[Marriage in Copperfield] 2006?

Paul Fischer

              Marriage is assuredly a great institution, but who wants to live in an institution? The confinement of spirit in marriage suggested in this joke is evident in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. David’s employer and former teacher, Dr. Strong was married to Annie, a much younger woman who eventually becomes philosophical aboiut her marriage and what is important in marriage when she states, “There can be no disparity in marriage as unsuitability in mind and purpose” (614). In this era, the wife is assumed to be the angel of the house. By this one means she is supposed to oversee the servants, cooking, shopping, and household matters as well as providing her husband with a perfect, moral companion. Dora is ill-suited to household duties and, more importantly, ill-suited as an intelligent companion and one might understand the terrible influence that Annie’s words make on David. David and Dora’s marriage is unlike that of the Strongs because of Dora’s mentioned unsuitability of mind and purpose with her husband, David.
              Every marriage forges its way through towering obstacles and how the Copperfields face these challenges displays much of their polarity with the Strongs. The Copperfields, inexperienced and without a faithful servant, are constantly faced with difficulties in housekeeping duties. When David attempts to draw Dora into her duties as the angel of the house, she simply exclaims, “Just kiss Jip, and be agreeable” (502). This exemplifies the Copperfields’ family discussions and constitutes a major difference with the Strong’s.
The Strong’s also faced considerable obstacles in their marriage. They have suspicion looming all about them when Annie’s old lover turns up and Mr. Heep attempts to convict the poor young Annie in the eyes of her father husband, Dr. Strong. Following this, the family of the Strong’s forgoes a long period of suspicion and lies. This is the terrible situation that Annie averts by so courageously standing up to Mr. Heep’s accusations, an act Dora, in Annie’s stead, would not undertake even if Dr. Strong had brought the matter before her and demanded she resolve the case
              Dora’s reluctance to assume any amount of responsibility results in the infamous attempt of David to “form Dora’s mind” (644). Dora has made a valiant but futile effort to conform to the strict rules of David’s reform attempt. Dr. Strong also “taught her” (Annie) and attempts to teach her. The difference between David’s futile attempt and Dr. Strong’s forming of a strong young lady is that Dr. Strong has taken Annie up as a daughter of sorts. David acts stern and much more assumes Mr. Murdstone’s threatening teaching style. This scares poor Dora out of her wits almost as it did David when he was a child. Fortunately David realizes that Dora needs support and perhaps, in the near future, the marriage shall succeed wonderfully.
              Marriage may not indicate the Copperfields’ insanity as might have been suggested in the joke but the Copperfield’s marriage does portray certain incompetence in fields such as housekeeping and the Copperfields’ inability to be suitable companions for each other. The Strongs, however, are a much better example of as well matched marriage for Annie is much better suited to thinking on Dr. Strongs level than Dora upholding an intelligent conversation with David. The Copperfields have illustrated a lack of suitability for marriage that should be considered before marrying because of the young fear in the “Sahara” or loneliness that David saw in his Aunt.


