Friday, May 22, 2020

Culture Behind the Curtain Essay - 2940 Words

Francis Fukuyama, in The Origins of Political Order, suggested that nation-states are mountain ranges. No sooner do they begin to rise, does erosion begin to immediately tear them down. It is a tragic paradox: as nation-states become more powerful they become more fragile, as beneath the formal structures of state bureaucracy there exist populations connected by informal relations and cultural constructions. If at any point these relations or constructions shift political order is lost. In the late 1980s the USSR was eroding: slow economic growth, broken living standards, corrupt political systems, lagging innovation, and shortages of consumer goods were a prominent reality. Communism was being quashed by the reality of costs associated†¦show more content†¦It was an essential feature of US strategy to advance understanding and appreciation of American cultural and political life. Accordingly, both the US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 and the US-Soviet C ultural Exchange Agreement of 1958 encouraged the use of all prevailing communication media (radio broadcasts, print publications, educational exhibitions, film and cinematic productions, and cross-cultural exchange programs) to strengthen US-USSR relations through cultural infiltration. The aim was to allow both countries to learn about one another, and it was thought that allowing each nation to tell their own story, promote their achievements, and encourage study of their language would be mutually beneficial. For the US, such exchanges would produce an erudite pool of scholars specializing in matters of the USSR, and the Soviets, if all went as planned, would accumulate â€Å"a growing number of scholars who had seen the West, and who had recognized how far behind the Soviet Union was, that communism had failed them, and that the Soviet media were not telling them the truth.† The ultimate goal would be to convince the Soviet population to embrace and embody Western valu es. Between 1958 and 1988 more than 50,000 students,Show MoreRelatedCulture Behind the Curtain1317 Words   |  6 Pagestourists. This American culture, especially the scores of Jazz records and recordings, grew incredibly popular. Jazz orchestras sprung up across Moscow and the Soviet bloc, and these groups longed for the opportunity to play American scores in their own styles. Music became a common vehicle conveying the culture of the West within the USSR. Following the war, however, Stalin and his Generals became apprehensive about the damaging effect that substantial exposure to Western culture could have on the PartyRead MoreEssay about Culture Behind the Curtain1931 Words   |  8 Pageswould attempt to jam transmissions of this music too, by the early 1970s, rock culture began to be embraced by bloc governments who simply couldn’t quell the massive public demand for it. Zinaida Soumina, a Dnepropetrovsk official, explains, â€Å"The youth waited for when the fresh music records from the West would appear on the black market. Young people had forgotten their national roots, and their own national culture.† It had become clear that the soviet population wanted not only to listen to theirRead MoreBehind The Formaldehyde Curtain And The Fear Of Dying By Elisabeth Kubler Ross869 Words   |  4 Pagesone can escape death. It’s one of so few unavoidable certainties in our lives and has held an important position in every human culture since time immemorial. Of course, this position has is different from culture to culture, and shifts over time. This is particularly evident in western culture. The shift is discussed at length in two essays: â€Å"Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain† by Jessica Mitford, and ‘The Fear of Dying’ by Elisabeth Kà ¼bler-Ross. Both explore different aspects of these themes – Mitford’sRead MoreThe Danger of Using Literature and Fiction as a Historical Source971 Words   |  4 Pagesli ves of wealthy Japanese and Italian men, women of affluence lived highly secluded lives in each culture. Women in Aristocratic Japan and Italy lived subordinate and entirely secluded lives. In both Japan and Italy, women were excluded from institutionalized learning. Thus, they were less likely to know language. They spent their life indoors if they were wealthy and did not need to work. Neither culture allowed women to hold public positions, but they could inherit and own property. Japanese womenRead MoreDifferences Between Hamlets Mental/Emotional Conflicts and Beowulfs Physical Battles960 Words   |  4 PagesFrisians, far and wide, that the king is gone†. Has Beowulf failed his people? Like Hamlet in the last act of the play, who avenges for his father’s death, Beowulf knows what he must do as king and what has been appointed to him and takes actions of his culture as a heroic warrior. In William Shakespeare’s, Hamlet, the play is a Renaissance tragedy in Denmark about