Authors can create work that they enjoy by employing various writing strategies. Each writer is distinguished by their use of language and the manner in which they express their ideas. In poetry, words are incredibly powerful, healing, mystical, and effective to society. Looking at early-Victorian poetry, numerous poets, including Robert Browning, are still recognized and written about today. Robert Browning is, in fact, a unique poet who defies categorization. Like many Victorian poets, he deals extensively with a conflict between romance and nature, and science and religion, through imagery and senses. This paper will examine one of Browning’s poems, “Porphyria’s lover,” focusing on his use of binary oppositions such as life/death and reliability/unreliability.
Browning’s “Porphyria’s lover,” is a twisted and dark monologue about a couple, specifically the speaker and his fiancée, Porphyria. Porphyria pays a visit to the speaker during a storm; however, he does not appear affected by her affection. He notices the strong desire in Porphyria’s eyes as she starts talking about the challenges she has endured. As a result, the speaker states, “Porphyria worshipped me” (Browning, Line 32-33). As he does not want that event to pass, the speaker ties Porphyria’s hair around her neck and suffocates her to death. He even goes ahead with playing with her dead body as if it were a toy. At the poem’s ending, the speaker states, “…yet God has not said a world!” (Browning, Line 60). In this case, the connection between love and murder is represented by Robert Browning’s use of binary opposition. This couple dramatically exemplifies these two conflicting constructs. Intuitively, one can ask, “If there is love, compassion, and an attachment, does violent behavior or murder have any place in a relationship?”
The dramatic speaker attempts to defend his murder of Porphyria. He suggests that she, too, desired to die, stating: “So glad it has its utmost will, That all it scorned once is fled, And I, its love, am gained instead”(Browning, Line 52-55). Nevertheless, as soon as the judging begins, his identification as the guilty person is confirmed. The speaker employs language to cover up his mystery, but the discrepancies in his utterance expose him since the language he employs is unsteady and incapable of producing implicit meaning. It is plausible to see the reflection of his mind as demonstrated from his perspective through such an illustration. The speaker murders his beloved to capture the moment and immortalize her; even so, this is not conceivable. He murders her and then acts like nothing ever occurred.
Moreover, this occurrence constructs a binary opposition between death and life. Even though life, as the metaphysical symbolized, appears to be the affluent at times, death is depicted as something peaceful rather than sorrowful or painful. As a cheerful, enthusiastic young lady, Porphyria has feelings for the speaker. She transforms even the cold cabin into something welcoming and warm. Porphyria approaches him, most likely to have a sexual interaction, but her motive goes wrong. Contrariwise, she fails to give up. In his view, Porphyria is flawlessly “pure and good” (Browning, Line 36). Surprisingly, he ends up strangling her to death. Based on the speaker’s words, “No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain” (Browning, Line 41-42), the reader can view death as not being violent, sad, or painful. It is almost certain that she experienced pain while being strangled, but it is difficult to learn about it from how it is represented because Robert Browning does not provide the girl’s viewpoint in the poem. This diminishes the reliability of the speaker’s account. He is not sorrowful or remorseful for his actions. Besides, death does not bother him.
Furthermore, the speaker’s unreliability in his act sets up a binary opposition, particularly reliability and unreliability. As a result, it is plausible to say that he does not provide objective narration. The speaker’s narration is ambiguous because it is unclear whether the information he articulates is accurate and reliable. He most likely has a psychological issue that diminishes his dependability. His version of the events and how they transpired illustrates that it is only an incomplete retelling of the real incident. For instance, the speaker claims that the arrival of Porphyria causes the environment to warm up. As the language is unpredictable and unfixed, it may not accurately represent reality. As a result, what the audience interprets in the speaker’s account may be skewed.
Conclusively, Browning’s Porphyria Lover emphasizes the significance of opposing concepts disclosing his capacity to utilize an original strategy when still handling a theme that is rather striking and alluring for the audience. He demonstrates a dramatic connection between love, violence, and murder through binary opposition. This exemplifies Browning as a unique poet who can identify harmony or cohesiveness in opposing ideas and employ them in his work.
Browning, Robert. “Porphyria’s Lover.” The Norton Anthology English Literature: The Victorian Age, edited by Stephen Greenblatt, W. W. Norton & Company (10th Ed.), 2018.
