews helped with the final objective of my dissertation; Identify possible weaknesses in the fire regulations at present. In relation to the construction of new buildings, the change of use or alteration to existing buildings the legal requirements in terms of fire safety appears simple. A designer or building owner must look to the Building Regulations section E or BS: 9999 to establish requirements in terms of fire safety. This is the first strand of fire safety legislation discussed earlier, which seeks to ensure that buildings are constructed in a way which resists the spread of fire and allows the occupants to escape if fire should break out. The only weakness that got pointed out to me in the interviews was that any new legislation brought under building control only applies to new build and some areas new builds only count for a small proportion of the buildings in that area. However it would be very hard to bring out legislation that applies to existing buildings. For example if all existing buildings were to have sprinklers installed it could cost millions and it might not even save any lives. As I mentioned there are two main parts of legislation for building control to follow however there are also many different pieces that are referenced within these documents and have to be referred to as well. One of the things mentioned to me in the interviews would be good if all these documents could be put into one similar to what the NIFRS have now but he said this probably would never happen.

The second strand of legislation deals with buildings already in use. As already mentioned new legislation was introduced in November 2010. But before this was introduced there were a lot of weaknesses in the legislation that was in place beforehand. Although my aim is to see if there are any weaknesses in fire legislation at the minute I feel it is necessary to identify weaknesses that were present up until a short time age. Mainly a lot of the legislation overlapped for e.g. if there was a building with a number of different functions all the relevant legislation would have to be applied making it very complicated and difficult to understand. However the new legislation has replaced these with two new simple pieces of legislation.

Weaknesses were also present in enforcement procedures. The timescale for cases to be heard in court were too long and the penalties did not match the crime. Therefore the penalties did not provide a deterrent to operators of premises. Again the new legislation changed this with failure to comply with the new legislation could result in imprisonment which is a much harsher punishment than before. Also if death occurred as a result of a fire the persons responsible for that building could be charged with corporate manslaughter. The old legislation required buildings to have a fire certificate but the new legislation requires the employer in the workplace or anybody who has any degree of control over a premise to undertake a risk assessment. This means the responsibility for fire safety is placed with the owners and not the fire brigade. This is good as owners will have more awareness of what is needed to keep a building safe from fire as before with the legislation being so complicated alot of owners did not understand the legislation and had no legal responsibility to ensure the building was safe from fire. The new legislation applies to all non-domestic buildings in use, whereas before hand each piece of legislation applied to a certain type of building and not all buildings were covered.

As this new legislation has only recently being introduced it is hard to determine if there are any weaknesses there. The general feeling from the interviews was that the new legislation looks to be safe at the minute but only time will tell if that is the case.


Having undertook this dissertation through a literature review, identifying case studies and carrying out interviews I believe it is obvious that fire safety legislation has evolved and developed in a piecemeal fashion – primarily as a reactive process to particular fire incidents and tragedies. However although in the early days legislation came from fire tragedies nowadays changes are more likely to come from the industry such as business wanting their product to be included in the legislation. In the past we didn’t have people trying to make a living out of fire safety. Changes can also come about from environmental impacts. Some products cannot be used anymore because they harm the environment and as already mentioned European directives have a say as well.

So I think it would be correct to say that the answer to my title “Fire Regulations: A reaction to death or an action from research” is a bit of both and a variety of other factors. From the case studies it is also evident that research did have a positive influence. Although these influences were after the fires occurred through the experiments carried out key changes were made and harmful products banned from being used. At present research bodies are still carrying these important experiments and tests on new products being introduced to the industry.

In general the fire legislation at the current state seems to be very good. The legislation is detailed enough to ensure the safety of lives in buildings but also enables designers more freedom in their design than was allowed in the past. Hopefully in the future any new legislation or changes to existing legislation is brought around through research or the other sources mentioned and not a direct result of death in fire.


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Fire safety Journal

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Free Essays

Finding out the effects death awareness has on personal motivation and help seeking behaviours.


Death, in simple terms is just the end of life by termination of biological processes. However, for humans it holds meaning much above this. We humans mature with the belief that death is natural and bound to happen. Yet, there is something about death that attaches the meaning of life itself and the perception, cognitions, affect and behaviour (Darwin, 1872). At a psychological level, meaning of life is construed on basis of what one perceives about death. This project will investigate how perceptions about death affect anxiety and how that affects motivation & help seeking behaviour (Florian & Mario, 1997).


Research related to Terror management theory (TMT) show that there is a need of self-esteem to avoid death related cognitions. It is a strong motivating force that allows us to view ourselves as being purposeful beings and the necessity to survive. Related to this theory is the Anxiety buffer theory that is similar but places emphasis on the nature of security provided by living in a particular culture. Encouraged by the approval of significant others, one derives security and this works as an important factor to avoid death-related cognitions.

Emotion processing and experiments supporting this states that religion and support to religious belief helps one overcome death related anxiety. Cognitive awareness that one is mortal is a thought that remains a centre of consciousness and absorbing oneself into the ‘culture’ helps achieve a purpose to live (Florian & Mario, 1997).

Another study states that achieving status, success and material things is one factor helping humans derive meaning in the so-called meaningless existence that everything is temporary (Simon, Greenberg, Harmon-Jones, Solomon & Pyszczynski, 1997). The anxiety of one’s own death can be avoided by engaging oneself into these materialistic achievements. Help seeking behaviour has not been much researched upon except for the fact that approaching others and forming a social identity through a social group (religious groups as well) is one way to seek help and talk out the anxiety concerns.

Identification with religion and mythology is one way by which one derives a sense of immortality and purpose in life and death. Death is perceived as a phenomena that would render immortality and meaning to life. Research has also found that those who accept that death is the end and there is no motivation to live, usually do not tend to seek help or motivate their own selves to find a meaning in life. Research among those who combat severe terminal illnesses has shown that those who have less negative experiences in battling the disease is because of the purpose they seek in life and what they live for. Thus, motivation to live and self esteem ate two important factors that help in combating mortality salience (Solomon, Greenberg & Pyszczynski, 1991).

However, the studies have not been able to fully establish under what circumstances young people who begin their life and career get exposed to mortality related thoughts and what they do in order to combat them. It also shows the extent to which age works as a factor that improves or degrades death related thoughts (relating it to purpose to live).

Terror Management Theory

This theory lies at the base of the research. It states that death has latent and manifest aspects and to keep the prominence of anxiety about death at the centre of consciousness. Human perception of mortality is dependent upon many factors that include age, cultural perception, religious beliefs and cultural values. This awareness has to be kept at the back of mind or the perception of death should be altered within social terms so that cognitions that defy omnipresence of death are erected (Rosenblatt, Greenberg, Solomon, Pyszczynski, Amdt & Abend, 1997).

Research Outline

Hypothesis: Seeking meaning in life and current perception of purpose to live work as strong motivating factors to live and seek help. Age and related purpose of living through various modes can be equally influential.

Rationale for research

Lack of research in the differences of perception and subsequent life support help among young people and their protective mechanism
To understand the differences in these perception of death and subsequent help seeking behaviour
What cognitions are construed to control death-anxiety.

Methods and Sample

Subjects: 100-150 young persons (Age: 20-27 )
Tools: Questionnaires focussing on the cognitions pertaining to death and factors that promote and demote seeking help behaviours.
Procedure: Young people would be asked to fill out a questionnaire with regards to their perception of death and the level of anxiety and subsequent help seeking behaviour.
Analysis: Analysis would mostly comprise of Multiple regression analysis (Quantitative Statistics) to see what factors best predict motivation to live and seek help.

Quantitative analysis would help us see which factors exactly predict help seeking behaviour and anxiety pertaining to death related cognitions.

Ethical Issues

This study has a sensitive turn so far as conducting a study on aspects that are highly private to individuals like their perception of death, self esteem, and religious beliefs. Conduction of a study of this nature might elicit negative feelings among some individuals and increase their level of anxiety. However, since this study deals with highly personal aspects, individuals will be thoroughly informed about the nature and purpose of the study before volunteering to participate. They will also be informed that their data and information would be kept confidential and can withdraw from the study whenever they wish to.

Further Readings

Darwin, C. (1872/1998). The expression of the emotions in man and animals. 3rd edition,. Harper Collins.

Florian, V & Mario, M (1997) Fear of death and judgement of social transgressions, Journal of personality and social psychology, 73(2), 369-380

Martins, A; Goldberg, J.L; Greenberg (2004) A terror management perspective on ageism, 61(2), 223-239

Rosenblatt, A.; Greenberg, J.; Solomon, S.; Pyszczynski, T.; Lyon, D. (1989). “Evidence for terror management theory: .Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57 (4): 681–90
Simon, L.; Greenberg, J., Harmon-Jones, E., Solomon, S., Pyszczynski, T., Arndt, J., & Abend, T. (1997). “Terror management and cognitive-experiential self-theory: Evidence that terror management occurs”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 72 (5): 1132–1146.

Solomon, S; Greenberg, J & Pyszczynski T (1991) A terror management theory of social behaviour: The psychological functions of self-esteem and cultural world views, 24, 93-105

Free Essays

The Amber Spyglass Chapter 19 Lyra And Her Death

Here and there, fires had been lit among the ruins. The town was a jumble, with no streets, no squares, and no open spaces except where a building had fallen. A few churches or public buildings still stood above the rest, though their roofs were holed or their walls cracked, and in one case a whole portico had crumpled onto its columns. Between the shells of the stone buildings, a mazy clutter of shacks and shanties had been put together out of lengths of roofing timber, beaten-out petrol cans or biscuit tins, torn plastic sheeting, scraps of plywood or hardboard.

The ghosts who had come with them were hurrying toward the town, and from every direction came more of them, so many that they looked like the grains of sand that trickle toward the hole of an hourglass. The ghosts walked straight into the squalid confusion of the town, as if they knew exactly where they were going, and Lyra and Will were about to follow them; but then they were stopped.

A figure stepped out of a patched-up doorway and said, “Wait, wait.”

A dim light was glowing behind him, and it wasn’t easy to make out his features; but they knew he wasn’t a ghost. He was like them, alive. He was a thin man who could have been any age, dressed in a drab and tattered business suit, and he was holding a pencil and a sheaf of papers held together with a clip. The building he’d stepped out of had the look of a customs post on a rarely visited frontier.

“What is this place?” said Will, “And why can’t we go in?”

“You’re not dead,” said the man wearily. “You have to wait in the holding area. Go farther along the road to the left and give these papers to the official at the gate.”

“But excuse me, sir,” said Lyra, “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how can we have come this far if we en’t dead? Because this is the world of the dead, isn’t it?”

“It’s a suburb of the world of the dead. Sometimes the living come here by mistake, but they have to wait in the holding area before they can go on.”

“Wait for how long?”

“Until they die.”

Will felt his head swim. He could see Lyra was about to argue, and before she could speak, he said, “Can you just explain what happens then? I mean, these ghosts who come here, do they stay in this town forever?”

“No, no,” said the official. “This is just a port of transit. They go on beyond here by boat.”

“Where to?” said Will.

“That’s not something I can tell you,” said the man, and a bitter smile pulled his mouth down at the corners. “You must move along, please. You must go to the holding area.”

Will took the papers the man was holding out, and then held Lyra’s arm and urged her away.

The dragonflies were flying sluggishly now, and Tialys explained that they needed to rest; so they perched on Will’s rucksack, and Lyra let the spies sit on her shoulders. Pantalaimon, leopard-shaped, looked up at them jealously, but he said nothing. They moved along the track, skirting the wretched shanties and the pools of sewage, and watching the never-ending stream of ghosts arriving and passing without hindrance into the town itself.

“We’ve got to get over the water, like the rest of them,” said Will. “And maybe the people in this holding place will tell us how. They don’t seem to be angry anyway, or dangerous. It’s strange. And these papers…”

They were simply scraps of paper torn from a notebook, with random words scribbled in pencil and crossed out. It was as if these people were playing a game, and waiting to see when the travelers would challenge them or give in and laugh. And yet it all looked so real.

It was getting darker and colder, and time was hard to keep track of. Lyra thought they walked for half an hour, or maybe it was twice as long; the look of the place didn’t change. Finally they reached a little wooden shack like the one they’d stopped at earlier, where a dim bulb glowed on a bare wire over the door.

As they approached, a man dressed much like the other one came out holding a piece of bread and butter in one hand, and without a word looked at their papers and nodded.

He handed them back and was about to go inside when Will said, “Excuse me, where do we go now?”

“Go and find somewhere to stay,” said the man, not unkindly. “Just ask. Everybody’s waiting, same as you.”

He turned away and shut his door against the cold, and the travelers turned down into the heart of the shanty town where the living people had to stay.

It was very much like the main town: shabby little huts, repaired a dozen times, patched with scraps of plastic or corrugated iron, leaning crazily against each other over muddy alleyways. At some places, an anbaric cable looped down from a bracket and provided enough feeble current to power a naked lightbulb or two, strung out over the nearby huts. Most of what light there was, however, came from the fires. Their smoky glow flickered redly over the scraps and tatters of building material, as if they were the last remaining flames of a great conflagration, staying alive out of pure malice.

But as Will and Lyra and the Gallivespians came closer and saw more detail, they picked out many more figures sitting in the darkness by themselves, or leaning against the walls, or gathered in small groups, talking quietly.

“Why aren’t those people inside?” said Lyra. “It’s cold.”

“They’re not people,” said the Lady Salmakia. “They’re not even ghosts. They’re something else, but I don’t know what.”

The travelers came to the first group of shacks, which were lit by one of those big weak anbaric bulbs on a cable swinging slightly in the cold wind, and Will put his hand on the knife at his belt. There was a group of those people-shaped things outside, crouching on their heels and rolling dice, and when the children came near, they stood up: five of them, all men, their faces in shadow and their clothes shabby, all silent.

“What is the name of this town?” said Will.

There was no reply. Some of them took a step backward, and all five moved a little closer together, as if they were afraid. Lyra felt her skin crawling, and all the tiny hairs on her arms standing on end, though she couldn’t have said why. Inside her shirt Pantalaimon was shivering and whispering, “No, no, Lyra, no, go away, let’s go back, please…”

The “people” made no move, and finally Will shrugged and said, “Well, good evening to you anyway,” and moved on. They met a similar response from all the other figures they spoke to, and all the time their apprehension grew.

“Will, are they Specters?” Lyra said quietly. “Are we grown up enough to see Specters now?”

“I don’t think so. If we were, they’d attack us, but they seem to be afraid themselves. I don’t know what they are.”

A door opened, and light spilled out on the muddy ground. A man – a real man, a human being – stood in the doorway, watching them approach. The little cluster of figures around the door moved back a step or two, as if out of respect, and they saw the man’s face: stolid, harmless, and mild.

“Who are you?” he said.

“Travelers,” said Will. “We don’t know where we are. What is this town?”

“This is the holding area,” said the man. “Have you traveled far?”

“A long way, yes, and we’re tired,” said Will. “Could we buy some food and pay for shelter?”

The man was looking past them, into the dark, and then he came out and looked around further, as if there were someone missing. Then he turned to the strange figures standing by and said:

“Did you see any death?”

They shook their heads, and the children heard a murmur of “No, no, none.”

The man turned back. Behind him, in the doorway, there were faces looking out: a woman, two young children, another man. They were all nervous and apprehensive.

“Death?” said Will. “We’re not bringing any death.”

But that fact seemed to be the very thing they were worried about, because when Will spoke, there was a soft gasp from the living people, and even the figures outside shrank away a little.

“Excuse me,” said Lyra, stepping forward in her best polite way, as if the housekeeper of Jordan College were glaring at her. “I couldn’t help noticing, but these gentlemen here, are they dead? I’m sorry for asking, if it’s rude, but where we come from it’s very unusual, and we never saw anyone like them before. If I’m being impolite I do beg your pardon. But you see, in my world, we have daemons, everyone has a daemon, and we’d be shocked if we saw someone without one, just like you’re shocked to see us. And now we’ve been traveling, Will and me – this is Will, and I’m Lyra – I’ve learned there are some people who don’t seem to have daemons, like Will doesn’t, and I was scared till I found out they were just ordinary like me really. So maybe that’s why someone from your world might be just a bit sort of nervous when they see us, if you think we’re different.”

The man said, “Lyra? And Will?”

“Yes, sir,” she said humbly.

“Are those your daemons?” he said, pointing to the spies on her shoulder.

“No,” said Lyra, and she was tempted to say, “They’re our servants,” but she felt Will would have thought that a bad idea; so she said, “They’re our friends, the Chevalier Tialys and the Lady Salmakia, very distinguished and wise people who are traveling with us. Oh, and this is my daemon,” she said, taking mouse-Pantalaimon out of her pocket. “You see, we’re harmless, we promise we won’t hurt you. And we do need food and shelter. We’ll move on tomorrow. Honest.”

Everyone waited. The man’s nervousness was soothed a little by her humble tone, and the spies had the good sense to look modest and harmless. After a pause the man said:

“Well, though it’s strange, I suppose these are strange times… Come in, then, be welcome…”

The figures outside nodded, one or two of them gave little bows, and they stood aside respectfully as Will and Lyra walked into the warmth and light. The man closed the door behind them and hooked a wire over a nail to keep it shut.

It was a single room, lit by a naphtha lamp on the table, and clean but shabby. The plywood walls were decorated with pictures cut from film-star magazines, and with a pattern made with fingerprints of soot. There was an iron stove against one wall, with a clothes-horse in front of it, where some dingy shirts were steaming, and on a dressing table there was a shrine of plastic flowers, seashells, colored scent bottles, and other gaudy bits and pieces, all surrounding the picture of a jaunty skeleton with a top hat and dark glasses.

The shanty was crowded: as well as the man and the woman and the two young children, there was a baby in a crib, an older man, and in one corner, in a heap of blankets, a very old woman, who was lying and watching everything with glittering eyes, her face as wrinkled as the blankets. As Lyra looked at her, she had a shock: the blankets stirred, and a very thin arm emerged, in a black sleeve, and then another face, a man’s, so ancient it was almost a skeleton. In fact, he looked more like the skeleton in the picture than like a living human being; and then Will, too, noticed, and all the travelers together realized that he was one of those shadowy, polite figures like the ones outside. And all of them felt as nonplussed as the man had been when he’d first seen them.

In fact, all the people in the crowded little shack – all except the baby, who was asleep – were at a loss for words. It was Lyra who found her voice first.

“That’s very kind of you,” she said, “thank you, good evening, we’re very pleased to be here. And like I said, we’re sorry to have arrived without any death, if that’s the normal way of things. But we won’t disturb you any more than we have to. You see, we’re looking for the land of the dead, and that’s how we happened to come here. But we don’t know where it is, or whether this is part of it, or how to get there, or what. So if you can tell us anything about it, we’ll be very grateful.”

The people in the shack were still staring, but Lyra’s words eased the atmosphere a little, and the woman invited them to sit at the table, drawing out a bench. Will and Lyra lifted the sleeping dragonflies up to a shelf in a dark corner, where Tialys said they would rest till daylight, and then the Gallivespians joined them on the table.

The woman had been preparing a dish of stew, and she peeled a couple of potatoes and cut them into it to make it go farther, urging her husband to offer the travelers some other refreshment while it cooked. He brought out a bottle of clear and pungent spirit that smelled to Lyra like the gyptians’ jenniver, and the two spies accepted a glass into which they dipped little vessels of their own.

Lyra would have expected the family to stare most at the Gallivespians, but their curiosity was directed just as much, she thought, at her and Will. She didn’t wait long to ask why.

“You’re the first people we ever saw without a death,” said the man, whose name, they’d learned, was Peter. “Since we come here, that is. We’re like you, we come here before we was dead, by some chance or accident. We got to wait till our death tells us it’s time.”

“Your death tells you?” said Lyra.

“Yes. What we found out when we come here, oh, long ago for most of us, we found we all brought our deaths with us. This is where we found out. We had ’em all the time, and we never knew. See, everyone has a death. It goes everywhere with ’em, all their life long, right close by. Our deaths, they’re outside, taking the air; they’ll come in by and by. Granny’s death, he’s there with her, he’s close to her, very close.”

“Doesn’t it scare you, having your death close by all the time?” said Lyra.

“Why ever would it? If he’s there, you can keep an eye on him. I’d be a lot more nervous not knowing where he was.”

“And everyone has their own death?” said Will, marveling.

“Why, yes, the moment you’re born, your death comes into the world with you, and it’s your death that takes you out.”

“Ah,” said Lyra, “that’s what we need to know, because we’re trying to find the land of the dead, and we don’t know how to get there. Where do we go then, when we die?”

“Your death taps you on the shoulder, or takes your hand, and says, ‘Come along o’ me, it’s time.’ It might happen when you’re sick with a fever, or when you choke on a piece of dry bread, or when you fall off a high building; in the middle of your pain and travail, your death comes to you kindly and says, ‘Easy now, easy, child, you come along o’ me,’ and you go with them in a boat out across the lake into the mist. What happens there, no one knows. No one’s ever come back.”

The woman told a child to call the deaths in, and he scampered to the door and spoke to them. Will and Lyra watched in wonder, and the Gallivespians drew closer together, as the deaths – one for each of the family – came in through the door: pale, unremarkable figures in shabby clothes, just drab and quiet and dull.

“These are your deaths?” said Tialys.

“Indeed, sir,” said Peter.

“Do you know when they’ll tell you it’s time to go?”

“No. But you know they’re close by, and that’s a comfort.”

Tialys said nothing, but it was clear that he felt it would be anything but a comfort. The deaths stood politely along the wall, and it was strange to see how little space they took up, and to find how little notice they attracted. Lyra and Will soon found themselves ignoring them altogether, though Will thought: Those men I killed – their deaths were close beside them all the time – they didn’t know, and I didn’t know…

The woman, Martha, dished the stew onto chipped enamel plates and put some in a bowl for the deaths to pass among themselves. They didn’t eat, but the good smell kept them content. Presently all the family and their guests were eating hungrily, and Peter asked the children where they’d come from, and what their world was like.

“I’ll tell you all about it,” said Lyra.

As she said that, as she took charge, part of her felt a little stream of pleasure rising upward in her breast like the bubbles in champagne. And she knew Will was watching, and she was happy that he could see her doing what she was best at, doing it for him and for all of them.

She started by telling about her parents. They were a duke and duchess, very important and wealthy, who had been cheated out of their estate by a political enemy and thrown into prison. But they managed to escape by climbing down a rope with the baby Lyra in her father’s arms, and they regained the family fortune, only to be attacked and murdered by outlaws. Lyra would have been killed as well, and roasted and eaten, had not Will rescued her just in time and taken her back to the wolves, in the forest where he was being brought up as one of them. He had fallen overboard as a baby from the side of his father’s ship and been washed up on a desolate shore, where a female wolf had suckled him and kept him alive.

The people ate up this nonsense with placid credulity, and even the deaths crowded close to listen, perching on the bench or lying on the floor close by, gazing at her with their mild and courteous faces as she spun out the tale of her life with Will in the forest.

