Essay On Early Cinema Free Writing Sample

Cinema as entertainment started in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Cinema was considered one of the technological advancements after the train; hence it became a form of attraction to curious individuals (Gunning, 1986). The first film to be made astonished many, and they attended the cinema to investigate the gadgets that could produce everyday events in a single shot. The posters advertising the cinema relied on their explanation of what tools would be used to shoot the film hence becoming a form of attraction. Different scholars such as Tom Gunning, Noel Burch, and Andre Gaudreault discussed in detail features that exemplified some films as primitive (Gunning,1986). Noel Burch using the examples of the fascinating films by the Lumiere brothers and Melies, identifies some characteristic that helps contemporary scholars understand early films. A proper understanding of the early films and cinema informs contemporary researchers of what styles, status, and other technical considerations were taken during shooting and how the current technology can be improved. It also helps recognize the unique work done by early filmmakers depending on limited technological advancement in the film industry.

From 1895 to 1905, films were little more than snapshots; however, with the growing conventions, they became complex and could contain complex narratives (Gunning,1994). It was a business that some individuals, such as Melies, were getting a living from. There was also the emergence of production and distribution companies that promoted the development of early films. Cinematography belonging to the Lumiere brothers became popular as it showcased documentary materials and the establishment of French primacy in the film industry. On the other hand, Melies showed fictional films that also attracted an audience, but with time, the fascination shifted to the most recent technology in cinema (Gunning, 1994). As a result, Melies ran out of business; however, he produced notable films such as a trip to the Moon in 1902 and the impossible voyage in 1904 (Gunning,1994). Both film producers paved the way for the new style with unique features. The institutional mode of representation that was taking over was focused on changing the mode in which films would be taken, for example, setting the camera far from the action to capture the whole event and inventing devices necessary to adjust the lighting and the theatrical effect.

The “cinema of attraction” is a term used to describe the early days of film, when movies were primarily a form of spectacle rather than storytelling (Abel, 2004). According to the theory developed by film scholars such as Georges Méliès, Louis Lumière, and Jean-Pierre Burch, the primary purpose of early films was to attract and entertain audiences with their visual spectacle than to tell a story or convey a message. Méliès, a French filmmaker, is considered one of the pioneers of the cinema of attraction. He is best known for using special effects, such as stop-motion animation and multiple exposures, to create fantastical and imaginative scenes. He used these techniques to create films such as “A Trip to the Moon” (1902), considered one of the earliest science fiction films, featuring a group of astronomers traveling to the Moon in a rocket-shaped capsule. The film was a considerable success and showcased the film’s potential as a medium for visual spectacle.

The Lumière brothers, Louis and Auguste, were also instrumental in developing the cinema of attraction (Pearson, 1996). They were among the first filmmakers to capture real-world events on film, such as “Arrival of a Train” (1895) and “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory” (1895). These films were among the earliest examples of the documentary genre. They were known for their ability to capture the everyday life of people in a previously impossible way. These films were also considered attraction films, as people were fascinated by the ability of the films to capture reality in such a way. Jean-Pierre Burch, a French film theorist, and historian, further developed the concept of the cinema of attraction. He argued that early films were not intended to tell stories but to attract audiences with their visual spectacle. Burch also argued that the cinema of attraction was a precursor to the narrative-driven cinema that emerged later in the 20th century (Pearson, 1996). He suggested that the cinema of attraction was a transitional phase in the development of film as an art form and that it laid the foundation for the narrative-driven cinema that followed. The film industry depended on the abilities of the filmmakers to edit the snapshots to produce a meaningful narrative. The earlier films were of short duration compared to recent films that can extend for hours with a combination of different shooting styles.

Films during the early years were short and lasted only a few minutes. Usually shot in fairgrounds or anywhere a screen can be set. The room would be darkened to provide better illumination (Gunning,1995). Later the films would be accompanied by lectures, music, and a combination of audience participation. In the film, the ArrivalArrival of a train at Laciotat station, the film is shot diagonally with the train coming directly towards the camera. This marked the standard method of staging a shot for a considerable time before another angle was considered. The film, however, did not follow any theatrical practice as it would have required the filmmaker to set the camera perpendicular to the train station; hence as seen from how the shot was taken is primitive. Compared to the institutional mode of representation that was strictly theatrical, primitive cinema used simple techniques and camera styles that set the record for the proceeding developments. The camera was always set in a close-up manner. Hence some of the events failed to be captured within the frame of the film. However, with technological advancement, it became possible to shoot from all angles; so that all the necessary actions are captured within the frame of the film.

The cinema of attraction is an essential concept in the history of film. It refers to the early days of film when movies were primarily a spectacle rather than storytelling (Gunning,1995). The work of filmmakers such as Georges Méliès, Louis Lumière, and Jean-Pierre Burch has been crucial in shaping our understanding of the cinema of attraction and its place in the development of film as an art form. Méliès’s use of special effects, Lumière’s capturing real-world events on film, and Burch’s analysis of cinema of attraction as a precursor to the narrative-driven cinema all have contributed to the development of film as a medium and art form that we know today (Gunning,1995). Andre Gaudreault (1990) argues that the concept of the primitive mode of representation is characterized by short shots that involved an event. The film exemplifies the primitive mode of representation to a large extent as it is only concentrated on a clear event shot. The problem with such single shots is how the essential difference can be identified and differentiated. In films such as L’Arroscur arose and the birth of nation films, the difference between the duration and quantity plays a key role when differentiating it. Early filmic narratives termed primitive depend on mimesis because they lack the articulation of the various segments produced by the monstrator. However, the film narration developed over the century to what we see today as the recent films in cinemas.