Paul Andreas Fischer

                         David Copperfield, a book by Charles Dickens, describes the adventure of a young boy in early 19th century England. David Copperfield grew up in the sunshine of his mother’s and her maid, Peggotty’s, love. When David’s mother remarries, however, her new husband, Mr. Murdstone, installs misguided firmness into every part of David and Mother’s life. Mother eventually dies from his constant reprisals and sarcasm. Mr. Murdstone’s disastrous attempts to teach David result in the disgrace of David and in David’s separation from Peggotty and Mother.
              Before Mother marries Murdstone, David learns his lessons from his mother. His downhill trend following Mr. Murdstone’s intervention is best exemplified as follows: “I had been apt enough to learn, and willing enough when my mother and I had lived together… but these solemn lessons which succeeded those, I remember as the death blow to my peace, and a grievous daily drudgery and misery” (51). It is obvious how Murdstone’s intervention is harmful to David’s learning. David was an able student previous to Murdstone’s interference. If he had continued to learn with his mother David might have become distinguished and had a successful career. Instead Mr. Murdstone squelched the willingness to learn and creativity in David through tyranny and ultimately the beating of the boy.
              Murdstone’s beating of David results in David’s complete loss of Mother. When Mr. Murdstone takes David upstairs to be beaten, David fights back, biting the man on the hand. Mr. Murdstone promptly beats David to near death. When David bites Murdstone then “they had persuaded her that I was a wicked fellow” (59). Mother plays a large role in David’s life and is crucial in maintaining David’s inner peace. When David feels that not even she was on his side any more, then a blow is struck to his security. Once the Murdstones has convinced Mother that David is wicked, and then they forbade him from associating with Peggotty, David’s nanny and best friend since he was born.
              Peggotty is David’s good friend and nanny so when Mr. Murdstone announced that “you have an attachment to low and common company…I disapprove of your preferring such company as Miss Peggotty and it is to be abandoned” (114) David is heart broken. This second blow to David’s security is devastating and he loses many days of happiness that he should enjoy as a child. Instead of playing with his friend, David spends the remainder of his holidays staring at the fire for hours. All of these hardships imposed upon his life cause David to find the need to escape from the Murdstones forever.
              Mr. Murdstone’s oppressive treatment of David and his mother resulted in two life altering occurrences for David. First, his mother’s death leaves David with the guilt of having been in disgrace with his mother at the time of her death. This causes David to feel the need to run away. David developed rash action because he was constantly berated and reprimanded by Mr. Murdstone. If Mr. Murdstone had not interfered with David then David might have become a distinguished gentleman. Instead he was a lowly urchin forced to run from his abusive job to loosely related relatives.

“A Greater Loss”- Its Foreshadowing

Paul Fischer
February 21, 2006
“A Greater Loss”- Its Foreshadowing
“A Greater Loss,” a chapter in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, details the romance of Steerforth and Emily. Because Emily is beautiful, young, and refined with dreams of joining the upper echelons, Emily is hardly the girl to settle down among Ham’s humble settings. Instead Steerforth seems much better suited to Emily because of his handsome appearance and charm. So what makes Emily even consider staying with Ham? The all important class system of Victorian England. Throughout the book small hints are dropped by the narrator referring to Emily’s desire to become a lady and to Steerforth’s flawed character. When it becomes clear how easily Emily and Steerforth get along one begins to suspect that something is afoot. An exceptionally astute reader would almost certainly guess that Emily is planning something with Steerforth though I did not draw that conclusion from the evidence at hand.
Of course even as a child Emily was always attracted to the higher class and wished to join the upper echelons. This is made obvious following her remark, “If I was ever to be a lady, I’d give [Uncle Peggotty] a sky-blue coat with diamond buttons, nankeen trousers, a red velvet waistcoat, a cocked hat, a large gold watch, a silver pipe, and a box of money” (34). Steerforth naturally sweeps her off her feet because his role of a charming, respectable gentleman is exactly what Emily admires. And though Agnes warns David (and the reader) about the dangers of Steerforth, I did not see how Steerforth, who is quite the upstanding figure throughout the book, could suddenly become a villain. Only after Steerforth’s seduction of Emily did I recognize the hints and foreshadowing that Dickens packed into the story.
Most of the foreshadowing comes not from the narrator but instead flows from the mouth of his illustrious characters. For me the biggest foreshadowing comes from Steerforth himself. Repeatedly, he remarks about how ill suited Emily is to a man such as Ham. These remarks certainly grabbed my attention, and during David’s first dissipation, Steerforth proves that he could be quite an immoral character because of the characters and influences that he introduces to David. Despite this foreshadowing it comes as a dismal surprise for Steerforth to cast aside his doting mother and expectations for the sake of Emily. Perhaps more tragic, however, is his ability to draw Emily away from her equally doting father and friends.
For unlike Steerforth, Emily is perfectly contented with her life, and before meeting Steerforth her only wish is to be able to shower her father in gifts that as a lady she would have the wealth to bestow upon her father. The thought that Emily is preparing a daring escapade completely surprises me. Though Steerforth certainly charmed her, she does not seem immoral enough to run away from her father. There is one passage in particular that alerts me to the possibility of Emily and Steerforth running off together. When Peggotty’s family is sitting around a fire and Steerforth brings Emily from her tears to become animated is the best example of Emily’s affection for Steerforth. That is when suspicion of Emily’s character made itself present in my mind.
I believe, given the evidence provided, that it is quite believable that Emily and Steerforth would run away. It is a testament to Dickens’ superior writing ability that he could include so many small foreshadowing hints and still not alert me to the real situation. For, in fact, there are many occasions in which Dickens foreshadows, even being so blunt as to remark on the virtue of Emily’s possible death rather than disgrace that alerted me to naught. It is obvious that a lesser writer would never be able to do this.

