Date Progress Progress can be defined as improvement, growth or development that occurs gradually over a period of time. Progress may also be defined in terms of change in the mental processes or thinking, reasoning and use of logic…
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The book by Anna Quindlen clearly analyzes how progress has radically transformed societies and the world in general. The book highlights the numerous problems that have been occasioned by progress. Although significant progress has been made over the last century, it has not been beneficial to society as it has culminated into social and environmental problems which man has no control of. Progress has brought into the society a myriad of problems ranging from social disconnect in families, lack of concern for animals and the more glaring loss of control of the universe. Amy Goldwasser’s book helps highlight the glaring social problems that have been occasioned by progress. Although she supports internet use among teenagers, it is evident that there is a declining reading culture among the youth and general disinterest in their historical and cultural backgrounds. The book brings readers to attention of a fragmenting culture; where kids read nothing but only specialize in one area such as computers. Today’s kids are more concerned with their iPods more than anything else. Instead of reading, they are prowling the internet visiting social sites and adult content sites. Anna Quindlen is unmistakably appalled by human behavior when they come face to face with menacing animals such as bears. She gives a story that illustrates irrational thinking or behavior on the part of a man who came face to face with a dear. The man, excited because of seeing the bear, proffered a bagel to the animal as he wanted to take photographs of the animal. Of course the bear wanted more than just the bagel presented. Quindlen clearly wonders as to what kind of a rational-thinking man would do such an act through a rhetoric question. This story vindicates that progress has not been beneficial to man. If it were beneficial, the man would have run away from the bear. Quindlen criticizes human behavior towards animals. She compares their behavior to that of immigrant Americans who mistreated the Native Americans. Just as the immigrants butchered Native Americans who did not cooperate, humans have erected abattoirs to kill those animals perceived as nuisance. Others have concentrated their efforts in eliminating bats found in attics. Instead of people protecting the animals for future generations to come and see them, they are busy killing them, threatening their existence and the ecosystem. People have encroached on animal land, leading to human-wildlife conflicts. This illustrates that progress has not been beneficial to society. Quindlen brings readers to attention of their overreliance on electricity, without which their lives would be grounded. When a power blackout engulfed Northeast America, people did not have any ideas of what they would do to save the situation. Suddenly, it hit then that they could not communicate, travel, watch TV or run the air conditioning. Computers, which controlled everything in the office, could not function. If progress was beneficial, these people would have an alternative way to go on with their lives. However, everything had come to a halt. Their lives were hedged on power resuming. Instead of people utilizing exhaustible materials responsibly, they carelessly waste the resources away. Quindlen gives an example of the vast power used to light Times Square, which she says could once sustain an entire town. Progress is not of benefit to society in conservation of resources. Cities are like ticking time bombs.
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