He and Lyra stayed with the wolves for a while, and then moved to Oxford to work in the kitchens of Jordan College. There they met Roger, and when Jordan was attacked by the brickburners who lived in the clay beds, they had to escape in a hurry; so she and Will and Roger captured a gyptian narrow boat and sailed it all the way down the Thames, nearly getting caught at Abingdon Lock, and then they’d been sunk by the Wapping pirates and had to swim for safety to a three-masted clipper just setting off for Hang Chow in Cathay to trade for tea.

And on the clipper they’d met the Gallivespians, who were strangers from the moon, blown down to the earth by a fierce gale out of the Milky Way. They’d taken refuge in the crow’s nest, and she and Will and Roger used to take turns going up there to see them, only one day Roger lost his footing and plunged down into Davy Jones’s locker.

They tried to persuade the captain to turn the ship around and look for him, but he was a hard, fierce man only interested in the profit he’d make by getting to Cathay quickly, and he clapped them in irons. But the Gallivespians brought them a file, and…

And so on. From time to time she’d turn to Will or the spies for confirmation, and Salmakia would add a detail or two, or Will would nod, and the story wound itself up to the point where the children and their friends from the moon had to find their way to the land of the dead in order to learn, from her parents, the secret of where the family fortune had been buried.

“And if we knew our deaths, in our land,” she said, “like you do here, it would be easier, probably; but I think we’re really lucky to find our way here, so’s we could get your advice. And thank you very much for being so kind and listening, and for giving us this meal, it was really nice.

“But what we need now, you see, or in the morning maybe, is we need to find a way out across the water where the dead people go, and see if we can get there, too. Is there any boats we could sort of hire?”

They looked doubtful. The children, flushed with tiredness, looked with sleepy eyes from one grownup to the other, but no one could suggest where they could find a boat.

Then came a voice that hadn’t spoken before. From the depths of the bedclothes in the corner came a dry-cracked-nasal tone – not a woman’s voice – not a living voice: it was the voice of the grandmother’s death.

“The only way you’ll cross the lake and go to the land of the dead,” he said, and he was leaning up on his elbow, pointing with a skinny finger at Lyra, “is with your own deaths. You must call up your own deaths. I have heard of people like you, who keep their deaths at bay. You don’t like them, and out of courtesy they stay out of sight. But they’re not far off. Whenever you turn your head, your deaths dodge behind you. Wherever you look, they hide. They can hide in a teacup. Or in a dewdrop. Or in a breath of wind. Not like me and old Magda here,” he said, and he pinched her withered cheek, and she pushed his hand away. “We live together in kindness and friendship. That’s the answer, that’s it, that’s what you’ve got to do, say welcome, make friends, be kind, invite your deaths to come close to you, and see what you can get them to agree to.”

His words fell into Lyra’s mind like heavy stones, and Will, too, felt the deadly weight of them.

“How should we do that?” he said.

“You’ve only got to wish for it, and the thing is done.”

“Wait,” said Tialys.

Every eye turned to him, and those deaths lying on the floor sat up to turn their blank, mild faces to his tiny, passionate one. He was standing close by Salmakia, his hand on her shoulder. Lyra could see what he was thinking: he was going to say that this had gone too far, they must turn back, they were taking this foolishness to irresponsible lengths.

So she stepped in. “Excuse me,” she said to the man Peter, “but me and our friend the Chevalier, we’ve got to go outside for a minute, because he needs to talk to his friends in the moon through my special instrument. We won’t be long.”

And she picked him up carefully, avoiding his spurs, and took him outside into the dark, where a loose piece of corrugated iron roofing was banging in the cold wind with a melancholy sound.

“You must stop,” he said as she set him on an upturned oil drum, in the feeble light of one of those anbaric bulbs that swung on its cable overhead. “This is far enough. No more.”

“But we made an agreement,” Lyra said.

“No, no. Not to these lengths.”

“All right. Leave us. You fly on back. Will can cut a window into your world, or any world you like, and you can fly through and be safe, that’s all right, we don’t mind.”

“Do you realize what you’re doing?”


“You don’t. You’re a thoughtless, irresponsible, lying child. Fantasy comes so easily to you that your whole nature is riddled with dishonesty, and you don’t even admit the truth when it stares you in the face. Well, if you can’t see it, I’ll tell you plainly: you cannot, you must not risk your death. You must come back with us now. I’ll call Lord Asriel and we can be safe in the fortress in hours.”

Lyra felt a great sob of rage building up in her chest, and stamped her foot, unable to keep still.

“You don’t know,” she cried, “you just don’t know what I got in my head or my heart, do you? I don’t know if you people ever have children, maybe you lay eggs or something, I wouldn’t be surprised, because you’re not kind, you’re not generous, you’re not considerate – you’re not cruel, even – that would be better, if you were cruel, because it’d mean you took us serious, you didn’t just go along with us when it suited you… Oh, I can’t trust you at all now! You said you’d help and we’d do it together, and now you want to stop us – you’re the dishonest one, Tialys!”

“I wouldn’t let a child of my own speak to me in the insolent, high-handed way you’re speaking, Lyra – why I haven’t punished you before – “

“Then go ahead! Punish me, since you can! Take your bloody spurs and dig ’em in hard, go on! Here’s my hand – do it! You got no idea what’s in my heart, you proud, selfish creature – you got no notion how I feel sad and wicked and sorry about my friend Roger – you kill people just like that ” – she snapped her finger – “they don’t matter to you – but it’s a torment and a sorrow to me that I never said good-bye to him, and I want to say sorry and make it as good as I can – you’d never understand that, for all your pride, for all your grown-up cleverness – and if I have to die to do what’s proper, then I will, and be happy while I do. I seen worse than that. So if you want to kill me, you hard man, you strong man, you poison bearer, you Chevalier, you do it, go on, kill me. Then me and Roger can play in the land of the dead forever, and laugh at you, you pitiful thing.”

What Tialys might have done then wasn’t hard to see, for he was ablaze from head to foot with a passionate anger, shaking with it; but he didn’t have time to move before a voice spoke behind Lyra, and they both felt a chill fall over them. Lyra turned around, knowing what she’d see and dreading it despite her bravado.

The death stood very close, smiling kindly, his face exactly like those of all the others she’d seen; but this was hers, her very own death, and Pantalaimon at her breast howled and shivered, and his ermine shape flowed up around her neck and tried to push her away from the death. But by doing that, he only pushed himself closer, and realizing it, he shrank back toward her again, to her warm throat and the strong pulse of her heart.

Lyra clutched him to her and faced the death directly. She couldn’t remember what he’d said, and out of the corner of her eye, she could see Tialys quickly preparing the lodestone resonator, busy.

“You’re my death, en’t you?” she said.

“Yes, my dear,” he said.

“You en’t going to take me yet, are you?”

“You wanted me. I am always here.”

“Yes, but… I did, yes, but… I want to go to the land of the dead, that’s true. But not to die. I don’t want to die. I love being alive, and I love my daemon, and… Daemons don’t go down there, do they? I seen ’em vanish and just go out like candles when people die. Do they have daemons in the land of the dead?”

“No,” he said. “Your daemon vanishes into the air, and you vanish under the ground.”

“Then I want to take my daemon with me when I go to the land of the dead,” she said firmly. “And I want to come back again. Has it ever been known, for people to do that?”

“Not for many, many ages. Eventually, child, you will come to the land of the dead with no effort, no risk, a safe, calm journey, in the company of your own death, your special, devoted friend, who’s been beside you every moment of your life, who knows you better than yourself – “

“But Pantalaimon is my special and devoted friend! I don’t know you, Death, I know Pan and I love Pan and if he ever – if we ever – “

The death was nodding. He seemed interested and kindly, but she couldn’t for a moment forget what he was: her very own death, and so close.

“I know it’ll be an effort to go on now,” she said more steadily, “and dangerous, but I want to, Death, I do truly. And so does Will. We both had people taken away too soon, and we need to make amends, at least I do.”

“Everyone wishes they could speak again to those who’ve gone to the land of the dead. Why should there be an exception for you?”

“Because,” she began, lying, “because there’s something I’ve got to do there, not just seeing my friend Roger, something else. It was a task put on me by an angel, and no one else can do it, only me. It’s too important to wait till I die in the natural way, it’s got to be done now. See, the angel commanded me. That’s why we came here, me and Will. We got to.”

Behind her, Tialys put away his instrument and sat watching the child plead with her own death to be taken where no one should go.

The death scratched his head and held up his hands, but nothing could stop Lyra’s words, nothing could deflect her desire, not even fear: she’d seen worse than death, she claimed, and she had, too.

So eventually her death said:

“If nothing can put you off, then all I can say is, come with me, and I will take you there, into the land of the dead. I’ll be your guide. I can show you the way in, but as for getting out again, you’ll have to manage by yourself.”

“And my friends,” said Lyra. “My friend Will and the others.”

“Lyra,” said Tialys, “against every instinct, we’ll go with you. I was angry with you a minute ago. But you make it hard…”

Lyra knew that this was a time to conciliate, and she was happy to do that, having gotten her way.

“Yes,” she said, “I am sorry, Tialys, but if you hadn’t got angry, we’d never have found this gentleman to guide us. So I’m glad you were here, you and the Lady, I’m really grateful to you for being with us.”

So Lyra persuaded her own death to guide her and the others into the land where Roger had gone, and Will’s father, and Tony Makarios, and so many others; and her death told her to go down to the jetty when the first light came to the sky, and prepare to leave.

But Pantalaimon was trembling and shivering, and nothing Lyra could do could soothe him into stillness, or quiet the soft little moan he couldn’t help uttering. So her sleep was broken and shallow, on the floor of the shack with all the other sleepers, and her death sat watchfully beside her.

Free Essays

Chapter 33 The Death Eaters

Voldemort looked away from Harry and began examining his own body. His hands were like large, pale spiders; his long white fingers caressed his own chest, his arms, his face; the red eyes, whose pupils were slits, like a cats, gleamed still more brightly through the darkness. He held up his hands and flexed the fingers, his expression rapt and exultant. He took not the slightest notice of Wormtail, who lay twitching and bleeding on the ground, nor of the great snake, which had slithered back into sight and was circling Harry again, hissing. Voldemort slipped one of those unnaturally long-fingered hands into a deep pocket and drew out a wand. He caressed it gently too; and then he raised it, and pointed it at Wormtail, who was lifted off the ground and thrown against the headstone where Harry was tied; he fell to the foot of it and lay there, crumpled up and crying. Voldemort turned his scarlet eyes upon Harry, laughing a high, cold, mirthless laugh.

Wormtail’s robes were shining with blood now; he had wrapped the stump of his arm in them.

“My Lord…” he choked, “my Lord…you promised…you did promise…”

“Hold out your arm,” said Voldemort lazily.

“Oh Master…thank you, Master…”

He extended the bleeding stump, but Voldemort laughed again.

“The other arm, Wormtail.”

“Master, please…please…”

Voldemort bent down and pulled out Wormtail’s left arm; he forced the sleeve of Wormtail’s robes up past his elbow, and Harry saw something upon the skin there, something like a vivid red tattoo – a skull with a snake protruding from its mouth – the image that had appeared in the sky at the Quidditch World Cup: the Dark Mark. Voldemort examined it carefully, ignoring Wormtail’s uncontrollable weeping.

“It is back,” he said softly, “they will all have noticed it…and now, we shall see…now we shall know…”

He pressed his long white forefinger to the brand on Wormtail’s arm.

The scar on Harry’s forehead seared with a sharp pain again, and Wormtail let out a fresh howl; Voldemort removed his fingers from Wormtail’s mark, and Harry saw that it had turned jet black.

A look of cruel satisfaction on his face, Voldemort straightened up, threw back his head, and stared around at the dark graveyard.

“How many will be brave enough to return when they feel it?” he whispered, his gleaming red eyes fixed upon the stars. “And how many will be foolish enough to stay away?”

He began to pace up and down before Harry and Wormtail, eyes sweeping the graveyard all the while. After a minute or so, he looked down at Harry again, a cruel smile twisting his snakelike face.

“You stand, Harry Potter, upon the remains of my late father,” he hissed softly. “A Muggle and a fool…very like your dear mother. But they both had their uses, did they not? Your mother died to defend you as a child…and I killed my father, and see how useful he has proved himself, in death….”

Voldemort laughed again. Up and down he paced, looking all around him as he walked, and the snake continued to circle in the grass.

“You see that house upon the hillside, Potter? My father lived there. My mother, a witch who lived here in this village, fell in love with him. But he abandoned her when she told him what she was….He didn’t like magic, my father…

“He left her and returned to his Muggle parents before I was even born. Potter, and she died giving birth to me, leaving me to be raised in a Muggle orphanage…but I vowed to find him…I revenged myself upon him, that fool who gave me his name…Tom Riddle….”

Still he paced, his red eyes darting from grave to grave.

“Listen to me, reliving family history…” he said quietly, “why, I am growing quite sentimental….But look, Harry! My true family returns….”

The air was suddenly full of the swishing of cloaks. Between graves, behind the yew tree, in every shadowy space, wizards were Apparating. All of them were hooded and masked. And one by one they moved forward…slowly, cautiously, as though they could hardly believe their eyes Voldemort stood in silence, waiting for them. Then one of the Death Eaters fell to his knees, crawled toward Voldemort and kissed the hem of his black robes.

“Master…Master…” he murmured.

The Death Eaters behind him did the same; each of them approaching Voldemort on his knees and kissing his robes, before backing away and standing up, forming a silent circle, which enclosed Tom Riddle’s grave, Harry, Voldemort, and the sobbing and twitching heap that was Wormtail. Yet they left gaps in the circle, as though waiting for more people. Voldemort, however, did not seem to expect more. He looked around at the hooded faces, and though there was no wind rustling seemed to run around the circle, as though it had shivered.

“Welcome, Death Eaters,” said Voldemort quietly. “Thirteen years…thirteen years since last we met. Yet you answer my call as though it were yesterday, we are still united under the Dark Mark, then! Or are we?”

He put back his terrible face and sniffed, his slit-like nostrils widening.

“I smell guilt,” he said. “There is a stench or guilt upon the air.

A second shiver ran around the circle, as though each member of it longed, but did not dare to step back from him.

“I see you all, whole and healthy, with your powers intact – such prompt appearances! and I ask myself…why did this band of wizards never come to the aid of their master, to whom they swore eternal loyalty?”

No one spoke. No one moved except Wormtail, who was upon the ground, still sobbing over his bleeding arm.

“And I answer myself,” whispered Voldemort, “they must have believed me broken, they thought I was gone. They slipped back among my enemies, and they pleaded innocence, and ignorance, and bewitchment ….

“And then I ask myself, but how could they have believed I would not rise again? They, who knew the steps I took, long ago, to guard myself against mortal death? They, who had seen proofs of the immensity of my power in the times when I was mightier than any wizard living?

“And I answer myself, perhaps they believed a still greater power could exist, one that could vanquish even Lord Voldemort…perhaps they now pay allegiance to another…perhaps that champion of commoners, of Mudbloods and Muggles, Albus Dumbledore?”

At the mention of Dumbledore’s name, the members of the circle stirred, and some muttered and shook their heads. Voldemort ignored them.

“It is a disappointment to me…I confess myself disappointed….”

One of the men suddenly flung himself forward, breaking the circle. Trembling from head to foot, he collapsed at Voldemort’s feet.

“Master!” he shrieked, “Master, forgive me! Forgive us all!”

Voldemort began to laugh. He raised his wand.


The Death Eater on the ground writhed and shrieked; Harry was sure the sound must carry to the houses around….Let the police come, he thought desperately…anyone…anything…

Voldemort raised his wand. The tortured Death Eater lay flat upon the ground, gasping.

“Get up, Avery,” said Voldemort softly. “Stand up. You ask for forgiveness? I do not forgive. I do not forget. Thirteen long years…I want thirteen years’ repayment before I forgive you. Wormtail here has paid some of his debt already, have you not, Wormtail?”

He looked down at Wormtail, who continued to sob.

“You returned to me, not out of loyalty, but out of fear of your old friends. You deserve this pain, Wormtail. You know that, don’t you?”

“Yes, Master,” moaned Wormtail, “please. Master…please…”

“Yet you helped return me to my body,” said Voldemort coolly, watching Wormtail sob on the ground. “Worthless and traitorous as you are, you helped me…and Lord Voldemort rewards his helpers….”

Voldemort raised his wand again and whirled it through the air. A streak of what looked like molten silver hung shining in the wand’s wake. Momentarily shapeless, it writhed and then formed itself into a gleaming replica of a human hand, bright as moonlight, which soared downward and fixed itself upon Wormtail’s bleeding wrist.

Wormtail’s sobbing stopped abruptly. His breathing harsh and ragged, he raised his head and stared in disbelief at the silver hand, now attached seamlessly to his arm, as though he were wearing a dazzling glove. He flexed the shining fingers, then, trembling, picked up a small twig on the ground and crushed it into powder.

“My Lord,” he whispered. “Master…it is beautiful…thank you…thank you….”

He scrambled forward on his knees and kissed the hem of Voldemort’s robes.

“May your loyalty never waver again, Wormtail,” said Voldemort.

“No, my Lord…never, my Lord…”

Wormtail stood up and took his place in the circle, staring at his powerful new hand, his face still shining with tears. Voldemort now approached the man on Wormtail’s right.

“Lucius, my slippery friend,” he whispered, halting before him. “I am told that you have not renounced the old ways, though to the world you present a respectable face. You are still ready to take the lead in a spot of Muggle-torture, I believe? Yet you never tried to find me, Lucius….Your exploits at the Quidditch World Cup were fun, I daresay…but might not your energies have been better directed toward finding and aiding your master?”

“My Lord, I was constantly on the alert,” came Lucius Malfoy’s voice swiftly from beneath the hood. “Had there been any sign from you, any whisper of your whereabouts, I would have been at your side immediately, nothing could have prevented me -“

“And yet you ran from my Mark, when a faithful Death Eater sent it into the sky last summer?” said Voldemort lazily, and Mr. Malfoy stopped talking abruptly. “Yes, I know all about that, Lucius….You have disappointed me….I expect more faithful service in the future.”

“Of course, my Lord, of course….You are merciful, thank you….”

Voldemort moved on, and stopped, staring at the space – large enough for two people – that separated Malfoy and the next man.

“The Lestranges should stand here,” said Voldemort quietly. “But they are entombed in Azkaban. They were faithful. They went to Azkaban rather than renounce me….When Azkaban is broken open, the Lestranges will be honored beyond their dreams. The dementors will join us…they are our natural allies…we will recall the banished giants…I shall have all my devoted servants returned to me, and an army of creatures whom all fear….”

He walked on. Some of the Death Eaters he passed in silence, but he paused before others and spoke to them.

“Macnair…destroying dangerous beasts for the Ministry of Magic now, Wormtail tells me? You shall have better victims than that soon, Macnair. Lord Voldemort will provide….”

“Thank you, Master…thank you,” murmured Macnair.

“And here” – Voldemort moved on to the two largest hooded figures – “we have Crabbe…you will do better this time, will you not, Crabbe? And you, Goyle?”

They bowed clumsily, muttering dully.

“Yes, Master…”

“We will, Master….”

“The same goes for you, Nott,” said Voldemort quietly as he walked past a stooped figure in Mr. Goyles shadow.

“My Lord, I prostrate myself before you, I am your most faithful -“

“That will do,” said Voldemort.

He had reached the largest gap of all, and he stood surveying it with his blank, red eyes, as though he could see people standing there.

“And here we have six missing Death Eaters…three dead in my service. One, too cowardly to return…he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever…he will be killed, of course…and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already reentered my service.”

The Death Eaters stirred, and Harry saw their eyes dart sideways at one another through their masks.

“He is at Hogwarts, that faithful servant, and it was through his efforts that our young friend arrived here tonight….

“Yes,” said Voldemort, a grin curling his lipless mouth as the eyes of the circle flashed in Harry’s direction. “Harry Potter has kindly joined us for my rebirthing party. One might go so far as to call him my guest of honor.”

There was a silence. Then the Death Eater to the right of Wormtail stepped forward, and Lucius Malfoy’s voice spoke from under the mask.

“Master, we crave to know…we beg you to tell us…how you have achieved this…this miracle…how you managed to return to us….”

“Ah, what a story it is, Lucius,” said Voldemort. “And it begins – and ends – with my young friend here.”

He walked lazily over to stand next to Harry, so that the eyes of the whole circle were upon the two of them. The snake continued to circle.

“You know, of course, that they have called this boy my downfall?” Voldemort said softly, his red eyes upon Harry, whose scar began to burn so fiercely that he almost screamed in agony. “You all know that on the night I lost my powers and my body, I tried to kill him. His mother died in the attempt to save him – and unwittingly provided him with a protection I admit I had not foreseen….I could not touch the boy.”

Voldemort raised one of his long white fingers and put it very close to Harry’s cheek.

“His mother left upon him the traces other sacrifice….This is old magic, I should have remembered it, I was foolish to overlook it…but no matter. I can touch him now.”

Harry felt the cold tip of the long white finger touch him, and thought his head would burst with the pain. Voldemort laughed softly in his ear, then took the finger away and continued addressing the Death Eaters.

“I miscalculated, my friends, I admit it. My curse was deflected by the woman’s foolish sacrifice, and it rebounded upon myself. Aaah…pain beyond pain, my friends; nothing could have prepared me for it. I was ripped from my body, I was less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost…but still, I was alive. What I was, even I do not know…I, who have gone further than anybody along the path that leads to immortality. You know my goal – to conquer death. And now, I was tested, and it appeared that one or more of my experiments had worked…for I had not been killed, though the curse should have done it. Nevertheless, I was as powerless as the weakest creature alive, and without the means to help myself…for I had no body, and every spell that might have helped me required the use of a wand….

“I remember only forcing myself, sleeplessly, endlessly, second by second, to exist….I settled in a faraway place, in a forest, and I waited….Surely, one of my faithful Death Eaters would try and find me…one of them would come and perform the magic I could not, to restore me to a body…, but I waited in vain….”

The shiver ran once more around the circle of listening Death Eaters. Voldemort let the silence spiral horribly before continuing.

“Only one power remained to me. I could possess the bodies of others. But I dared not go where other humans were plentiful, for I knew that the Aurors were still abroad and searching for me.

I sometimes inhabited animals – snakes, of course, being my preference – but I was little better off inside them than as pure spirit, for their bodies were ill adapted to perform magic…and my possession of them shortened their lives; none of them lasted long….

“Then…four years ago…the means for my return seemed assured. A wizard – young, foolish, and gullible – wandered across my path in the forest I had made my home. Oh, he seemed the very chance I had been dreaming of…for he was a teacher at Dumbledore’s school…he was easy to bend to my will…he brought me back to this country, and after a while, I took possession of his body, to supervise him closely as he carried out my orders. But my plan failed. I did not manage to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was not to be assured immortal life. I was thwarted…thwarted, once again, by Harry Potter….”

