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Friday, April 14, 2017

An Analysis of The Truman Show Using Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

David Elishmerni
An Analysis of The Truman Show Using Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
Plato is widely considered as one of the most popular philosophers in the history of philosophy.  This is not only because he was able to produce one of the best students of all time, Aristotle, but also because his thoughts and philosophies have influenced so many philosophers after him.  His ideas were examined and served as the springboard for many philosophers decades after him.  One of his main philosophical ideas can be found in The Republic where he explained the nature of two realities to one of his students named Glaucon.  This explanation is embodied in the story of individuals trapped in a cave which has been called the Allegory of the Cave.  This research paper seeks to analyze the works different authors and philosophers discussing Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and its application to a contemporary film entitled The Truman Show.
Briefly, the Allegory of the Cave tells the story of a group of individuals whose legs and arms are chained inside a cave since they were born.  They are so tied that they could not look around them or go outside the cave.  Behind them is a fire which causes shadows to appear in front of them every time individuals from outside the cave walk past the cave.  Because of the fire behind them, these cave dwellers have been seeing shadows all their lives.  In fact, these are the only things that they see apart from the cave.  They think that these shadows are the real things.  Plato proceeds that if it so happened that one of the prisoners is able to escape from his chains, he will be able to go outside of the cave and discover so much more things aside from the shadow.  The prisoner will realize that what they have been accustomed to seeing are mere reflections of the real thing. At first, understanding this can be difficult to accept for which he might even be confused and disoriented. Over time, however, the prisoner will be able to get accustomed to this new reality and finally see the world in a different view.  With this discovery, he makes it his obligation to go back to the cave and tell about his discovery to his fellow cave dwellers who proceeds to kill him because they refuse to believe him.
Different philosophers and authors have attempted to explain the meaning behind Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.  One of the common interpretations is that Plato’s story which is full of symbolisms should not be taken literally.  One of these authors is Haymond (2009) who states that Plato used the story of the cave to refer to the physical world we are living in and the people that inhabit the physical world.  He states that “Plato interprets the physical world as only an illusion – an imperfect representation of a perfect Form.” (p. 8)  Haymond (2009) explains that the cave represents the physical world that we are living in while the cave dwellers are the people who live on the physical world.  The darkness in the cave and the shadows refer to the ignorance of the people who think that what they know is the complete reality.  Ignorance prevents the people from reaching a higher level of understanding or from leaving the cave.  On the other hand, the individual who was able to escape the cave represents the philosophers who were able to discover the higher world.  Haymond states that “The freed prisoner represents anyone who sees this physical world for the illusion that it is and who transcends this fallacy with their mind, thereby reaching the World of the Forms where one can know truth. Plato referred to these people as the philosophers of the world. Once they escape the fake world and know the truth, it is hard to return to their original habitation, just as it is hard for the prisoner to return to the cave.”  Upon understanding the true nature of reality, they seek to free the other individuals from their own chains only to be met with resistance and violence from the same people he tried to help liberate.
Plato’s ideas have influenced many philosophers after him. His thoughts have also been adapted in many works of literature until today. One of the famous contemporary works of art that utilized Plato’s philosophy is the Truman Show.  The Truman show tells the story of Truman Burbank whose life from the moment of his birth was shown on reality TV for the audience to see.  Just like the cave dwellers, Truman Burbank has lived his entire life thinking that it the only true reality.  Unknown to him, he is the main star in a reality television who features the drama of his life.  From his parents, his wife and friends to his communities, everything is staged.  Despite the artificiality, for Truman Burbank, everything is all real.  Just like the cave dwellers who thought that the cave they were living in was the only true reality. 
In his work, Falzon (2014) found the plot of the Truman show intimately similar with the Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in the sense that in both cases there is a deliberate and systematic deception done by an individual who controls the reality that the cave dwellers and Truman Burbank were experiencing  (Falzon 41).  In the case of Truman Burbank, his life is controlled by the director who controls everything on the set.  For the cave dwellers, their life is controlled by an unknown puppeteer.  Falzon added that for both Truman and the cave dwellers, there is no knowledge that they are being deceived because everything for them appears to be all real (Falzon 41). In fact, even when there were indications that there are strange things that are happening in the community, such as things falling from the sky or the daily events following a strict routine, Truman found it difficult to investigate further to find out what is wrong.  In the same manner, the cave dwellers in Plato’s allegory resorted to killing the prisoner who was able to escape because his revelations contradicted what they have known since they were born.
Slatman (2014) reinforces the views of Falzon (2014) in the sense that the former likewise argues that the liberation from the cave is not easy and requires time to get used to.  A close reading of the Republic will reveal that the cave dweller who happened to escape did not want to escape from his imprisonment.  Slatman (2014) states, “The one imprisoned down there did not want to be unshackled and wanted even less to leave his dark spot.  The cave is safe and pleasant place of our daily life where we are in fact quite satisfied.” (p. 32-33) Slatman emphasizes that the liberation from ignorance is not easy as well.  In many situations, the liberation will be opposed by the individual out of fear.  People fear venturing the unknown especially when staying in the darkness is the easier and more convenient alternative.  This happened to the prisoners of the cave who did nothing to remove the chains that trapped them in the cave since their birth.  It also happened to Truman who initially had a difficult time grappling with the idea that his life is not real.  In fact, before his discovery, he was quite happy with his monotonous life where every event happened following a regular pattern.  As Slatman (2014) explained, “As long as he does not know that his life is not ‘real’, he is actually quite happy (p. 33). However, once he discovered that his life was fake, he made it a point to want to literally get out and escape.
In support to the views of Falzon (2014) and Slatman (2014), Watkins (2016) examines Plato’s allegory of the cave and its relationship to true knowledge.   Watkins emphasizes that had the prisoner stayed inside the cave, he would not have managed to achieve knowledge.  He seeks to make a point that real knowledge can be found by going beyond our comfort zones and leaving the darkness of the cave that we have been accustomed to see. 
Considering that Truman has lived a staged life all his life and that his life and everything around it is fake because it is controlled by an evil director, is it possible to say that Truman’s life is less authentic compared to the life of the people whose life is not staged? Though his life is not real, does it make his life not authentic as well? What is the relationship between authenticity and reality? Does Truman have free will? The concepts of authenticity, reality, and free will were discussed in Lone’s (2015) The Philosophical Child.  Lone begins with an examination of the different levels of reality similar to Plato’s concept of the World of Forms and the Physical World.  He examines whether it is possible to rank a person’s reality life based on hierarchy.  Using Plato’s premise, it is possible for someone’s life to be more real than another person’s life?  In the case of Truman’s life, his reality is artificially constructed for him for the company running the show to earn money.  Lone (2015) states that, “…the creator of the television show The Truman Show asserts that we tend to “accept the reality of the world with which we’ve been presented” (p. 50).  Lone encourages the readers to explore their life and entertain the idea that their life may have been constructed by their own parents, teachers and friends (Lone 50).  Taking this into account, Lone wants us to examine whether we can reject their social constructions and make our own constructions of reality.
In the light of the discussion on authenticity and reality, Deuze explains that it is immaterial for an individual whether his life is staged or not real. For him, his own world is his reality.  In essence, one reason why the show was able to convince Truman that he was living a real life was because it is man’s nature to accept that reality that is presented to him.  In the words of the film’s director, he said, “we accept the reality of the world with which we are presented.  Deuze supports this view and states that, “The Truman Show is just another version of the real, one that is carefully staged and completely mediated, much like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, as people in the cave watching the puppets, were unware of any other lifestyle, or world other than the one which they were shown.” (Deuze 141) This stresses that both Truman and the cave dwellers failed to discover the deception because they have fully embraced the idea that there was only one reality which is the reality that they were living in. 

