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Power and Conquest as a Means to Fulfillment: The Red Badge of Courage vs. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Essay Example

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This paper explores the changing consciousness of the American, one which starts to consider what is best for the community, not through social norms but through self discovery and the understanding of how the self relates to the society…
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Power and Conquest as a Means to Fulfillment: The Red Badge of Courage vs. Their Eyes Were Watching God
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Download file to see previous pages This paper illustrates that at a time of economic hardship and social disarray, Americans are in turmoil. Many are clueless as to what future they can expect. The good news is that the discomfort brought about by the instability of social, political and economic affairs has led many Americans to re-evaluate their lives. They have started thinking about what truly matters for them. Some have realized that humanity is more important than profits, that the real judge of happiness does not rely on how much one has stored in their bank account, but rather on what change they can do for others and themselves. The American identity is slowly changing – from a profit-oriented culture, there is a rise in social and environmental movements who are fighting, for equality of humans as well as the health of nature. Things which were often overlooked in the past have become major issues today. This essentially means that the American is growing in consciousness – he is no longer concerned about his own interests, but rather, on the well-being of the whole community. This is is the message of the novels, “Red Badge of Courage” written by Stephen Crane and “Their Eyes are Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston. Some may say that such transition is like going back in the past – when people prioritized the needs of the community over their own benefit. But the changes being seen today has its distinctiveness – the change towards the community spirit was not brought about by social programming, but rather, it came from an individual’s conscious deliberation. ...
the Occupy Movements which is not simply about civil disobedience, but rather about creating a new system where every individual is seen, where each skill and weakness is acknowledged. It is not about fighting against one another, but rather, waking up together. Dismantling the Societal Prgramming in “The Red Badge of Courage” Before “The Red Badge of Courage” war novels depicted only the glory of fighting for something one believed in. It was a battle of ideals to determine which world view will prevail. It showed soldiers fit and ready for battle, never to be shaken, and ready to face death. Soldiers in previous war novels were always dignified – they were the greatest of all men, they were ready to brave anything to fight for what they think is right. Crane made it different – instead of making an epic and relating how the battle was fought, he chose to depict the personal experience of his character, Private Henry Fleming, while engaged in the war. And in his narrative, Crane showed how the Americans were programmed by society to believe that their leaders had the answer to everything. Crane does not explain why the war was necessary, but his character, Henry, knows that it was an important event, as illustrated by this line: The youth was in a little trance of astonishment. So they were at last going to fight. On the morrow, perhaps, there would be a battle, and he would be in it. For a time he was obliged to labor to make himself believe. He could not accept with assurance an omen that he was about to mingle in one of those great affairs of the earth. (Crane, 2008) Henry was led to believe that they were engaging in a battle that would shape their nation. Here was his opportunity to make a mark in the world, and as a young man, like most soldiers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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