Characters in Bambara’s “The Lesson”

One summer day in New York City, a young African-American girl named Sylvia and her friends take a trip down to Fifth Avenue with her unconventional neighbor, Miss Moore, to view and understand the discrepancies in wealth among the classes of the city as a means through a lesson. The impression that Sylvia leaves on my mind is one who expresses dominance, arrogance, and hard-headedness. In the beginning, Sylvia declares that her “…and Sugar were the only ones just right…” in a world where “…everyone was old and stupid or young and foolish…” (Bambara 146). It is implied that Sylvia dominates her friendship with Sugar and is a bully because she “…would much rather snatch Sugar…and terrorize the West Indian kids…” than listen to Miss Moore’s teachings. (Bambara 147). Another example of Sylvia being the dominant friend occurs towards the end of the story, where Sugar is reflecting upon the day’s lesson as Sylvia attempts to “… [stand] on her foot so she don’t continue” (Bambara 151). The most interesting aspect about Sylvia is that she appears to not appreciate Miss Moore saying that Sylvia and her friends “…are poor and live in the slums…” (Bambara 147) and was about to comment on that statement before she was interrupted by a friend. Afterwards, when the group and Miss Moore visit F.A.O. Schwartz, Sylvia exhibits anger, perhaps jealousy as well, over the prices of the toys because the money that could be spent buying those toys could also be spent on “…new bunk beds for Junior and Gretchen’s boy… [visiting] Grandpa Nelson in the country…the rent and the piano bill too” (Bambara 150). It appears as if Sylvia begins to grasp the meaning of “the lesson” Miss Moore is attempting to teach to her and her friends but “…won’t give her the satisfaction” (Bambara 150) of letting Miss Moore know that she was angry, maybe even upset, over learning “the lesson” and even walked away in lieu of answer when Miss Moore had asked her if anyone else had learned something of value that eventful day. Miss Moore, on the other hand, displays a savior complex “…and said it was only right that she should take responsibility for the young ones’ education…” (Bambara 146). It is not necessarily a terrible quality to possess because the reader understands that Miss Moore is simply trying to educate her neighbors’ children on the inequalities between the classes so that the children may one day grow up to fight against the injustices at the economic and social levels for a more equal society. It is quite interesting to know that Miss Moore devotes so much time in trying to educate the children, despite them not being her own. Hence, the entire day trip to Fifth Avenue and F.A.O. Schwartz was a means as a lesson to showcase the inequality between wealth among the American citizens. “ ‘Imagine for a minute what kind of society it is in which some people can spend on a toy what it would cost to feed a family of six or seven. What do you think?’” says Miss Moore (Bambara 151). Sugar, Sylvia’s best friend, appears to be more of a follower than a leader but can stick up for herself if the situation calls for it. For instance Sylvia stands on her foot so that Sugar will not be able to answer to Miss Moore when all of sudden she surprises Sylvia herself when she “… [pushes] [Sylvia] off her feet like she never done before, cause [Sylvia] [would] whip her ass in a minute” (Bambara 151). Therefore, the most interesting aspect of Sugar is that she can think for herself and not follow the crowd as she can be quite intelligent. For example, when she reflects and seems to understand the point of the day trip to F.A.O. Schwartz, Sylvia is “…disgusted with Sugar’s treachery” because Sugar says, “‘I think …that this is not much of a democracy if you ask me. Equal chance to pursue happiness means an equal crack at the dough, don’t it?’” (Bambara 151). Sugar is the one who understands and speaks out about Miss Moore’s lesson.

Works Cited

Bambara, Toni Cade. “The Lesson.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Kelly J. Mays. 12th ed. WW Norton & Company, 2016. 146-151.

