Great Fire Of London And The Way To Its Reconstruction Free Writing Sample

On September 2, 1666, the City of London burnt with fire that lasted for three days. The entire territory of the City was ruined, the houses and stone buildings burnt down. More than 80 000 citizens of London lost their homes. First, they camped in the fields nearby the city, then dispersed to the villages situated in the neighborhood of London. The number of people who died due to the fire remains unknown.

Those events went down in history as ‘The Great Fire of London.’ The purpose of this paper is to determine the causes of the Great Fire of London, its results, and describe the ways of the city reconstruction.

When talking about the causes of the Great Fire, it should be mentioned that the vast majority of houses in London were made of wood and pitch at that time. Both materials are dangerously flammable, so it did not take too much time for the fire to spread. The fire started with a small fire at king Charles’ II own bakery in Pudding Lane Street, where a lot of timbered buildings were situated. The fire spread swiftly to Fish Street Hill and reached London Bridge. When it turned into a strong fire in Thomas Farryner’s bakery, it took the life of the first victim – a girl who was a maid in the household living above the bakery.

Due to the strong east wind, the fire was progressing, burning everything on its way and taking away human lives. Some historians consider that the fire was organized intentionally by the French and Dutch authorities since both countries were potential enemies of England in the Second Anglo-Dutch War that was going on at that time.

Real causes of the Great Fire of London were never determined; however, in January, 1667, the Royal council declared that the fire was an accident caused by the will of God, a strong wind, and a very dry season.

There was no team of firefighters to extinguish the fire, and local citizens had to use traditional ways to stop it, which were mostly leather buckets with water and staves to beat the flames.

Overhead, the clouds of smoke grew denser and denser as, flecked with glowing cinders and driven before a strong wind, they swirled about Paul’s steeple and then, streamed westwards, until gradually sunshine and daylight were blotted out (Jane Lang, 21)

Neil Hanson depicts the effects of the Great Fire of London in the following way:

Medieval London had virtually ceased to exist and in its place was a wasteland of rubble and ashes, so devoid of buildings, so empty and featureless that to one stupefied onlooker, it seemed like the Cumbrian fells. ‘But there’s nothing to be seen,’ he said, ‘but heaps of stones. (Neil Hanson).

In his book The Dreadful Judgment, he says, “Great Fire of London is one of those cataclysmic events that has burned its way into the consciousness of mankind” (Neil Hanson, 19). According to Hanson, those events ruined not only the city of London and its building but also the minds of people.

The Great Fire of London spread over the territory of London from Fleet Street in the West to the Tower of London in the East and north from the bank of the Thames to the wall at Cripplegate. Within the area of the fire, no buildings survived. In many places, the ground was too hot to walk on for several days afterward (London After the Great Fire).

Thus, London was ruined, the vast majority of houses and medieval buildings were burnt, and the city needed to be reconstructed. It needed someone who could design a new city, and that was the British architect, Christopher Wren, who suggested a new plan for the reconstruction of the famous buildings of London and building new ones.

According to the plan that Wren presented to king Charles, the city of London had to become a new and beautiful place with broad avenues planted with green trees and buildings. In order to transfigure London, Wren chose the classical architectural style that makes us assume that a new appearance of London should have been much better and more improved than the old one. Charles approved his plan, and in a short period of time, Wren was appointed an architectural commissioner supervising the rebuilding of London.

Thanks to Christopher Wren, his talent as an architect, over the next 46 years, 51 churches were rebuilt in the city. Now each church looked different and more attractive, although all of them were designed in the classical style. Partially, Wren’s merit lay in his ability to combine the classical style and the British “wedding cake” style: now, the city churches were based on the temples of classical Roman style but had steeples.

Another greatest masterpiece of Christopher Wren was St. Paul’s Cathedral that was designed according to several styles, and one of his plans was to make a huge domed structure for it. However, commissioners rejected such a design for St. Paul’s Cathedral for they considered it to be too Catholic. Wren made a new plan for it. Now St. Paul’s Cathedral had a doom with a steeple, and the royal warrant approved it and even allowed to use a few variations of the “Great Model” ornament. However, Wren surreptitiously included a lot of ideas of his favorite “Great model” style.

IT was fortunate that the essential preliminaries to the rebuilding had been completed, particularly those requiring the attention of King and Parliament, before August 1678, when popular interest in such peaceful enterprises were suddenly and violently diverted by the first of a series of crises which were to break again and again over the government, City, and nation during the next twelve years (Jane Lang, 117).

Apart from churches, new buildings were constructed, and Wren was responsible for the works that were being carried out. Under the command of Wren, Tom Tower, Oxford, and Royal Hospital were built. He also offered the plan of rebuilding Kensington Palace, Naval hospital, Hampton Court Palace. ‘95 percent of the foundations had been staked out by the end of 1671’ (Michael Cooper, 139).