Positive Propaganda Analysis Writing Sample
Propaganda has been used since ancient days as people strive to gain an advantage over others. In the contemporary era, propaganda has been diversified in political ideologies and business, technology, education, and healthcare sectors. Propaganda can be defined as relaying facts, lies, or arguments that influence society’s opinion. Such information is spread through posters, newspapers, television, radio, books, and other media outlets to ensure the optimal effect. Over the years, political entities have used propaganda to lure the public in supporting such entities and governments luring the public to join groups like during the world war. However, the concept of propaganda has grown to another perspective known as positive propaganda. With the growing media and globalization, propaganda has become inseparable from mass culture. Following positive propaganda, society has embraced positive changes through promotions of healthy diets, effects of drug abuse, violence against women, child abuse, vaccine programs, and educational programs. Therefore, this paper presents an analysis of positive propaganda ranging from techniques to concrete examples to show its effects and diversity.
Types of Propaganda
Propaganda traces its origin from ancient days since civilization where people, parties, cults, religious leaders, and governments have used propaganda to drive ideologies to society. Many people associate propaganda with selfish illegitimate acts and ideologies which take advantage of the ignorant society. However, there have been cases of positive propaganda. Such propaganda takes different forms of society, including religious, political, advertising, and wartime propaganda.
Religious propaganda highlights religious beliefs and opinions, leading to many denominations and religious groups. For instance, in the 20th century, with the spread of Islam in Africa, literate Muslims spread their doctrines to many (Segell, Kostelyanets, and Solomon, 2021). As a consequence, based on Islam doctrines, issues of alcoholism and drug abuse have reduced as new members have to conform to the beliefs in Islam.
With regard to politics, political entities have created political groups with different ideologies. Among the ideologies is democracy. Democracy promotes anti-discrimination towards a just society. Besides, some political entities have promoted the green peace program, which aims at eliminating ecosystem damage and harmful foods such as the Chinese engineered rice (Buşu, Teodorescu and Gîfu, 2014). Such propaganda in this globalization era has seen a positive influence on society.
In advertising, positive propaganda has been featured in promoting products that take into account the welfare of many. For instance, the propaganda that one cooking oil is better than the other. The idea behind such propaganda is backed up by stating lower levels of cholesterol and ingredients used in the manufacture of such oil. Since society is struggling with diet-related health issues, the better cooking oil is positive propaganda that puts society’s health first. There are many such advertisements made of better products, and although some are harmful, many are aimed at a better society. The idea of positive propaganda in advertising is to affirm positive behaviour (Ezhova and Zamozhnykh, 2018). Therefore, the degree of positive influence should be more than negative effects.
Wartime propaganda was aimed at demoralizing the enemy. However, during the Second World War, Rosie the Riveter was a piece of propaganda that encouraged women to take up commercial positions as men fought in the war. Following the labour shortage, the government used the Rosie the Riveter character to gain a female workforce (Tietjen, 2017). Since then, women have taken positions in the business world, promoting gender equality and financial stability in society. Therefore, such types of propaganda have had a positive influence on many.
Propaganda is designed to make people feel obligated to take on the ideas presented and act in a particular way that resonates with others. There are different techniques used in propaganda. They include the bandwagon technique where propagandists convince target groups to accept their ideas or otherwise miss out on important things. For instance, in the modern days of the pandemic, governments have employed positive propaganda in the vaccine programs. Globally, nations have implored the public to take vaccines as a preventive measure against the raging Covid-19 pandemic (Vergara, Sarmiento and Lagman, 2021). Some facts and data support the government’s claims of the safety of vaccines and even impose restrictions on those not vaccinated. Posters have circulated the social media, calling society to get vaccinated for the sake of self, family, friends, colleagues, and the country (Hong and Hashimoto, 2021). In this context, the bandwagon technique aims to benefit society in promoting a healthy society. However, such a technique may promote negative propaganda alongside positive propaganda by people who hold contrary ideologies. Nevertheless, society sees the good in propaganda. It acts upon it, and since others are doing it, so will many follow suit towards a healthy society, and data of vaccine rollouts has confirmed the positivity of the vaccine propaganda.
