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Tutor profile: Sarah G.

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Sarah G.
Student at the University of St Andrews with four years of tutoring experience
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Questions

Subject: Literature

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Question:

Short answer: in the novel, “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, how does the author approach and challenge the literally symbols of “light” and “dark” and what is the effect?

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Sarah G.
Answer:

The novel “Heart of Darkness,” questions the traditional literary symbols of lightness and darkness within the narrative to comment on the perverse nature of the social order illustrated in the novel. Although each of these symbols is associated with conventional conceptions of firstly purity and goodness and secondly destruction and evil, Conrad deconstructs these commonsensicals throughout the novel. For example, the narrative of Marlow arriving to the Congo as an “emissary of light” to reveal the primitive evils instead illuminates the cruelty and hierarchies imposed by Marlow and colonial powers. Through this questioning and disruption, Conrad reveals the European practices of exploitation which are masked and thus silenced through “darkness.”

Subject: International Studies

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Question:

Short answer: Drawing upon theories of International Relations, discuss the significance of the United States’s “War on Terror” campaign within Terrorism Studies.

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Sarah G.
Answer:

The United States “War on Terror” was a collective response to the 11 September attacks. This response included policy directives, military action, and social tactics. Within positivist terrorism literature, this campaign is illustrated as a collective response to the increasing threats and insecurities of terrorism. However, critical terrorism studies, using poststructural, postcolonial, and feminist approaches illustrate the specific agendas and consequences of the “War on Terror,” namely through legitimising US state action and consolidating a specific narrative. This distinction highlights the debate within terrorism studies and international studies between more traditional and critical theories.

Subject: US History

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Question:

Short answer question: contrast the roles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X in the Civil Rights Movement. What do their approaches reveal about the nature of social movements?

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Sarah G.
Answer:

During the Civil Rights Movement, two of the seminal leaders in the United States were MLK and Malcom X. Although frequently compared, their approaches and fundamental beliefs greatly varied. While MLK practiced nonviolent resistance through marches and boycotts, Malcom X, as a philosopher and speaker, advocated for a more radical activism which illustrated violence and separation between black and white society in the US. Ultimately, their distinct approaches to the a Civil Rights Movements reveal the multilayered nature of social movements, which engage in both dialogue and violent and nonviolent resistance.

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