Prosperous And Powerful Empires Compare And Contrast Sample College Essay

Greece and Persia

Both the Greek and Persian empires were very prosperous and influential. They had many similarities and differences in their political and economic organizations. They both influenced everybody surrounding their areas. The Persian and Greek economic systems were very similar, but their political systems varied greatly.

The Persians had a successful government. They became the largest empire in the world even before they were unified. Darius was the main reason Persia became unified. He was one of their best emperors. He set up their principles for the Persian government that was later passed down. Darius would adopt different rules and laws from the places he conquered. That was the key to their success.

Unlike the Persians, the Greeks had a democracy. The people voted directly for their leader; they had a direct democracy. However, the Greeks had a lot of different city-states with their own governments. Aristotle divided the government systems into monarchies, oligarchies, tyrannies, and democracies, but for the most part it was democracy. Some of the governments of the city-states were similar to Persian government.

Both Persia and Greece had poor agriculture because of the geography. The economy, especially in Greece, relied on imported goods from other places. Greece depended on trade; it was very important. They traded with other cultures by traveling the Mediterranean Sea. The Greeks focused on ship building, farming, and making pottery. The Greeks had specialization, which means they had a specific job.

In Persia, they built the Persian Royal Road. Persians also relied greatly on trade. This road was one of their main routes for trade. King Darius instituted many economic changes and reforms. He systematized taxation, standardized weights, measures, improved transportation routes, royal trading ships, promotion of agriculture, a banking system, and promotion of international trade. He completely transformed and helped their economy.

There are many similarities between Persia and Greece. The main similarity is in their economic systems. Greece and Persia’s main differences are in their political systems. These two places have influenced the entire world around them and are very important in our history.

Ladies And Gentlmen Literary Analysis

“Ladies and Gentlemen”

Ever go on vacation or to a movie and it takes a turn to the unexpected? That is exactly what the passengers in Joyce Carol Oates’ story “Ladies and Gentlemen” are experiencing. They signed up for a fabulous, top of the line, tropical cruise, however what they received was an old, run down, beaten, vermin filled cruise ship destined for the dry docks. Not to mention their “tropical island” is none other than their final destination.

The passengers realize that they are on a one-way cruise to nowhere. Their captain reveals to them that it was all their children’s idea. Their children are tired of waiting for their parents to die in order for them to inherit everything, so they take matters in to their own hands. As it shows one of the themes of this story is that outward appearance does not always depict reality; such as a standard cruise ship versus the Ariel, a tropical island versus the Island of Repose, and a traditional love of parents versus that of the passengers’ children.

When signing up for a cruise, it is expected to be a luxurious cruise ship. Cruises are thought to be big and fancy, with fabulous meals and decorations, a wide range of people all looking to see gorgeous tropical islands and have a wonderful staff to accompany them all on their journey. Although in Oates’ story it is the complete opposite. Oates reveals to us that it is a rundown ship destined for the dry docks, with rooms that are falsely depicted in the brochures. The Ariel is one disaster after another with its toilets that malfunction or those that are out of order all together, or the loud throbbing of the engine that keeps everyone awake at night. The rude service, improperly cooked meals along with the high prices on beverages and cigarettes add to the disaster that is the Ariel. As the captain states “the reported sightings of rodents, cockroaches, and other vermin on board the ship…” (Oates 374) slow just how poorly it was taken

care of. The Ariel is far from being a typical cruise ship.

When on a cruise it is expected to go to beautiful tropical islands and experience new cultures. It is expected that people go to islands like Hawaii, filled with exotic flowers, native people, safe, and fun. According to Oates, however, in her story she has the passengers of the Ariel go to an uncharted and dangerous island called the Island of Repose. “These are azure waters—exactly as the brochures promised!—but shark-infested, so take care (Oates 377).” This starts off the description we get of the island. Along with being told that the passengers are not the first to be left at this island, “countless others, whose bones you may discover should you have the energy and spirit to explore…(Oates 378).”

