Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Latino Immigration

Pro-Immigration
Latino Progresando is based in Chicago, it was established in 1998 and led by Luis Gutierrez, the son of Mexican immigrants. The website is a pro-immigration organisation and shows that it is a volunteer based team which helps reach out to thousands of families each year.
Their mission is to serve immigrants with legal services, ‘community education and engagement, and advocacy/organizing around policy that affects immigrants.’ By doing this, they hope to improve the quality of living for the Latino immigrants and help build a stable community. 
The website offers a variety of information. It provides a list of ‘Immigration Legal Services’ which they have developed in order to help immigrants, such as ‘Family Services’ and ‘Legal Education’. Although payment is required for these consultations and other legal advice, they lower prices making it affordable for immigrants. This being said, only immigrants with the money can get the services provided, which suggests that Latino Progresando does not cater to all immigrants.
The website also contains a particular section called ‘Mex Blog’, which has posts on a category of things, a few examples being business, education and immigration. Each section is a type of article which discusses the subject matter, from different people.
Overall the website is very effective. Aside from the money factor, the website it is clear that it is pro-immigration, and will continue to help immigrants for a long time.

Anti-Immigration
As soon as you click on the link to the website, the opening page makes it very clear that VDARE is a website which is anti-immigration. Claiming they knew Donald Trump would run for president before he did, they make it evident that they support his campaign. 
Similar to Latino Progresando, VDARE also asks for donations, to help run the website. In addition to this people can subscribe to the VDARE website, however depending on the type of subscription package the price varies ranging from free to over $5000. This website seems very money oriented, unlike the pro-immigration website. In addition to this, VDARE does not provide any information on what they do or how they started. The lack of information could indicate that the creators wanted to remain anonymous. The reason behind this anonymity could be the realisation for the creators that the website is offensive and socially unacceptable, with its radical views and content.
Overall, this website seems more closed off and unwelcoming in a way, compared to Latino Progresando. With the lack of information, combined with the explicit content this website has a strong advocacy towards anti-immigration.

Pro-Immigration and Anti-Immigration


This website portrays immigration as economically and culturally beneficial for the nation of America. One of the goals of this website is to educate American citizens about the benefits of immigration. The website does this by providing information on immigration and how a supply of immigrants can help solve work shortages in certain regions and industries of America, therefore improving the economy all together. It shows a variety of worker shortages ranging from agricultural and labour intensive work to white collar shortages. The website also has a section where the latest immigration news is available. It is objective as there are negative stories surrounding immigration such as the amount of illegal immigrants there could potentially be and there are also positives of immigration which are mainly economic. Another aim of this website is to encourage individuals to explain the websites views to people they know in order to gain support from a number of communities.

Anti-Immigration - http://www.alipac.us/


When you visit this website one of the first things you notice is a banner that highlights the main aim and attitude of the site. It says ‘We hope you will join our fight AGAINST the costly and deadly illegal immigration & illegal immigrant invasion of America’. It seems that this is trying to create some sort of panic as it suggests that immigrants are ‘invading’ America. This website offers the public to have their say on a number of issues on an online forum, it allows for debates even though the website leans towards anti-immigration. There is a four point platform which shows the steps that this website feels is needed to help create a more secure America. ‘1. Secure Our Borders. 2. Crack down on employers that intentionally hire illegals. 3. Remove incentives and rewards to illegals such as licenses, welfare, and other taxpayer benefits. 4. Enforce our existing laws and deport illegal aliens when convicted of crimes or detected during routine law enforcement activities.'  

Pro and Anti Latino Immigration

Bad - https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/immigration-reform

I have selected this website as it essentially contains the manifesto for Donald Trump's election campaign. Some of the quotes are staggering; "A nation without border is not a nation" is one that jumps out immediately, it goes on to discuss the proposed wall that Trump wishes to build. It shows that Trump wishes to stop immigration from Mexico illegally. Though it means that the wall would act as an mental barrier for anyone wanting to try to become a US citizen. Becoming a US citizen would be made harder in any case if you were a Latino trying to move to the US.

Another quote; "The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans – including immigrants themselves and their children – to earn a middle class wage"- This shows me that Trump is arguing that immigration is causing US citizens to find it more difficult finding a job. This is something that I find very similar to the UK, the same argument, which was one of the key arguments made by Nigel Farage when he ran for PM last year. It is an argument that is flawed as there is no evidence that foreign workers are keeping salaries low, or unemployment high. Raising salaries is proven to be a detriment to any economy in any case.

Good - https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/immigration-reform/

I have selected two opposing politicians who are both likely to win their nomination from their respective parties, the two both share opposing opinions on immigration. Clinton wants to; "Enact comprehensive immigration reform to create a pathway to citizenship, keep families together, and enable millions of workers to come out of the shadows". This is a very different view to Trump. Clinton wants to essentially let more migrate legally to the US. They both discuss illegal immigration  but Clinton is not as harsh as Trump, there is no wall in her manifesto.

Another quote from her manifesto; "End the 3- and 10-year bars. Current immigration law forces families—especially those whose members have different citizenship or immigration statuses—into a heartbreaking dilemma: pursue a green card by leaving the country and your loved ones behind, or remain in the shadows. Hillary will call on Congress to repeal the 3- and 10-year bars to keep families together". This is something that again would not be found in Trump's manifesto as it is something that is encouraging immigrants staying in the US. Something that has been mentioned by Clinton repeatedly is this notion that those who become US citizens will stay US citizens permanently. Whereas Trump will make it very difficult for immigrants to even become US citizens at all, which means the ending of the 3- and 10- year bars is something that won't even come into his mind.

Pro and anti websites dealing with contemporary US border issues

Pro- https://www.numbersusa.com/about

NumbersUSA Education and Research Foundation work towards achieving lower immigration levels as to ensure that all Americans enjoy being a citizen and to keep numerical levels of immigration down. They state that the key factor in immigration policy is choosing the right number of authorised immigrants for future years. They do reinforce that they do not wish to put across a negative light on the already legal immigrants in the US. In fact, the entire website is not negative on immigrants at all.

Although they are a pro border control website, they do not come across as racist and they always state that they only want what is best for America and its citizens. They even state that they are 'pro-immigrant' and that all Americans should be treated equally, regardless of where they are born. The group believe there should be numerical limits on immigration but but that immigration should not be stopped. They wish to minimise illegal immigration and to encourage more visitors to feel welcome when coming to America.