Silence once more; nothing was stirring, not even the leaves on the yew tree. The Death Eaters were quite motionless, the glittering eyes in their masks fixed upon Voldemort, and upon Harry.

“The servant died when I left his body, and I was left as weak as ever I had been,” Voldemort continued. “I returned to my hiding place far away, and I will not pretend to you that I didn’t then fear that I might never regain my powers….Yes, that was perhaps my darkest hour…I could not hope that I would be sent another wizard to possess…and I had given up hope, now, that any of my Death Eaters cared what had become of me….”

One or two of the masked wizards in the circle moved uncomfortably, but Voldemort took no notice.

“And then, not even a year ago, when I had almost abandoned hope, it happened at last…a servant returned to me. Wormtail here, who had faked his own death to escape justice, was driven out of hiding by those he had once counted friends, and decided to return to his master. He sought me in the country where it had long been rumored I was hiding…helped, of course, by the rats he met along the way. Wormtail has a curious affinity with rats, do you not, Wormtail? His filthy little friends told him there was a place, deep in an Albanian forest, that they avoided, where small animals like themselves had met their deaths by a dark shadow that possessed them….

“But his journey back to me was not smooth, was it, Wormtail? For, hungry one night, on the edge of the very forest where he had hoped to find me, he foolishly stopped at an inn for some food…and who should he meet there, but one Bertha Jorkins, a witch from the Ministry of Magic.

“Now see the way that fate favors Lord Voldemort. This might have been the end of Wormtail, and of my last hope for regeneration. But Wormtail – displaying a presence of mind I would never have expected from him – convinced Bertha Jorkins to accompany him on a nighttime stroll. He overpowered her…he brought her to me. And Bertha Jorkins, who might have ruined all, proved instead to be a gift beyond my wildest dreams…for – with a little persuasion – she became a veritable mine of information.

“She told me that the Triwizard Tournament would be played at Hogwarts this year. She told me that she knew of a faithful Death Eater who would be only too willing to help me, if I could only contact him. She told me many things…but the means I used to break the Memory Charm upon her were powerful, and when I had extracted all useful information from her, her mind and body were both damaged beyond repair. She had now served her purpose. I could not possess her. I disposed of her.”

Voldemort smiled his terrible smile, his red eyes blank and pitiless.

“Wormtail’s body, of course, was ill adapted for possession, as all assumed him dead, and would attract far too much attention if noticed. However, he was the able-bodied servant I needed, and, poor wizard though he is, Wormtail was able to follow the instructions I gave him, which would return me to a rudimentary, weak body of my own, a body I would be able to inhabit while awaiting the essential ingredients for true rebirth…a spell or two of my own invention…a little help from my dear Nagini,” Voldemort’s red eyes fell upon the continually circling snake, “a potion concocted from unicorn blood, and the snake venom Nagini provided…I was soon returned to an almost human form, and strong enough to travel.

“There was no hope of stealing the Sorcerer’s Stone anymore, for I knew that Dumbledore would have seen to it that it was destroyed. But I was willing to embrace mortal life again, before chasing immortality. I set my sights lower…I would settle for my old body back again, and my old strength.

“I knew that to achieve this – it is an old piece of Dark Magic, the potion that revived me tonight – I would need three powerful ingredients. Well, one of them was already at hand, was it not, Wormtail? Flesh given by a servant….

“My father’s bone, naturally, meant that we would have to come here, where he was buried. But the blood of a foe…Wormtail would have had me use any wizard, would you not, Wormtail? Any wizard who had hated me…as so many of them still do. But I knew the one I must use, if I was to rise again, more powerful than I had been when I had fallen. I wanted Harry Potters blood. I wanted the blood of the one who had stripped me of power thirteen years ago…for the lingering protection his mother once gave him would then reside in my veins too….

“But how to get at Harry Potter? For he has been better protected than I think even he knows, protected in ways devised by Dumbledore long ago, when it fell to him to arrange the boy’s future. Dumbledore invoked an ancient magic, to ensure the boy’s protection as long as he is in his relations’ care. Not even I can touch him there….Then, of course, there was the Quidditch World Cup….I thought his protection might be weaker there, away from his relations and Dumbledore, but I was not yet strong enough to attempt kidnap in the midst of a horde of Ministry wizards. And then, the boy would return to Hogwarts, where he is under the crooked nose of that Muggle-loving fool from morning until night. So how could I take him?

“Why…by using Bertha Jorkins’s information, of course. Use my one faithful Death Eater, stationed at Hogwarts, to ensure that the boy’s name was entered into the Goblet of Fire. Use my Death Eater to ensure that the boy won the tournament – that he touched the Triwizard Cup first – the cup which my Death Eater had turned into a Portkey, which would bring him here, beyond the reach of Dumbledore’s help and protection, and into my waiting arms. And here he is…the boy you all believed had been my downfall….”

Voldemort moved slowly forward and turned to face Harry. He raised his wand.


It was pain beyond anything Harry had ever experienced; his very bones were on fire; his head was surely splitting along his scar; his eyes were rolling madly in his head; he wanted it to end…to black out…to die…

And then it was gone. He was hanging limply in the ropes binding him to the headstone of Voldemort’s father, looking up into those bright red eyes through a kind of mist. The night was ringing with the sound of the Death Eaters’ laughter.

“You see, I think, how foolish it was to suppose that this boy could ever have been stronger than me,” said Voldemort. “But I want there to be no mistake in anybody’s mind. Harry Potter escaped me by a lucky chance. And I am now going to prove my power by killing him, here and now, in front of you all, when there is no Dumbledore to help him, and no mother to die for him. I will give him his chance. He will be allowed to fight, and you will be left in no doubt which of us is the stronger. Just a little longer, Nagini,” he whispered, and the snake glided away through the grass to where the Death Eaters stood watching.

“Now untie him, Wormtail, and give him back his wand.”

Free Essays

The National Coalition Against the Death Penalty

The death penalty has been a fairly contentious issue in the United States since 1930 when statistics first began to be regularly collected. By the late 1960s, an unofficial moratorium took place due to mounting opposition to the law that was authorized in all but 10 states. In 1972, the Supreme Court struck down the ‘arbitrary and capricious’ state and federal death penalty laws (History of the Death Penalty, “Death Penalty” & “Moratorium”). However, the 1976 rulings re-imposing the capital punishment brought to the fore the gravity of the issue for the American public. The Supreme Court decision bringing back the controversial law was met with concerted efforts by those who vigorously oppose death penalty. One entity that perhaps best symbolizes opposition to its reinstatement is the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP), a coalition organization formed shortly after the Supreme Court ruling.

The NCADP has, since its formation in 1976, been the only national organization with a full staff that is devoted exclusively to the abolishment of the capital punishment. Its work includes the providing of information and public policy advocates and the mobilization of, and support for, individuals and institutions sharing the unconditional rejection of the death penalty (National Coalition ¶ 1).

NCADP Mission and Goals

The main argument of the NDADP in its stand against the death penalty is the belief that the ultimate punishment equates to the devaluation of all human life. With the execution of the capital offender, the organization believes that the spiritual transformation intrinsic to every human being is denied. The organization also argues three other critical concerns, namely: the irrevocability of the capital punishment within a dishearteningly fallible judicial system; the law’s race and class bias against the poor and racial minorities, and the death penalty’s intrinsic violation of our most basic human rights.

The National Coalition for the Abolition of the Death Penalty, based in Washington D.C., boasts of a 30-year history of organizing opposition to the U.S. death penalty (Hogan & Hartson Announcements). One of the more prominent heads of NCADP has been Sister Helen Prejean CSJ, a Roman Catholic nun of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille.

Serving the organization from 1993 to 1995, Prejean became a crusader against the death penalty following her ministering and witnessing many executions beginning with that of Louisiana convicted murderer Elmo Patrick Sonnier. Her autobiographical account of the relationship she made with Sonnier became the basis for the film and opera Dead Man Walking. (Helen Prejean ¶ 1-4).

The mission of the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty is organized around the four central mission areas of legislative advocacy, grassroots advocacy, media advocacy and human rights advocacy.

Believing that the abolition of the capital punishment in the United States can be achieved using a multi-faceted approach, the NCADP spells out its four-core mission as follows:

Legislative Advocacy – cooperating with policy-makers and their constituents to adopt legislation that opposes the death penalty at the local, state, as well as national level.

Media Advocacy – using mainly local and state media to broaden the public criticism of the capital punishment.

Grassroots Advocacy – providing assistance to NCADP affiliates in organizing activities that oppose the death penalty and in reaching out to American communities to take a stand against the death penalty.

Human Rights Advocacy – highlighting the capital punishment as a violation of human rights and     working to gain the support of the world in abolishing the death penalty in the United States. (National Coalition “Our Focus”).

NCADP Strategy and Tactics
The organization conducts its campaign against capital punishment using its four non-violent advocacy methods at the local, state and national levels. (National Coalition, Wikipedia ¶ 2). The use of information dissemination is an important tool of the NCADP towards the goal of abolishing death penalty in the United States. Primarily using the local media, which it believes to be the greater news source of the American public, NCADP works to inform about facts and figures that strengthen the call against capital punishment. Through other media outlets including its website and the national media, it presents many eye-opening if not disturbing data on the modern implementation of death penalty in the country.

The death penalty related information the NCADP provides is essentially statistics-based, perhaps in the effort to be scientific and less incontrovertible. It extensively collects and presents telling information such as:

– 95 percent of the nearly 4,000 death convicts are so poor that they were unable to hire a private attorney.

– African Americans comprise 42% of those currently on death row despite the fact that they make up a mere 12% of the total population.

– More than 60% of those convicted to die for childhood offenses since the 1976 re-imposition have either been African Americans or Latinos (National Coalition, Fact Sheet).          Being a coalition organization, the NCADP strategy in seeking the legal abolition of death penalty includes forging linkages with state and local, national and international affiliates.  It has local affiliates in Alabama, Arizona and California and its national affiliates include Amnesty International, USA Program  to Abolish the Death Penalty.

The NCADP also counts international affiliates from the United Kingdom (Death Penalty UK Death Row: Reprieve UK), Germany (German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (GCADP), France (Coalition for Truth and Justice; Ensemble contre la peine de mort) and Botswana (The Botswana Centre for Human Rights). The NCADP also list as an ally the Missourians Against State Killing organization (National Coalition “Affiliates”).

Successes and Failures
In evaluating its success or failure, many factors can be used to gauge the NCADP. Organization- and support-wise, America’s leading financial evaluator of independent charities, Charity Navigator, shows a successful picture of the NCADP.

The National Coalition for the Abolition of the Death Penalty is considered a charity organization and its continued existence as the largest in its advocacy reflects the considerable support the American public has given it. No less than Charity Navigator gives it a thumbs up for financial health. Moreover, Charity Navigator has for the last three years given NCADP a consistent four-star overall rating (60++ percent from 2003-2005). Rating the coalition three stars for efficiency and four stars for capacity, Charity Navigator gives NCADP the highest overall peer rating along with the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute. (Charity Navigator “Rating,” “Peer Analysis”).

In terms of the success of its mission of abolishing the capital punishment, the milestones in the collective efforts of all anti-death penalty advocates can be considered as success for the coalition organization itself.

The NCADP recognizes the 2003 commutation for over 150 death convicts—the largest in modern American history—by Illinois Gov. George Ryan as  ‘a turning point in the debate over capital punishment’ in the country (NCADP Welcomes ¶ 1 & 3). A most recent development is the 2005 Supreme Court in Roper V. Simmons ruling against the imposition of the death penalty for those under 18 years of age at the time of the crime. Another good news came in 2004 when the high court of New York declared death penalty unconstitutional.

In terms of failures, the most obvious proof that NCADP has not met its goal is the fact that the capital punishment still exists as legal over more of the United States. Specific legislations have also strengthened death penalty as when President Bill Clinton signed two anti-terrorism laws in 1994 and 1996 that expanded federal death penalty and restricted federal court reviews, respectively (Information Center “Timeline”).

However, judging by public support for and against the death penalty based on protracted Gallup Poll surveys, it would seem that the efforts of the anti-death penalty advocates—including the NCADP’s media advocacy—appear to be finally paying off. From the 1970s when the organization was formed until 1994, a great majority of Americans favored the death penalty over life imprisonment as penalty for murder. From 1994 to 1997, however, the number of Americans favoring life imprisonment instead has grown steadily. As of May 2004, even after the September 11 attacks, the number of those who favor death penalty was only marginally higher than those who go for life imprisonment (Information Center “Public Support”).

NCADP has a charity privacy policy that requires the donor to inform the charity to remove his or her name and other contact information from the mailing lists sold, traded or shared. Current leadership of the NCADP has Diann Rust-Tierney as Executive Director and Jason Zanon as the Interim Executive Director (Charity Navigator “Donor Privacy Policy” ; “Leadership”).

Works Cited

Charity Navigator. Charity Rating: National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Charity

Navigator website.;;.

Death Penalty Information Center. Part II: History of the Death Penalty. DPIC website. 19 Dec.


“Helen Prejean.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 11 Dec 2006, 21:42 UTC. Wikimedia

Foundation, Inc. 19 Dec 2006 ;


History of the Death Penalty ; Recent Developments. University of Alaska Anchorage Justice

Center. Updated 2 May 2005. ;


Hogan ; Hartson. Announcements. Hogan ; Hartson website. 19 Dec. 20016


National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. About the NCADP. NCADP website. 19 Dec.

2006 ;;.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Affiliate Links. NCADP website. 19 Dec. 2006


National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Fact Sheet: The Death Penalty and Racial Bias.

NCADP website. 19 Dec. 2006. ;;.

“National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 Oct

2006, 22:32 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 19 Dec 2006 ;


NCADP Welcomes Largest Commutation Of Death Sentences In Modern U.S. History. 11 Jan.

2003. Initiative gegen die Todesstrafe website.19 Dec. 2006 ;http://www.initiative-;.






Free Essays

Death of a Salesmen Literary Analysis

Maria Medina AP Literature 2nd Hour February 14th, 2012 Being Boxed In As humans, at some point in our life we may feel the sense of being boxed-in. In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller shows the different factors that make for the frustrations of long time salesman Willy Loman. Being “boxed in” is a symbol of Willy’s serious desperation with his life in the city, his career, and his family that eventually led to his death. Willy is living in the crammed state of New York.

He feels as though the city has turned into a box for the inhabitants: “The way they boxed us in here. Bricks and windows, windows and bricks. ”(1301). Willy feels trapped about the innovating of cities and rapidly growing population: “There’s more people! That’s what’s ruining this country! Population is getting out of control. The competition is maddening! Smell the stink from that apartment house-! ” (1301) He’s afraid of change, and can’t accept it.. Willy makes himself feel boxed in by not accepting the new city life along with his new family life.

The city changing reminds Willy that he now also has a failed relationship with his sons, and this attributes to his sense of feeling boxed in. Willy refers back to the past many times and longs for life to be like it used to be. While talking about the changing city he remembers his old relationship with one of his sons: “Remember those two beautiful elm trees out there? When I and Biff hung the swing between them? ” Willy wishes to go back to the old days when his sons and he got along. He’s very nostalgic and remembers old times to give him some comfort.

Unfortunately, having flashback of the good times affects him horribly and not being able to go back in time makes him feel trapped. Willy’s career has also taken a huge toll on him. At the beginning of the play he tries to give his wife and himself hope that they eventually won’t feel physically trapped and things will get better: “Before it’s all over we’re gonna get a little place in the country and I’ll raise some vegetables and a couple of chickens. ” This shows that Willy longs for a different life where routine isn’t always necessary.

He wants freedom and hopes someday it will come. Willy admits that he feels physically trapped due to the city he’s living in, but never admits that he is trapped in the sense that he tries to appeal to everyone. He tries to keep an image that does not truly reflect him: “We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house! ”(1362) After being confronted by Biff, Willy still doesn’t realize his failure in his career and success. He tries making things better by helping out Biff’s success; he commits suicide to have Biff keep his insurance money and start his own life: “Imagine?

When the mail comes he’ll be ahead of Bernard again! ”(1364) This suicide makes for Willy to literally box himself. All of his frustrations make for Willy not think straight and making irrational decisions. showed the factors that led to Willy’s feeling “boxed in”. His city life, his failed relationship with his family, and his having to keep up an appearance led Willy to frustration. Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman showed that being “boxed in” occurs when many problems come up, and when not coped with correctly, can lead to tragic extremes.

Free Essays

Death Penalty for the Mentally Insane

Mental illness is defined as “any various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual’s normal cognitive, emotional or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic or other factors, such as infection or head trauma” (Fiack). The mentally insane have a brain condition which directly effects wellbeing and actions. Mental insanity can be described as an incomplete development of the brain which can have an impact on conduct and social effectiveness.

Congressman should not allow the death penalty on the mentally insane because giving the death penalty to the mentally insane is an abomination. Congressmen might consider issuing the death penalty to the mentally insane because all punishments should be equal no matter the individual, but the mentally insane are not always in control of their actions and they are not always in a stable condition in which they know what they are doing. A troubled history or childhood can provide a diminishing value (“Court”).

Not all mentally insane are brought up in stable environments which could lead to rage and violence. The rage and violence cannot be controlled by the mentally insane patient because do to over exposure to abuse they rely on the rage and violence for self-defense. Over thirty percent of male and eighty percent of female mentally insane inmates have reported sexual or physical abuse (Fiack). A vast majority of the mentally insane have experienced some sort of abuse which may cause mixed emotions and instability.

This instability causes the mentally to go crazy and take everything out on the nearest guardian they see and the mentally insane should not be penalized for being put into a state of craziness. The mentally insane receiving the death penalty is an abomination. All abominations have similar characteristics. Like crime in the United States, inflicting the death penalty on the mentally insane is a negative characteristic of the judicial system. Every abomination has a consequence. Jail might be a consequence considering the severity of the offense, such as murder.

America sells all types of guns and like enforcing the death penalty on the mentally insane, guns are fatal. Guns are the causes of many deaths and just like the death penalty, many lives are taken away from innocent and mentally insane civilians. Like gangs, the death penalty of the mentally insane affects everyone and is not community oriented. Gangs are a threat to everyone in a community and the death penalty is a threat to every citizen of the United States. Using the death penalty to kill the mentally insane is not for the community and ruins the closeness and bond a community shares among the children and adults.

Smuggling in weapons, illegal narcotics and the use of drugs is a disgrace to the youths of America just like the use of the death penalty on the mentally insane. The death penalty is an abomination because in the last thirty years, more than sixty people with a mental illness have been executed (Fiack). Putting these mentally insane to rest because of an action they probably did not have control over is completely unnecessary and un-just. If Congressmen wish to punish a mentally insane person they could place them in an insane asylum to learn to control their anger and violence towards others.

A consequence now exists because of all the insanity pleas within the last thirty years. The “M’Naughten Test” is now given to show if the defendant was unable to understand what he or she was doing and if there is a substantial lack of capacity to understand ones conduct (Fisanck). If the mentally insane patient can pass this test and the test clearly shows they had no control of their action and did not recognize the crime they were committing, giving them the death penalty would be unlawful. The court gave Darrell W.

Ferguson the death penalty, an inmate with an apparent unclear thought process. The courts rejected the claim, not thoroughly considering mental health issues (“Court”). Although abominations are not community oriented, a group called “Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation” travels around North Carolina helping raise awareness and trying to gain support to get a bill passed against the death penalty of the mentally insane (“Murder”). The issue with bringing a mental illness case into court is the jury members do not always understand how the brain is affected by this disease.

Jury members with a misunderstanding of mental illness cause the mentally insane to die on death row because they do not realize the challenges of raising a mentally insane child or grown adult nor what they are capable of without the patient even being aware of his actions. As a result, the jury tends to lean more towards a guilty verdict convicting the mentally insane before truly understanding how a diseased brain works. This process can be unfair to the victim and if the jury is not clear of the mental illness the defendant has.

To solve such a problem, each individual should be informed of the exact mental illness present before the court is in session or should not be a part of the jury. Congressmen should not promote the death penalty of the mentally insane because the death penalty of the mentally insane will lead to public outcry and angered families, disassembly of moral value, and will aid in the first steps to the disintegration of human life and self-worth. Over thirty years ago John Hinckley shot Ronald Regan in the chest but was not given the death penalty because he plead insane (Vatz).

Instead of giving him the ultimate punishment there is to offer he was sentenced to a mental hospital, which is what happens in most cases of the mentally insane. “In 2006, The American Bar Association passed a resolution calling for the exemption of those with serious mental illness from imposition and execution of the death penalty” (Fisanck). Congressmen should present a law to protect the mentally insane in death penalty situations. Works Cited “Court Reject Mental Health Claims Of Inmate Who Sought Death Penalty. ” Mental Health Law Report. 66, June 2006.

Gale Power Search. Web. 6 October 2011. Fiack, Shannon. Mental Illness and Criminal Behavior. Greenhaven Press, 2009. Gale Opposing Viewpoints. Web. 6 October 2011. Fisanck, Christina. Crime and Criminals. Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Web. 6 October 2011. “Murder and Mental Illness: Group Supports Removing Death Penalty. ” Wilson Daily Times. 11 May 2011. Gale Opposing Viewpoints. Web. 6 October 2011. Vatz, Richard E. “The Insanity Excuse and Retrograde Thinking. ” USA Today. March 2011; 66-67. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 6 October 2011.

Free Essays

Death in Prime Time

American Academy of Political and Social Science Death in Prime Time: Notes on the Symbolic Functions of Dying in the Mass Media Author(s): George Gerbner Reviewed work(s): Source: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 447, The Social Meaning of Death (Jan. , 1980), pp. 64-70 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. in association with the American Academy of Political and Social Science Stable URL: http://www. jstor. org/stable/1042304 . Accessed: 02/01/2012 20:34 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . ttp://www. jstor. org/page/info/about/policies/terms. jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] org. Sage Publications, Inc. and American Academy of Political and Social Science are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. ttp://www. jstor. org ANNALS,AAPSS, 447, January 1980 Death in Prime Time: Notes on the Symbolic Functions of Dying in the Mass Media By GEORGEGERBNER ABSTRACT: The cultural (and media) significance of dying rests in the symbolic context in which representations of dying are embedded. An examination of that context of mostly violent suggests that portrayals of death and dying representations functions of social typing and control and tend, serve symbolic of on the whole, to conceal the reality and inevitability the event.

George Gerbner is Professor of Communications and Dean of The Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania. He is a principal investigator, along with Larry Gross and Nancy Signorielli, also of The Annenberg School, in the Cultural Indicators research project studying television drama and viewer conceptions of social reality. He has been principal investigator on international and U. S. projectsfunded by the National Science Foundation, U. S.

Office of Education, UNESCO, the International Sociological Association, the National Institute of Mental Health, The Surgeon General’s Scientific advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior, the American Medical Association, the HEW’s Administration on Aging, and other agencies. He is editor of the Journal of Communication, and a volume on Mass Media Policies in Changing Cultures. 64 DEATH IN PRIME TIME 65 D YINGin the massmedia-both news and entertainment (a distinction increasingly hard to make) -has a symbolic function different from death in real life but investing life itself-with it-and particular meanings.

