Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Many Feminist Themes in Black Swan

The Many Feminist Themes in 'Black Swan' To call Darren Aronofskys Black Swan a chick flick might be a misnomer, but  the film  confronts nearly every significant issue facing girls and women today in a way that few mainstream films dare. The storys simplicity (an up-and-coming ballet dancer earns the coveted main role of White Swan/Black Swan in a production of Swan Lake) belies whats really going on: an internal/external struggle that touches on the duality of womens lives and asks what were willing to sacrifice to achieve success. Plot Summary Nina Sayres (Natalie Portman) is a 20-something ballerina in a famous New York City company. She displays tremendous skill but almost none of the fiery passion that could elevate her from the corps de ballet to a featured dancer role. As the audience soon learns, she is controlled to a disturbing degree. Despite the glamor of her profession, she does little more than shuttle back and forth between home and work. Home is an apartment shared with her mother Erica (Barbara Hershey). The warren-like environment, with its dark halls and various closed doors, suggests repression, hidden secrets, and sealed-off emotions. Her bedroom is little-girl pink and chock full of stuffed animals. This speaks to her arrested development better than any narrative could, and her wardrobe of white, cream, pink, and other pale shades emphasizes her passive, unassuming personality. An opportunity to break out of the pack and become a principal dancer arises when the company decides to perform Swan Lake. The leading role of the White Swan/Black Swan is a part Nina - like every other ballet dancer before her - has dreamed of performing all her life. Although its clear she has the skill and grace to play the innocent, virginal, and pure White Swan, its doubtful she can embody the dark deception and commanding sexuality of the Black Swan - or so the companys demanding artistic director Thomas (Vincent Cassel) believes until a heretofore unforeseen act on the part of Nina abruptly changes his mind. When newcomer Lily (Mila Kunis) barges into the dance studio and interrupts Ninas audition for Thomas at a crucial point, a triangle is established between the three that involves lust, passion, competition, manipulation, seduction, and possibly murder. Adding to the drama, Thomas turns the introduction of Nina as the new principal dancer into an opportunity to kick Beth (Winona Ryder), the companys aging star, out the door by announcing her retirement. Characters and Relationships Its a perfect setup for director Aronofsky to weave various themes into the film, including the nature of female friendship and competition, the mother/daughter relationship, sexual harassment, lesbian relationships, the transition from girlhood to womanhood, the pursuit of perfection, aging and women, and female self-hatred. Each relationship Nina is engaged in - with her mother, with Lily, with Thomas, and with Beth - mines these themes at several levels and twists the perspectives so completely its not clear whats real and whats imagined. In Erica, we see a mother who appears supportive but later reveals her animosity toward her daughter. Erica alternately cheers on Nina and attempts to sabotage her. She lives vicariously through Nina while resenting her achievements. She pushes Nina forward, even as she continually infantilizes her now-adult child. In Lily, we see a friendship thats both liberating and destructive and an attraction that may be purely platonic or steeped in sexual overtones. Is Nina attracted to Lily because she admires the other dancers wild child lifestyle and passion over perfection? Or is she afraid that Lily will supplant Nina in the company as Nina has supplanted Beth? Does Nina want to be Lily? Or does Lily represent what Nina would be like if she embraced both light and dark aspects of herself? In Thomas, we see various facets: the positive mentor who believes Nina can outshine even Beth in the role, the ruthless artistic director bent on breaking Nina and molding her into what he wants, the sexual predator who harasses and seduces women to dominate and emotionally control them, and the manipulative boss who sees what his subordinates are up to - yet turns a blind eye. In Beth, we see Ninas fascination with the companys fading female star played out against the backdrop of societys disdain for aging females. Eager to emulate Beth and feel what its like to be in her shoes, Nina steals her lipstick, an act which foreshadows Nina stealing her role and her power. Ninas guilt over assuming the mantle of female power in the company and her constant feelings of inadequacy build until they erupt in an unnerving hospital scene that is rife with self-loathing and self-hatred. But is  it Beths actions or Ninas deep-seated feelings we witness on screen? Good Girl/Bad Girl Themes in Black Swan Underlying these themes is the idea of perfection at any cost and the good girl/bad girl tug-of-war. Its a seesaw of wills that knocks Nina off-balance mentally, if not physically. The audience sees Nina physically mutilate herself, a cinematic echo of the real-world issue of cutting. This is a self-destructive behavior many females turn to in order to release feelings of pain, fear, and emptiness. The simple donning of a black camisole - the apotheosis of the transition from innocent to worldly - initiates Nina into a world where drinking, drugging, and hooking up with either sex is no big deal. And when Nina literally has to fight herself to play the Black Swan with conviction and passion, we see how great a sacrifice one woman is willing to make to achieve perfection. Black Swan or White Swan? The films trailer makes no bones about the fact that Nina goes mad as she immerses herself in the role of a lifetime. Its a dark Gothic tale of suppression, betrayal, desire, guilt, and achievement. But at some level, it also addresses how women fear their own power and abilities, believing that if they fully exercise both, they risk obliterating and destroying those around them - including themselves. Can women still be good and kind and be successful, or must women always morph into those despised and hated Black Swans when they fiercely go after what they want? And can women live - or live with themselves - after that pinnacle is achieved?

