Thursday, January 24, 2013

You will

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Socioeconomic status

Students from economically disadvantaged homes are among the most underserved students in gifted programs. Kids from the bottom quartile in family income made up less than 10 percent of students in gifted programs. In contrast to this finding, almost 50 percent of gifted program participants were from the top income quartile (Sherman, 17). It was not that there are less gifted individuals from low income homes versus high income homes or that African Americans do not have as many gifted individuals than the corresponding white Anglo Saxon Americans, but rather that these populations were not discovered, recognized, or identified as gifted nearly as often as the middle/upper class of the white population (Sherman, 17). Again, it needs to be pointed out that many underachieving gifted students are considered high risk because of situational factors that put them in a class that would be considered a double or even triple minority, such as an African American gifted girl from inner city Harlem.

Single Parent Homes

The third factor which often goes hand in hand with low socioeconomic status is that of the single parent home. Gifted children from single parent homes tend to underachieve at a much higher rate than gifted students from two parent households. Students who achieve at or above ability level usually have parents who are highly involved and on top of their child’s progress and school performance. The parent-child relationship tends to be one of trust and open communication and the parents are confident in their parenting abilities as well as are monumental in setting realistic boundaries and expectations for their child (Ford/Thomas, 17). It is not that single parents love their children any less or care any less about their school performance, however, single parents tend to be stretched a little thinner than their two parent home counterparts in that most hold at least one full time job and life becomes an endless series of trying to make ends meet and fulfill everyday obligations and the focus on the child becomes secondary to the basic needs of life. Especially where a gifted child is concerned, parental concern and involvement, in both educational and social settings, is a must to help the child grow and develop into a successful, achieving adult (Ford/Thomas, 17).

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In single parent households there is only one person to be the caretaker, breadwinner, and emotional supporter. With the stressful lives of many households today, the emotional needs of many children are not completely or fully met. Hence, we have a generation of stressed out children. These stresses are common in many two parent, two income households, so the stress of a single parent, one income household is capitalized to a great extent. Under involved and nonencouraging parents, negative parental attitudes, family conflict, lack of career direction, and family transitions were all found to be associated with underachievement (Peterson, 001). The underachievement becomes a vicious cycle in which it stops being apparent which came first, the underachievement or the family conflicts. It is most certain, however, that if a child is underachieving and there are many other pressing family issues, than the underachieving might very well take a backseat to the major family dysfunctions. Not only do single parent homes have more potential towards stressful lives, but the factors that have led to the single parenting often come into play. For instance, a child may be from a middle class, two parent home when circumstances change such as a divorce or death, and then the child is living in a single parent, low income home. Such drastic changes are hard for the parent and child alike and if the emotional health is not dealt with immediately and properly, a child stands a high chance of becoming depressed and as grades and school work begin to suffer, becoming what is labeled as a “gifted underachiever” (Whitmore, 180). These gifted underachievers are thought to turn out as relatively nonproductive members of the adult society. “The failure of those children to realize their creative and intellectual potential represents a tragic loss to our society and the world in its need for leadership, innovation, and competence (Whitmore, 180).

Underachievers

Children and adults alike achieve at various rates for a variety of reasons as mentioned above. There are many born with many strikes against them, including a low mentality, yet they achieve at a higher rate than what would be expected, and thus are known as “overachievers”. We tend to call those who fall into the perfectionist category as overachievers as well. We often marvel at the accomplishments of the low ability overachiever in much the same sense that we marvel at the normal achievement of a gifted individual. In reality, if the majority of the gifted population were to achieve at his/her ability level, the possibilities are endless (Raph, Goldberg, & Passow, 166).

We cannot ignore that the majority of the gifted underachievers have one or more contributing, identifiable factors. These factors can usually be traced to minority, low socioeconomic status, and single parent homes. Indeed, it cannot be ignored either, that the prisons and juvenile systems are laden with gifted, talented, and creative individuals who use their abilities in unique ways that cause a detrimental effect on society rather than a positive contribution to society. A waste of the mind in this manner is not only a shame, but a loss to society. Had some of these individuals used their masterful minds in more meaningful ways, would there be a cure for cancer, AIDS, diabetes, or perhaps other diseases by now? Gifted individuals have the same basic needs that all people have, however, the gifted child has a unique imbalance created by an intellectual level that is usually functioning at a much higher level than his/her emotional level and when this is coupled with influencing factors, the gifted mind often reacts by shutting down or moving into a lower gear and not performing at his/her capability level (Whitmore, 180). In addition, gifted children are often expected to perform near perfection on all academic and creative tasks. They are often expected to behave in a certain manner also and if a child falls short in one or more of these areas, typical comments include “he can’t be gifted with behavior like that” or “she has poor spelling and terrible handwriting, how did she get in the gifted program?” When a child hears comments such as these, in addition to comments about the underachievement, it often makes the child question his or her giftedness as well (Coleman & Cross, 001).