According to Noel Burch, the primitive mode of representation illustrated its earliest manifestation. Films such as voyage dans la lune have a poor semantical structure compared to films with IMR (Pearson, 1996). The conception of editing that emerged among some French films changed the features of centering and linearity. As illustrated in earlier films, features such as shots taken with frontal and horizontal camera placement of the camera resulted in continuous maintenance of the long shot. Centrality is also a dominant feature depicted in earlier films. As discussed, the feature that can be used to differentiate the primitive mode of representation and institutional mode of representation is its ability to narrate the story. One apparent limitation of primitive films is the externality of events, as it assumes that the audience must be aware of the actions taking place in the film (Pearson, 1996). Tom gunning in his essay argues that the early films were analyzed and criticized through a one-sided method, and they have the potential to distort the work of the filmmakers. According to him, films have the role of creating effects necessary to perform tricks rather than it having a role to narrate. As seen with Lumiere and Mellies films, the former is aimed at presenting a narrative while the latter is non-narrative.

On the other hand, Burch opposes the idea that films exist in narrative form and non-narrative form. To Burch, however minimal, every shot has a beginning and an end; provided there is the destabilization of the equilibrium,m it qualifies as a narrative film. He uses the example of the Lumiere Brothers’ Arrival of a train at La Ciotat station; However, the events are shot in a random but short time. It illustrates an action of people boarding the train and new arrivals, tilting the equilibrium or state before the train arrives.

Tom’s Gunning view of early films.

In the article by Gunning and Gaudreault, there is a clear distinction in early films (Gunning,1995). They can be categorized into two categories; cinema of attraction and system of narrative integration. They argue that some films possessed the feature of attraction and could not narrate a story. In their analysis, they pay attention to the question of the impact of the performances on the audience. They also identified that audiences were attracted to the idea of cinematography instead of the events showcased in the cinema (Gunning,1995). Therefore, the cinema of attraction was considered performance-based compared to narrative-based, as argued by Gunning. They argue that short films were meant to bring attraction while lengthy films had more monstration towards the spectator. Films such as A Trip to the Moon showed an advancement from the primitive mode of presentation because of advanced editing (Gunning,1995). The film was unusually lengthy without cuts. The film was done in four shots in less than twenty seconds. Compared to the short films aimed at attraction, A Train to the Moon is considered an excellent example of a film with an explicit narrative and storyline. Although films such as Melies lack sound, the actions in the film clearly narrate the story explicitly.

Another challenge Tom notes with the early films is differentiating them as either narrative or non-narrative (Gaudreault & Gunning, 2006). He argues that even single-shot films communicate a message. In films such as L’Arroseur Arrose (the waterer watered), the frame alone, without the extension of the sound systems and other accompaniments, narrates a story that the audience can connect. When pieced together, the single shots can narrate a story individually or as a whole. Therefore, Tom and Gaudreault agree that the problem of differentiation becomes problematic as it disqualifies the definition of narrative. Therefore, as opposed to Burch idea of differentiation, most films communicate a narrative independently, either when presented in a form-framed image or a completely silent film.

According to Tom, despite the difference in the categorization of early films, earlier films were majorly aimed at presenting a set of series rather than illustrating a specific story with an opening, action, and conclusion (Pearson, 1996). Films made in 1900 exhibited this feature. The cinema of attraction is aimed at showing something rather than showcasing unique and fascinating events that spark the imagination. It focused on capturing the attention of the audience. He argues that early films illustrated exhibitionism, a series of erotic films mainly including full nudity. This feature however disappeared with the development of films. As illustrated in Noel Burch’s film correction please: how we got into pictures (1979), the conflict between exhibitionistic tendencies and the creation of fictional diagenesis in the early films is explained. Unlike Noel, Tom argues that early films demonstrated the primitive mode of representation by reflecting the lack of a self-sufficient narrative world in the films. The mode of the exhibition also demonstrated the primitive mode of representation because the films were comprised of non-narrative shots without sound effects. These were shots of people moving in and out of trains and other shots related to the usual activities performed by individuals. However, with the emergence of the advancement of technology, sounds, and other spoken commentaries could be added. The shots, according to Tom, were precursors in which they would be combined to form a demonstration that is evidenced in modern-day cinema.

Another idea that attracted audiences to the cinema is the curiosity to check the new technology, such as phonographers and machines used to capture the shots (Pearson, 1996). Considering this was the first technological advancement of the century, it attracted more curious audiences to the machines. The fact that the billboards also premiered the use of these machines attracted more attention hence it differs from the contemporary films that aim at exhibiting narratives. It displays and attracts audiences as a right in itself. Hence the quality of the exhibition attracted the avant-garde and other forms of art, such as music. With the emergence of mass culture in 1900, avant-garde and films were gaining popularity, attracting audiences not accustomed to traditional art to check on the films but those who liked freedom from the creation of the diagenesis and its direct stimulation (Pearson, 1996). The challenge, however, with categorizing films as either attractive or narrative can be damaging as analyzing them within the context of an archive or academy could lead to the risk of isolating the place it was shot and its time in history.