Anti- https://www.splcenter.org/issues

This next website is a tad more general but is firmly against any form of bigotry and hatred towards ethnic minorities, such as immigrants. There is a section called immigrant justice which states that the company are working towards ensuring the safety of all immigrants and their children. They bring up some very controversial issues, such as how most immigrants will perform the most dangerous and low paid jobs in the US and that these immigrants need to be protected from the harshness of the country.

The website attacks politicians and other forms of media by stating that they do not help the image of the immigrants. They promote the belief that they are the cause for the nations financial and economic state, which is not true. The website and group work towards ensuring that all immigrants are respected and that their basic human rights are not exploited.

The website is not openly against stronger border control measures but does take into account how immigrants are victimised and exploited due to the attitude of many Americans towards them, many immigrants are considered second class citizens. The website takes into account that more and more legal and illegal immigrants will come into the country but that they should be treated with respect and be give chance to become full American citizens.

Pro and anti immigration

Pro Immigration Website
This website it outlining the arguments for immigration to the USA. It goes on to describe the benefits that immigrants would bring to the country, some of these include economic benefits as immigrants are willing to do the jobs Americans do not want to do and are prepared to do these jobs for low wages. Immigration also helps to bring cultural diversity, for example many of the well known and well loved food chains are foods from other countries and the American people would not have been introduced to these beloved brands had it not been for immigration.

The common argument against immigration is that immigrants are taking the jobs for Americans and many of the immigrants bring crime and fear to the country. This website tries to counter these arguments by discussing how immigrants do jobs that 'natives' won't do. The website also tries to read the stereotype that all immigrants are criminals, giving a a range of statistics helping to persuade the reader that crime rates from immigrants, especially those from Mexico and other Latino countries, are not as high as the American media implies.

Anti Immigration Website
This website is a striking contrast to that of the pro website. Whereas the pervious website gave facts and statistics for immigration, this one gives fact against it, such as Immigration has been outpacing job growth in the U.S. for decades and is a contributing factor to unemployment, wage erosion, and declining labor force participation. This is one of the main arguments for anti immigration and this website goes on to discuss many other arguments. 

Unlike the pro immigration website, this one has a page for visitors to donate and 'take action' against immigration highlighting how strongly many people feel about the issue of immigration. This site also uses very persuasive and thought provoking language to force the reader to think about whether immigration will be benefit the USA.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Maria Mitchell and The American Revolution

Maria Mitchell (1818-89)
Maria Mitchell was born in 1818, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and is famous for becoming America’s first professional female astronomer, among other achievements.
Mitchell came from a family of Quakers who believed in ‘education and offering the same equality to men and women.’ From a young age she was taught along with her other sibling by her father, who built a school. However, outside of school, Mitchell showed an interest in the ‘heavens’, this fascination was further developed, as her father began to teach her about space. As time passes Mitchell grew a fondness for teaching and at the age of 17 she opened up her own school, however after a year it closed, as she took a job at the library in order to study and read more.
At the age of 29 (in 1847), Mitchell discovered a comet, this discovery made her the first American to do so. This paved her way to become, the first elected women of the American Academy of Arts and Science, the following year. Thus, leading her to become part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Mitchell’s achievements held a huge impact of women around the America. During the Nineteenth Century, women began to seek the same learning and training opportunities as men. In order to help these women gain an education, dozens of colleges open for women by The Seven Sister’s, many got to learn.

However, not only did Mitchell help to educate these girls, she paved the way for women across America and even the globe, to achieve what was considered unachievable for women. In doing so, she not only helped alongside many other American national figures to educate women and show that education is not male oriented, but also that for a female, being a housewife is not the only option. Making it possible for women to eventually get the same education as men.

1782, A woman delivering equipment at a fort
The American Revolution (1775-83) saw that women’s role in society could be used as a weapon against enemy forces. During the Revolutionary War many housewives were recruited as spies, to apply their ‘conventional’ gender-roles and gain knowledge on the enemy, helping the soldiers who were at war gain the upper hand. The women were enlisted as ‘cooks and maids’, giving them an ‘unrestricted access to soldiers’ campsites’, they would retain the guise of ‘domestic normalcy’ in order to eavesdrop on the troops, in order to gain information on, ‘troop movement, leadership changes, and equipment shortages and deliveries’, without the soldiers knowledge. These women took on a role which would mostly be associated with males, as it was a courageous thing, demonstrating that women are as useful and as brave as men. This meant, these women were willing to risk everything in order to win the war, they could have ‘[lost] their home, [been] arrested and imprisoned, or even killed’, despite these factors they used the expectations society oppressed onto them, in order to break them. The women spies played a vital part in the war by supplying the information, thus empowering women.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Formation of The National Woman's Party and Margaret Sanger

That National Woman’s Party was formed in 1916 and was an outgrowth of the Congressional Union which was formed in 1913 by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns to fight form the equality of women in the form of the 19th amendment. Alice Paul leaded the Party and learned many of her strategies from the suffragettes in Britain who used violence to gain publicity. Her aim was to shame the president Woodrow Wilson in to supporting their cause. During World War 1 the NWP still kept their attention on their goal unlike the British suffragettes who focussed their attention on the war effort. Their argument was that it was hypocritical to fight a war for democracy in Europe while denying the nations benefits to half of the population. The protesters were accused of ignoring the war and attracting anti-war elements, the protesters in return chained themselves to the gates outside the White House and went on hunger strike in order to gain publicity. As a result of these protests authorities were abusive to the protesters and this then allowed the gain of even more support. Eventually Wilson came out in favour of the amendment and it passed the White House but not the senate. In 1918 the NWP help replace anti-suffrage senators the amendment was ratified in 1920. The NWP were instrumental in giving women the right to vote and therefore bringing women a step closer to equality.     


Margaret Sanger was born on the 14th September 1879 in New York. She founded the birth control movement at the beginning of the 20th century. She lobbied for the repeal of the Comstock laws which banned contraceptive medication and also information about contraception in the mail. As a result she distributed contraceptives despite the law. When Sanger was 19 her mother died of tuberculosis, Anne Higgins had 11 children and had seven miscarriages, Sanger believed that her mother’s pregnancies had weakened her immune system. Sanger became a nurse in New York on the impoverished lower East side, many of her patients were women suffering from botched abortions and repeated pregnancies, which shows another motive for her role in the birth control movement. Sanger eventually created a birth control clinic which she was later arrested for, creating these clinics allowed for women to improve their situation in terms of health and also financially as there were less children to be economically responsible for. The birth control movement allowed women a sense of liberal freedom and eventually in 1960 the Food and Drug administration approved the usage of an oral contraceptive pill which was named the ‘magic pill’. Birth control gave women a certain sexual freedom and allowed for a growing independence. 