In some cases it might actually be hard to define which came first, the negative comments which compound the underachievement or the underachievement which invites the negative comments. Children from disadvantaged homes are often overlooked for the gifted programs anyway and hearing comments that stereotype what a gifted child should act, look, feel, or be like is quite a burden on a child with several strikes against him/her to begin with. Indeed, even when most people think of a gifted person or a person with genius, what comes to mind is a slightly odd, white male child, usually small in stature with glasses. The idea of a gifted adult usually is a picture of someone who is somewhat eccentric and usually a loner working in a laboratory or some other research type environment. With these stereotypes, it is not a surprising coincidence that the majority of those who are overlooked for the gifted programs and those who tend to underachieve are females, ethnic minorities, and those from low income households that do not fit the stereotypical mold of the gifted child from the mid to upper class American family. The issues of underachievement and why it occurs are just now being truly brought to the forefront and steps to remedy the underachievement are being researched and strategies taken to reverse this unnecessary phenomena (Coleman & Cross, 001). Perhaps in the not too distant future, children of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds will be adequately identified and represented in the gifted population, as well as implementations to reverse underachievement and utilize the true gifts of this underrepresented population.

Remedies and strategies

Remedies to reverse underachievement can be utilized and help the underachieving gifted student reach his/her full potential. The role of the family is a big and constant issue in achievement. Due to the complexity of factors associated with broken homes and low income, there is a sizable portion of able students who are at risk for not maximizing their potential during their years in secondary school and beyond (VanTassel-Baska, 18). First of all, it has been determined that perhaps individuals and institutions other than the family may play more significant roles in these students’ lives. If the family is disadvantaged due to economic hardship, single parenting, or minority influences, there are other individuals and institutions that can perhaps fill this void for these disadvantaged youngsters (VanTassel-Baska, 18). Of course, individuals closest to the child are going to play the biggest role of influence in the child’s life, but there are others than can be positive, contributing factors.

There is also a way to help the child’s disadvantage work to his or her benefit. Being raised in a low-income home, having only one parent, or being a member of a minority group may be a powerful stimulus for some individuals to succeed beyond expectations for their socioeconomic level in society (VanTassel-Baska, 18). There are many individuals that have overcome many obstacles in their lives and achieved at a rate and to a degree above and beyond expectations. The world is full of gifted scholars, athletes, artists, and musicians who were raised in ghettos with little food or parental support. The difference in what these disadvantaged children have compared to the underachieving disadvantaged child is the inner drive to succeed above and beyond the expected. The desire to not only rise above, but to get out of their present situations is a strong factor for many successful individuals.

In 188, Congress passed legislation to promote the interests of gifted students in U.S. public schools. The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program was authorized under Title IV, Part B of the Hawkins-Stafford Elementary and Secondary Amendments of 188. The legislation calls for the U.S. Department of Education to carry out three major activities that are designed to provide national leadership in gifted education. The first type provides funding through grants to assist state and local educational agencies in meeting the various needs of gifted students. The second activity is the creation of a national research center on gifted and talented students. The center is the first comprehensive research effort on gifted education in the United States. The third activity responds to the legislative mandate that the Javits Program serve as a national focal point in gifted education. Therefore, it calls for additional and much needed attention to the needs and concerns of gifted children (Ford, 16). These programs, by addressing the issues and needs of disadvantaged gifted children, shed light and hope on reversing the debilitating pattern of underachievement in gifted students. In addition to changing the means of gifted identification in minorities and implementing unique programs for the gifted minorities, it is evident that there is a need to change the teacher attitudes and behaviors toward targeted students and to empower parental input and influence. School partnerships with postsecondary education institutions, community organizations, and business and industry are also important contributing factors in the reversal of underachievement for gifted children (Ford, 16).