 

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A Closed Reading on “The Cask of Amontillado”

 

Blood is thicker than Water: Family Ideals, Justice, and Murder

Montresor, a precarious man with a frivolous sense of justice, vows and accomplishes an act of retribution against his friend – Fortunato – for simply making disparaging remarks towards him. Thus is the story of “The Cask of Amontillado” by the late Edgar Allen Poe. The narrator, Montresor, is unreliable in his narration because he is a flat and static character whose actions are predictable and simple enough to grasp. Especially when one takes into consideration that seemingly insignificant detail about his family’s ideals towards retribution and justice. Montresor’s conviction, in fact, should come of no surprise given what his family’s sigil and words signify – that of a perverted sense of justice against those who have “wronged” them. With that in mind, the true character of Montresor is therefore unveiled simply by examining his family’s ideals through their sigil and motto.

Through the use of an extensive labyrinth of his family’s catacombs, Montresor executes his well thought-out plan to punish Fortunato by essentially burying him alive. Intoxicated and ignorant of the situation he finds himself in, Fortunato duly comments on the catacombs – unintentionally introducing the sigil and words of the Montresor family into the conversation. “‘The Montresors,’ I replied, ‘were a great and numerous family.’ ‘I forget your arms,’ [replied Fortunato]. ‘A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel,’ [says Montresor] ‘And the motto?’[asks Fortunato] ‘Nemo me impune lacessit.’ ‘Good!’ [Fortunato] said” (Poe 181). In actuality, this seemingly insignificant aspect about the Montresors’ attitude towards and interpretation of vengeance and justice proves to be quite significant to the context of the story and to the character of Montresor.

Given the context of the story, the sigil and motto of the Montresor family can be easily comprehended. Thus, so can the character of Montresor himself; including the reasoning behind his conviction. Upon closer examination, the family sigil contains several symbolic images. Primarily, the “…huge human foot [made of gold]…” and the “…serpent…whose fangs are imbedded in the heel” (Poe 181). The fact that the Montresor family chose a golden human foot to represent their family says a lot about them and what they think of themselves. Gold is often symbolized with wealth, of course, but it is associated with justice as well. One might infer that the Montresor family values justice, and may view themselves as judicious and righteous. As for the serpent, according to Christian belief, it is often associated with evil, manipulation, sin, betrayal, and treachery. When one puts these two images together, one may conjure up a vivid expression of a common symbol of good defeating evil; of implementing justice when justice is demanded.

As for the family words, they literally translate to “No one provokes me with impunity” (Poe 181). Impunity meaning being free from liability, despite how one’s actions has actually resulted in severe and/or harmful consequences. To Montresor, “the thousand injuries… [he] had borne as best [he] could…” by Fortunato’s hand was an act of impunity – whether it was intentional or unintentional (Poe 179). It was before long when Fortunato would “… [venture] upon insult…” that Montresor would have enough of his disparaging remarks and would “… [vow] revenge” (Poe 179). At that point, Montresor was settled on the idea that Fortunato would not get away with impunity.

All in all, one may put the family sigil and words together like a puzzle piece; unveiling an illuminating depiction of the Montresors’ ideals and values towards justice, retribution, and vengeance. After all, Montresor did decide to take such a drastic measure of punishing his friend for something simple. Yet again, it is easy to imply and infer from the short story that the Montresor family may indeed have a perverted, superficial sense of justice. To conclude, Montresor’s character and his predisposition towards exacting revenge against his friend Fortunato should come of no surprise, and is only unveiled and truly understood by examining the Montresor family’s sigil and words.

Works Cited

Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Cask of Amontillado.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed.

Kelly J. Mays. 12th ed. WW Norton & Company, 2016. 178-184.

The Effects of Cryoprotectants of Small Companion Animals’ Erythrocytes Undergoing Cryopreservation

This is an essay that I recently wrote for my General Biology class.

One of the main issues facing veterinary medicine today is a lack of efficient cryopreservation (the process of freezing and storing cells to maintain their activity) of erythrocytes, or red blood cells, of small companion animals, e.g. dogs and cats. A transfusion of erythrocyte concentration, as opposed to whole blood transfusion, contains a consistent amount of red blood cells with minimum levels of citric acid, white blood cells, platelets, and unwanted chemicals; and can potentially save the lives of small companion animals [1, 2].

