Roots Of Public Support For The Death Penalty Free Writing Sample

Introduction

In his article, Daniel LaChance analyzes the phenomenon of the death penalty in America and the social attitude towards it. LaChance (2014) expresses a negative attitude towards this punitive measure calling it “an intolerable affront to human dignity” (para.1). The author tries to evaluate the prospects for the abolition of capital punishment and points out the potential triggers of this important event.

The roots of the public support of the death penalty

First and foremost, LaChance examines the initial roots of the public support of capital punishment. Thus, the author refers to the events of 1972 when even though this measure was admitted to be unfair, it was not restricted completely –the criminal growing activity made the society admit the necessity of the radical methods of punishment.

The associated implications

Further on, the author describes the implications of the death penalty in America. Upon a brief mentioning of “wrongful convictions and botched executions,” LaChance (2014) puts a particular emphasis on the appalling gap that exists between the delivery of a sentence and its execution (para.5). Hence, the author describes those cases when people stay imprisoned and wait for the sentence execution for decades. The author points out that the state has to allocate additional funds for hiring professional lawyers to reduce this gap. In the meantime, he admits that this alternative solution is considered inadmissible by both the state and society.

The social indifference to the death penalty

It should be pointed out that the pivot question of the article is not the death penalty but the social indifference to this inhuman measure. Hence, it seems that the author does not trust in the moral attributes of modern people. While considering different ways of abolishing the death penalty, LaChance (2014) notes that even if it happens, it will be due to the appeal to people’s “wallets more than their hearts” (para.10). In other words, the author believes that the only alternative solution resides in convincing people of the economic disadvantageousness and impracticality of this punitive measure.

Psychological motives of the support of the death penalty

Another important idea that the author elucidates is the hidden psychological motives of the social support of the death penalty. Thus, he refers to the case when there were no executions in California for seven years, and people were almost ready to agree upon its needlessness. LaChance (2014) assumes that this phenomenon can be explained by the fact they stopped receiving the targeted emotions such as “the sense of control, closure and confidence” that they expected to buy for their taxes (para.10).

The prospects of the abolition of the death penalty

The author’s vision of the future of the death penalty in America is rather pessimistic. He assumes that the Americans feel little sympathy for the executed – thus, it is irrational to appeal to their humanity in the search of support. Meanwhile, LaChance notes that abolitionists can make good use of the social inclination to blame the government and its initiatives. Otherwise stated, LaChance (2014) believes it critical to put a particular emphasis on the bureaucratic and cost-effective disadvantages of the existing penalty system “portraying it as another failed government program” (para.13).

Conclusion

Thence, it might be concluded that the author believes that the key trigger of the abolition of capital punishment is the society’s realizing the impracticality of this punitive measure. The author’s main recommendation to abolitionists resides in representing the matter from a negative perspective with a special focus on the government’s fault. LaChance (2014) believes that the method of “appealing to the humanistic ideals” has proved its inefficacy, and it is high time to change the strategy.

Reference List

LaChance, D. (2014). What Will Doom the Death Penalty: Capital Punishment, another Failed Government Program? The New York Times. Web.

