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Tutor profile: James K.

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James K.
International Baccalaureate Graduate specialising in Linguistics and English Language
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Questions

Subject: French

TutorMe
Question:

Comment décrirais-tu les transports en commun à Manille par rapport à Paris?

Inactive
James K.
Answer:

Les transports en commun jouent un rôle important dans la vie quotidienne de tout le monde. Quand on vient de Manille et on visite Paris, on est frappé par les moyens de transport modernes comme le métro. C’est très confortable, ponctuel, et efficace. Cependant, á Manille, on est habitué à un système démodé et chaotique. J’ai grandi à Manille, donc je suis habitué à cela, mais je peux imaginer le choc d’un parisien qui arrive pour la première fois á Manille. Il y a plusieurs moyens de transports à Manille; les principaux sont le jeepney, l’autobus, et une sorte de métro. Le gros problème, c’est qu’il n’y a pas d’arrêts d’autobus et de jeepney. Ils peuvent s’arrêter importe où, ce qui est dangereux, pour les passagers et la circulation. Par contre, à Paris il y a de nombreux arrêts fixes partout en ville. Les chauffeurs philippins bafouent le code de la route tandis que les parisiens sont plus respectueux des piétons. On ne peut pas comparer le métro philippin avec le métro français. Notre métro a seulement une ligne qui est au-dessus de la terre. Il tombe souvent en panne. À Paris on utilise des e-tickets pour le métro sous terrain. Il est très rapide et fiable par rapport à Manille il tombe rarement en panne. Il peut transporter des milliers de personnes tous les jours. Certaines stations sont très belles à regarder et propres comme la Louvre-Rivoli. Le métro parisien a tellement de lignes avec de nombreuses correspondances que c’est très facile de visiter toute la ville. À Manille, la seule ligne va de l’est à l’ouest avec une distance très limité. J’ai été très choqué de voir la grande difference entre les transports á Manille et ceux á Paris. Puisque j’habite ici, je suis habitué aux problèmes de circulation et de transport. De petites choses me plaisent; si je trouve tout de suite un autobus, jeepney, ou le métro je suis contente. J’ai été très impressionné par la technologie des transports parisiens. Tout fonctionne parfaitement. Ces différences existent parce que l’économie de la France est plus importante que celle des Philippines : la France est très riche. En plus, les Philippines sont très « jeunes »2 tandis que la France a une longue histoire. Par exemple, les français ont commencé la construction du métro au dix-neuvième siècle et aujourd’hui, ils continuent à le développer. À Manille, il n’y a pas assez d’argent pour entretenir nos moyens de transports comme le métro. Je crois qu’un Français sera surpris par l’attitude décontractée des Philippins. Même s’il y a beaucoup de problèmes avec la circulation et les moyens de transport, on ne se plaint pas. Parfois, on trouve certaines situations amusantes alors qu’elles sont inconvenables. C’est notre culture de rire s’il y a des difficultés qu’on ne peut pas résoudre. À mon avis, les personnes occidentales sont tellement habituées à la modernisation qu’ils n’acceptent pas d’inconvénients. Si quelque chose ne marche pas; par exemple un train de métro tombe en panne, ils se mettent facilement en colère. Je peux imaginer que leur première fois à Manille sera très traumatisante pour eux.

Subject: World History

TutorMe
Question:

To what extent was the American Annexation of the Philippines from 1898 to 1946 driven by colonial legacy rather than an attempt to liberate the Philippines from Spanish rule?

Inactive
James K.
Answer:

The annexation of the Philippines began in February 1898 when the Americans arrived with the supposed intention of procuring the country from Spanish rule. 6 The incentive for annexing the Philippines arose as a result of Cuba’s appeal for American intervention in 1897 to liberate Spanish colonies from Spanish subjugation. For decades, there has been a longstanding belief that America liberated the Philippines from Spanish rule out of moral obligation; conversely, this response sees to determine whether this was really the case. This investigation shall focus on America’s ideological foreign policy as well as its regard for Spain’s colonies in order to assess whether America’s intention was solely driven by its desire to liberate the marginalized Filipino community. It also focuses on whether America pursued any economic motives during its annexation of the Philippines to determine if America had imperialist motives. This study ultimately concludes that America had little to no regard for liberating the Filipinos, and that America’s reasons for annexing the Philippines in 1898 were driven purely by vested interests to enhance its economy by exploiting vital Filipino financial sources. In June 1897, after having been informed that the Cuban populace had been subjugated by Spanish legislation, American President McKinley ordered the Spanish government to withdraw, and to implement reform to compensate for its abuses. 7 Spain instinctively disobeyed, enabling the American government to declare war on Spanish governments, including those in the Philippines. 8 From this, it is apparent that America’s endeavor to colonise the Philippines was a result of its dissatisfaction with Spain’s neglect for human rights. Thus, it can be inferred that America’s intent was to liberate the Philippines from the contingencies of Spains’ abuse. However, this is once negated when further examining the ideological catalyst for America’s decision to ‘assist’ the Philippines. America had incorporated the Anglo-Saxonist concept of white supremacy into its foreign policy which urged Americans to perceive the Philippine public as racially inferior. 9 This is clearly embodied in Rudyard Kipling’s poem entitled “The White Man’s Burden” which was written in response to the reasons for the American annexation of the Philippines wherein Filipinos are described as being “Half devil and half child”. 10 This demonstrates that a large part of America’s ethnic perceptions in 1897 were founded on racial superiority. However, assessing whether or not America perceived itself as racially superior is insufficient, thus it is imperative to analyse the extent to which this fuelled the annexation process. This can be gauged by examining America’s regard for Spain’s colonies. Prior to annexing the Philippines, McKinley had expressed that the annexation was meant to liberate the Filipinos; however, the annexation involved dispatching the military to subdue native opposition. 11 This is symptomatic of America’s colonial attitudes given that America knew that the Filipino demographic were anti-foreign presence, yet they pursued in colonizing the Philippines to fulfil vested interests. Furthermore, America’s indifference to the needs of the Filipinos is delineated by the fact that even when Filipino revolutionary Emilio Aguinaldo established the Independent Republic of the Philippines in 1899 to deter American operations in the country, the American Government referred to the conflict as an insurrection rather than acknowledging the Filipinos’ opposition to American intervention. 12 Contrastingly, America’s colonisation of the Philippines has often been pardoned as it liberated the Philippines from the three hundred year period of Spanish subjugation. 13 This insinuates that there was a subsequent state of peace and harmony established after having expelled the Spanish. However, the colonisation process entailed “the devastation of provinces, the shooting of captives, the torture of prisoners and of unarmed and peaceful citizens.” 14 Approximately 700,000 Filipinos, which at the time constituted 10% of the Philippines’ population lost their lives to American cruelty. 15 This invalidates the claim that America came with the intention of liberating the Philippines from the three hundred year period of Spanish subjugation as America simply continued carrying out acts of brutality. Aside from America’s clear disinterest in liberating the Philippines from Spanish rule, it is imperative to evaluate whether America had economic motives when colonizing the Philippines, which is highly suggestive of imperialism. Many historians argue that the fundamental motives for the annexation of the Philippines pertain predominantly to financial self-interest in Asia. 16 This concept is unquestionably plausible given that it is all too coincidental that America broke its traditional isolationist policy at a time where countries such as England, France, and Germany were in pursuit of imperialism; this surmises that America endeavored to acquire much of the non-industrial world to be exploited by industrial powers such as America itself. 17 This is furthermore depicted by the fact that by 1898, American business leaders “convinced that the home market was inadequate to the needs of expanding industrial production, persuaded the administration that an island empire would increase exports and foreign commerce.” 18 America’s decision to annex the Philippines can thus be perceived as driven largely by the desire to compete with expanding imperialist nations whilst consolidating and strengthening its economy. It can also be inferred that America’s self-entitlement to accessing the Philippine’s resources can be attributed to its racially inferior perception of the Filipino society, as depicted in Rudyard Kipling’s poem. Contrastingly, by 1901, American exploitation did not benefit from the trade of goods, contract labour, or oriental immigration. 19 At first glance, it seems as if the annexation was not driven by imperialism as America did not regress the Philippine financial market. However, agricultural land was the most single important factor of the Philippine economy, and upon the country’s annexation, the American Congress limited the amount of land covered by a single Filipino corporation to only 1024 hectares whilst the rest were to be exploited at the expense of American legislation. 20 This marked a 20% hectare loss for the Filipinos in comparison with pre-colonial times in 1896. 21 The evident exploitation of Filipino agriculture was additionally exacerbated by the US Public Law No. 235 of 1902, which ordered that all public land was henceforth property of America. 22 This depicts the deprivation of Filipinos from agricultural progression at the expense of America’s economic prosperity. Although the American government took measures to deviate from exploiting trade goods, contract labour, and oriental immigration, it is indisputable that America had taken advantage of the country’s highest financial generating source, thus, indicating that America’s decision to annex the Philippines was based on its agenda to enhance its economy by colonizing the non- industrial archipelago of the Philippines. It is therefore clear that America’s decision to annex the Philippines in 1898 was driven purely by imperialist motives as opposed to an attempt to free the Filipinos from Spanish rule. This is evident by the fact that it used the Philippines as a source of revenue by taking advantage of agricultural land. Although America did make efforts to refrain from benefiting aspects such as contract labour, it nonetheless does not overshadow that America was still in pursuit for its own economic progression. Furthermore, the prevalence of racial superiority fuelled America’s refusal to acknowledge that the Philippines did not want American colonization. This is suggestive that America neglected the needs of the Filipino’s and rather claimed to have wanted to liberate the Philippines as a scapegoat for its imperialist economic incentives.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

To what extent is there an intertextual relationship between Carol Ann Duffy's "Little Red Cap" and Charles Perrault's "Little Red Riding Hood"?

