The Mother Of The Child In Question Analysis Sample Paper

The Mother of the Child In Question is one of the short story collections in Doris Lessing’s book “The Real Thing: Stories and Sketches” which is the first new work of fiction from her since her highly acclaimed novel, The Fifth Child. The stories and sketches in this collection penetrate to the heart of human experience with the passion and intelligence readers have come to expect of.

Most of the pieces are set in contemporary London, a city the author loves for its variety, its populations from everywhere in the world, its transitoriness, the way it connects the life of animals and birds in the parks to streets so old they have forgotten they ever had anything to do with nature. Lessing’s fiction often explores the darker corners of relationships between women and men, illuminating the courage and resilience of women in particular. “The Real Thing,” the rich and emotionally complex title story of the collection, uncovers a more parlous reality behind the facade of the most conventional relationships.

Source: http://www. dorislessing. org/index. html Author’s Biography Doris Lessing is a British novelist, poet, playwright, librettist, biographer and short story writer. She was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 2007. Swedish Academy described her as “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny”. Lessing was the eleventh woman and the oldest person to ever receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Lessing was born Doris May Tayler in Iran, then known as Persia, on 22 October 1919, to Captain Alfred Tayler and Emily Maude Tayler (née McVeagh), who were both English and of British nationality. She was educated at the Dominican Convent High School, a Roman Catholic convent all-girls school in Salisbury. She left school at the age of 14, and was self-educated from there on; she left home at 15 and worked as a nursemaid. She started reading material that her employer gave her, on politics and sociology and began writing around this time.

In the 1937 Lessing moved to Salisbury to work as a telephone operator, and she soon married her first husband, Frank Wisdom, with whom she had two children before the marriage ended in 1943. Following her first divorce, Lessing’s interest was drawn to the popular community of the Left Book Club, a communist book club which she had joined the year before. It was here that she met her future second husband, Gottfried Lessing. They were married shortly after she joined the group, and had a child together before the marriage failed and ended in divorce in 1949.

After these two failed marriages, she has not been married since. Later on Gottfried Lessing became the East German ambassador to Uganda, and was murdered in the 1979 rebellion against Idi Amin Dada. When she fled to London to pursue her writing career and communist beliefs, she left two toddlers with their father in South Africa (another, from her second marriage, went with her). She later said that at the time she thought she had no choice: “For a long time I felt I had done a very brave thing. There is nothing more boring for an intelligent woman than to spend endless amounts of time with small children.

I felt I wasn’t the best person to bring them up. I would have ended up an alcoholic or a frustrated intellectual like my mother. ” Due to her campaigning against nuclear arms and South African apartheid, Lessing was banned from that country and from Rhodesia for many years. She moved to London with her youngest son in 1949 and her first novel. In 1984, Doris Lessing attempted to publish two novels under a pseudonym, Jane Somers, to show the difficulty new authors faced in trying to have their works in print.

The novels were declined by Lessing’s UK publisher, but was later accepted by another English publisher, Michael Joseph, and in the US by Alfred A. Knopf. Lessing’s fiction is commonly divided into three distinct phases: the Communist theme, the psychological theme, and after that the Sufi theme, which was explored in her science fiction novels and novellas. Summary of the Story Stephen Bentley, a social worker, walks his way to the Khan’s Residence on the eight floor of a building where he observes everything that comes along his way.

The house where it is located, the cement everywhere he looked, the dirt of the building and the awful smell, the person crossing the street, until he reached the door number 15. He rang the door and a young twelve years old boy welcomed him with a smile, his name is Hassan. As he entered the room he notices the tidiness of the family room which he finds it peculiar. It is said to be that he is expected. Plot Structure Exposition: * Setting The story takes place at the Khan’s residence in England. The Khan family lives in what appears to be a ghetto in England, poor block buildings with many apartments as described in the story. Characterization * Stephen Bentley The social worker assigned in the case of the Khan family. His goal is to get Shireen into a special school for mentally challenged kids. * Hassan Khan A young twelve year old boy who welcomes Stephen Bently and serves to be the interpreter and representative of his father since his father didn’t show up on the meeting. He shows to represent the culture of a Pakistani national which they practice at home. * Mrs. Khan The mother of the child in question and she turns out to speak very little or poor English, but she is a proud and stubborn woman.

She represents as a typical mother who takes the stand for the love of her child. She wanted a normal life for her daughter Shireen and send her in the big school just like her elder brothers and sisters. * Shireen She is “the child in question” in the story and the youngest daughter of the Khan’s and she is said to be mentally challenged. Rising Action The time when Stephen Bently is seated right next to the mother and Hassan that serves to the interpreter and representative of his father as he is the only boy in the family.

It is in their culture that the man next in line would take the responsibility of the father if the father is not around. Bently conducted the interview and talked about the purpose of the visit and is to let Mrs. Khan agree on sending Shireen in the school for mentally challenge kids. Climax The time when Stephen Bently fails to let Mrs. Khan agrees to send Shireen in the special school and let another social worker to do the job leaving it the same inputs as the previous report. Falling Action Stephen Bently left the house of the Khan’s with the picture of Mrs.

Khan in his mind as a proud, cold, and has a refusing look. He thinks deeply, anticipating his daily dealings with his so called “a rich and various lunacy inspired the human race” with takes a greater part of his job. Denouement Stephen Bently realizes and was move by how the mother and the rest of the family treated Shireen-the child in question. He could have done something wrong if he pushes his goal towards what is good for the child’s welfare. Conflict * Man vs Man The clashing between Stephen Bently and Mrs.

Khan wherein will Stephen Bently let Mrs. Khan agree to let Shireen send to a special school. Theme * A Mother’s unconditional love towards her child. Point of View * Omniscient Limited Title * The Mother of the Child in Question Simply the title speaks for the mother in the story who takes her stand and fights for the welfare of her daughter despite of her daughter’s mental capability is questionable and no matter what it takes she would never let anyone to interfere the right of her child to live a normal life just like the others.

Impact Of Political And Legal Environment On Marketing Mix Of Mncs

Marketing decisions are highly affected by changes in the political/ legal environment. The environment is made up of laws and government agencies that influence and constraint various organizations and individuals in society. Legislations affecting business has steadily increased over the years. The product the consumes and the society against unethical business behaviour and regulates the functioning of the business organizations.

Removal of restrictions to the existing capabilities, enlargement of the spheres open to MRTP and FEMA companies and broad banding of industrial licenses were some of the schemes evolved by the government. The legal enactments and rules and regulations exercise a specific impact on the marketing practices, systems and institutions in the country. Some of the acts which have direct bearing on the marketing of the company include, the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (1954), The Drugs and Cosmetics Act (1940), The Standard Weights and Measures Act (1956) etc.

The Packaged Commodities (Regulative) Order (1975) provides for clearly making the prices on all packaged goods sold in retail excluding certain items. Similarly, when the government changes, the policy relating to commerce, trade, economy and finance also changes resulting in changes in business. Very often it becomes a political decisions. For instance, one Government introduce prohibition, and another government lifts the prohibition. Also, one Government adopts restrictive policy and another Government adopts liberal economic policies.

All these will have impact on business. Hence, the marketing executives needs a good working knowledge of the major laws affecting business and have to adapt themselves to changing legal and political decisions. All the above micro environmental actors and macro environmental forces affect the marketing systems individually and collectively. The marketing executives need to understand the opportunities and threats caused by these forces and accordingly they must be able to evolve appropriate marketing strategies.

E-Mail In The Workplace: Is It A Boon Or A Bane


The advent of electronic mail usage in the workplace has had a far-reaching effect in many aspects of workers’ efficiency, productivity, and consequently, company growth.  Email is the most-used means of communication in the modern workplace (Pratt, 2006), and its use is continually growing (Arnesen & Weis, 2007, p. 53). A global survey conducted in early 2000 shows a 600 percent increase in the use of email in the workplace in the previous six years (Stateman, 2001, p. 6). In 2003, statistics shows that 31 billion emails were sent every day from the workplace with 56 emails sent daily per email address, and 174 emails sent daily per person (Firoz, Taghi & Souchova, 2006, p. 72). However, a recent survey done by the Radicati Group, a Palo Alto, California-based research and marketing firm, found that “email traffic around the world clocks in at 141 billion messages a day” (Macklem, 2006, p. 21). The use of email in the workplace is, indeed, staggering, but relative to specific factors, email usage could either be a boon or a bane.


The 1980s saw the introduction of the email on local area networks to “enable communications among employers and employees about business matters” (cited in Pratt, 2006). Its use was “fairly restrictive” in the beginning but with the Internet evolving quickly, email, as a communications tool in the workplace, has also surged in usage alongside that of the Internet (Pratt, 2006). As with other new technology, the adoption or introduction of email rapidly gained favor amongst employers for use in the workplace. The employers regard email use as not only “less expensive and more convenient than telephone usage” (cited in Pratt, 2007), they also believe that the email “will increase productivity and efficiency” (Rudner, 2005, p. R5).

Those expectations in the use of email in the workplace are easily met. As Arnesen & Weis (2007, p. 54) have said: email and the Internet have improved organizational efficiency, productivity and growth  improved communication between employees and interaction with customers, helped expand the ability to research the market and competitors, and established marketing channels and brand names on a global basis.

Productivity as a result of email usage may be demonstrated by a study made by the Pew Internet and American Life Project that found 83 percent of those surveyed that said “email saves time,” 63 percent stated that “email is more effective than using the phone or talking in person when making arrangements or appointments,” and 59 percent said “it improves teamwork,” (Swartz, 2003, p. 16). As Jackson, Dawson & Wilson (2001, p. 1) said, improving coordination between team members through email communication is geared towards the betterment of working practices and an increase in productivity. On the other hand, productivity as seen through employers or managers’ eye may mean, to them, as the ability to control their employees at a distance (cited in Skovholt & Svennevig, 2006).

With those significant gains in productivity, email usage in the workplace grew by leaps and bounds. The Pew Internet and American Life Project survey found that while three quarters of the average American employee spend an hour or less in dealing with emails at work, high-level managers in large corporations are heavy email users spending two hours or more daily in emails (Swartz, 2003, p. 16). In the same survey, 60 percent of the average American worker receive 10 or less email daily and send five or less. Only six percent of those surveyed receive more than 50 emails daily. A year after that survey, another study was conducted in 2004 by the ePolicy Institute and the American Management Association that surveyed 840 businesses in the United States (Pratt, 2006). The findings are astonishing: 60 percent of those surveyed spend at least 90 minutes daily just dealing with emails, 20 percent spend from three to four hours daily, and 10 percent spend more than four hours daily, or half their workday (ibid). Sweetnam (2006, p. 13) painted a more startling picture of email usage in the workplace using a survey of professionals in sales, management and human resources conducted by the National Research Bureau. The study found that the “average businessperson sends and receives about 90 messages daily.” The study further found that the so-called “power emailers” devote more than three hours a day dealing with emails and are likely to check and work on emails in the evenings after work, during weekends, and while on holidays (ibid). With such statistics, i.e. one in ten workers spending half the workday dealing with email alone, and the out-of-bounds spill of email usage from the workplace to the home, and even into one’s vacation and non-working time, the use of email at work has seemed to lose its being a boon.

The emergence of the email, which was hailed then as “a time saver for office workers,” as the now “scourge of the modern workplace,” (Mackhem, 2006, p. 20) comes as no surprise. Even if a lot of people equate the high volume of emails they process a day at work to strong productivity, this basis is considered “ridiculous” (cited in Mackhem, 2006, p 20). Too much email traffic, according to Sweetnam (2006, p. 13), can weaken, if not cripple, the efficiency and productivity at work. To illustrate: a previous study shows that 15-20 percent of the time of the average American worker is spent dealing with interruptions at work (90 percent on telephone calls and personal visits; 10 percent on emails), and each interruption is calculated at about 15-20 minutes per interrupt (cited in Jackson, Dawson & Wilson, 2001, p. 2). In a more recent study, Macklem (2006, p. 21) found out that the “delay between handling the interruption [of one email] and getting back to what you were doing in the first place” is 25 minutes. All these email interruptions in the workplace translate to about 28 percent of the average American worker’s day, or 28 billion hours per year; using $21 an hour, the study concluded that the loss of productivity to U.S. business is $588 billion (ibid).

The high volume of email received at work, aside from being a bane to productivity, also deals a negative impact to workers’ efficiency and worse, one’s IQ. The decreased efficiency is caused by “increased stress, increased time spent checking email (both inside and outside the office), longer working hours and decreased productivity” (Pratt, 2006). Across the Atlantic, a study conducted by the University of Glasgow and Paisley University in Scotland found that one-third of those surveyed feel stressed by the email overload at work, and that many check their email up to 40 times a day (Shellenbarger, 2007, p. D.1). Stressful as that may sound, what could be more alarming than the findings of a study done by a psychiatrist at King’s College, London University that shows “the high volume of“email may currently be making us stupid?” (Macklem, 2006, p. 21) The study monitored office employees and discovered that as they deal with frequent email interruptions alongside that of the rest of their work, their IQ fell by 10 points, “the equivalent damage of losing a night’s sleep.” Dealing with email overload, the report further stated, made the workers more confused and slow.

Personal use and misuse of email, however, may be considered an even darker bane to productivity at work. Compared with email interruptions and email overload, misuse of email in the workplace has created problems with far-reaching effects. Misuse and abuse include sending sexually suggestive emails to officemates; or displaying pornographic images in computer screens located in common workspaces, images that are generated by email messages received from outside the workplace (Bee & Maatman Jr, 2004, p. 27). This kind of misuse had cost Microsoft $2.2 million when four female employees sued for sexual harassment based upon the pornographic images sent between employees using the company’s email system (Firoz, Taghi & Souchova, 2006, p. 73). Lawsuits involving racial harassment have also been filed in court, and in one case, Owens v. Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. in 1997, “the court found that a racist joke sent on the company’s email constituted sufficient grounds to allow the plaintiffs to proceed with a $60 million lawsuit” (cited in Arnesen & Weis, 2007, p. 55). Another email misuse that could have a negative impact in the workplace, hence affecting productivity, is when a worker downloads personal email attachment that may bring in viruses that could infect and render the company’s computer system useless  (Rudner, 2005, p. R6). Using workplace email to defame, threat, annoy, harass or cyber-stalk someone, according to Arnessen & Weiss (2007, p. 56), poses potential problems for the employers and this is another email misuse at work. What is clearly email abuse that has damaged the reputation of a company is illustrated by an employee at Ontario Power Generation “who used her corporate email address to run her exotic dancer business” (Rudner, 2005, p. R5).

 The negative impact in the situations mentioned above seems more focused on the company than the employees. However, there are a couple of unusual cases of workplace email misuse and abuse that might illustrate another “dark side of the email” (Macklem, 2006, p. 20). Macklem (2006, p. 21) says that the new technology has created a new addiction and cited a 19-year old in Scotland who was discovered to have sent up to 300 messages daily, or 8,000 messages in three months, most of it to his girlfriend. The man chose to resign from his job when his deed was found out rather than face discipline from his superiors. The other case involved an employee who was found to have 10,000 emails in his inbox with 8,000 of them unanswered (ibid). A consultant with the Montreal Institute of Business Technology was sought by the employer to help the employee but the latter quit his job before the consultant could help the “email addict,” who could well personify the negatively extreme image of an email user in the workplace.

 While this extreme negative image of an email user may seem frightening, the reality is that those are rare cases. Further reality says that “it’s wrong to blame email for all office woes… it’s up to [the] users to set their own limits on technology” (ibid). In other words, learning about email management in the workplace is in order. And a step towards this goal may be illustrated by the move of several companies like U.S. Cellular, Deloitte & Touche, and Intel, that have started to impose or try-out no-email days, usually Fridays, to limit “the feeling of being chained to incoming email” and to promote “human beings and interaction” (Shellenbarger, 2007, p. D.1). After their initial shock and protest, the employees involved in those try-outs now love their no-email days (Schaper, 2008, morning edition).


The introduction of email in the workplace has, without any doubt, contributed tremendously to productivity and efficiency. The startling surge of email users in the workplace in so short a time speaks for itself. Employees and employers alike revel in a new technology that is a blessing to both productivity and efficiency.

But as with most anything that is used improperly – specifically, email usage in the workplace – its misuse and abuse could only negate the positive. However, email users need only to stay focused on proper email management in the workplace. The result will not only be an effective email system that produces more effective individuals but it will also return the email in its proper place: a blessing to work productivity.


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