This experiment was conducted to observe the effects of penetrating cryoprotectants, where small molecules are able to cross cell membranes to reduce ice growth and cell dehydration during freezing, and non-penetrating cryoprotectants, in which large molecules, e.g. polymers, are added to cryoprotectant solutions [3]. A cryoprotectant is a substance used to protect cells or tissues from damage during freezing. This particular experiment was concerned with the capability of single-component and multi-component cryoprotectant solutions (using both penetrating and non-penetrating cryoprotectants), as well as pre-incubation and incubation time periods prior to the freezing of canine and feline erythrocytes.

There have been no previous studies of cryopreservation conducted on feline erythrocytes but there have been studies conducted on cryopreserving canine erythrocytes [4]. Glycerol was used as a penetrating cryoprotectant for such studies, and has previously been proven to be effective for properly preserving canine erythrocytes with little damage after the red blood cells were thawed. However, the process is problematic and tedious, and may not be readily available at all times. If glycerol is not removed properly from the erythrocytes before transfusion during deglyceralization (removing glycerol from previously frozen red blood cells), hemolysis, the destruction of red blood cells, may occur. Non-penetrating cryoprotectants, such as PEO-1500 and hydroxethyl starch (HES) were also used in previous studies conducted on cryopreserving canine erythrocytes [5-9]. One advantage of using non-penetrating cryoprotectants over penetrating cryoprotectants is that the former eliminates “washing” or removing the cryoprotectant itself before it is available to use as a transfusion. Other methods that have been taken into consideration to cryopreserve erythrocytes of small companion animals include creating and utilizing a multi-component cryoprotectant. A multi-component cryoprotectant is acquired through various components of different cryoprotectants, including penetrating and non-penetrating cryoprotectants. The utilization of some multi-component cryoprotectants has been proven to be successful in the cryopreservation of erythrocytes of other animals, such as rats and humans [10-12].

Glycerol and ME2SO, both penetrating cryoprotectants, and hydroxethyl starch, a non-penetrating cryoprotectant, were used in the experiment. The conducted study found that glycerol was not as effective in cryopreserving erythrocytes of both species, despite previous studies demonstrating otherwise. ME2SO demonstrated a decreased level of hemolysis after the erythrocytes of both species were thawed but not as significant as expected. Hydroxethyl starch proved to be the most effective cryoprotectant for both species, having the lowest levels of hemolysis yet having the highest levels of osmotic fragility (or lowest levels of osmotic stability) of all cryoprotectants.  Osmotic stability or fragility was tested for by placing the thawed erythrocytes, after being incubated in various cryoprotectants, into an isotonic sodium chloride solution and observing the levels of osmosis. The results obtained from the research and experiment was represented by the levels of hemolysis and osmotic stability of the thawed erythrocytes of both species. The experiment executed in a particular path has provided a means of utilization of the results to be further researched and experimented on in various veterinary medicine studies as well.

Overall, this particular scientific study was an example of an exceptional experiment yet there were a few aspects that could have been improved or clarified. The methods and the materials used in the study were adequate and proved to be extremely useful in achieving results. On the other hand, the sample size of retrieved erythrocytes could have been increased to better represent various results of more than just three, different cryoprotectant solutions. It would have also been quite interesting to read if not only the samples of erythrocytes were taken from healthy adult canines and felines but also from small companion animals who had hematological abnormalities, disorders, or diseases to fully comprehend the effects of cryopreservation and cryoprotectants on less than healthy companion animals. The central experimental control used in the majority of the scientific study was sufficient enough to fathom, although the control group used to study the osmotic stability of the erythrocytes was not as easy to perceive. However, the findings of the experiment were significant enough that the results may be used in the future in related veterinary scientific studies

For instance, every scientific experiment follows a specific set of guidelines encoded as the scientific method. Issues that can be resolved scientifically involve observation, questioning, hypothesizing, prediction, and experimentation. As a result, the conducted research and the obtained results from such experimentations can be further implemented in future scientific studies. It is this implied key component of using the scientific method that differentiates exceptional experiments from subpar experiments. A fantastic scientific study can be repeated by others who are interested in the subject using the exact same methods and materials presented in the original.

