Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe began his career as a poet, and collected or corrected poems throughout his career. A quality of enjoyable sounds can be found in poems that readers also consider serious. However, these elements can also exist with themes that are more typical of the Romantic Movement, such as dreams and nightmares Poe handled this through images designed to show undecided states of awareness represented as lakes, seas, waves, and vapors. Nearly all Poe's criticism on poetry was written for the magazines for which he worked. Although the pieces were published occasionally, they reflect a remarkably logical, self-conscious view of poetry and of the creative process. Poe wrote "The Philosophy of Composition" to explain how he composed "The Raven." The essay went up against the romantic guess that the poet works in an emotion of pure inspiration. Instead, Poe wrote a carefully planned description of poetic creation. The essay analyzes the central role of the conscious choice of an emotional atmosphere that is more important than events, characters, and the lyrics. Poe also offered his famous statement â€œthe death of a beautiful woman is the most poetical topic in the world.â€ In "The Poetic Principle" (1850), Poe claimed that poetry works to achieve "an elevating excitement of the soul," an emotional state that could not be long sustained. He further declared that a "long poem" is a contradiction in terms. Poe beli...
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This book, entitled â€œPrayer for the 21st Centuryâ€, is by famous Australian writer, John Marsden. It is an illustrated, poetic ballad, filled with metaphors and complex issues, written to send messages of hope and warning intended for the people of this new century, especially those that will shape it (our children), about the lessons learnt from the past, the importance of today, and the wonders of the future.
The font of the text on the front cover, and throughout the book for that matter, is in an untidy scrawl that is both important â€“ in that it is in a bold font and is a demanding colour (either black or white) â€“ and is informal, imperfect, personal and human â€“ in that it is handwritten. These aspects combine to show the picture-book nature of the book; that the text is really part of the art in the illustrations themselves, and that the two cannot be isolated on their own and singled out as visual or written text. This motif is continued throughout the book.
The front cover of this book has a spray-patterned, blue background, which has calm connotations. The blue also serves the purpose of increasing the salience of the bright orange picture of the boy in front of it, because the picture contrasts violently with the background, and reducing that of the soft green lines of scrawled writing that fade into the blue of the background (the writing in the background is another example of where the line between visual and written text is unclear). The boy is the clear focal point of the page, and stands out from the rest of the cover, making the lines of the poem hardly noticeable in comparison. This is to make the point that words, like those in the poem, are not nearly as strong as actions â€“ especially the actions of those who, like the child on the cover, will shape the 21st century.
The title page has an earthy coloured, frond-patterned background with two hand prints surrounding the text of the title and authorâ€™s name. These handprints have aboriginal connotations, and seem to hold some sort of wisdom from past ages. These visual elements combine with the lines in the text to reveal the nature of the poem; that this is not truly a prayer to a god, but a command, request, and message of hope for this new generation. ItÂ is a culmination of wisdom from the past centuries, for this new century, and a reminder to the newer generations to remember the lessons of the past.
â€œMay the road be free for the journey.â€ These words make up the first line of the poem and introduce us to the first idea of the poem, that life must be free. The idea of freedom being the main message in this first line is emphasised by the word â€œfreeâ€ in large, lowercase font, placed directly above the line of the poem. This is a motif effective at showing the main point of the page, and is repeated throughout the book (the main idea being emphasised by a large fronted keyword place in the background) which is effective in emphasizing the main idea in the text. The background is a gravel-brown colour, emphasising the comparison of life to a dirt road, a free road, a road that could lead anywhere.
The picture on the left page continues this idea of an unknown future, by comparing life itself to a river, natural laws to banks, and the individual as someone travelling along a river in a boat. In this stream of life, no one knows what is around the next bend, except that around one of them, eventually, is the sea (death). The picture also continues the theme of abstract metaphors and symbolism, in that the picture is not really boats, just freehand drawings of them. However, whether life is a road or river, the point remains, it must be free.
