Social Media Role: Activism And Revolution Sample Assignment

The nature and lifestyle of people in the world have been influenced by social networks. Recent developments in social networks include Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Communication of people has been made easy through the removal of communication barriers by social networks. According to Strain, information from any corner of the world can be found by a single click. He says “Can a click make a difference in the world? By itself, probably not, but when combined with tens and even hundreds of thousands of other clicks, it may just have an impact” (Strain).

Social networks distribute information rapidly due to many people using the same network around the globe. However, the accuracy of information depends on how people share information with relatives and friends. Accurate information helps create awareness among social network users. For example, YouTube has broadcasted a video about the Lord Resistance Army in Uganda. Many people and activists have raised their concerns after viewing that video. Therefore, social networks can effectively be used as a way to push for justice by activists for discriminated people in the world.

Social networks play several roles in the process of seeking justice by activists. The first role is the improvement of information mobility. When information is posted on a social network, it takes a few minutes to be spread all over the world. Here, communication barriers are removed from the path of communication delivery. For example, when the Japanese coast was suddenly hit by a tsunami, people used social networks to ask for help and inquire about the whereabouts of friends and relatives who had been affected by the tsunami.

The second role of social networks in activism and revolution is that it has increased the effectiveness of oral communication. For example, the recent revolution in Syria has been facilitated by effective oral communication by the rebel group through social networks. Information about the government has been spread to all the Syrian nationalists. Additionally, the effects of the revolution can also be communicated through social networks. Affected people share their experience about the revolution using the networks. The effects are real because they are communicated during the revolution. The US presidential campaign also used social networks for effective communication. Ben Rattray said, “If the Internet didn’t exist, Barrack Obama would not be president of the United States” (Rutledge).

The other role is to call for an immediate response since social networks share information very fast. Therefore, there is an immediate response from targeted individuals if called upon. This is important because it helps save a situation. For example, people around the world made donations to the victims of the Haiti tragedy immediately after it had happened. Also, social networks are used to schedule and coordinate revolutions by activists. During the 2011 revolution in Tunisia, an activist said, “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world” (Howard).

In conclusion, social networks are used to seek justice and advance a common goal. This is illustrated from the 2011 revolution in the Arab world. Social networks ensure that communication is done efficiently by reducing communication barriers. Information through social networks is shared among friends all over the world. Here, social networks are used to spearhead the objectives of a revolution through planning and coordination.

Works Cited

Howard, Paul. The Arab Uprising’s Cascading Effects. 2011. Web.

Rutledge, Brown. Four Ways Social Media is Redefining Activism. 2010. Web.

Strain, Christopher. A Different Type of Activism. 2012. Web.

“The Watcher At The Gate” By Gail Godwin Literature Analysis

Gail Godwin’s The Watcher at the Gate offers a personal reflection on the myriad manifestation of the critical voice, a voice that typically blocks any and all creative endeavor before the implementation stage. Godwin’s essay recounts the effect of the critical voice on novelists specifically, however her “watcher” refers to the critical voice present in any creative person in pursuit of any form of creative work, from architect to video game designer.

The critical reader relates to Gail Godwin’s writing as a personal exploration of the profoundly universal human penchant for procrastination. The Watcher at the Gate employs an arresting, bracingly direct tone to address issues of self sabotage. This somewhat esoteric subject matter becomes more accessible through Godwin’s charming use of humor.

A critical response to Godwin’s The Watcher at the Gate begins with an appreciation of the fervent and inspiring tone Godwin applies to her subject matter. The tone of The Watcher at the Gate feels “led by the characteristic self-examination necessary to the Godwin protagonist” (Giles 3). Self sabotage, usually relegated to the self help realm, receives an honest and unapologetic treatment in Godwin’s hands.

The Watcher at the Gate continues Godwin’s tradition of “courageously show[ing] things as they are, even when they’re ambiguous” (Allen 4). Similarly, The Watcher at the Gate “reflects Godwin’s ongoing concern with the process of self-creation” (Pelzer 155).

The essay also contains Godwin’s signature literary conceit of analytical, self reflective characters. The voice of the essay feels compelled to ponder those aspects of the self that frustrate creativity and squelch creation in its nascent stage. Any reader prone to procrastination and self doubt immediately feels kinship with Godwin as a result.

Godwin opens her writing process up to the reader, and readily owns her insecurities.

“I was writing a novel, and my heroine was in the middle of a dream, and then I lost faith in my own invention and rushed to “an authority” to check whether she could have such a dream” (Godwin 1) Godwin’s self deprecating yet compassionate tone allows the reader to recognize his or her own inner critic through Godwin’s struggles. Godwin’s willingness to confront all obstacles in her path toward the goal of creative expression inspires the reader with the courage to investigate the extent to which he or she might share Godwin’s watcher.

Humor factors significantly in The Watcher at the Gate, and functions as a means to purvey the subject matter in a wry and comical way that makes it engaging, attractive and informative for the reader. “It is amazing the lengths a Watcher will go to keep you from pursuing the flow of your imagination” Godwin observes. “Watchers are notorious pencil sharpeners, ribbon changers, plant waterers, home repairers and abhorrers of messy rooms or messy pages. They are compulsive looker-uppers.

They are superstitious scaredy-cats. They cultivate self-important eccentricities they think are suitable for “writers” (Godwin 1). Humor also allows Godwin to offer advice to the reader in a light hearted, playful way: “There are various ways to outsmart, pacify, or coexist with your Watcher” (Godwin 1).

Godwin’s use of humor promotes an impish yet authentic response to self sabotage: “If he’s really ruining your whole working day, sit down, as Jung did with his personal demons, and write him a letter. “Dear Watcher,” I wrote, “What is it you’re so afraid I’ll do?” Then I held his pen for him, and he replied instantly with a candor that has kept me from truly despising him. “Fail,” he wrote back” (Godwin 2).

In lesser hands the topic of self sabotage might appear dry as dust or worse, self aggrandizing. Godwin’s The Watcher at the Gate communes with the reader on an engaging level to discuss the issue of self sabotage in an open, direct and empathetic manner.

Works Cited

Allen, John Alexander. “Researching her Salvation: The Fiction of Gail Godwin.” Hollins Critic 25.2 (1988): 1-5. Web.

Giles, Wanda H. “Gail Godwin.” Twenty-First-Century American Novelists: Second Series. Ed. Wanda H. Giles and James R. Giles. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Web.

Godwin, Gail. “The Watcher at the Gates.” California State University Northridge. Web.

Pelzer, Linda C. “Visions and Versions of Self: The Other/Women in A Mother and Two Daughters.” Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction 34.3 (1993): 155-163. Web.

“Young Goodman Brown” And “Wakefield” By Nathaniel Hawthorne

A writer’s literary works often reflect certain circumstances of his or her private life as well as peculiar personal characteristics. Such is the case with one of the most prominent writers of American Romanticism, Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Born in the city of Salem, Massachusetts, which is notorious for its witch trials, Hawthorne was raised in Puritan society and remained faithful to its beliefs and values throughout his life.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Hawthorne’s writings reflect many of Puritan ideas, including the inevitability of the original sin, the natural peccancy of humankind, and the human propensity for the evil.

These themes are rendered in Hawthorne’s literary works, including short stories “Young Goodman Brown” and “Wakefield,” using his peculiar style, characterized by descriptiveness combined with wide use of various symbolic images.

A theme common for both of the short stories is the journey of a man who distances from his fair en devout wife.

In “Young Goodman Brown” the main character walks away into the night for a purpose unknown to the reader, leaving his young wife Faith anxious about the possible outcome of his journey.

Goodman Brown pursues an idea that he admits to being far from praiseworthy but is full of decisiveness to return to his wife once his errand is completed: “With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose” (Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” 1289).

In contrast, the main character of the other story, “Wakefield,” leaves his wife at dusk as well but does not fully realize what he is going to do and for what purpose.

Wakefield is described by Hawthorne as an irresolute man who finds himself astonished at the necessity of taking decisions concerning his future life: “The vagueness of the project, and the convulsive effort with which he plunges into the execution of it, are equally characteristic of a feeble-minded man” (“Wakefield” 1300).

Strolling away from the proper path of life and breaking the commonly accepted social norms by leaving their wives home, both characters are punished for their apostasy, and this is yet another topic of Hawthorne’s short stories.