The most fundamental question concerning this specific experiment was in regards to what is the most effective cryoprotectant that can be applied to the cryopreservation of erythrocytes of small companion animals that can lead to a successful blood transfusion. Hence, various single-component and multi-component cryoprotectants were observed and tested in the experiment. A hypothesis and a prediction were not directly stated but rather implied by the various past studies and tests administered akin to the current experiment in proposition. As stated beforehand, based on previous studies and experiments, glycerol was proven to be an effective cryoprotectant in properly cryopreserving canine erythrocytes. The reader may come to the conclusion that the mention of a successful experiment of cryopreservation using glycerol may possibly lead to yet another successful experiment using the same glycerol as a cryoprotectant.

The samples of the erythrocytes were acquired from healthy, adult canines and felines. The majority of the study was organized mainly in Ukraine and Germany, and was attended to in accordance with standard ethical and moral regulations for animals used in experiments. The actual blood samples were collected from the brachial vein, located in the forelimb, through means of venipuncture (the puncture of a vein as part of a medical procedure). While canines did not require anesthesia, felines did; hence a sedative known as Sedazin was administered to the felines in care. Sedazin, according to Biowet Puławy in Poland, is a “Xylazine 2% solution with a sedative, analgesic, and myorelaxant effect used in cattle, horses, dogs, and cats” [13]. Sedazin was executed subcutaneously (situated or applied under the skin) or intramuscularly (situated or taking place within, or administered into a muscle), using three milligrams per kilogram of weight as the ratio. Approximately, 20 milliliters of whole blood had been retrieved from canines and 7-10 milliliters had been attained from felines.

The sample size was roughly five blood samples for each of the both species. The control groups of the experiment were the erythrocyte concentrations of both species being presented to an isotonic saline solution comprised of sodium chloride, tris-hydrochloride, and a pH level of 7.4 at 10, 20, and 30 minutes without any additional interference. The levels of hemolysis of both feline and canine erythrocytes were measured, and it was thus concluded through the implication that the longer the red blood cells were incubated in the isotonic saline solution, the levels of hemolysis increased.  The data of using single cryoprotectant solutions were presented by the levels of hemolysis of red blood cells as well, though after the erythrocytes had been frozen, thawed, and washed relying upon the pre-incubation periods of 10, 20, and 30 minutes with the cryoprotectant itself. The most effective cryoprotectant was determined to be a 17.5% solution of hydroxethyl starch. On the contrary, hydroxethyl starch had the highest levels of osmotic fragility compared to the other single component cryoprotectants.

The sample size in regards to the cryopreservation of feline and canine erythrocytes using multi-component cryoprotectant solutions was also five. The control groups are similar in nature to the one being applied in the central, original experiment, however, multi-component solutions were employed in lieu of the single component cryoprotectant solutions. The multi-component solutions were consisted of one penetrating cryoprotectant, either glycerol or ME2SO, and the non-penetrating cryoprotectant, hydroxethyl starch. The data of cryopreserving canine and feline erythrocytes were presented by the levels of hemolysis of red blood cells, after the erythrocytes had been frozen, thawed, and washed, relying upon the pre-incubation periods of 10, 20, and 30 minutes as well. The most effective multi-component cryoprotectant solution was a combination of glycerol and hydroxethyl starch, however, the effectiveness was not as significant as the hydroxethyl starch solution alone.

As mentioned beforehand, the 17.5% solution of hydroxethyl starch resulted in the highest levels of osmotic fragility for both feline and canine erythrocytes. Adding a penetrating cryoprotectant, such as ME2SO, to the hydroxethyl starch lowered the levels of osmotic fragility significantly, while it increased the levels of hemolysis of red blood cells concurrently. Osmotic fragility was tested for by placing the contents, the thawed erythrocytes, into an isotonic sodium chloride solution and observing the levels of osmotic stability. However, the majority of the experimental results differed significantly from that of the control group, which was placed into a 0.45% isotonic sodium chloride solution.