The next page has a very similar layout to the page before it; and indeed to every page in the book, with a line of text, a textured background, and a picture (sometimes more than one) upon a double page spread. The text on this page, â€œMay it lead where it promised it wouldâ€, makes the point that life must deliver the reward it offers. The blue in the background of the second page is associated with hope and promise, and this promising blue is again used in the illustration. In the illustration, is a Queen, symbolising success and all of the glory that was promised to come with it. The theme of promised success and the associated rewards that come as a result is continued in the picture of the map â€“ which appears to be from a time of discovery and conquest of new lands. The various scientific diagrams are there in order to make the point that there will be an answer to all of ourÂ questions if we work hard, further emphasising the idea of effort leading to the much deserved and promised success.
Upon the set of pages, two lines instead of one are written. These are; â€œMay the stars that gave ancient bearings Be seen, still be understood.â€ These lines urge people to remember the knowledge of the past, and be able to understand it. The picture itself is easy to link to the line (it is a picture of stars) however, due to the fact that it is done in the Aboriginal style, the pictureâ€™s full meaning cannot be understood, except by someone whom knows how to interpret and understand the ancient symbolism of Aboriginal art. This introduces the idea that, for the knowledge of the past to be fully realised, it must be understood.
The next page now returns to the idea of life as a journey, by calling the individual a traveller, introducing the concept that life should be safe for all, and that the â€œsafeâ€ people must find those whom have been lost, and help those whom have been forgotten. It does this in the lines, â€œMay every aircraft fly safely, May every traveller be found,â€ The concept of safety in life is emphasised by the colour of the background; a calm, soft green. In the illustration, the audience is placed in the point of view of someone inside of a safe aircraft, who is looking out of the window. Directly outside of the window, the sky is a serene blue; but around the windowâ€™s red, orange, and yellow â€“ colours with â€œdangerâ€ connotations â€“ edges, another scene forms. A lonely traveller, who could be anyone due to its ambiguous colour and unknown gender, stands lost and alone, unsafe and helpless upon the aircraftâ€™s wing; surrounded by a dark sky with the only hope of help being from the person in the plane, who is the viewer of the picture.
This calls upon the viewer, as a traveller of life safely within the walls of the aircraft, to help the lost person, to find the traveller; and puts the viewer in the spotlight, making the point that; if you wonâ€™t, who will?Upon the next page, the two lines read; â€œMay sailors in crossing the ocean Not hear the cries of the drowned.â€ The same layout as before is used, except on this page, two pictures instead of one, are used. The background is blue, which has links to tears (â€œcriesâ€), feeling â€œblueâ€, the ocean, and the uniform of a sailor. The first picture appears to be asymbolic representation of someone battling against lifeâ€™s troubles (i.e. a sailor crossing the ocean), fish call from the sea as spirits of the drowned, the dark sea thrashes and churns, while the yellow sky swirls above a small boat riding the crest of a wave.
In the next picture, one of lifeâ€™s travellerâ€™s has heard the cries of the drowned, and joined them. However, in the background of this picture, there is land, showing that even at the worst times, there is still hope. In both of these, the idea of the individual travelling the ocean or river of life, in a boat, is reintroduced. The main point made by the last two lines of this stanza, and their corresponding illustrations, is that life has ups and downs, and not to succumb and relinquish oneâ€™s self to despair at oneâ€™s lowest points, because, as was stated on the first page, is restated on this page, and is stated again on the last page, no one can know what the future holds.
â€œMay gardens be wild, like jungles, May nature never be tamed,â€ are the first lines in the next stanza of the poem.
The pages have a yellow, earthy-brown, palm-frond-patterned background, which connotates nature and jungles. The picture, with its complete absence of straight lines, and blurred movement, makes the point that nature is never rigid and constrained, but free to do whatever it wishes. This point is reinforced in the bank less waterfalls, and the rounded cliff faces. The people in the picture exist to draw attention to the relationship between nature and people, and says that the people of the 21st century, like those in the picture whom are neither trying to disrupt or control nature, must harmoniously co-exist with it nature, and not try to tame it, but to acknowledge itâ€™s freedom, and grasp the fact that nature is not for humankind to control, but is untameable, it is wild and free.
