Tutor profile: Kelsey S.
Write in a persuasive writing style about sexual oppression in the 20th century
The 20th century is often viewed as a time of political, cultural, social, and sexual change. However, contrary to popular belief, this change did not liberate the public but rather shamed and oppressed them more than previously. Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, Volume 1 refers to 20th century culture as “The Other Victorians,” claiming that even when our political and social structures seem to change; our sexual culture still remains oppressed. Through information obtained by reading the book, George Chauncey’s Gay New York, and watching the film Kinsey, the main premise of both is truly “The Other Victorians”. This is because the individuals within are oppressed sexually by the changing political and social culture of the time. According to Foucault, the repressive hypothesis states that prior to the 18th century people were less oppressed and actually became more oppressed once science and reproduction became the focus of sexual activity. However, Foucault rejects this hypothesis because as people begin to openly share discourse on sex it actually becomes more taboo. As Foucault claims, “The statement of oppression and the form of the sermon refer back to one another; they are mutually reinforcing (Foucault 8). The emergence of capitalism and the rise of the bourgeois, who instilled a work ethic instead of pleasure only, introduced a new political and social structure into culture. The mindset of the people was limited to sex for reproduction purposes, with the goal of producing additional workers. When the 20th century came about, some were of the belief that liberation occurred wherein people started to talk about sexual culture in public spheres. Foucault argues that engaging in this discourse by imagining a lack of repression actually produces a system of control and oppression. Therefore, the oppressed public is considered “The Other Victorians” because they are as oppressed as Victorian era society was.
Describe the relationship the character has with her father.
Kincaid starts the chapter by describing Annie, her mother, and her meeting Mr. Potter to explain how Mr. Potter was her father, yet he was not directly involved in her life. Kincaid writes, “I have been told so by her and by other people who knew her then, but not by Mr. Potter, for he never spoke to me of her, he never spoke to me of anything, he never spoke to me at all” (132). Kincaid shows her disdain for the lack of a relationship between herself and her father. Repeating and rephrasing the fact that she has never spoken with him about her mother, let alone anything at all, explains Kincaid’s unhappiness with her father. Her critical tone of him is obvious by the emphasis placed on the lack of communication and her disapproval of the relationship they had. It is also apparent because Kincaid says she spoke with her mother and others yet not him. This jab presents the fact that other less important people could speak with her but her own father would not. Next, Kincaid describes being born as the child of Annie and Mr. Potter and how she must “temper it” through life. Kincaid’s use of this term implies that she has become more resilient through hardship. The reason she has to “temper it” is due to the fact that Annie Richardson was her mother and identifies her as a “substantial particularity” while Mr. Potter remains just a “spectator” in her life (137-138). Kincaid’s diction of “spectator” identifies another jab at her father. The denotation of “spectator” indicates one who looks on or watches. She uses this word to demonstrate how Mr. Potter was not involved in her life, but rather was someone who only viewed his daughter from afar if at all; hence, an absence of love from her life. Because Kincaid describes her mother as a “substantial particularity,” this signifies she views her mother as an important part of her life. Consequently, her comparison between the words she uses to describe her father and her mother is extremely different, which implies the conflicting view Kincaid has of each parent. Kincaid then shares her most important experience with her father on the island of Antigua: How, when seeing her father for the first time, he treats her as if he does not love her. In this recollection of meeting her father, Kincaid waits for that which “seemed so natural” (146) to her then. The denotation of “natural” is being in agreement with the makeup of circumstances surrounding someone or something. Kincaid’s diction justifies that Potter was an absent presence in her life but still she always waited for his love to come to her. Then, Mr. Potter waves Kincaid away as he drives his car past her. Kincaid describes the feeling as if she “were an abandoned dog blocking his path” (146). This simile explains her extremely hurt feelings and that when Mr. Potter motions her away she feels she has been abandoned by him. This reinforces the absence of Mr. Potter’s love to his daughter because he continues to drive past her. This proves his disregard for her feelings and demonstrates that he wants nothing to do with her. Kincaid continues the chapter with her aside of Potter’s lack of love for all of his daughters and how it never existed at all. Kincaid writes, “But Mr. Potter’s caresses and embraces were like a razor and each woman and girl child of his who had received one of his embraces was left with skin shredded and hanging…” (151).This powerful description establishes an exceedingly harsh tone toward her father. She enforces again that Potter did not love her, but this includes all of the women with which he had a relationship by the personification of his embraces being like razors. She uses this description to explain how negatively the absence of love really was using harsh words such as “shredded” and “hanging” to describe their skin. This indicates that because he abandoned his daughters and deserted their mothers they were all left feeling betrayed and alone: his love was nonexistent.
Analyze a passage from John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government.
“For no government can have a right to obedience from a people who have not freely consented to it” (89. 192)—this philosophy was inconceivable for the people of England in 1690. John Locke changed society and government forever by writing his essay The Second Treatise of Government. He did so by writing about how political society and government should function for people to live free from external rule. The type of governments can vary but the only true rule within civilization is the law of nature based on self-preservation and reason. Therefore, Locke’s understanding of the origins was to promote the law of nature to meet his ends of equality and freedom within a society’s order. He influenced government throughout history making his philosophy applicable to our time. The origins of Locke’s argument were to live within a state of nature for the value of fairness. The state of nature consists of people at their most primal conditions, gathering only the sufficient resources necessary for one’s own survival. The sole goal is protecting oneself to survive and, consequently, no individual rules over another (3. 6). This pre-political and pre-moral society consists of individuals with no obligations of power unless another person obstructs their rations. As time goes on, these individuals begin to acknowledge that they can use one another for security because it is better to have protection of a group rather than to just fend for yourself. Thus, the beginning of a political and civil society arises when a pact is made by the individuals to join together.
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