The earlier films lacked the technique of expansion that was later used after 1902 because the films lacked the enlargement of the narratives. Hooligan in Jail (1903) and other films that used this feature include photographing a female crook (1904). For them to gain attraction, the camera would zoom the main character to express the need to attract the audience’s attention. The primitive mode, therefore, exhibits the turn of events from attraction to the new idea of avant-Garde, which was conceived to have oppositional programs. There was a growing liking for the growth of narrative films that had more quantity and quality. Avant- Garde provided enough resources for a carnival feel to the cinema. During the 1900s, exhibitions such as Coney Island and Un Chien Andalou (1928) can be traced from Melies through Keaton. Therefore, just like the trains advanced in their form and operation, primitive films later advanced and expanded both in quality and length.

As Tom Gunning argues on the cinema of attraction, the main aim of attractions is to solicit attention, inciting visual curiosity and pleasure through spectacles. According to him, the unique event, whether acted, factual, or documentary (Gunning, 1989). Films such as How it feels to be run over by Cecil Hepworth (1900) attracted audiences who derived pleasure from the showcased spectacles. Although the films were short, they attracted an audience because cinema was gaining popularity as entertainment. Therefore, according to Tom, the essence of the cinema of attraction was aimed at enhancing visibility. A film that fully utilized visibility is Melies 1902 film Voyage to the Moon. The frame showcasing it was visualized to bring out the creator’s intention. Although there were a few voyages to the Moon at the time, the film’s frame sparked the audience’s imagination. Therefore, Melies films were not only fictional but also visionary of what was to happen later. Although he refused to adjust to the change in the film industry, he remains one of the respected filmmakers of the time. Famous scholars have utilized his films to explain essential features of early cinema and films. They have become a base on which criticism is made.

Noel Burch’s view of earlier films.

Noel Burch termed early films primitive mode representation because of four significant traits (Burch, 1990). These traits according to Noel are simplistic in their narration and technically. The traits include the non-closure of narratives due to a lack of sound effects and editing techniques; hence the audience relied on extra information from live commentators and the audience’s familiarity with the events being showcased in the film. The films were also followed by lecturers that explained what is happening to the curious spectators—films such as Uncle Tom’s cabin required lectures (Burch, 1990). The non-closure nature of films means that they have incomplete narratives because they are short. The narratives need to be self-sufficient in bringing the film to an end. Non-closure also concerns its status as a film and structure.

The other trait is the autarky and unicity of each frame. The frames of the films remained unchanged throughout the scenes as most were independent. The shots were taken in a simple scene that would be consistent throughout the film. The reason was the need for more advanced technology to change the frames and the physical environment of the scenes. Recent films have changing frames and scenes for every action; hence Noel argues that the earlier films, especially Melies, were of primitive mode because of the rigidity and autarky of frames. In films by the Lumiere brothers, the ArrivalArrival of a train at La Ciotat station, from the beginning of the film to the end, the frame remains the same (Burch, 1990).

The non-centered quality of the image is yet another trait that defines early films. The edges of the images were consistent with the medium; the frame was also at the center while the camera distance was always long. With the lack of editing features the images and films were always uncentered. The alignment of the camera to the action was triangular, and the action was not happening at the center of the frame. The action taking place in different positions for some critics argue that it helps visibility while some claim it hinders the film’s visibility (Burch, 1990). Noel Burch argues that although the films have the non-closure ability in their narration, because of their rudimentary stories, they manifest themselves as the action continues even when the film stops recording (Musser, 1994). Therefore, films such as Gay shoe clerk (1903), with their uneventful ending, are assumed to have continued after the film ended. The contrast between the early and recent films is the ability to control the film’s ending. Noel argues that most early films with primitive mode representation had mechanical and arbitrary endings that left the audience to imagine how the film would have ended.

Noel Burch also identified that early films lacked a central character as the events were not structured, and the events were random. It also depended on the circulation of signs that were used by the majority of the filmmakers. In the modern film industry, it can be considered piracy or plagiarism. However, there were no legal provisions to protect original signs at the time. Therefore, the majority of the early films employed the language of gestures that depended on human support for explanations. Compared to films after 1920, most had the main character with a storyline that all the actions follow (Musser, 1994). The lack of a main character is attributed to the film’s intentions to make spectacles lined with tricks that every performer was expected to do; hence, assigning dominant roles to one character and leaving the other would be challenging. Additionally, the shooting spin was also short hence the performers aimed at using the allotted time to make as many tricks as possible for the amusement of the audience.

Burch evidence on the primitive mode of representation.

The initial argument Burch had concerning early films is the primitive presentation mode. The primitive mode of representation was characterized by traits such as the non-closure of the narratives (Burch, 1990). Because the films were short and random, critics considered them a form of attraction rather than narrative oriented. According to Burch, these films varied in length and structure. According to him, some films do not qualify as narrative films because the beginning and the end have no apparent relation and meaning. Some ended abruptly with actions midway.

In the same way, some highlighted films have rigid frames; hence transition of a narrative does not match the preceding actions. However, other films showed the primitive mode even though they created a unique poetry of their own, a feature of institutional cinema (Burch, 2014). Other films, such as L’Envers du theatre, had an uncertain genre that was neither primitive nor institutional; however, some critics argue that it had more condensation of the primitive mode because it comprised three shots that were stencil-tinted. This film gives the impression that it was produced from different sources. Hence it has been considered one of the unique films of the time. Other original primitive films include The Kentucky Feud and Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son, two biograph films by Bitzer. Most films displayed a non-centered approach codified to pass sufficient narratives with a beginning and an end.

The transition from the primitive to the institutionalized mode of representation.