â€œMay dangers create of us heroes,â€ reads the next line. The background of this page is a splattered, cameo green, which, along with the mateship displayed in the picture, connotates war. However not all heroes are born of violence, as is shown in the midshot (inviting the viewer into the scene) picture of a boy jumping off the top of a haystack, and his friends cheering him on. The black and white photography, setting, and attire of the peopleÂ in the picture appear to be from an old time, a time of simple values, and simple heroics. At first glance, it appears that the boy in the picture is a hero because he did something that was dangerous, but this is not the case. He is a hero because he made people happy by facing the danger. This goes on to show the true meaning of the line. That we must always have people that go out of their way, or face danger, to help others whom are in need. The boy symbolises that anyone can be a hero. That anyone, and everyone, must help those in need.
â€œMay fears always have namesâ€ reads the next line of the poem. The keyword in the background (â€œfearâ€) is hidden among tendrils of paint, first introducing the concept that, even though the name of the fear may be hidden, it always exists, fears always have names. The illustration is dark, with soft, runny brushstrokes that seem to obscure true meaning. At first, it appears to be a picture of fears, peeping between the trunks and branches of trees, but upon closer inspection, it is revealed that the fears are not fears at all, but people, experiencing that which we fear.
The people in the picture are in agony, some cry at the side of a dead loved one, others just cry out in pure pain. Then, finally, the viewer notices a horseman in between the trees and realises two things. The first is the reference to the Myall Creek Massacre and the next was that the fears were created by people, the fears have names, and their name is the evil of humankind. It asks us to remember our evil, and asks the people of this new century not to repeat the evils past committed, or else, like the symbolic dove upon the pictureâ€™s left, peace will flee the world.
The next page, and its two lines, â€œMay the mountains stand to remind us Of what it means to be youngâ€, now talk about the impermanence of youth, and the importance of the wise. There are again two pictures. In the first picture â€“ a firm lined photograph â€“ great mountains, symbolizing the vast importance, knowledge, wisdom and experience of the old, stand in the background with rays of light falling upon them; while in the foreground, a vast plane of rocks, younger, smaller versions of the mountains that dwarf them in comparison, stand to show the true importance of the memories of the old, in comparison to the inexperience of the young.
The second picture is aÂ soft lined painting (symbolizing the impermanence of being young) of two youths embracing and in love. They are shown next to a shell, which puts them on a symbolic scale. It makes the point that, if these two youths are dwarfed by a shell, and a shell will be dwarfed by a rock, such as those seen in the picture on the opposite page, how tiny they are, how fleeting their time as youth if they are to grow into the giant mountains, how petty their memories and experiences in comparison to the mountains. It is through this symbolic scale that the illustrations remind us of what it means to be young.
The final lines of this stanza reads; â€œMay we be outlived by our daughters, May we be outlived by our sons.â€ This line is different from the rest of the poem in that its meaning is straightforward and obvious, and that this line is actually a prayer for the long and happy lives of our children. The pictures add to the text, in that they are pictures of people from different ethnic groups, and that they join united at the edge of each picture, showing that it refers to the entire people of the 21st century, they are not our children in a literal sense, but are the children of humanity. It prays that, even though there will be hardships in life, as is mentioned many times before and is symbolised by the black and white colour scheme of the older children, the new generation, as with the generations before them, must live through them, and continue â€“ as is symbolised in yellow colour of the background of the page â€“ to shine on like the sun, outliving those before us.