Virginia Hall and Grace Murray Hopper

Virginia Hall was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1906 and she attended schools in France, Germnay and Austria. In 1931 she became Consular Service Clerk at the American Embassy in Warsaw and this helped her to further her career in foreign services. However, she sustained an injury meaning the loss of her lower leg which impacted her her plans for a diplomatic career, leading her to resign from this post in 1939.

She joined the ambulance service in France during WW2 and after evacuating to London from Vichy territory, she began volunteering for Britains Special Operations Executive, but this did mean that was sent back to Vichy territory in 1941 where she helped to coordinate the French underground. On her return to London in1943, she was given an MBE.

By 1944, she joined the US Office of Strategic Servies and she requested to be assigned to occupied France, this was allowed but her artificial leg prevented her from parachuting into France. Here, she helped to train a number of battalions on Guerilla Warfare against German troops.

In 1945 she was given the distinguished Service across, the only award given to civilian during WW2. After this, she joined the CIA in 1951 and worked as an analyst, retiring g in 1966 to spend time with her husband. She died in Washington DC July 1982.

She became a pillar of inspiration to American women, helping them to believe that they could become successful and although having a relationship would make them happy, a man was not essential to their success.

Grace Murray Hopper was born in NYC in 1906 and attended Vassar college with a degree in maths and later a PhD in maths from Yale.

In 1944 she as commissions as a lieutenant and was assigned to the Bureau of Ordance Computation Project at Harvard, producing the early prototype of the electronic computer. She became a research fellow at Harvard in 1949 and continued her work with computer technology, inventing the first computer compiler, whilst lecturing on computers. She predicted that computers in the future will be small enough to fit on desks.

Throughout her life she gained many ranks in the US Naval forces, reaching the rank of Rear Admiral in 1985 and the ship the US Hopper was named in her honour and she was buried with full Naval honours.

She demonstrated that women of the time could be very academic and could gain degrees if they wanted. She would have shown women that there was more to life for a woman that being a house wife and showed that it was possible to gain status with put the help of a male figure.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Anna Dickinson and Roe v. Wade

Anna Dickinson 1842-1932: Anna Dickinson


Anna was born into a Quaker family and her father was an active abolitionist and in fact died after giving a passionate speech against slavery when Anna was only two years old. She helped support her family from the age of 15 and in 1861, became one of the federal government's first female employees when she got a job at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. She became an activist at a very young age and was friendly with influential feminist thinkers, such as Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony. Under Mott's leadership, Dickinson gave her first major speech in 1861, "The Rights and Wrongs of Women". Over eight hundred tickets were sold thus begun Dickinson's career and fame.

Dickinson lost her job at the Mint when she publicly criticised Union strategy, and then Mott arranged a lecture tour for Dickinson, who was 19 at the time, that was sponsored by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. Her reputation grew so quickly that more than 5,000 people crowded New York’s Cooper Institute for her first appearance in that city. As the Civil War worsened, the new Republican Party hired her to deliver the pro-Union message to audiences that were not especially supportive of the war.  Some Pennsylvania coal miners who objected to the draft literally took shots at Dickinson, but she converted many to the abolitionist cause. Averaging a speech every other day, she earned as much as twenty thousand dollars annually – an amazing amount for that era.

She reached the high point of her career in 1864, when Republican leaders in Congress invited her to speak.  She was the first woman thus honored, and in addition to the president, other military and civilian leaders packed the House floor and its gallery.  At a time when many people still considered it taboo for a woman to speak in public, this was an amazing achievement.  It was particularly remarkable for such a young woman to capture the attention of well-informed and busy congressmen.

Unfortunately, Anna's fame and influence died down after this period. She showed such signs of paranoia that she was involuntarily committed to a Pennsylvania hospital for the insane.  She filed lawsuits upon her release, was adjudicated sane, and recovered damages from newspapers – but the experience shook her self-confidence and ended her career. I believe she is an extremely influential figure to the improvement of American women's status' and has showed that women can accomplish amazing things during oppressive and troubles times.



Roe v. Wade- January 22nd 1973: Roe v. WadeThe Roe v. Wade case saw the Supreme Court decision that overturned a Texas interpretation of the abortion law and making abortion legal in the United States. This decision enabled women to have full control over her body when making decisions about her body and gave her privacy with her doctor to discuss these matters.

According to Roe V. Wade, different rules at different stages of pregnancy were considered appropriate. In the first trimester, the state (any government) could treat abortion only as a medical decision, leaving medical judgment to the woman's physician. In the second trimester (before viability), the state's interest was seen as legitimate when it was protecting the health of the mother. After viability of the fetus (likely ability of the fetus able to survive outside and separated from the uterus), the potential of human life could be considered legitimate state interest, and the state could choose to "regulate, or even proscribe abortion" as long as the life and health of the mother was protected".


The name "Jane Roe" was used for Norma McCorvey, on whose behalf the suit was originally filed, alleging that the abortion law in Texas violated her constitutional rights and the rights of other women. The defendant was the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas, Henry B. Wade.The Supreme Court chose to base its decision on the Fourteenth Amendment, which granted citizenship to "all persons born or naturalised in the United States". This included recently freed slaves at the time when the amendment was ratified in 1868. 
Roe v. Wade was decided primarily on the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Due Process clause acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the Government outside the sanction of law.  A criminal statute that did not take into account the stage of pregnancy or other interests than the life of the mother was deemed a violation of Due Process.

This decision was a huge milestone on improving the status of women in America as it allowed all women to have control over their bodies and enabled them to make decisions on abortions that were safe. They were also not judged by their doctors and were given absolute privacy when discussing these matters with their doctors. The practice of illegal and unsafe abortions decreased resulting in less infections and deaths of women that were completely unnecessary.


Sunday, 20 March 2016

WW2 and Amelia Earhart

My first example of an event that has improved the status of woman was World War 2 itself. Women were the main reason the United States were so militarily powerful during the War. Mainly in the armaments industry, due to the fact the majority of men were fighting on either the Western Front or in the Pacific due to the draft during the war that meant men were forced to sign up for the Army/Navy/Air Force. The reason the United States were able to have the munitions to fight the war was due to the fact women were in factories producing the materials for war. America, just after Germany were the next technologically powerful nation in the War and that was down to the work the women were doing during war. As a result of this, more women were now working, providing for their families. This put women higher up on the social rankings.