            Through the various research papers consulted from different authors, it has been established that Plato’s Allegory of the Cave should not be taken literally but figuratively.  The Allegory of the Cave refers to the physical world we are living in and the people who live in it. The darkness of the cave symbolizes the people’s ignorance as distinguished from the light outside the cave.  The Truman Show is one of the many contemporary works that used Plato’s philosophy as springboard for its plot.  The similarities between the two works are obvious in the sense that Truman Burbank’s life is artificially controlled by a puppeteer who controlled everything in his life.  Similar to the cave dwellers, Truman Burbank was imprisoned.  For both Truman Burbank and the cave dwellers, they have failed to discover the deception early on because they have accepted that the world they were living in as the reality.  He also did not have any knowledge that his life was not real until he discovered clues that the life he was living might not be real.  Once he discovered this fact, he initially had a difficult time accepting but when he found a way he took the step to escape from his imprisonment. 

Cited Works
Deuze, Mark. “Media Life.”  Media Perspectives for the 21st Century. Ed. Stylianos Papathanassopoulos.  New York: Routledge, 2011.
Haymond, Bryce.  A Modern Worldview from Plato’s Cave.  2009.  Web. October 15, 2016.
Lone, Jana Mohr.  The Philosophical Child.  Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2015.
Slatman, Jenny.  Our Strange Body: Philosophical Reflections on Identity and Medical Interventions.  Amsterdam University Press, 2014.
Falzon, Christopher.  Philosophy Goes to the Movies: An Introduction to Philosophy.  Routledge University Press, 2014.

Watkins, Greg.  Time the Redeemer: Time as an Object Cinema in a Post Metaphysical Age. Journal of Religion and Film.  January 4, 2016. Web. October 16, 2016. 

The Pitfalls and Strengths of Confessional Poetry

David Elishmerni

The Pitfalls and Strengths of Confessional Poetry
When we speak of poetry, we are reminded of a literary work that uses rhymes to convey the ideas of a poet.  In many cases, these works are impersonal as they focus on subjects like heroism and love.  Some poets like Robert Howell, however, opted to focus on subjects that reveal their own personal feelings, emotions and experiences.  This started the confessional poetry movement which involves using a more personal style of storytelling by and expression by utilizing a first person perspective or using "I". This style is normally unacceptable for conventional poetry.  This new style have influenced popular confessional poets such as Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, who are both Lowell's students. It has also prompted changes in poetry as a whole.
            Confessional poetry has allowed certain changes in poetry that have given writers more freedom to express themselves in a more personal style. The first person or "I" style of writing allowed poets to tell more personalized and introspective stories through their work by using the self as both the subject and the storyteller. By using "I" as the speaker in the poems, the reader could have a clearer and accurate perspective on what the speaker is feeling or thinking, as opposed to the purely descriptive third person perspective in most formal poems. The beginning of this movement left readers shocked due to its unconventionality, however, readers and poets have been learning to accept this style due to the freedom of expression that it allows.
            This type of poetry, allowed writers, such as Lowell and Plath to express themselves in themes that are not normally used in poetry due to the very personal and emotional nature of such topics. These themes include introspective feelings such as melancholia, depression, trauma and other mental illnesses that could not be accurately described in poetry otherwise, without the use of a confessional style. Other themes that are explored in confessional poetry are psychological experiences, reflections about death or dying, as well as emotions and feelings about relationships. Confessional poetry also dealt with themes that used to be avoided by writers due to explicitness, shame and societal limitations. Topics such as suicide, drugs and alcohol dependency, sex and other themes that were once excluded in poetry because of the negative implications, and negative feelings that they elicit to the reader have now been considered poetic as initiated by the introduction of the confessional poetry that allows the writers to be more introspective in their writing. Having to use a first person perspective paved the way for poets to explore a wider range of subjects that they could not usually express accurately and effectively if they use a less personal style of writing. For instance, in Plath’s most popular confessional poem “Daddy”, she used art and poetry to describe her childhood trauma upon losing her father during the Holocaust. The poem, which was autobiographical, described Plath’s sentiments about her father’s death. The poem which has references to deep-seated emotions and trauma about young child losing her father, and Plath would not have been able to achieve this profound effect on the readers without using a personal style of writing. These darker and less conventional themes have emerged in poetry since the introduction of the use of a personal style of writing. It allows the poets to write about their own feelings and sentiments, thus allowing an outlet for them to become genuine and vulnerable by expressing who they are and how they feel. In Lowell’s work in Life Studies, he provided the readers a look at who he is by becoming the center of his own work, he recreated himself in his own work by creating a subject, genuine and true to himself who shows all the vulnerabilities of being human. By presenting a poem this way, the characters in the poem are being open to the reader’s judgment and prejudices; thus, making it more difficult for the poet to expose himself completely. However, it depends on the poet’s writing style to avoid being harshly judged by the reader. For Lowell, he created a character that is very self-aware of his own faults, thus, creating a self-deprecating character that the reader would not judge. In the case of Plath, she created characters that are mysterious, hidden and defensive, thus, making it difficult for the reader to truly discern the real feelings and intentions of the characters.
In any case, confessional poetry provides the artists a medium to express their feelings, experiences, thoughts and perception, no matter how deep, dark or unconventionally taboo the subject is. It provides freedom for the writers; it is also in a way, very therapeutic for the writers to be able to voice out their deep emotions, anxiety and depression, as in the case of Anne Sexton who suffered from depression and bipolar disorder. She started writing about the psychology in her poems based on the advice of her therapist to help clear her mind. However, although it may seem very beneficial and encouraging for the poets, the reactions of readers to confessional poetry all differ. Some critics disagree with the artistic value of confessional poetry due to its lack of adherence to poetic structure and order. As most confessional poetry at the time have been written in free verse, many critics would prefer that poets stick to the conventional rhyme and meter of formal poems. The lack of structure and disregard to the accepted rules of poetry have left some readers uneasy and they find confessional poetry to be an inferior form of poetry. However, there are some readers who find the unconventionality of confessional poems liberating and refreshing. Many readers would also agree that the confessional poets such as Sexton, Plath, and Lowell have used careful attention to detail and structure to construct artistic poems that would be appreciated by both the writer and the reader.
Another issue that has emerged from confessional poetry is the lack of adherence to the conventional subjects of poetry. As mentioned earlier, the usual topics that have been written in the poems of the trio are considered taboo. Furthermore, Sexton, suffering from her mental disorders, has freely written about topics that may not suit the taste of formal poetry readers. Such topics include incestuous acts, self-gratification, fornication, adultery, menstruation, and drugs. Such changes in the direction of subjects in poetry have left critics to believe that confessional poetry is too self-indulgent for poetry. Since it uses a personal style, or "I" style or writing, it tends to focus mainly on the speaker in the poem, which basically is the reflection of the writer, and no one else. Although it may be novel and refreshing for the reader to read about the author’s genuine feelings and thoughts and provides them an introspective point of view of the speaker, the issue is that the works seem too self-centered and selfish. It looks at an individual’s psychological and emotional journey, but it excludes everyone else, as opposed to a more conventional poem that is aimed at including others and providing a perspective to the reader about the suffering of others. Thus, it is aesthetically and thematically disappointing for some readers as they deem it is too selfish for poetry.
Furthermore, confessional poetry has been criticized to lack the ability to gain the respect of readers because of the unconventionally self-centered and taboo topics, that may be distasteful for poetry readers. The lewd, embarrassing and shameful topics in these autobiographies have exposed all the flaws and intimate details about the writer or the writer’s mind, thus, by judging the poem’s speaker, readers are also judging the author according to the conventional standards of society. As a result, critics feel that confessional poetry lacks respect.
Overall, this style of writing may be embraced or even celebrated by many readers as it gives them a different point of view and it may also speak to them in a deeper level especially if they could relate to the emotions and themes that are expressed in the poem. It may also be therapeutic for both the writer and the reader in some cases; however, there are still some critics who find that this style lacks aesthetic and thematic value.  In my opinion, poetry is heading in a good direction, it should not be stagnant and constantly adhering to convention, it should incorporate the themes and ideas of the current context, thus, having poetry diversify its scope and structure might be a good direction to make poetry more relevant to the society.