revenge and cultural identity for Hamlet by the duty of his father and the duties to his society. Hamlet’s father was murdered and HamletRead MoreGetting For Yes, By Roger Fisher And Looking Behind The Curtain1589 Words   |  7 Pagesthird approach. They call the third approach â€Å"principled negotiation† or â€Å"negotiation on the merits†. I submit that the procedures proposed in Getting to Yes alternatively break down to two simplistic themes, â€Å"Emotional Chess† and â€Å"Looking Behind the Curtain,† which are broadly applicable in contemporary negotiation. Additionally, I submit that within the authors’ procedures are four tactics which vary in applicability depending on the details the negotiation. The first of the two themes in GettingRead MoreFilm Adaptation of William Shakespeares Hamlet1644 Words   |  7 Pagescreated an adaptation of the story to fit their cultural and national perspectives. In the western world, adaptations of Hamlet have been more concerned with psychological or military theories regarding the story more than the inclusion of their unique cultures. Hamlet has been called by some as a universal story because it appeals to such a large array of different peoples. Each adaptation of the play chooses to focus on different aspects of the play in order to draw audience attention to certain pointsRead MoreThe Cause For The Vietnam War1442 Words   |  6 Pagesanti-communist policies of Western culture had the greatest direct influence in causing the Vietnam War, but were not enough reason to send troops to the area. The United States and Western Europe had similar attitudes toward communist ideologies, with political leaders implementing policies that were intended to limit the spread of communism. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke of the division between communist and democratic capitalist states by calling it an Iron Curtain that had cut Europe inRead MoreThe Role Of Black Women And The 18th And 19th Century Art1659 Words   |  7 Pagesappears to be a church, and this is evident considering that there is a cross in the top right corner. The pulpit, in the bottom left corner, also confirms that the space is indeed a Christian space of worship. To the left of the figure is a dark blue curtain that confines the figure in the painting. The most basic building block of any artwork is line; Kaphar uses classical lines to direct viewers’ eyes around the artwork, a type of line that is analytical and identified by horizontal and vertical linesRead MorePostcards from Chinatown - Analysis1299 Words   |  6 Pagesof Singapore’s past and heritage, likening the past to no more than just a cinematic film, where it is just a hologram projected onto a screen. In â€Å"Postcards from Chinatown†, the poet calls our daily lives â€Å"our performance†, and our proclaimed culture as merely a â€Å"stage†. But what can we draw from the poet assimilating the past to a stage performance? Firstly, stage performances provide the audience with a sense of intimacy as well as reality. The performance is acted out live in front of

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Proposal of Director’s Interpretations for Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is one of the most well loved plays and the mastermind behind it is none other than the great Shakespeare. This story has become one of the most iconic tragic teen love stories of our time. It has been reinterpreted differently by various people, each trying to present their own ideas and take of the play. Therefore, as a director, we have a tricky job. How do we in a way add more to the play? What is it that we can do to give our audience a fresh experience? Therefore, this interpretation of the play, my interpretation, has been thoroughly thought about to address all these concerns. I sincerely hope our audience has a wonderful experience as we bring to light new concepts and ideas. One of the biggest worries when reinterpreting the play is whether or not to change is context; for our audience, as a director we must contemplate about whether or not it is better to change the context to make it more applicable to our society or to just leave it. However, in this case, I have decided to change the setting of the play by modernizing it to be set in modern America. The modernization of the play will allow for a new canvas where a whole new variety of ideas can be explored. As I want to emphasise the extent of the violence and rivalry originally embedded in the play, I have also decided to have the concept of gangs incorporated into my interpretation of the play. The concept of gangs will also be a medium to expand on the theme of the â€Å"ancient grudge†. The

Stefan’s Diaries Bloodlust Chapter 30-31 Free Essays