My second example is a person. Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an aircraft. Not only did she do this, she also wrote books on her experiences as a pilot before her disappearance in the Pacific Ocean while trying to circumnavigate the globe in 1941. Her exploits have gone onto inspire women all around the world to move into the aviation industry. Culminating in the first all female pilot crew flown by Royal Brunei Airlines to Saudi Arabia no less, a country where women are not even allowed to drive. This has been done as a result of the work done by Earhart who was a visionary during her life, inspiring people that the sky is not just for males. The US Air Force is having more women in the ranks as pilots as well as engineers, the level of women in the air industry has grown a huge amount, women aren't just the cabin crew anymore, they are flying the plane itself.  

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Empire



Empire (2015- )
Empire, a drama TV series about the music industry and an African American man who makes it big. It may be seen as a show where African Americans have achieved the American Dream, in terms of money and fame, but underneath the wealth and celebrity status, it portrays this African American family in a stereotypical role which has been associated with the ‘Blacks’ by the ‘non-Black’ people for generations.

The show has millions of viewers, however by portraying the main cast as drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes etc. it dramatizes and demonstrates the harsher more dysfunctional side associated with African American life. Thus leaving others to view African Americans in a bad way and as a nuisance of society.

The show clearly highlights many stereotypical roles which are unfortunately associated with African Americans, rather than eliminating these stereotypes, the producers of the show use them as a tool to gain more viewers, rather than realising that the portrayal of African Americans in the show is discrediting.


Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is a 28-year-old hip hop artist from Compton, CA that has risen to the become one of the most prominent figures in the contemporary rap game. His latest full length project, ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’, incorporates many issues that himself and the wider black community face in American society. In the record, ‘The Blacker the Berry’, Lamar speaks of the deep rooted racism that lingers from the eras of slavery and reconstruction and his apparent issues with the notion of assimilation.

The opening of the record says, ‘Some white some black, I aint mean black. I want everything black’. This certainly alludes to Kendrick’s dissatisfaction with the idea of assimilation. It appears that he sees the notion of a diverse society of whites and blacks as problematic. Similar to the ideology of Marcus Garvey (whom he later mentions) and Malcolm X.

The final verse of the record presents similar issues. (It should be noted that Kendrick’s delivery becomes more aggressive and emotive in this verse.)

The lyric, ‘This plot is bigger than me, it's generational hatred. It's genocism, it's grimy, little justification. I'm African-American, I'm African.’ highlights Kendrick’s identification as an ‘African’ and speaks to the notion of separatism that Malcolm X alluded to, especially later in his life. Malcolm X became keen to re align the African heritage of African Americans. He felt that the abandonment of tribal names and languages from the colored (not just black) mans culture should be re-kindled in a land exclusive to colored men and women. Kendrick alludes to this belief in this lyric and suggests that all African Americans are affected by the residual prejudice and racial hatred of slavery and reconstruction via a ‘generational hatred’.


I think its interesting here how Kendrick links his work to aspects of the black power movement of the 60’s and 70’s and then contrasts that with more contemporary perceived avenues of black success, ‘Michael Jordan endorsements’. This emphasizes the notion of the ‘trap’ society that many African American rappers talk about in their work and how assimilation still might only offer success/celebrity to African Americans via the sport and entertainment industries. 

Hairspray

I have chosen the film 'Hairspray' to highlight African American segregation in modern film. Although this film is based one things that happened previously in the 60s, I think it still is a very important piece of media representing African Americans at the time.

This film, as well as including light comic relief, clearly highlights the difficulties the African American community faced in a way that is relatable to the modern day audience. It helps to illustrate  the struggles of segregation in both schools and television during the Civil Rights Movement and how many African Americans overcame these struggles.

Throughout the film we also see varying points of view towards African Americans, with many of the younger generation accepting and respecting the African American community. Perhaps the most racist character in the film in Penny's mother who despises Seaweed for having a romantic relationship with her daughter, she then goes to extreme lengths to prevent Pemny from seeing him. These actions were probably not uncommon for many of an older generation who believed black people should not go anywhere near their white children.

I think this film is a perfect portrayal of segregation in American during the 60s and what those partaking in the Civil Rights Movement were trying to achieve. I also think that it was important for this film tone released in 2007 as it shows a modern audience the struggles faced by African Americans.

The Root

http://www.theroot.com/index.html?wpisrc=logo
The Root is a website that provides a voice for African American influencers and represents different aspects of their culture, it also portrays opinions around contemporary issues such as police brutality and the shootings that are occurring. The Root is the ‘number one black news site’, there is also a newsletter that viewers interested in current affairs can sign up for. There is a variety of information available on this website ranging from the history of African Americans to political issues that surround America today. The Root does highlight that there are some inequalities in terms of race such as the shooting of unarmed teens but it also shows that there are issues surrounding class and gender. African American culture is being promoted through videos being posted of black musicians, there are also advertisements of certain programmes on television that relate to African American heritage.    


The Root is a website that assimilates the African American population with American society as it doesn’t just show issues with African Americans in the news, it shows diverse issues that are facing America. There are also political articles that represent the whole of America, this website does not separate itself from the whole of society. They are actually offering an internship to anyone interesting in becoming part of this website. However the majority of the articles do relate to African Americans only such as the history section. There are sections and stories that are about certain celebrities such as Kerry Washington which allows for a wider audience. The Root allows people to learn about African American culture and heritage and also educates people on the issues facing black America today. There are also contact details that allow for any individuals that are being affected by issues such as racism and encourages these people to make contact. It shows the problems that are facing not only black Americans but the whole country. 

A Good Black Man Incorporated

A Good Black Man

Their mission:

"A Good Black Man, Incorporated is a non-profit organization whose ongoing mission is to enhance the life options for African American males and to provide a global forum to dispel the myths that demonize them. The three-fold vision of the members and volunteer board of directors of A Good Black Man, Inc is empowerment, education and community service. We seek to contribute to the empowerment of African American males through our annual Legacy of Excellence Initiatives.

We work towards the enrichment of African American male youth (specifically, those between the ages of 11-14 years) with educational initiatives designed to strengthening their self-confidence by replacing negative images with positive ones, thus helping to reverse the process of self-hatred. Through outreach and partnership with like-minded organizations, A Good Black Man, Inc. can fulfill its commitment to answering the call by assisting with servicing communities in need."