Short Answer [Essay] on Confucianism

Paul Fischer
May 9, 2006
Short Answer on Confucianism
In 550 BC, China had ancient traditions that dictated a citizen’s whole curriculum in life. By 600 BC a philosopher named Confucius had numerous philosophies and principles that were spreading across the Middle Kingdom. His philosophies affect domestic Chinese life, often simple ways of increased efficiency and occasionally a revolutionary idea that changed the way Chinese administration worked: division of labor. Confucianism is now one of the most important and popular philosophies because of the practical and intelligent approach with which Confucianism resolves many contemporary imperfections of ancient Chinese traditions and laws. Thus Confucius was extremely influential in creating the setting prior to China’s golden age during Rome’s dominance in Europe and the Middle East. During this time period China was much cleaner, technologically advanced, and developed than its European counter parts.
Confucianism is directly responsible for this flowering of economy and wealth because of the enlightened economic ideals that Confucius recognized and dictated to his scribes. These doctrines were then employed (and still are employed) for centuries following Confucius’s death. Unfortunately, economic power and superiority does not equal military power. Subsequent to the uniform adoption of Confucianism, China began a golden age that encouraged vast trade routes (notably the Silk Trading Road) with many ancient civilizations including Rome. During this period China’s economy, population, and military might multiplied. By 100 AD China was among Rome’s most influential trading partners and possessed one of the largest and most productive populations in the world. Because of China’s incredible expansion, one of the great wonders of the world was constructed: The Great Wall. Unfortunately for over a million peasants in northern China who perished constructing the Great Wall, the Emperor didn’t adopt the Confucius principles of humanity to laborers during the wall’s construction. Despite this failure of administration, the building of the Great Wall would never have been possible without the fluid unity of government and administration that Confucianism offered China.
A key reason for the feasibility of the Great Wall is China’s development of professional and specialized labor that allowed architects, brick makers, and thousands of other jobs that are necessary in the construction of a wonder such as the Great Wall. The professional artisan sector is where Confucius made his most important changes by streamlining the job market and realizing the importance of a national and eventually global market. According to ancient Chinese laws children would assume a profession according to their stature in being or their father’s profession. Confucius encouraged respect in a learning environment where pupils would study the profession that best suited their own exceptional skills. This resulted in a more competitive job market and allowed for more productive citizens. The development of these productive citizens would be impossible without the crucial portion of information whose absence had strangled the artisans’ development: that someone else is always willing to purchase a good. The same concept that spurred eBay’s fantastic growth originated with Confucius when he encouraged the dynamic trade roads and exchange of goods through the administrative government. The division of labor that Adam Smith mentions in the “Wealth of Nations” was pioneered in China by Confucius.


Paul Fischer
Jan 9, 2005
Bush Will Not Be Impeached
              This year crucial congress and senate elections will be held. Democrats are looking to pull ahead into a majority for both the Senate and Congress. This would allow them to theoretically impeach President Bush.
              There are 33 seats in the Senate that are up for reelection this year – 17 of them are democrat controlled and 15 controlled by the republicans. Here in Vermont Independent Jim Jeffords also holds a seat. In order for democrats to achieve their majority they would have to hold all 15 seats down and swipe seven away from the republicans. If Jim Jeffords were to be replaced by independent Bernie Sanders then the democrats would have six seats to go.
              A better bet for the democrats is in the house where all 435 seats are up for grabs and only fifteen are needed for the majority. Although the GOP dismisses the idea of a take over by democrats, head of democratic campaign Rahm Emanuel of Illinois suggest that the scandals may result in a democratic take over.
              If the democrats were to take the house but not the Senate then the situation would be comparable to the Bill Clinton scandal in 1999. it is conceivable that president Bush would technically be impeached after congress passed Articles of Impeachment, a bit like an indictment. President Bush would then go on trial before the Senate. While he will probably be impeached it is unlikely that he will be convicted of a real crime by the Senate much like Mr. Clinton in 1999.