“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”

David Elish

What You Don’t Know is The Most Important Part: Hemingway’s Use of The Iceberg Theory in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”

            The iceberg theory refers to a style that offers little context, where only the surface elements are evident. This is a style that is attributed to Ernest Hemingway. The effect of the style on the reader is that they begin to think about what they are reading. So the act of reading a Hemingway story, like “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”, is not only an exercise in receiving information, but also a thinking exercise. This is not to say that it is a painful exercise, it is actually the opposite. It is a pleasurable experience, because when we begin to understand the story.  Hemingway’s use of the iceberg theory only serves to heighten the beauty of his stories. This makes his stories beautiful, because they ask the reader to think. Hemingway’s style is deceptively simple, and yet there is a lot of information to process. Reading Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is a joy for readers, because it not only tells a story, but also poses questions. Despite being a short story, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” presents us with a story that showcases Hemingway’s use of the Iceberg Theory. In “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”, we find that what we do not read in the story are actually the most important parts, leading us to think about the story in the process. Essentially, it is what we do not know that is important to the story, and this is left for us to find out, which makes reading , “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” a pleasurable and fulfilling experience.
            The Iceberg Theory is a style of writing that is attributed to Hemingway. Coupled with his minimalistic style of writing, this serves to distinguish Hemingway from other writers. It is called the iceberg theory or iceberg principle because it seeks to omit as much as possible from a story so that the reader will have to imply as much from what they read as possible. This results in a story that is deceptively simple, but has many layers that can be uncovered. As a writer, Hemingway assumed that the “author should write straight and individual, his descriptions must be rich and earthy, and his words simple and forceful” (Darzikola 8). Nevertheless, he was not one to spoon-feed his readers with all the details. This means that the reader should also do his part when reading a story. They should also be thinking in the process of reading. To do this, Hemingway employs the Iceberg Method to “to depict definition and complexity to a character without straight stating what the person who reads should be thinking” (Darzikola 8). In a sense, this is a very democratic style of writing, because the reader is also involved in the process of unfolding the story. Like an iceberg, only the tip is visible above the water, but we all know that there is more at the bottom. In fact, it is not the tip that will cause the problem, but what lies at the bottom. In Hemingway’s stories, like “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”, it is not what we know and what we read about that is the most important aspect of the story. It is what we do not know, which surprisingly complex for such a short story that is important.
            The essence of the Iceberg Theory is what is omitted, as opposed to what is presented. In this manner of writing, majority of the story must be inferred by the writer, just like an iceberg whose mass is hidden below the surface. This then leads to a style of writing that is more suggestive, and not too direct. This leads the reader to use their imagination so that the subtler parts of the story are not lost (Tyler 22). The reader in this case is an active participant in the storytelling process. They are not merely passive participants whose only job is to decipher the written words. A reader of Hemingway’s stories, such as “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”, is presented as story that is deceptively simple, and yet after reading, there are a lot of questions that need answered. In reading a Hemingway story, the part that is written is actually the least important part (Strychacz 59). By doing this, Hemingway allows the reader to feel the whole story, as opposed to being a passive reader. This allows the story to shine, not only while it is being read, but even after the one is finished reading the story. The story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is an example of the how Hemingway created a story that adheres to the Iceberg Theory. It is sparse, and yet offers the reader a lot to think about afterwards.
            “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is a story about an old deaf patron in a cafĂ© and two waiters. As simple as it may sound, the story serves as a foundation for thinking about the details that Hemingway omitted, which have been discussed by many thinkers ever since it was published. An important issue to point out in the story is the dialogue between the younger and older waiter. It is here where Hemingway leaves out an important aspect of the story, and how the dialog unfolds. It is the fact that early on in the story, the reader does not know with absolute certainty which dialog is being said by the younger and the older waiter. In the story, the dialog starts with “Last week, he tried to commit suicide” (Hemingway, 5). In this dialog, we find that the banter of the waiters is about how the old deaf patron is initiated, but we do not really which is being said by the older waiter or the younger waiter, we can only assume. Hemingway makes this even more complicated because all that comes after the first utterance is “one waiter said” (5). It is at this point that the reader can only guess who said the first words. Kerner tells us that “no one, when first reading the story, can know which is saying” the first lines of dialogue (561). Indeed, in omitting the details about which waiter said what, Hemingway directs the reader to think and formulate the story in their heads as it unfolds. However, a peculiar aspect of the story is that the reader is led to believe that they know which part of the dialog is said by whom. This confusion has led many to try and decipher where the mystery of the dialog,
            The dialog is another example of Hemingway making use of the Iceberg theory. It is difficult to attribute “by the omission of all identifying tags” (81). However, there is a way to attribute the dialog. The method that we can use is to look at the patterns by which they speak. It is also important to point out that it can also be used to decipher the attribution of the dialog in the first exchange. Hurley proposed that the younger waiter and the older waiter play a role in the dialogs, one asks the and the other provides “terse answers that are that, as we shall see momentarily, have meanings known only to himself” (83).  Indeed, with this in mind, we find that finding out who is speaking is a little bit easier. For example, in the first exchange, we can say that the older waiter is the one who said, “Last week he tried to commit suicide”, when the younger waiter asks why, the older waiter answers “He was in despair”, and the older waiter says nothing (Hemingway). This idea that the older waiter is providing the answers is logical. One can even assume that the reason why the older waiter is giving out the brief answers that are a mystery in themselves is that he is trying to teach the younger waiter to think more profoundly, as opposed to being spoon-fed all the answers. We can even assume that this is exactly why Hemingway made the dialogs in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” this way is for the reader to think. Hemingway wanted the reader to make doubt himself, and try to discern patterns and unravel the web of his story. Aside from discerning patterns in the way each wait speaks, we can also make use of another type of analysis to make attribution easier.
            The structure of the story holds the key to understanding which of the dialog each waiter said. Bennet argues that “the story is based on constant polarity” (71). The polarity is divided between despair, and confidence. In the story, there is an opposition between the two, with despair referring to the “depth of feeling and insight into the human experience,” and confidence “characterized by a lack of feeling and therefore, a lack of insight” (71). With this in mind, we can say that the older waiter is the one who displays despair in the dialog, while the younger waiter is the one who displays confidence. A way of applying this way of thinking is when one of the waiters takes the deaf old man’s order for brandy, where he says “I'm sleepy now. I never get into bed before three o’clock. He should have killed himself last week” (Hemingway 6). This shows that whoever was saying this did not display an understanding for the deaf man’s predicament. All he wanted was to get things done and go home. The older waiter on the other hand could not have said that dialog, because first is that he already knew that the old man tried to commit suicide, and that he had an understanding of the what the man was going through. So once we know that the older waiter is the one who know about the deaf man, then we can attribute the dialogs to the younger and the older waiter. Going through all of this unscrambling can take more time than reading the whole short story, but in many ways it gives the story a more profound depth than it already has. Indeed, going through the story without knowing who said what is a bit confusing. Some might even fault Hemingway for this, but it is what he meant it to be, as opposed to a problem on his part as a writer.
            Aside from the dialog, there is another aspect of the story that the reader is given a minimum of information about, the deaf man’s suicide attempt. However, there is a way to find this out as well, because Hemingway does this through the old waiter. In the first dialog, when the younger waiter asks why the deaf man was in despair, the older man says “nothing” (Hemingway 5). The word nothing and “nada” is repeated all throughout the story. At first a reader might ignore this, but it really does help in understanding the story. For example, when the younger waiter says “What did he want to kill himself for?” we understand that the younger waiter does not know why the deaf man would kill himself if he had all the money a lot of money (Hemingway 7). However, it is the older waiter who understands that money is not everything. The older waiter muses the deaf man “had a wife once too” (Hemingway 7). So this means that the wife is already dead or gone. The concept of nothing is evident here because in reality, even though the old man had money, he had nothing to live for anymore. So the older waiter understands this. The deaf man’s suicide attempt then is caused by the feeling of nothingness, or emptiness that he is feeling. There is even more proof of this, because the deaf man spends most of his time getting drunk. In picking up clues from the story, we can find answers to things we do not know. The process itself is as fulfilling as finding out the answer.