Chapter 30 October 19, 1864 I’m out of danger, but I don’t feel safe. I wonder if I’ll ever feel safe again, or will I forever long for a desire that I’ll never fulfill? Will I get used to the ache? Twenty, two hundred, two thousand years from now, will I even remember these weeks? And will I remember Callie and her red hair, her laugh? I will. I have to. We will write a custom essay sample on Stefan’s Diaries: Bloodlust Chapter 30-31 or any similar topic only for you Order Now Callie has saved me and given me another chance at life. In a way, it’s like she was the daylight that followed the darkness Katherine had cast upon my existence. Katherine turned me into a monster, but Callie has changed me back into the Stefan Salvatore I’m proud to be. I wish her love. I want nothing but the best for her. I want for her to live in the light and find a man–a human–who will appreciate and adore her, who will take her away from Gallagher’s house forever to a quiet home on a lake, where she can teach her children to skip stones. I woke in the middle of the night to what I thought were hailstones bouncing against the windowpane. Despite Lexis rules, I peeked through a tiny slit in the curtains and squinted into the darkness. The trees were bare, their branches like ghostly limbs stretching toward the sky. Though it was a moonless night, I could see a raccoon scamper through the yard. And then, a figure standing timidly behind one of the columns on the portico. Callie. I hastily pulled on a shirt and slipped down the stairs, taking care to not make any noise. The last thing I wanted was for Buxton or Lexi to know that a human had followed me home. The door shut with a thud behind me, and I saw Callie jump. â€Å"Im here,† I whispered, feeling thrilled, confused, and excited, all at once. â€Å"Hi,† she said shyly. â€Å"Are you going somewhere?† I asked, nodding at her bag. â€Å"I hope so.† She clasped my hands with her own. â€Å"Stefan, I dont care what you are. Ive never cared. And I want to be with you.† She looked into my eyes. â€Å"I I love you.† I gazed at the ground, a lump in my throat. Back when I was a human, I thought Id loved Katherine until I saw her, chained up, muzzled, and foaming at the mouth. Id felt nothing but disgust at that vision. And yet Callie had seen me unconscious, bleeding from vervain, staked by captors, and pummeling my brother in the ring, and she still loved me. How was that possible? â€Å"You dont have to respond,† Callie rushed on. â€Å"I just had to tell you. And Im leaving no matter what. I cant stay here with Father, not after everything thats happened. Im getting on the train, and you can come with me. But you dont have to. But I want you to,† she babbled. â€Å"Callie!† I interrupted, placing a finger to her lips. Her eyes widened, shifting between fear and hope. â€Å"I would go with you anywhere,† I said. â€Å"I love you, too, and I will for the rest of my life.† â€Å"You mean your un-life,† she said, her eyes dancing. â€Å"How did you know where I lived?† I asked, suddenly shy. Callie blushed. â€Å"I followed you home once. When you ran away after the first vampire fight. I wanted to know everything about you.† â€Å"Well, now you do.† Unable to restrain myself, I pulled her into my arms and lowered my lips to hers, no longer afraid to hear the blood coursing in her veins or to hear her heart beat faster in anticipation. She tightened her grip around me, and our lips touched. I hungrily kissed her, feeling the softness of her lips against mine. My fangs didnt grow, my desire was all for her, in her human form, as she was. She was soft and warm and tasted like tangerines. In those moments, I imagined our future. Wed take the train as far away from New Orleans as possible, maybe to California, or perhaps even sail to Europe. Wed nest in a little cottage and keep livestock for me to feed from, and Callie and I would live out our days together, away from the prying eyes of society. A nagging thought tugged at the corner of my mind: Would I turn her? I hated the thought of doing it, of sinking my teeth into her white neck, of making her live a life in which she craved blood and feared the daylight, but I also couldnt bear the thought of seeing her grow old and die in front of me. I shook my head, trying to release those thoughts. I could deal with them later. We both could. â€Å"Stefan,† Callie murmured, but then the murmur turned into a gasp, and she slipped out of my clutches and onto the ground. A butchers knife stuck into her back, blood pooling out of it. â€Å"Callie!† I cried, sinking to my knees. â€Å"Callie!† Frantic, I tore a vein in my wrist, trying to feed Callie my blood to heal her. But before I could press my arm to her gasping mouth, an unseen hand yanked me up by the shirt collar. A low, familiar chuckle cut through the night air. â€Å"Not so fast, brother.† Chapter 31 I whirled around, my hand ready to strike, my fangs bared. Before I could move, Damon grabbed my shoulders and flung me across the street. My body hit the road, hard, my arm snapping at an unnatural angle. I scrambled to my feet. Callie was lying in the grass, her red hair fanning over her shoulder, a pool of blood darkening around her. She let out a quiet moan, and I knew she must be in agony. I started to race back to her, pumping my blood to my open wound so she could feed easily. But Damon intercepted me, lowering his shoulder into my chest and knocking me backward. I scrambled to my feet. â€Å"This stops now!