In propaganda, many propagandists are careful enough to use catchy phrases and words that the society resonates with without much proof. Such technique is known as glittering generality, where the target group is duped into approving and accepting ideas they have no basic knowledge of. A perfect example is the “Because you’re worth it” signature slogan of L’Oréal Paris (Pike, 2021). Such a phrase is catchy, especially to modern women. Many women have taken the phrase literally, and even without the makeup and do-overs, they have realized their worth and gained access to the ‘man’s world’, taking positions and control. However, as much as the slogan is brand promotion, women, including Viola Davis and Beyonce, have conveyed their worth to society, and men have revised their perspective towards women (Pike, 2021). Besides, such a glittering phrase has also influenced many women to do makeup. As it has been engraved in women’s minds, makeup presents a confident, beautiful and attractive figure that contemporary society is demanding. The initial idea of the phrase was to make women more attractive to men. The idea was to impress men, but on another side of it, women are now more empowered than ever. Besides looking pretty, their confidence has seen nations have female presidents, women CEOs, and major business figures at the global level (Janjuha-Jivraj, 2020). In this regard, society is positively influenced even without full knowledge of what’s behind the slogan other than its literal meaning.
Stereotyping is another propaganda technique where entities are given labels imprinted in the minds of nations and the public. They immediately picture the subject entity when they see or hear such labels. For instance, there are labels such as democrats, republicans, feminists, Nazis, environmentalists, among others. Such labels demand unique perceptions and treatments, and condemnation without a concrete understanding of their ideologies. An example is a picture the world has of Russia from World War II. Over the years, nations, especially the United States, have painted Russia as a manipulator of nations through the misrepresentations of war happenings (GEC, 2020). Therefore, General Mahmut Gareev became invested in shaping the victory story of Russia to inspire younger generations and drive a positive image abroad (Kirillova, 2020). Many people have painted Russia as a superpower regarding war through stereotyping, and the huge military budget has made the picture clearer. In positive stereotyping, entities possess desirable, admirable, and beneficial features that many believe. Over the years, the Russian government has taken such labelling to an advantage that benefits its citizens and its associates. The victory story aimed to recognize Russia as the defender against Nazism, thereby making citizens feel more secure and confident towards the government and ensuring good relations with other countries seeking security (Kurilla, 2020). In addition, Russia gained a different look from fascist to victors, and the benefits are being reaped.
In the civilized world where social media has connected the world and celebrities gained popularity, propagandists have embraced testimonials to promote positive ideologies. Testimonials build credibility and trust from clients willing to use one’s commodities or ideologies. In many cases, celebrities promote products or services they do not use, but their popularity sways the mass culture, and target groups are reached. Over the years, people struggled with obesity, health issues, and fitness issues globally. In the U.S., many cases of obesity have been reported (Seidell and Halberstadt, 2016.). In this regard, Oprah Winfrey, a very famous person, joined Weight Watchers as she herself had been struggling with her weight (LaVito, 2019). In a society where fast foods and busy schedules have contributed to health issues, there is a need to exercise and ensure proper diet if may will live through decades. With the help of wellness experts and celebrity guests in her talk show, such as Dwayne Johnson, Ciara, and many more, Oprah has popularised the wellness entity, and many embraced it, leading to Oprah’s massive gains (Johnson, 2021). Besides Oprah’s profit gains, society’s investment in fitness has positively increased healthspan and reduced health issues such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, among others. Therefore, testimonials, primarily through celebrities who consume the subject product, are an effective technique in promoting positive propaganda. It is evident that consumers tend to use products or services famous people promote, but a balance has to be struck between celebrity and the product. The synergy between the two has to be real to create trust and allow consumers to identify with celebrities towards optimal benefits to society.
Propagandists have embraced a technique where they invoke political icons and success stories into their ideas, products, or services offered. In this technique, propagandists identify with a more significant cause that the public appreciates. For instance, in political issues, the Indian Congress invokes Gandhi’s name to fortify their ideologies and make them accept them. In India, Mahatma Gandhi is among the most recognized figures of the 20th century (Habib, 2019). He is well known for his fight for Indian independence, compassion for the poor, and electoral democracy. Therefore, propaganda which the congress deliberates on, they invoke the name of Gandhi, and people accept with ease. In transfer propaganda, propagandists don’t start from scratch in creating positive associations. They capitalize on people’s feelings, and the public ignores aspects of ideas or products that do not resonate with the ideas or products they sell. Such propaganda technique has helped support gender equality laws, compassion for the poor, and independence in personal lives as well in India.