The final touch to a new city of London was a Monument to the Great Fire of London erected in 1677 that engraved those apocalyptic events of 1666 in Londoners’ minds forever.

In conclusion, the Great Fire of London was a real tragedy of medieval England and the English people. It took away the lives of thousands of people, made about 80 000 people homeless, and destroyed a great number of buildings. Still, one can assume that the Great Fire of London was a kind of unavoidable transition from medieval England to the new and more improved one. But for the fire, it would take the authority of London much more time to give the city a new look. The Great Fire of London was the starting point of a new life and a new epoch in the history of London. Today, “The City of London is not short of visitors; St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London ensure that” (Jeffrey, 17).

Works Cited

Cooper, Michael. ‘A More Beautiful City’: Robert Hooke and the Rebuilding of London After the Great Fire’. Sutton Publishing Ltd (2003).

Jeffery, Paul. City Churches of Sir Christopher Wren. Hambledon Press, 1996.

Hanson Neil. The Dreadful Judgment. Doubleday, 2001.

Hanson, Neil. “The Great Fire of London: myths and realities” . Web.

Lang, Jane. Rebuilding St. Paul’s after the Great Fire of London. Oxford University Press, 1956.

Schofield, John. “London After the Great Fire”. BBC History. (2001).

Fashion In The Clothes Industry

Introduction

Fashion refers to the dynamic trends in the preference of the use of a certain good or service. The term fashion is however heavily used in the clothing industry and it is sometimes taken to be synonymous with its trends. Normally, different fashionable trends exist in a given culture at any given time and thus fashion has contributed substantially to cultural trends. Therefore, fashion can be viewed as a constituent of culture. Due to fashion, items like clothing are dumped simply because they are outmoded. This essay analyzes contemporary evidence on Karl Marx’s ideas about fashion desire. He argued that the whim for fashion is “murderous and meaningless”, Marx (Barthes, 2004, p. 1).

Fashion in the clothing industry

Fashion dominates the clothing industry that it has almost become synonymous with changes in clothing preferences. This industry is characterized by product seasonality due to its hyperinnovation. Different fashions in the clothing industry have different designs. Thus the industry faces considerable product-design instability. There is also a characteristic lack of standardization for a given design, which is also influenced by fashion trends. A given design is also made in different sizes to accommodate the variations in the body sizes of the customers (Templeton, 2003, p. 1). An example of how the lack of product standardization sometimes stems from fashion is the contemporary desire of women to have slim bodies. This makes to design clothes that are smaller than the person who wears them for the person to look thinner. This is because the designers have to comply with the fashion demands of the customers who buy and wear their designs. The fact that the clothes industry is characterized by the non-standardization of products from a specific design and their instability has led to problems in the industry associated with difficulties of mechanized production. Thus, the high level of innovation required in this industry necessitates flexibility in the methods used in production. This allows future changes in design specifications to be easily implemented without the need to obtain tools to accommodate the change. Thus, by using flexible means of production the clothing industry has been able to keep up with trends in fashion, releasing a myriad of designs at any given time. These designs are also released in a variety of tests like color, size etcetera (Arnold, 2001, p. 81).

The availability of different designs at any given time that conforms to fashion requirements provides fuel for the growth of the desire to meet fashion demands by society. This desire can become very disastrous because fashion is mostly an appreciation of change that is not guaranteed to be better. Fashion enthusiasm in the clothing industry, which is in the lead in comparison with all other industries, has diverse effects on the socio-political, cultural, and economic welfare of society. To start with, fashion is about being placed into a given social class. It may build the image of a person positively negatively. This is because fashion, especially clothing is not always appropriate for everybody. A certain design is made to suit a particular group of buyers. If a person, who does not belong to that, buys that design, it will probably make him/her look worse than he/she would look wearing clothes that are not in fashion but fits him/her better. Secondly, fashion whims can affect our social lives substantially (Briggs, 2008, p. 1). A person who is obsessed with the acquisition of newly designed clothes and clothes that are in fashion may use too much money on clothing that he/she may make them neglect other important needs like food, education, and health etcetera. This will seriously impact the life of this person. Consider a case where he/she prioritizes fashion over career development. In this case, the financial welfare of this person will be greatly affected since he/she is spending lots of money on fashion and their careers are possibly stagnant. Most of the fashion needs, especially in clothes, are fulfilled without the need for the item being acquired. New clothing is bought not because the existing clothes are outworn but because they are outmoded. This leads to the accumulation of a lot of clothes that are not necessarily needed. The outmoded clothes may be thrown away following fashionable acquisitions. This, arguably, amounts to wastefulness. It can, therefore, be argued that the gratification of fashion needs is disastrous. Karl Marx claimed that the desire developed by people to meet fashion expectations is murderous. With this, he meant that fashion desire can lead to a lot of problems that may slowly make one lose the meaning of life.