I came across this site by searching the for the best African American websites and this came up http://www.dcwatch.com/iilist/100best.htm. It listed a variety of different websites all under specific categories, such as culture and education. A Good Black Man caught my eye as I noticed it only focused on African American men and young boys. On viewing the website for the first time, I realised that it was possible to become a member of this online organisation as well as make donations and help support them to achieve their mission. 

It lists their Board of Directors and funnily enough the individual that set up this organisation was, in fact, a woman. Her name is Dr. Anne Browne and she firmly believes that the African American male youth are extremely overlooked and should be given more opportunities and attention to hopefully become better and successful citizens of America. She also created this movement as to promote black identity in young African American males as she feels this section of the African American community are not proud to be black. Going back to the lecture last week, Juliet made a point that stuck with me about African American men. She stated that throughout the years of slavery and prejudice enforced on the African American community, the men were badly effected as they were emasculated, and this carried on throughout the 20th century and effected many of the African American youth today. Dr Browne wishes these young men to be proud of their skin colour and heritage, not to be ashamed of it.

I would not go as far to say this website is of a separatist nature, but it does not promote assimilation into the white community. It promotes that all young African American males should accept and be proud of who they are and that they should be given a chance in society to succeed in education, business and in everyday life.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Man in rocking chair and woman washing clothes in a tub

Russell Lee,
 “Man in rocking chair and woman washing clothes in a tub” 1936
During the Great Depression of the 1930’s there was a rise in unemployment as many workers were laid off as businesses failed, due this many people had poor living conditions. I believe this image to be particularly powerful as it highlights the poor living conditions but also how patriarchy and gender roles were still upheld even though the economic crisis America had to face.

The photograph I have chosen has two focal points; the man leaning back on the chair and the woman washing clothes who presumably are husband and wife. I believe this image perfectly depicts how even through the difficult financial instability the American citizens faced, it highlights how the social norms/gender roles were still upheld e.g. woman being housewives.

Compared to the other photographs, the image of these two individuals are very contrasting. From the photograph it is evident that the woman seems to be tired and frailer than the man. This could be due to the lack of food but also by the fact that her husband no longer has a job, whereas she still does domestic work, making it clear that he does not contribute it any way to maintaining the household. Also in the image the woman is bare foot, indicating that she does not have a pair of shoes, unlike her husband who seems to be wearing worker shoes. Although he may not have a job, the man still wears his working shoes, indicating that he may go out at times in an attempt to find himself work. This being said, the man is leaning back on a chair looking off in the distance, whilst the woman is stood hunched over a washing tub. The image highlights the lack of interest the man has in his wife’s domestic duties but also how through the crisis, men although made redundant would not help with household chores. Demonstrating how patriarchy was still dominant, as woman would stay at home doing these domestic job, whilst their husbands either sat doing nothing or went looking for a job. This being said, although the woman is working hard to maintain cleanliness, it is evident from the image that the living conditions were not great. Also not only this, the couple’s clothes are also filthy and tattered, demonstrating their lack of money.


In terms of the American Dream, it is evident that these people have not achieved it. However this being said, the man and woman both seem to be coping with the Great Depression, they still have their home and the essentials which will help them. This simple idea can be linked back to the idea of the American Dream of owning land, rather than the money driven idealistic achievement it is today. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Families on the Road

I have chosen this image as I think it shows the desperation during this period and extent some families were willing to go in order to have a better situation during the depression. The image shows families that were victims of the severe drought that impacted farmers in the southern and Midwestern plains. Farmers crops died and as winds began to strengthen many crops were blown from the soil, this created many dust storms that affected the agricultural community and eventually forced families to move west. By 1934 75% of the US was effected by this drought and the combination of the economic depression and the bad weather ended up putting a lot of farmers out of business. The individuals and families that were affected by the drought in states such as Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas were named ‘dust bowl refugees’ due to the dust storms that occurred in these locations. The families moved west towards California in the hope to find new jobs and provide for their families once more.

This migration west portrays the same values that the pioneers had on the frontier when territories were being expanded. These people as well as the individuals in the 1800's were moving in order to seek a better life and they saw the west as providing this better life. The image shows cars that have some personal property in them which could show that these individuals are currently in the motion of moving west; the cars that have belongings in them are reminiscent
of the wagons that pioneers used. The families that are moving seem to have become victim to the American Dream as they had their own land and were working hard in order to sustain and thrive on the harsh landscapes only to have to relocate due to financial situations and the natural disasters that had happened. However the victims of the depression are now chasing their new American Dream where they are going to start from scratch and create a new life for themselves and their families.  

"The Worlds Highest Standard of Living"

I have selected this image as it is one of the most commonly viewed images of the period, used in textbooks as well as being one of the go to images people look at when viewing this period. However I have selected it because it is one that hasn't been fully explained. There is much that can be deduced from this image.

For starters, note the difference between the image in the back, and those queuing at the front for bread. The family in the car all appear to be white, and to own a car they must have had a reasonable financial security. Note how they are dressed, they are all appearing to be wearing their finest clothes. As are those queuing for food at the front. The one key difference I have spotted, is that those at the front are all black. Not one white American is to be seen in the image. Maybe due to the location, but it is easily deducible that during the 1930s, different races tended to look after themselves differently. There is an aspect of togetherness in this image, all of those queuing are there for the same thing. Supporting each other. Whereas white families during this time would have been more self sufficient as it was how they were brought up. I find it quite interesting how there are no images like the advertisement that feature a black family, or a Hispanic family.

The image itself is interesting. It features a typical white American family; two kids, a boy and a girl, a dog, a somewhat luxurious pet during this time. Especially one of that breed. They are all in a car surrounded by rolling hills. Possibly heading for their suburban home outside of the city, not a care in the world, all smiling and happy. It couldn't be a bigger contrast to the image below. It is unknown where this image was taken, what is known is that it is most likely in the middle of a city district, possibly New York or Chicago, and it is disproving the fact the USA had the highest standard of living. Which actually can be argued started before the Wall Street Crash even happened. Economists were predicting the Crash to occur years before it happened. This image could have been taken months maybe years before the Crash.


'Moving On'- Arthur Rothstein 1936

I chose this picture bcause I believe it really captures what life was like for those of a lower social class durnng the Depression and this image is not a rare one. The situation of moving is one that many people found the,selves in, many people were forced to move as a way of finding job opportunities and cheaper living conditions.