† I yelled, ready to pounce. I flew toward him, ready to rip him apart, to give him what hed wanted for so long. â€Å"Does it stop now? Before dinner?† Damon asked, a slow smile forming on his face. I watched in horror as Damon knelt down, bared his teeth, and sunk them into Callies neck, drinking long and hard. I tried to push him away, but he was far too strong. How many people had he fed from since our escape? I kept tugging, trying to free Callie, but Damon stayed in the same position as if he were a marble sculpture. â€Å"Help! Lexi!† I roared, as Damon sent me flying backward with a swift jab of his elbow. I hit the grass with a thud. Damon kept drinking. I realized with horror that Callies moaning had stopped. So had the steady, thrumming sound of blood Id gotten so used to hearing in Callies presence. I fell to my knees. Damon turned toward me, his face smeared with blood. Callies blood. I blanched at the sight. Damon chuckled. â€Å"You were right, brother. Killingiswhat vampires do. Thanks for the lesson.† â€Å"Ill kill you,† I said, rushing toward him once more. I knocked him to the ground, but Damon took advantage of my injured arm and flipped me over, pinning me to the ground next to Callie. Damon shook his head. â€Å"I dont think I will die tonight, thank you. Youre done being the one to make the life-and-death decisions,† he hissed. He stood up, as if he were going to walk away. I crawled over to Callie. Her eyes were wide open and glassy, her face pale. Her chest was still rising and falling, but barely. Please live, I thought, gazing into her unblinking eyes in a desperate attempt to compel her. I saw her eyelids flutter. Could it be possible that it was working? I want you to live. I want to love you while you’re alive, I thought, squeezing blood from my wounds into her open mouth. Then, as drops fell on her face, I felt an agonizing pain in my abdomen. I sprawled on the grass as Damon kicked me over and over and over in the stomach, a demonic look in his eye. Summoning all my strength, I scuttled on the dew-damp earth away from Damon. â€Å"Help me,† I called again toward the house. â€Å"Help me!† Damon mocked in a sing-song voice. â€Å"Not quite the big man, anymore, are we, little brother? What happened to taking over the world? Got too busy having tea parties with your little friends and falling in love with humans?† He shook his head in disgust. Something inside me snapped. Somehow, I pushed myself to my feet and raced toward Damon, fangs bared. I pushed him to the ground, my fangs carving a long, jagged cut along his jugular vein. He fell to the ground, blood draining from his neck, his eyes closing. For a moment, he looked like my brother again. No bloodshot eyes, no voice laced with hatred. Just the broad shoulders and dark hair that always symbolized Damon. And yet he wasnt Damon anymore. He was a monster on a spree of destruction, stopping at nothing to make his threat of making my life miserable come true. I surveyed the ground around us, finally glimpsing a small tree limb, a few feet away, fallen after a storm. I crawled over to the branch and raised it high above his chest. â€Å"Go to hell,† I whispered, fervently meaning each word. But as the words left my mouth, Damon lunged up from the ground, his eyes red and his fangs bared. â€Å"Thats no way to talk to family.† He scoffed, throwing me to the ground. â€Å"And thats no way to hold a stake.† He raised the branch high over my chest, a gleam in his eye. â€Å"Heres the death you didnt let me have. Slow, and painful, and Im going to enjoy every second of it,† Damon said, cackling as he brought the stake down with all his might against my chest. And then everything went black. How to cite Stefan’s Diaries: Bloodlust Chapter 30-31, Essay examples

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Stylistic Analysis of Anthony in Blue Alsatia free essay sample

Many of her works had charming illustrations by Edward Ardizzone. Some of her correspondence has also been published. She won many literary awards and the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award for childrens literature is presented annually in her memory by the Childrens Book Circle, a society of publishers. The daughter of a British novelist and granddaughter of a U. S. actor, Eleanor Farjeon grew up in the bohemian literary and dramatic circles of London. Attending opera and theatre at 4 and writing on her father’s typewriter at 7, Farjeon came to public attention at 16 as the librettist of an opera, with music by her brother Harry. After World War I Eleanor earned a living as a poet, journalist and broadcaster. Often published under a