An essay on fashion would be incomplete without highlighting the effect of fashion on culture. Fashion designs have been progressively developed to erode certain cultural values (Loiterton, 2003, p. 1). These values such as appropriate dressing codes in different environments have been affected due to the competition in the fashion industry that has seen the creation of, arguably, inappropriate designs. Contemporary clothes designs are very different from the designs of the early twentieth century. This is evidenced in their difference in skin exposure, the material used, and sexual provocation. The dressing code for various occasions and places has also changed over the years. For example, the dressing code for the contemporary church is not as it was three decades ago. People are now attending church services in unbelievably provocative attire. This way, fashion has been crucial in changing cultural values (Hanssen, 2006, p. 35).

Fashion enthusiasm in the clothes industry is also, arguably, murderous. Provocative designs, especially those meant for sexual provocation, do not escape the appreciation of women. Most of these women develop a taste in these kinds of designs due to their ability to affect men and they wear them when they are sure they are to get an audience of men. They, therefore, wear these designs purposely to attract the attention of the men. This is especially evident in women’s preferences for the most seductive designs that are designed showing way too much skin. To this effect, some of the enthusiasts of these kinds of designs may suffer humiliation or even assaults. Consider the following example. Inappropriate dressing in some functions or environments may make the victim be forced to leave the function or environment (Hochswender, 2008, p. 1).

Karl Marx predicted that the sewing machine would organize the clothing industry and form systematic production of clothing that would phase out the murderous and meaningless desires of conformance to fashion (Briggs, 2008, p. 1). Due to their cheap availability and unlimited entry into the industry, a lot of independent contractors who have been very helpful to brand owners and retailers emerged with the invention of the sewing machine. The brand owners and retailers give manufacturing contracts to the contractors and thus they outsource manufacturing to attain flexibility and cut down costs. This has led to mass production of a myriad of ready-made designs which in turn has been very critical in reducing fashion enthusiasm (Breward, 2003, p. 67).

Fashion is not only confined to the clothing industry. It touches every aspect of life. The media, celebrity cults, catwalk presentations etcetera mount massive pressure on people who are obsessed with fashion. The targets of these pressures are obliged to live in conformity with preset ideas about fashion and beauty. This has led to a lot of undesirable issues in society. Some of these issues include eating disorders related to the quest for beauty, cosmetic surgery meant to maintain or improve body shapes and make people look more beautiful. The fad in the copying of the lifestyles we see in the media, like celebrity lifestyles, gives an account of the meaninglessness of both fashion and zeal to its conformance. Consider for example the fashion of body tattooing. Many people have tattoos only because they think that a certain celebrity’s tattoo looks good. Others may even do it because their friends have done it and they do not want to be the ones left out. Others may tattoo their bodies because they think that living without a tattoo is, kind of, outmoded. There are even several people who follow certain trends in tattooing their bodies. A person may start by tattooing the name of his/her mother and later yield to tattoo fashions of girlfriend/boyfriend names, technology logos, celebrity names or images, etc. We find ourselves doing things that are unnecessary just to conform to the trends in society and look ‘up-to-date’. You may find that after yielding into several ‘tattoo pressures’, one’s body is filled with tattoos such that the body loses its attractiveness. Revisiting the issue of surgery, many people go for surgery because they know of somebody who has done the same. There are shocking statistics of people who have done breast enlargements and the like. These are things that can only be explained by fashion and psychological reasons. This is because the pressure that is characteristic of fashion reaches many people and only some yield into some of these things (Helland, 2008, p. 32).

Moreover, the influence of music and movies on the youth is also a representation of the power of fashion. Young people have always been affected by the character fashions of music celebrities and movie actors. Music videos have for a very long time acted as the dressing benchmark of the highly impressionable youth. Music video celebrities and movie actors are, to the youth, the epitome of social fitness. The conformance to fashions seen with music and movie celebrities has had a tremendous effect on youth behavior. It has contributed substantially to the issues of misbehavior evident in the youth today. The youth copy negative characters from music and movie celebrities thinking that they are cool. However, music and movies have also changed the youth for the better. The language of the young people who constructively copy movie language can be said to be improved. The same is true for those who copy the good characters of movie celebrities (Hoare, 2007, p. 1).