This image stands out to me because it not only portrays hoe people were forced to move, but it also highlights the class divide between the police officer and those being forced to move. We can see that the police officer is clearly of a higher social class because he is just standing by and watch a group trying and load all of their possessions onto this car. The officer is just standing by, cigar in mouth showing that he has available funds to be able to spend on luxuries such as cigars, whereas many of lower social classes would barely be able to buy food, let alone luxuries such as cigars or alcohol. The officer is also clearly well fed. In this image and in many others, we see many people looking very malnourished as they would often not have enough to buy a substantial meal for themselves or their family. However, this police officer clearly earns enough in his stable job to be able to afford three meals a day.

The group loading their belongings seem to have not very many possessions, this may be because they had been forced to sell some items as a way of making ends meat. They may also have been limited by the amount they could take with them as space in the vehicle may have been small so they would have to take just the bare essentials. Therefore, this image not only shows the struggle of poor people having to leave their homes to hunt for better job possibilities or cheaper living conditions, but  it also highlights the social divide and how people of a higher social class were reluctant to help those in need, whether that be physically like this police officer, or whether that is financially.

Dorothea Lange- "Waiting for the semi-monthly relief checks at Calipatria, Imperial Valley, California” 1936

This image stood out to me not only due to the general feeling and expressions of the individuals within the image but also due to the location and date. Upon viewing the image, at first I was struck by the man in the centre of the image, the main focus. The expression on his face sums up the devastation and stress many people, like this man, faced and how hard it was to live, keep a job and provide for yourself and family during this period of time.

The location and date of this image really stood out to me due to the historical context in which they are placed. California was and still is seen as the state of dreams, the "Golden State", where settlers traveled to start a new life and prosper there with their families. This image shows the very opposite of this idealistic notion of the west and California. The men in this image are waiting for their 'semi-monthly relief checks' whilst being in the state where their dreams were meant to come true. The year this image was taken is also important. It was during the time of the "Dirty Thirties" and at the end of the New Deal and the presidential election. Although Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected, the New Deal was effectively out of steam. It did manage to decrease unemployment but many people, as shown by this image, were still unemployed and struggling to survive and provide for their family.

This then leads on to the wider themes of the American Dream that we have explored throughout this module. The most well-known ideal of the American Dream is that it portrays a man, or a woman but mainly men, changing his life around and achieving what he wants and needs in the great country that is, America. The American Dream is also seen to be subject to change to the individual, such as one person may want to settle and prosper with their family, linking back to the migration west, whilst others want to become wealthy or famous, linking to the Great Gatsby. However, this image somewhat destroys these ideals of the American Dream by showing how many tried to achieve the dream but were let down or fell short and that it was not always possible. The Great Depression was a time of suffering and poverty, yet the phrase "The American Dream" was created in the 1930s, probably as a way to re-awaken the ideas of how great America is and how people can achieve their dreams there.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Crime and sin

http://www.insightcrime.org/mexico-organized-crime-news/sinaloa-cartel-profile

There are many examples of crimes and sins committed in the Great Gatsby, some much worse than others. This novel contains sins throughout and the majority of the characters are without morals. Gatsby, Tom and Daisy are rich and can afford to live in a wealthy area, they have wonderful lifestyles and appear to have it all in terms of money, however not one of them is content and they all yearn for more money. This shows how the upper class in this novel are extremely greedy as they would be willing to make more profit no matter the risk, especially Gatsby. Lust is another sin that continues to appear in this story and Tom is an excellent example of this. Although he has a beautiful wife in Daisy, it appear that she is not good enough for him. Tom cheats on Daisy many times and on his way in to town he picks up Myrtle from the ‘Valley of Ashes’ between Long Island and New York so that they can continue their affair. Tom also has a temper and at times an uncontrollable wrath especially when he is with Gatsby, in chapter 2 Toms temper erupts when talking to Myrtle and he ends up breaking her nose. Envy is a major scene in this novel as it creates a lot of problems as the storyline develops, Gatsby is envious of Tom being with Daisy an as a result this creates a lot of jealousy. Eventually Daisy falls for Gatsby and they end up having an affair, this also highlights Gatsby’s lust and greed as he desires someone who is already with someone else.


Between the years 1920-1933 the manufacture, transportation and sale of alcohol was illegal in America, although there is a lot of drunkenness during the novel. Gatsby is said to have made enormous profit through bootlegging, this is an example of organised crime and across cities such as New York and Chicago there was violence as gangs would fight other rivals from power and influence so that more profit could be made. Again greed can be related to bootlegging as there is a risk of being put in jail but the desire to make money is to strong. An example of organised crime today is the Sinaloa Cartel, they have no regards for the law and their only aims are to make money and spread their influence. The Cartel today manufacture, transport and sell illegal substances such as cocaine and marijuana. They have transported drugs globally and are willing to take risks so that their sphere or power can expand.  

Prosperity and Money

The Great Gatsby is a profound tale of love, loss and the American Dream, however a key element which help to drive the novel, is the inexplicable connection all these different themes have to prosperity and money.

Both prosperity and money work hand-in-hand in this novel and achieve a sense of anguish in readers, as it not only reveals the ‘new’ truth behind the achievement of the American Dream, but also how money leads to the fall of even the most sincerest of men.

Money is clearly a huge factor in the novel, as it represent status and ensures that the social hierarchy is kept stable. Throughout The Great Gatsby, it is evident that there is a clear binary opposition between ‘old and new money’, the latter one being the least desired. The old money, representing the lineage of wealthy pure blue bloods, and the new money, people who desire to reach the elite status of the East Egg but will never achieve it. This clear separation of the two types of money can be seen in Fitzgerald’s East and West Egg. Through the appearance of the Eggs, it is clear to the readers that although both contain wealthy citizens, they inherently are not the same.

This undeniable difference leads us to their views on the American Dream. Although, the East Egg resent the West Egg, there are similarities between the two. Whilst the East Egg have already achieved the American Dream through inheritance, the West Egg, through work, achieve Fitzgerald’s interpretation of the American Dream, which is to become rich. This could be Fitzgerald’s personal jab at society on how the true nature of the American Dream has been lost and that people of the 1920’s society believed the only way in which one could prosper and achieve the American Dream is through money. This being said, the 1920’s was not the only time in which wealth was a key factor in achieving the American Dream and essentially eternal happiness.

