The Cambodian Genocide: Do Survivors Learn to Forgive, or Is It Something Else That Helps Them Adjust to Life Post-Genocide?

I heard my father talking about it with my mother all of the time. They both survived it, and now they appeared comfortable discussing their experiences. They recalled the pain, suffering, and trauma that they had to undergo before finally arriving in America in 1982, but how could they so openly reminisce about such a horrific period in their lives? Continue reading

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A Crusader Attains True Faith: Ingmar Bergman’s Kierkegaardian Vision in The Seventh Seal

“This is my hand. I can move it, feel the blood pulsing through it. The sun is still high in the sky and I, Antonius Block, am playing chess with Death.”

Philosophers have long contemplated the mystery of existence and the certainty of death, but in the course of the past century these existential questions have become present topics in cinema. Continue reading

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Culture Clashes and Family Ties: Summer Travels in Italy

Following is a portfolio of paragraphs, each written with a different goal.

1: Description

The Wonderful Diversity of Italian Life

On my family’s summer vacations to Italy, I plunge into Italian life, in all its wondrous diversity. Every morning, we drive down to the marina, a sandy beach littered with a peculiar mixture of jubilant kids scampering about and torpid old men and women drying in the scorching Mediterranean sun. Continue reading

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Sin or Sickness: Antigay Ideology in the 1960s

The topic of homosexuality in 1960s America faced an incredible amount of opposition. Homophobia was extremely prevalent in society and there were many discriminatory laws against homosexuals. When discussing the homosexual rights movement, scholars like Fred Fejes, author of Gay Rights and Moral Panic, focus on the struggle of homosexuals gaining equal rights against an adversary heterosexual society. Continue reading

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How Does Trauma Change Identity?

Most people can see that traumatic experiences such as war, torture, or kidnapping can have a profound effect on the social skills, violent tendencies, and paranoia of victims after returning home. The problem with people’s perceptions of trauma victims is that they still believe that those victims are the same people that they were before. The reality is that trauma victims, depending on the severity and nature of the trauma, can be changed to the point where they can only identify themselves as existent in relation to the trauma. Continue reading

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Rumi and the Five Philosophers

Abduljalal al-Din Rumi, a thirteenth century mystic poet, whirled like a Sufi dervish on the sandy beach of a foreign land. As he whirled, he softly sung the lyrics to his poem titled Only Breath.

“Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion

or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up Continue reading

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An Evening at the House of Satire Coffeehouse

One drop, two drops, three drops, four.

The cobblestone pavements of London soon gleam under the dim streetlights. A street beggar, with a bottle of gin in one hand and a loaf of stale bread in the other, hastens his steps to escape the unsought shower. Continue reading

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The Disastrous Alienation of the Mass

Adam Smith challenged fundamental mercantilist doctrines and laid the foundations for classical laissez-faire capitalism theory starting in the mid-18th century. Since the Industrial Revolution, capitalism progressively dominated the economic ideologies of Europe. Continue reading

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Harry Haller’s Torn and Painful Existence

Herman Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf, published in 1927, touches upon the existential theme of dual personalities and the notion that life is filled with spiritual searching and suffering. It follows the intriguing tale of a middle-aged man, Harry Haller, also known as the Steppenwolf, and analyzes his physical, mental, and spiritual crises. Many readers, although not the author, consider the book to be a fundamentally existentialist novel. Continue reading

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