The Effect of the Lack of Leadership in Africa and Africa’s Consequential Loss of Material Goods

Paul Fischer
January 26, 2006
The Effect of the Lack of Leadership in Africa and Africa’s Consequential Loss of Material Goods
              If over 823,000,000 Africans possess diamonds, gold, trees, oil, rich farmland, and huge potential sources of hydro electric energy, what stops the nearly one billion citizens from utilizing their vast resources?  The answer is that no African nation has the strong leadership necessary to properly unite and utilize these resources because of their tribal warfare and sharp cultural differences. The effects of leadership deficit in Africa create war torn nations like Congo, and broken stagnant economies such as the one in Sierra Leone. By comparison, South Africa who has made intelligent decisions and created a highly developed economy that generates tons of exported goods such as diamonds and other precious metals that we enjoy every day. Because of nations such as Congo and Sierra Leone the Americans spend tens of billions of dollars every year in policing and aid. On the other side of the spectrum, America imports over five billion dollars of South African goods. Both the loss of potential trade in undeveloped nations and the cost of aid and policing cost large amounts of money from foreign nations including the United States. These costs are produced by the bungling of African presidents and dictators who are unfit to rule.
              Why does a nation with some of the richest resources in the world be capable of harbor some of the poorest people in the world? Congo is a prime example of a scenario that is taking place all over Africa. There was a five year civil war that occurred because of leaders’ refusal to recognize the need for long term goals to be met. Mobutu, a military president headed the sole government party in the seventies and lasted, despite dozens of attempted coups, until 1991. He was overthrown following his inability to pay back loans to Belgium in 1989. This caused development programs to be canceled and further increased the deterioration of the Congo economy. Real elections were impossible to hold because of wide-spread feuding and Motubu’s insistence on keeping the reigns of power in his heavy hands. The civil war destroyed Congo and is a direct result of Congo’s faction’s inability to unite and work together without the Belgian companies keeping peace.
              Nations that can unite and work together in Africa also have trouble too, as the small African nation Sierra Leone shows. Sierra Leone gained independence from Belgium in 1958 and has faced severe government problems ever since. Milton Margai was Sierra Leone’s first president in history. He was seen as a president who could bring great change and even the huge social differences that plagued the country and culminated in class wars. Unfortunately he died before he could make any large differences. Thus his brother, Sir Albert Margai became president in 1964. Albert would prove to be considered Sierra’s worst president. His dictatorial policies are mirrored all over Africa by other dictators. In addition to inaction in reference to class wars Albert also privatized all foreign companies in the country and handed them over to his beer buddies. The immediate effect of this action was extreme corruption and discontent throughout the nation. Below the surface however, one can see that though Margai was overthrown, his friends still held the companies of Sierra Leone, most of which were diamond companies. The nation now relies solely on the diamond production to keep its economy afloat. Unfortunately this is an unsustainable source of income and it creates an elite few who live in palaces while thousands of peasants rely completely on international aid tickets every year. This constitutes a complete failure of the government to utilize the diamonds to develop a sustainable economy. Countries with a similar situation cost Americans huge amounts of money every year in aid.
              There is hope for both Congo and Sierra Leone though; South Africa faced the same troubles that they did following their independence. Following the nine year civil war in which blacks restored their rights. Influential leaders in South Africa have negotiated trade deals that resulted in the effective development of important resources and agricultural zones. Nelson Mandela won a US congressional medal in 1998 for his efforts in the country. He brought about fully democratic elections and developed millions of homes and running water for the poor black majority. Without Mandela the civil war might have lasted much longer and South Africa may have shared Congo’s or Sierra Leone’s fate.
              Africa has less material goods because the people cannot even pretend to unite under one ruling party without the ruling party taking harsh actions to quell resistors. The only way to provide a stable and helpful economy for Africans without massive outbreaks of violence is for America to become more active in its aid programs. By directing money, food, and, yes, America should even control the gun market … even if that means allying with the shady figures that started the African dilemma, America can make sure that tyrants stay out of power and intelligent leaders are supported. Building powerful independent unions that sympathize with America out of the quarreling indigenous tribes will be critical. Such action would be decisive in keeping both freedom and the millions of men, women, and children that perish from being in a violent country that is too hungry to help itself safe.