We can begin to consider what these might be by reflecting on the nature of representation. A symbol system is an artifact par excellence. It is totally invented to serve human purposes. It can serve these purposes only if those interpreting it know the code and can fit it into a symbolic context of their own. They must share the rules of the invention and the interpretative strategies by which it should be understood. Symbolic narrative, a story, has two basic elements of invention: fictive and selective. Selective invention is factual narrative such as news.

Presumably true events (facts) are selected from an endless stream of events. A narrative is invented to convey some meaning about the selected facts as interpreted in a previously learned framework of knowledge. Fictive invention is fiction and drama; the “facts” are invented as well as the narrative. (Selection is of course involved in both. ) The function of fictive invention is to illuminate (literally to embody and dramatize) the invisible structure and dynamics of the significant connections of human life. It is to show how things work.

Invention that can only select events but not create them must be more opaque; it can only show what things are but rarely why or how they work. The full development of the connections between events and human motivations and powers requires the freedom and legitimacy to invent the “facts” in a way that illuminates the otherwise hidden dynamics of existence. In this totally invented world of and fictivesymbols-selective without some purnothing happens pose and function (which need not be the same). Let us use as example the world of television which we have studied for some years. This discussion also applies to other media and cultural forms, with the difference that television is the generally non-selectively used universal storyteller of modern society. It is, therefore, more a symbolic environment than a traditional medium. People are not born into the world of television. They are selected or created for a purpose. The purpose is usefulness to the symbolic world (called news values or story values) that the producing institutions and their patrons find useful for their purposes.

More numerous in both news and drama are those for whom that world has more uses-jobs, power, adventure, sex, youth, and all other opportunities in life. These values are distributed in the symbol system as most resources are distributed in the society whose dominant institutions produce most of the symbols: according to status and power. Dominant social groups tend to be overrepresented and overendowed not only absolutely but also in relation to their numbers in the real population. (For example, men outnumber women at least three to one in television and most media content. Minorities are defined by having 1. The long-range project was first described in my article on “Cultural Indicators: The Case of Violence in Television Drama” in the Annals, Vol. 388, March 1970. The most recent report, including a description of methodology, appears in George Gerbner, Larry Gross, Nancy Signorielli, Michael Morgan, and Marilyn Jackson-Beeck, “The Demonstration of Power: Violence Profile No. 10,” Journal of Communication, vol. 29 (Summer 1979). 66 THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY less than their proportionate share of values and resources.

In the world of television news and drama, this means lower underrepresentation numbers, less usefulness, fewer opportunities, more victimization (or “criminalization”), more restricted scope of action, more stereotyped roles, diminished life chances, and general undervaluation ranging from relative neglect to symbolic annihilation. DEATH IN NEWS AND DRAMA Death in such a context is just another invented characterization, a negative resource, a sign of fatal flaw or ineptitude, a punishment for sins or mark of tragedy.

It is always a reminder of the risks of life, cultivating most anxiety and dependence for those who are depicted as most at risk. In other words, death is one feature of the more general functions of social typing and control. Obituaries are the Social Register of the middle class. Even a “nobody” of modest status and power (i. e. a person of no symbolic existence in the common culture) becomes a “somebody” if the flicker of his or her (and it’s mostly his) life can leave its final symbolic mark of existence in the obituary column.

Death in the news is a tightly scripted scenario of violence and terror. Murders, accidents, “body counts” and catastrophies scatter a surfeit of impersonal corpses in ghoulish symbolic overkill across the pages of our family newspapers and television screens. By the time we grow up, we are so addicted to this necromania of our culture (and we are not alone), that its constant daily cultivation seems to add to a morbid sense of normalcy. Yet it is all well (if unwittingly) calculated to cultivate a sense of insecurity, anxiety, fear of the “mean world” out there, and ependence on some strong protector. It is the modern equivalent of the bloody circuses in the Roman empire’s “bread and circuses” that were supposed to keep the populace quiescent. At the center of the symbolic structure of death is the world of stories invented to show how things and drama. The most work-fiction massive and universal flow of stories in modern society (and history) is of course television drama, most of it produced according to the industrial formulas developed to assemble large audiences and sell them to advertisers at the least cost.

That is a world in which practically no one ever dies a natural death. Assembly-line drama generally denies the inevitable reality of death and affirms its stigmatic character. Violent death, on the other hand, befalls 5 percent of all prime time dramatic characters every week, with about twice as many killers (many of whom also get killed) stalking the world of prime time. The symbolic function of death in the world of television is thus embedded in its structure of violence, which is essentially a show of force, the ritualistic demonstration of power. THE STRUCTURE OF VIOLENCEAND POWER

Dominated as it is by males and masculine values, much of the world of prime time revolves around questions of power. Who can get away with what against whom? How secure are different social types when confronted with conflict and danger? What hierarchies of risk and vulnerability define social relations? In other words, how power works in society. The simplest and cheapest dramatic DEATH IN PRIME TIME 67 demonstration of power is an overt expression of physical force compelling action against one’s will on pain of being hurt or killed, or actually hurting or killing.

That is the definition of violence used in our studies of television drama. Violence rules the symbolic world of television. It occurs at an average 10-year rate of 5 violent incidents per hour in prime time and 18 per hour in weekend daytime children’s programming-a triple dose. Violence as a demonstration of power can be measured by relating the percent of violents to the percent of victims within each social group. That ratio shows the chances of men and women, blacks and whites, young and old, to come out on top instead of on the bottom.

Conversely, it shows the risks of each group to end up as victims instead of victors. Table 1 is a summary of these “risk ratios” based on annual samples of prime time and weekend daytime (children’s) programs major dramatic characters, a total of 3,949, from 1969 through 1978. It shows for each of several demographic and dramatic groups the ratio of violents over victims (including killing) and of only killers over killed (or the other way around) within each group. It also shows the percent of characters in each group involved in any violence as either violents or victims (or both).

For example, of the 415 children and adolescent characters studied, 60. 5 percent (65. 0 percent males and 49. 1 percent females) were involved in violence. Of the males, victims outnumbered violents by 1. 69 but killers outnumbered killed by 3. 00. In other words, for every 10 child and adolescent violents there were about 17 victims, but for every 10 killed there were 30 killers in that group of characters. Overall, 63 percent of all characters were involved in some violence. For every 10 violents there were 12 victims, but for every 10 killed there were 19 killers.

However, as we have just seen, involvement in violence and its outcome-as with values and resources-is not randomly distributed. Some features of the distribution of violence as a demonstration of power can be illustrated by selecting a few risk ratios from the Table, showing how these victimization rates define a hierarchy of risks within which the depiction of dying (and killing) is embedded. A hierarchy of risks Combining prime time and daytime characters, we find that victimization rates define a social hierarchy of risks and vulnerabilities.

For every 10 characters who commit violence within each of the following groups the average number of victims for white men is …………….. nonwhite men is …………. lower class women is ……… young women is …………. nonwhite women is ………. old women is ……………. 12 13 17 18 18 33 If and when involved in violence, women and minorities, and especially young and old as well as minority women characters, are the most vulnerable. Now let us look at dying (and its dramatic counterpart, killing) in that context.

We can compute a lethal pecking order by relating the number of killers to the number of killed within each group. Unlike violence in general, killing eliminates a character and must be used more sparingly, either as curtain-raiser or as the “final solution. ” Therefore, in most role categories, there are more killers than killed. “Good” men, the TABLE 1 RISK RATIOS’: MAJOR CHARACTERS IN ALL PROGRAMS (1969-197 ALL CHARACTERS INVOLVED IN VIOLENCE VIOLENTVICTIM RATIO KILLERKILLED RATIO MALE CHARACTERS INVOLVED IN VIOLENCE VIOLENTVICTIM RATIO K N N

All Characters Social Age Children-Adolescents Young Adults Settled Adults Elderly Marital Status Not Married Married Class Clearly Upper Mixed Clearly Lower Race White Other Character Type “Good” Mixed “Bad” Nationality U. S. Other 3949 415 813 2212 106 1873 987 269 3549 131 3087 360 2304 1093 550 3100 264 63. 3 60. 5 64. 5 59. 8 47. 2 65. 6 45. 5 59. 5 63. 4 69. 5 60. 1 55. 0 58. 4 61. 4 88. 0 58. 1 73. 5 -1. 20 -1. 60 -1. 36 -1. 12 -1. 15 -1. 23 -1. 27 -1. 38 -1. 19 -1. 25 -1. 19 -1. 33 -1. 29 -1. 22 1. 00 -1. 20 -1. 31 +1. 90 +3. 00 +2. 00 +2. 07 -1. 75 +1. 90 +1. 67 +1. 50 +2. 07 -1. 11 +1. 97 +1. 69 +2. 93 +1. 3 +1. 84 +2. 06 +1. 31 2938 297 539 1698 80 1374 626 182 2650 106 2235 280 1659 807 471 2263 203 68. 4 65. 0 69. 6 65. 7 50. 0 69. 7 52. 9 67. 6 68. 3 73. 6 65. 1 61. 1 63. 7 65. 8 89. 4 63. 2 80. 8 -1. 18 -1. 69 -1. 23 -1. 12 +1. 07 -1. 18 -1. 27 -1. 26 -1. 17 -1. 20 -1. 16 -1. 27 -1. 24 -1. 21 -1. 01 -1. 16 -1. 29 + + + + + + + + – + + + + + + + 1Risk Ratios are obtained by dividing the more numerous of these two roles by the less numerous within eac violents or killersthan victims or killed and a minus sign indicates that there are more victims or killed than violent victimsor killersor violents or killed.

A +0. 00 ratio means that there were some violents or killersbut no victims or k killed but no violents or killers. DEATH IN PRIME TIME 69 male heroes of prime time drama, are at the top of the killing order. For every 10 “good” men killed, there are 38 “good” men killers. Next are young men and American men; for every 10 young males killed, there are 22 young male and American male killers. The killed-killer ratio of all white males is only slightly lower: 21 killers for every 10 white males killed.

In other words, if and when involved in some fatal violence on prime time television, “good,” young, American and white males are the most likely to be the killers instead of the killed. They kill in a good cause to begin with or are the most powerful, or both. Women do not fare so well. Their most favorable ratio is 20 killers for every 10 killed, and that goes to foreign women. The second highest female kill ratio goes to “bad” women: they kill 17 characters for every 10 “bad” women killed. Next are middleaged women who kill 16 for every 10 killed.

Thus women who tend to kill, kill much less than men, have relatively more lethal power when they are foreign, evil, or past the romantic-lead age, than when they are “good,” American, young, and white, as is the case with men. Their killing is more likely to be shown as unjust, irrational, and “alien” than is killing by men. At the very bottom of the lethal pecking order are old women who get involved in violence only to get killed and “good” women who get killed 16 times for every 10 killers. Old and “good” women get into violence mostly as sympathetic (or only pathetic) victims, rousing male heroes to righteous (if lethal) indignation.

Next in line are lower class men, lower class women, and old men. For every ten killers in each group there are, respectively, 11, 10, and 10 killed. Unlike those of greater ability to survive conflict or catastrophy,older and lower class characters pay with their lives for every life they take. Provocation and retribution In general, then, as can be seen on the Table, the pecking order of both mayhem and killing is dominated by men-American white, middle class, and in the prime of life. At the top of the general order of victimizers are “bad” women, old men, and “bad” men, in that order.

The presence of evil at the top of the power hierarchy suggests the dramatic role of villains provoking heroes to violent action. Heading the ranking of killers over killed are “good” and other majority-type males. We can begin to discern not only the provocative role of the “bad” but also the retributive function of the “good” and the strong. Lowest on the dramatic scale are women, lower class, and old people. Of the 20 most victimized groups (both total violence and killing), all but three are women. Old women are at the bottom of the heap of both the battered and the killed. Good”women are among the charactersmost likely to be both general and fatal victims of violence ratherthan the perpetrators. “Good” men have power as indicated by their heading up the killer-killed list; “good” women, on the other hand, end up near the bottom of the power hierarchy. When it comes to violence, “good” are the strong men and the weak women of the world of television. Dying on television is a violent retribution for weakness, sin, or other flaw in character or status. It is part of the social typing and control functions of centralized cultural production.

Our research has found that heavy viewers (compared to light 70 THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY viewers in the same social groups) derive from their television experience a heightened sense of danger, insecurity, and mistrust, or what we call the “mean world” syndrome. It can be conjectured that the symbolic functions of dying are part of that syndrome, contributing not only to a structure of power but also to the irrational dread of dying and thus to diminished vitality and self-direction in life.

Free Essays

Death Penalty Mush Be Abolish in the United States

The death penalty must be abolished in the United States. Outline I. Death penalty must be abolished world A. Death penalty is the sentence of death for a person convicted of a capital offence, is currently used in 58 countries around the world, and is also legal sentence in 33 states. (Harrison, Tamony P2) B. Abolished to end the observance or effect. (www. merriam-webster. com) C. Preview 1. Background information of death penalty 2. Arguments between death penalty and human rights 3. Death penalty mistakes 4. Government financial burden of death penalty. 5. All I Can See proof

II. Background information of death penalty A. History of death penalty B. Current debates on death penalty III. Arguments between death penalty and human rights A. The human rights organization opposes death penalty because of the inhumanity of this punishment 1. Human rights omissions 2. Moral issue B. The death penalty deprives criminal’s human of rights. The death penalty is against religion’s principle of Buddhism. IV. The mistakes of the death penalty Death penalty cause innocent people after the execution. B. Unfairness of death penalty. 1. Race bias in the death penalty . Gender discrimination in the death penalty V. Government financial burden on the death penalty A. The death penalty costs are larger Government pays for the bill of execution of death penalty VI. All I can see part Brown land is a dead land; it referred to the influence of death penalty. VII. Death penalty must be forbidden in the world The death penalty must be abolished in the United States. “The death penalty, the sentence of death for a person convicted of a capital offence, is currently used in 58 countries around the world, and is also legal sentence in 33 states. Harrison, Tamony. P. 2)  One hundred and thirty nine countries in the world have abolished the death penalty under their systems of law. Clearly, the majority of the world already understands that the death penalty must be abolished. This paper will prove the necessity of abolishing the death penalty. For the purpose of this paper, death penalty is defined in accordance with Harrison and Tamony. Abolish is defined as the end to the observance or effect of something (www. merriam-webster. com).

Three main arguments will be put forward: the fact that the death penalty violates human rights, un-reversible errors have been and can be made in assigning the death penalty, and finally that it is a financial burden on the governments who still adhere to it. A literary proof based on the novel All I Can See will also be put forth to strengthen the case against the death penalty. In the seventeenth century, the death penalty was the major punishment to sentence criminals who committed capital crimes. In seventeen century, England government was authorized to hang criminals in public as a major punishment.

However, the truth is the death penalty was not only used for the person who broke the law, it was also used to eliminate political opponents. In Europe, before the modern prison system completed, the death penalty was used to sentence general criminals. During the time of Henry VIII, over 72,000 people are estimated to have been executed. During the year 1820 in Britain, about 160 crimes were punished by death, including crimes such as shoplifting, petty theft, stealing cattle, or cutting down trees in public place. ( Bedau.

Hugo Adam, 3) Since World War II, the world set off a wave of abolishing the death penalty. According to information published by Amnesty International, 97 countries had abolished capital punishment altogether, 8 had done so for all offences except under special circumstances, and 36 had not used it for at least 10 years or were under a moratorium. The other 57 retained the death penalty in active use. (Amnesty International, 10 June 2008. ) However, death penalty was always not use in heinous crimes. (See Table 1, Bedau.

Hugo Adam, 7) Table 1: Capital crime in the united states, by execution and number of jurisdiction, 1965 Type of offense| number of jurisdiction| Executions carried out between 1930 and 1965| Capitally punishable homicide| 44| Yes| Murder| 40| Yes| Other homicide| 20| Yes| kidnapping| 34| Yes| Treason| 21| No| Rape| 19| Yes| Carnal knowledge| 15| No| Armed robbery| 10| Yes| Perjury in a capital case| 10| No| Bombing| 7| No| Assault by a life-term prisoner| 5| Yes| Burglary| 4| Yes| Arson| 4| No| Train wrecking| 2| No| Train robbery| 2| No| Espionage| 2| Yes| Bank robbery | 2| Yes|

Sabotage| 1| Yes| Desertion in wartime| 1| Yes| Other| 14| No| *source: Bedau 1982:9 From the table, it is clear that some non-homicide crimes still can be sentence to dead, such as assault by a life-term prisoner or bank robbery. On the contrary, other dangerous crimes are not to be used in the death penalty field, such as bombing and arson. In 1972, at the time of Supreme Court’s Furman, the majority of public tends to agree with the death penalty. The major reason for support of the death penalty was the serious violent offenders need to be executed in the interest of public safety.

However, according to a Gallup poll, supporter for the death penalty dropped from 76 to 53, public started to against the death penalty. Since then, the world has the trend toward of abolishing the death penalty. The right to life is the most basic right for human beings. “The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights1 (ICCPR) prohibits the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment to deprived criminal liberty, which is referred to the death penalty. (Mukherjee Amrita, 2) In the past, hanging was the common method of capital punishment.

Other methods including, crucifixion, drowning, beating and burning. Now, even lethal injection is the capital punishment, but prisoners may have experienced torturous pain during their executions. In the United States, New Jersey is the only states that allows public to watch the whole process. In the thirty-six states, “the same three-drug sequence for lethal injections: sodium thiopental to render the condemned inmate unconscious; pancuronium bromide to paralyze the condemned inmate’s voluntary muscles; and potassium chloride to rapidly induce cardiac arrest and cause death. (Fellner, J and Tofte, 23) However, according to Hyman Rights Watch research, this three-sequence puts prisoners at a high risk situation if the drugs does not affect. Yet to change the drugs sequence, government still chooses the old method by follow the policy. Moreover, inmates placed and unusual circumstances (death penalty diminishes the humanity of everyone it touches. ) and death row inmates will cause criminal’s mental illness and mental disabilities. Similarly, the European Convention on Human (ECHR) also claims that “no one shall be subjected to torture or other inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. (Mukherjee Amrita, 5) Moreover, unusual circumstances and mental pressure may lead to innocent people committed made-up crime. Moreover, the state of Michigan was the one of the earliest governments in the world to abolish the death penalty in 1846. But still, there is a hot debate about if law says kill people is a crime, but government still using the death penalty to sentence criminals, it is also seen as a broken law behavior. The death penalty is a serious moral error. The two points approach to the death penalty morality are consequentialist and deontological.

The consequentialist theory believes that the death penalty accord with the human moral principles because it prevent potential murder. Sometimes, the government uses “aggregate welfare” as an excuse to using the death penalty. The welfare is using death penalty to deter potential criminals in order to achieve the purpose for reducing crime. At the same time, no one can guarantee that government follows the “aggregate welfare” rule to using capital punishment. “The government authorizes its agents to inflict capital punishment, but does not authorize private parties to murder; indeed it forbids murder. ” (Sunstein, Cass R. and Adrian Vermeule. 13) This is an obvious moral contradiction between what government allows itself to do and what is disallows its citizens to do. The public regards the government action as a moral standard, the decision government made influences public opinion. On the other hand, the deontologist’s supporters believe that any killing is against moral principle. Life-life tradeoff is the key of the moral issue. This method is best way “to the extent that a refusal to impose capital punishment yields a significant increase in the number of deaths of innocent people” instead of risk-risk tradeoff. Sunstein, Cass R. , and Adrian Vermeule. 6) Authorize private parties to murder; indeed it forbids murder. A survey from Gallup about Values and Beliefs in American moral views of social issues shows that in 2012, only 58 people saying the death penalty is morally acceptable, and this number down from 65% compare with 2011. The dramatic drop shows that along with the society development, more and more people are tends to against death penalty. Another important survey exposes in 2010, this survey is about public opinion of whether put murders in the death penalty or stay in the prison for life.

Less than half (49%) chose the death penalty, while 46% chose life without parole. (gallup. com) not everybody agrees abolished the death penalty, but from the statics, most citizens support to abolish the capital punishment. “For some such consequentialists, killings are, under ordinary, circumstances, a violation of rights, and this point is highly relevant to any judgment, about killings. ” (Sunstein, Cass R. , and Adrian Vermeule. 15) The death penalty is a cruel punishment that should be abolish to accord with public opinion. The death penalty is against the moral principle of Buddhism.

Considering that Buddhist take most of proportion of the world’s population, especially in Asian nations. ( Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. 2) Compare to western religion, such as Christianity, the Buddhism focus on life meaning. The “Four Noble Truths” are the essential principle in Buddhism, first is” all life is characterized by suffering”; second, “ignorance, attachment, and anger cause human suffering”; third, the cause of suffering can be terminated; and the forth one is “suffering can be overcome through the “Noble Eightfold Path. These four rules is the basis of Buddhism morality, which decide what is good or bad. (Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. 4-6). For the death penalty, the death row is obvious unacceptable for the Buddhist. Even death penalty been use to punish criminals, but before the execution, the longtime death row will cause criminals mental illness. In Buddhism principle, all the creatures are have life, and needs to be respect, the memory and imagination makes people different from animals. (Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. ) The Buddhist follows up the rules of do not killing while the government sentence prisoners to death. Buddhism monks avoid to use violence, but in death penalty, even drowning, hanging was exist in the past, but the death row and metal torture still counts as violence. “Buddhist doctrines hold nonviolence and compassion for all life in high regard(Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. 13) Because the death penalty disrespect life value, abolishing is necessary. Since the justice system is not mistake-free, so an error will leads to an innocent person being executed.

Based on Michael J Berwanger article, “Death Is Different: Actual Innocence and Categorical Exclusion Claims under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act,” there are two types of innocence: “one claiming actual innocence of the underlying offense, and the other claiming innocence of the penalty. (Berwanger Michael J Page 3) However, both types of innocent people can be sentenced in death. A study from Columbia University, release by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Professor James Liebman says that “thousands of capital sentences that had been reviewed by courts in 34 states from 1973 to 1995.   There is a clear sign to show that justice system still have many mistakes. No one can guarantee the absolute justice. Moreover, Liebman also mentions that “”An astonishing 82 percent of death row inmates did not deserve to receive the death penalty,”” At last, he concludes that “‘One in twenty death row inmates are later found not guilty. ’” (ACLU. org) From the statics, it is clear there is no way to revise the death penalty mistake. Also, a survey from American Civil Liberties Union shows that until February 2004, 113 inmates had been found innocent and released from death row. ACLU. org) More than half of these have been released in the last 10 years. That means one person has been exonerated for every eight people executed. Yet for others who do not have a chance to release from death row are being executed. There have been over 1,000 people executed since 1976 also innocent. Hence, there is a list from a project of the University of the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law about known exonerations in the United States ? to support that the death penalty must be abolished.