Historyâ€™s importance is again brought up in the final stanza, with the opening line being: â€œMay the bombs rust away in the bunkers, May the doomsday clock not be rewound,â€ The lines ask the new century not to use mankindâ€™s evil, even though they do and always will exist; they then ask humanity not to repeat past mistakes, even though we will always have the potential to. The background is patterned by gears, and the emphasised keyword this time is â€œrewoundâ€, displaying that the main idea of these lines is to make the point that we must never repeat our past mistakes. The gears are also part of the â€œdoomsday clockâ€, which is simply referring to time and history itself.
The picture shows text from what appears to be newspaperÂ articles, which refer to injustices throughout history to the indigenous peoples of Australia, which hold some of the greatest evils of this countryâ€™s history. The many pictures at the top of the image show the faces of the many sufferers of evil, from a small child, to a grown man. The theme of war is again brought up with the word â€œbombsâ€ in the first line, and the image of a man from Picassoâ€™s â€œGuernicaâ€, a painting about the suffering of innocents as bombs dropped on their city. For many people, that day was their doomsday. It once again brings up the issue that humankind itself is what causes people the most pain and suffering. Overall, the pages ask the people of the 21st century never to use humankindâ€™s evil again.
The next page continues the theme of war, with a reference to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Second World War. The line reads â€œMay the solitary scientist working, Remember the holes in the groundâ€ and the single, hand drawn illustration, is of a large and powerful solitary scientist in his own solitary world, admiring and awestruck of his solitary discovery; while behind him his discoveries explode over a desolate plain on which the only survivors are a small, helpless man and woman, silhouetted against the bleak white light thrown across a vast landscape, and upon them from evil inventions that exist to destroy. It asks the people that will shape this new century to remember that every single action has consequences, and that knowledge can just as easily be used for the evil of bombs, as it can be used for the good of curing cancer. It tells people to look into the past, in order to shape the new centuryâ€™s future for the better.
â€œMay the knife remain in the holder, May the bullet stay in the gun,â€ These penultimate lines continue the theme expressed in the first stanza, that even though we have the potential and the means to carry out evil, the people of the 21st Century must never do so. The page is extremely straightforward in relation to the pictures â€“ the bullet is being put into the gun and must remain there and the skeleton has been skinned with a knife â€“ however, in the skeleton picture, the body is made up of many different cut up body parts, making the new point that we should not use evil upon anyone, indiscriminate of who they are, or what they believe in.
The final lines of this prayer are as follows: â€œMay those that live in the shadows Be seen by those in the sunâ€. Upon the pages surrounding these lines, are two pictures, one of footsteps on a beach with a manâ€™s shadow crossing their path; the other of a silhouetted man running along a beach with a beam of sunlight floating on the waves of the sea. Both pictures are in black and white, emphasising the ideas of shadows and sun. The blue background is the same textured blue as at the very first page of the poem, and is sea-spray like in appearance. The theme of these final two pages, is very simple, to help others, and this idea can be seen throughout the illustrations. The picture of the footprints, reminds of the Christian story of how Jesus carried the man over the sand, and through lifeâ€™s shadows. This makes the point that, sometimes, others need to be carried through hard times. The shadow crossing the path of the footsteps represents a dark time in the life of the person that made them but this shadowed part is only a mere fraction of the whole, a symbolic representation that life does have deep darkness, but for the most part, it is light.
The next picture across, the one of the runner, continues this idea; and also adds to it. This time, the sea is used s a metaphor for life, and, as first mentioned on the page about sailors, the sea can be in many states. The repetition of the motif of both light and shadows making up life is displayed on the surface of the sea, where the thick beam of light shines and glistens, while at the edges, shadows and darkness can be seen. However, yet again, there is more light in the picture than there is shadow.
The illustration of the silhouetted man running along the beach, making his own path in the sand, appears â€“ at first glance â€“ to show that he himself is in a shadowed stage in life. However, on close inspection something appears to be in his arms, if you look very closely, you can see that he is carrying something. This man is not the Christian Messiah; this man is an ordinary person, showing simple, yet powerful heroics as mentioned earlier in this book. He further demonstrates that we all can be heroes, even without obvious physical dangers, just by helping someone. This final line is a hope. It is a hope that maybe, just maybe, in the 21st Century; we can all stand and walk together, in the light of the future.
