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Layla Quinones

Professor Tim Coogan

February 3, 2008

Homework 8

Document 1 (page 181)

1. Select one sentence that in your opinion best exemplifies Dickens’s talent for realism. Explain why.

“It contained several streets all very like one another, and the many small streets still more like one another, inhabited by people equally like one another, who all went in and out at the same hours, with the same sound upon the same pavements, to do the sme work, and to whom everyday was the same as yesterday, and every year the counterpart of the last… (175).

I believe that this quote best exemplifies Dickens’s talent for realism in a very vivid way. In this one sentence he is able to illustrate the lives of many factory workers during the Industrial Revolution and depicts the daily and yearly routines that they lived in. He gives the reader a sense of the robotic behaviors that factory workers had to adapt to in order to fit the stressful demands of the factory workplace. Also in this sentence, he gives the reader a sense of the dull and depressed lifestyles that this robotic repetition of daily cycles manifests. Without exaggeration by with realistic facts, he evokes the feelings of what life would be like to be a factory worker during this time. With this, he shows the epitome of realism which goal was to portray exactly and accurately the daily life of workers in this society.

2. What does A Doll’s House tell you about middle-class life in the nineteenth century?

The Doll House by Henrik Ibsen illustrates somewhat a conversation between husband and wife, whereas the wife is leaving the husband. This play depicts, more specifically, the life of a middle-class woman who has reached her limit with inequalities in society. She exemplifies the need to educate herself which therefore, leads her to declaring that if she were to change her life into a productive one, she would have to leave her current living situation. This situation shows how women, even in the middle class, were oppressed and not given rights to educate themselves, work and generally resulted in them toiling in the home all day. Nora, the woman in th play, protests just that and explains her need to observe the world and educate herself by her own observations and investigations, instead of trusting information about reality from her church and her husband. This play also shows the tension between husband and wife in a worl were men are the head of society and woman are expected to do certain things that oppress her feelings and her need to better herself in society. In essence, although middle class people were seen as relatively well-off during the Industrial Revolution, there were some oppression to women in society which created unhappy, uneducated, depressed and unhealthy mothers at home.

3. Do you agree with Nora’s decision?

I agree with Nora’s decision to leave her husband because, apparently after thinking it over for quite a while, she realized that the only way she would be able to be happy in life and understand her world was if she relived herself from the cycle of oppression she was enduring at home. Although leaving her children was quite extreme, she did realize that if she would stay with them, she would be tied to her “duty” to be a mother, which also was an oppression role in society. Lastly, Nora realized that she mustn’t care for what people think of her according to the values of society because it was those values that were causing her so much pain in her life. Instead of ending her life, she did the next best thing which was to search for enlightenment through education, knowledge and wisdom.

Document 2 (page 185)

1. How did Charles Darwin make use of Thomas Malthus’s theory of population growth?

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was based on the theory of population growth according to Malthus. Malthus declared that the population of a particular group of people and animals in general in a given environment, accelerates at a higher pace than environmental resources can accommodate. In essence, he identified that the natural resources of an ecosystem can seldom accommodate the numbers of organisms living in that ecosystem. He also went a step further with his theory and declared that, as a result of the unequal population and natural resource development, the organisms in an ecosystem must compete for food. This theory, along with his observations of animals in the Galapagos islands, Darwin concluded that as a result of this competition, those who are best adapted to the environment (best adaptive to acquire food and resources for survival), will survive. Thus Darwin’s theory of natural selection was formulated and stated that those who are most adaptive to the environment with be more likely to survive and therefore reproduce which, as a result, will carry down the favorable traits of the parents and create offspring that are more likely to survive than others. Darwin then went a step further and declared that, as a result of the animals with favorable traits acquiring food, those with unfavorable traits die out; in time, their species would diminish and a dominant species would surface.

2. How did Darwin account for the extinction of old species and the emergence of new ones?

Darwin concluded, with observations of various species of animals from the Galapagos Islands, that natural selection was the dictator of the extinction of old species and the emergence of new ones. He declared that due to the environment’s inability to accommodate the needs of all organisms, a competition of survival occurs. With this competition (survival of the fittest), animals with favorable traits (those able to aquire food more sufficiently than others due to physical characteristics) are more likely to survive and therefore reproduce. The offspring of these animals inherit the favorable traits of their parents and continuously pass traits down generation to generation, eventually creating a new species than those who have unfavorable traits. Those who cannot best adapt to the environment cannot acquire food as effectively and, as a result, eventually are outnumbered by the dominant group with favorable traits and cannot find food because those who can acquire food have eaten most of it for their survival; which leads to lower (primitive) group to extinction.