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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ramzan Festival

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Muslims celebrate the Ramzan festival with great �clat all over the world. The festival is held each year at end of Arabic month of Ramzan. Muslims fast every day during this month and on the completion of the period, which is decided by the appearance of the new moon the next month following Ramzan called Shawal.

The preparation of the festival starts two weeks before the festival day. The women are involved to make different varieties of sweets, among these sweets very famous and delicious sweet is called Vattilappem. All people buy or stitch new cloths; mainly children prepare different models of dresses.

On this day people getup early in the morning and have a bath and wear new and best clothes and go to the mosque for Ramzan festival prayers. After the prayer there is a religious lecture from imam and then they greet and embrace one another warmly. Other religious people also greet and embrace their Muslim friends in fraternal spirit. The whole day is spent in festivity and exchange of sweets, good wishes and visits. The sweet dishes are specially prepared on this occasion and distributed among friends, neighbours and relatives. In the afternoon some sports competition and cultural events take place for children.

It is a great social and religious Muslim festival and the poor and needy are given money, food, clothes etc., in charity. Muslim women and children also celebrate it with great zest and enthusiasm. They wear their fineries, jewellery and apply henna on their feet and hands.

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People wish each other well, uttering “ Ed Mubarak”.



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Tourism Memorandum - Dreamworld theme park in Australia

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Memorandum



To All retail departments, operations, human resources, food and beverage, technical and maintenance, finance, entertainment, entry and crowd control, maintenance and cleaning, ride operation, marketing, administration, accounts, shows and attractions, photographic supervisor, guest services, reception

From Treslynne Dignon � Public Relations & Communications Coordinator

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Date 14/10/0

Subject Australia Day



Please be advised that as part of its 004 new marketing campaign, and with the support of Tourism Queensland, Dreamworld is having a special Australia Day Program on January 6, 004.

Extra entertainment has been provided with special events planned. In addition, Dreamworld will be open at night for a fun-filled celebration. For this special occasion all staff will be required to work and extra duties will be assigned so that visitors can enjoy Dreamworld’s facilities to the utmost.

I have attached a schedule below for your information. I will be contactable on two-way (PR1) and mobile on the day.

Event

Event Australia Day Program

Date January 6, 004

Time 10.00am � 8.0pm

Location At several locations throughout the park

Contact Treslynne Dignon mobile - 041865508

Running order

10.00am Set up of area in Kakadu Caf� with digital camera

10.00am Set up of autograph & photograph area at Main Stage

10.00am Set up of all show areas

10.0am Limo arrives at Dreamworld (Steve Irwin) � Entry Gate

10.45am Limo arrives at Dreamworld (Silverchair) � Entry Gate

10.45am PR will escort Steve Irwin to Kenny Cab for a run through the park

11.00am Outback Adventure Show will commence

11.00am Photograph session (Steve Irwin) in Kakadu Caf� with DW patrons

11.00am PR will escort Silverchair to Kenny Cab for a run through the park

11.15am Kakadu Wetlands show feat. Steve Irwin with the crocs

11.15am Photograph session (Silverchair) at Main Stage

11.0am Australian Farm Show will commence

11.45am Tiger Island specialty show feat. Steve Irwin

1 noon Silverchair perform at Main Stage

1.15pm Kakadu Wetlands show feat. Steve Irwin with the crocs

1.0pm Autograph session (Silverchair)

1.45pm PR will escort Steve Irwin to Kakadu Caf�

1.00pm PR will escort Silverchair to Buffet Restaurant

1.00pm Outback Adventure Show will commence

1.0pm Australian Farm Show will commence

.00pm Limo arrives at Dreamworld (Wiggles) � Entry Gate

.00pm PR will escort Steve Irwin to Kenny Cab for a run through the park

.15pm Limo transfer back to hotel (Steve Irwin)

.15pm PR will escort Silverchair to Kenny Cab for a run through the park

.0pm Limo transfer back to hotel (Silverchair)

.0pm PR will escort the Wiggles to Kenny Cab for a run through the park

.45pm PR will escort the Wiggles to Nickelodeon Central

.00pm Outback Adventure Show will commence

.00pm Photograph session (Wiggles)