Conclusion

The desire to conform to fashion in the clothes industry can be reduced, but it can not be stopped. The industry itself is very dynamic in terms of the variety of designs with time and the multiplicity of manufactures of a single design. Thus these varieties are destined to develop fashions that instigate conformance enthusiasm in people whom they target. Although fashion enthusiasm might be detrimental, fashion forms a very important part of the culture. It is through fashion that new products are made, which leads to invention. Innovative products compete with other existing products to create new products that will impress potential customers. Buyers should, therefore, control their enthusiasm towards conformance to unnecessary and undoing fashion and use fashion productively by making wise spending and dressing decisions. Concerning the other fashions, it is very necessary that before we make a major fashion decision, we think carefully. Many people have regretted conforming to fashions that make them change their bodies permanently like having cosmetic surgery or having permanent tattoos. This is usually very bad especially because once a permanent tattoo is made or cosmetic surgery is done, it is not easy for things to get back the way they were. Fashion should therefore be used to benefit people and it should not be an obsession making people lose themselves to things they regret in the future. It should thus help people to get the best out of themselves and it should not bring the problems mentioned above. In summary, the negative side of fashion normally exhibits itself if we do not control ourselves and thus we should always control our passion for fashion.

Reference

Arnold, R. (2001). Fashion Desire and Anxiety. Web.

Barthes, R. (2004). The fashion system. Web.

Breward, C. (2003). Fashion. Web.

Briggs, A. (2008). “The Murderous, meaningless caprices of fashion”. Karl Marx, 1867, Capital (1). Web. 

Hanssen, B. (2006). Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project. Web.

Helland, J. (2008). Caprices of fashion. Web.

Hoare, S. (2007). Review- Fashion, Desire and Anxiety. Web.

Hochswender, W. (2008). Foresighted designers look to lingerie. Web.

Loiterton, A. (2003). Technology tattoos – fashion or whim? Web.

Templeton, S. (2003). Caprice Bourret. Web.

New Products: Windows 7 And ABS Avalanche Airbag

Windows 7

This software is neither a new product in the market nor is it a new product line but is an upgraded version of the existing software offered that was introduced earlier in the market by the Microsoft Corporation. This is because it is computer Operating System software, and Microsoft has had several of these in the market. Windows 7 is a type of operating system that has been introduced in the market and has been in operation for a short while, although statistics on how it has hit the market are shocking (White, 2010). In addition, some changes have been put forward relating to the existing channels of distribution of the software where the customers have more options. The customers who are currently having Windows PCs would be able to install Windows 7 Home Premium at a reduced price too (LeBlanc, 2009).

Microsoft will face challenges regarding the selling of Windows 7, although the software has currently been indicated to experience large volumes of sales (White, 2010). Other companies such as Linux have already posed a major threat by offering competing products (operating systems software) that offer customers choices for their PCs. The strategy appears to focus on improving the components, reliability, and usability of operating system software. Competition is a big challenge to Microsoft in the software industry as the software industry is not predictive, owing to the dynamic nature of the software products and innovation.

The introduction of Windows 7 in markets in other countries has already caused a boost in the sale of PCs, and the impact is set to keep on increasing (LeBlanc, 2010). Some of the ethical issues that would be encountered include the infringement of the copyrights for the software as people explore options to use the software free of charge.

Gift Card

A gift card is a form of electronic smart card and does therefore not represent a completely new product in the European market. It can be classified in the new product line scene. The gift cards are offered to customers with a prescribed value of money (SmartLoyalty AG, n.d.). Indeed, the modern gift card is a new version of a gift card that was introduced several years ago in the United States (Kleeman, 2009).

The introduction of gift cards in other parts of the world will increase capital investments in the gift cards. It is expected that the companies involved will gain more customer loyalty and control. However, competition is expected to be stiff amongst the companies offering gift cards, and especially those doing similar businesses or in the same business line, as they seek to have control and compete for the same customers. Although gift cards have been described as an effective way to control the customer, there are ethical issues that could be considered about the use of gift cards to control customer loyalty since they influence the flexibility and freedom of the customer to make the purchase.

ABS Avalanche Airbag

An avalanche airbag is a completely new product that ensures that victims are safe in the snow environment, by equalizing the relative volume and the density of the surrounding snow. Because victims in snow are likely to float and stay on top, thus risking loss for their lives, or being injured, the ABS ensures that they can stay on top for only a relatively short period (ABS, n.d.).

The company selling this type of product would experience large volume of sales for the products because the individuals willing to travel for adventure will always want to use the commodity. The system has ensured the security of individuals traveling and therefore its spread is a great advantage for travelers. Of course, for individuals willing to travel safely-and traveling is a social activity-the technology offers an exclusive opportunity to do so more safely.

Reference

ABS. (n.d.). To stay on top is everything. ABS. 2010. Web.

LeBlanc, B. (2010). High interest in Windows 7 helps drive PC sales. Web.

LeBlanc, B. (2009). Update on Windows 7 in Europe. Web.

SmartLoyalty AG. (n.d.). Customer loyalty with system. SmartLoyalty. 2010. Web.

White, B. (2010). Microsoft: Windows 7 fastest-selling operating system ever. Microsoft Corporation. Web.

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