The death penalty is racist and gender bias According to an article “Racial Discrimination in the Administration of the Death Penalty: The Experience of the United States Armed Forces (1984-2005),” the race bias in the death penalty directly impeded justice. As we know, racial discrimination is a historical issue since the 19th century, which year is the blooming period of slave trade. Hundreds of years later, the discrimination between different races still exists. A report released by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2001 mentions that the death penalty possible use as a primary punishment for crime murder a white victim.

The report proves that the race influences the judicial fairness; the race cannot determine the crime. Furthermore, a survey from The U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says “Of the 18 prisoners currently on federal death row, 16 are either African-American, Hispanic or Asian. ” The color of one’s skin determined the severity of the punishment. Ironically, 84% of victims in death penalty cases are white, although only 50% of murder victims are white. (ACLU. org)  It is ridiculous and unacceptable that the color of a defendant has great influence on decision who receiving the death penalty.

Besides that, the death penalty is also associated with gender discrimination. The female victim cases more likely leads defendant to sentence death than the male victim cases. (Marian Williams R, Demuth Stephen and Holcomb Jefferson E. 3) Although the society advocates gender equality, the current justice system clearly violates this principle. Moreover, another debate between female and male is “female homicide victims may be perceived as engaging in less disreputable or contributing conduct associated with their own victimization compared with male victims. ” Marian Williams R, Demuth Stephen and Holcomb Jefferson E. ) Race and gender play significant roles in today’s judicial system instead of laws; it is inevitable that the country abolish the death penalty. The death penalty is a financial burden on the government. Before the defendant is sentenced to death, there are many appears and re-trails. Generally, even the little mistake will raise the outcome. In the article “Minority Practice, Majority’s Burden: The Death Penalty Today”, there is a static to shows that death cases may spend more money than expected, and the figure could be as high as 78%. (Liebman, James S. ; Clarke, Peter.

Page 51 ) Moreover, the death penalty costs a significant more amount of money than keeping criminals life in prison without parole. A research from California says that “California taxpayers pay at least $117 million each year at the post-conviction level seeking execution of people currently on death row, or $175,000 per inmate per year. ” (Minsker Natasha 3) These statics shows how expensive to execute criminals instead of keep them in prison for life. On the other hand, the costs of general prison is $59 million a year, it is much cheap compare with the costs of death penalty.

In addition to that, “everyone involved in a death penalty case must be specially ‘qualified’ as capable and experienced, including the defense attorney, the judge and the jury. ” (Minsker Natasha. 7) Which means the government must spend a large amount of money to hire qualified person to inspect every death penalty cases. In fact, a research from federal system reveals that “prosecution costs were 67 percent higher than defense costs in death penalty cases. The same study found that defense costs in death penalty cases were four times higher than in non-death penalty cases. ” (Minsker Natasha. ) The government should use the higher cost of the death penalty money on other programs of public safety. In the novel All I Can See, there are some literary proof to support that death penalty must be abolished. In brown land, the brown butterfly was sparkly sentenced to death but he was innocence, and the brown land was a death row. When the beautiful fragile butterfly came, and told the brown butterfly the scenery of green land, actually she offers hope, which like reprieve to the brown butterfly, but he refuse to took it because he thought the chance that can be removed from death row is very small. Don’t be silly, flowers can’t be red, all the flowers are blue. I have seen some of my land is green too, but positively flowers can only be blue. ” (Bloom. 10) Similarly, the beautiful butterfly’s strong shadow can be seen as convicted crime, so the fish ask her to come down that she can get a reprieve. “A shadow…and that is not good at all…You must know, little one, it is not good to break the flow, and especially not by creating strong shadow. ” (Bloom. 26) from those two scenarios, it is clear that the capital punishment will threaten innocent people to accept plea bargaining to avoid death.

Moreover, the world of green land is flourishing because there is no death penalty, so the beautiful fragile butterfly has the rainbow color bespeckled wings, and the bee also live in the green land. In the contrast, the brown land is a dead land, just the brown butterfly live there and he does not want to leave this land under death penalty pressure. “Yes, I am from this land, but no, I have not traveled beyond my land, and here I see only me. ” The death penalty caused great mental damages to criminals, and leads decay of the society. From the material shown, it is obvious that the death penalty must be abolished.

The inhuman execution method is a cruel torture that deprives criminals of their basic human rights. There is no way to reverse existing injustices which have led directly to the death of innocent people, and such mistakes prove that the death penalty must be abolished. Moreover, race bias and gender discrimination still exists today. Furthermore, keeping inmates on death row costs a larger amount of money in government finance, so abolishing the death penalty is the most efficient way to help government to unload this financial burden.

In addition to that, from analyzing the book All I Can See, we can clearly see that the pressure the death penalty caused innocent people death by analysis the journey of butterfly cross the ocean. In order to preserve the people’s human rights and maintain the stability of the country, the death penalty must be abolished. Abolishing the death penalty is the only way to ensure justice and control criminal costs. Citation 1. Bedau. Hugo Adam. “The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies. ” Oxford University Press 1997. google book search. June 24 2012.

June 24, 2012 <http:/books. google. com> 2. Mukherjee, Amrita. “The Death Penalty as Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment. ” Criminal justice. Journal of Criminal Law, Dec2004, Vol. 68 Issue 6, p507-519, 13p. The ICCPR as a ‘Living Instrument’: June 24, 2012 <http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=2c86e0ad-589a-4af8-9a4f-2c36005768ce%40sessionmgr112&vid=1&hid=113&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja&AN=15073123 > 3. Fellner, J, and Tofte, S. “So long as they die: Lethal injections in the United States. ” 2006, 65p.

Criminal justice. June 24, 2012 <http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=b718459c-f05c -428e-b284-15f3a0ce6fd7%40sessionmgr115&vid=1&hid=127&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja&AN=CJA0400020001469s > 4. Sunstein, Cass R, and Adrian Vermeule. “Is capital punishment morally required? ” Acts, omissions, and life-life tradeoffs. ” Stanford Law Review Dec. 2005: 703+. Criminal Justice Collection. Web. 10 July 2012 <http://go. galegroup. com. rlib. pace. edu. Orhttp://www. law. uchicago. edu/files/files/239. crs-av. apital-punishment. pdf > 5. Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. “Mercy and Punishment: Buddhism and the Death Penalty. ” Social Justice 28. 1 (2001): 231. Criminal Justice Collection. Web. 10 July 2012. < http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=b1ef5f32-9e10-4cae-b8a9-ab941ce370e8%40sessionmgr112&vid=1&hid=125&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja&AN=5376332 > 6. Berwanger, Michael J. “Death Is Different: Actual Innocence and Categorical Exclusion Claims Under The Antiterrorism And Effective Death Penalty Act.  New England Journal On Criminal ; Civil Confinement 38. 2 (2012): 307-337. Criminal Justice Abstracts. Web. 10 July 2012. ( http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=606d7b0d-5e02-4b278512310e443c2da9%40sessionmgr115;vid=1;hid=127;bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja;AN=77479856) *http://www. law. umich. edu/special/exoneration/Pages/browse. aspx 7. Newell Richard, et al. “Racial Discrimination in The Administration Of The Death Penalty: The Experience Of The United States Armed Forces (1984-2005). “Journal Of Criminal Law ; Criminology 101. (2011): 1227-1335. Criminal Justice Abstracts. Web. 10 July 2012. ( http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=80aef264-f53f-4c62-8534-fd4b54d079f8%40sessionmgr112;vid=1;hid=127;bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja;AN=73365192) 8. Marian Williams R, Demuth Stephen and Holcomb Jefferson E. “Understanding the Influence of Victim Gender in Death Penalty Cases: The Importance of Victim Race, Sex-Related Victimization, and Jury Decision Making. ” Criminology 45. 4 (2007): 865-891. Criminal Justice Abstracts. Web. 10 July 2012.

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Death Penalty

Lethal injection has become the preferred method of execution in the United States since the early 80’s. But is lethal injection a harsh enough penalty for murder? The answer is no, it is not a good enough punishment for someone who has taken the life of another. Lethal injection is a process that allows a convict to be put down quickly and painlessly, but what happened to the older methods? Methods such as hanging, electrocution, and firing squads are not used in a large scale these days. These methods are the kind that makes the offender miserable for the last moments of their life; these are the methods I think that should be used today.

I am going to argue that the life in prison is not enough, the death penalty should be worse than what it is, and public executions have a greater deterrent effect. There are a lot of families that want more justice to the person who killed a family member then life imprisonment and that is just what they should get. For a family who has one of their own taken from them, the grief they feel is unimaginable. They need justice to be served to aid them to deal with their loss; they need the victim’s death to be avenged. Life imprisonment is not enough.

It is not a help to a grieving family to let the offender spend the rest of his days in jail, eating three square meals a day and watching TV. Quite frankly, it is not proper justice on behalf of the victim either. Ancient civilizations would not have thought twice about sentencing a person to death for taking the life of another. Opponents of the death penalty would argue that the death penalty is barbaric and inhuman, but what about the murder of innocent people? Is life in prison the punishment we want people to believe they will receive for murder?

Prisons these days are state of the art, with weight rooms, work programs, televisions, food, and warm beds. Prison is a step up from the conditions that some people live in. Life in prison is more of a gift to some people then a punishment. Some people say that life in prison is worse then death because the offender will have to think about what they did every day for the rest of their life. Just knowing what they did is not good enough. Executions do not happen the minute after they commit a crime, there is enough time for them to think about what they have done while they wait for their life to be ended.

Executing life prisoners will save money in long run. If a criminal committed a murder at 18 and lived to the average life expectancy of an American, taxpayers would have to pay for that convict for at least 50 years. If that same criminal was executed at 19 hundreds of thousands of dollars would be saved on that convict alone. In a system that is overworked and overcrowded it could be just the thing to aid the criminal justice system that it so desperately needs. Needed jail space would be freed up for criminals with lesser offenses who might receive probation and commit other offenses.

The money it would save would enable a lower amount of money to be allotted to prisons that have to house these inmates who could have received death. That money could in turn be used in programs to help deter people at and early age from committing all types of crimes. Some murderers will never feel remorse for what they have done, what will life in prison do for those people? There is an old saying “an eye for an eye” and only with that theory can justice be served. Since ancient times criminals have received the death penalty because the crimes they have committed have damaged people and families forever.

Murderers are not good enough to receive life in prison. They have committed the ultimate crime, taking the life of another. Allowing convicted murderers to receive the mercy of the courts and get life is the wrong message we want to tell the public. To let murders off easy is an insult to the victims, the families, and society as a whole. Lethal injection is too lenient of a death penalty for a harsh crime; criminals sentenced to death should receive harsh penalties like the crimes they committed.

We should punish a murderer more severely then we do today. It is hard for a family to just go watch a prisoner get an injection, after all, the victim most likely received a more violent death then an injection. Justice for murderers should be more violent. Why should they just give them a little injection when they did worse to their victim? The punishment system should be just the same as what the murderer did. For example, if a murderer shot somebody in the arm, and the next day they died, then he or she should be shot in front of their family.

Let them suffer. If he does not die, then shoot him again. The 8th amendment prevents cruel and unusual punishments. The amendment was established in part because Supreme Court justices felt that personal vengeance has no place in the criminal justice system. The fate of a murderer was left to a jury of people that did not know the victim, most likely have never had anyone they love taken from them in cold blood, and do not know what it feels like knowing someone they loved suffered the way the victim did.

I think the amendment should be abolished. Maybe it is time families got a little vengeance. There is no end in sight for murders so why not allow the families of victims to avenge the deaths of their loved ones, and allow them to get the proper justice they seek. The loss of a loved one to a horrible death is unimaginable, and then for the person who took that loved one away from a family to just go to sleep and never wake up again is not enough. “Robert E. Crowe, the Illinois state?s attorney” was a great supporter of the death penalty. I urge capital punishment for murder,” he once exclaimed, “not because I believe that society wishes to take the life of a murderer, but because society does not wish to lose its own” (Kronenwetter)”. In England, many years ago, they used a different kind of death penalty. Instead of using a regular death penalty, they would torture their prisoner until they were dead. In the late middle Ages, European countries executed people for minor offenses; England primarily reserved the death penalty for such relatively serious crimes as murder, treason, rape, arson, and robbery.

However, pick-pockets and other petty thieves were most often executed. Hanging and beheading were the most common executions. This is what the United States should start doing. If we would begin to hang and behead murderers, then their definitely would not be any more crimes committed. In England, the array of crimes punishable by death has increased over the years, until the early nineteenth century more than two hundred different crimes had become capital offenses. The death penalty in the American colonies was a little similar to ours in this day. Treason and murder is what made them give the death penalty.

Certain country’s have different regulations for the death penalty. Murder was the capital crime in the colonies, as was treason or rebellion. In the Massachusetts colony, cursing one’s parents was a capital crime. This information is a great help for our capital punishment system. We need to start following the laws from back then. The little crimes we can do away with, but to hang or behead someone would be a lot more deterrent. In the wake of the American Revolution, the U. S. Constitution gave both the states and the federal government the right to set their own criminal penalties. The very first congress of the United States passed federal laws making death the penalty for rape and murder, and each of the original states made other crimes punishable by death as well (Kronenwetter)”. These executions go a little to far for the crimes they committed back then, but if we use some of those punishments these day’s, then there definitely will not be any crimes. While the United States is seen as barbaric to other countries because most do not have the death penalty, they do not have the murder rates we do. Other countries do not have violent murderers like we do either.

If we can not prevent murders, we can at least use harsher penalties to punish offenders. Penalties like hanging, electrocution, firing squad, and the gas chamber need to be reintroduced. The current punishments would make us believe that people who take another person’s life should receive the same treatment as a sick family pet, a simple injection that brings about a quick, painless death. Is that really justice for a murder victim? If murder victims could have their say they would want murderers to suffer the same pain that they did, but unfortunately they cannot have their say because their lives were savagely cut short.

The only way for victims to receive the justice they deserve is for their assailant should suffer like they did. Executions alone are not enough of a deterrent. Executions that are opened to the public could be just the deterrent we need. The number of murderers committed increases everyday. Why can’t we stop them? This has been a question for as long as time. Putting the injection to them will not stop anything. Think about it, if everyone in the world could watch a murderer get executed, who would want to kill anyone anymore. They would not want to o through what they have seen, so maybe it will change their mind and make them think before they do so. In the old days when there were public executions there were no where near as many murders as there are today. All executions were public in the old days including hangings here in the United States. Public executions were done away with because they were seen as barbaric, but how will people in the world today realize the punishments for killing if they do not know what an execution is like? Just telling people killing is wrong is not enough.

They need a mental image to be able to put with the thought of murder. Public executions are just the thing that would make people learn murder is wrong and it carries with it a harsh penalty. Penalties such as hanging, electrocution, and the firing squad should be used more often. We do not have to go as far as some Arabic countries where people get mutilated until they die, but we do need to make harsher penalties viewable to the masses. The government should show the executions on television, and open the executions up to a public audience.

People would not even have to view the execution to get the effects of it. The media would talk about it enough that the message would be conveyed to everyone. The harsh penalties would be the deterrent they were always meant to be. The death penalty has been in murky water since the early 80’s. Even with the most painless method available used the country as a whole is still seen as barbaric throughout the world. The greatest civilizations in history all used the death penalty and a much harsher penalties then used today.

From the Egyptians to the Romans, and the Middle Ages until today the death penalty has always been used. While it has always been used, no civilization has ever used a painless method as such as we use today. That is why there were not murderers like there are today. Every one knew the punishment for murder was a painful and severe death. Now murderers can receive life imprisonment instead of the death penalty allowing them to spend the rest days behind bars watching TV. Harsher death penalties would help relieve the grief victims families will feel after the loss of their loved ones.

Death is the only right way to avenge the death of any victim that they can not get any other way. Death penalties have never been a great deterrent but they have been even less of a deterrent since they have been made less painful and private. Only a modified harsher death penalty can help severe crimes to been seen as morally wrong to the public as a whole. Robert Crowe said, “It is the finality of the death penalty which instills fear in the heart of every murderer, and it is this fear of punishment which protects society (Kronenwetter)”. ________________

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Masque of the Red Death

While Most are familiar with the gruesome nature of Poe’s classic short story horror yarn “Masque of the Red Death,” most have a tendency to fixate on the action of the story and the grim proceedings that occur and do not carefully examine the role that nature plays in the short story and how the short story presents a cautionary morality tale warning people that no matter how they try, they can never escape the wrath of the natural world when it decides to wreck havoc.

Poe and his contemporary authors of the 19th century presented a recurring theme in their work. This theme centers on the notion that society is inherently corrupt and that finding oneness with nature is a preferred choice. Of course, this does not mean that it was suggested that people abandon their homes in urban areas and head out to live in the forest, but it was a call to look skeptically towards the structure that society provides to them as it is not as flawless as they assume. This is seen in symbolic terms in the “Masque of the Red Death” and the environment in which the masque actually occurs.

In the short story, Prince Prospero and his cronies lock themselves up in Prospero’s mansion so as to hide from the ravages of the Red Death that has destroyed much of the population. In order to entertain themselves and hide their paranoia of death, they turn the event into a grand masque. In a way, this is a strange attempt at distract and distance themselves from the ravages of the world outside.

Eventually, Prince Prospero notices a hooded individual who has snuck into Prospero’s home. (He is noticeable in the manner that his masque guise stands greatly out) When confronted, the stranger reveals himself to be the human embodiment of the Red Death and Prospero and his minions are doomed to succumb to the same fate as the common people they had mocked.

There is great symbolism in this tale as Prospero represents the privileged upper class and the masque that he promotes within a sequestered location represents the great cities that have seemingly insulated themselves from the ravages of nature. The use of the masques can even hint that the people are hiding their true nature of paranoia and fear of what lies beyond the wall of the castle. The insolence of Prospero and his minions is seen in the following excerpt:

But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince’s own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts.

In this situation, it appears that Prospero holds a bizarre arrogance that if he re-enforces his castle, then he can keep out the brutality of the Red Death. This is a small scale version of the use of society and urbanized areas to control, curb and detain the natural world. Of course, there are limits to society’s value in this regard as nature wields force that can easily overwhelm any city.

The Red Death, while a disease, is a being of natural selection. Pestilence has one primary purpose: to thin the heard when the population of the heard grows to a dangerous extreme. When nature has decided on its course of action, often, it is unidirectional in its approach and next to impossible to deter.

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revelers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

In other words, nature, taking the form of pestilence, will not be stopped nor will it be denied its primary purpose. To this end, Prospero is doomed as will anyone who believes they can curb or dominate or escape nature.

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Reflection on Chronicles of a Death Foretold

Reflection The cultural and historical context of Marquez life played an important role in his novel Chronicles of a Death Foretold. In the 16th century, Spain colonized many parts of South America and replaced the native religion with Catholicism. While the indigenous cultural practices celebrated openness about sexuality the orthodox Catholic ideals of chastity and purity that penetrated into the local tradition during colonization.

The archaic perception of honour was founded on the grounds of the Catholic ideals and it promoted gender inequality and organized crime cultures promoted violence. Marquez offers a critique of the religious system when he describes the arrival of the Bishop who is representative of the power of the Church. In preparation of the Bishop’s arrival the town prepared many cocks which are rather a physical offering to the Church rather than a spiritual offering.

The state’s inability to act upon the Vicario’s brother’s action is a Marquez’s critique of the decadence of the Old Christian value system. Father Amador does not condemn the Vicario brothers for their actions but instead he says that they are forgiven on the bases of acting to avenge their sister’s honour. The mayor is also unable to take action and he simply takes away their knives. We also explored the influence of Marquez’s life on his style of writing.

The influence of Marquez’s grandmother on his style of “realism” was also explored. Marquez’s grandmother’s way of telling unlikely stories as if they were facts influenced his style in Chronicles of a Death Foretold. The murder of Santiago Nasar remains a complete mystery until the end of the novel and the episodes that unfold in the story seem extremely unlikely however; the death was accepted by the reader because of factual tone in which it was told. Word Count: 298 Dissociating the allusion elements from their referents

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Analysis of Biff in Death of a Salesman

Camilla Tanzi Year 12 An analysis of the character of Biff. Biff Loman is portrayed as the root of Willy’s mental illness and instability. He is also the only member of his family who acknowledges his own failures in life. On the whole, Biff Loman stands out as the most intriguing and strong character in “Death of a Salesman. He is not a successful man and never will be, he is however able to admit this, even in a harsh society as the one of the 1960s America. Biff knows he is a “nothing” and tries to make his father see that he is “no good.

I am a dime a dozen, Pop, and so are you. ” He begs for Willy to communicate with him and accept him for who he is. Although Willy is forced by Biff to see some of his own failures, he never accepts that Biff will turn out the same way. At the end of the play, Biff seems to have developed a strength of his own; he has faced and accepted the truth about himself and his father. Now that he acknowledges his problems, there is a hope that he will be able to reach his potential. If “Death of a Salesman” offers any hope, it is only through the character of Biff.

Also read: Expressionism in Death of a Salesman

Miller implies there is a chance that he will one day be able to live a normal life, away from the shadow of Willy Loman. Biff stimulates reactions out of his father’s lunacy and is portrayed as the main cause of Willy’s problems. We understand that Willy has been a bad influence on his son and in spite of this; he has big ambitions for Biff and does not want to admit that he will never reach the goals he wishes for him. Being Willy’s oldest son, Biff seems to be the perfect child to his father.

However, as the play develops and especially when it shifts from Willy’s dreams to the reality, we see a change in his attitude towards his son. When Biff was the star rugby player, the only thing that mattered to Willy was his success in the sport. As a matter of fact, when Bernard informs Willy and Biff about the possibility of him being “flunked in math”, Willy’s reply is stiff and arrogant: “Don’t be a pest, Bernard! (To his boys) What an anaemic! ” The use of the word “anaemic” is a perfect example to show what the man’s morals are; he considers Bernard a teenager who lacks vitality, boring.

The author could possibly be implying that Willy is actually envious of Bernard and even though he doesn’t want to admit it, his is just jealousy when he shows aversion towards him. Willy has different ambitions for his sons’ futures than most people had for theirs at the time; he believes that sport will be enough to help Biff succeed in the business world, make him rich and notorious; “That’s just what I mean, Bernard can get the best marks in school, y’understand, but when he gets out in the business world, y’understand, you’re going to be five times ahead of him. Arthur Miller provides us with a lot of evidence that Willy has been a bad influence on Biff. While Biff is in some ways desperate to impress his father, he is also conscious about the fact that Willy has failed his attempt to be successful in his career. He considers his dad’s dreams materialistic and unreachable. As a matter of fact, in the Requiem, even after his father’s death, Biff says: “He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong. ” Unlike Happy and Willy, Biff is self-aware and values facts; Willy never was a successful salesman and he never wanted to face the truth.

On the other hand, Biff is conscious about his failures and the weaknesses of his personality. During an argument with his father, Biff admits that his dad made him “so arrogant as a boy” that now he just can’t handle taking orders from a boss. I think this is what truly differentiates Biff from the rest of his family; he is honest and sincere about himself and would rather work on a ranch than try to be successful in a work field that he knows will never accept him. Biff is also the only character that acts as a reminder that the American Dream is not an every man’s dream.