            The Iceberg Theory is based on Hemingway’s penchant for omitting what many believe are the most important details of a story. For some, this can be a frustrating experience, because instead of being absolutely sure of what is happening in the story, the reader is left with a feeling that they did not fully understand the story. In reality, this is a misnomer, because one reading Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”, and understands that they did not fully comprehend that whole story is a reader who is thinking. This facet of Hemingway’s style is what makes it pleasurable to read his stories.  This means that they did merely comprehend the story at face value, but also understood that Hemingway wanted the reader to take part in the process of telling the story. In many ways, this turns the reader into thinking individual who seeks out clues and details to satisfy the questions that inevitably pop up in reading   Hemingway’s stories. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is deceptively simple, in fact, one can read it in a few minutes, but afterwards many questions appear. The words that we read in the story are merely the tip of the iceberg so to speak, it answers to questions like who is saying what and why the old deaf man attempted suicide that are important. Once we find out the answers, the story becomes even better. The joy of fully understanding the story is what makes Hemingway’s style enjoyable, because it is only then that we fully appreciate the story being told. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

US Media on Tiananmen Square: A Summary and Analysis

US Media on Tiananmen Square: A Summary and Analysis
It all started late April 1989, when 3000 people laid outside the Government headquarters in a hunger strike to back up their demands for “free press, better treatment of intellectuals, and attack on corruption” (Holley).  Since then, economists have seen a massive growth in the Chinese economy in a span of a decade. People's income doubled, and there was a significant rise in consumerism. However, along with this development, there was a conspicuous corruption and lack of democracy.
According to Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times’ Beijing bureau chief, the revolution was triggered by discontent. However, more than that, this was rooted in the fact that the "Communist Party has been losing its grip on the country" even long before the Tiananmen event. Statistically, the country was growing annually, modernizing successfully, and people were better off. But people felt that they needed something more. In the end, this was a "crisis of confidence." Overall, the US media had started to recognize that Communism is a failed system.
Kristof saw that the modernization was going too fast and became unsustainable for the government leading lot of economic mismanagement. On top of that, the government became corrupt and people saw it. The Communist Party was slowly losing its power and became less and less intimidating. The people, on the other hand, were losing interest in it and trust in the party.
The Protests
Prime Minister Li released an aggressive statement ordering the military to disperse the pro-democratic supporters. This caused even more people to go out on the streets support the pro-democratic movement. Li and Deng Xiaoping, defense leader, who were once seen as heroes were then regarded as a public enemy. Li's statement alarmed the protesters and pushed them to put their guards up, and set up precautionary measures in the threat of military invasion.
The protests were very unlikely during that time. Students have been relatively loyal to the party and have been uninterested in political disagreements (Kristof). However, when students started to gather on April 15 to put forward their struggles and interests it became a shock to the US media. At that time, the Sino-Soviet split was happening and the US media had sent a lot of their reporters in the country to cover this event.
On May 20, the government announced a martial law. This meant that media censorship, and restrictions of foreign media would be enforced. Despite a few warnings from Foreign Ministry or State Security Bureau on the consequences of violating this rule, the foreign press still conducted numerous interviews and published regular reports following the events in the Tiananmen Square (Kristof).
On May 21, it seemed like the movement was taking a more optimistic path. American media had an optimistic view on how the protests would possibly end on a victorious note.  On the other hand, some Chinese protesters had already foreseen that there would be bloodshed. At this time, there weren't a lot of violence happening. Protesters were still able to keep the police force and the military out of Beijing. One element that caused this to start in a peaceful manner is the presence of US media in the center of the country.
The protesters, despite efforts of the military to tear them down, took a peaceful approach by bringing the troops food, drinks, cigarettes, and newspapers. The basic strategy of protesters was to keep an open communication at all times to ensure a great understanding between the pro-democratic movement, and the army and ordinary citizens (Wudunnon). Some of the soldiers were prohibited from reading newspapers and were sent to the Tiananmen Square without the prior knowledge of why the people were there in the first place. This diplomatic discussion softened the military forces and caused some of them to retreat.
This optimism is intensified with the Chinese coverage of Philippine's People Power which triumphantly ousted their dictator of 20 years, Ferdinand Marcos. Similar tactics from that revolution were done by Chinese people in hopes that they would achieve similar victory.
On the other hand, thousands of Chinese have also conducted protests in US as a gesture of support for the student protesters in Tiananmen Square. Three thousand people have taken their demonstrations outside the Chinese embassy in Washington. Some of the students voiced out their plea that the US government support the cause of the pro-democracy protesters.
US Response on the Spark of the Protest
At that time, there was a good military relationship between China and US. According to then President Bush, military interventions were not deemed an option as it might affect this relationship negatively (Kristof). He had expressed his views on foreign policy in an address in 1989. In his speech, he recognized the failure of the Communist system, and the people’s eagerness to attain a more democratic system. He also acknowledged the protests in Tiananmen Square and he reassured the protesters that the world hears the plea of people for democracy and freedom.
At the same time, then President Bush emphasized that the strategy of the US government is deterrence, and that he discouraged any use of weaponry against the country’s allies. This was a statement on the elimination of war as an option in Europe, and promotion of peaceful East-West relationship. On the other hand, this can be seen as an indirect statement on the planned intervention (or lack thereof) of US government on the ongoing Tiananmen protests. He highlighted that aggression against US allies are deemed as unacceptable.
The Crackdown
On June 3, the Chinese government had increased their press restriction and press coverage of the Tiananmen protest. Interviewing of the protesters and taking photographs of the scene were prohibited in Tiananmen. During the early morning of June 3, soldiers started advancing to the square but were constantly blocked off by protesters as they remain outnumbered. Correspondents from US media had been visible despite the increasing risk on the safety of the people present in the square. There have been reports of military brutality against foreign journalists, however, the US media kept a good coverage on the events.