This concept of money being the only way to achieve all of life’s joys and wonders still resonates today with contemporary readers. Personal traits of characters such as, the chauvinistic Tom Buchanan, can be seen in many people today, for example, bigots such as Donald Trump. Tom’s prejudice statements in Chapter 1 are similar to the ones Donald Trump states in the video below.
Although it can be stated that Donald Trump earnt his money, his ‘small loan’ of 'one million dollars' from his father, helped him well on his way to create the Trump empire. Clearly from old money like Tom, Trump attempts to downplay this clearly large amount of money and convey a tough upbringing, but failing, instead follows a more Tom like mannerism of an egotistical narcissist.

Trump is also a prime example, for demonstrating the power which comes with money. By the end of The Great Gatsby, the Buchanan’s are left to live out their lives, whilst those around them who were not of their elite status, would be harshly affected and broken by their actions or in the cases of Gatsby, George and Myrtle, dead. Although Trump has not yet got the power to kill anyone, it is clear that from his money he has great power legally. In addition to this, his campaign for Presidency is very concerning. When linking back to the American Dream, in 2015 Trump claimed that the American Dream was ‘dead’, and blaming all that is wrong with America on the Mexican immigrants who left for America to better their lives. Due to Trumps wealth it is inevitable that many people will follow him, and agree with his obnoxious statements.

It can clearly be established that the prosperity and money represented in The Great Gatsby can inevitably linked to modern day society. 

Gatsby: Technology and Consumer Culture.

Throughout the Great Gatsby, there are numerous examples of improved technology. The post WW1 financial boom led to a consumer culture that had never been seen before. Due to the fact the USA prospered so much through arms dealing, it seemed everyone in the US had money after the war, expendable money. This led to the technology becoming improved as a result of a new demand for consumer goods. The book has many examples of this. When describing New York, Nick is full of praise; "Over the great bridge, with sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up in white heaps and sugar lumps....is always the city seen for the first time, in it's first wild promise of all the beauty and mystery in the world". This shows that New York is seen as the place in the United States that is leading the country in technology with the big skyline and the buildings that are always growing. This is a testament to the level of expendable income now flying into the US. The new age in technology is evident, more people have money to spend so that means people are now going out more and spending it on new products, primarily household items. However one of the most commonly mentioned new technology is the motor industry. Which received a boost post war due to the methods used by Henry Ford. One of the most important scenes in the story occurs in a car when Gatsby's car runs over Tom's mistress.

When comparing New York then to a city today, it is hard to look past somewhere like Dubai or Shanghai, which today delivers the same concept that New York delivered during the 20's. Both offer vast skylines filled with huge buildings. Dubai has the biggest building in the world, a title that once lived in New York for decades. Dubai is now the most innovative city in the world in terms of technology, the amount of money pouring into Dubai is enormous. Similar to that of the money in New York post WW1. Dubai today is innovating further than anyone else in the world. The consumer culture in Dubai is one that shares similarities with the one in New York during the 20's. Purely because the people have so much money to spend. People are spending billions of dollars on apartments overlooking the sea. Or a similar amount on a private jet. Comparing a private jet to a car in the 20s is a good example as even though they were expensive, people still bought them because they had the money to do so. The reason Dubai has seen such a meteoric rise is due to the fact it hasnt felt any of the economic downturn that hit the rest of the world in 2008. However with New York, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 effectively forced everyone to start again, something Dubai is yet to do.

The Great Gatsby-Reinvention of the Self

Barack Obama

Great gatsby- reinvention of the self 

The theme of reinvention of the self is not a theme that is constant throughout the Great Gatsby, this theme only comes to light in chapter six when we discover that Jay Gatsby was in fact born James Gatz born into a poor family, a boy who disliked his parents for their lower social class. 

The first description of Gatsby's reinvention comes at the beginning of chapter six when Nick describes “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God — a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that — and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end." From this quote we can see the disklike James Gatz had for his parents due to their unsuccessful farming career and we can see why Jay Gatsby has come into being. 

This quote in particular shows us why Gatz had a desire to become Gatsby. The quote highlights the poor childhood Gatz had and we can infer that he did not want a poor and limited life for his future, therefore, he decided to 'reinvent himself' to become someone of a higher social class and he saw his opportunity when he saw the boat of Dan Cody. He thought very highly of Cody as later we discover that Gatsby has a picture of him in his bedroom. Cody was clearly the father figure and role model Gatz had always wanted. From this point on, it is as if Cody has become the father of Gatsby. 

It can be argued that Barack Obama has reinvented himself as he did not come from a privileged background. His father left the family and only visited Barack twice after leaving. Obama also struggled with a sense of who he was, especially during his teenage years. He would frequently turn to alcohol and drugs as a way of coping with not really knowing who he was. Born in Hawaii with and white mother and a black father, he struggled with knowing where he fit in. It can be argued that Obama reinvented himself as he overcame problems with racism and his struggles of who he was. He reinvented himself by completing a degree in political science. Obama also overcame racism during his presidential campaign and went on to become the first black president of the USA. 

Both Obama and Gatsby had to reinvent themselves as neither came from wealthy and privileged backgrounds, yet the both understood that in order to gain the future they both wanted, they needed to change. Both had problems they needed to face, but both overcame these problems.

Monday, 29 February 2016

The Great Gatsby: Women and Liberty

Lynne Franks (businesswoman and social commentator)


The theme "women and liberty" is clearly present throughout the novel The Great Gatsby and when comparing ideas on women's liberty within the book to what that means today shows a clear contrast and change throughout the two periods in history. The video that I have linked shows Lynne Franks discussing the role of women in the 21st century and how the world is changing and shifting to becoming more understanding and cooperative of the "feminine way". During the time of the Great Gatsby, characters such as Myrtle and Daisy represent very different ideas on women's liberty during the 1920s. Myrtle is a very interesting character in the novel as she represents the awakening of pre-marital sex and adultery. During the 20s, sex was plastered throughout the media, in films and magazine etc. Women would be dressed up in revealing clothing and some would have multiple love affairs with men, for example the character of Myrtle fits this description. Myrtle does not act like a traditional "lady" as the early 1900s description of a woman who is respectable and formally dressed. Could I go as far to say that Myrtle acts in a very masculine way due to her infidelity and harsh words and behaviour? Franks might say that Myrtle was showing signs of competing with men by having an affair with Tom and wanting to find her own liberty through him.