We continue to learn that the island’s jungle interior is filled with quicksand, and the winds blow across the island from several directions all at once, along with sand flies, and huge glittering dragonflies. We also find out about the several different kinds of snakes, such as the small quicksilver orange-speckled baya which is the most venomous. There are also carnivorous red-beaked macaws, bullfrogs the size of jackrabbits, spider monkeys, and tarantulas. We learn there are numerous plants but most of which are inedible. As we read, we learn just how unsafe the island is and how unlikely it is that the passengers will live long.

Before the passengers leave the ship, their captain reveals to them that the whole thing was arranged by none other than their own children. He continues to tell them that it is their own fault their children have done them in. The captain speaks of how their children do not have enough money and desperately want to inherit their parent’s estates. He states that because of them spoiling their children all their lives with the “Expensive toys and gifts of all kinds; closets of clothing, ski equipment…trips to the Caribbean, to Mexico, to Tangier, to Tokyo, to Switzerland…(Oates 377)” is the reason their children have done this to them. The captain blames the whole thing on the passengers. When reading this story we are completely caught off guard about how the children are revealed to be towards their parents. The norm is for children and parents to love each other no matter what the circumstances are. However in this case it is the complete


The theme can be taken as a lesson that things are not always as they appear. Just like the passengers within this story have learned that outward appearances are not always depicted as they are in reality. For example, their cruise ship, their “tropical island”, and the love their children gave them. After reading “Ladies and Gentlemen” by Joyce Carol Oates it is safe to say just how accurate the old saying of “never judge a book by its cover” is, and that it is something to always keep in mind.

Work Cited

Oates, Joyce Carol. “Ladies and Gentlemen.” Heat, and Other Stories. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Plume-Penguin, 1991. 373-80. Print.

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time: Christopher’s Achievements

Christopher’s Achievements

In the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the main character Christopher wrote a book containing details of how he solved a murder. To Christopher, he calls this a type of achievement. This is a type of achievement to Christopher because he was able to solve a complex problem by himself without anyone else. This shows Christopher that, despite his condition, he is actually smart. This is proven when Christopher says, “I was brave and wrote a book and that means I can do anything” (Haddon 221). This is only one achievement among many that Christopher has throughout the course of the story. As the story begins, an event happens which forces Christopher to do something he’s never done before. Christopher finds his neighbor’s dog Wellington on his neighbor’s lawn with a fork in its head. Christopher feels sad for the dead animal, so he starts to investigate.

But as time goes by, Christopher’s dad began to tell him to stop investigating the murder and to forget about it. As if compelled by an unknown force, Christopher decides to investigate further, and finds out his dad killed the dog. Through Christopher’s point of view, he must have thought of this as an internal and external achievement. Christopher soon began to develop a feeling of distrust towards his father because his father was the murderer and the one who lied about Christopher’s mother. Christopher’s family life leads to him having an internal achievement later in the story. Christopher’s mother is an important person in this novel because she reveals what his dad has been trying to cover up this whole time. Christopher’s mother apparently dies one day at the hospital a couple years before the story takes place. Christopher remembers certain things about his mom and believes his dad when he says that she is dead. One day, Christopher discovers the truth about his mom while looking into the murder of his neighbor’s dog Wellington.

While looking for the journal that was taken by his father, Christopher stumbles upon letters from his mom dating back to since the day she supposedly died. Christopher became determined to find out the truth. He eventually musters all his courage and heads to London. The train ride must have been hard for Christopher because of his condition and attitude towards people. This could be called an internal and external achievement. Another internal achievement happened when Christopher reawakened the relationship between Christopher and his mom. Throughout the entire length of the book, Christopher starts to mature after seeing that his life is not that perfect after all. This realization of his can also be called an internal achievement.

Christopher, at the beginning of the story, was obedient and naive. He begins to have more courage because he developed a sense of curiosity. He first investigates the murder of Wellington even though he was told not to. He also disobeyed when he discovered his mom may still be alive. He sums up all his strength and makes a trip to London to find her. This shows the Christopher has grown to be independent and daring compared to the beginning of the book. A childish task at the beginning soon became a tale of lies and suspense. In a way, his curiosity helped him become a more confident person. He is willing to take risks where others won’t. And he is willing to find the truth even if it means putting himself in danger. By the end of the story, Christopher achieved many things internally and also externally.

Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. London: Vintage Classic, 2012. Print.

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