.0pm Australian Farm Show will commence

.0pm Wiggles perform at Nickelodeon Central

4.00pm Limo arrives at Dreamworld (Beau Brady, Bec Cartwright) � Entry Gate

4.00pm PR will escort the Wiggles to Catdog Snack Shack

4.15pm PR will escort Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright to Kenny Cab for a run through the park

4.0pm PR will escort Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright to Sunset Safari

4.45pm PR will escort the Wiggles to Nickelodeon Central

4.45pm Sunset Safari will commence feat. Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright

5.00pm Outback Adventure Show will commence

5.00pm Wiggles perform at Nickelodeon Central

5.15pm Sunset Safari will commence feat. Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright

5.0pm Australian Farm Show will commence

5.0pm Limo transfer back to hotel (Wiggles)

5.45pm Sunset Safari will commence feat. Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright

6.00pm Fireworks commence at Nickelodeon Central

6.15pm Sunset Safari will commence feat. Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright

6.45pm Sunset Safari will commence feat. Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright

7.15pm PR will escort Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright to Main Stage

7.0pm Photograph session (Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright)

7.45pm Autograph session (Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright)

8.00pm Fireworks commence at Nickelodeon Central

8.0pm Limo transfer back to hotel (Beau Brady & Bec Cartwright)

8.0pm Ends

Can I please ask your assistance with the following

E&A

Are we able to use the Kenny Cab (with driver) for a short 10 minute spin with

each of the celebrities around the park (as per schedule)? Also, if you have a

supervisor you can spare to help with crowd control that would be appreciated.

Guest Services

As per our discussions, please UP SELL the Australia Day Program and guest

appearances to all park guests between now and the event.

Imogen

As per our earlier conversation, can we order limo transfers to and from

Dreamworld as per the above schedule? Pick up address details will be provided

verbally.

Photographic Supervisor

Can we please ensure sufficient people are rostered on to help with this event?

The set up should be done before 1015am because guests start arriving fairly

early. Make sure to set up all photograph, autograph and performance areas.

Retail

Can all staff mention the Australia Day Program and guest appearances?

Information flyers have been distributed.

Security

Can we please organize security guards to duty for the duration of the guest

appearances?

If you have any problems or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me on

041865508.

Kind regards,

Treslynne Dignon

Public Relations & Communications Coordinator





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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

¡°She was forced to write that way¡­¡±

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Sylvia Plath, a talented American poetess, published her first poem when she was only eight. Her major success laid in the publishing of The Colossus-a series of poems by Plath-along with various other infamous poems (Brennan 15). Many critics were delighted of her use of proper techniques and considered it to be enjoyable for most intelligent readers and other poetry lovers of the like (Brennan 15). Plath lived a turbulent life; she expresses most of her pain in her work. This is especially evident in her poetry in Ariel, which is a collection of the poems published after her death, which she had written in the last five years of her life, before her suicide in 16 (Wagner-Martin 11). She is said to have made art from the crucial issues of her life, Wagner-Martin mentions that ¡°Plath has voiced anger as well as hope and she spoke of sorrow as well as joy¡± (11). Sylvia Plath¡¯s father died when she was young, however she never mourned for his death until a while after, which is evident in some of her poems about fathers and fatherhood. Plath was married to another famous poet, Ted Hughes, although Plath considered Hughes to be her ¡°ideal¡±, she soon became exhausted by the relationship for not only did she take on the role of a wife; she also became Hughes¡¯ business manager (Chapman ). The marriage between Plath and Hughes soon ended with outbursts of jealousy; Plath had discovered that Hughes was having an affair with another poet¡¯s wife (Chapman 7). Some of the finest poems she¡¯s ever written developed out of the pain and anguish, which she was feeling and then published in Ariel after her death (Chapman 7). To many readers, whether they¡¯ve studied Plath¡¯s work or not, would consider Plath¡¯s work to be self-therapy. Poems of darkness and emotional buildup, however what one should not rule out is the work that Plath has written for children or about children, for example The Bed Book. Although Plath has led a tumultuous life, not all her works surround the depressive occurrences in her life; it may be that her best work was developed during her pain staking trials, however there is no evidence that Sylvia Plath was only confined to her raw emotional works of poetry. Sylvia Plath¡¯s emotional roller coaster has played an enormous part it her becoming famous for her intense poetry and because of the lifestyle in which she was plagued with, where there were both positive and negative events; she has developed a well-rounded array of poetry. It is also important to note that perhaps without her emotional displays, Plath may not have even gained such fame in the first place. Her work is truly sincere and remarkable. Plath choose to use her most emotional states to her advantage, although she may have not done it intentionally, the world would soon discover the person behind the words.