Bernard has become a successful lawyer as his father Charley, Willy and Happy try to pretend they have too, but Biff is the only one who surrenders to his destiny. Rather than seeking success and money, he wants a basic life working on ranches. He does not try to push into the crowd of people aiming for a good job and a wealthy life-style, but instead wants to be seen for who he truly is: “Happy: The only thing is- what can you make out there? Biff: But look at your friend. Builds an estate and then doesn’t have the peace of mind to live in it. In a way, Miller is trying to tell us that Americans are made victims of the country’s success. “Death of a Salesman” seems to argue that America as a whole does not value people who look for simple pleasures such as working in the countryside, and the American Dream pushes people to only aim for jobs in the industry. It is ironic how Bernard turns out to succeed as a successful and well-known lawyer. It is ironic because during high school Willy used to mock him for studying hard and always praised Biff for not studying at all.

Bernard is presented as a weak and shy character and Miller wants us to believe that Biff will turn out to be successful rather than him and not the contrary. However, things turned out differently to how both Willy and Biff expected them to. Bernard’s success irritates Willy because his own sons’ lives do not measure up to Bernard’s: “(after a pause): I’m- I’m overjoyed to see how you made the grade Bernard, overjoyed. It’s an encouraging thing to see a young man really-really- Looks very good for Biff- very (He breaks off, then) Bernard- (He is so full of emotion, he breaks off again). Once again, Biff is the cause of his father’s despair; he does not want to pursue Willy’s dreams, he wants something other than material things from life, and this destroys the man. Biff has learnt from his father that to be “well-liked” and attractive are the most important ingredients for success. Up to now, I have only analysed the differences between Biff and Willy, however, it is also very important to highlight the few similarities between the two characters. When he was a teenage boy, Willy’s authority on Biff was evident.

We find that when the three Loman men are talking about Bernard, Biff echoes small bits of his father’s view on life when he says that his friend is “liked but not well-liked”. This implies that Biff once used to have respect towards Willy; he admired his strong personality and approved his view on the business world. Biff Loman is aware that he will not succeed as a salesman or any other job without his maths degree. On the other hand, his father is convinced he will and does not what to face the reality of facts. However, towards the end of the play we see a change in both the men’s attitudes.

As a matter of fact, they have switched opinions; “Biff: (horrified, gets down on one knee before Willy): Dad, I’ll make good, I’ll make good. (Willy tries to get to his feet. Biff holds him down. ) Sit down now. Willy: No, you’re no good, you’re no good for anything. ” Biff is now desperate and is obviously worried for his father’s mental health and tries to encourage him to be positive in any way he can- even if this involves lying to himself about his potential. As I previously mentioned in my introduction, Biff seems to be the only character that offers any hope whatsoever in “Death of a Salesman”.

At the beginning of the play, he tells the audience about his dreams of living in the south: “What the hell am I doing, playing around with horses, twenty-eight dollars a week! I’m thirty-four years old, I oughta be makin’ my future. That’s when I coming running home. And now, I get here, and I don’t know what to do with myself. ” This clearly shows that biff aspires to better things, but does not know what to do in an industrial city as New York. He wants to succeed and build a future, but at the same time he enjoys the pleasures of living in the countryside and not having any stress.

Here is where we understand that Biff is fundamentally lazy. He would like to have a nice and wealthy life, but he just does not have the strength or the motivation to work for it. On the whole, through the illusions that Willy believes, he cannot see Biff as a “nobody” and cannot accept that he won’t be successful as he hopes. Eventually, Biff finally sees the truth and realises that he is “no great leader of men”. He also comprehends the delusions that Willy lived on. Biff is destined to no greatness, but he no longer has to struggle to understand what he wants to do with his life; “I know who I am, kid. ”

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Pros and Cons of Death Penalty

Death Penalties The death penalty is a controversy discussed by many state governments in the United States, the 8th amendment in the Bill of Rights is a right that protects people from cruel and unusual punishment. This amendment originally created by our founding fathers has been the main reason for this debate; some states look at death as cruel and unusual punishment while others don’t. Though the decision to sentence someone to death is considered harsh by some judges and juries, there have been crimes and occurrences where a judge feels a death penalty is reasonable.

I am against the death penalty, with my knowledge of its pros and cons it seems that the pros are over powered by the cons. Criminals who are facing life in prison, crimes of rape, torture, treason, kidnapping, murder, larceny, and perjury. People like these who can never handle themselves in the normal world; constantly being resent back to prison, or permanently in prison from their beginning sentencing. Although these people pay their own consequences and debts by their punishment, we must also help support them; with our taxes we pay for their living.

However it may sound that we invest more money paying for their stay in prison rather than their death. In reality, the process of a death penalty is more expensive and complex than life without parole. This is so because we must pay for their incarceration, automatic appeals, and federal habeas corpus appeals. This process ends up costing us millions more, millions more that can be used to create programs for teenagers to avoid ending up in the same position.

People also believe that the death penalty could decrease criminal acts because it could frighten people from committing something extreme, which is also incorrect. In my perspective the death penalty does not reach the minds of most criminals because a criminal rarely believes he/she could be caught. They hold a belief that they are intelligent enough to outsmart authorities. There is other whom holds such anger towards certain crimes that they believe death is a rightful punishment, but death does not “undo” a crime they have committed. I think it would be better for a criminal to think and reminisce their conscious.

Their death would only put peace in their state of mind and except them from the punishments that prison holds for them. Families harmed by these criminals are sometimes frightened by the thought that they’re persecutor could escape and harm them again, however someone sentenced to life in parole in the united states has never escaped or been released. There is also a possibility that an innocent person could be convicted of a crime they did not commit, even with all our new technology and DNA testing there is always a chance of making a mistake.

Though there are also pros to the death penalty, my opinion is that it should not be allowed. I say this because it is more costly than life in prison being the process is more complex and long. It does not secure the deficiency of crime acts because of criminal’s confidence that they will not be revealed. Persecuted families are just as secure due to our highly restricted and watched prisons. There is also always a possibility we convict the wrong person, these reason lead me to be against the death penalty.

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Informative Speech on Funerals

Death, sounds scary right? But, have you ever thought in something else besides the moment itself? Have you thought about what your body is going to be done with? Oh sure, a regular funeral or a cremation may come right away to your head. But, let’s stop at regular for a moment. What is actually a regular funeral? Is it really putting your body in a coffin and burying it in a graveyard? What would you think if I tell you that you can have a Coca-cola coffin, a fish or a car coffin? What would you think if I tell you that your relatives can keep your skull as some sort of souvenir? What would you think if I tell you that you can even be buried in the sky? You would probably think I’m crazy or something, but I’m not. This is actually the way in which some people from Ghana, Austria and China carry on their funerals.

For the Ga tribe, funerals are a time of mourning, but also of celebration. They believe that when their loved ones die, they move on into another life and they make sure they do so in style. They honor their dead with brightly colored coffins that celebrate the way they lived. These coffins are designed to represent an aspect of the dead person’s life, such as a car if they were a driver, a fish if their livelihood was the sea or a sewing machine for a seamstress. They might also symbolize a vice, such as a bottle of beer or a cigarette.

Now, let’s travel to Europe. Hallstatt. It’s between a mountain and lake, so therefore has very limited burial space. To solve this problem they would allow for the remains of their dead to lie in the cemetery for 12 years only. When the time was up the bones would be exhumed and moved to a charnel, but the skull would be kept. It would be tastefully decorated with the name of the deceased, a cross and plants. It would then be displayed in a chapel. Although cremation has now been allowed in the village this custom still takes place.

So, what about being buried in the sky? We’ll have to go all the way to the southwest of china. The Tibet. For Tibetans the most common and regular funerals are the Sky Burials, which consists of cutting a person’s body in “strategic” places (euphemism for “likely to attract wildlife”) and placing the loved one on top of a mountain or temple. Then just wait for the magic to happen! The magic being that the vultures will then pick apart the flesh until what’s left is a pile of bones, which are either mashed into a bird feed pulp.

This type of funeral is considered to be environmental friendly, because it doesn’t involve any wood burning or waiting years until the body is turned into organin matter. It’s the most effective way of getting rid of human bodies.

Tibetans call the practice jhator, which means giving arms to the birds. And also legs, torsos and heads as well. So, if you want to have a classy funeral with a fancy coffin that represents your lifestyle you’d like it to happen in Ghana, but if you’re looking for a strange, creepy, sadististic, and environmental caring funeral your best choices may be Hallstatt, in Austria, or the Tibet, in China. What are regular funerals for you now?

Free Essays

Death Advantages vs Disadvantages

Death can be taken as an advantage or disadvantage, a blessing or a curse. It is an advantage or blessing as one is aware of his approaching death and can prepare himself for it. It is a disadvantage or a curse as since one is aware of approaching death, he realizes that human existence is pointless, which makes him unhappy, anxious and anguished. Among other things, Don DeLillo seems completely preoccupied with death and the difficult task of living with the knowledge of death in his novel White Noise.

Rather than discuss the unavoidable mortality that connects all humankind with broad, generalized strokes, DeLillo is concerned with the particular late 20th century cultural and psychological mechanisms that attempt to define the unclear relationship between self and death. Perhaps, the character most responsive to death is Jack Gladney. Jack is so consumed by his fear of death that his ordinary thought processes are often interrupted by the question: “Who will die first” (DeLillo 15)? In Jack’s mind: “This question comes up from time to time, like where are the car keys” (DeLillo 15).

Jack finds the aura of death to be very noticeable and real, and he relies on his consumer lifestyle as an escape from his fear of death. DeLillo uses Hitler to as a major component of his theme, death. Hitler has lived on past his death through the media. He lives because the Holocaust is probably the most tragic event in the history of the earth. In the novel Jack is obsessed with Hitler’s ability to live forever, Hitler’s power, Hitler’s self confidence, and the aura that surrounded Hitler and still surrounds Hitler. Jack is the total opposite of Hitler in the novel.

He is terrified of death, has no power over anything in his life, and has zero self confidence. Jack has no way to capture these things, but through Hitler. Jack is a character with a major identity problem; Jack has no idea about who he is. No matter if a person is rich or poor, smart or foolish; he/she will sooner or later leave this world because of death. As no one can experience death until he/she dies, everyone fears it at some stage. For the most part, man fears death because he does not understand what death is, how it feels and if it is really the end of thought.

On top of that, death is a stage of life, it does not mean the end of life – there may be a place where everyone goes when they are dead just as people go from teenagers to adulthood. Simply denying this fact is not the right route to take. DeLillo, through this novel, is trying to send a message to his readers that facing death is the best solution to its fear. Death is something beyond our control and so it is not a thing that we should worry that much about. Taking medication, and of course, killing others will not prevent death.

Thinking and being afraid of death is an ordinary thing for a man to ponder about but too much can lead to more negatives than positives. Furthermore, taking a step to an unknown world can be extremely challenging for man. That is why they fear death so much. Fear of death does not prolong anyone’s life; in fact, it may shorten someone’s life. In the end, man must face death for all men are mortal. Babette, wife of Jack, is also a prime example of a person in life that suffers from her frequent fear of death.

Both Jack and Babette fear death very much but their denial of this is very visible in chapter 20 when they had a long discussion in their bed. Both of them had informed the other that if it is their choice that they want to die first as if they are not afraid of death at all. “[Babette] says she wants to die first because she would feel unbearably lonely and sad without [Jack], especially if the children were grown and living elsewhere” (pg. 100). Jack also tells her more or less the same thing and they would argue whose death leaves a bigger hole in the other’s life.

By saying this, both of them want hope that they will at least seem to have no fear of death and thus can try to believe in it and avoid the fear. Unfortunately, this has not worked at all. Both of them have never felt less frightened from death even when they pretend they didn’t. Babette says, “I do want to die first,…. But that doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. I’m terribly afraid. I’m afraid all the time” (pg. 198). Her fear of death is further demonstrated when Babette by chance discovers an article about fear of death and she decides to go to the firm. Jack’s reaction to Babette’s fear seems misplaced.

He is more upset that she could possibly be more afraid of death than him than he seemed to be about her sleeping with Mr. Gray. He goes on trying to tell Babette that maybe she isn’t sure that she is afraid of death, “death is so vague. ” He tries to tell her that it might be her weight or height that is her problem. He cannot accept that she is scared of death. Much of this could stem that he depends on Babette mostly for psychological support. The major theme of the novel is that death lurks everywhere, especially in the White Noise of the modern world, specifically in the waves and radiation with which we surround ourselves.

The airborne toxic event makes visible this submerged death, and also heightens Jack’s already dominating fear of death when it infects his bloodstream. DeLillo outlines several possible solutions to humanity’s natural fear of death: by embracing and confronting it, as Tibetans and other Eastern religions advise; by blocking fear through “mystical”; science, as Babette attempts through the drug Dylar; by using consumerism to deny it; and by ignoring it, although only Wilder seems able to do this, whereas in the hands of adults it becomes a weakened form of cruelty.

We try to face death through crowds, through safety in numbers, but we must ultimately face death alone. Even to the end of the novel not much about the role of death in the eyes of Jack and Babette changes. The book ends when Wilder is crossing the road on his tricycle and cars are honking and swerving to not to hit the little boy while he is in a state of oblivion, he doesn’t hear the cars, and he doesn’t hear the women yelling at him to stop that’s all just White Noise to him.

Suddenly he falls into a puddle off of his tricycle and begins to cry and he realizes that he brushed death for the first time. Throughout the story Wilder represented a kind of innocence not found in any character. He was the only one who was not concerned with death or dying, he didn’t even understand the concept of death. But soon his innocence fades away, and he becomes and starts thinking like everyone else surrounding him.

Free Essays

Christ in His Suffering and Death

The death of Christ on the cross gives the meaning to all the undertakings of God.  In His sacrificial death Christ revealed the holiness, righteousness and love of God, and His infinite wisdom. Disputing the actual death of Christ and His resurrection is destructive for Christian faith. Many biblical passages predict the death of Christ and state or assume His actual death.

Definition of Terms

Atonement       Guilt                Penalty           Reconciliation     Righteousness       Substitution

Expiation          Justice             Propitiation     Redemption        Sanctification

Forgiveness      Justification     Ransom           Remission          Satisfaction

Theories of the Atonement

There are principal theories of atonement, which arise from the disputes around the meaning of the death of Christ.

1.      Substitutional Atonement.

2.      Payment-to-Satan Theory.

3.      Recapitulation Theory.

4.      Commercial or Satisfaction Theory.

5.       Moral Influence Theory.

6.       Theory of Thomas Aquinas.

7.      Theory of Duns Scotus.

8.       Example Theory.

9.      Mystical Experience Theory.

10.  Governmental Theory of Grotius.

11.  Theory of Vicarious Confession.

Although the upper theories have some aspects that can be recognized as having merit, the true concept of the death of Christ may be understood from the biblical passages that reveal the doctrines of redemption, reconciliation and propitiation, and the death of Christ thus is the substitutional or penal concept of the atonement.

The doctrine of Redemption is an important aspect of the work of God in salvation accomplished by the death of Christ. The doctrine of redemption in Christ can be erected from the study of three words: agoraz?, lutro?, and peripoie?. Agoraz? (exagoraz?) is the basic word for redemption in the scripture and expresses the idea of purchasing Christians by Christ, and His death was the praise paid. Peripoie? means to save or to preserve one’s self, and lutro? has the meaning to rescue by paying a ransom. The study of redemption through Christ in the New Testament discloses clearly that the death of Christ was the praise He paid to God and thus purchased the sinner from the bondage of sin.

The doctrine of Propitiation represents the idea that the death of Christ fully satisfied the demands of a righteous God in respect to judgment upon the sinner. The word is mentioned in both Testaments. Propitiation had a substitutional character and three important results.

The doctrine of Reconciliation as one of the most important in theology is being discussed wildly and has four basic interpretations. Several biblical passages reveal that reconciliation effects the change in man which reconciles him to God: II Corinthians 5:17-21, Romans 5:6-11, Ephesians 2:16, Colossians 1:20-22. Reconciliation is provided to all men, but applied only to the elect when they believe. Those who reject the love and grace in Christ are still judged according to their work. Reconciliation is applied to the whole Universe. The work of reconciliation extends to the work of God on the behalf of the believer.

Christ in His Resurrection

The doctrine is essential for the whole Christian faith and theology. The resurrection of Christ is the first step in the series of the exaltation of Christ and His ministry as our Intercessor.

Evidences for the resurrection of Christ are abundant. The Scriptures fully describe the appearances of Christ after resurrection to many people under different circumstances; therefore resurrection is a well-documented historical event. Between the evidences for the resurrection of Christ are the following.

1.      The empty tomb.

2.      The character of the human witnesses to the resurrection.

3.      The dramatic change in the disciples after the resurrection.

4.      The disciple’s experience of the divine power in the postresurrection period.

5.      The events of the day of Pentecost.

6.      The evidence in the custom of observing the first day of the week.

The Origin of Christian Church

The foundation of the Christian church in the first century, its convincing power and dynamic stemmed from the belief in the resurrection of Christ. The Scriptures evidences the resurrection of the body of Christ, not only His resurrection in spiritual sense. His resurrection body was the same, though changed a little, that the one in the tomb and Scriptures evidence this fact.

Who Raised Christ from Dead?

The resurrection of Christ is the work of triune God. The significance of the resurrection of Christ is underestimated in all branches of systematic theology. The major facets of the significance of the resurrection of Christ are:

1.      Proof of His person and His offices (Prophet, Priest, and King).

2.      Key to all of His present work.

3.      Consummation of the divine plan in the prophetic future.

1. The article “The nature of the atonement: how should one view the cross?” by Steve Sullivan emphasises the importance of understanding the doctrine of atonement and pays particular attention to the Payment-to-Satan and Recapitulation theories of atonement. According to classical views presented by Walvoord in “Jesus”, Payment-to-Satan theory is one of the earliest in the church and it is not held in modern times. This theory implies that Christ was paid to Satan as the ransom for sinner. Recapitulation Theory is based on the idea that Christ recapitulates all the phases of human life including being made sin in His death on the cross.

Sullivan combines these theories, presents the short historical intercourse into each, and then upholds the point of view that merging some of these views one can capture the Word of Faith Movement (WFM) leaders’ view of Christ’s death. The WFM teachers assert that ‘Jesus took upon himself a satanic nature, died physically on the cross, suffered spiritual death in hell for us, and then was reborn (or born again) in hell and rose from the grave’. Therefore, when the believer is born again he becomes like Christ. Even from the short overview of the WFM ideas about one of the existing doctrines we can see how deep the interpretations of Bible can differ.

I would recommend this article as it presents the view on the death and atonement of Christ and lets the reader to compare traditional catholic teaching with one of modern Christian branch’s views. This article is a good source for critical thinking evaluating.

2. The article “The Reality of Resurrection” by Darrell Young is focused on historical proofs of Christ resurrection. The resurrection of Christ is recognized equitable to be the most powerful event in all history. Further, the author cites numerous passages from the New and Old Testament concerning the prophecy of resurrection, its vital importance for the Christian faith, and its significance in the context of the Second Coming. I would recommend this article as a rich source of historical approach to resurrection and to some questions related to the doctrine of resurrection, such as resurrection of believers during the Second Coming, the resurrected bodies of believers, the time of resurrection and others.
The Bibliography

Sullivan, Steve. The Nature of the Atonement: How should One View the Cross? – Part–I [on-line]. Ankerberg Theological Research Institute; available from; Internet; accessed 9 November 2005






Free Essays

Life or Death

The death penalty is the center of a highly publicized controversy. The sentencing of the 18-year-old American Michael Fay to a caning in Singapore and Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun’s unequivocal public renunciation of capital punishment have intensified current debate over punishment in general and capital punishment in particular—the topic of this essay.

The Fay controversy and the Blackmun declaration raise deep questions about how to get “the punishment to fit the crime” (Bedau 67). This is a difficult issue. Why do, or should, we seek the death of some criminals? How might we define death punishment, the justification of which is being debated here? The argument of this paper is that punishment must involve unpleasant consequences for the one being punished of capital crimes – death.

The myth persists that by sanctioning “an eye for an eye” the Bible is calling for the death sentence. Take a careful look. The same Mosaic laws (to be found principally in Exodus XXI and Deuteronomy XIX) that are all too commonly assumed to condone capital punishment also call for death. The Hebrew text, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” was meant to prohibit mass killings (Bedau 240).

Is it justifiable for an authorized representative of society to inflict death on those found guilty of committing capital crimes? On the issue of capital punishment, there is as clear a clash of moral intuitions. Justice requires payment in kind and thus that murderers should die. Surely, the most convincing argument for the death penalty is that it protects innocent people by stopping convicted murderers from committing murder again.

The death penalty is marginally necessary to deter crimes better than less severe penalties. More significant results come from the capital punishment’s restraining effect on the much larger population where can be future killers—what criminologists name as general deterrence. Testimony for death penalty’s general deterrent effect is found in three sources: logic, firsthand reports, and social science research.

Logic presents the conclusion that the capital punishment is the most effective deterrent for some kinds of killers. As Professor James Q. Wilson has said: “People are governed in their daily lives by rewards and penalties of every sort. We shop for bargain prices, praise our children for good behavior and scold them for bad, expect lower interest rates to stimulate home building and fear that higher ones will depress it, and conduct ourselves in public in ways that lead our friends and neighbors to form good opinions of us.

To assert that ‘deterrence doesn’t work’ is tantamount to either denying the plainest facts of everyday life or claiming that would-be criminals are utterly different from the rest of us” (Bedau 189). Many murderers on death row declare that they did not think of the death penalty when they killed people. This is surely true. That is exactly the point. If they had thought of future death penalty, they would not have committed their horrible murders.

The death penalty for the murderers makes a number of assumptions about the relationship between death punishment and the well being of those who suffered loss as a result of the crime. It is assumed that there is a “zerosum” relationship between the welfare of the victim’s relative and that of the offender: the greater the suffering to be inflicted on the offender, the better the victim’s loved ones should feel (Bedau 231).

Perhaps a linkage of the selected penalty to the feelings of satisfaction of the victim’s relatives becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, with the relatives feeling rewarded by the jury’s choice of death penalty. The death penalty serves to release tensions in people, that it makes them feel that justice is being done.

However, the imposition of the death penalty must be constitutional which imposes a dual procedure for the death penalty: first, conviction beyond a reasonable doubt for the act(s); and second, a separate sentencing hearing in which evidence relevant to personal culpability is admissible. The court, prior to imposition of the death penalty, have to find the existence of certain aggravating factors and the absence of relevant mitigating factors (for example, age, psychiatric history, family background, and the like); the death penalty judgment, in turn, is subject to appellate review as its fairness and the absence of invidious factors.

Works Cited

Bedau, Hugo Adam. Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Best Case. Oxford University Press: New York. Publication Year: 2004.