After the turn of the century, the primitive mode of representation disappeared due to the emergence of the institutional mode of representation of films. Avant- Garde films became the hallmark of the domination of the theory (Hansen, 1993). Noel Burch on the individuals that discussed a lot concerning early films aimed at showing that the institutional mode of representation was a determined class practice that was biased. According to Burch, all films presented an elaborate and realistic system compared to other critics such as Tom Gunning, who believed that the institutional mode of representation had elaborated and expanded structure and narrative form. Burch argues that the IMR was characterized by its intention to create a complete and closed fictional world on the screen (Hansen, 1993). This results in the audience being involved imaginatively in the events happening in the film rather than them being a separate entity with curiosity to examine the film techniques and not the film itself.

The primitive mode of representation also referred to as the early films were constructed out of single shots, each with a different story and event to showcase (Cook,1992). However, because of the advanced editing techniques, the institutional representation mode utilizes close-ups. It also employed characters who are psychologically individuated to bring out the close-ups of faces and acting methods that were borrowed. As a result, most films would take place around the viewer so that psychological depth is achieved. The narratives, therefore, are motivated by the character’s psychology. Although the modes of understanding early cinema have sparked controversial discussions among film critics and scholars, it is clear that early cinema lack in terms of structures and realism.

Gunning’s concept of primitive cinema is problematic.

From the analysis by famous critics such as Frank Norris (1899), the concept of primitive cinema, as Burch coined, has issues that affect the interpretation of the films (Mottram, 1983). First, the cinema itself was an attraction in itself. From the conversations recorded by Maxim Gorky (1896) with spectators, it is clear that the audience was more interested in the tricks being performed (Gunning, 1995). The events and actions showcased were aimed at creating amazement and sparking curiosity hence the concept of primitive cinema according to Tom Gunning, is problematic because it lacked a piece of specific institutional evidence that defines an actual film. According to him, most films cannot be categorized as narrative-oriented, as most are short and random.

Other early scholars of primitive cinema

Unlike other critics and scholars such as Noel Burch and Tom Gunning, who dealt with the film’s structures, status, and forms, there are other feminist critics such as Yujie Zhang (Dong, 2021). The films spanning the silent era include the cabbage fairy (1896). According to her, the silent era only partially disappeared with the emergence of sound patterns in 1910. As she argues in her twenty-one essays, she expounds on the role of women in the cinema. According to her, women played a vital role in the production of films because although the males directed and edited the films, the women acted in the fictional films and should be recognized (Dong, 2021). As a feminist, she believes that inequality in the film industry can be eliminated if only the male gender would recognize women’s talent and unique abilities.

Another scholar who discussed the issue of early films and their influence on present-day cinema is Gaudreault, who argues that all films are narratives (Gaudreault, 1987). The subject matter, either animated or inanimate, presents a narrative form. He argues that provided there is an introduction of an event that upsets the equilibrium of the space, then however short the film is, it depicts a narrative that continues even after the film is cut. To him, the spectators and the audience have the mandate to imagine the end of the action alone. The fact that the films were silent meant that a follow-up conversation would occur between the filmmaker and the audience.

After considering the different theories and ideas concerning early films, Tom Gunning’s theory is correct and reasonable because of the following issues; any image or film requires an event and characters in the play to create a narrative. Films created during the early period were short and random; however, there were characters and events in the play. The example of The Waterer Watered, the flow of actions in the film, however short it may be, illustrates a continuous narrative even after the film ends. Therefore, it would be problematic to say that some films are non-narrative (Gaudreault, 1987). As Tom argued in his view of the early cinema, some limitations may hinder the expansion of the films because the disjointed shots may be narrating different stories. However, the varied narratives can understand as independent hence there should be no categorization.

Noel Burch’s theory is partially correct because it formed the basis for criticizing films. The components, such as the structure and status he mentions, play a key role when analyzing an image or film. Therefore, as much as structures and status remain consistent throughout the films, they can narrate an event. Although most films at the time had abrupt endings and unplanned beginnings, the actions between films have sufficient information for better understanding. During that time, silent cinema was characterized by a follow-up conversation by commentators who elaborated on the action showcased in the cinema.

In conclusion, early cinema, also known as primitive cinema, has advanced periodically with the changing technological trends. Early scholars who studied the influence of early cinema on contemporary cinema believe that it was the hallmark initiated by the train’s first film. The emergence of editing technology ensures that films with considerable length and quality pick pace. Several theories aimed at explaining the earlier films in terms of structure, status, and content, and scholars such as Noel Burch and Tom Gunning coined some currently used to understand the early films. Such terms include the primitive mode of representation and institutional mode of representation. The two had differing ideas concerning early films because of the classification as to whether all films are narrative-oriented or trick and spectacle oriented. Noel Burch argues that most early films displayed a primitive mode that made to have specific traits such as the non-closure nature of narratives and their ability to be autarky which made them independent and rigid to change. However, Tom opposes the idea with the claim that however short a film can be, it communicates; therefore, all films are narrative. Using the example of various films produced during the 1900s, Tom argues that provided the equilibrium of the events has been tilted, the film qualifies as a narrative. Generally, both scholars agree that early films formed the basis for modern films in terms of structure and other essential aspects of the cinema. Filmmakers such as Melies and Lumiere brothers played a role in the film industry although their efforts may have yet to be recognized at the present.


Abel, R. (2004). Encyclopedia of early cinema. Routledge.

Burch, N. (1990). Life to those Shadows. Univ of California Press.