The Bed Book, a delightful short story about the most imaginable beds has shown Plath¡¯s more delicate side through its simple rhyme and creativity. Noting that ¡°the best beds are much more interesting¡± than ¡°just beds for sleeping and resting¡± (Plath ). Plath has widened children¡¯s imagination by proposing that beds should be submarines, and have pillows of bread and even be pocket-sized. It is curious to note that the book was first published in 176, almost 14 years after her death. Plath had two children of her own and she even wrote some of her poems about them. Chapman mentions that it was in the poems about her children that readers got to see the gentler and more joyous side to Plath (5). Many critics have said that Plath¡¯s work is vivid and displays every aspect of good poetry, along with a sense of disturbance that is balanced throughout the context. Eccentricity in Plath¡¯s work is shown a bit through ¡°Two Views of a Cadaver Room¡± from The Colossus, where she mentions ¡°snail-nosed babies in jars¡± (Plath 10), this is particularly interesting because in her novel, The Bell Jar, she also mentions about preserved babies in jars (Plath 51). In her poem ¡°The Colossus¡±, Sylvia Plath portrays her need or wants to put her father back together

Scaling little ladders with gluepots and pails of Lysol

I crawl like an ant in mourning

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Over the weedy acres of your brow

To mend the immense skull-plates and clear

The bald, white tumuli of your eyes. (11-15)

Through her choice of words and imagery, we see that she is absolutely minute in scale compared to her father. Plath shows herself crawling in the ruins of a huge statue (symbol of her dad) in hopes to repair it. It allows the readers to get a greater sense of how much Plath yearned for her father to come back and undo the injustice in which he had laid with the event of his death (Wagner-Martin 165). Plath labels the statue as an oracle, which is the source of wisdom she desperately needs, however can¡¯t understand (Wagner-Martin 166). It was twenty years after the death of Otto Plath, which Plath began to mourn for him. She was seeing her therapist for depression at the time and it was then in which she wrote what may be her most famous poem yet, ¡°Daddy¡±. In the poem she compares her father to a Nazi, a vampire and even a devil ¡°I thought every German was you/and the language obscene/an engine, an engine/chuffing me off like a Jew¡± and ¡°Panzer-man, panzer-man, O you/not god but a swastika/so black no sky could squeak through¡±. At the end of the poem, Plath ends with

There¡¯s a stake in your fat black heart

And the villagers never liked you.

They are dancing and stamping on you.

They always knew it was you.

Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I¡¯m through. (76-80)

In this shocking poem, Plath has showed her audience the true sense of anguish she felt about her father dying; she is also known to have seen her father¡¯s death as his ¡°desertion¡± from her (Chapman 11). Sylvia Plath was extremely good at putting her feelings into her work, although some of her poems that appear in Ariel, which may not have been meant to be seen, proves that Plath¡¯s emotions were real, thus incorporating it into her poetry would in no doubt welcome her poetic sympathized readers.

Sylvia Plath had a regular childhood; she was well cared for and loved. Plath loved visits to the ocean and was very observative (Wagner-Martin 16), perhaps that explains the detailedness in some of her work. Sylvia Plath¡¯s parents had good intentions for raising their daughter, however there is a mysterious wonderment to why Plath would later develop such an intriguing lifestyle. Perhaps it was because of Plath¡¯s mother, who was very good at making up stories to tell young Sylvia and her brother (Wagner-Martin 17) or maybe her dad, who¡¯s motto for raising his children was, as Wagner-Martin mentions ¡°to involve the children in his life, rather than becoming a part of their lives¡± (4). It is also said that Otto may have even treated Plath as a miniature wife (Wagner-Martin 4). Whether it was because of the parenting styles of her guardians, or Plath herself, it was definitely apparent that Plath was lacking some emotional attention. Wagner-Martin explains that Plath¡¯s mother confused the children by not showing any grief herself after the death of her husband, thus the children had no role model for their mourning, her mother went so far as to not let her children attend the funeral or the burial (8). One should question whether or not Plath¡¯s poetry about children or her work for children was to show her intentions of a truly happy childhood. By examining the fortunes and misfortunes of Sylvia Plath¡¯s childhood, it is evident that her experiences influence her writing about children. For example in her poem ¡°Balloons¡±, she seems to have mentioned her children playing with pink balloons

Your small



Brother is making

His balloon squeak like a cat.