Reflexive Control of Propaganda
Many persuaders and activists have created propaganda that the government has shut down in recent years. The freedom of expression has been limited following fears of what the public will say or react. Cases of propaganda in politics have led to oppositions detained, jailed, or even killed by governments. An example is a neo-Nazi leader in Britain who was jailed for a race war (P.A. Media, 2021). Following such cases, nations now require propagandists to register with public authorities to authenticate involved entities. Such actions follow the fake news that the world has suffered, especially in this era of social media. The pejorative path that propaganda has taken has to be tamed through reflexive control. Reflexive control is an approach through which the public performs background checks on propagandists before deciding to follow their ideologies or accept products (Till, 2021). However, propagandists also employ reflexive control by profiling target groups to distort their perception of reality. Nevertheless, society is learning not to trust every propaganda but rather reason before taking on any product or accepting ideas through such control.
Propaganda is overly a negative phenomenon where propagandists gain from deceiving the target groups. However, positive propaganda has cropped up over the years through campaigns such as anti-discrimination, anti-drugs, and movements promoting democracy and equality in society. Propagandists invent more techniques that the public has not mastered to ensure a maximum audience. Among such techniques are plain folks to enable people to identify with groups in the same situation and fear where propagandists instill fear of attacks or exposure to accepting their ideas. In addition, there is the misuse of statistics where propagandists can exaggerate data to scare people straight. Such techniques, as described above in specific ways, promote positive propaganda. It is evident that antidrug campaigns, anti-discrimination, and equality movements have effectively changed society’s perception and forced governments to implement policies that illegalize certain acts.
Buşu, O.V., Teodorescu, M. and Gîfu, D., 2014. Communicational positive propaganda in democracy. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (ILSHS), 27, pp.82-93.
Ezhova, E. and Zamozhnykh, E., 2018, April. Communication strategies in public service advertising. In 2018 IEEE Communication Strategies in Digital Society Workshop (ComSDS) (pp. 15-18). IEEE.
GEC, 2020. Pillars of Russia’s Disinformation and Propaganda Ecosystem. [online] U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE. Available at: https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Pillars-of-Russias-Disinformation-and-Propaganda-Ecosystem_08-04-20.pdf
Habib, I., 2019. The evolution of Gandhi’s thought. [online] The Hindu. Available at: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mahatma-gandhi-150th-birth-anniversary-the-evolution-of-gandhis-thought/article29567005.ece
Hong, Y. and Hashimoto, M., 2021. I Will Get Myself Vaccinated for Others: The Interplay of Message Frame, Reference Point, and Perceived Risk on Intention for COVID-19 Vaccine. Health Communication, pp.1-11.
Janjuha-Jivraj, S., 2020. The Voice Of Women Leaders Is Critical Today More Than Ever. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shaheenajanjuhajivrajeurope/2020/03/30/women-leaders-critical-today/?sh=1b00fb292346
Johnson, C., 2021. Ciara proudly showcases 39 POUND weight loss after son’s birth. [online] Mail Online. Available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9690883/Ciara-proudly-showcases-39-POUND-weight-loss-returns-pre-baby-weight.html
Kirillova, K., 2020. Soft Power and “Positive Propaganda”: How Russia Uses Cultural and Historical Stereotypes to Increase Political Influence – ICDS. [online] ICDS. Available at: https://icds.ee/en/soft-power-and-positive-propaganda-how-russia-uses-cultural-and-historical-stereotypes-to-increase-political-influence/
Kurilla, I., 2020. Reusing Soviet History Books: The Role of World War II in Russian Domestic Politics and Academia. The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 33(4), pp.502-507.
LaVito, A., 2019. Weight Watchers calls on Oprah to help sell wellness after abrupt name change to W.W. left people confused. [online] cnbc.com. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/27/weight-watchers-calls-on-oprah-winfrey-to-help-sell-wellness.html
P.A. Media, 2021. ‘Head of propaganda’ at British neo-Nazi group National Action jailed. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/03/head-propaganda-british-neo-nazi-group-national-action-jailed-ben-raymond
Pike, N., 2021. As L’Oréal Paris’ Famed Tagline “Because You’re Worth It” Turns 50, The Message Proves As Poignant As Ever. [online] British Vogue. Available at: https://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/article/loreal-paris-because-youre-worth-it
Segell, G., Kostelyanets, S. and Solomon, H., 2021. Terrorism in Africa: New Trends and Frontiers. Available at: https://www.inafran.ru/sites/default/files/news_file/terrorism-full.pdf
Seidell, J.C. and Halberstadt, J., 2016. The obesity epidemic in the USA—no end in sight?. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 12(9), pp.499-500.