This simple yet honest poem of hope and fear effectively reached out to, and appealed to me, the target audience and a child of the 21st Century. It was deep and complex in some places, yet simple enough to be understood by the intended reader. It is a thought stimulating read to be understood more and more with wisdom and experience. Now it is just a question, first posed in the photograph of the boy on the front cover â€“ one side of his face in darkness, the other in light â€“ as to whether this generation of young rocks will grow up, remember the past, not repeat its mistakes, and one day be tall mountains. Then we will write a new prayer, for a new century.
Strengths And Weaknesses Of Functionalist And Conflict Theory Sociology Essay
Social and cultural theories are often used when studying and applying knowledge to sports. The theories in society often provide a framework for asking research questions, interpreting information and being able to uncover the deeper meanings and stories that are associated with sports, they also enable citizens in the society to become more informed so that we can apply what we have learned from the research and being able to apply it in the world that we live in. Theories also enable people to see things in new angles and perspectives and give us the ability to make informed decisions about sports and how sports participation can be used in our lives, communities, families and societies. The six main theories used in sport have many points and can overlap with each other but only two are going to be discussed in this study. The two theories chosen to compare are functionalist theory and conflict theory.
Functionalist theory is a macro sociological theory that is based on the characteristics of social patterns, structures, social systems and institutions such as family, education, religion, leisure, the economy, media, politics and sport. If all these social institutions are organized and co-operate with one another around a set of core values functionalist theorists assume that the entire social system will function properly and efficiently. Society in functionalism has a view that it is an organized system of interrelated parts that are held together by shared values and established social arrangements that help maintain the system in being in a state of equilibrium and balance. When sociologists use functionalist theory they split it into two parts, the first concept of interdependent parts is all of the social institutions (media, religion, sports, politics and economics) and how they are linked together.
In the tradition of Talcott Parsons and his conception of functional imperatives (goal attainment, adaptation, latency and integration) functionalists argue that there are four basic system needs for any society in sports (team, clubs etc) to run smoothly and that everyone will benefit. The four principles are
Adaptation In order to survive in a society it is essential that members learn to adapt to changes in the social structure and culture. Another important element to survival is the emphasis on being physically fit as it is required for most sports.
Goal Attainment This is the motivation of individuals to achieve societys goals through socially accepted means. Sport is preoccupied with tracking the success and failures of its participants however it also teaches participants that if they work hard enough it will lead to victory meaning success.
Integration Sport promotes social connections between people and gives them the opportunity to co-operate with each other in a group and a community. It also provides a feeling of social identification as well as a source of personal identity. The society must keep itself together.
Latency (pattern maintenance and tension management) Each system must maintain itself in a possible state of equilibrium for as long as it can without any outside disruptive influences. Many forms of pattern maintenance are provided by sport primarily through participation where the participants are taught to accept an authority structure that is well defined for example athletes knowing that referees have the authority over them to make sure they stick to the rules of the sport.
Functionalist theory in sport generally leads to the conclusion that it is popular in society because it can maintain the values of character that help to preserve stability and order in social life. Functionalist theory also supports sporting policies that help and recommend the growth of competitive sport programmes, developing coaching education programmes, in the case of youth sport there is an establishment on criminal bureau checks and qualification checks on coaches before working with younger children. The theory also supports the establishment of training centres for elite athletes so they can maintain their top-level performance and making sure to have increased surveillance and drug testing so they are able to supervise and control the actions of athletes by preventing those taking drugs so they cant cheat their way to attaining a better sporting performance. People in society who have positions of power tend to favour functionalist theory as it is based on the assumption that society is organised for benefiting the people in that society of equality and that in any dramatic way it should not be changed. While functionalist theory is a popular approach it does have some weaknesses.