Seeming to see

A funny pink world he might eat on the other side of it,

He bites,



Then sits

Back, fat jug

Contemplating a world as clear as water,

A red

Shred in his little fist. (0-0)

Here Plath shows the simplicity and beauty in how a child sees the world. Compared to some other poems, for example ¡°Edge¡±-which was thought to have been written during the planning of her suicide-has a much more calmer and whimsical touch to it. It is particular to note that in her poem, ¡°Edge¡±, she says that ¡°We have come so far, it is over.¡± however in reality it is just the beginning of her fame and legend. It is said that on the day of her suicide, Plath had left cups of milk beside her children¡¯s beds and had put tape around the doors along with stuffed towels underneath to protect the children from the gas (Chapman 41). She then went downstairs and turned on the oven and put her head in (Chapman 41). In her poem ¡°Edge¡±, it is as follows near the middle

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,

One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty.

She has folded (-1).

It shows in her poem that she has thought about the suicide prior to the event, she must have been in an extreme depressive state for a while in order to have thought about the suicide and actually have gone through with it as well. To many the poem is beautiful, yet psychotic. Holbrook mentions how Plath wanted to ¡®fold back¡¯ her children back into herself (71) and this is shown in the poem

She is folded

Them back into her body as petals

Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed

From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower. (1-16)

Holbrook suggests that it is giving sweetness, here implying that the rose closes on itself, as the garden (body) ¡°stiffens¡± and her children is folded back into her body (7). This poem is by far the most emotionally raw of Sylvia Plath¡¯s work.

Sylvia Plath was very dedicated to her work. Throughout her education as a student, she received a lot of straight-A¡¯s and always prioritized her work first. Chapman explains how when Plath married Hughes, she was willing to conform to society¡¯s expectations for a woman in the 150¡¯s, but only up to a certain point; she would not abandon her own goals and ambitions, which at that time of course was her writing (6). Plath was an intelligent writer, like many, she wrote about the things she cared the most about her emotional ups and downs, her love for her children and she even wrote politically (Wagner-Martin 11). Plath cared intensely about the arms race, nuclear power, and people¡¯s injustice to others (Wagner-Martin 11). Sylvia Plath did write about everything, thus making her a well-rounded writer. In her novel, The Bell Jar, Plath chooses the main narrator, Esther to be under going a ¡°rebirth¡±, having a clean start, which was at that time (spring of 161) to have been the goal of Plath herself (Wagner-Martin 187). In many aspects, the novel corresponds to Sylvia Plath¡¯s life, however Sylvia Plath has not said that it was about her, readers can see through some of the context that the main character in The Bell Jar and herself are fairly similar. It definitely seems to some degree that The Bell Jar was a story about Plath herself. Writers often write to leave a legend, or to cast down values and beliefs onto future generation readers, for Sylvia Plath, her sense of immortality really grew after her death. Sylvia Plath taught herself how to write brilliantly and it is through this kind of pure talent that readers seek freedom of expression and thought. The most intriguing subject matter that readers discover in Plath¡¯s work is her constant struggle with body and mind. Plath was an extremely intelligent person, however her actions do not speak in that manner. With her poetic words readers can see the progress and development of Plath as a person as well as a writer. For in the end, her struggle leads her to end her life, however she has surrendered her most intimate thoughts and processes for others to discover. Perhaps in hopes to help others understand better the state of existence or simply yet, to have a better understanding of herself.

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The Photographic Essay (Mitchell)

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“The text of the photo-essay typically discloses a certain reserve or modesty in its claim to “speak for” or interpret the images; like the photograph, it admits its inability to appropriate everything that was there to be taken and tries to let the photographs speak for themselves or “look back” at the viewer”(516). In being told to take a position on this very controversial issue, I didn’t know whether I agreed, disagreed, or both with W.J.T Mitchell’s claim that photographs not accompanied by text speak louder than photographs with text accompaniment. Many photographs are accompanied by text or some type of explanation as to what the photograph is about or the story behind it (e.g. museums and art exhibitions), because of this Mitchell’s claim would often be looked at as wrong and would arouse many controversial and argumentative questions. When you take a closer look and give deeper thought to the claim you will notice that it is very true and I totally agree with Mitchell. I think Mitchell’s claim can be best understood from James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. I agree with Mitchell in his views that photographs with no text allows for a deeper understanding of the photo, for you to link the text and image with your own understanding and that text limits the “reading” of the photograph.