“Africa.”  The New Book of Knowledge. Scholastic Library Publishing, 2006 (February 7, 2006).
“Mobutu Sese Seko.”  The New Book of Knowledge. Scholastic Library Publishing, 2006 (February 7, 2006).
“Congo, the Republic of.”  The New Book of Knowledge. Scholastic Library Publishing, 2006 (February 7, 2006).
Best, Alan C. G. and Doro, Marion E., “South Africa.” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Scholastic Library Publishing,  2006 (February 7, 2006).

Health Class 2007?

Paul Andreas Fischer
Today I analyzed my dietary and physical wellness using a new program called MyPyramid.gov. My total caloric intake was well under the recommended level (or even what I thought would be reasonable) and unfortunately, so were many food group levels.  The most important piece of information that I acquired from the activity was that I need three pieces of pizza (which I could barely eat) just to receive the -_- rating in several food groups from My Pyramid. Despite the fact that many food groups are below recommended levels, I realize that fluctuations in my daily routine make up for this. The only group that sincerely worried me was the sodium (most commonly found in salt) that was over six hundred and fifty mg in excess of the recommended amount (2300 mg). My overall conclusion from this report, however, is that I need at least one more meal in my day if I continue the physical activities in which I am currently engaged.
This is especially important: while my diet fluctuates so that occasionally milk intake will be high and fruit low, or my vegetable intake high and the meat intake low my physical exercise is nearly the same every. This means that I need to intake four thousand calories each day to maintain good health. If I were to shave another two hundred calories off my daily diet, then my growth would be stunted and I would face substantial weight loss. Another grave risk that my diet is presenting me with is my system’s overloading of sodium. This chemical commonly found in salt can cause heart attacks and must be approached with caution.
In the future I prepare to eat more healthily by eating more. The most important change I will make to my diet include eating three extra pieces of pizza and one fruit as a standard staple meal in my diet. This would give me necessary calories that I need to fulfill my growth potential. The other change that I would make is the increased expenditure of my physical ability. This is important to assuring that I can continue to intake the amount of food that I plan for. A healthy life style would be to have cereal in the morning, bike to school, go downtown and eat Chinese food and then bike home and have three pieces of pizza.

NAMI Report

Paul Fischer

Feb. 21, 2006
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
              In 1983 a grassroots group of families came together to form an alliance that would protect the mentally ill of Vermont from the prejudice of misinformed citizens. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill has set up twelve support groups in local areas across Vermont. These groups support families with the mentally ill. They also educate the public about the mentally ill so that mentally ill may not suffer the prejudices that people naturally harbor about those that are different. It is not hard to receive help from this organization because you can reach them at any of their support groups or at the headquarters in Waterbury at a toll free number: 1-800-639-6480. Despite the huge mission that NAMI undertakes, out of over twenty five workers only one is a contracted, or non volunteer, worker. The Alliance is easy to find and the administrative assistant, Linda Anderson, con give you several brochures and vital information if you think you might be interested in helping the Alliance. If you do have a family member with a mental illness and you are not certain how to properly handle them, then there are several FREE classes that one can attend in all twelve of the sectors occupied by the National Alliance. NAMI is certainly a boon to affected families all over Vermont and volunteering is a noble cause. The better our society can understand the mentally ill then the can fit in more effortlessly and regain a stature and excitement in life that they’ve never been able to experience before.