The weaknesses of functionalist theory is that it tends to lead to exaggerated accounts of positive consequences of sports and sports participation however it mistakenly assumes that there are no conflicts of interests between the different citizen groups in society such as women, people with disabilities, racial groups and people who are economically poor in society yet it doesnt recognise that sport can privilege or disadvantage people more than others. The theory also ignores the powerful historical and economic factors that have influenced social events and social relationships.
Functionalist theory is centered on the idea that there is a consensus in the values and norms of society and that social institutions found within a society are integrated and function together. In contrast conflict theory looks at the role of power and the inequality found throughout society and how sport is shaped by these economic forces and used by people with economical power to increase their influence and wealth. Conflict theory is based on the ideas of Karl Marx (1818 1883) which rose to importance during the 1970s because of the growing disenchantment with functionalist theory. This theory of Karl Marx views sports as being built on the foundations of economic power. In societys that are capitalistic you see that relationships and social arrangements are organised around wealth, money and economic power for example in the United States its easy to point out the owners of the sport teams as they are benefiting financially from the expense of elite athletes, the coaches that work alongside the athletes and the spectators who watch the sport.
Like functionalist theory conflict theory is based on the assumption that society is like a social system however conflict theory focuses on the needs of capital rather than the general system needs. Theorists of conflict theory explain that a society which is capitalist will not be able to survive and grow without exploiting any workers for the sake of boosting financial profits; they also suggest that if radical changes are to be concluded in sport and society by prevailing justice and fairness they need to identify the negative consequences that sport has. Once these changes are made sport will become a source of creative energy, expression and physical well-being. People who live in capitalist economies are generally not comfortable with the assumptions and conclusions of conflict theory because they say it has a negative effect and does not fit into their ideas about society and sport as they feel uneasy with the conclusions of calling for radical change in the current organisation and structure that they already have.
Much of conflict theory is directed at sports which are dominated by spectators. Conflict theorists if they had the choice they would increase the control that athletes and other sporting participants have to promote sport at local community level so that it benefits all classes of people rather than just all elite athletes. Meaning the working class would have more influence of sport than the rich class giving them more motivation for participation and eliminating profits. Many conflict theorists favour players unions that confront pro-team owners and are supporting organisations that help to guard against public tax money being used to benefit wealthy people. Ideally any public resources would be used to help aid sponsoring sports that are designed to improve physical fitness, political awareness and include placing the element of fun into activities. Conflict theorists (Leonard 1980; Rigauer2004) would also campaign for athletes at all levels to have representation with making decisions about sport in organisations so Olympians would be able to vote on policy questions that concerned the staging of the Olympic Games.
Conflict theory also has three major weaknesses. The first weakness is that the theory tends to ignore the possibility that sport in capitalist societies can and may involve experiences that give individuals and groups power. Conflict theorists talk about how sport is organised to maximise the control that wealthy people have over other members in a capitalist society. The conflict theory approach doesnt acknowledge that sport can take many forms of serving interests in the have-not society and denies that any participation in sport can be a personal creative and liberating experience that will inspire members of society to make economic changes that will help to promote equality in exiting capitalist societies. Secondly conflict theory ignores the importance of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age and many other factors when it comes to explaining how people want to identify themselves, how they relate to other members in the society and how they organise the social world in which they live. Often its leading people to overlook the possibility that inequalities and power in any society are based on factors other than economic and social class differences. Thirdly the theory assumes that all aspects of social life are determined economically and is shaped by the needs of having capital in society and profit motive. Theorists of conflict theory focus on the assumptions that of economic factors when studying sport however they tend to overlook participation and recreational port for healthy living.
Functionalist theory and conflict theory both focus on the needs of society and how sport can relate to the satisfaction of the system needs. The theories dont inform us about sport in everyday life and the ways in which people are active agents who are participating in the processes of sports and societies that are organised and changed. They both also ignore that sport and social constructions emerge in peoples everyday life when they struggle to decide what is important and how they are going to collect organisation in their lives.
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