Lastly, Darwin used the empirical method, which functions with evidence and facts according to the direct observation of the world, in order to create theories or hypothesis. Through this, Darwin was able to collect data from various organisms, analyze, compare and contrast them to formulate his theory.

3. What did Darwin mean when he said that man “with his god-like intellect…still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin”?

By motioning this, Darwin was referring to the apparent evidence in the human organ and skeletal system that proves that humans have evolved from non-human organisms over a period of time. He addresses the belief at the time of how humans are the more sophisticated species out of all the animals in the world that have been created by God however, we contain these apparently non-human components that function as evidence of evolution. More specifically, he compared the body of a human being with many other organisms and identifies similarities that were too similar for us to be the “divine” species rather, he conclude that human beings are the products of years of evolution from lower (primitive) species

Document 3 (page 192)

1. What did Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels mean by the term class conflict? What historical examples of class conflict are provided?

Fredrick Engels and Karl Marx identified an aspect of society that everyone in the history of civilization has lived in: the social classes. They also identified that these social classes are divided based on conflicting economic interests, this lead to the identification of class conflict within society. He gives the historical example of the social order that was in place during feudalism. He explains how the feudal industry was “monopolized by closed guilds” while the laborers and serfs toiled the farms and land. This presented a difference in economic interests whereas the guild members and lords wanted to make money off the land and, the laborers and serfs were trying to make enough money to survive.

He also goes into the class conflicts between the newly dominant middle-class (bourgeoisie) and the working class (proletarian). He indicates that, at the expense of the exploited proletarian population, the bourgeoisie becomes wealthy and is able to live comfortable in the society. On the other hand the proletarians suffer from physical, economical, spiritual, educational, and social poverty; as well as exploitation, corporal punishment and terror in there factory workshops. Their interest is to earn enough wages so that they and their families can survive. These differences in economic interest lead to the conflicts between social classes that manifests due to inequalities. These inequalities lead the proletarians to feel that they are not part of agenda of society and therefore, they eventually form groups and unite decide to protest, riot or even overthrow it.

2. According to the Manifesto what role has the state played in class conflict?

According to the Manifesto the state was under the rule of politicians from the bourgeoisie class, who were wealthier than the proletarians. This was due to the laws that were in place regarding laissez faire and the condition that one must hold property in order to vote and hold office. This allowed for the politicians to pass laws that favored their class over the proletarians which were unequal and unjust. Therefore, the conflict between the bourgeois and the proletarians increases on a political level and therefore calls for the immediate overthrow of the “bourgeoisie government” in order to create laws that would also favor the proletarians. In essence, the state conditioned society for class conflict due to its laws and unequal representation of both classes. In addition, the Manifesto asserts the need for the centralization of production into the hands of the State after the overthrow of capitalism.

3. How does the Manifesto describe the condition of the working class under capitalism?

The Manifesto describes the horrendous conditions of the working class under capitalism. It illustrates the extensive daily laboring hours with bad conditions at the workplace. It also states that, due to the extensive hours and harsh treatment of workers, they are reduced in every way possible, in education, morals, skill, physically, spiritually and mentally. In addition, the Manifesto declares that due to capitalism, the demand for labor increased as did the amount of proletarians and as a result, the wages of the workers decreased leading to the increase in poverty. With the increase in unskilled workers, the wages also decreased, making the proletarians work for hardly anything and in harsh conditions because they could not find employment elsewhere.

4. According to the Manifesto why was capitalism doomed? What conditions would bring about the end of capitalism?

According to the Manifesto, communism was doomed because it was going to make the working class feel disregarded in society and therefore start uniting and creating some way to overthrow the system. The goal for these revolutionaries (communists) was to create a totally new society so that there would be no division of classes, no unjust laws that disregarded the working class, and the relief for the unacceptable conditions that they lived in. The way that the Manifesto asserts that capitalism was to overthrown was with the uniting of the proletarians who want a better life, and the overthrow and elimination of the bourgeois class, bourgeois property, and private ownership. In addition, all these conditions would overthrow capitalism because by eliminating the means to produce and the property in which products can be made, then capitalism cannot function any longer.

Instead, after overthrowing the government and the ruling bourgeois, then the communist intellectuals would be able to create a society that is “truly free.”

5. “The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.” What is meant by this statement? Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

According to the arguments given by the bourgeoisie about Marx and Eagles ideas to overthrow capitalism and the bourgeois class, the destruction of the bourgeois would also lead to the destruction of moral and religious truths and therefore the destruction of bourgeois culture as well as all culture. The Manifesto replies with the above statement and declares that the “culture” that is present is the product of the lifestyle of the ruling class. He declares that the culture does not fit into the ideals of the Communists because communism abolishes all truths, religion, and morality as been traditionally seen in history. Instead, the communist aspire to create a new culture that would be used on a new basis, abolishing classes, capitalism and the oppression of the proletarians.