Burch, N. (2014). Theory of film practice (Vol. 507). Princeton University Press.

Cook, D. (1992). Early Cinema: Space, Frame, Narrative.

Dong, Y. (2021). Jane Eyre: Growing Up in Resistance. Insight-Information3(4), 65-68.

Gaudreault, A. (1987). Narration and Monstration in the Cinema. Journal of Film and Video39(2), 29-36.

Gaudreault, A., & Gunning, T. (2006). Early cinema as a challenge to film history. The cinema of attractions reloaded, 365-380.

Gunning, T. (1986). The cinema of attraction [s]: Early film, its spectator and the avant-garde. Theater and Film: A Comparative Anthology, 39.

Gunning, T. (1989). ” Primitive” Cinema: A Frame-up? Or the Trick’s on Us. Cinema Journal28(2), 3-12.

Gunning, T. (1994). The whole town’s gawking: Early cinema and the visual experience of modernity. The Yale Journal of Criticism7(2), 189.

Gunning, T. (1995). ” Animated pictures”, tales of cinema’s forgotten future. Michigan Quarterly Review34(4), 464-486.

Hansen, M. (1993). Early cinema, late cinema: permutations of the public sphere. Screen34(3).

Mottram, R. (1983). Impulse Toward the Visible: Frank Norris and Photographic Representation. Texas Studies in Literature and Language25(4), 574-596.

Musser, C. (1994). Rethinking early cinema: cinema of attractions and narrativity. Yale Journal of Criticism7, 203-203.

Pearson, R. (1996). Early cinema. The Oxford history of world cinema, 13-22.

Strauven, W. (2006). The cinema of attractions reloaded (p. 464). Amsterdam University Press.

Economics Of Developing Countries Essay Sample For College

Question 2:

To what extent can international aid provide an effective long-term solution to the problem of underdevelopment?


Economic underdevelopment describes a condition that is characterized by increased poverty levels, low literacy levels, and low per capita income. Most countries, especially developing countries, always face the ‘underdevelopment shock’ (Astuti, Sugiyanto, and Kurnia, 2022). By definition, the shock of underdevelopment is mainly associated with ‘the culture of poverty.’ Therefore, since the poverty culture relates to the shock of underdevelopment, a country that intends to address the issue of underdevelopment must address the poverty culture. One way through which a country can help reduce poverty is by seeking international aid. Hence, this essay addresses how international aid can provide a long-term solution to underdevelopment.

The problem of underdevelopment

Economic developments are defined based on their per capita levels (Todaro, 2015). This means that to address the underdevelopment issue, and the country must focus on improving its per capita levels. In addition, the country must focus on attaining the development core values. The development core values include the following. The first development core value is sustenance. Sustenance describes the ability of a nation to meet its basic needs. Finally, the development’s core value is servitude freedom. By attaining the servitude problem, it means that the nation can be able to make choices from a variety of options. Therefore, it means that a nation that has achieved these development core values has managed to address the issue of underdevelopment.

International aid

According to Johnstone (2019), aid describes the process of transferring resources which is a concessional element. Therefore, international aid describes the assistance that developed countries offer to developed countries. The type of assistance or aid these developed countries may offer to the developing countries include; food, expertise, money, labour, and knowledge. These types of aid can play a critical role in addressing the problem of underdevelopment in developing countries.

The role of international aid in addressing the problem of underdevelopment

Since the 1970s, developing countries have increasingly relied on developed countries to stimulate their economic growth (Todaro, 2015). This reliance on developed countries may take the form of international aid. This means that with the availability of international/ foreign aid, a developing country may rely on developed nations to access these aids to stimulate their economic growth. The various ways the developing country may rely on international aid to address their underdevelopment problems include the following.

According to Rostow’s ‘stage-of-growth model of development,’ a country’s transition from underdevelopment to a development state happens or occurs in a series of steps (Todaro, 2020). According to Rostow, this means that a country that needs to address its issue of underdevelopment must try to follow these steps. In addition, Rostov described that for this issue to be addressed, the country must transform and attain self-sustaining growth. Therefore, a nation may utilize the Rostow stage of the growth model to benefit from international to address its issue of underdevelopment.

Rostow suggests that the first strategy for a nation to take off in its quest to address underdevelopment is to generate sufficient investments, which are essential for economic growth (Whitaker, 2021). A country can be able to achieve this by having sufficient funds. International aid provides financial resources that a country can use to generate investments. However, the extent to which these financial resources/ aids benefit a country depends on the policy models of a country. For a country to witness success in its investments, it must pursue good policy models. One of the good policies which a nation can have is trade openness. It is important to note that a country that does not pursue any good policy will not benefit from the availability of foreign aid. Therefore, a country with access to investment funds is more likely to achieve the economic transition from an underdeveloped country to a developed one. The Harrod-Domar growth model demonstrates economic growth due to investment (Todaro, 2020). According to the model, growth in new investments is essential since it provides for the required capital. This capital is essential since it helps replace capital goods, which include buildings. In addition, the increased capital in a country plays a role in improving production. This is because, with increased capital, a nation can increase its output and thus become self-sustenance. Self-sustenance is one of the core development values. Therefore, this nation is said to have addressed the issue of underdevelopment.