The National Picasso Museum In Paris

  1. Name of the organization: Musée National Picasso-Paris
  2. Location: 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris, France
  3. Description of the incident: a petition denouncing management style of Anne Baldassari
  4. Mission: According to the official site of the Museum, its main mission is to preserve “collections that are part of the French national heritage” (“Musée Picasso Paris: Eduction” par. 1). Moreover, the Museum claims to have “a strong educational mission and aims to make the works of art available to the largest possible audience – particularly young people and school groups” (“Musée Picasso Paris: Eduction” par. 2).
  5. Brief description and history: The museum exhibits more than 5000 works of art and stores thousands of archive items. The quality and the scope of the collection make it unique as it includes all the artistic domains Picasso worked in. The museum was founded in 1985 in the Hotel Salé (McNeese and Picasso 99). The collection was closed in 2009 for renovations.
  6. Description of the incident: In 1992, Anne Baldassari, a 37-year old doctor of arts and social sciences, came to work to the museum as a curator and soon made several spectacular discoveries in the archives. Thus, her appointment as a director in 2005 came as no surprise: she had managed to raise the status of the museum greatly within a decade. Baldassari continued to organize successful exhibitions in many countries. However, her ambitions to go further already began to be criticized by other curators from Paris museums. Despite this warning tendency, in 2010, she was appointed the president of the museum – the position the power and influence of which in France are tremendous (the actions of the president are controlled only by the state) (Jones par. 29). Baldassari decided to enlarge the space of the museum. This required a lot of funds, which she got from the exhibitions in other countries. However, each time the museum announced the opening date, it had to be postponed because of the lack of money and inability to meet the deadline (Jones, par. 31). It was regarded as a great shame for the nation to keep the museum closed. Being the one to have almost unlimited power, Baldassari was blamed for the restoration failure. In 2013, the internal matter became public: the art critic of the French paper Libération published the secret report of the museum that contained sharp criticism of Baldassari and her policy. The French state that had remained indifferent to the incident before, took a great interest in the events. A special committee was appointed to investigate the case. The members found out that the problem was much larger in scale as Baldassari refused to change her policy despite the delays, cost overruns, and adverse relations with other Paris museums. After that, more than half of the museum’s staff members (approximately 20 people) signed a petition, which denounced Baldassari’s authoritarian management style that led the museum to stagnation. They demanded her immediate dismissal (Jones par. 33). The news spread quickly giving rise to discussion and criticism all over the world. The authorities decided that the reputation of the museum, which had already been considerably marred, could no longer suffer from a single person. However, it was not an easy task to ask Baldassari to resign: this step could provoke further disputes as she had a long record of being a good curator but failed to make a successful president. A compromise seemed to be found: Anne Baldassari was offered a lower position as a curator. If she had accepted it, she could have stayed in the museum to continue organizing the shows all over the world. Laurent Le Bon was selected to replace her in the position of the president. However, Baldassari declined the offer indignantly finding it humiliating. As a result, she was dismissed the same day (Jones par. 35).
  7. The impact of the incident: The incident was finally resolved only in 2014 when the museum was reopened. Laurent Le Bon had to deal with €52 million five-year renovation costs that came as a result of constant delays. At the end of the reconstruction works, the space the museum occupied has tripled to more than 55, 000 square feet (Jones par. 48). The project, which was supposed to be completed two years after it had been launched, exceeded its initial budget and deadlines in two and a half times. The collection, no matter how large it was, did not require such an enormous space – the decision was irrational. However, the most deplorable consequences for the museum had nothing to deal with money. Baldassari’s policy to other museums made it isolated from the artistic world of Paris. Besides, the collection had been removed from the art scene for five years before the re-opening. As a result, most books and articles about Picasso written during this period belong to American and British authors (Jones par.51). Now it is high time French researchers reclaimed their leading positions in this field of studies.

Works Cited

Jones, Jonathan. Nightmare at the Picasso Museum. 2014. Web.

McNeese, Tim, and Pablo Picasso. Pablo Picasso. Infobase Publishing, 2006.

Musée Picasso Paris: Eduction. n.d. Web.

Madame Bovary By Gustav Flaubert

Charles was married to a young woman. She was his second wife. The first one died. His first wife was a widower. Charles married her because he was unsure of himself. In fact, his own mother was unsure if Charles could survive on his own. Even with impressive credentials and with the title of doctor attached to his name, Charles’ mother had good reasons to worry about his son’s future. Therefore, she initiated the arranged marriage between his son and a widower who was very much older than Charles. When he married Emma, she inherited Flaubert’s moniker given to Charles’ wife (Flaubert 18). Emma is now known as Madame Bovary junior to distinguish her from the elder Bovary. The same moniker was given to Charles’ former wife. However, the story will immortalize Emma as Madame Bovary. A few years after his marriage to Charles, she committed adultery. It is therefore important to ask the question if the reader should sympathize with Emma or go the other route and be revolted by her actions. It is the humble opinion of this commentary that readers should sympathize with Madame Bovary; however, they must never condone her actions.

The Meaning of Adultery

The world may scoff at the concept of adultery as an outdated relic from Medieval past. But adultery does not go out of style. Fidelity in marriage is as important today as it was in ancient times when the concept was first invented. Faithfulness towards one spouse goes beyond the idea of fairness. In modern times the discussion is sometimes simplified to adhere to a shallow moral system. The discussion sometimes ends in the analysis of fairness of a certain action. It is not fair to cheat on someone, especially if he is the husband or she is the wife.

Readers must understand that the debate concerning the importance of faithfulness must exceed the expectation of fairness. If the standard has been lowered to the most basic requirement of fairness, then, it is easier for husbands and wives to cheat on each other. The only thing needed is the mutual understanding that if one has committed adultery, then, he or she has been given the go signal to do the same in the name of fairness. It is interesting to note that Charles’ mother knew of her husband’s infidelity. However, she did not use that knowledge as a license to commit adultery with another person. In the same manner, Charles’ had an idea of his wife’s infidelity. He discovered the note that she had received from the slick con artist Mr. Boulanger. Nevertheless, he turned a blind eye because he loved her wife.