pseudonym, Eleanors poems appeared in The Herald (Tomfool), Punch, Time and Tide (Chimaera), The New Leader (Merry Andrew), Reynolds News (Tomfool), and a number of other periodicals. We will write a custom essay sample on The Stylistic Analysis of Anthony in Blue Alsatia or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page Her topical work for The Herald, Reynolds News and New Leader was the perhaps the most accomplished of any socialist poet of the 1920s and 30s. Eleanor never married, but had a thirty-year friendship with George Earle, an English teacher. After his death in 1949, she had a long friendship with the actor Denys Blakelock, who wrote of it in the book, Eleanor, Portrait of a Farjeon (1966). During the 1950s she was awarded three major literary prizes: The Carnegie Medal of the Library Association, The Hans Christian Andersen Award and the Regina Medal of the American Catholic Library Association. The Childrens Book Circle, a society of publishers, present the Eleanor Farjeon Award annually in her memory. Her work is cited as an influence by famous Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. The plot centers round the imaginary trip of a boy, Anthony, to Alsatia. It is understood that the main character is a small boy as he doesn’t interest world’s activities, he is greatly attached to nature and perseives it so sharply and his imaginary trip is characterized with the help of childish way of thinking. Showing that a boy has rich imagination and opposing him to the passengers the author creates a dream-like atmosphere and shows that the passengers have more primitive emotions. So, the author’s message in this story is that everybody can find something beautiful around him wherever he is. And it depends upon a person to dream or not. This text is about a little boy Anthony with a very rich imagination and a romantic nature who once reading the morning newspaper realized himself as one of the passengers of the train he reads about. This story is an Anthony’s dream and he splendidly and incredibly accurate describes everything that happens to him, the mystery which will never be solved connected with a quite little man, who left the train and disappeared in the wood, the passengers form the train and beautiful fields outside. His trip to The Blue Alsatia finishes very suddenly when a young girl he meets says, â€Å"Stay†. And the Blue Alsatian Express went on without him. There are four parts in this text: the exposition is the beginning of the story, the plot development is in a dream of Anthony, the climax is when a little man left the train, and the denouma. The main character here is Anthony. He is an acute and shrewd boy who is able to distinguish between necessary and not meaningful information for him. This is understood through the case of simile: they slipped as through gauze. In order to underline that the boy has a great power of imagination and that he is impressed by the breakdown the author resorts to a long sentence with parallel constructions: â€Å"it described the blue smoke rising from the heated axle, the engine-driver sprinting along the lines like madman, soldiers†¦ â€Å". Besides, the boy has a very romantic nature. The author describes him indirectly. Also, there are other characters in the story, they are: a nervous lady, a fat millionaire and his wife who was very hungry. They were concerned with business, were lack of time and were too busy to look out of the window and take pleasure of nature outside. So, we can see a contrast between the world of real life in which the passengers live and the world of imagination where lives Anthony. At the beginning the story is a third person narration, interrupted by dialogues but then in order to make a deep emotional appeal the author applies for stream of consciousness. There are interior monologues, for example: â€Å"Oh, no,†¦of course not! †. Constant moving of nature carried the rhythm of the story. There are a lot of stylistic devices in the text, such as extended metaphor which helps the author to describe boy’s imagination and his specific order of mind. For example: â€Å"He felt that the gauze, which could not contain the torrents of world’s activities, might house this butterfly and not brush off its bloom†. A special device in this text is framing because we can see a story in a story here and framing is used to express that a story is imaginary. The author applies inversion to intensify the atmosphere of mystery. For example: â€Å"To whom has it not happened, time and again, on his way to the Seaside, the Moors, or the Highlands, to cry in his heart, at some glimpse of Paradise from the carriage windows: That is where I really wanted to go — that is where I would like to get out! †. The author uses also repetitions, for example, word â€Å"Heavens† repeated several times or â€Å"That is where†¦Ã¢â‚¬ . Rhetorical questions are also used to make the readers believe to Anthony, for example: â€Å"Never? † Inner monologue here opens the inner world to the readers. Exclamatory sentences assist to a rhythmic effect. The sounds of the laugh such as: â€Å"Ha-ha-ah! Ha-ha-ha! † imitate the sound of the train and make the story more realistic. The general tone of the story is rather sentimental because of amount of descriptions of nature. The author reaches the ironic effect by phrases of the passengers. The humorous note to the story adds the question â€Å"What happened to him? † when the man left the train. In conclusion, not everybody can dream as Anthony does it depends on a personality. But I guess the author wanted to say that it is not so bad to dream now and then.