To conclude, the results obtained from both single component and multi-component cryoprotectant solutions used in cryopreserving erythrocytes of small companion animals proved that further implementation of research and experimentation is required to fully comprehend and achieve exceptional and capable solutions as to what is the most effective cryoprotectant that can accomplish the lowest levels of hemolysis of red blood cells as well as osmotic fragility. Overall, the scientific study in proposition was an example of an exceptional experiment for the methods and materials being utilized, the fundamental question that was kept in mind throughout the experiment, the observations and the experimentations conducted, the discussion of the results, and the indication that the particular experiment is repeatable. Therefore, this particular scientific study would be extremely advantageous for future scientific studies in veterinary medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

References

  1. Gonzales-Guerrero C, Montoro-Ronsano JB. Physiopathology and treatment of critical bleeding: a literature review. Farm. Hospital 2015; 39: 382-398.

 

  1. Otter SM. Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine: Comparative Transfusion Medicine. Academic Press 1991; 36.

 

  1. Darwin M, de Wolf A, de Wolf C, Fahy GM, Perry RM, Wowk B. The Science of Cryonics. Alcor Life Extension Foundation 2007; 28 (3): 4-5.

 

  1. Contreras TJ, Lindberg JR, Lowrie GB, Pivacek LE, Austin RM, Vecchione JJ, Valeri CR. Liquid and freeze-preservation of dog red blood cells. Transfusion 1979; 19: 279-92

 

  1. Henrich HA, Langer R. Erythrocytes after cryopreservation with HES: molecular, structural and functional characteristics. Zentralblatt Fur Chirurgie 1999; 127: 271-277.

 

  1. Kim H, Itamoto K, Une S, Nakaichi M, Sumida S, Taura Y. A comparative study of the effects of glycerol and hydroxethyl starch in canine red blood cell cryopreservation. The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 2004; 66: 1543-1547.

 

  1. Kim H, Itamoto K, Une S, Nakaichi M, Taura Y, Sumida S. Application of phosphoenolpyruvate into canine red blood cell cryopreservation with hydroxethyl starch. Cryo Letters 2005; 26: 1-6.

 

  1. Langer R, Albrecht R, Hempel K, Krug S, Sputtek A, Steigerwald R, Trenkel K, Henrich HA. Characterization of 24-hour survival rate and duration of survival of hydroxethyl starch cryopreserved erythrocytes after autologous transfusion in dog. Infusionsther Transfusionmed 1994; 21: 393-400.

 

  1. Sputtek A, Langer R, Schmid H, Steigerwald R, Trenkel K, Kron W, Henrich HA, Korber C, Rau G. Cryopreservation of erythrocytes with hydroxethyl starch: in vitro results leading to an autologous retransfusion model in the dog. Beitrage Zur Infusionsther 1992; 30: 292-296.

 

  1. Naaldijk Y, Staude M, Fedorova V, Stolzing A. Effect of different freezing rates during cryopreservation of rat mesenchymal stem cells using combinations of hydroxethyl starch and dimethylsulfoxide. BMC Biotechnology 2012; 12: 49.

 

  1. Bogdanchikova OA, Gurina TM, Kompaniets AM. Blood Platelet Freezing Under Cryoprotective Media with Different Combinations of Cryoprotectants. Problems of Cryobiology 2008; 18: 109-113.

 

  1. Pakohomova YS, Chekanova VV, Kompaniets AM. Cryoprotective Properties of Solutions Based on Non-Penetrative OEGn=25 Combined with Penetrating Cryoprotectants during Freezing of Human Erythrocytes. Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine 2013; 23: 26-39.

 

  1. Biowet Puławy [Internet]. Poland: Biowet Puławy; 2017 [cited 2017 Nov 19] Available from: http://biowet.pl/produkty/sedazin-2/?lang=en

 

  1. Pogozhykh D, Pakhomova Y, Pervushina O, Hofmann N, Glasmacher Birgit, Zhegunov G. Exploring the Possibility of Cryopreservation of Feline and Canine Erythrocytes by Rapid Freezing with Penetrating and Non-Penetrating Cryoprotectants. PLoS ONE 2017; 12 (1): 1-9.