Free Essays

Attitudes Towards Death in “The Lottery” and Death Knocks

Attitudes Towards Death in “The Lottery” and Death Knocks “The Lottery” and Death Knocks are two stories that mainly deal with death. “The Lottery” is about a small town that holds a lottery every year where the winner of the lottery is stoned to death by the rest of the town. In Death Knocks, death visits a man named Nat and tells him it is hit time to go. Nat plays death in a game of gin rummy where he wins so death has to give him another day to live.

The attitudes towards death in these two stories are mainly quite different, however there are a few things that are similar. Death Knocks has a more realistic view of death because in “The Lottery” the towns people act as if being picked to die for no reason is not a big deal. Death Knocks and “The Lottery” have very different attitudes towards death. In Death Knocks, when Nat is told that he is going to die he says that he is not ready. Nat implies that he is not ready to die.

In “The Lottery” the whole town acts as though being chosen to die is just another part of their everyday lives. The townspeople act as if the lottery is not a big deal. They all talk to each other and act calmly, then when the winner is picked they carry on with the stoning without hesitating. In Death Knocks Nat states that he has a wife and he wants to talk to her. In “The Lottery” Bill Hutchinson does not hesitate at all to point out that his wife is the one that won the lottery. This shows that the attitude towards death of spouses is completely different.

In Death Knocks Nat cares about his spouse but in “The Lottery” Bill Hutchinson acts as if his wife dying is no big deal. There aren’t very many similarities in these two stories but if looked at closely one small similarity can be found. When Nat is told he is going to die he says he is not ready. In “The Lottery” it seems as though everyone is okay with dying. However when it comes down to it and Mrs. Hutchinson is about to be stoned she says “it isn’t fair”. This shows that deep down she really does want to live.

Just like Nat in Death Knocks. Both “The Lottery” and Death Knocks have very different attitudes towards death but Death Knocks is a more realistic attitude. In “The Lottery” the town deals with death almost as if it is a game. For no reason someone is picked to be killed. In Death Knocks Nat does not want to die, right from the very beginning of the story. In today’s society there is no way that people being killed for no reason would ever be tolerated or accepted. This is why Death Knocks has a more realistic attitude towards death.

Free Essays

The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller – Linda

Ms. Woods ENG 252 Sec 400 October 29, 2012 Linda – A Pillar of Strength and Balance In the Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller My question for discussion is what I think of Linda, the wife of Willie Lohman in the play “The Death of a Salesman”. This is my response. I feel that Linda is the strongest character in the play. Everyone around her has major issues, her sons and her husband. Even in the reflections of the past her brother-in-law had his issues – greed being one of them. She represents stability, goodness and balance in this story.

She can be looked at as the foundation of this family, like most strong women. This story takes place in the 1940’s when the environment or way of living was the woman stayed home and tended to the family and the husband was the provider. And we also have a male dominated, sort of male chauvinist society at that time. So being that the man was the provider, a man had a sense of being the King of his home. Because of this general idea, it reduced the importance or view of women and their roles. Meaning a woman’s role was less than important because the man was King.

Therefore, we see the questionable, forceful and harsh tones that Willie uses sometimes when speaking to Linda which can be interpreted or misinterpreted in different ways. And when this happens we see Linda back down or just close her mouth. But it also should be noted that Willie is losing everything around him, at home he feels that is the only place he can control what is going on. Then we see Willie’s dementia coming to a serious level of illness. This is not mentioned in the story but we see something wrong with Willie’s mental state.

By the evidence given in the story, we can conclude many things – guilt, dementia, pressure and stress or just getting old and not wanting to face it. We are not given a reason for this deteriation. But it is evident by the reflections Willie has and how he is stuck in the past and/or stuck in a fantasy that something very deep is going on. This story is very male dominated with the symbolic theme of women are just extra’s. We hear this thru Willy Jr and Biff. They don’t seem to respect women either. Thru out the story no one seems to listen to her, her sons and neither Willie her husband.

Linda is a faithful wife, playing her role. She stands and supports her husband. You never hear her say a bad word about her husband other than him being sick. She knows what’s wrong but I don’t think she knows how to handle it. At a time when medically no one really knew about mental illness, I think she viewed it as stress driven. Willis has been reduced at his job, he doesn’t want to face he’s getting old and his sons not being productive are just a few issues that contribute to the unrest in this household.

She tries to explain to her sons what is going on but the fact that Willie probably was traveling salesmen for a long time and has been away so much that he has no real relationship with his son’s. Therefore they feel no pity for him, especially Willy Jr. who lost faith in his father a long time ago. So part of them being worthless and non productive can be contributed to not having their father around while they were growing up. So they do not have any attachment to him or what is going on with him nor does Willie Jr. care because of what he discovered when his father was having an affair.

They only have attachment to their mother, Linda. She loves her boys regardless and her husband but she feels her duty first is to her husband. We also conclude that Linda does not know about the affair Willie had nor does she know that Willy Jr. knew about it. All she knows is the relationship between big Willie and junior Willy has been severely altered. Clinging to the suspicion that Willie (husband) is suffering from mental deterioration she wants to do whatever it takes to let him just grow old gracefully and peacefully, even if it means turning her back on her children.

This is not to be taken as rejection or meanness because they are grown and are not contributing anything positive to the situation or conditions that are evolving. That is evident when they leave Willie in the bathroom at the restaurant and he suffers a severe breakdown and they don’t even come back to check on him. I feel that when she unloaded on her sons and voiced all the truths that were said is her finally being fed up with all the confusion going on around her. She is fighting to stay strong, guide and stay dedicated to her husband while moving all negatives out of the way.

That is a sign of strength and dedication. This is symbolic of how she is truly the foundation and the balance of this family. Willie is losing control of everything, his job, his mind, his finance, his pride, his youth, etc. and Linda sees all of this. Thus his harsh treatment of her I do not feel is meant to hurt her. Remember a woman’s value in this era is reduced so she has no voice, no say and she abides by that. But in today’s time we would consider that disrespectful. I am considering the era of this story.

But Linda stays strong and is always positive. Willie does realize he loves his wife and she loves him because at the end before he leaves to commit suicide he sends her to bed because he knows she would try to stop him from going out. And he knows she would do that out of love for him. Even though in his mind he sees this as a way of taking care of her and his sons. So in conclusion, the question remains do I believe that Linda was a dishrag? No I do not. Linda was the epitimy of a good wife, supportive, grounded, sacrificial and wise.

She knew when to back down and when to be strong and speak out. She held Willie together as long as she could, until it was out of her hands. As she stated at his grave site, she truly did not understand how deep Willie’s issues really were. Thru all the symbolism of this story, good and bad (the sons), rich and poor (the environment and Willie’s associates), young and old (his reflections back to his younger days) Linda was the central figure in this story representing neutrality, balance and humbleness.

Free Essays

Disembodied Existence After Death Is Entirely Possible

Lauren Cole ‘A disembodied existence after death is entirely possible’ Discuss. Plato takes a dualist view and therefore believes that a disembodied existence is entirely possible and the soul is distinct from the body. At our death, the soul is set free from the body where it has been ‘imprisoned’ and it is now able to achieve its ultimate goal and reach the world of the forms. The soul is the only immortal part of the body and survived the world of the forms before it came entrapped in the body, thus when we learn we are simply recalling what our soul knew before.

Plato holds a negative view of the body as it distracts the soul from seeking the forms with its trivial worldly desires such as sex. If we want to be true philosophers we need to avoid distractions and concentrate on gaining knowledge of the forms. In order to further explain this Plato uses the chariot analogy in which the mind and body are out of control horses and the soul is being driven by the in the chariot so needs to reign them in and control them.

The soul outside of the body is simple and without parts yet the soul inside the body is complex and has different aspects such as reason, spirit and desire. Peter Geach disagreed with Plato and questioned what is can mean for the disembodied soul to see the forms, given that seeing is a process linked to the body and the bodies’ senses. Plato has two main arguments to prove the existence of the soul; the first is the argument from knowledge which argues that learning is simply remembering what the soul has previously known in the world of the forms.

We just need to remember it, and this shows that things exist before we learn them for example; gravity existed before we knew it. However, many people argue that learning is not a matter of remembering, but instead is a matter of acquiring new knowledge. The second is the argument for opposites in which Plato argued that the physical world consists of opposites such as big and small, light and dark, sleeping and waking. The opposite of living would be death, yet for death to be an actual thing and not just nothing, the soul must exist.

Aristotle believed that the soul in the form and shape of the body and is a substance like matter because matter can be given a form and be many different things, but what gives matter its function is its form. By suggesting this, Aristotle means that; the soul gives shape to the matter which is the body and the soul is the principle of life or activity of the body. Aristotle argued that there is a kind of hierarchy of faculties in the soul and suggested that the faculties are nutrition, perception, desire, locomotion and intellect.

Plants have the faculty of nutrition, they obtain food and this is what keeps them alive however, animals not only have this capacity but also other capacities such as perception and desire. The faculty of intellect distinguishes humans on the hierarchy. Thus he believes that the soul is ‘the cause and principle of the living body’ and therefore it cannot survive after death as the Form of the body is inseparable from the body. However, confusion has been caused as Aristotle did suggest in his writings that intellectual thought could possibly be separated from the soul and be eternal.

The identity theory claims that mental activities are centred in the brain and this is supported by scientific research surrounding the modification of mood, character and behaviour by drugs. If drugs affect our character surely this suggests mental activity is not linked to an immortal soul or a separate identity, but to the brain. Hence, when physical life ends, mental activity ends and we cease to exist and have knowledge. This theory has been criticized by T.

Davis who argues that identity theory has been concurring how ‘intentionality’ can be explained. Brain activity does consist of nerves functioning in the brain and when you make a decision you form an intention, yet neural activity has no intentionality, therefore perhaps a soul or other entity controls our intentionality. Davis also points out that mental events are private and have no physical location as they are very personal to the individual.

Although Richard Dawkins was a strict atheist he believed in a disembodied existence after death for other reasons, arguing that individuals cannot survive death completely, but do continue to live through memories and genes. He points out that genes do not have any direction although they are ‘potentially immortal’ as they are ‘the basic unit of natural selection’. For those that do not believe in religious teachings, Dawkins theory is convincing as we remember those that have died through many generations and their genes have also been passed down through their family.

Free Essays

Death Penalty in the State of Kansas

The Death Penalty issue has been a grave controversy especially in our contemporary society, not only in U.S. but also in Europe.  Unfortunately, resolving the issue is very difficult due to the complexity of the judicial system in the U.S.  State judicial systems must deal with the constitutionality of the state laws as well as their proper applic.  In addition, popular opinion is also a powerful force that may bring about changes on either whether death penalty exists at all or what weight death penalty should have versus life imprisonment without parole.

These opinions may be based on religious beliefs, on human rights, on the magnitude of violence of the crimes committed, and the popular need to feel safe from violent assaults, non-homicidal and homicidal rapists, as well as violent homicidal offenders.  Other questions remain: what is the value of deterrence of the death penalty type of sentence?  What is the cost of inmates on death row?  Inmates stay on death row for a while, mainly because most of the times, they are appealing their sentence or waiting for a pardon from the state governor or even the President.  Since Kansas has reestablished the death penalty, these concerns have been of primary interest to the Kansas judicial system and the state residents.

Twenty-nine years after the last execution, the state of Kansas reestablished the death penalty sentence in 1994, under SB (Senate Bill) 473 and HB (House Bill) 2578.  SB 473 states that the death penalty is restored in Kansas for first degree murders whereas HB 2578 simply authorizes the death penalty to be reenacted.  Interestingly, in an annual survey of college students across the U.S., students were asked whether they were in favor of death penalty.  In 1969, this survey reported 54% of the students in favor of the abolition of the death sentence, in 1985, it was down to 27%, in 1989 21%, and in 1995 20%. (Bedau, 85)

The percentage in 1995 was the lowest and seemed to reflect a trend in young people’s general acceptance of death penalty; remember that Kansas reenacted the sentence in 1994!  Is it a coincidence?  Evidently, popular demands and trends are taken into account in state legislatures; that is the principle of democracy.  The Gallup News service reported on June 1st 2006 that back in 1994, 65% of the entire population of the U.S. favored life without parole whereas in 2006, 80% favored life without parole.

Further, they also reported that in 2006, 47% were for the death penalty while 48% were for life without parole. (Newport, Gallup)  Consequently, based on these data, the attitude the American people has gradually changed to favoring life without parole with a 50/50 division over the choice between life without parole and death penalty.  The examination here is that the legality of death penalty is always measured against contemporary standards of morality.  Therefore, the trend that has been observed in the past few years shows that more and more people do not support the death penalty, illustrating a change of views.  (Bedau, 90)

Kansas law allows for death penalty but also for life without parole.  According to the 2005 Kansas Death Penalty Guide, the exact description of the crimes punishable by death in Kansas is given in the KSA 21-3439 reenactment as capital murder with 8 aggravating circumstances.  Death is given by lethal injection.  For a life sentence in Kansas, persons who are guilty of capital murder will be jailed for 25-50 years.  The sentence must be served entirely before the individual can be eligible for parole.  There is no good behavior credit. (Kansas, 1)

Carlson and Garrett (Carlson, Garrett, 5) give the 3 major sanctions available in the U.S. judicial system, economic penalties, probation, and incarceration, as well as the 4 primary goals of incarceration, deterrence, incapacitation, retribution, and rehabilitation.  The following remarks summarize briefly the position of supporters or opponents of death penalty, respectively.  The death penalty sentence is viewed as a way to deter other criminals from committing crimes, incapacitating the criminal on death row who will pay a retribution for his crimes by his or her death.

If someone is on death row, there is a feeling that he or she will not be able to be rehabilitated.  As for life without parole, the long-term incarceration will serve as deterrent for the criminal and others outside; it will incapacitate the criminal while the long sentence without any credit is considered a retribution for the crime.  In this case, there is a feeling that the criminal will be able to be rehabilitated if he or she lives longer than the sentence. (Bedau, 127) This is the basic controversy of death versus life imprisonment.

For any death penalty case, that includes Kansas, there is a diversity of factors to be considered to decide whether or not capital cases are pursued.  There are factors that differ for every case, for every state, for every crime committed, and for every inmate whose past may not have been exemplary. (Cassell, Bedau, 118)  In addition, jurors and prosecutors must be sure that death penalty can be applied in the case they are working on.

However, the decision process for any juror is still subjective because his or her decision is still dependent upon the strength of the prosecution’s arguments as well as evidence, the degree of certainty that the person is not innocent, the legal defense’s arguments and evidence if any, and the crime committed against the victim and the family.  The judge must follow the case tightly and apply the law in a correct fashion.  However, the interpretation of the law can also be subjective.  Each capital case trial is very hard to go through because it entails numerous problems that can take time to sort out with respect to state laws versus the U.S. Constitution. (Bedau, 183)

Interpretation of the law in Kansas has been a source of contentions among supporters for sentencing to death, opponents, and the judicial system.  The main debate is centered on the constitutionality of death penalty and the interpretation of the Constitution.  To concretely illustrate the dispute and its complexity, the case of Kansas vs. Marsh needs to be considered.  The case is the following.  In 1996, Michael Marsh broke into the home of a family with a 19 month-old baby.

His goal was to get money to take a trip to Alaska by kidnapping the mother and the child in order to ask for a ransom from the husband and father.  Unfortunately, events turned awful when Marsh panicked, killing the mother by shooting her 3 times in the head, stabbing her twice, and doused her with lighter fluid.  He then set the body on fire, ran away, leaving the baby inside to burn to death.  The mother survived for 6 days in the hospital and died of multiple organ failures.  Marsh was charged with capital murder, first-degree premeditated murder, aggravated arson, and aggravated burglary.

A Kansas jury found him guilty on all counts and sentenced him to death for the capital murder of the child.  Marsh appealed his sentence to the Kansas Supreme Court.  The Court found that the Kansas death penalty statute was in fact unconstitutional because in Kansas, there is no “fundamental fairness” rule.  What this means is that if a criminal is sentenced to death while the aggravating factors of the prosecution equal the mitigating factors of the defense, then by fundamental fairness, the death sentence is nullified.  However, in Kansas, the fundamental fairness rule does not exist.

In Marsh’s case, the aggravating factors equaled the mitigating factors as determined by the jury and caused the verdict to stand, based on the jury instructions from the Kansas statute,.  So, the basic question is: is the Kansas death penalty statute upheld when aggravating factors equal mitigating factors and if it is upheld, is it a violation of the Constitution?  The State of Kansas took the case to the U.S Supreme Court in December 1995.  The Supreme Court determined that the statute permits death sentences in the event of a tie between aggravating and mitigating factors. (Mandery, 124) However, the key lies with who has the final burden of proof for outweighing the factors.

As a comparison, when there is tie, the death penalty statute in Arizona allows the defendant to reply that the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating ones and prove it against the prosecution aggravating proof.  In Kansas, the burden is still on the prosecution without any additional actions from the defendant.  Since the prosecution did not prove the mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating factors, the death sentence was overturned.  Justice Souter commented on what he called the “morally absurd” Kansas death penalty statute that permits a death sentence even if the prosecution has failed to prove that the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors, accusing Kansas law to increase the incidence of death penalty sentences.

Justice Scalia wrote a document on his opinion of the case.  Dealing with Justice Souter’s comments, he shamed Souter’s view as regarding the death penalty as “an undesirable situation.”  Additionally, he also pointed out that, even if some of his colleagues disagree with the idea of a death penalty, 38 states do impose the penalty while scrutinizing the verdicts for wrongful executions, implying that death penalty sentences are properly assigned.  Souter’s point was that death penalty is serious enough that it should be reviewed. (Campbell, Star-Telegram)

As one can see in the above case, many steps had to be completed to get to the final decision.  So, a very safe assumption is that this trial and associated inmate expenses must have been very high.  One of the chief complaints that Kansas opponents of death penalty have, besides moral or religious reasons, is the cost of the procedures.  They claim that death row cases cost a lot more than life without parole cases.  The money that would be saved should be spent on crime prevention. (Bedau, 91)  Gottfried reports that on average $20,000 is spent on life without parole inmates/year, a third less than for capital cases. (Gottfried, 2002)

Kansas is not the only state that reestablished death penalty.  However, it was done in 1994, at a time when many Americans supported capital punishment.  It seems true that support or opposition to the death penalty is a reflection of the contemporary morality views of the public.  It does not look like people support it now.  The U.S. Supreme court seems to agree that this type of punishment should be reviewed, revised or completely eliminated based on moral and legal grounds.  Yet, abolishing death penalty in Kansas because it costs too much is not a very serious and moral reason to do it.  The problem really resides in the application of the laws.  Death penalty may be a way to punish violent criminals but nobody knows how to properly justify using it.

Works Cited

Bedau HA. The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Newport F. (editor) Gallup News Service. “Death Penalty”. The Gallup Polls Briefing June 1 2006.

“2005 Kansas Death Penalty Guide” Amnesty International USA Kansas State University, Chapter 254 January 10, 2004: 1. November 18, 2006

Carlson PM, Garrett JS. Prison and Jail Administration: Practice and Theories. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1999.

Chassell PG, Bedau HA. Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment?. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Mandery EJ. Capital Punishment: A Balanced Examination . Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2005.

Campbell L. (editor) “Sounds Like A Sore Winner from Here.” Star-Telegram June 29 2006.

Gottfried T. The Death Penalty: Justice or Legalized Murder? Twenty First Century Books, 2002.

Free Essays

Death of a Hired Man

Subject Matter The subject matter of the poem is of a couple that live on a farm. Mary is sat waiting for Warren to arrive home. When she sees him she tells him that Silas is back. The two start talking about Silas and Mary tells Warren how worn out he looks. They talk about how he used to work on the farm and the boy that used to work with him, who is now a scholar to Silas’s dislike. Mary then tell warren that Silas has come here to die and how he sees this place as his home. Warren mentions Silas rich brother and how Silas wont go to see him because of his pride.

Warren goes inside to how Silas is doing and when he returns out side he tell Mary that he is dead. Themes The themes that are present in this poem is life as well as death, Family & Friendship, Home and belonging. Life & Death The sense of death is set when Mary says “he has come home to die:/ you needn’t be afraid he’ll leave you this time” and the couple start to reminisce of Silas’s life and the things that he used to do. Character Development Mary’s character is shown us from the first line.

Although the day has been busy—busy enough that she and her husband had to go their separate ways to get everything done, with Warren returning from the market at or after dark, Mary just waits at the table, being close to Silas should he wake up, but not occupied with end-of-day tasks such that she might miss the sound of Warren’s approach. She does not dare miss Warren at the door, and prepare him for what he will find in the kitchen. Mary is a mixture of kindness, firmness, and resolve. She advises her husband to “Be kind” then “you mustn’t laugh at him” and then “Go look. See for yourself. Yet she only does this after she has softened Warren’s hard crust. She is concerned that Warren will hurt Silas’ feelings. She dragged Silas into the house, gave him tea, tried to make him smoke, urges him to talk about his situation. She is comforting to the wayward worker. And his sorry condition “hurt [her] heart the way he lay/ And rolled his old head on that sharp-edged chair-back. ” Yet, she is firm and resolved. Before Warren ever gets home and gives her consent, she has fed and entertained Silas, and made up a bed for him. She seems fairly certain that she can convince Warren that Silas must stay.

Yet, she also trusts her man. While he has that crust she must break through, she allows him time alone with Silas and seems sure that Warren will do the right and charitable thing. Warren’s Character Warren’s Character Contrasts with Mary’s in “The Death of the Hired Man” Warren returns from the market, probably at late twilight, expecting to find dinner on the table, and instead finds the next-to-worthless Silas returned, in the dead of winter, at a time when farm hands are not really needed. He hears that Silas plans to “ditch the meadow” this time, something that apparently has come between them before.

Warren sees himself as a kind man. He has put up with Silas in times past, perhaps for several seasons. The words imply several cycles of hiring, leaving for better wages or for whatever, return in the off-season, and re-hiring. Warren, rather than interfere when Silas argued the value of education with the young farm hand working a summer while in college, stayed “well out of earshot” and let them argue. He has been kind. Yet he is cynical. He smiled at Mary’s description of Silas as “a miserable sight,” drawing from her a mild rebuke. Will Silas really work this time?

Mary describes his condition as poor, and thinks he might be past his working days. Warren disputes that sight unseen. If Silas is to stay with them he is to work for his keep. Warren is not uncharitable; he just believes Silas’ brother, whom he thinks is well-to-do, should be the one to provide care. Silas, the Unreliable Hired Man Although Silas never speaks in this poem, much is revealed about him. He has a disdain for learning. He has trouble staying with a job when he thinks he can make more money elsewhere. He takes advantage of peak labor times to sell himself to the highest bidder.

He makes promises he cannot keep, such as “ditching the meadow. ” This is a curious phrase. What does it mean? Is the meadow poorly drained and in need of having some ditches cut—hard, backbreaking labor? If so, it appears Silas abandoned Warren and Mary when they needed him most. Or is this some kind of useless task that Silas thought needed doing but which Warren had no intention of paying for? Either way, although it is a point of contention between the farm couple and the laborer, the fact that Silas is fixated on it declares his stubbornness.