Inactive
James K.
Answer:

Little Red Cap from the collection of poems entitled The Worlds Wife by Carol Ann Duffy. The collection is renowned for empowering female characters from antecedent stories and myths who were previously portrayed as inconspicuous in comparison with the dominant roles of their male counterparts. This response sees to explore the intertextual relationship that exists between both texts in order to determine how and why Duffy borrows certain aspects from Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood, with the effect of empowering the female figure in Duffy’s Little Red Cap. Duffy’s poem is a narration of a young girl’s encounter with a Wolf situated in the countryside. The girl, referred to as Little Red Cap, casually strolls towards the edge of the woods where she “first clapped eyes on the wolf.” She willingly expresses her desire to venture with him into the woods towards his lair as she narrates “I made quite sure he spotted me…The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods.” She finds herself entranced by his collection of books and pursues a decade long, intimate relationship with him. However, Little Red Cap grows tired of the relationship and thus slaughters him by taking “an axe to the wolf as he slept”. It is often overlooked that despite contrasting plots, the original text written by Charles Perrault in 1697 possesses elements that Duffy borrows to highlight female autonomy. Perrault puts emphasis on the tenacity and empowerment of the male antagonist (Wolf) in an attempt to belittle Little Red Riding Hood. At first glance, this seems rather contrary to the feminist approach Duffy utilises in her literature. However, this is negated once realising that Duffy takes the dominant role that the wolf possesses in Perrault’s story, and designates it to Little Red Cap. This is an evident attempt to empower the female character in Duffy’s poem by reversing the quintessential male predatory role. Perrault describes Little Red Riding Hood’s encounter with the Wolf as having taken place “as she was going through the wood…” Perrault cleverly utilises this phrase in order to instil contrast between male and female roles. “As she was…” is indicative that Little Red Riding Hood had chanced upon the Wolf unwillingly and that there is clear tension between both characters. Duffy borrows the encounter in the woods but with slight alterations, saying “It was there I first clapped eyes on the wolf.” Conversely, Duffy subverts Perrault’s theme of female vulnerability by interjecting the word clapped. The word clapped in this context is derived from the expression “Clapped into jail,” which means to purposely put an individual in prison. From this, it is apparent that Duffy borrows Perrault’s phrase with the inclusion of ‘clapped’ with the sole purpose of portraying Little Red Cap’s encounter with the Wolf as intended and calculated. Moreover, Duffy consolidates this by saying, “I made quite sure he spotted me” in order to demonstrate Little Red Cap’s intrepid disposition towards the Wolf. This furthermore portrays her as active rather than passive, as portrayed in Perrault’s fairy tale. Duffy reverses the female archetype that generalises young females as being naive, through a clever plot alteration from Perrault’s story. Originally, the Wolf tricks Little Red Riding Hood into telling him the whereabouts of her grandmother. Perrault even describes her as a “poor child, who did not know that it was dangerous to stay and talk to a wolf.” Contrastingly, in Duffy’s poem, Little Red Cap is knowingly lured into the Wolf’s cave. She justifies her adherence by saying “You might ask why. Here’s why. Poetry. The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods.” The fact Little Red Cap says “I knew” undoubtedly demonstrates that she is aware that she is being deceived. She plays along because knows that the Wolf possesses a vast library, hence why she says “Poetry.” This is an evident reversal of role from the original story as Duffy alters the plot so that the Wolf is naive and being taken advantage of. Duffy does this with the effect of undermining the Wolf’s intellect. Duffy borrows the naive portrayal of Little Red Riding Hood in Perrault’s story and re-delegates it to the Wolf in Little Red Cap in order to highlight Little Red Cap’s subterfuge. This in turn empowers the female figure as it insinuates she is mentally superior and in control. The most prevalent aspect borrowed from Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood is the sensual role played by women. The story portrays females as being at fault for succumbing to sexual temptation. Perrault’s depicts this when “Little Red Riding Hood took off her clothes and got into bed,” followed by her subsequent slaughter. Duffy similarly utilises these sexual innuendos but with different effects. Duffy writes, “I clung till dawn to his thrashing fur, for what little girl doesn’t love a wolf?” At first glance it may seem as if Duffy is adhering to the same morals conveyed in Perrault’s story. However, this is followed by “I took an axe to the wolf. As he slept, one chop, scrotum to throat.” This clearly demonstrates how Duffy borrows sexual innuendos but with thematic changes to highlight how Little Red Cap achieves empowerment through sexual manipulation. Duffy chooses to do this in order to exert a female position of dominance rather than submission. This is turn contrasts with the Wolf’s inability to refrain from succumbing to sexual temptation, thus portraying the male figure as inferior which further emasculates the Wolf throughout Duffy’s poem. It is apparent that despite contrasting plots, Duffy borrows a variety of aspects from the original fairytale in an attempt to empower the previously inconspicuous Little Red Riding Hood. Although the moral of Perrault’s story is to highlight the danger of female promiscuity, Duffy nonetheless takes advantage of this by reversing the original male patriarchal role by providing Little Red Cap with the same predatory characteristics.

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