An in-depth understanding of a photograph is the ability to look at what is there and to also look past what is there. What do you think the person in the photograph is going through? What does it represent? How can the photograph relate to you, your life and your experiences? I think that these are just a few questions that should be asked and answered when trying to “read” or gain an understanding of a photograph (your own understanding). Agee and Evans try to get this point across by not providing text with the images so your “reading” of the photograph will not be hindered by text that could and would influence your thought. As Mitchell states, “The photographs are completely separate, not only from Agee’s text, but from any of the most minimal textual features that conventionally accompany a photo-essay no captions, legends, dates, names, locations, or even numbers are provided to assist a “reading” of the photographs”(517). In not providing any of these things Evans and Agee make it hard to connect the photographs with the text “ it resists the straightforward collaboration of photo and text”(51). I think this resistance is needed and very essential when trying to fully “read” a photograph and understand it.

Personal associations are essential when trying to link photo and text. Because this collaboration is so difficult to achieve the only thing left to do is to try to link them by relating them to one’s self and life and also looking at the details of the photograph (e.g. facial expressions, clothing, etc.) and coming up with you own understanding or “reading” of them. As Mitchell states, “ The second is the intimate fellowship between the informal or personal essay, with its emphasis on a private “point of view”, memory, and autobiography, and photography’s mythic status as a kind of materialized memory trace imbedded in the context of personal associations and private “perspectives””(516). What Mitchell likes and what Agee and Evans focus is, is to try and achieve this “reading” without being invasive or intrusive. Many would probably argue that even in trying to let the pictures speak for themselves, the reader would become invasive and intrusive. Although this is true, Agee and Evans try to undercut surveillance by not providing text with the image, which would be totally invasive and intrusive for them to try and explain these people’s lives. Evans, Agee and Mitchell believe in no categorizing, pigeonholing, labeling, or judging. As Mitchell states, “what gives us the right to look upon her, as if we were God’s spies”(5). I think the resistance of Agee’s text and Evans images are meant to deliberately prevent easy collaboration, therefore the linking of image and text is extremely difficult but is not meant to be linked but to stand alone as separate “readings”.

What if we were looking at photos with text accompaniment? Would we then be able to fully “read” the photograph? No, the text would strongly influence our thought when trying to understand and relate to the photograph. Mitchell states that “ there is the root sense of the essay as a partial, incomplete “attempt”, an effort to get as much of the truth about something into its brief compass as the limits of space and writerly ingenuity will allow. Photographs, similarly, seem necessarily incomplete in their imposition of a frame that can never include everything that was there to be, as we say, “taken””(516). I really like that fact that in Agee and Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men they have the photographs in the front without context and when the reader or viewer finally does get to the words or text they are in “Book Two”, meaning the photos were “Book One” and they have already “read” them. I also like the fact that Agee and Evans allowed their photographic subjects to pose themselves. I think that photos with text accompaniment limits the “reading” of the photograph and also hinders the “reader’s” creativity and critical thinking process.

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In conclusion, “ The “taking” of human subjects by a photographer (or a writer) is a concrete social encounter, often between a damaged, victimized, and powerless individual and a relatively privileged observer, often acting as the “eye of power”, the agent of some social, political, or journalistic institution. The “use” of this person as instrumental subject matter in a code of photographic messages is exactly what links the political aim with the ethical, creating exchanges and resistances at the level of value that do not concern the photographer alone, but which reflect back on the writer’s (relatively invisible) relation to the subject as well and on the exchanges between writer and photographer”(515). There is a clear imbalance of power here and I agree with Mitchell because I believe that his theory or views on photographs and text tries to cut back on this imbalance of power.



Please note that this sample paper on The Photographic Essay (Mitchell) is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on The Photographic Essay (Mitchell), we are here to assist you. Your cheap custom college paper on The Photographic Essay (Mitchell) will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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