By the night of June 3, Deng imposed to the military the use of force and violence to anyone who would defy them. This is an order to carry out the martial law as planned, and go on extreme measures to disperse the protesters. An announcement by martial law authorities urged people to stay at home to avoid any unnecessary losses. The aggressive move of the military to penetrate the Tiananmen and the pro-democratic protester’s hard resistance caused massive casualties.
It appears that despite the aggressive protests, Communist hard-liners still have total control, and Communist members who were in favor of conciliation have very weak influence (Kristof). However, as the chaos ensued there was still no spokesman for the party (Mann and Holley). The party remained weak and without political leadership.
Chinese Government
Then Prime Minister Li had his first public appearance on a televised message congratulating the success of the troops and the people who fought against the pro-democratic movement. New Martial law rule prohibits any kind of writing and posts that are critical of the government. Days after the crackdown, government forces were still on high alert, guns were still fired occasionally, and troops were still deployed all over Beijing, although no further protest ensued.
Thousands of protesters died on the day of June 4. On top of that, a handful of those who took part in the pro-democratic movement were detained or imprisoned. Government forces even raided universities and arrested at least a dozen of students who are linked to the movement. Many more leaders were detained, while some went into hiding. The pro-democratic movement was continued to be vilified by the Chinese media after the event, with media labeling them as “counter-revolutionaries, anti-social elements, rumormongers, arsonists and anti-government sloganeers” (Holley and Williams). Televised coverage of the Tiananmen event in Chinese media showed only activists resisting, burning military vehicles, and attacking troops. Soldiers, on the other hand, were shown to die and get injured, not throwing a single attack. They campaigned on a widespread dissinfornation to regain public loyalty they had once lost.
Their security heightened as they limit distribution of passport. People were required to bring their identification at all times. One criteria of acquiring a passport includes proving your political loyalty, and proving your role in the pro-democratic protest (Pear).
US Government on the Communist Government
            Former President Bush had made a statement after the incident criticizing the Chinese government’s resort to violence. He also expressed that while the US government may take reasonable measures as a response to Chinese government’s suppression of freedom, they should also make sure that the former’s short and long term goals are taken into account. His first step in condemning China’s action was to suspend all “government-to-government sales and commercial exports of weapon.” Bush also promised medical aid to those affected by the crackdown through the help of Red Cross, On the other hand, Bush stated that he doesn’t want any act of violence on his part that might risk China to go back to its “previous policy of restraint.” It was not until 1972 when China started to open its doors to international relationships and developed diplomatic ties with the United States. The goal, according to Bush, is to develop a careful response that would protect the democracy while maintaining and strengthening the US’s relationship with China. Furthermore, he also expressed that it is not the best time to sever ties or withdraw their relationship with a country that might further break down. Despite constant suggestions that he pulls out US ambassador from China, he refuses to do so as he believes that the ambassador serves as a “listening post” and that he still wants to get as involved as he can. Bush’s main concern is to not make any move that would isolate China.
However, then Secretary of State James Baker had refused to comment on what penalties the US government would impose on China. While Bush had mentioned military suspension between China and US, he is still skeptical on imposing economic sanctions given that he does not want to damage the US-China relationship. They have kept their silence regarding what measures the government would take on the aftermath of the Tiananmen crackdown despite the increasing criticisms and pressure coming from the congress and the human rights group (Jehl). Instead, Secretary Baker had stated that the government is still looking into what might happen before taking any concrete action against the Communist government. There had been proposals of sanctions which tackle the problem very loosely and broadly. However, these discussions were always pushed back as Baker explained that they need to interpret their actions before implementation (Mann). In the end, the US government had chosen not to interfere with China’s political affairs.
This silence displeased the congress, as well as both the Democrats and Republicans, as they insist that US government should not appear complacent on Deng Xiaoping’s violent response to the protests. According to then Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Alan Cranston, this attitude of US government to the Chinese authorities is a compromise for Communism and a loss for democracy. On the other hand, Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina had expressed his disappointment in what had ensued, urging the government to take steps to castigate the Chinese government. He said that one of the first steps he would want to make after the Tiananmen event was to cut the “US military cooperation and sharing of technology with the Communist Government.” Similarly, then Senator Paul Simon, Illinois Democrat, had suggested suspension of military aid, and New York Representative Bill Paxton had told then President to impose economic sanctions.
            Brent Scowcroft, US National Security Advisor, went to China a month after the Tiananmen massacre. Then Senator George J. Mitchell, Democrat of Maine, majority leader, expressed his disappointment that this had happened a month after the brutal killings of pro-democratic protesters. The public had also openly condemned this move by the US government. This is especially because these actions were not consistent with President Bush’s statement on the Chinese-US interaction. At that time, President Bush had suspended high-level exchanges between the US and Chinese government (Dowd). However Bush defended this move by his subordinates as this is aimed to “make diplomatic overtures after the killings.”
            Analysts have agreed that the president sees that any aggressive action from US can damage the relationship of Washington and Beijing (Mann). Despite the constant pressure from the media, public, the congress, and other government leaders, Former President Bush chose that their relationship with China be preserved. Analysts have also agreed that the government officials were hopeful that this uproar from American public would settle down after a period of time and there would eventually be a change in Chinese leadership (Mann). This expectation from the US government is one of the reasons as to why the action has been very mild.
US Business
US Companies operating in China were taken aback as the events caused instability in the economy. There had been different proposals on how businesses should respond to the Tiananmen events. Charles Conroy, a partner at Baker & McKenzie law firm, considered suspending operations if the situation worsens. On the other hand, Albert Y. P’an of Transcapital International Inc. suggested not to halt any ongoing operations, but agreed that there should not be any new operations in the future until the situation in China becomes more certain.