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The eNotes Blog Shakespeare and Fry and Bly, Oh My! Literary Quotes OnStorms

Shakespeare and Fry and Bly, Oh My! Literary Quotes OnStorms At , we want all of our followers and customers to know we are thinking about you in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and wish everyone a speedy and safe recovery. Hopefully, you have power and can read this but if your battery is running low, I hear there is a Starbucks on Broadway where you can charge up AND whose wifi is still working See To cheer you up, we thought you might enjoy reading some insights from literature and writers about stormy weather. So here ya go. 1.   Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks! You sulphurous and thought-executing fires, Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts, Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder, Strike flat the thick rotundity o the world! Crack natures molds, all germens spill at once That make ingrateful man! King Lear, Act 3.2  by William Shakespeare 2.   Stephen Fry Here are some obvious things about weather It’s real. You can’t change it by wishing it away. If it’s dark and rainy it really is dark and rainy, you can’t alter it. It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row. BUT It will be sunny one day. It isn’t under one’s control as to when the sun comes out but it will. One day. 3.   The Cat in the Hat  by Dr. Seuss 4.   Ã¢â‚¬Å"Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder go when it dies?†Ã‚  Something Wicked This Way Comes  by Ray Bradbury 5.   Ã¢â‚¬Å"Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.†Ã‚  Ã¢â‚¬â€¢Ã‚  Mark Twain 6.   Ã¢â‚¬Å"Tut, Tut, looks like rain.  Winne-the-Pooh  by  A.A. Milne   7.   Ã¢â‚¬Å"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.† ~  Carl Reiner 8.   Ã¢â‚¬Å"After three days men grow weary, of a wench, a guest, and weather rainy.† ~  Benjamin Franklin 9.   In Rainy September by  Robert Bly   In rainy September when leaves grow down to the dark I put my forehead down to the damp seaweed-smelling sand. What can we do but choose? The only way for human beings is to choose. The fern has no choice but to live; for this crime it receives earth water and night. And finally, at Number 10, a word from the coming years  Farmers   Almanac   â€Å"Flurries early, pristine and pearly. Winters come calling! Can we endure so premature a falling? Some may find this trend distressing- others bend to say a blessing over sage and onion dressing.†

Monday, March 2, 2020

The Millionaire Next Door Expert Summary, Critique, and Review

The Millionaire Next Door Expert Summary, Critique, and Review SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips Thomas Stanley and William Danko didn’t expect The Millionaire Next Door, their case study of America’s millionaires, to become a huge bestseller. Both academics at the University of Georgia, they set out to learn about the habits and lifestyles of the nation’s highest earners, not to write a personal finance bible. Readers were blown away by Stanley and Danko’s findings, though, namely that most millionaires don’t own fancy cars or throw lavish yacht parties. On the contrary, they live by principles of â€Å"thrift, low status, discipline, low consumption, risk, and very hard work.† From this book, many readers realized that the dream of amassing over $1 million was not as out of reach as they had thought. Stanley and Danko’s 1996 bestseller can still teach us a lot about personal finance today, but it also falls short in a few key ways. Read on for a full summary and critique of The Millionaire Next Door. The Millionaire Next Door: Summary What do you picture when you hear the word â€Å"millionaire†? Sprawling mansions in Beverly Hills? Fancy restaurants, antique cars, and weekend trips to St. Bart’s? According to Stanley and Danko, real millionaires look nothing like the extravagant stereotypes in our cultural imagination. Instead, they’re more likely than not to be your next-door neighbors who live in their starter home and have been driving the same used Volvo for the past ten years. Most millionaires, they discovered, gradually amassed their wealth over time. Many of the people surveyed in The Millionaire Next Door owned