Finally, international aid addresses the issue of underdevelopment through the provision of expertise, knowledge, and labour. However, the extent to which this can be effective in the long term depends on the capacity of the country to absorb foreign/international resources. The three components of economic growth are labour, knowledge, and expertise. The theory explaining how underdeveloped nations can be able to address this problem is the structural change theory. According to the theory of structural changes, various nations should address their issues with underdevelopment by transforming their economic structures from traditional systems to more modern and industrialized systems (Comin, Lashkari and Mestieri, 2021). This structural transformation can only occur if the developing country has sufficient labour and expertise. Therefore, with international aid, especially in the form of labour, knowledge, and expertise, the nation will be able to transform its structural economy into a more modern industrialized economy. Hence, with a nation transforming into an industrialized economy, this is a long-term solution to address the issue of underdevelopment.


Therefore, it is evident that international aid plays a critical role in addressing the problems of underdevelopment within developing countries. International aid occurs in various forms, which include financial assistance, labour, knowledge and expertise. These are essential components of economic growth that developing countries take advantage of to address their underdevelopment issues. For instance, financial assistance helps developing countries increase their investments, while labour and expertise help adopt new economic structures. However, the extent to which this international aids assist a country depends on the policies adopted by that country.


Astuti, I.P., Sugiyanto, F.X. and Kurnia, A.S., 2022. The role of financial inclusion in poverty reduction: A production theory approach. Economic and Business Horizon1(1), pp.24-32.

Comin, D., Lashkari, D. and Mestieri, M., 2021. Structural change with long‐run income and price effects. Econometrica89(1), pp.311-374.

Johnston, L.A., 2019. The Belt and Road Initiative: what is in it for China? Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies6(1), pp.40-58.

Todaro, M.P. and Smith, S.C., (2015). Economic development. Pearson UK.

Todaro, M.P. and Smith, S.C., (2020). Economic development. Pearson UK.

Whitaker, M.D., 2021. Agriculture and Economic Growth. In Agriculture and Economic Survival (pp. 1-20). Routledge.

Question 6:

To what extent is corruption always bad for economic growth? Answer this question concerning the various types of corruption which commonly occur in developing countries.


Every nation across the globe strives for economic development. For economic development to take place, it must involve changes within entire social and economic systems. A country is said to have undergone economic growth if it manages to increase and widen its range of citizens’ choices. However, the efforts to achieve economic development can only be supported if corruption is prevalent within a country. This paper examines the extent to which the different forms of corruption affect growth.

Definitions and forms of corruption

According to Pozsgai-Alvarez (2020), corruption is the misuse of a public office for individual or private gains. Therefore are various forms of corruption that occur mainly in developing countries. These types of corruption include; collusion, extortion, and expropriation. These forms of corruption are bad for economic growth.

The effects of the various forms of corruption on economic growth

  • Collusive corruption

The first form of corruption is collusive corruption. Collusive corruption is a form of corruption whereby two parties, the bribe payer and the receiver, come to terms and agree to engage in corrupt practices (Pou and Khobung, 2023). In addition, this type of corruption can mean a form whereby a government official and another individual agree to come together and rob government revenues. On top of that, this corruption may take the form of an individual paying a certain amount to ensure they win a contract. This type of corruption in a country critically affects economic growth.

Collusive corruption leads to inequality. Corruption increases inequality by exempting some individuals from paying taxes. If an individual is exempted from paying taxes, there will be income inequality between individuals who earn the same income. This means that the presence of corruption affects wealth distribution and human development. Economic inefficiency is one of the main dangers of income inequality to a nation. Economic efficiency means that the population that can access loans in a country is limited. This makes it difficult for individuals to create investments which would influence production, thus increasing sustenance. In addition, collusive corruption affects the country’s human development index (HDI). The HDI index is a tool used to measure a nation’s socioeconomic development determined by various factors such as health and education. Therefore, with corruption, the HDI of a nation is affected. This means that due to the inequality caused by corruption, only a few individuals involved in the corrupt practices will be able to acquire high-quality education and health services. Hence, the inequality experienced in the healthcare and education sectors affects the human development index, thus affecting economic growth. This is because both education and healthcare are the main components of economic growth.

  • Extortion

This is a form of corruption whereby state or public officials insist on being paid bribes. This corruption may take the form of refusing to grant an individual a contract before they pay a bribe and refusing to grant a certificate before a bribe is paid (Adisa and Alabi, 2021). This corruption is bad for economic growth since it acts as an extra tax, thus slowing business activities. This type of corruption is bad for a country’s economy due to the following.

With extortion, the rate of business activities in a country slows down. The reduction of the rate of business activities in a country leads to a decline in the gross domestic product (GDP). Nations can only experience development if their GDP is high. GDP describes the number of finished products and services in the country’s economy.

In addition, since this form of corruption may take the form of asking for bribes to secure contracts, the nation may end up experiencing the dangers of this form of corruption, especially in the quality and quantity of spending. This would attract the low quality of services, especially in the service sectors, with the individual trying to lower the quality of services to cover the money lost to bribe the state officials. This means that despite an individual being granted the opportunity and the responsibility to provide quality social services such as education and healthcare, the individual ends up providing low-quality services. Therefore, the country will not be able to achieve what it was supposed to achieve by improving its healthcare and education facilities.

  • Expropriation

This is a form of corruption, especially when an employee or a state official decides to steal public/ state assets and money. Expropriation can also be referred to as theft. This corruption is bad and harmful to economic growth since it drains the country’s budget, resulting in low-quality service (Chang et al., 2022). In addition, expropriation is also associated with an increase in taxes. One of the sectors affected by the low quality of services is the health and education sectors. It is important to note that both education and health care play a critical role in achieving the core development values. This is because, with better health care and education systems, the result is increased human capabilities. One of the core development values is sustenance. Therefore, a country offering a low-quality education cannot absorb new technologies within their territories, which would help them become self-sustaining. On the other hand, low healthcare quality affects a nation’s productivity. Therefore, the role that expropriation plays in negatively influencing the quality of education and healthcare in a country is critical and bad for the economic development of that country.