Aside from the worry about the operations and its profitability, US business owners were also worried about the condition and the safety of their workers in China (Kreisler). According to Michael Oskenberg, political science professor in University of Michigan, the US business operations would only return to normal once the military presence subsides, and there is a maintained regular contact between US and China for joint ventures.
US Public
The State Department had restricted the presence of employees of American Embassy in Tiananmen Square. The State also discouraged Americans to travel to China after the incident (Pear). There were also reports of foreigner “mass evacuation,” which was seen as a sign of the damage on the diplomatic and economic ties caused by the massacre that went down in Tiananmen Square (Williams and Holley).
This backlash raised the need for a new leadership, to which a few Hong Kong-based diplomats agreed on. Chinese and Chinese Americans had organized peaceful public protests across US, like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and New Orleans, and other cities to denounce the Chinese government (McFadden). Ultimately, this was a call for the US government to penalize the Chinese government. On the other hand, Chinese students who were in the US plead for an extended stay in America as things remained unstable in China. The bill that allows Chinese students to stay in the country even after their visas expired was, however, vetoed by Bush.
US Media on Tiananmen Events
            US media had widely televised the events during and after the massacre happened. News outlets reported the events with emphasis on key elements such as the large military presence, extreme brutality, and the casualties. Recordings of interviews and the cruelty in the Tiananmen Square were watched all over America. The young students who were involved in the tragic crackdown were hailed as heroes in US media (Goodman).
On the other hand, the media did not tolerate the actions of the Communist government, and deplored the use of heavy force on unarmed students and protesters. Jim Laurie of ABC described the Tiananmen event as “obscene and unforgivable,” while CBS recorded an announcer on Radio Beijing speaking to the foreign government to perform apt action against the “barbarous” event. Goodman described the television scene to have a presumption of judgement beyond the television standards.
A mandatory report that was published on February 21, 1990 described the events as brutal and the “massacre” violated almost every human rights. The White House initially discouraged officials to criticize China on their human rights violation. However, despite being reviewed by the White House and the staff of the National Security Council, they have decided to publish the report without censoring as constricting it might cause more uproar from the public. The report includes China’s deteriorating human rights, and the government’s defense with “massive disinformation campaign, expulsion and harassment of foreign journalists.” The report aimed to express an objective report on the criticisms of events which has been much more blatant than Bush’s previous statements (Pear).
NBC summarized the report as follows. People who were involved in the protests were detained and subjected to torture in an attempt to get as much information as possible. On the other hand, as security measures after the crackdown, Chinese government increased their surveillance of their citizens by installing cameras, and monitoring the people’s mails, phone calls, and any form of communications. The report also stated that ''China reject[ed] the concept of universal human rights” as they refuse to discuss their violations. In line with the report also mmentions the government’s demolition of a human rights group named Amnesty 89 making it clear that any group advocating human rights will not be tolerated. Continuous human rights violation were reported such as Ganzu province’s sterilization of people with low IQ to ensure that no children with “severe mental handicap” were born. The report also publicized the harsh condition inside prisons where most of the time, a person is often help under their custody without charges, and automatically found guilty.
There had been a great divide as to how the US should approach the problem. The major dilemma was whether Former President Bush should have given sanctions to the Chinese government, or he should remain passive in his response to the Tiananmen Square. Choosing intervention on political affairs of China and penalizing them for the casualty would lead to a weakened diplomatic relationship between US and China. He had been very vocal about how he fears that China may isolate itself again. On the other hand, imposing a lenient response is a blow on US’s stand and principles on democracy, and tolerance on human rights violations. Although the US government has expressed their grief on what had happened in the Tiananmen, they chose to maintain a positive relationship with China refraining from doing any aggressive measure. While he had promise humanitarian aid and medical assistance, he did not do any further penalties on the Chinese Government aside from suspending any import and export of weaponry between US and China. Overall, Bush’s approach is not to isolate the Beijing, but instead to maintain diplomatic talks as he sees cutting any more ties would lead to further collapse of the Chinese government.
On the other hand, other government officials, and the US media had been tougher on their opinions as they blatantly condemned the massacre. The public had also marched out to protest and plead for aid to the Chinese people, and aggressive response from US.
Works Cited
Dowd, Maureen. "2 U.S. Officials Went to Beijing Secretly in July." The New York Times 18 Dec. 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
Goodman, Walter. "Review/Television; Many Big News Stories to Tell, but the Biggest of All Is China." The New York Times 5 June 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
Holley, David, and Daniel Williams. "China Hard-Liners Appear in Control." LA Times 9 June 1989: n. pag. LA Times. Web.
Holley, David, and Daniel Williams. "Economic Reforms to Continue, Deng Vows." LA Times 10 June 1989: n. pag. LA Times. Web.
Holley, David. "Small Group Creating Chaos." LA Times. 25 May 1989. LA Times. Web.
Jehl, Douglas. "Congress Steps Up Pressure for China Sanctions." The New York Times 5 June 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
Kreisler, Nancy H. "U.S. Companies Consider Options for Business in China." The New York Times 12 June 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
Kristof, Nicholas D. "BEIJING TIGHTENS PRESS RESTRICTION." The New York Times. N.p., 2 June 1989: n. pag. The New York Times.  Web.
Kristof, Nicholas D. "CHINA ERUPTS . . . THE REASONS WHY." The New York Times 04 June 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
Mann, Kim. "U.S. Easing Sanctions on China." The New York Times 4 Sept. 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
McFadden, Robert. "The West Condemns the Crackdown." The New York Times 5 June 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
McFadden, Robert D. "UPHEAVAL IN CHINA; Thousands of Chinese Rally in the U.S." The New York Times. N.p., 21 May 1989: n. pag. The New York Times.  Web.
Pear, Robert. "CRACKDOWN IN BEIJING; PRESIDENT ASSAILS SHOOTINGS IN CHINA." The New York Times 4 June 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
Pear, Robert. "U.S. Report Accuses China of Grave Rights Abuses." The New York Times 4 Feb. 1990: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
Wudunn, Sheryl. "UPHEAVAL IN CHINA; Facing the People, the Soldiers Fall Back." The New York Times 21 May 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.
"CRACKDOWN IN BEIJING; Excerpts From Bush's News Session." The New York Times 6 June 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.
"Excerpts From President's Address." The New York Times 25 May 1989: n. pag. The New York Times. Web.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Jamshid Atashband