a so-called â€Å"dull-normal† small business. They were â€Å"welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and paving contractors." How did these people with a relatively ordinary income become millionaires? They all saved a larger-than-average proportion of their earnings by keeping consumption costs low and making early investments. By the time Stanley and Danko interviewed them to explore the secrets of the millionaire mind, these people had a net worth between $1 million and $10 million. The authors focused on this bracket, because, at the time of writing, 95% of the country’s millionaires had between $1 million and $10 million. Out of all American households, only 3.5% were classified as millionaires. That means that only 5% of that 3.5% had wealth totaling greater than $10 million. Our images of private jets and shiny yachts, therefore, only apply to a tiny population of people and not to the â€Å"average† millionaire. Because the majority of people in The Millionaire Next Door did not inherit their wealth, the authors concluded that â€Å"this level of wealth can be attained in one generation. It can be attained by many Americans.† This optimistic premise is one reason that so many readers embraced the book when it was published and still do today. Let’s look closer at the book’s driving thesis. William and Danko found that most millionaires owned "dull-normal" businesses, like mobile-home parks or welding companies. The Millionaire Next Door: Main Premise The main premise of The Millionaire Next Door can be found right in its title - the average millionaire could be anyone’s next door neighbor. Most of the country’s millionaires don’t look the part, or, at least, they don't look like we imagine they do. When we think about the lifestyles of millionaires, we have an unrealistic and flawed view. Most members of the millionaire's club aren’t flashy spenders working superstar jobs. They’re not lottery winners or movie stars dropping $6k on the regular for table service at nightclubs. In fact, Stanley and Danko consider people who spend a lot on non-essentials to be â€Å"UAWs,† or under accumulators of wealth. Their net worth ends up being less than it should be as a result of all their spending. On the contrary, the vast majority of the country’s millionaires live cautiously and modestly. They have a decent income, but they choose to live well below their means. Because of their careful, intentional budgeting, they become â€Å"PAWs,† or prodigious accumulators of wealth. They have a greater net worth than you would expect because they keep their costs so low. In the end, The Millionaire Next Door shows that most of the country’s millionaires are PAWs with higher than average, but by no means superstar-level, incomes. The book clears away some of the aura around the word, millionaire, and suggests that it’s more attainable than most people realize. Is this is a realistic message for the book to impart to its readers? According to the authors, someone with a flashy car might be an Under-Accumulator of Wealth (UAW), because they spent large portions of their money. The Millionaire Next Door: Full Critique Stanley and Danko are technically spot on when they reframe our thinking about what it means to be a millionaire. If we define â€Å"millionaire† as an individual with a net worth of $1 million or more, then we’ll find that the vast majority of millionaires don’t have stratospheric net worth. Rather, most just make the one million dollar cutoff or go a little beyond, and they got there by saving and investing a higher-than-average percentage of their income. Because superstar earners are so few and far between, the vast majority of us are not going to become rich that way. We should avoid â€Å"get rich quick† schemes and not include â€Å"become a movie star† or â€Å"get recruited by the NFL† in our personal finance plans. Instead, we should learn from this book’s realistic assessment about how most millionaires amassed their wealth. Their commitment to hard work and early investments, along with their aversion to excessive consumerism, forged a path to financial independence. If you’re serious about saving money and working toward financial security, then this steady approach is the most likely path. Of course, not everyone who lives by principles of thrift, hard work, and under consumption will become a millionaire. But most people who have become millionaires abided by those values. At the same time, these lifestyle choices are not necessarily what most readers have in mind when they say they want to be a millionaire. Read on to learn more about the weak points in The Millionaire Next Door. Most millionaires didn't amass their fortune from a get-rich-quick scheme. Where the Book Falls Short: 2 Major Weaknesses Stanley and Danko challenge conventional ideas about what it means to be a millionaire, but they have too extreme an emphasis on low consumption. Their conclusions, furthermore, are