Friday, March 13, 2020

Evolutionary Explanations of Parental Investment Essays

Evolutionary Explanations of Parental Investment Essays Evolutionary Explanations of Parental Investment Paper Evolutionary Explanations of Parental Investment Paper The parental investment theory was put forward by Robert Trivers in 1972, and argues that differences between males and females have their origins in the different amount of time, energy and effort being put into having a child. We often hear that males seem to behave in a more aggressive manner, they care more about physical attractiveness in a partner than personality, and that women value financial capacity of potential partners the most (Buss, 1989). An explanation of this is that males and females have a different amount of parental investment, and the root of the behaviour is in Darwins natural selection theory which proposes that those who are reproductively successful and leave more offspring will have their characteristics passed on. Therefore, the aim for both males and females is to create as many living, healthy offspring as possible. A males investment is relatively small, as he has almost no limit to how many children he can make, and therefore the best way to maximise his reproductive success is to have many matings with multiple fertile partners. However, a females investment is very substantial. She has a limited supply of gamete and her reproductive life is short, she carries the growing foetus around for 9 months and after giving birth, she must continue to nourish the child by breastfeeding, or else the child will not survive. Therefore, her best chance of reproductive success is to ensure the survival of her few precious offspring, and therefore will need a partner who is able to provide for her and her child, showing commitment when she cannot get her own food because of being too busy looking after the child. This theory helps us to understand mate preferences. Buss (1989), having conducted a commendable 33-country cross-cultural study found that men valued physical attractiveness more than women did and also valued women younger than themselves. This supports the idea of men wanting fertile women with good genes, although as this study was a survey, we cannot for definite rule out dishonesty or indeed differences in the definition of preference or value between cultures or between sexes. Evidence for the theory was also found in Clark and Hatfields studies (1989 and 1990) where male and female students were approached by strangers asking for casual sex. Interestingly, none of the women agreed but 75% of men did, suggesting that they may want to spread out their genes between willing fertile volunteers. Trivers theory helps us to understand the observed differences in sexual jealousy (men became more distressed at the thought of their partners being sexually unfaithful whilst women were more concerned with their male partner being in love with another person Buss, 1993). It must be mentioned here that this type of experiment has several ethical problems, like the lack of informed consent at the beginning and distress. It may just have been that the females felt more vulnerable since they did not know the strangers and perhaps would have agreed under different circumstances. Also, the outcome of the study may have been down to biological differences in hormone levels and brain structure rather than evolutionary behaviour. The parental investment theory suggests that a male is more likely to want lots of partners for reproductive success, and evidence for this was given by Buss and Schmitt (1993) when they asked men and women their ideal number of sexual partners in a lifetime. The averages were, respectively, 18 (men) and between 4 and 5 (women). This clear difference shows that men tend to seek and desire a greater number of partners, and the theory can explain why this is.  A major flaw in the evolutionary explanation is that it is practically impossible to prove it because we cannot, as of yet, travel through time and witness the behaviour of our predecessors firsthand. Having said this, it is relatively reliable due to its links with Darwins widely-accepted theories of sexual selection and natural selection. Furthermore, the theory ignores the obvious evidence that not all mating is about long-term relationships and that women as well as men clearly engage in short-term relationships.  An extension or even improvement of the theory is the Sexual Strategies theory devised by Buss and Schmitt (1993). It argues that the parental investment theory is too reductionist and that men and women might look for both a short-term and long-term mate, and demonstrates behaviours for both; women as well as men might want to have a one-night stand for mate insurance, just in case her proper mate disappears. There has been evidence to support this (Norman and Kendrick, 2006), showing that women will look for physically attractive males especially in a one-night stand. It would seem that the parental investment theory may be rather accurate in that it explains a variety of behaviour differences between males and females, but it is almost impossible to prove and other theories such as the SS theory by Buss and Schmitt (1993) provides an answer to some of the limitations of the theory. It is likely that the two theories together provide a better explanation than the parental investment theory alone.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Web design project. Phebra, Australia Case Study