OUTSIDERS                                                                                      Paul Fischer
              The book The Outsiders by S.E Hinton is about a kid named Ponyboy with two things on his mind; Paul Newman and a ride home. As he walks back from the theater it turns out he would have been much better off in a car. A group a socs or socials jump him nearly critically hurting him before his friends come and beat them off. This brings the memory of Johnny, one of Ponyboys friends, being nearly killed. Johnny then accidentally kills a soc the next time the get jumped. They are forced to run for the hills and Ponyboys tough friend, Dallas, gives them a place to hide until the police leave town. When Dallas comes to pick them up they are surprised by the flames coming from the hideout. After asking a nearby adult they learn that eight little children are trapped there! As they save all the children, the two are glorified as heroes in the paper. Unfortunately, Johnny dies from third degree burns. I learned that Ponyboy, and all greasers, have a lot more on their mind than just Paul Newman and a ride home. They are faced with death, social class difference, and the bad break of being born as greaser.

Judaism and Ethical Monotheism

Paul Fischer
              Judaism started nearly 3500 years ago with Abraham becoming the first prophet for the religion Judaism. Abraham is considered the father of the Ethical Monotheistic format that would be the foundation for the religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Hebrews believed that their god was omni present and that he gave the Ten Commandments to Moses over two and a half thousand years ago after he led them to freedom form the Egyptians who were enslaving the Hebrews. These laws, which are present in every Ethical Monotheism, must be abided by believers of such religions. The Jews claimed that their god was omnipotent and was the single god. This infuriated several priests in polytheistic religions. These religions were very powerful until the collapse of the Roman Empire. Jesuit faith took another blow following the Diaspora of Jews in the Roman Empire. This spread Judaism all over the continent of Europe and the chosen people had lost their homeland to another Ethical Monotheism: Christianity. Christians gained popularity after various disciples became martyrs led by Jesus Christ. This upheaval occurred from zero BC until approximately 135 AD when Christianity got a colossal boost from Emperor Constantine’s conversion. Christians were driven to Italy by the Islamic Jihads in the eight hundreds. Islam is the third great Ethical Monotheism with over eight hundred million believers world wide. The three religions all share numerous characteristics that have helped to construct them into dominant religions. All of the religions have rules that people can obey to be faithful believers … regardless of where they came from or what race they are. They also share a vicious need to wipe out other religions that are less powerful.
              The main importance of Ethical Monotheism is its presence as the largest religions on Earth. Christianity actually uses many of the same books and shares the Ten Commandments with their counterparts – the Jews.  Islam is less related to Judaism and Christianity but they do use the “five pillars” and they claim to be descendents of Abraham. The religions in which Ethical Monotheism is present are some of the supreme religions on earth because of its appeal to people universally. Unlike religious principles that came prior to the Ethical Monotheism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam accept converts from everywhere on earth. The polytheistic religions that dominated the ancient world believed that their god cared only for their patron city or nation. Even skilled non-Romans would  to work for years before they could become full Romans. By the times the Romans were lenient; many other religions (such as Greece) made it impossible to convert to their religion. When Ethical Monotheism’s God welcomed the masses and provide simple procedures for conversion, ancient religions were blown away by the emerging religions. The reason for the Diaspora was a last ditch effort by the Romans to survive the emergence and success of Judaism and their ruthless politicians. This is why the Christian religion became successful; the Christians took advantage of the lack of Jews to control the Roman Empire. Their greatest success in this undertaking before the Romans collapse was the conversion of Emperor Constantine in AD c306. Thus Christians would become one of the most powerful organized religions in the world.
              The Christians are a prime example of the Ethical Monotheism. Today Christians are among the greatest religions on earth and because of this Christianity has control of the strongest nations on earth. Christians have used subversive tactics to eliminate other religions (including Judaism: Christians helped to drive them out of Rome by 300 AD); inquisitions in which people were forced to join the church or citizens would be tortured, and wars such as the crusades in which the pope attempted to convert millions of Islamic “heretics” in the throughout the middle ages. The Jews, Islamic and Christians all shared a drive to eliminate all other religions. It is this paranoia that brought Ethical Monotheism to the top of the religious hierarchy. It will also doom the religions to forever quibble in an endless cycle as each religion attempts to gain the upper hand.

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