6. Have Marx’s predictions proven accurate? Explain your answer.

I believe that Marx’s predictions were proven accurate to an extent. I do believe that with the increase in capitalism and the demand for products that the lives of the working class would have become harsher and more unacceptable than it already was. However, I do not believe that in any society a class system can be abolished or was abolished for that matter. In addition, I also do not believe that the communist government would be able to exercise equality within the society or “full freedom” for that matter because there is a backbone or workers as well as organizations that hold up the economy. As a result the workers of these organizations, because they do not necessarily manage the organization, would get less pay than there superiors and hence, a class system.

Document 4 (page 195)

1. Why did L.T. Hobbhouse believe that state intervention was needed to create “a good social order”?

Hobhouse believed that the state should be in charge of the economy so that the state would be able to ensure that the working class receives living wages and the opportunity to care for themselves and their family. According to him, it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that the workers are able to live in a just society were they do not live severely impoverished. In addition he asserts that it is not the fault of a man that society shapes his way of life into a bad one, it is in fact the responsibility of the government to ensure that he does not live as so.

2. What was Herbert Spencer’s answer to the argument that government legislation is necessary to relieve human misery? Has history proven him correct?

Spencer’s answer to the government legislation need to relive human misery was that any form of relief would “substitute one kind of evil for another”(194). He also asserts that it is in human nature to have inequalities and that putting the power of economic affairs in the government’s hands would only allow them to abuse their power. This therefore would lead the people to be controlled by the state rather than by them.

3. What did Spencer mean by the dictum “All socialism involves slavery”?

He meant that as a result of putting the control over the economy in the government’s hands, the people would be at the mercy of the government’s decisions and therefore form a sort of master/slave, superior/inferior relationship. This would only lead to the oppression of the people once again. He also asserts that the government would make laws and other enforcements against the people and regulating the people’s behavior according to their interests.

4. According to Spencer, what was true liberalism? Compare his conception of liberalism with that of Hobhouse.

According to Spencer, true liberalism’s goal was to restrict and limit the power of central authority (kings) and any authority for that matter, and returning power to the people. In comparison to Hobhouse’s opinion on government, he believed that individual people could not regulate the economy because they would always follow their own individual interest. This therefore would oppress a group within the population leading the only responsible order to control the economy to be the government who can regulate things equally.

Document 1 (page 201)

1. How do you explain the failure of the British government to deal with the potatoe famine?

In my opinion, there is no excuse for why the British government did not deal with helping the starving Irishmen during the potatoes famine. They disregarded the Irish people who had gardens as low people who didn’t have the right to have food unless they made it themselves. They had no regards for natural disaster, such as drought, that might deem the land inadequate for planting potatoes. In addition, I feel that the government felt that it was not their people who were struggling and, that it was the responsibility of the landlords to make sure that their land was adequate for planting. Lastly, in the best case possible, I do belive that in some sort of way, the government did not have the means or the finances to aid the thousands of Irishmen starving because if the potato famine.

2. Apart form the British government, who else should bear responsibility for the lack of adequate relief?

I believe that the landlords also are at fault for the inadequate relief effort to help the starving Irishmen. Instead of helping them, they evicted them because they had no money to pay for the rent due to the famine. Consequently, families who were evicted faced enormous dangers and starvation because there was no other alternative for them to tern to for relief. I also believe that it was general publish of England who did not help these people enough, they did not care for them and the British people figured that they would survive at the expense of these poor and helpless Irish families.

Document 4 (page 227)

1. In John Stuart Mill’s view, what was the ultimate origin of the subjugation of women?

According to John Stuart Mill, the subjugation of women ultimately originated from the sexual attractiveness of men to women. With this, men has traditionally taken the role of a subordinate figure in a marriage and therefore demanded their wives to take upon the subordinate position. He states that “All women are brought up from the very earliest years in the belief that their ideal of character is the very opposite to that of men; not self-will, and government by self-control, but submission, and yielding to the control of others” (218). Due to their definition of sexual attractiveness, Mill declares, is how the traditional view of women inferiority had allowed for men to condition women with all the inequalities that they faced in society.

2. According to Mill, what character qualities did men seek to instill in women? Why, according to Mill’s argument, should women have the right to participate in the politics and public affairs on equal terms with men?

Mill asserts that the male sex traditionally has sought to instill subordinate, inferior and dependant qualities in women so that they would be somewhat inferior to men. He identifies that men have traditionally looked to instill meekness, submissiveness, resignation, and the “proper” role of women to be in charge of the domestic activities as well as child care. This, he declares, is the reason for the social and political inequalities that women are faced with because it was a condition in society that allowed women to maintain their subordination to preserve male dominance.

