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In the book, several times, people exert authority over him in a way he finds frustrating. This essay seeks to address several issues raised by Salzam in his book Iron and Silk, such as people frustrating him and others through exerting authority over them in a brutal way.
One incident was when he killed a large rat during a lesson out of pure reflexes. A student suggests that he takes the rat across to the rat collection center so that he can receive a reward. He does not however get it as he is told that the reward is restricted to students killing rats in the dormitory. Later on a student explains to him that the official statements concerning rats is that they were no longer existent and that only internal documents that foreigners cannot read admit to the rat problem. Since he had killed the rat, he could not be rewarded as that would imply that they admit to the presence of rats and they could be criticized.
Usually, I have found people to do what would appear to be a silly thing in order to protect how others think about them. It is in their nature to want to control the information that other people receive about them which informs their opinions towards them, for example how people carefully select what to post on face book. In this scenario, the institution would rather have denied the rats’ presence to an outsider that had seen one and obviously knotted their being than to admit to the public that they actually war. To them, it was a case of choosing the better evil. His restraint in this situation is however recommendable as he refuses to dwell for long on his grievances. This they probably did to protect their own reputation as an institution.
It has been argued that actions that are felt to be wrong produce a need to withhold knowledge of them from others, which produces guilt and hostility. This implies that if one has been unable to solve a problem well and satisfactorily, they feel ‘forced’ to commit another action that
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The author states that there were numerous commodities traded during these travels. Caravans moving towards China were loaded with ivory, gold, silver, glass, and precious gems. Even exotic foods, such as, pomegranates and carrots were traded to China. Similarly, China exported jade, bronze, iron, porcelain, and silk.
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