Topic: Why I should be accepted in the FVC program
Subject: Other
Instructions: Why Syncis? Why should i be accepted to be in the fvc program? Where do i see myself in the future in this company? My background as a specialist in the us army intelligence, and in the medical field afterward and also being persian and traveling the world are my assets and i think i have good people skills and lot of connections in los angles and can gain people trust and friendship easily. I am 28 years old, male house owner and very independent since i was 19. Vahid chitsaz is my EFD and mentor in this company w his wife Narguess Noohi and i have learned a lot from them.

Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes. –Zig Ziglar
             I should be accepted in the FVC Program of Syncis because I am a firm believer of expecting the best and preparing for the worst; and the need to capitalize on what comes to us in order to do both. I believe that it is my personal calling to share knowledge to other people. Given the uncertainties that our society experience today, I believe that financial knowledge, especially for middle income families, has become more important than ever. I am one with Syncis in its mission and vision. My personal characteristics and skills that I gained in the military, medical field and my life in general also make me a good agent for the company.
            For many years, I worked as a specialist in the US Army Intelligence. I worked as an intelligence analyst focusing on effective processing and distribution of tactical intelligence. Intelligence analysts provide critical information to army personnel. In this experience, I learned about the crucial importance of trust and confidence in our working relationship. Professionally, I learned a lot of other skills that I can use at the FVC program in Syncis such as critical thinking and keen observation to details even under severe pressure. These skills will be useful in providing favorable advice in financial planning, especially in light of sensitive topics such as unexpected injuries and deaths. I can also be strategic if needed. I am able to emphasize the importance of planning and preparation in order to succeed in a certain goal. These skills and knowledge all have their rightful place in the practice of financial management and consultancy.
Afterwards, I also worked in the medical field, which also broadened my perspective about the importance of financial strength. I witnessed how some families had troubles with paying their hospital bills because they did not have health insurance or emergency funds. I believe that these families could have done so if they were only properly guided about saving for such unexpected events and medical emergencies. In those days, I was able to appreciate how important it us for families and individuals to have their financial resources and priorities sorted out with the help of financial professionals. With the vast medical situations that I have witnessed, I can provide realistic advices to my potential clients.
            In the recent years, I spent most of my time travelling around the world including many countries in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. As a Persian with a friendly disposition, I was able to gain numerous friends along the way. With most of these friends, I was able to develop strong connection founded on trust and goodwill. We are able to exchange our opinions on different issues. I have also heard much about how different cultures address the topics: money, financial stability, unexpected deaths, insurance, etc. To this day, I am still friends and keep in touch with those I met three to five years ago in different areas. In Los Angeles, I have also established a wide network and connections in many areas and field of expertise. I can handle conversations very well and make a good company everywhere. I am also fairly well at remembering faces, names, and stories of acquaintances even if I just met them very briefly. With this, I can say that my good people skills will help me do well in the FVC program.
            I also believe that my life’s story also makes me a good fit into the company and the FVC program. For one, I have been financially independent for most of my life. At the age of 19, I started living independently, away from my parents and relatives. I did part-time and voluntary works while studying. I did not come from a well-off family, but I managed to live a relatively comfortable life because of good financial prioritization. I managed my finances and managed to live on my own at an early age. I continued working and studying for many years. At 28, I now own a house. I still have many life and financial goals that I strive to achieve as I move on with my journey. With the struggles that I faced and successfully surpassed, I say that my life’s story can inspire others too. I can share my story and the financial strategies that I applied to my life to encourage my potential clients.
            For the past few years, I have developed a strong mentoring relationship with Vahid Chitsaz and his wife, Narguess Noohi. In all of the instances where I was so fortunate to have been able to communicate with them, I have learned so much. I admire the couple’s vision of making financial products and services more accessible to the middle-income families and in the process, helping them gain proper financial protection for the future. I want to be part of this important mission and vision. I also have a desire to share my story and guide more families into a more solid financial foundation.

            Overall, I should be accepted in FVC because this is my calling. I have vision to fulfill, a mission to do, and a story to tell. I want to spread the company’s advocacy because I firmly believe in it as well. I even lived and will be living in this advocacy too. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Political Science 1 – National & California Governments Globalyceum Exam No. 2

Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein (Office Phone 310-434-3541)
Political Science 1 – National & California Governments

Globalyceum Exam 2

1. Poll results vary based on
a. Mean, median, and mode.
b. Survey mode, sample size, and population definition.
c. Whether the method used was approved by the Census Bureau.
d. The statistical application of the Weights and Measures Bureau’s guidelines.

2. A candidate must win how many votes in the Electoral College to become president of the United States?
a. 270
b. All 538 of the votes
c. 400
d. 150

3. What is fits the definition of a social movements?
a. It uses people and organization to challenge power-holders.
b. All of these.
c. It claims to represent a group that is being treated unjustly.
d. It works outside the normal channels of government to create social or political change.

4. Which income percentile of the American population is most likely to go beyond voting and participate in campaign work on behalf of candidates for office.
a. People who have income at about the middle range.
b. Campaign participation is not influenced by income level.
c. The top 10 percent.
d. The bottom 20 percent.

5. Which of the following statements about conservatives is true?
a. None of these.
b. Conservatives tend to favor more government regulation of business.
c. Conservatives tend to favor higher taxes.
d. Conservatives tend to support larger government.

6. What is a key way that political parties make democracy possible?
a. Ensures accountability of officeholders
b. Allows a broad range of participants to become involved in politics
c. Stimulates interest in politics in the public
d. All of these

7. According to Jackson, primary election debates are very important because
a. Lesser-known candidates can get recognition with a good debate performance.
b. All of these.
c. Voters can compare the many candidates side by side.
d. The debates educate the voters about new issues and party positions on those issues.

8. Voter turnout varies with the type of election. From highest to lowest the order in the US would be:
a. Presidential elections, mid-term elections, primary elections.
b. State elections, mid-term election, presidential elections.
c. Primary elections, mid-term elections, presidential elections.
d. Mid-term elections, primary elections, presidential elections.

9. De Tocqueville saw political groups as a "necessary evil" in American democracy.

10. According to the political scientist Marjorie Hershey,
a. All of these.
b. There have been only five major political parties in all of US history.
c. The Democratic Party and Republican Party have dominated the Congress and the presidency since 1860.
d. The Federalist Party, the Democratic-Republican Party, and the Whig Party have not been active since the 19th century.

11. Although there have been many parties in American history,
a. We have always had one dominant and one weak political party.
b. We have only had about six political parties in our history.
c. We have always had at least four major political parties at any one time.
d. We have always had two major political parties that represent liberal and conservative views.

12. One method that schools use to politically socialize young people is
a. Ask student to participate in mock elections.
b. Tell students who to vote for.
c. Ask students to watch TV news.
d. Ask students to read newspapers.

13. Most modern observers believe that political parties
a. Are not really essential to democracy but are a tradition that we can not seem to get rid of them.
b. Are so essential to democracy that modern democracy would be impossible without them.
c. Are a great hindrance to democracy.
d. Are only useful to democracy if there are at least five or six of them.
14. Social movements have been important sources of social, political, and economic change in the United States.

