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Tutor profile: Elise B.

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Elise B.
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Questions

Subject: World Geography

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Question:

How do the physical geographic features help or hinder the migration of people?

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Elise B.
Answer:

Throughout history, people have migrated for myriad reasons: finances, persecution, famine, war, or medical needs, among others. One common obstacle they've all faced is physical geography. Mountains, rivers, and deserts can all prove to be challenging while migrating. People have come up with clever solutions to assist them in navigating these obstacles. For example, Hannibal moved his entire army across the Alpine mountains into northern Italy. As it was circa 218BC, there were no motorized vehicles. Hannibal devised a plan to move his army from what was known as Iberia (modern day Spain) through Gaul (modern day France) into Italy to attack the Romans. Not only did he face the Pyrenees and the Alps, but also the Rhone river to cross. Hannibal's army used animals such as donkeys, horses and even elephants to surmount the challenges presented by physical geography. In modern times, refugees fleeing from war torn areas like Sudan and Syria face the daunting task of crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach safety in Europe. Even the best of swimmers could not make it all the way across the Mediterranean, so refugees are forced to resort to boats. Some refugees may have the money to pay for tickets on legitimate carrier boats, but the vast majority do not. They are able to afford less reliable or much repaired boats, which are often overcrowded and do not have life saving capabilities (life vests and rescue boats). Some refugees are forced to even put together their own rafts out of whatever materials can be found and launch with trepidation and a prayer they reach safety.

Subject: Literature

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Question:

The works of Edgar Allan Poe use symbolism to help convey the true meaning of his writing. Pick one of his works, identify the symbolism used and interpret the meaning of that symbolism.

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Elise B.
Answer:

Edgar Allan Poe is well known for his use of symbolism in his written works. Fortunato in "The Cask of Amantillado" is named the fortunate one yet wears a jester's costume throughout and is, in the end, the victim of Montresor. In "The Raven" the raven itself is a symbol of death and unrequited love. The candles on the desk at the trial in "The Pit & The Pendulum" symbolize the accused's loss of life. One that is less discussed is the symbol of east-west in "The Masque of the Red Death". This is a short story about a group of people trying to escape the plague. The group is led by Prince Prospero, whose name indicates that he is successful in life. The setting is at a long unused mansion with seven rooms, all painted a different color. The colors themselves are meant to represent the different seasons of life, ranging from blue to purple to green to black. The black room is said to be the final season of life, or "death". No one is in that room, as no one has yet died. What is even more interesting and even less discussed, is the arrangement of the rooms on an east-west trajectory. The sun rises in the east, which could symbolize the birth season of a person's life. The sun follows a path overhead, while the subsequent colored rooms follow a linear path, too. As the sun rises, it brings life. As the sun sets, it sets onto death, leading to the black room. In the end, Prospero and the others end up with the sun set, on the western horizon, in the black room.

Subject: US History

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Question:

Briefly describe how the arts (literature, poetry, music, fine arts, theater productions) played a role in race relations during the 1920s and 1930s.

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Elise B.
Answer:

After WWI and throughout the 1920s, the neighborhood known as Harlem in New York City developed into a center for all types of art in relation to African American and Black culture. Following on from the written works of WEB DuBois and Booker T. Washington, among others, people of African American descent or who identified as Black began to demonstrate their unequal status in US society through the arts. Langston Hughes wrote poems titled "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and "My People" which spoke of the rich & diverse history of Black people beyond slavery. Zora Neale Hurston's "Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo" wasn't fully published until 2018, describes in detail the horrors which awaited the Africans who were forced to travel the Middle Passage to bondage in America. Fiction writing such as "Passing" by Nella Larsen indicate how Black people strived to fit in, or pass, with their white counterparts in society. Let's not forget the fine arts and how paintings, drawings and sculpture portrayed African Americans and Blacks during this time period. Aaron Douglas is considered to be the first notable artist, using cubism and west African as inspirations for his depictions of modern Black life. Although a bit later in time and working mainly from Chicago, the artist William Edouard Scott's "Night Turtle Fishing in Haiti" depicted the lives of average Haitians as contributors to their community. Scott used his experiences in Haiti and his depictions of Frederick Douglass to bring forth the underlying strength of the Black community in the United States and helped to advance the idea of the New Negro in modern society.

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