 

World War II: Through the Lens of History

This was an essay I recently wrote for my U.S. History class this past summer, in regards to whether or not if World War II should be remembered as a “good war.”

World War II: Through the Lens of History

World War II is often cited as being a “good” war through the lens of American history. After all, none of the actual conflict existed on American soil (except for the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor). Compared to other countries in Europe and Asia, the U.S. saw relatively little combatant and civilian deaths as a direct result of the war. War-time production and labor greatly increased in numbers in the U.S. during the war. The increase in war industries and advanced weaponry aided the Allies (Great Britain, France, United States, and towards the end of the war, the Soviet Union) into victory over the Axis (Germany, Italy, and Japan). However, for many citizens of the world, World War II was not remembered as a “good” war, and rightly so. Thus, World War II should not be remembered as a “good” war in American history; solely because of the lack of the humanity exhibited in such incidents as the atomic bombings in Japan, the atrocities of the Holocaust, and the horror inflicted on American troops.

Japan sought to exert its power and influence all over Asia previous to and during World War II. The Japanese expanded their territories by invading and conquering Manchuria (1931), mainland China (1937), and other Asian countries in the Pacific such as Taiwan and Korea. Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Japan began to fall apart when the U.S. condemned Japan for invading French Indo-China (Vietnam) by cutting off the oil supply.  As a result, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on American naval bases stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1947. Japanese forces then captured the Philippines, a country that was officially annexed by the U.S. during the age of Imperialism. Afterwards, the U.S. became fully engaged in World War II and the war against Japan was referred to as the Pacific Theatre in American history. The turning point in the Pacific War was the Battle of Midway (1942) where American forces won a decisive victory over the Japanese by intercepting Japanese communications. Afterwards, the war in the Pacific began to favor the U.S. as was evident in the victories established in Iwo Jima and Okinawa (1945) and the recapture of the Philippines by American forces. However, President Harry S. Truman, successor to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, authorized the use of atomic bombings on Japan to officially bring World War II to an end as the Allied forces had already won over the Axis powers in Europe.

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima (August 6th, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9th, 1945) resulted in approximately 170,000 combined civilian deaths. President Truman comprehended and concluded that by using the atomic bomb as a straightforward military decision, the Pacific War would come to a swift end. However, the consequences of this decision resulted in a devastation unlike the world had yet to witness and experience in human history; the power of nuclear weaponry, that is akin to the wrath of God. Yoshitaka Kawamoto, then a young boy living in Hiroshima at the time of the bombings, recounts, “I was in pain…I went to Miyuki Bridge to get some water… I saw so many people collapsed there…I stood up in the water and so many bodies were floating away along the stream. I [cannot] find the words to describe it. It was horrible. I felt fear…I [could not] find my shadow,” (Kawamoto). Thus, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings provide enough support to conclude that World War II should not be remembered as a “good” war in American history because the Pacific War had already begun to shift towards American victory over the Japanese in the mid-1940s. The use of the atomic bombings was therefore unnecessary, and depicts the U.S. in a barbaric, brutal manner, and as lacking the most fundamental sense of humanity when the U.S. chose to annihilate ordinary Japanese citizens and cities.

Another obvious reason as to why World War II should not be remembered as a “good” war in American history is because of the Holocaust: the systematic murder of the Jewish population, along with the physically and mentally disabled, Romas, communists, and homosexuals. Anti-Semitism had long existed on the European continent before World War II would begin in the 1930s, however, anti-Semitism would reach an all-time high during this particular era, starting with the Nuremberg Laws (1935). The Nuremberg Laws were set of discriminatory laws that segregated the Jewish population from the German population, including revoking German citizenship of Jews. Following the Nuremberg Laws, concentration camps, operating as prisons first, were developed, and Kristallnacht or “The Night of Broken Glass” occurred in 1938 as a state-sponsored act of violence against Jews. When the Nazi regime invaded Poland and the rest of Europe, ghettos (relocations that were essentially prisons) and death camps (extermination camps) were created. The exterminations, cruel labor and conditions, and experiments were of the norm in ghettos and concentration camps, such as in Auschwitz in Poland.