Conflict Handled Through Words and Actions, not Telling The conflict between Warren and Mary reaches a peak when Mary says, “he has come home to die,” and Warren says, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. ” Mary seems to bristle at this and gives a sharp reply: “I should have called it/ Something you somehow haven’t to deserve. ” What does this mean? Is it a generic description of home, that no one has to do something to deserve what should be theirs?

Or is she saying that Warren is not deserving of the home he has, a stronger statement? The conflict is sharp enough that Warren leaves the front steps and does something meaningless: he walks a few feet, picks up a small stick, brings it back to the steps, breaks it, and throws the parts away. He seems to be doing something physical as a means of breaking the tension with his wife. The poem ends with the three main characters well developed, mostly through dialog but also through a minimum of actions. Much can be learned about them in these few lines excellently crafted.

Free Essays

Thantopsis and the Road Theme Death

AP English Period 5 William Bryant uses imagery of Nature’s beauty to create a theme that death is beautiful and serene, while Cormac McCarthy uses imagery darkness and dead things to create a theme that death is scary and dark. Bryant’s perception of death shows that it is interconnected with nature at which it is a life cycle. He shows us a different perspective on how death is. His use of creative imagery of nature to death creates the theme of death being not as bad as it seems. McCarthy’s view of death differs from Bryant’s view.

McCarthy uses a post-apocalyptic world where nature is dead to support the theme that death is horrible. Both authors use imagery to show the relationship between life and death to create themes opposite of each other. In Thanatopsis, the author shows the theme about death by comparing it to nature’s beauty. Most people see death as horrible, but Bryant shows an in-depth meaning to it. The poem starts off by personifying nature as a beautiful female, “…and a smile and eloquence of beauty” (Lines 4-5), who will always be there for you to make you feel better, “Into his darker musings, with a mild and healing sympathy. (Lines 6-8) The poem takes a shift and talks about how death feels like “Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall and breathless darkness, and the narrow house,” (Lines 11-12) and the idea of being in pain in a dark coffin. The poem continues going back and forth on nature’s beauty and death, and soon connects it back to the theme. “Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, (Line 23)” shows that after death is another phase of life itself, and we will return to be one with nature. Our dead decomposing bodies will be mixed in with nature, “Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. Line 30)” Bryant compares nature to a coffin, “Are but the solemn decorations all of the great tomb of man. ” (Line 44-45), to show the coffins of dead people created nature’s beauty, the valleys, hills, rivers. Bryant leaves a message to the living that death, the great equalizer, is inevitable and everyone will die eventually, “The youth… gray-headed man. ”(Line 68-70) He then continues on telling the message that you only live once, so live your life to your full potential, “So Live,” (Line 73) and be aware that death will eventually come “with a blanket around him and getting ready for a happy, dream-filled sleep,” (Line 80-81).

You will not go to death alone. Everyone who has ever died will already be there. Everyone who hasn’t gone yet will be there eventually. Bryant connects nature with death because it’s with all the death that Mother Nature’s beauty was created, and as you become one with nature. In The Road, McCarthy makes death a darker and scary theme. Since the beginning to the end of the book, McCarthy uses imagery to show that death is horrible. As the father and son are on the road, the father describes everything he sees He tells detail imagery on the dead trees, no colors, ash; abandon man-made objects, like buildings and trains, and others.

Every living thing in the world is dead, so they savage what they can from abandon houses to keep themselves from starving, and freezing to death. There is a constant fear of dying from the boy, “Are we going to die? Sometime. Not Now,” (Page 10) but the father knows that they are going to die, but not now. The Father and son are out in an unforgiving, dangerous world where even the slightest misstep could lead to death, so they keep on moving. All they see is death, “Inside the barn three bodies hanging from the rafters, dried and dusty,” (Page 16) as they move.

The boy has seen so much death in his short life that he learns to accept it and understand that death is here. The father is only living because of the son, and it is his responsibility to find him a safe place, as the son is only living for his father. The boy said, “I wish I was with my mom,” because he wishes to be dead like his mother. The first death that both the father and son witness was his mother death. The mother didn’t want to live anymore because she couldn’t face the world as it is filled with cannibals and murderers, “they are going to rape us and kill us and eat us and you won’t face it.

You’d rather wait for it to happen. But I can’t. ” (p. 58). The father and son are always on the move because of the fear that they will be eaten by cannibals. In the mansion, the father opened up the room, and saw living humans held captive to be food for the cannibals. The father and son saw a beheaded, gutted out, baby over a fire when they were starving for food (Page 199). Death is everywhere in The Road. They are always on the constant move so they can run away from death by finding food and warmth, while hiding from the cannibals.

Both works of literature gives a clear relationship between life and death. McCarthy shows imagery that describes that death is horrible. The constant running to find what they can to eat while hiding from cannibals show that death is at the door, and it is only a matter of time before they die. Bryant’s imagery of death is more serene and beautiful. He gave a lighter and happier tone on death and how death shouldn’t not be feared, and live your life. Both McCarthy and Bryant uses imagery to show death as a beauty or scary.

Free Essays

Masque of the Red Death By Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe “The Masque of the Red Death” 1) What does each color in each room mean? These colors represent the seven deadly sins which are laziness, lust, gluttony, greed, pride, anger, and covetousness. The colors can also represent the seven stages of man starting from birth, toddler age, childhood, teen age, middle age, old age, and lastly death. Blue is birth, Purple is royalty and power, Green is growth and life, Orange is destruction, White is purity, Violet is knowledge and memory, and Black is death. ) Why do you think Poe arranged the apartments in this manner? The way Prince Prospero arranged the rooms is very peculiar. He did it from east to west according from when the sun would rise to when it would set. When the sun would rise it would mean birth and when it would set death. Just like the rooms blue was on the east so it would mean birth and black being on the west meaning death. 3) What do the colors add to the suspense in the story?

The colors add certain suspense to the story because we do not have a meaning to them. They give you a mysterious out look towards what can happen next. We obviously have the idea that the black room means death and that someone will eventually die. 4) What does the ebony clock represent and what in the story leads you to this conclusion? It represents every hour that they live past the Red Death or until it comes since they cannot escape it. The fact that the clock is ebony meaning black it symbolizes the color of death.

So we can come to the conclusion that sooner or later someone is going to die. 5) Why does the ebony clock reflect Poe’s personal life? It reflects his personal life because Poe had a lot of deaths happen in his life, starting with his parents when he was young. These deaths were all related because at that time tuberculosis was the main cause of death. Reading his biography we soon see that all his loved ones died from tuberculosis. Although it is not clear of what he died from.

Free Essays

Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty

The death penalty has pros and cons. Some of the pros of the death penalty are that it frees more space for incoming prisoners, therefore we can pay less taxes. The amount of space taken from prisoners who have a life sentence take up to much space and the death penalty would prevent that from happening. The cost of the death penalty is dramatically lower then the cost of the sentence “Life Without Parole” JFA [Justice for All] estimates that life without parole cases will cost $1. million-$3. 6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases. There is no question that the up front costs of the death penalty are significantly higher than for equivalent life without parole cases. There also appears to be no question that, over time, equivalent life without parole cases are much more expensive… than death penalty cases. Opponents ludicrously claim that the death penalty costs, over time, 3-10 times more than life without parole.

The death penalty would possibly make people afraid to commit a felony because they might be punished with the ultimate punishment… Death. The cons of the death penalty are many, and often talked about more then the pros. Some of the cons consist of accidental sentencing, believing in human morals, there is more pre-trial time, more experts, twice as many attorneys, two trials will have to be conducted instead of one. One for sentencing, and one for punishment. There will be a series of appeals in which the inmates will have to be kept in a high security ‘death row’.

In my personal opinion I think that the death penalty is important because it will lower the cost of our taxes because we will not have to pay as much to hold life sentencing inmates, which will improve the economy, I think that if the consequence for a serious felony may be death the crime rates will decrease, I also believe that it will make our streets safe and will allow us to create more jobs because there will need to be more law enforcement jobs that will be needed such as attorneys, judges, experts, etc.

Free Essays

Life or death – whose decision is it anyway?

The courses of actions that were taken shall be justified through the use of Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative. The categorical imperative provides that one ought to, “[a]ct only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” There are however two formulations of the categorical imperative. The above-mentioned is the first one and the second is “[a]ct in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any another, never simply as a means but always at the same time as an end.”

Scenario 1

The primary issue at hand is whether or not it was ethical for the doctors in George Washington Hospital to insist that her baby be allowed to live despite Angela’s, her physicians’ and her family’s objections; especially when it was found that in the end, the surgery was a contributing cause to Angela’s death. Thus, the primary issue here is whether or not abortion would have been ethical given the situation. What is the best course of action to take given the situation?

But even before proceeding, what exactly is the situation? The situation is the fact that Angela is faced with cancer and she has only a few days to live. Her physicians and her family wanted to preserve her life as much as they could. In addition, the surgery (cesarean section), which while gives the baby 50 to 60% chance to survive, endangers Angela’s life and withers the last few days that she has left, not to mention the fact that .  Furthermore, they estimated that there was a less than 20 percent chance that the child would be disabled.  The physicians also testified that the surgery would increase the chances of Angela Carter’s death.

The best course of action taken was the course taken by the doctors in George Washington Hospital to insist that her baby be allowed to live despite Angela’s, her physicians’ and her family’s objections.. Thus, given the situation it would not have been ethical to abort the baby. This decision can be justified using Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative.

The categorical imperative can be explained simply through the discussion on duties. Basically if a course of action or decision is one’s duty, then it can be willed to become a universal law. If on the other hand, a course of action is not part of one’s duty then it cannot be said to become a universal law.

Given the situation above, it is the duty of Angela’s doctors to uphold the value of life. In fact as doctors, it is part of their Hippocratic Oath “[t]o practice and prescribe to the best of my ability for the good of my patients, and to try to avoid harming them” and “[n]ever to do deliberate harm to anyone for anyone else’s interest.” However, it becomes complicated as they, in a way have to choose between Angela’s and her baby’s life. As it is their duty to protect their patients’ lives, they are now confronted with a scenario that they have to inevitably choose one of their patients’ lives. Thus, the question is can the doctors continue performing their duties without aborting the baby? Are there alternatives?

Subjected to the first formulation of the categorical imperative, the action not to abort and keep the child may be regarded as a universal law and may be imposed upon any other individual who finds himself/ herself in such a situation.

They may do without abortion as the same is in compliance with their duty to preserve life because there are other means by which they may still comply with their duty to Angela to protect and safeguard her life. One of these is by making sure that she is given the best possible attention during the surgery. It must be noted that Angela’s is bound to live for only a few days, no matter what the doctors do.

The course of action is further affirmed and clarified as it is subjected to the second formulation. From such maxim arises the duty that human life must be protected and safeguarded because it must not be treated just as a means but always at the same time as an end.

Ideally, the best course of action is to try all means possible and necessary to safeguard both Angela and her baby’s life. However, it must be noted that Angela’s life is already on the losing end and no matter what the doctors do, she was bound to die sooner rather than later. Thus, aborting the baby is but a means to making sure that Angela will live albeit for a few a days; with this fact, such course of action does not pass the second formulation of the categorical imperative. The life of the baby must be treated not just as a means but also as an end.

Thus, in this case the doctors of George Washington Hospital undertook to perform the best course of action given the situation as at the end of the day, life or death is not a decision that any person can make. For that matter, no one person can ever make that decision for someone else.

Scenario 4

The primary issue in this scenario was whether or not it would be ethical for the Dr. Wendy Smith to inform Jack’s father that he will die unless he gets a liver transplant.

The issue arises from the fact that Jack believes that his father’s situation will worsen once the gravity of his predicament is made known to him. On the other hand, Dr. Wendy Smith believes by his sworn duty to inform the patient of what he is up against.

In this situation there is a clash of duties between the duty of Jack to his father, as a son and the duty of the doctor to Jack’s father as his doctor. It is the duty of Jack to do everything in his power to make sure that the best interests of his father is upheld and taken care of. On the other hand, in addition to the above-mentioned duties of a doctor “[t]o practice and prescribe to the best of my ability for the good of my patients, and to try to avoid harming them” and “[n]ever to do deliberate harm to anyone for anyone else’s interest,” it is also their duty “[t]o keep the good of the patient as the highest priority.”

We shall now find out the resolve of the conflicting duties by subjecting them to the two formulations of the categorical imperative.

With respect to Jack’s duty, it is true that the upholding the best interests of one’s parent can be willed that it should become a universal law. In addition, by upholding the best interests of one’s parent, one acts in such a way that he/she treats humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any another, never simply as a means but always at the same time as an end.

With respect to Dr. Wendy Smith’s duties “[t]o practice and prescribe to the best of my ability for the good of my patients, and to try to avoid harming them,” “[n]ever to do deliberate harm to anyone for anyone else’s interest,” and “[t]o keep the good of the patient as the highest priority.” The same can be willed that they can become universal laws and the same are also means by which humanity is treated not just as a means but also as an end.

Thus, as both were subjected to the categorical imperative and both passed the formulations, what then? It can be noted that Jack’s duty is to make sure that the best interests of his father are upheld, but how does Jack know what his best interests are? Is concealing the truth to him of his best interest? Thus, we subject this to the categorical imperative.

Concealing the truth cannot be willed to become a universal law. If the same were to be allowed to become universal law then all concealments of truth in all situations not related to the situation at hand will be justified. The same is inconsistent to upholding the virtue of truth. At the same time, concealing the truth is actually a method by which one is treated as a means and not as end. This is so as concealment provides a myopic view – it is a mere means for the people around Jack’s father to avoid the issue of his impending demise for themselves rather than making sure that Jack’s father is apprised of his situation and is prepared for the worst possible ending of his situation.

Thus, the best course of action to take is the action backed up by Dr. Wendy Smith’s duty as a doctor to inform the patient of his predicament no matter how grave said situation is.

Free Essays

Brave New World: Death Is a Repudiation or a Validation

Let Down Your Noose Paige Fairbairn 10/20/12 Mr. Pierce per. 2 The ultimate escape is death. The driving force that pushes a man to slide his neck through a noose, tighten the hole, and take the final leap of faith- only to result in eternal stillness. The leap of faith John the Savage took was a symbolic repudiation of the World State’s motto, “community, identity, stability” because every aspect of John was a contradiction to the motto, thus weakening the strength of the motto, essentially reducing the meaning to “bunk”.

In Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World John had no community to accept him, no true identity to boost his broken morale, and his emotional instability shackled him to conscience, and roped him into death. Glorified civilization appeared to John as a morsel of knowledge; the opportunity of a lifetime. John’s uncontainable excitement procured the words of Miranda, from Shakespeare’s play The Temptest to pour out of his naive mouth, “O wonder! How many godly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world. That has such people in it! At this point, Huxely is paralleling John to Miranda, Bernard to Prospero, and Lenina resembles Ferdinand. John is intrigued as well as excited for civilization, as Lenina (just as Ferdinand was to Miranda) served as temptation to part take in this foreign, yet enchanting land, and only Bernard (just as Prospero admonished Miranda) knew of the cruelties and horrors of civilization and wished that John would understand that this world isn’t so brave or honorable at all. John, like a child, joins Bernard into a community where John is a specimen; to be observed and provide many laughs.

John, like a fresh water fish tossed into the sea, eventually dies, not just physically, but emotionally due to his incompatibility with the community. Not only was he a reject in the pueblo of Malpais, but he too was a spectacle in civilization, and was unaccepted due to his distinct personality and physical differences. The world state destroyed John due to its conditioned insensitivity. Amongst the community posing as an exploitative force toward John, his identity was stampeded and broken, even in his own solitude. Not only did Malpais reject him for his mother, Linda, but he looked too different to be accepted.

Even then, he struggled with himself and his solitude which led to his discovery of, “Time and Death and God” (136 Huxely). Even with this discovery, he still searched for himself, hoping to acquire a true identity in civilization. Any and all thoughts of an identity were smashed to bits, as John was simply a spectacle, just as his Mother was. Linda’s death was a wake-up call to John; he didn’t belong because no one could comprehend his emotion. Like a fish out of water, Linda’s soma induced coma was abruptly interrupted by the coming of her death.

She gasped for air, and flopped and flailed in distress; her death is symbolic for the role she played in society. She was a specimen of the grotesque, as her death reflected that, because it cut through the feigned essence of peace and relaxation in her room. Her death also served as John’s ugly realization of the, “Brave new world” and her death distorted John’s image of society as well as his own purpose being there. Immediately after Linda’s death, five young Delta boys with chocolate eclairs stood around her deathbed, asking foolishly of her death, for they were not enlightened of the true meaning of death.

Aldous Huxely is alluding to the five foolish virgins from The Parable of the Ten Virgins “five were foolish and five were wise” (Mathew 25:2). There were about half a dozen other Delta boys at the hospital at the time, adding to approximately ten boys. Instead of eclairs, these virgins in the parable each had an oil lamp, five of which brought enough oil to have entrance to a groomsman’s feast, and the five foolish virgins didn’t have enough oil and missed the entrance, so when their judgment came, they were declined to be let in due to their foolery.

It was also stated that, “the spirit of a man is a candle of the Lord” (Proverbs 20:27 KJV). Huxely satired the spirit of man and his faith represented through the eclairs; the perfect representation of immediate pleasure and delight, which served as a symbol for the identity of the society. Each Delta had an eclair instead of a lamp, foolishly asking John what happened to Linda, just as the foolish virgins were asking what happened to their entrance.

The eclairs served to represent their superficiality, and just as the five foolish virgins were shooed away by a bad judgment, the five Delta boys were forced out by John’s disapproving of their foolery. It was here that John realized he had no identity in this community; he was surrounded by fools who couldn’t comprehend deep feelings and emotion ; he was lost and couldn’t find himself in the misleading and misgivings of civilization. He hadn’t an identity due to the inability of others to accept him for who he was. As a result, John began to disturb the stability the World State thrives for.

The sweet desire for stimulating pleasures were all readily available and handed out in the World State; sex, soma, and never being alone was the foundation of civilization’s stability. John’s morals intensely conflicted with this, he viewed the soma pillboxes as caskets and can’t grasp the lack of religion and concrete feeling; for that is how civilization thrives. John is desperate for escape and the world controller, Mustapha Mond quotes, “sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about my ears and sometimes voices” (218) from Shakespeare’s play The Temptest.

Like Caliban, the controller is speaking to John (who is like Stephano) of the sweet melodies and diversions of the island, that lull him to dream fantastic dreams, and when he wakes, he only wishes to dream once again. Mustapha continues that the absence of God is civilization’s fault, and shall never be obtained through solitude. Soma and indoctrination, “hasn’t been very good for the truth of course. But it’s very good for happiness. One can’t have something for nothing. Happiness has to be paid for. (228) Mustapha is tempting, and giving John the choice to enslave his mind with pleasure for superficial happiness rather than to be unhappy. John declines and Mustapha Mond questions if he will claim all of the let downs and sorrows of life and John, in a christ-like moment says, “I claim them all. ” (240) Mustapha stays in his role of playing on people’s pleasures, in exchange for their souls, just as Satan did. Bernard and Hemholtz were sent into a purgatory-like island were some pleasures are removed, but they aren’t truly free, and John is sent to his own solitude to repent and find God.

John, after many episodes of further exploitation, hangs himself due to his own emotion instability. Like a stairway to heaven, he climbed up the lighthouse steps and hung himself from an arch, that would bring him his true redemption and inner peace. The World State only amplified his instability with their lack of morals and twisted ways. John served as a symbol of defiled wholesomeness; he tried not to engage in the sinful activities of society, and the only way he found escape was in death. He died as a result of others’ sins.

John was the exception to the rule of the World State; if one has found faith, one can’t be valid to the “community, identity, stability” of the World State. The reason John didn’t fit was because he had true feelings that conflicted with the shallow feelings of hypnopedically indoctrinated society. John took a leap of faith with the people trying to enlighten them, but failed. It was the lack of recognition for a concrete community, identity, and stability that rocked John over the edge to take his own life, in the ultimate repudiation of corrupt civilization.

Free Essays

Death penalty – capital punishment


Death penalty has begun a long time ago, perhaps since Eighteenth Century B.C.  And a hundred or maybe even thousand numbers of murderers and criminals have been sentenced of it.  But the question still remains and is always debatable whether it is just right to have death penalty or not.

I may not be directly affected by this capital punishment. But at the back of my mind, I also ask why there must be death penalty or not.  And as I balanced my views and ideas about this, the thought that there should no death penalty weighs more.

Now, let’s take a look on the history of death penalty. This punishment has long been practiced since the times of King Hammurabi of Babylon for 25 different crimes. Death penalty was also made as the only punishment for all crimes according to Draconian Code of Athens, Hittite Code and Roman Law of Twelve Tablets.  The punishment of death is carried through drowning, hanging, burning alive, crucifixion, beating to death, and beheading.  And take note of the crimes they considered punishable by death penalty: not confessing to a crime, treason, cutting down and tree and stealing. (Death Penalty Information Center, 2007)

America was then influenced by Britain during the colonial period.  And the offenses punishable of death includes stealing grapes, killing chickens, denying the “true God” or striking one’s parents.

Seeing that these are only minor offenses if taken into considerations, abolitionist movements were formed. Some became successful of abolishing the death penalty like in Austria and Pennsylvania except for murder and treason. However, it progress again in Twentieth Century and five out of six abolitionist countries reinstated their death penalty as the America enters World War I.  The good thing is that the number of executions decreased as other nations agreed that the death penalty be limited if not abolished.

So even at that time, there are movements of abolishing death penalty.  Although at some point, others see it as a necessary social measure. Still, as many others do so, I don’t agree of this capital punishment. As I believe that no one has the right to take one’s life for whatever reason.

Others argue that death penalty deters crime. But is practicing it not another crime where you also kill a human?  And as always, two wrongs will never make a right thing.

For the past years, hundred numbers of prisoners were found to be innocent and released from the death row.  Imagine how they would face the society again.  They may perhaps be damaged inside, having to fear death, disbelieving the justice and all.  And then there were people who have received the death penalty and in the end were found not guilty.  The deathly penalty is really a cruel punishment and yet was not taken carefully by those in authority.  How can one accept it then?

I also believe that one can still change.  One can still start a new life. One can have a new life with his family.  And death penalty deprived them this chance.

The time they would spend inside the prison would at least let them think about their offenses and realized their mistakes. Sentencing them to death would just make their life easier.  But if they will stay in jail, they would suffer the consequences of their wrongdoings and realize how much prettier life is outside if they didn’t commit the crime.

Now this is my opinion.  And this topic of death has always been debatable for the past centuries.  It is then up to you whether you would agree with me or not.  But maybe we should always look at the facts and not merely standing out with our immediate ideas not only about this capital punishment but with all other issues. Be critical.

College Net Forum. (2007). Retrieved August 26, 2007, from College Net:

Death Penalty Information Center. (2007). Retrieved August 26, 2007, from Death Penalty

Information Center: