Should Psychologists Abstain from Involvement in Coercive Interrogations?

The issues of whether psychologist should participate in coercive interrogations draw sharply divided opinions among investigators and even the public. Some believe that psychologists are an integral part of the interrogations since they can ensure that the prisoners or detainees are not handled with cruelty.

However, other people believe that the psychologist participation has the potential of violating the international human rights and the code of conduct of the profession. In this regard, Mark Costanzo, Ellen Gerrity and Brinton Lyke reason that participation of psychologists in interrogations should be banned (Slife, 2010, p. 312).

In opposition an intelligence consultant and a psychologist Kirk Hubbard give an argument that banning psychologist from participating in interrogations is a restriction of the ways that psychologists can ethically protect the public by providing their support to government intelligences.

It is Unethical for Psychologists to Be Involved in Interrogations

The major profession organization for psychologist in the US, The American Psychological Association (APA) enforces a number of ethical requirements to the practicing psychologists (Slife, 2010, p. 313).

These standards include; The Beneficence and Non-malfeasance Principle that requires the psychologists to try as much as possible “to do no harm” to the people they deal with and also strive to protect the welfare and human rights of the people they interact with.

Besides they are also required to observe and respect tight and dignity of other people. Psychologists are required to respect the worth of every individual.

Participation of psychologist in the coerced interrogations is an infringement of the rights of those they are dealing with, and a violation of the code of conduct provide by APA (Slife, 2010, p. 313). Coercion causes metal and physical harm and when excessive torture is used, I can leave long lasting consequences to the victims and the perpetrators of the torture.

This means the psychologist are involved they fail to observe dignity and rights of people, caring for the welfare of others, professional and social responsibility and lack of integrity or competence (Harris & Botticelli, 2010, p. 116).

A Ban on Such Interrogations Unnecessary

Psychologists are arguably doing a great job benefiting many people in the community and questioning their tactics is uncalled for. Over the decades, the profession of psychology has struggled to distinguish itself as a unique scientific field that is of great importance in the current society playing crucial roles in governance, security and military activities (Harris & Botticelli, 2010, p. 117).

In a world where people cannot easily agree on what is right and what is wrong, the actions that benefit many other people seem to be the better ways of looking at what is good or bad (Harris & Botticelli, 2010, p. 116).

In the case of threats from terror, Hubbard suggests that the security intelligences are only left with an option of watching what the terrorist do, listen to what they say and how they act, to know their intentions (Slife, 2010, p. 322).

Regardless of what the US groups of psychologists think, terrorist mean to harm innocent people and disrupt their way of life.

Banning the involvement of the psychologists means that this would restrict their contribution to the protection of the whole society. Besides the psychologists will not be accountable to the society considering they may have failed to prevent an incidence that was preventable (Bersoff, 2008, p. 326).

It’s irresponsible to withhold information that can influence potential terrorists to disclose important information just because the code of conduct wants to protect people who do not care about consequences of their actions (Bersoff, 2008, p. 326).

Should Psychological Measure Be Utilized During Imminent Danger Of Potential Terror Attacks?

Hubbard says yes (Slife, 2010, p. 322). His reason is that it is a positive way that psychologists can contribute to the safety of the society. Besides, this is a question of an individual right and the benefits of safety to a whole society.

The ticking bomb situation are real and this is the reason why psychologist need to be allowed to step up to the table and offer alternative ways that are effective in obtaining crucial information when there is imminent danger of terror attack (Slife, 2010, p. 323). There are a number of real life examples where terror attacks have been intercepted after obtaining crucial information this way.

Reference List

Bersoff, D. (2008). Ethical Conflicts in Psychology. (4th Ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Harris, A., & Botticelli, S. (2010). First Do No Harm: The Paradoxical Encounters of Psychoanalysis, Warmaking And Resistance. , London: Taylor & Francis

Slife, B. (2010). Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Psychological Issues. New York: McGraw-Hill

Video Games and Violence in Children

One of the most fundamental questions that psychologists ask themselves is what leads to violent behavior in people. There have been arguments that such behavior is as a result of a pre-disposition to violence in the media as well as in video games.

This theory is heavily criticized as it is supported. Proponents of this theory claim that playing video games especially by children may lead a psychological formation of violent behavior; however, opponents of this theory claim that there is too much violence in the society and that video games cannot be solely blamed for such violence.

It has been found out that the average child plays an average of about 43 minutes of video games every day. Proponents of the theory explain that video games leads to violent behavior argue that active participation in an activity reinforces learning.

As such when children actively play these video games they are actually learning and involuntarily adopting violent behavior. This is because exposure to video games leads to imitation and further modeling of violent behavior (Rathus, 2008).

This theory is further supported by the fact that repetitive action increases learning about that action, thus repeated playing some video games increases the chances that they will be violent.

It also argued that playing video games has more than physical effect on the child. Exposure to video games has cognitive as well as psychological arousal.

The child cognitively grows knowing violence as a way of life. The child thus builds violent emotions involuntarily, which leads to violent behavior. It has also been found out that children who are exposed to violent games grow to be anti social (Gentile & Anderson, 2003).

On the other hand, this theory has been greatly criticized. To begin with, critics argue that there are concourse studies on the effects of video games on children behavior that can lead to such strong conclusions.

This is because there are no valid procedures that can measure the effects of video games. Such studies also have several weaknesses. It is argued that those who study the effects of violent video games on children fail to have a parallel study on non violent video games.

Furthermore there are a number of positive effects of playing violent video games on children. Other than being active in video games activity, video games act as avenues for children learn how to compete with each other.

Such competition is done of friendly basin and as such reinforces friendship bonds between children. Furthermore children also derive a lot of satisfaction from teaching their playmates how to play and win in such games.

Therefore video games act as a motivator to other socially constructive behaviors that are helpful to the normal growth and development of a child. Therefore violent behavior in children can be attributed to other factors such as the broken social-cultural norms as well as mal-functional homes (Grapes, 2000).

It is factual that exposure for a long time to video games does involuntarily and over a long period of time shape a child’s emotions and cognitions to accommodate a lot of violence as a normal way of life. Moreover violence that is in video games is very similar to violence on the television and as such there is a relationship between violent behavior and exposure to violent video games.

As such the effects of video games cannot be ignored, However, there need to be done extensive studies which will yield conclusive findings that will finally link exposure to v violent video games to violent behavior.

Reference List

Gentile, A., & Anderson, C. (2003). Violent video games: the newest violence hazard.

In Douglas A ed. Media violence and children: a complete guide for parents and professionals. West Port, CT: Praeger

Grapes, B. (2000). Violent children. Pennsylvania: Greenhaven Press

Olson, C. (2008). Video games and children friendships. Document for interpersonal theory and research newsletter.

Rathus, S. (2008). Psychology Concepts & Connections: Media & Research Update. Ontario: Thompson Learning

Management Planning Paper


Management is an important aspect in all business organization regardless of their size. It ensures proper utilization of the available resources in order to achieve a company’s goal, objective, mission and vision. Management has got various concepts, planning being the core upon which the rest should build on.

Planning has got many merits on the company’s performances and failure to plan can have adverse effects eventually leading to collapse. In this paper, WorldCom is the subject of study where effects of planning and various factors that led to its failure have been looked at.

Planning is very important in any organization as it helps one focus ahead and determines what actions to be implemented in the future. It falls among the four functions of management, the rest being directing, organizing and controlling. Planning is an on going process and because unavoidable factors will always be present to influence a company’s performance either positively or negatively, adjustment to the planned action is required and this can be termed as strategic planning.

It gives a systematic way of determining when a given activity or task in the organization is going to be executed, which manner it is going to be done and the individual responsible for executing it.

It is a basic function of management which enables adequate use of available resources in order to meet the demand. It ensures achievement of the set goals by use of facts and not guesses. Since objectives and goals are set in planning, alternatives are also availed by the same process so as to maximize the results of an organization at the long run.

As a basic function of management, planning is vital for success of any company as it determines the current position and gives a way of reaching future expectations. It simplifies ways of achieving set goals in an organization. Strategic planning is vital as it enables establish a company’s strengths and weakness (Rane 2007).

WorldCom organization is a company responsible for telecommunications. In 2000, this company failed in its services delivery due to lack of proper management plan which is essential in achieving a company’s goals and objectives.

Firstly, the management did not control the bad actions such as acts of fraud by those under their control. Infact, they joined hands in the perpetuation of these acts which are a detriment to success of a company.

Under, proper management, those above such as the human resource managers and departmental directors are supposed to control when, how and who is responsible for certain action and that a proper coordination among the various departments is available.

Lack of such responsibility saw this company which initially performed well go down. Secondly, information dispersion was not done in the right manner, there are several instances where transactions were carried out within minutes and the stakeholders had no idea or received very short notices of the same.

Proper communication is important for it ensures satisfaction among the involved parties. For a company’s development, it has to be flexible and be in a position to adapt to the changes that occur; this is made possible by research on the desired technological advancements, this helps the company offer services well to the satisfaction of the customers.

There should be proper consultations before making decision that is likely to affect the functioning of the organization at large. This is evident in WorldCom acquisition of Skytel, Inc and intermedia Inc. Other cases of decision making failures included the debt management, loan and benefit management, where the directors made these decisions on their own. Contrary to management plan, directors of WorldCom become self centered in that they were up to their own interests rather than the company’s wellbeing.

This contributed to management failure which contributed greatly to the collapse of the organization. Individual responsibility and proper governance lacked in WorldCom which form the basics for strategic planning. It is for these reasons that the organization did not perform to the expectations (Worldcom et al, 2003).

In planning, social responsibility requires an individual or a group’s engagement in an activity that is helpful to the society and not just to an individual.

Usually, research and development are meant not to maximize profits in an organization but to serve the customers satisfactorily and in a safer manner. By WorldCom, not involving social responsibility, which is by not involving in actions that are beneficial to all, it did not succeed.

Top officials engaged in fraud cases involving financial statement in order to gain not minding about customer’s interests. Apart from business responsibility, managers of a company may engage in activities such as conducting fund drives to collect money that can be used to help the needy in the society such as orphans, HIV/AIDS victims and the aged. In order to improve the corporate image of a company, management decisions that are right and good are made regardless of how unprofitable they might be.

Ethics also call for actions that are aimed at bringing much profit to the company for the benefit of all the employees. Though some actions may be considered unethical to some individuals, they are undertaken so as to help a company gain advantage such actions may include employees’ relocation and retrenchment of others in order to maximize profits.

In many cases, governments impose laws and regulations which a company must operate under; this affects its normal running as it must adhere to such imposed rules. In such cases deregulations has been employed in most companies WorldCom being among them (Thinking made easy, 2008).

Several factors may have had an influence on the planning management of WorldCom, such may include; finance, lack of competent labor and inexperienced mangers. As a large company that deals with communication system, a lot of money was required for its proper running but this was unavailable leading to the company’s borrowing of loans.

Lack of proper management of debts within the company led to misappropriation of funds resulting to greater debts accumulation. Human resource is vital for such a company in the production of the information system, this was in adequate in the company and the incoporaration of some system without the employee’s knowledge led to low outcome.

Managers for this company were self-centered and they made most of the decision on their own with an aim of benefitting themselves which is contrary to management requirement. Lack of good communication protocol also resulted to the company’s failure.


In conclusion, for the success of any organization, it is important to have proper planning failure to which the company can easily collapse or fail to achieve its set goals. Without planning WorldCom did not perform well to the end and all companies are vulnerable if planning is not incorporated in its management process.

Reference List

Rane Sanjay .(2007). The Four Functions of Management: Foundation for All Management Concepts . Retrieved April 28, 2011, from

Thinking made easy. (2008). Retrieved April 28, 2011, from

WorldCom et al. Second interim report of dick Thornburgh, bankruptcy court examiner (2003). Retrieved April 28, 2011, from

Memorial Health System CPOE Implementation


In an effort to improve the efficiency of healthcare services, health care organizations engage in the development of new IT projects. The IT projects help to promote organizational performance and provide means through which an organization can achieve its goals.

The management of the organization plays a vital role in project planning and implementation and in effecting the organizational change to enhance the use of the new technologies. To achieve successful implementation of IT projects, project managers ensure that projects fall within the projected budget and schedule according to the initial plan.

IT project failures arise when the budget and timeline differ with the intended budget and schedule. In the case study, ‘Memorial Health System CPOE Implementation’, a combination of poor management decisions contributed to the project failure.

Indicators of Project Failure in the Case study

In the case study, the CPOE project initiative lacked clarity of purpose from the outset. The objectives and purpose of the project were not set out clearly (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2009, p.397). The main objective of the CPOE project was to minimize the rate of medical errors by providing a computer-based system for doctors to administer prescriptions.

However, it was not clear to the health system stakeholders including the community-based independent health care providers regarding how the new system would reduce their workload while at the same time minimize the rate of medical errors as opposed to the manual system. The stakeholders felt that the new system would turn out to be expensive and time consuming.

Another indicator that contributed to the failure of the CPOE project initiative was the lack of sufficient leadership support for the project. Although the first CEO, Fred Dyer, and the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Joe Roberts, supported the project initiative, the interim CEO, Barbara Liu, opposed the project prior to his appointment.

Liu lacked of commitment and had reservations about the utility of the initiative. However, he was forced to spearhead the implementation of the project initiative by the board members who felt that terminating the initiative would bring substantial financial loss.

Lack of leadership support also becomes evident when Liu appointed an opponent of the initiative, Dr. Sparks, as the new CIO, who delegated the oversight role to Sally Martin. He then refused to adopt Martin’s recommendations meant to ensure project success, showing his lack of commitment to the project initiative.

In the case study, the health system’s stakeholders and the health care providers were opposed to organizational change. The organizational inertia exhibited by the stakeholders and providers contributed to failure of the CPOE project initiative. During the proposal and evaluation of the CPOE project initiative, most health stakeholders opposed it for fear that it would increase their workload.

Even after its approval, many prominent physicians transferred their services to other health systems that could not implement the CPOE system. The efforts of the proponents of the project including the CEO, Fred Dyer, could not produce intended results because majority of the stakeholders resisted the new changes. The organizational inertia increased resistance to new changes contributing to the CPOE project failure.

Project complexity also contributed to the failure of the CPOE project initiative. The management lacked a full understanding of the scope and complexity of the project in terms of resources and timelines required. To promote the CPOE approval, Dyer and Roberts, presented an exaggerated implementation timeline, which to some board members was unrealistic.

Later, Martin, the project manager, presented a new budgetary changes including $500,000 integration software that was not included in the initial budget. In addition, the CPOE project fell behind schedule as it failed to meet the 18-month initial schedule. The complexity and scope of the project overwhelmed the organization and called for the budget and timelines to be revised contributing to the project failure.

The organizational environment in the case study prevented healthy debate and exchange of ideas contributing to the failure of the CPOE initiative.

The stakeholders and the healthcare providers were not consulted prior to the implementation of the project. Those opposed had to seek an alternative way of voicing their opinion; for instance, prominent physicians transferred their services to other health systems. Lack of candor is also evident when the CIO, Dr. Sparks, instructed the project manager, Martin, to report positively about the project progress despite the logistical challenges thus contributing to the project failure.

Conclusion and Recommendations

To promote the success of the CPOE project, I would have clarified the purpose of the CPOE initiative including its benefits like how the new system would minimize medical errors and reduce their workload.

This clarity would increase the support for the project, as the stakeholders would understand its benefits. In addition, to ensure success of the project, I would have ensured that only qualified and committed project manager and CIO headed the undertaking. Committed leadership would make important decisions to ensure that the initiative is successful.

To overcome organizational inertia, I would recommend training programs to enlighten the stakeholders on the necessity of the new technological changes prior to implementation for majority of people oppose change for lack of knowledge (Kerzner, 2004, p.28).

I would also recommend that the project be implemented in different phases each with a realistic timeline and sufficient resources to ensure that the implementation runs to completion. Organizational culture of candor through free communication between project managers and the leadership could help promote success of the project.

Reference List

Kerzner, H. (2004). Advanced Project Management: Best Practices on Implementation.

San Francisco: John Wiley & sons Inc.

Wager, K., Lee, F., & Glaser, J. (2009). Health Care Information Systems: A practical Approach for Health Care Management. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Molto Agitato: The Mayhem Behind the Music at the Metropolitan Opera

In the rear of the gold curtains of the world-famous Metropolitan Opera in New York City, in the midst of the decorations all over the place, and labyrinth of managerial offices, the Met has been undertaking its activities in absolute privacy until Johanna Fiedler, who served as the Met’s general press representative for one and half decades, uncovered its secrets in Molto Agitato: The Mayhem Behind the Music at the Metropolitan Opera.

Johanna, the daughter of Arthur Fiedler, the long time conductor of the Boston Pops, now dead, draws from her insider’s knowledge of the traditional secrecy of the Met and strikingly illustrates for the first time the intricate inner dealings that are responsible for the success of the company.

In this astonishingly amusing description of the tumultuous history of the Met, Fiedler reveals that politics, aspiration, and outsized egos have conventionally taken the center stage along with a number of the world’s richest music, which have always characterized the activities of the Met.

The author details the company’s early years as a home for various great performers such as Toscanini and Mahler, and provides captivating stories of the middle years in which arrogant blue-bloods confronted the obstinate management with the intention of taking over the running of the company, which would come out to be the world-famous Metropolitan Opera. Fiedler takes her readers behind the scenes in years that are more recent as well and illustrates what would emerge as America’s premiere opera.

In addition, the author depicts how various legends such as Luciano Pavarotti and Kathleen Battle have made amazing performances at the Met. Nonetheless, the main intriguing aspects are the author’s descriptions of James Levin and Joseph Volpe and their career developments to positions of management within the company. Levine joined the company as prodigy and rose to the position of artistic director.

And, Volpe progressed from being a stagehand to the highly-secretive company’s general manager. More so, the author also reveals the once strained relationship between the two influential people in the company that was compounded by Volpe’s much exposed dismissal of the soprano Kathleen Battle.

The book presents an inside look at the dirty business of operating the America’s premiere opera house, or that is, the happenings during the management of Rudolf Bing, Anthony Bliss and Joseph Volpe. As much as the author has been condemned for giving a rubbishy scandalous yellow journalism content in writing the book, it is factual and raw and it is written in an intuitive, clever, human and mannered fashion which makes it not be offensive or without meaning.

Actually, reading the book opens the eyes of the reader regarding the myths he or she can have about opera as well as the artists in the field as it uncovers truths behind the illusions one might have above Opera business by illustrating personal, economic, and artistic struggles that characterize the running of the tricky business.

Miss Fiedler is a humorous, intelligent writer who maintains the pace of the story through her vivid explanations on the happenings at the Metropolitan Opera (Fiedler, 1). And, even though she has some clear likes and dislikes amongst the superstars and the office and behind the scenes employees, she usually conveys her thoughts on the back burner and attempts, most of the time effectively, to portray the realities of the situation.

In the inside look at the operations of the Met, Fiedler uncovers some interesting happenings in the lives of everyone who participates in the world of opera. These participants are, but not limited to, singers, producers, and artistic directors. It is astonishing at the revelation that the gifted tenor Placido Domingo actually was envious of the singing of Luciano Povaratti.

This made them to quarrel at one time even before the participation of Jose Carreras was included. Worse still, Carreras, too, similar to Domingo and Pavoratti, was not faithful in his marriage at one time; therefore, this expose? reveals the fallible nature of The Three Tenors. It is a bit sad to learn about the laziness, hypocrisy, and selfishness of the leading male voices in the renowned Opera.

On the other hand, as the book reveals, some of the sopranos also had their own issues. Kathleen Battle, different from the commendable behavior of the black singers, did not conduct herself in a professional manner. In most cases, she was not punctual during rehearsals and she never listened to the advice of the costumers and her fellow artists. Consequently, as pointed above, she was dismissed from the Opera in 1994.

Her dismissal was also prompted by two separate incidences in which she behaved unfairly to Rosalinda Elias and Carol Vanness. In addition, Renata Scotto behavior was also not commendable. She never had a good voice to sing in front of people. More over, she ruined herself by attempting to imitate the singing of Maria Callas.

In the book, the conflicts that always existed between the directors and the singers form a considerable portion of it. At one time, Rudolf Bing, threatened to dismiss Maria Callas because of some minor disagreements in opinion. Rudolf also prevented Beverly Sills from staging a performance at the Opera. However, he only permitted her to perform later in her career once he thought that her singing had reached the standards of the time. In 1980, the gifted musician Helen Hagnes was forcefully raped and later killed in cold blood by unknown people.

Shockingly, inquiry into the incident indicated that a number of individuals were using the rear wings and concealed rooms of the Met for having sex and abusing drugs. It is interesting to note that the presentations of Verdi Macbeth are never staged at the Opera since they are “cursed,” and in two different occasions, misfortune and terror were witnessed.

Sadly, Fiedler reveals that at one time a man committed suicide because of the frustrations he was getting at the Met. All these incidences, and others, were happening behind the scenes of the successful world-famous Metropolitan Opera.

In conclusion, the fitting title of the book, molto agitato, is an Italian phrase that means “very troubled” while its subtitle says it all: The Mayhem Behind the Music at the Metropolitan Opera. The book does not talk about music or opera but it draws from the goldmine of the author’s vast experience to present to the readers the incompetence of the company’s management over several decades since it started doing business.

Detailing the personalities who have shaped the company from its initial stages in the late nineteenth century to currently, the book is a feast for the readers who are curious to know the dirt behind the golden curtain in the running of the New York City’s Metropolitan Opera.

Works Cited

Fiedler, Johanna. Molto Agitato: The Mayhem Behind the Music at the Metropolitan Opera. New York: Anchor, 2003. Print.

“Tripp Lake” by Lauren Slater

The story ‘Tripp Lake’ is about a ten year old girl, from a family where the parents do not agree with each other. The girl is named Lauren, and her character can be plainly put as docile and non competitive. In this story, Lauren is persuaded by her unhappy mother to attend summer camp in Poland, Maine, in an effort to help her daughter to enjoy her childhood and nurture her into a competitive person, an opportunity that she had missed, since she had many responsibilities when growing up, as the first born child in her family.

Lauren finds it necessary to begin her story with her departure for the summer camp, in order to build on her attitude throughout the summer camp. She states that she experienced a “shudder of intense grief” with regard to the fragile and emotional expressions portrayed by her mother, who wanted more from life, but felt unable to achieve it.

Lauren is observed to be sympathetic, since she wished she could trade places with her mother, in order for her to achieve some more, since she felt that her mother was imposing the life that she had wanted for herself, on her. This is observed when Lauren called her home and asked to go home, but her mother responded by telling her to not be a quitter.

It is at his point that we get to understand why Lauren is fearful. Lauren lacked the will to be competitive, since the glory that came with victory was something that her mother did not have, and she felt that her mother had to be happy for her to feel joy as well, as seen in the words, “I felt much too guilty to take them for myself.” The author is extremely fearful and sympathetic, to an extent where she cannot participate effectively in sports.

In addition to this, we see the turmoil that Lauren is faced with, when living her life. She tries to have some fun but feels guilty for it, since she observes her happiness as betrayal to her mother, when she states that part of her fiercely wants her to win the games, while there was a part of her that wanted to hide, and in many cases, she hid herself, to avoid competing.

Lauren tells us of how she was able to overcome her fear, by finding a sport where she did not have to hide. This sport, horse riding, was introduced to her, when the counsellors noticed her problem, after she was one of the last two players in a game of bombardment, and she willingly lost to her opponent, stating that she “let the ball hit me” and justified her acts by stating that “that was the only outcome that I could tolerate.”

Horse riding was a sport allowed to the senior student only, those aged over 14 years. In addition to that, it was not part of the camp curriculum, but the counsellors, who had noticed her peculiar behaviour, allowed her to train under Coach Kim, since they thought that it would make her happy.

Horse riding made her calm, as she claimed to forget her breathing movements, heartbeat, and other things that made her conscious.

Lauren admired Kim, as she rode her horse, especially when she leapt into the air while on her horse, as she described it, stating that “she was amazing, fluid,…her face a mixture of terror and exhilaration, the balanced combination that means only one thing: mastery.” Lauren could translate the exercises that Kim took into her life, sitting the obstacle as her parents, and particularly her mother. She was taught to ride her horse, though she never got round to jumping the fence.

Jumping the fence then became her vision, the one thing that she could not do as long as she was fearful. This knowledge was given to her by Kim, stating that the horse sensed the fear within its master, “he senses your fear” causing it to come to a halt.

Lauren gets a taste of power three times during her time in the summer camp. The first time is when she goes out on her first night at the camp when she is unable to sleep, and finds a small toad. She picks it up, and evaluates her options, whereby its life is in her mercy, identifying how powerless it was. The second instance is when she locked her mother in the bathroom, when her parents had come to visit her at the camp.

Her mother’s pleas requesting her to open the door showed how vulnerable she was, and how a little action could give her power. The third time is when she made the jump, on her horse’s back. This showed her urge to ovecome her fear, and move forward, which she did, eventually.

One day, Kim urges her to make the jump, “we are going to jump today”, and Lauren does not resist the invitation, since she also acknowledges the need to face and overcome her fears. If she could make the jump and meet her obstacle, it would symbolize her readiness to meet the challenges within her. As Lauren made the jump, she claimed that she had found “a way to move forward” implying that she had been released from her bondage, and she felt the confidence to continue making the necessary amendments.

The story by Lauren is typical to people on a daily basis, whereby we face challenges that keep us from our goals. Lauren’s bravery is inspirational, and can be used as an example for everyone to follow. The first step requires faith, and through it everything is possible, allowing one to break free and grow.

Overture To The Flying Dutchman

Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) fruitful musical output was confined to the composition of operas only and he is remembered for his significant contribution in bringing the opera to new and unreached heights of dramatic splendour, theater, and spell bounding music, which were notable for their complex texture, rich harmonies, elaborate use of leitmotifs and orchestration.

The romantic opera with music and libretto, The Flying Dutchman, which he composed in 1841 and gave its premiere performance at the Royal Opera House in Dresden on January 2, 1843, was his first great success and played a great role in establishing his reputation. The overture illustrates the story of a ghost ship everlastingly seafaring the turbulent high seas, whose captain can only be rescued from this doom by the love of a woman, and the overture’s music is stirring and thrilling, having the theme of mysticism.

In writing The Flying Dutchman, Wagner initially intended for it to be performed without intermission and he composed it using some leitmotifs (literally leading motifs) related to its characters and themes. The leitmotifs are all incorporated in the overture that starts with the “Curse weighing upon the Dutchman” motif.

The opening of the renowned ocean or storm motif relayed in unison by bassoons and horns, “accompanied in the violins tremolo, picturing waves in motion, and passages in violas and cellos depicting increasing waves and the approaching storm” (“Overture to the Flying Dutchman,” para. 1). The accompaniments in the first motif assist in giving suggestions of the Curse and motive and signs of anguish.

After the tempest in the first motif quells, the second motif is introduced, “”The Message of the Angel of Mercy.” This motif personifies Senta that is present in the opera at the culmination of every verse of Senta’s ballad, and, worth mentioning, captivating passages are also included in the horns and trombones.

Additionally, the Curse motif is also mentioned in this verse. Lastly, the third motif, “The Personification of the Dutchman,” is whereby the fury of the tempest rages afresh and its stillness is heard through the joyful Sailor’s Song on a passing ship. The rage of the tempest proceeds, however, the Senta motif comes back tirelessly, interchanging with the Curse motif until lastly the wreck scene and then silence follows.

The Flying Dutchman illustrates the story of the opera in miniature: “stark, fierce chords in the woodwinds and strings plunge the listener immediately into the middle of a wildly raging storm at sea as the motive of the accursed Dutchman peals out in the horns” (Naughtin, 3).

The overture is one of the most impressive and enthralling storm scenes in music. In the overture, the Dutchman is a sea captain who vowed that he would travel by water around the Cape of Good Hope despite the winds, tempests, and even hell itself; thus, as a castigation of his sacrilegious pledge, he is condemned to travel by water across the seas till he gets the right woman whom he can be together with unto death.

As the story commences, raging waters compel the Dutchman’s vessel to go off course to a Norwegian fjord (referred to as Sandvika) where he hears a woman named Senta singing, and as the raging of the waters ceases, we hear the gentle melody of Senta’s Ballad from the second act of the opera. The woman informs the sailor that she is the only one who is capable of saving him from his miserable destiny.

A pleasant sailor’s dance then ensues. However, the raging waters soon weigh this down. In her enthusiasm to rescue the sailor from his unhappy state, the woman jumps toward the ghost ship and dies, and the music in the opera softens as Senta’s theme comes back, adored and radiant.

Then, the saved sailor and the woman are seen coming out of the sea heavenward. “The peroration of the overture, preceded by a pause and an upward rush of the strings, summarizes dramatically the themes of Senta, of her sacrifice, and the motive, now in the major key, of the redeemed mariner” (“Richard Wagner- Overture,” para. 2).

In many aspects, The Flying Dutchman is autobiographical that depicts the life of Richard Wagner.

It has been said that the overture’s incidental background relates to the composer’s voyage from his creditors in the two years before writing the opera. When he was travelling from Riga to Paris while passing through London, he was forced to endured raging storms in the North Sea and the journey took a considerable number of days at sea.

At the premiere performance of the opera in 1843, it was conducted by Richard Wagner, the role of the Dutchman (voice type-bass, baritone) was performed by Johann Wachter, while the role of Senta (voice type-soprano) was performed by Wilhelmine Schroder-Devrient. Some of the instruments that are used in performing the overture include two flutes, piccolo, two oboes, four French horns, two trumpets, timpani, and violins.

Works Cited

Naughtin, Mathew. “Overture to The Flying Dutchman.” Wagner. 2002. Web. 6 May 2011.

“Overture to the Flying Dutchman.” Music with Ease. Music With, 2011. Web. 6 May 2011.

“Richard Wagner- Overture.” OldandSold. Old and Sold, n.d. Web. 6 May 2011.

How to Write a Good Essay

An essay refers to the systematic presentation of ideas that describe the process of performing a task or explaining the process by which a system works. An essay may be explanatory in which case it explains the steps in performing a task; it can also be expository or narrative.

The main aim of writing an essay is simply to explain, outline or describe an event, object or system. An essay may be brief or comprehensive, depending on the writer’s interest. It can also be complicated or simple, depending on the nature of the subject under investigation. However, this greatly depends on the instructions provided, and the writer’s knowledge of the subject.

Whether brief or short, an essay must be fully understandable, in order to convey the intended message conveniently. Molly suggests that to achieve this, the writer must use the appropriate style in writing, in addition to using the appropriate terminology and phrasing that the reader will easily understand without much strain 1.

Each type of essay has its style of writing, though there is a general guideline to writing all essays. A typical essay should contain an introduction, body and conclusion. These are the three main parts of an essay. The content and length of each part will depend on the depth and the concentration of the subject.

The introduction should clearly outline the background of the topic, and give a brief literature review to the subject under investigation.

It is important to note that not all essays will require an introduction, but the necessity will depend on the instructor’s priority. The introduction is an overview of the topic, without specializing on a given area. The introduction is followed by the ‘body’ of the essay.

This is the part that contains the actual material of the writing, as Rositter suggests 2. For example, in a narrative essay, the body contains the narration of the issue and any other material relevant to the topic. The body of an explanatory essay will contain a deep explanation of the subject matter, giving all the necessary details of the explanation.

This part requires the writer to deeply focus on the issue which they are writing about. The writer must first understand the topic of interest before starting to give details about it. The body may require deeper research from outside sources related to the subject. The details are very essential, as they help the reader to understand the content.

In order to discuss the topic with the desired level of comprehensiveness, each paragraph in the body of an essay should introduce a new idea. Greetham explains that subsequent lines in the same paragraph should expand the main idea, giving the required details 3.

The body should have several paragraphs in order to maximize the number of details provided. Sometimes, several ideas may be contained in the same paragraph, due to specifications on the essay’s length.

The final part of the essay is the conclusion. It may consist of one or a few paragraphs that collectively sum up the whole topic of discussion.

It concludes the essay with a statement of proposition or opposition of the topic and should also include the reasons for the conclusion made. The conclusion, according to Greetham, gives a reflection of the entire topic in a few lines, stating the relevance of the whole discussion at a glance4.

Although some essays are too complicated, an essay should be generally easy to understand, and this greatly relies on the clarity of the points that the writer includes. In other words, it should be self-explanatory in order to achieve its intended purpose and to benefit the reader, without further assistance from the writer. This is why the guideline is important, as it gives the basic structure of writing a quality essay.

Molly, M, Schaum’s quick guide to writing great essays, McGraw Hills, Washington DC, 1999, p. 37
Rositter, J, The college guide to essay writing, DW Publishing Co, Washington, 2006, p. 52
Greetham, B, How to write better essays, Macmillan Publishers, London, 2001, p. 19
Greetham, p. 27.


Greetham, B, How to write better essays, Macmillan Publishers, London, 2001.

Molly, M, Schaum’s quick guide to writing great essays, McGraw Hills, Washington DC, 1999.

Rositter, J, The college guide to essay writing, DW Publishing Co, Washington, 2006.

Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown and Puritanism

“Where reason may not wade, their faith may swim” Thomas Watson, a Puritan priest asserts. Puritanism was a faith developed by Englishman in the 1600’s. They were a group of staunch believers in the Holy Bible. Although Puritanism resembled Christianity, it made a sharper distinction between sinners and non-sinners.

The religion stressed that each man had free will to choose and the sanctity of his/her soul was at risk; in other words, every individual had the mandate to determine his/her destiny by making choices. The transgressions of sinners subjected their soul to eternal damnation. The Puritan faith of a man is put into question in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, “Young Goodman Brown.” A man, Brown, holds dear few things in the 1800’s.

He has his Puritan faith, which he earnestly cherishes, and guards, the love of his wife, ‘Faith’, whom he adores, and his ancestral upbringing, the deep-seated principles enshrined in Puritanism. These three elemental things help Goodman to navigate between good and evil; they form the platform from which Goodman decides his fate. As Brown faces the devil’s temptation, people easily persuade him to abandon what once grounded him, Puritanism.

The Puritan values of the 1600‘s as well as the people’s openness to mystical ideas defined good and evil and influenced some Puritans to question the truth and abandon their faith just like Eve of the bible who questioned God’s truth before abandoning it under the wiles of the snake; the devil.

The Puritans followed the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. One of the most famous stories of man’s ability to be swayed into temptation is the story of Adam and Eve. In ‘Puritan Paradise Lost’ book review, Keith Stavely shows how Adam, Eve, and Satan represent the common idea of conflict in the Puritan faith (Stavely 495.) The biblical version of this story bears a striking resemblance to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story.

According to the book of Genesis, God created Adam, and from his rib, Eve was created. After creating these pioneer human beings, God set upon them one demand; that, they were not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Nevertheless, having been convinced to eat the forbidden fruit by the snake, Eve persuaded Adam to test God’s will and committed sin by eating the very forbidden fruit. Consequently, Adam and Eve lost their purity and in its place, shame and guilt took over (New International Version, Gen. 3. 1-9).

For the first time, Adam and Eve realized they were naked and hid from the face of God. Young Goodman Brown experiences this same guilt and persuasive tactics in Hawthorne’s story.

In the initial stages of the story, Brown’s relationship with his wife, Faith, is much like that of Adam and Eve, a perfect couple; however, Brown is about to embark on an evil journey, which he knows his wife would not approve. “…and after this one night I will follow her into heaven.

With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose” (Hawthorne 16). Brown travels into the forest defiantly just as Eve ate from the tree of life. Just like Eve, Brown is in search of knowledge, which Satan uses to lure people away.

Once tainted by her sins, Eve felt the need to cover herself from shame that ensued. The same way, shame affects Young Goodman Brown; as he enters deep into his journey, Brown tells the elder that his ancestors would never travel on such an unthinkable errand.

In response, the elder replies, “I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that’s no trifle to say” (Hawthorne 18). The elder goes on to describe the evil doings of Brown’s father and grandfather. The shame that Brown feels is enough to convince him to continue on the journey even though he is sure his actions violate his Puritan faith.

In the biblical context of Adam and Eve, the end to their innocence and an abandonment of trust underscored their punishment. Initially, Adam and Eve were to enjoy life in the Garden of Eden without toiling; however, after committing sin, punishment was upon them whereby, Adam was to toil for food while Eve was to experience labor pain in giving birth.

In the case of Young Goodman Brown, punishment is in the death of his soul; he too has to live a life filled with doubt and uncertainty. “Often, waking suddenly at midnight, he shrank from the bosom of Faith; and at morning or eventide, when the family knelt down at prayer; he scowled and muttered to himself, and gazed sternly at his wife, and turned away” (Hawthorne 23.)

What once Brown held most important; his Puritan faith and his wife, no longer matters because the sins from his journey into the forest annihilates his soul that Puritans had warned him. Nevertheless, what evil force drives him to ruin the pure life he once had?

The Puritans gave equal power to Satan as they did to God. The beliefs were that Satan worked as a servant of God to test the righteousness of God’s followers.

Many religions believed that the devil existed; however, what differentiated Puritans is that they believed that God was the devil’s motivating factor, that is; devil played a pivotal role to harass and test people’s faith in God in the process of testing and restoring righteousness in God’s followers.

Therefore, Puritans believed that God gave Satan his powers in order to promote this religious way of life and to make achieving salvation difficult. Puritans’ loyalty to their faith was based on fear that God would call upon Satan to punish them (Kizer, Para. 5).

In contemporary culture, people do not carry the same amount of fear of the devil; however, in ‘Young Goodman Brown’, the fear of Satan’s appearance ran throughout the short story. Brown wondered, “what if the devil himself should be at my very elbow” (Hawthorne 19).

Brown feared that the devil would appear; however, the devil did not show up in the story as a literal person that could be seen. Instead, the devil was disguised as priests, elderly, women, and allusions and Brown ended up living amongst the very thing he feared, the devil.

The most compelling allusion comes towards the end of the story; the devil cast an allusion upon Brown by leading him to believe that his beloved wife Faith had fallen into the hands of the devil. Brown lamented, “My Faith is gone! Cried he, after one stupefies moment…There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name” (Hawthorne 44).

To Brown, this statement was two fold; one, he lost his wife Faith and two, he lost his faith in Puritanism. Who else but the devil could conjure up such a wicked event? Brown’s religious ideology was that of Puritan values. In other religions such as protestant and Catholic, the devil was someone that a sinner would meet in his/her afterlife; however, according to the Puritan culture, God used Satan top help “promote righteous piety and individual spiritual welfare” (Kizer, Para. 9).

In other words, a test of one’s faith and in this test, Brown failed. Once convinced that Faith was gone, Brown followed her in the forest with vengeance. Unfortunately, instead of questioning his actions, Brown entertained the notion that he was a sinner; he lost his Faith.

An abandonment of one’s faith among Puritan culture was considered a weakness among men. A man was to remain true to his faith and his wife. Marriage was entered into as a lifetime bond of love, sacrifice, and forgiveness.

Hawthorne’s story draws from these beliefs both figuratively and literally. Brown wife’s name is Faith – a play on words because she represents Brown’s Faith in God. Brown being of Puritan ideology is to remain true to God and his wife. Once his wife Faith appears to have left his life permanently, Brown’s figurative faith leaves as well (Mellow 60).

By the end of the story, it is unclear whether Faith’s disappearance and the story in its entirety was a dream. The legitimacy of the story bears little relevancy because the result is the same. The weakness in Brown’s faith allowed him to believe that the story could have been true. The question becomes how could Brown show credence in such a story?

As Hawthorne’s story takes the audience through the forest, the readers may call authenticity into question. The serpent staff and tales of witches and witchcraft lack validity in today’s culture. In the Puritan culture, witchcraft was a sin against God. It attempted to alter the fate that God had bestowed upon his followers.

If God could be conjured up in unconceivable manners, then all things involving witchcraft could be true. Witchcraft had been in Europe since the fifteenth century (Modugno, Para. 5). The idea of witchcraft is not synonymous to the Puritans; it appears throughout the Holy Bible. “The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination.

But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so” (Deut. 18:14). The terms sorcery and divination are replacements for acts of witchcrafts. The verse is clear that God does not permit such practices. Hawthorne brings witchcraft into his story as the catalyst that lured Brown into evil. Several of the characters share the names of individuals charged with witchcraft.

Hawthorne’s intention is to use the relationship between Brown and witchcraft to symbolize the relationship between man and his Puritan faith. As Brown was drawn closer to witchcraft and those who believed in it, he slipped further away from the life of meaning (Modugno, Para. 9).

This implies that the far an individual goes from God, the deeper s/he sinks into sin. The far Brown stayed around witches the deeper he sank into sin characterized by loss of meaningful life. In essence, God gives people purposes in life and without Him; life is meaningless as evidenced by Brown.

The Puritan faith was largely based on the conflict between good and evil. A devout Puritan resisted temptation, no matter how great, letting his/her faith guide him/her through life. Nathaniel Hawthorne used the escapades of Young Goodman Brown as an example of that good and evil conflict. Evil came in form of witches, serpent’s tails, and allusions; however in the end evil, was in the mind of Young Goodman Brown.

Hawthorne’s short story objective was to show the reader that the “devil made me so it” is an insufficient answer, regardless of whether that devil was well disguised or not. The Puritan Faith left Brown with a feeling of self-doubt, which marked the end to his life with “Faith”.

Works Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Young Goodman Brown. Maryland: Wildside Press, 2005. Print.

Kizer, Kay. The Puritans. N.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2011.

Mellow, James R. Hawthorne in His Times. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1980.

Modugno, Joseph. “The Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692 and “Young Goodman Brown.”

Hawthorne in Salem, N.d. Web. 23 April 2011.

New International Version. The Holy Bible. New York: Harper, 1983.

Stavely, Keith. “Puritan Legacies: Paradise Lost and the New England Tradition, 1630–1890.”

Journal of American Studies 22.3 (1988): 490-496.

Issues that affect low wage earners

Salaries, wages and compensations are supposed to be sufficient to cater for a worker’s basic and personal expenses. As much as it is appreciated that there is no adequate income because human needs are insatiable, low-earning workers in different parts of the world faces similar economic and social welfare problems (Starr158). This paper discusses the major problems facing low earners.

Housing and homelessness

Low earner hardly afford good housing; they live in houses that do not meet the standards of an adequate housing systems, the reason why they opt for such houses is because they have limited funds to pay for houses in with good amenities. when in the houses, they lack security, they do not have steady supply of water and electricity. To the extreme, mostly in the developing countries, they live in informal settlements where they are exposed to diseases, social crimes and high rate of crime.

Health services

Low wage earners have a problem accessing quality, timely and reliable health care services; this is so because of their location that may not have a health facility and when the facility is there, they cannot afford the costs charged comfortable.

It has been noted that low earners have a higher tendency of giving birth to more children; the demand for health services for pregnant mothers and children are high thus maintaining quality health care services becomes an issue (Morley 1915).

Nutrition problems and clothing

Food and clothing are human basic needs that costs a fortune, low earners do not have the adequate funds to afford good nutrition; they depend with the affordable foods which might not be of the right nutritional level.

Lack of good food retardates their growth late and leads to nutritional related disease like kwashiorkor and miasmas. When the population is suffering, then they can hardly think straight thus, they continue to ravish in poverty.

Cloths define the character of a person to some extent; when the people are not able to afford proper clothing; they suffer from psychological stress since they feel they are not respected in the community; on the other hand, the communities may judge them harshly from how they look. To satisfy the need for proper clothing, low earners buy second hand cloths that have their complications.

Lack of social Amenities

The locations that low-earners life are not well addressed as far as social amenities are concerned, most governments hardly provide adequate amenities like playing fields, fire fighters, roads , schools, colleges or even Universities. The main reason for lack of the facilities is that there is no space or the available amenities are stressed that they are not doing any good to the communities.

In some cases where the services have been developed, the great number of people looking forward to use them overwhelms them. For example in slums, in case of fire, local councils efforts to assist communities is mostly hampered by lack of way as people have build along and on roads that the fire fighting machines cannot pass (Avraham and Roter 56-67).


Different countries have different minimal wages rates; however low earners face similar problems, the problems include housing and homelessness, poor nutrition and clothing, lack of social amenities, poor health services, and unequal distribution of resources. To solve the above problems, governments should ensure it looks into individual challenge on its own and seek a lasting solution.

Works Cited

Avraham, Doron, and Roter Raphael. Low wage earners and low wage subsidies. Michigan: Hebrew University press, 1978.

Morley, Gunderson. Minimum Wages: Issues And Options For Ontario. Ontario Ministry of Finance, Feb. 2007. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.

Starr, Frank. Minimum wage fixing: an international review of practices and problems.London: International Labour Organization, 1981