With this, Mill also declares that since the inferiority of women is a condition put upon them by men, they are just as capable as men to participate in politics and public affairs on equal terms as men. He points out that the society they live in had been made to condition those who were most qualified to take part in political and public affairs. Therefore, if women where allowed to prove themselves equally intellectually and responsibly qualified as the men, and have the means of obtaining that qualification (equal education), then there should be nothing to stop them from doing so. In addition, Mill also states that women are a part of society as much as men are therefore; they should be able to have a voice and representation in the government.

3. Why did Emmeline Pankhurst think that violence was justified in fighting for women’s rights?

According to Emmeline Pankhurst, history has shown that it was not until violence had occurred that people had achieved in getting rights in society. She gives the example of the Reform Bill of 1832 which gave rights to the middle class, was not achieved until part of the city was destroyed due to arson. She also uses the passing of the Reform Act of 1867 that gave the working class the right to vote, was not until the workers conducted mass riots. She concludes that the necessity for violence is only after people have tried all other available means and have had no compromise for the government. She also asserts that in order for the government to make a decision in favor of the people who are fighting for rights, that they must be in fear of them they might conduct riots that would destroy the society. Ultimately, Pankhurst believes that women should abandon their quiet, patient and peaceful state of oppression and must revolt to maintain their self-respect and gain rights as citizens.

4. Why, according to her, did men, who valued their citizenship as their dearest possession, feel it was ridiculous to grant it to women?

According to Pankhurst, men felt that women should not have equal rights to them because they felt that women were not human as they were. She describes that some men think women are super human, who should be put on pedestals because they are too fine and too delicate to take part in the “hurly-burly” of life. On the other hand she also describes how some men view women as sub-human, thinking they are a strange species who exists for the continuation of the human race. Consequently, these views allowed for women to be treated unequal to men and therefore, allow them to suffering an unequally society.

5. What were the “laws that enslave women” in France, according to Hubertine Auclert?

According to Hubertine Auclert the “laws that enslave women” are that they are not viewed as citizens, do not have the right to vote, do not have any legal recognition and they do not have the right to represent other women in politics. In this, she explains that women have no voice in society and is subject to them male dominant laws and male dominance in general, which oppress them. These laws also gove women the role to be “domestic servants” and therefore are enslaved by these laws because they are not free to have a voice in society.

6. What did Auclert mean by “the political emancipation of women”? What did she expect would result from this emancipation?

Auclert asserted for the political emancipation of women, which was to give women the right to vote so that they may have influence in the laws that are passed and the people who represent them. She believed that with the political emancipation of women, they would get the power to make laws, to get an education, to take part in public affairs, and therefore ultimately change her role in society. She also asserted that when women free themselves from “male tyranny,” she would be able to work for herself, raise her children for herself and therefore, all her efforts would also contribute to the betterment of society.

7. In what ways did the Goncourt brothers consider women inferior?

For the record, the Goncourt brother’s assertion on the inferiority of women is extremely prejudiced, incorrect and ignorant. They claim that women are evil and stupid unless they are educated and that they are biologically inferior to men. They identify women as animals whose role in life is to reproduce and serve the male sex so that men can live their lives in a comfortable state. Ultimately, they assert that the purpose for women to exist is to complement the men who are superior to them.

8. Why did Sir Almroth Write think that women voters would be pernicious to the state?

Write asserts that if females get the right to vote, it would destroy the state and the society. This would be because if females get the right to vote, the miliarty poer (force) of the state would be looked down upon by other states, viewing the contribution of women in political affairs as a weakness. Secondly, women lack the physical strength to protect the country from friend invasion and attack, therefore manifesting another weakness for the state. Thirdly, he states that women are naturally emotional and all their decisions would be based of emotion rather than reason, which would present an extra weakness due to poor impulse control. Lastly, if women were to be viewed as the “peers” of man in education, profession, etc, it would undermined the power of authority (men) and it would present sexual tension in universities as well as the work place that would hinder the intellectual development of the individual. Thus, women being at the same level as men would weaken then, proposing a weakness for the state that presents harm to everyone.

9. In Wright’s view, how were feminist reforms disadvantageous to women?

According to Wright, the feminist’s movement was disadvantageous to women because the goal of women to have rights comes directly out of a sexual issue. He also asserts that women in the society have the right to work however, when they do not work, they are supported by men. These men look after them financially and make sure that their children are living in a reasonable matter. If women would have the right to vote and to be equal to men, this “luxury” of being financially supported would diminish therefore giving women more work and causing the further suffrage. In addition, if professions were also open to women it would cause many men to not have jobs and therefore cause many families to struggle causing a social disaster.

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