Corruption in developing countries may take various forms, which include; extortion, Collusive corruption, and expropriation. All these forms of corruption are bad for a country’s economic growth. Some of the reasons why these forms of corruption are bad for the economic development of a country include; increased inequality, effects on human development and, finally affects, the provision of quality social services. Therefore, every country should strive to address these forms of corruption within their territory to ensure that it does not hinder economic growth and development.


Adisa, W.B. and Alabi, T.A., 2021. An empirical investigation of court users’ encounters with bribery, judicial extortion and corruption victimization in Lagos State. Crime, Law and Social Change75, pp.141-163.

Chang, X., Li, S., Liu, C., Sun, L. and Zhang, W., 2022. Local political corruption and financial reporting conservatism. Available at SSRN 3431661.

Pou, K. and Khobung, V., 2023. Systemic Corruption: Phenomenon Ensuing Marginalization of Tribals in Manipur. In Marginality in India (pp. 210-224). Routledge India.

Pozsgai-Alvarez, J., 2020. The abuse of entrusted power for private gain: Meaning, nature and theoretical evolution. Crime, Law and Social Change74(4), pp.433-455.

The Concept Of Literacy And Critical Literacy University Essay Example


This work focuses on literacy. Traditional literacy has been identified as inadequate as it leads to irrational processes that do not embrace students’ diversity and abilities. However, literacy as a social practice has changed how educators view literacy to see that it is born from interactions. Through the various theoretical perspectives, this paper explains the concept of literacy and discusses critical literacy and how I would employ it in the classroom.

Part 1

The deficit model

Larson and Marsh (2015) express concerns over the traditional teaching of literacy. According to them, traditional teaching methods of reading and writing conceptualize literacy as if it encompasses discrete skills that can be taught in isolation. According to them, children fail to acquire skills, knowledge, and understanding at the same rate, and thus they are perceived as inadequate. When this occurs with children sharing the same cultural, racial and economic status, it establishes a significant deficit model. These children have, over the years, been described using various phrases, including the term “at risk” children, especially those considered underachieving due to poverty. As the authors try to highlight the deficit model, children coming from low-income families are often considered at risk of failing and underachieving in their academic performance.

A significant issue identified with this concept is that teachers now focus on the negative factors of their experiences rather than their contribution to the classroom setting and how they can change the experiences by seeking different ways to reflect on and build on these experiences. The authors highlight a significant issue with traditional literacy models, which tend to highlight the normally developing child, which according to them, is a typically white middle-income child whose family should support their development by providing particular resources. The result of all this is that the system normalizes middle-class norms as the best literary practices that coach children should enjoy and that parents of children considered at risk should be mobilized and taught how to provide the necessary resources for their children.

Author’s suggestions

Therefore, Larson & Marsh (2015) offers suggestions responding to the deficit model, including literacy theoretical models that move away from the individual and focus on literacy as a social practice and thus emphasize that knowledge concerning literacy is socially constructed. Based on this, discourse communities are considered necessary within pedagogical approaches as they stress the social nature of learning. The authors provide anecdotes about their children to help individuals consider how others learn. Larson gives the story of how she did her morning routine as she prepared the children for school, and one day she wakes up to her daughter preparing everything the same way she does. The story given by Larson pushes the idea that her daughter learned by observing and participating in her morning routine, thus illustrating the theory of learning as participation.

Literacy as a social practice

Literacy has been explained as something individuals do and are the activity found in the space between text and thought and does not just exist in people’s heads as skills to be learned or texts or paper. Instead, it is social and thus can be found in the interactions between people. Instead of being acquired, it is located and shaped within social interactions. Literacy as a social practice encompasses skills that can be taught similarly in various concepts and can be applied analogously, notwithstanding students’ differing needs and experiences (Larson & Marsh, 2015). Therefore, under this model, economic, social, and political contexts shape literacy. Literacy as a social practice can be seen in the classroom setting in discourse. This comes into play when one considers how students and teachers use language every day in the classroom. An example, of this use of language is an interaction between a teacher and a student, when the teacher asks the student a question and the students answers, followed by the teacher evaluating this response. This is an example of a significant social interaction that facilitates literacy. It does not have to take a considerable amount of time, but this small segment is enough for supporting literacy.


The New Literacy Studies is a theoretical framework that has created the ideological literacy model which expels the significant divide between orality and literacy and conceptualizes literacy as a noteworthy social practice that creates definite power relations and principal hypothesis important in literacy concepts as a social procedure (Wingfield, 2018). It brings discourses together to help completely define literacy.

The critical literacy theory on three other hand is a theoretical approach where learners can examine various texts to help comprehend the association between language and the power it possesses. They can critically analyze and evaluate the meanings of various texts as they relate to power, equity, and social justice topics.

The literacy and digital technologies theory is an important framework, especially in the contemporary education system. It relates to literacy and digital technologies which are now being increasingly used in education. It moves away from the traditional approach of reading and writing. This theory encompasses the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to access digital information efficiently, effecrt8ively, and ethically.