15. A major tenet of the Pluralist School is
a. There are plural, or many, power holders and many accesses to power.
b. People naturally form interest groups to access these easily permeable power structures.
c. Power structures are easily permeable and interest groups do it all of the time.
d. All of these.

16. Violence against women would be an issue that affects
a. Women of all classes and races.
b. Lower-class women.
c. Mostly women of color.
d. Immigrant women.
17. Increased political polarization in Congress has led to
a. An enhanced communication between leaders of the House and Senate.
b. An increasingly popular public view of Congressional performance.
c. Gridlock in Congress.
d. Members of Congress running for multiple terms.

18. What has the greatest influence on decisions that American make when they vote?
a. Education
b. Partisanship
c. Single issues.
d. Preference for candidate

19. Affirmative advocacy
a. Actively seeks out coalitions and works with others at the state and local level
b. Has a proactive agenda
c. Looks for over-represented and under-represented issues in setting the agenda for activity
d. All of these

20. The four types of issues that advocacy groups deal with are
a. Universal issues, majority issues, discrimination issues, and advantaged sub-group issues
b. Majority issues, disadvantaged sub-group issues, advantaged sub-group issues, and Social Security issues
c. Universal discrimination issues, majority-minority issues, advantage sub-group issues, and disadvantaged sub-group issues
d. Universal issues, majority issues, disadvantaged sub-group issues, and advantaged sub-group issues

21. Older voters vote twice as frequently as younger voters.

22. The formation of interest groups and civil society organizations is an important part of the American political process.

23. Political outsiders and excluded groups engage in which of the following activities?
a. Demonstrations
b. All of these
c. Sit-ins
d. Street theater

24. What does the unit rule mean?
a. There are only five units in the country, and the presidential candidate must win at least 3 of these.
b. A candidate gets the proportion of the Electoral College votes that corresponds with the percentage of votes he or she won.
c. When a candidate wins most of the popular votes in a state, he or she takes all of the Electoral College votes.
d. When the candidate wins 270 units, he or she becomes president of the US.

25. Because social movements lack access to the reins of power and its resources, it uses other resources that are more readily available to it, such as
a. All of these.
b. Commitment.
c. Energy.
d. Numbers.

26. “Blue Dog Democrats” are
a. Liberal Democrats who always vote along party lines.
b. Democrats from the “blue” states.
c. Democrats who support labor unions.
d. Democrats who are conservative on economic issues.

27. In an open primary, the voter can choose which primary election--Democratic or Republican--he or she would like to vote in.

28. According to the political scientist, V.O. Key,
a. The party organization refers to its relatively permanent structure.
b. The party in the electorate consist of voters who identify with it consistently and support its candidates regularly in elections.
c. The party in government includes appointees and elected officials who run for office under the party's label.
d. All of these.

29. The problem with intersectional marginalization is that
a. When a person or group is faced with intersectionality issues, their problems do not just add to one another, they multiply and complicate each other.
b. You cannot claim that one form of marginalization is more important than another.
c. The discrimination problems faced by people who belong to two disadvantaged groups are much greater than those with one disadvantage.
d. All of these.

30. Which primary model is by far the LEAST used in congressional primaries?
a. Closed primaries
b. Hybrid primaries
c. Open primaries
d. Top-two primaries

31. Public opinion matters because in a democratic system we believe that government policy should follow the public will.

32. What election recently was controversial because of the very close Electoral College vote?
a. Obama v. Romney
b. Kennedy v. Nixonc. Bush v. Gored. Reagan v. Carter

33. Who wrote the following words: "Liberty is to faction what air is to fire"?
a. Patrick Henry
b. James Madison
c. John Jay
d. Alexander Hamiliton

34. Strolovitch's main argument is
a. All of these.
b. Even though organizations may not be doing a good job of advocating for the marginalized, we should still celebrate the fact that they are making the effort.
c. Just because an organization has some indication in its name that it represents the marginalized, they sometimes could be doing more harm than good.
d. We have to question whether groups that claim to represent the disadvantaged actually do it.

35. Polls show that Americans support that core political belief that women should have the same rights as men.

36. Why do both the government and private sector assemble data on public opinion?
a. All of these
b. Public opinion polls are the best way to measure what people think.
c. The United States has a representative form of government; therefore, public opinion is important to lawmakers.
d. Americans believe in the democratic process, and therefore value public opinion.

37. Alexis de Tocqueville
a. Believed that "faction" could be good.
b. All of these.
c. Believed that association was the secret of democracy in America.
d. Regarded "faction" as a form of association.

38. When the Founders drafted the US Constitution, Senators were elected by
a. The voters directly.
b. The Electoral College.
c. None of these.
d. Members of the state legislatures.

39. According to Strolovitch, in judging the effectiveness of an advocacy organization which claims to represent the marginalized,what are the guiding questions we should ask?
a. How active for the intersectionally marginalized are they? Because without that the organization is a failure.
b. What coalitions do they form? Because coalitions are the key to success.
c. What institutions do they target and what coalitions do they form? Because the political activity is the most important barometer.
d. How active for the intersectionally marginalizedn are they, what institutions do they target, and what coalitions do they form?

40. The appropriate “population” in a survey
a. Depends on the question being asked.
b. Is always comprised of 1,000 voters.
c. Simply means finding a group that accurately represents the entire United States.
d. Depends on whether you are doing an in-person interview, a online survey, or a phone poll.

41. According to Jackson, what two things do schools do to encourage active, engaged voters at an earlier age?
a. Study abroad and voter registration drives at the school.
b. Mock elections and notes home to parents to encourage them to talk to their children about political affairs.
c. Mock elections and student council elections.
d. Student council elections and study abroad.

42. When women’s groups wanted to fight pregnancy discrimination in the 1970s,
a. They went to the the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
b. All of these.
c. They went to Congress.
d. They chose a legislative and an executive strategy.

43. Besides winning elections, political parties are useful as watchdogs.

44. According to Dara Strolovitch, we should scrutinize advocacy organizations that claim to represent the marginalized like anything else and have standards for questioning their effectiveness.
45. What is the "American Creed"?
a. The belief in a special American religion.
b. An oath taken by children every morning in grade schools.
c. None of these.
d. A strong belief in the core political values of the nation.
46. The difference between direct democracy and representative democracy is that in the former the voter votes directly on the issue, while in later the voter votes for a person who will vote for the voter. a. FALSE

47. Which of the following is NOT a social movement?
a. #Black Lives Matter
b. DREAMers
c. The Tea Party
d. EPA

48. Why do many social movements have to make public demonstrations to get their message to the public?
a. All of these,
b. In the beginning, they lack powerful advocates for their cause, like politicians and wealthy people.
c. They often do not have the money to appeal to others on expensive media, like television.
d. Sometimes, their causes conflict with powerful interests, like the wealthy, the police, and politicians, so they have to go over their heads to the public at large.

49. Since 1836, the republic has been dominated by how many political parties at a time?
a. Five
b. Three
c. One
d. Two

50. The cell-phone only population is likely to include more young people, which pollsters have to take into account a. TRUEb. FALSE