As Goodman Brown and Wakefield proceed further and further from their homes, wives, and traditional values — the former widens the physical distance, and the latter extends the time gap, — they become in a certain sense heretics as compared to the rest of the well-behaved society.

The result of their deviation is quite ruinous for both. Young Goodman Brown loses what he had as his strongest defense against the evil, his faith: having witnessed dreadful things occur during his walk into the night, “a stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man did he become from the night of that fearful dream” (Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” 1297).

Goodman Brown is never the same, as he cannot find consolation in what serves as a consolation for the others, in his faith: it is forever gone. Wakefield experiences an estrangement of another kind. He does not stray away in the wilderness and remains in the bustling center of the city of London.

However, despite his physical presence in that everyday bustle Wakefield is still away from it since he is not perceived by other people as a living being: “He had contrived, or rather he had happened, to dissever himself from the world —to vanish — to give up his place and privileges with living men, without being admitted among the dead” (Hawthorne, “Wakefield” 1302).

By overthrowing the commonly accepted order of things, Wakefield steps out of the general system and finds himself nobody else but “the Outcast of the Universe,” ignored and neglected by people loyal to the system (Hawthorne, “Wakefield” 1303).

Complicated as his topics are, Hawthorne employs an original style to develop them and to get the message of his stories through to the readers.

An extremely powerful device used by the writer to create a sense of presence in what is going on is following the main character on his heels. Both in “Young Goodman Brown” and “Wakefield” the reader can trace each step of the main characters.

Goodman Brown’s journey into the forbidden forest is described in the least detail, from the density of the trees to the creatures inhabiting the woods. Similar to a detective story, Wakefield’s adventure is tracked from the porch of his house to the refuge where he was hiding for twenty years.

And still, despite such detailed spying on the characters, Hawthorne manages to maintain intrigue and to create a sense of suspense that does not release the reader till the end of the story.

How does the writer succeed in it? The secret is found in not rendering the objective truth but describing the situation from the main character himself. All that the reader gets to know are the inner thoughts and emotions of Goodman Brown or Wakefield.

Such limitedness in the point of view allows Hawthorne both to present a clear picture of the situation and to keep the mystery concerning the objective truth unrevealed.

Adding to the descriptive power of Hawthorne’s style is his wide use of symbolic images that provide vivid visual support to the key ideas of his short stories. One of the most widespread symbolic figures is the image of a devout wife.

In “Young Goodman Brown,” the young Faith stands for all the proper and worthy that her husband has in his life. She is his ultimate stronghold, the only memory of which helps him move on through the forbidden forest.

However, when the horrors of the forbidden forest overcome him, Goodman Brown surrenders to the evil powers and cries “My Faith is gone!” (Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” 1294). This is the moment when he bids farewell both to his wife and to his religious devotion.

For the family man Wakefield, his wife is a symbol of warmth, affection, sympathy and care that the — following a strange whim that his wife would probably call “a little strangeness“ — decides to put to the test (Hawthorne, “Wakefield” 1299).

Once Wakefield leaves his cozy house, he distances himself from all the warm human feelings and sensations and condemns himself to a state which Hawthorne describes as close to death: “The dead have nearly as much chance of revisiting their earthly homes as the self-banished Wakefield” (“Wakefield” 1301).

Woman as a symbol of life helps Hawthorne render the message of the dangers that await a man once he declines the bliss of matrimonial happiness.

A Puritan by birth and upbringing, Hawthorne reflects on the themes of apostasy and punishment in his short stories. His peculiar writing style features a combination of a sense of presence with a limited point of view that helps to create an atmosphere of suspense.

Symbolic images among which the image of the wife is the most significant addition to the descriptive power of Hawthorne’s style and emphasize the key messages of the short stories.

Works Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Wakefield.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Vol. B. Eds. Nina Baym, Arnold Krupat, and Robert S. Levine. 7th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007. 1298–1303. Print.

—. “Young Goodman Brown.” The Norton Anthology American Literature. Vol. B. Eds. Nina Baym, Arnold Krupat, and Robert S. Levine. 7th ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007. 1289–98. Print.

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