Web design project. Phebra, Australia - Case Study Example Phebra is a pharmaceutical company based in Australia. They specialise in medicines which are considered to be innovative for the hospital market. Their market place is tailored to serious and life-threatening conditions. They are specialists in their field. They have a range of pharmaceuticals to cater for the majority of conditions in the "serious" and "life threatening" categories.This project has arisen out of a need to review and improve the existing Phebra website. The task of the new look website will be to communicate the Phebra message in a simple easily readable format. As much information about the company should be placed on a single page, rather than splitting the information into separate pages. This should also make the site easier to navigate. As Phebra were previously known as PharmaLab, it could also be considered as a "rebranding" promotion. Therefore the look and feel of the new site is important, from the perspective of customer branding and effective marketing.T he existing design is based on a blue and white colour scheme. The main focus of the front page is the pull down menu which details the products on offer from the company. The site is fairly simplistic on the front page, in that the main sections include the business, products, ordering information and a contacts page. The main theme of the business is covered with the title "Life-enhancing medicines." This is quite effective. The news section on the left of the web page provides information on recent events. At the right of the home page a typical product is featured. The target audience is not obvious from the home page, even though the intended audience is hospitals. There are no links or information on current customers, even though they market to several countries. The areas Phebra cover is not easily identifiable from the home page information. The colour scheme is easy on the eye, and has a friendly outlook. The marketing message is good overall, but leaves room for improvement and could be more targeted. The information on the products however, is not easy to understand to the lay-person i.e. anyone who is not a pharmaceutical professional, and could be improved. Evaluation of existing design solution The existing design of the Phebra website is partly based on history, following the change in branding from "PharmaLab" to "Phebra". The site is well established and is attractive. The main problem with the site is that the information is quite technical and not understood by the everyday user. The site may be fine for pharmaceutical professionals, but in order for managers and the general public to find information a description of terms and products could be provided in a more user-friendly manner. They provide a useful contact us page, and the current format is suitable, as is. From a marketing perspective the text used does get to the point, but could do with a facelift. Their objective is to sell pharmaceutical products to hospitals in several countries. Therefore a simple statement about the products they sell is fine up to a point. However, in order to compete with numerous other companies in the same field, it would help to include demonstrations of products perhaps in flash movie format. Another way of gaining competitive advantage would be to include testimonials and a list of established customers. This would enhance Phebras reputation is a market leader in their field.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Analysis of one of Humes arguments touching on the existence of God Essay

Analysis of one of Humes arguments touching on the existence of God - Essay Example Hume compares God’s (the Designer’s) created systems and the intended purpose on creation. In using the two characters, Cleanthes and Philo, Hume weigh both sides of the creator. Cleanthes supports the rationale of the Designer’s creations and attests that the designer is both never-ending and munificent in his creation. Both characters agree on one point that the Designer had a wise plan in his creation and that human suffering is evident in the world (Tweyman 84). However, in his work, it is evident that Hume inclines his arguments to Philo who argues that the Designer’s purpose was for human’s goodwill ought to eliminate the recurrent human suffering, and the conflicts between humans and other organisms. Cleanthes attempts to compare the designer’s intended purpose on the creation with that of machines shows the significance and interrelations of every aspect of creation in comparison to the roles various functional parts of a machine. However, Philo attacks Cleanthes’ hypothesis using a cause-effect approach and argues that the world designs do not uphold Cleanthes’ arguments (Tweyman 85). In his arguments to counter act Cleanthes’ beliefs on the Designer’s purpose on creation, Philo explains the unsatisfactory nature of both humans and animals and explains that the Designer ought to intervene since he is power is never-ending. As such, he argues that the creator’s purpose was that his creations could not be happy. At one point, Philo doubts the capability of the Creator’s ability to eliminate various evils of the world. Philo asserts that if the creator is willing to eliminate the evils and does endeavor to eliminate such evils, then he is powerless. He gives another assertion that if the Designer is capable of eliminating such crimes but does not do so, he ought to be malevolent. Conversely, Philo asserts that there ought to be no evils and human suffering if the Designer is both capacitated and