Daisy is also a very interesting character within the novel. Franks discusses how men in the 21st century are sharing parenting duties with their wives or partners and are getting involved in parenting far more than any other generation of men have. When comparing this behaviour to that of the behaviour in Great Gatsby, there is a clear contrast. Daisy is mainly in charge of her and Tom's daughters upbringing and does not ask Tom to perform any of the parenting duties herself or the child's nanny does. Men did not play a huge role in their child's lives during this period in history, it was considered the woman's job to bring up the child well. This begs the question as to whether or not women during this time had any liberty whatsoever. Of course they began to dress and act differently. there were more opportunities for women such as Jordan who was a professional golfer, but were any of them actually respected in society and by men? Were any of them respected by their fellow women? Franks makes a point in the video about how women should strengthen other women and that this is happening in the 21st century. By helping each other, women can accomplish many things. Myrtle and Daisy, in the book, show no signs of coming together and realising they were being fooled and hurt by the same man and there is no sign of a real friendship between Daisy and Jordan. Although women achieved forms of liberty during the 20s, such as the 19th amendment and the social freedom, many were still heavily oppressed due to society's ideals of what a woman should be and how women were treated by both men and women.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Searchers - Opening Scene

I have chosen the opening scene of ‘The Searchers’ where John Wayne’s character Ethan Edwards rides into the setting and is welcomed to the sight of his brother and sister in law. Both his brother Aaron Edwards and Martha Edwards do not appear pleased to see Ethan even though this is the first time they have seen him in several years. Ethan is a civil war veteran and you’d expect the family to be filled with joy when they see him on the horizon, instead there is a very strange look on both of their faces, almost a threatened look. This could represent how Ethan could threaten the family dynamic by his presence, the wilderness and the family do not mix in a positive way.
The opening scene is classic of
westerns where the main character, the majority of the time a male, enters the frame from the distance. This allows the audience to see the iconic landscape of the west, such as the high mountains, the barren land and the scorching sun behind the ‘cowboy’ figure. In this scene Ethan is portrayed to be a mysterious figure approaching some sort of civilisation, this is common in all westerns such as Shane. Also Ethan is by himself with nothing else but his horse and the wilderness surrounding him, this represents a solitary life which highlights the culture of the west during this time period. It’s a traditional way that the main characters enters the story, alone and from the wilderness.
I think this scene is a good representation of the west as it shows both the family dynamic and also the wilderness. It also shows the different aspects of male characters as it shows Aaron Edwards alongside his wife which portrays a family man and also Ethan Edwards who is the stereotypical tough, lone male who has no sense of belonging.


The Searchers- Edwards homestead burnt down

Edwards homestead burnt down

The Searchers is an iconic Western movie and contains many ideological Western traits. It therefore, includes many incredible scenes which demonstrate the myths of the American West.
This being said, I have chosen an earlier scene in the movie in which the protagonist Ethan Edwards (John Wayne), returns to the Edwards house to find it burnt to the ground by the Comanche tribe. This scene marks the beginning of the story, as it not only indicates that Debbie (Lana Wood) and her older sister Lucy (Pippa Scott) had been abducted, but also demonstrates the long hatred between the settlers and the Natives. 


From this scene director John Ford makes it evident that there is a conflict between the Natives and the white settlers. By doing this, he has created the stereotypical roles of villain and hero. This formulated device has been used throughout history and The Searchers is no exception. Being a traditional Western movie, Ford depicts the Natives (or more specific Scar and the Comanche tribe) as the villainous savages that tortured and killed the innocent white settlers, also abducting the two girls. This in turn leads to Ethan gaining the role of the stereotypical hero, who will go to any extent to find his nieces and save them from the brutal Natives. This role can be linked to the ‘major theme’ of ‘a quest’ which is associated with the ‘Western hero myth’. By imposing these roles Ford has created a classic Western trait in which the Natives are the evil which needs to be destroyed and the white settlers, as the victims. Due to Ethan’s loss of his murdered family and kidnapped nieces, his feelings towards the Natives are justified, so when he goes on a quest not only to find his niece but to also avenge is family, the audience are left to support his actions. Through this use of stereotyping Natives as evil, Ford could be representing how the white people felt about the Natives in general and how they despised them.

In addition to this, Ford implements the ‘American Eve Myth’, in which a female character provides ‘motivation for male action’. This is apparent in this scene, when Ethan sees the house on fire, he starts to yell for Martha (Dorothy Jordan), demonstrating his inner feelings towards her. When seeing her blue dress on the floor it is evident to Ethan and the audience that Martha was rapes by the Indians. The emotion implications given when Ethan drops his head low after seeing the bodies of his massacred family, show the power and effect that the event has caused. From the stable manly figure at the start of the film, Ethan takes on a more manic state which can be associated with his loss of Martha more than the other family members. This loss drives his anger and obsession for vengeance and to find his nieces. Ethan follows the stereotypical role of a hero who is pushed to the limits and must save his family.
Overall in this particular scene I believe that the myths of the American West are reinforced, due to the cruelty of the Comanche tribe and the quest in which Ethan has to go on, to not only save his nieces but also to hurt the people who killed his family. In addition to this, many typical cinematic themes have been used which are used to uphold these Western myths.

The Searchers- ending scene

After viewing the film 'The Searchers', a scene that stuck out to me was the ending, where Ethan is seen not entering the "family home" and then leaving as the door to the home closes. The song is also very suggestive as it sings "ride away, ride away, ride away". The perfect ending to a western movie, the main character saves the girl and brings her home.

What I find most interesting about this scene is how it leaves its interpretation up to the audience. It is not known for sure if Ethan rides away to somewhere different or allows some time for the girl to be welcomed home. But I think the way in which most people interpret the ending, is that Ethan feels he does not belong in the family home. Throughout the film, he causes problems for the typical family life, separating the potential lovers (Martin and Laurie), having a connection with his brothers wife Martha, and seeming to cause disruption and stress whenever he arrived in a situation.

By the end of the film, he has realised he does not belong in this family and must move on as not to cause more suffering and trouble. I thought that this scene reinforced some myths of the American West. Constant motion played a big part in the development of the west and men like Ethan, unsettled and looking for a home, helped the progression of the west and potentially drew more people into this fast and exciting lifestyle. It also shows how difficult and lonely this lifestyle could be. Many made the decision to travel westward alone, they may have had no family or wanted to make money to settle and find family out in the west. Ethan represents the difficulties of life in the west through his loneliness and constant need for movement, as shown through the ending of the film. But he also shows the freedom many could possess through living this difficult but exciting life.