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President Biden’s State Of Union Address Sample Essay
During the first formal address of the State of the Union by President Biden, his main focuses included Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic, inflation, and the four-point “Unity Agenda” Concerning his focus on the Ukraine conflict, he urged the world union to stand with Ukraine. He presented a positive outlook concerning the end of the Coronavirus pandemic. He gave instances of how he is using to address the rising inflation, irrespective of the weight of their impact in the short term. President Biden’s focus also touched on some progressive policy items constituting the desire for massive voting rights legislation and campaigned for transgender and abortion rights. However, Biden did not address the significant topic of climate change. The three major takeaways from his address include:
The present conflict between Russia and Ukraine marked president Biden’s start of his speech. He proudly mentioned the economic restriction passed by United States and its friends towards the Russian economy system in financial institutions and oligarchs. Russian flights would be restricted from accessing the American airspace with the partnership between the U.S government and the European Union. Biden reassured the state that he was tactful in ensuring the economic sanctions would not leave the American people with the potential ramifications highlighting that together with U.S allies, they have managed to release thirty million barrels from the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve and sixty million barrels of oil globally.
Biden proceeded to talk about his domestic agenda with regards to state restoration caused by COVID-19. He declared the American Rescue Plan to state and further opposed the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act established during Trump’s reign. Biden reiterated that American lives no were no longer influenced by Covid-19 while he flaunted the economic growth and low employment rates. As he progressed with his speech, he launched a new plan, the “test to treat initiative,” implying that immediate anti-viral pills would be administered for those who test positive for the Corona Virus at a pharmacy.
Biden touched on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enactment, rolling out its administration’s outlook of the respective goals, which he proceeded to mention as the installation of an estimation of 500,000 electric vehicles (EV) charging stations countrywide, boosting broadband access coverage and replacing lead pipes. Biden’s remarks on infrastructure projects were that the U.S would stick to manufacturing its products. He further talked of competition legislation implying the passing of COMPETES and the U.S Innovation and Competition Act, awaiting implementation by the president. He renamed the competition amendment to “Bipartisan Innovation Act” Biden’s made clear to the state concerning the 20 billion dollar Intel investment in Columbus, Ohio, as a way for fostering domestic manufacturing (West and Kros, 2022). The Chief Executive Officer, Intel, Pat Gelsinger, has attended the congress. Up to eight manufacturing companies and 10,000 new employment opportunities would be available to the state. Biden stated the Ford project towards investing $11 billion in establishing electric vehicles and GM’s 7 dollar billion investment to establishing electric vehicles. These projects bear the potential of creating up to 15,000 new employment opportunities for its citizens. The competition legislation showed relevance in Biden’s speech to reduce inflation on the local lead following the harmful impact of COVID-19 that suppressed production. Biden mentioned that the price increment in automobiles signified an excellent reason for implementing the competition legislation.
I am in line with the president’s state of address congress because he presented a well-formulated plan of tackling crucial issues the Americans are experiencing and even suggested new laws and policies effective in helping solve such matters. Furthermore, his speech meets Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution requirements.
Gov. Kim Reynolds’s rebuttal was based on Biden’s presidency, sending Americans back in time rather than progressing America. Kim Reynolds asserted that Biden and Democrats in Congress have lived in ignorance of or worsening American problems. The state ignored the warnings that trillions of expenditure would soar inflation. The state was made aware that the gas prices would be increased by their anti-energy policies; they invested ahead, pushing inflation to a 40-year high following the rise in the price of the pump by 50%. She further asserted that Biden’s move in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic was associated with high costs. Lockdowns and school closures have led to learning loss, stimulated anxiety, isolation, and depression among kids who will never catch up. Kim Reynolds’s reaction to Biden’s move on the Ukraine invasion is that the president’s approach to foreign policy is little. She supported her claims asserting that Biden was reacting to world events rather than driving them.
Governor Kim Reynolds’s rebuttal claims would positively influence the campaigns around the 2022 Midterm Election at the local, state, and federal levels. She asserted that republican governors play a significant role in defending liberation and securing unmatched economic progress in the American states, which has proved effective (Yellen, 2022). The local, state, and federal politics during the 2022 Midterm Election will be highly influenced by the republican governors following their suggestions which have proved effective towards solving issues affecting the American people.
West, John R. and Kate Kros. “A Recap of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address.” THE NATIONAL LAW REVIEW, 2022, https://www.natlawreview.com/article/recap-president-joe-biden-s-state-union-address.
Yellen, Janet. “Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Power of Republican Women As Party Messengers.” The 19th News(letter).