Multimodal literacy is a phrase originating from social semiotics and denotes the language that integrates two or more modes of meaning. Therefore, it encompasses the constitution of multiple semiosis or meaning models. This is an essential aspect in the education system today because it encourages learners to understand how media shapes the world. Additionally, almost all of the texts availed to students if not all are multimodal because they combine various models including audio, linguistic, alphabetic, and audio texts. Artifactual literacy enables individuals to bring in objects within the educational setting and materializes objects in literacy and can make visible stories that connect objects (Altintug, 2022). It has the power to materialize literacy. Artifactual literacy integrates a comprehension of how literacy practices within communities and homes are situated and understanding if the multimodal nature of textual practices together with the use of the ethnographic as the inquiry model for these practices.

Part 2

Why I chose critical literacy

I chose critical literacy. I chose this theory because while it continues to support the gaining of knowledge for my students, it is also a powerful medium that can encourage them towards social action, especially in the contemporary setting where we need more of it. It also promotes socially responsible literacy. This is facilitated for by the ability for my students to examine the organization of language to reproduce gender, race, and class, which is a significant function of socially responsible literacy (Symaco & Tee, 2019). I also chose this theory because I believe it can help disrupt their common understanding or situation. This gives them an opportunity to understand texts differently, rather than the traditional way of reading and writing to gain knowledge. This will allow them to look at a text and understand it from a more critical perspective and also apply it to their experiences of the experiences of others within society.

Additionally, students can think about issues from the various characters within a text, thus allowing them to scrutinize and discuss their patterns of thinking and motivations. I also want my students to go beyond their comfort zone and look at socio political issues where they can have a better understanding and ability to understand power relationships between individuals within their society, just from reading various texts in the classroom. Finally, I wanted to encourage my students to promote social justice and thus this was the best theory that could allow them to realize how and give them the necessary tools that can facilitate their ability to do so, while still learning within the educational context.

Theory definition

The critical literacy theory encourages learners or any other readers to explore, question, and challenge the power relationships between readers and authors (Dowsett & Reinertsen, 2023). Therefore, it promotes reflection, action, and transformative change and examines power issues. Reading from a critical viewpoint encompasses thinking beyond the text to comprehend the various issues such as why the author decided to write about a certain topic, included some ideas about a certain topic while leaving out some, and chose a particular perspective. It enables learners to see beyond the normal and comfortable and to understand that texts are informed by ideological perspectives and beliefs, whether consciously or unconsciously (Okan, 2020). This theory calls learners out of their comfort zone and to assume a different, more critical outlook.

Activities I would engage in

There are various activities I would ask my students to engage in that could support this theory. The first one is to ask my students to look back at the different texts we have studied in class, regardless of the theme or era. Then I would ask them to analyze which author or character that touched their lives the most and in what way. This means looking back at a certain text critically and thus deciding that a certain character, based on their actions or perspectives touches them probably because they discussed racial matters or gender roles, or because they advocate for a certain change in society. This relates to the critical literacy theory because it allows the students to look at a text from as different perspectives and assess power relations before deciding that a certain character or how the author framed a certain paragraph is important for them because it relates to their everyday life.

Another strategy I would use with my students is to pick a text that covers a certain social injustice. Then I would have them read the text for a certain period and then ask them to put themselves in the shoes of at least three characters in the text and then give their account on how they would have handled the issue. For example, if the text highlights an injustice against a black person, I would have my students give an account of what they would have done as a black person, and also as a white person, so that they do not pick just one racial side to answer the question. This relates significantly to the theory because it allows students to critically view their text and think about it from the perspectives of the characters it represents. This can also promote critical thinking as it allows the students to think outside the box and put themselves in a situation they would have otherwise not imagined or not related to. This way, they can be even more inspired to rotate towards social change in society based on their literacy skills.

Finally, newspapers are examples of media that present numerous issues that show the imbalance of power between individuals, even in the political realm. I would therefore have students go through various newspaper companies, which are available digitally such as USA today, BBC, and others. Then I would have them determine the best course of action that would bring the most significant change in an unequal and inappropriate power relationship. By examining texts this way, the students engage in critical literacy and are unable to identify the unusual patterns within a text or the various characters that were treated differently or did not benefit from the power relationship like they should. This promotes their ability to read through texts and gives them a third eye into the various texts they read inside and outside the classroom setting.


Overall, I believe that literacy has become an important part of education today and the society as a whole. As we move away from the traditional literacy setting there are various theoretical frameworks that can inform the ability of students to achieve literacy. An example is critical literacy which I would employ with my students so that they are empowered beyond the classroom.


Wingfield, M. V. (2018). Becoming All That I Can Be: Narrative Analysis of African-American Students’ Literacy Perceptions and Experiences in an Urban Title I School (Doctoral dissertation, Mercer University).

Dowsett, P., & Reinertsen, N. (2023). Adding to teachers’ assessment toolboxes: multiple-choice assessments of critical literacy for Australian senior school courses. The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 1-14.

Okan, Z. (2020). Language and social justice. Handbook on promoting social justice in education, 267-282.

Symaco, L. P., & Tee, M. Y. (2019). Social responsibility and engagement in higher education: Case of the ASEAN. International Journal of Educational Development, 66, 184-192.

Altıntuğ, F. (2022). Multimodal Literacy Experiences of Kurdish Migrant Children in Northern Cyprus (Doctoral dissertation, University of Sheffield).

Marsh, J., & Larson, J. (2014). Making literacy real: Theories and practices for learning and teaching, 2nd Edition. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.