Monday, February 10, 2020

Team Turmoil Analysis Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Team Turmoil Analysis - Essay Example Another challenge was lack of proper team co-ordination, majorly characterized by lack of direction in the manner activities are conducted in the team works for instance procedures of communication. In addition, poor inter-personal skills were a challenge to the effective team work in the group. This was majorly characterized by poor communication skills among the team members seen by instances of interruption of some team members as they expressed their ideas. This could have been attributed by the fact that was no universal team leader who could offer directions regarding how each member expresses his ideas. Alternatives The first alternative that could be applied to solve the issues identified is encouraging each team member to respect the opinions of others. This is imperative owing to the fact that it reduces conflicts that may occur when one is not provided with an opportunity to air his/her ideas. However, this could also create setbacks at some points owing to the fact that group member maybe compelled to accept ideas that are not accurate or invalid. Additionally, team members should communicate their ideas freely; however, this can only be encouraged by a condusive environment. Dereley and Onyielisi did not speak their ideas freely and only kept shrugging at some points; this is not appropriate as it allow other group members to know what others think of their ideas. The major challenge with this alternative is that in some cases, team members may express ideas that are out of the discussion topic.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

College Application Essay Examples - Using College Essay Writing Services

College Application Essay Examples - Using College Essay Writing ServicesCollege applications require a lot of preparation, and your college's paper and essay writing service will help you with essay examples. There are many ways to turn out strong essays that your college will consider. Do you think it is wise to hire a college essay writing service for help with college essay writing?First, many college professors and admissions officers are using free resources to help you with essay writing. There are many guides, e-books, and websites online that will offer useful advice on different topics. These guides are great tools to use and will give you ideas and help you craft the best essays possible. If you spend a little time browsing around the Internet, you will find some very useful free resources to assist you with writing a college application essay.Second, your college application essays will be evaluated by a panel of admissions officers, most likely a committee that does not specialize in one area. Many students do not realize this, but they can write a beautiful essay if they know what they are doing. It is critical that you know what to write about and how to structure your thoughts. The college's writing service can help you find a subject that you have an expertise in.Third, many college application essays are written by the college's essay writing service. This means that they will have a specific topic in mind when they are writing your essay. So, if you know what you are going to write about, and you know that the college's writers are familiar with the topic, you will find it much easier to produce a well-written essay. Writing well in the essay is no easy task, and you should not expect it to be easy. Your college's essay writing service can help you with both directions.Fourth, your college application essays will be used by your high school guidance counselor, who will use them to decide if you will be admitted into their program. If your ess ay is good, then it will help you to be accepted by the college or university. It is important to provide them with a well-written essay. One mistake that your high school guidance counselor may make is to simply accept the first essay that you send them. They will not be able to tell if your essay is well-written if they do not read it.Fifth, college application essays help you decide what academic major you will pursue. In the same way that your admissions counselor can tell which courses you need to take, you will want to know what academic major you will pursue in college. The college writing service can give you an idea about what you should focus on and what subjects you will consider taking. So, if you know what your goals are and you have an idea of what you want to major in, you will be more prepared to ask a college writing service to help you with your college application essay.Sixth, college application essays help you decide how to structure your essay. By using proper language and structure, you will be able to show your true personality, so that you will be more comfortable in writing your essay. College essay writing services can help you with this as well.

Innovation & Creativity and Enterprise Research Proposal

Innovation & Creativity and Enterprise - Research Proposal Example Bilton and Cummings (2010) have exemplified many incidents where companies have excelled and outnumbered their competitors through their capability of being creative and innovative. Birla (2013) has also revealed that as the ideas and innovations are rapidly progressing, inclusion of all such creative ideas and technical innovations in the business operations is required for a company to gain a competitive edge in the industry segment. However, Lockard (2010) has expressed his doubt on the scope available for companies operating in Gulf region to incorporate ICE in their business process. For conducting the research, secondary data collection method should be obtained (Creswell, 2013). Thus information regarding incorporation of innovative technologies and establishing the scope for creativity within the enterprise will be acquired from various relevant journals and magazines, annual reports of Zain Telecom, industry reports etc. Qualitative research approach should be taken so that intrinsic reasons, outlook and motivation can be derived from all available information (Krathwohl, 2008). An organization striving for adding value to the products and services, building broader business networks and establishing long enduring relationship with national and international clients, must establish and exercise the foundation of ICE. Though it is believed that Gulf region is deprived from many technological and other innovative considerations, the research is undertaken for establishing the fact that in this modern age of globalization, the companies operating in this region, such as Zain Telecom, have also managed to incorporate innovation, creativity and enterprise to establish and strengthen their global