Madame Bovary’s adulterous affair with the playboy Boulanger must never receive the acceptance of a forgiving public. It is an acceptable proposition to sympathize with her, but it is not prudent to condone her actions. The strong disagreement leveled at her actions can be explained by the careful examination of the circumstances surrounding her adulterous affair.

First of all, Madame Bovary had no justification for her actions. Charles was a faithful husband to her. Charles was not a mean drunk who came in at night like a Tasmanian devil devouring everything in his path. He was not lazy. In fact, in the latter part of the story, Charles had the capacity buy her a gift. Due to his hard work he was able to provide for their basic needs. At the end, Charles realized that he had to do more, and so, he indulged her with trips to the city so that she could watch opera.

The world cannot afford to condone her actions because she used deception to carry out an illicit affair with Mr. Boulanger. One can assume that she continues to have sexual relations with her husband. At the same time she continues to make love with Mr. Boulanger on a regular basis for a span of several weeks. Therefore, there was a high probability that she could be pregnant. It was the chance of getting pregnant while still living with Charles that drew the greatest criticism against her adulterous affair with Mr. Boulanger.

If she was pregnant during the numerous times that she visited Mr. Boulanger’s home and the various times they met secretly to continue with their adulterous acts, she would have covered it up to avoid a scandal that could have made her life miserable. In a desperate attempt to cover the illicit affair, she could easily pretend to love Charles so that her husband will unknowingly accept the baby that she is carrying in her womb as his own child.

Sympathy for Madame Bovary

The world cannot afford to condone the actions of Madame Bovary. However, the world can offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. There are two reasons why readers must sympathize with Madame Bovary. First, she was a victim of a full-time playboy and part-time con artist in the person of Mr. Boulanger. She was an idealist who had no idea how the world works beyond the confines of the convent and the romance novels that she read while she was a teenager. It was not her fault that she lacked the sophistication to separate fact from fiction. She thought that the characters in the novel were real. She did not realize that the emotions of the characters in the novels were the byproduct of a writer’s imagination. Therefore, she was convinced that every woman must have the opportunity to experience bliss, in the same way that the heroines in the story were able to have a chance to experience ecstasy in the arms of their lovers.

It was not her fault that she would become the target of a manipulator, and a scum of the earth in the name of Mr. Boulanger. His future lover and the person that will eventually break her heart could never claim love at first sight. In fact, he eyed her like a raptor studied his prey. This is what he said after he lusted after her:

I think he is very stupid. She is tired of him, no doubt. He has dirty nails, and hasn’t shaved for three days. While he is trotting after his patients, she sits there botching socks. And she gets bored! She would like to live in town and dance polkas every evening. Poor little woman (Flaubert 214).

There was not a hint of true love in that voice. He was looking at the angles in the same way that a bank robber tries to analyze the weakness of a bank vault. He was a playboy, and that was the reason why he hesitated at first to set the trap. He hesitated not because of any moral reason that made him uncomfortable. He was afraid to lose his freedom to pursue other women. This was Mr. Boulanger’s thought process when he was setting in motion an elaborate plan to seduce the hapless Madame Bovary:

With three words of gallantry she’d adore one, I’m sure of it. She’d be tender, charming. Yes; but how to get rid of her afterwards?’ Then the difficulties of lovemaking seen in the distance made him by contrast think of his mistress. She was an actress at Rouen, whom he kept (Flaubert 215).

It can be argued that Madame Bovary was no match to an expert manipulator like Mr. Boulanger. Her lover was a master puppeteer and he knew how to pull the strings. There is however a second reason why the world needs to offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Madame Bovary deserved the love of a husband who is wise and mature enough to understand her needs.

There is perhaps a reason why the author spent a great deal of space trying to retrace the development of Charles’ character (Flaubert 3). A painstaking reconstruction of the family’s history was made to illustrate the character of Monsieur Bovary (Flaubert 10). At the same time, the author also devoted considerable space to describe Charles’ propensity to be attracted to mediocre living. It was perhaps the reason why Madame Bovary was unhappy in her marriage.

Conclusion

The world cannot condone Madame Bovary’s actions especially if one will consider the consequences of her actions. She was aided by an expert manipulator, therefore, she was able to hide her extra-marital affair from her husband. If she gets pregnant she could have covered it up by the use of clever deception. Charles’ will never know that the baby she is carrying is not his. Furthermore, Madame Bovary had no justification that gives her the right to deceive her husband. Nevertheless, she deserves a sympathetic shoulder to cry on, because she was a victim of an expert manipulator, and heartless playboy in the name of Mr. Boulanger. She deserves sympathy because she was driven to despair by a husband who was not wise enough to discern that she had unfulfilled needs.

Works Cited

Flaubert, Gustav. Madame Bovary. Free eBooks for All, 2007. Web.

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