Following the aftermath of World War II and the liberation of the Holocaust, high-ranking officials of the Nazi regime were tried, and eventually convicted, for crimes against humanity at what will be known as the Nuremberg trials. Rudolf Hoess, a Nazi and the former commander at Auschwitz, recalls his duties and the brutalities inflicted against Jews, and the conditions that went underway at the concentration camp at the trials. “I commanded Auschwitz until 1 December, 1943, and estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease, making a total dead of about [three million],” (Hoess). It is difficult to not mention the Holocaust when discussing or reminiscing about World War II. In fact, what differentiates World War II from World War I is the savage and inhumane treatment inflicted on those deemed undesirable and a burden to society by the Nazi party; particularly the Jewish population. The Holocaust serves as a reminder to all societies and citizens of the world what happens when humanity ceases to exist in a civilized world. Hence, American history should not deem World War II as a “good” war because the Holocaust is a pivotal point in human history that affects all histories of all societies in the world even to the present day.

Lastly, another reason as to why World War II should not be remembered as a “good” war through the eyes of American history are the horrors of the war inflicted upon fellow Americans serving oversees in Europe and Asia. In the U.S. itself, wartime production was unmatched compared to the First World War, and prosperity flourished. However, life for American troops was a different matter. American history views World War II as a “rich and poor man’s war,” due to the Selective Service Act (1940) that instituted a draft; clumping wealthy, middle, and working-class men together against a common enemy. Roughly around 300,000 American troops perished in combat, usually from explosive devices (Blitzkrieg was a common method used by German forces to annihilate their enemies). On that account, the atrocity American troops serving in the Pacific War can often associate with is the Bataan Death March (1942).

The Bataan Death March consisted of American troops who were captured by Japanese forces after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the Philippines. The American forces who surrendered to the Japanese were taken as prisoners-of-wars and were often brutalized during the long walk that was the Bataan Death March. Robert Preston Taylor, a World War II veteran who experienced the Bataan Death March first hand, recounts, “…the Japanese guards decided to have a little fun. They picked me and nineteen other officers, stripped us of our clothes, tied our hands behind us and forced us to kneel facing the sun. We stayed like that for three hours until the guards were ready to resume our march. Out of those 20 officers, only seven survived” (Taylor). The brutalities American forces experienced during the Bataan Death March are enough to conclude that World War II is not a “good” war to be reminisced in American history.

In comparison to other European and Asian countries, the United States was lucky enough to not experience the full savagery conducive to World War II. For this reason alone, World War II is often cited as a “good” war through the lens of American history. “The most destructive war in human history had come to an end, and the [U.S.] had emerged from it not only victorious but in a position of unprecedented power, influence, and prestige (Brinkley 639). However, the impact of the atrocities and brutalities inflicted on millions of soldiers and civilians, including American troops, would disagree with reminiscing World War II as a “good” war.  American society prospered and flourished during the war but only at the expense of lost lives and the total annihilation of some European and Asian societies.

 

Why am I here?

I’ve been asking myself this particular question since I opened up this particular blog. I’ve been thinking and daydreaming about my future on occasion – about my prospects, my ideal jobs, and my state of mind.

However, the future I try to envision for myself always lies in a pool of uncertainty. I am often consumed by doubt and declining confidence.

Yet, I am deeply hopeful that in my future I will be a writer – either as a technical writer, a copywriter, a freelance writer or even an English teacher.

The one thing that I am certain about is that I most definitely want a career in writing – but in what though? And how would I be able to attain this goal that I so deeply envision myself doing?

Getting to any of the destinations I have in mind is a lot harder than I expected it to be, and for obvious reasons.

Therefore, to answer the question I’ve been asking myself, I’ve set up this blog.

I hope to achieve monumental success in fine-tuning my writing skills, and in the process, determine which path is best suited for me; in terms of my skills and experience.