not as revelatory as they seem at first glance when you consider the statistics behind their work. Read on to learn more about both of these weak points in The Millionaire Next Door. #1: It Over-Emphasizes Low Consumption Many readers buy this book because they want to learn about how to become a millionaire. The book offers a potential path: careful savings, long-term investments, and lifestyle choices that include staying in a starter home and driving a used car. But is this what most people mean when they say they want to be a millionaire? Probably not. A lot of readers want their quality of life to improve along with their net worth, rather than having money invested in assets while their day-to-day lives remain exactly the same. As Felix Dennis, author of How to Get Rich, asks, would you rather have no money in the bank, but a fairy that pays for everything you buy, or have one billion dollars in the bank, but never be allowed to touch it? Most of us would choose the fairy. Stanley and Danko, however, veer a little too close to the second scenario as they stress the importance of self-denial. Their thrifty definition of being a millionaire is not relevant to the wants and needs of many people. While their definition can usefully reframe our thinking about what it means to be a millionaire, it also has its limitations. As writer, trader, and risk analyst Nassim Taleb says, â€Å"I see no special heroism in accumulating money, particularly if, in addition, the person is foolish enough to not even try to derive any tangible benefit from the wealth...I certainly do not see the point of becoming [a millionaire] if I were to adopt Spartan (even miserly) habits and live in my starter house." Part of the reason that the authors focus so much on â€Å"next door millionaires† is that they technically represent the â€Å"average† millionaire. Most millionaires have something like $1 million and not $10 million, and most saved this sum from hard work and thrift. But when readers say they want to be a millionaire, are they necessarily focusing on the lifestyle of the â€Å"average† millionaire? It’s almost like you said you wanted to get a Ferrari, and the book told you that most Ferrari owners got their car in the Hot Wheels section of Toys R Us. While this might technically be true (the stat includes everyone from age three to age 93), it’s not what you had in mind when you said you wanted a Ferrari. You didn’t want to take an average of all Ferrari owners, six-year-olds included, but rather wanted to use much narrower and more personalized parameters, like adult owners of real cars who have a similar financial profile as you. Stanley and Danko offer a potentially fruitful path toward becoming a millionaire, but it’s one that may not appeal or apply to all readers. The second weakness in this book has to do with its overall conclusions. From a mathematical standpoint, the book states some rather obvious statistics. Read on to learn why. The book's characterization of what it takes to become a millionaire are a bit too Puritanical for some people's tastes. #2: Its Conclusions Are Not All That Surprising Part of this book’s popularity has to do with its so-called surprising findings about what it means to be a millionaire. Millionaires aren’t tucked away behind security gates on their own private tropical islands, the book insists. They live right next to you and me! From a mathematical standpoint, though, the conclusion that most millionaires amassed their wealth through high saving, rather than high earning, is not astonishing. On the contrary, it’s totally predictable. To understand why, first, consider this representative example involving people and hats of various heights. Let’s say we want to learn more about people who are nine-feet tall. In our scenario, we’ll count hats as part of the height. In this scatterplot, you have people of various heights along the x-axis and hats of various heights along the y-axis. Hat heights are evenly distributed, but the number of people above six feet drops off rapidly. Heights and Hats: Diagram 1 Now let’s look at the people who are nine feet or taller, hats included. Above this line, everyone is nine feet or taller, while everyone below it is less than nine feet. Heights and Hats: Diagram 2 As you can see, there are a lot more people who hit the nine-foot mark because they’re wearing a hat. Only one person is nine feet on his own without a hat, because there are so few nine-foot tall people wandering the earth. Now, we’re not really talking about heights and hats; we’re talking about income and savings rates. Let’s use this same scatterplot to learn about people who have $1 million or more. Do they make a high income, or do they just have a high savings rate (or, as the analogy goes, wear a tall hat)? Here, income is represented along the x-axis and the rate of savings is represented along the y-axis. Income and Savings Rates: Diagram 1 Now let’s estimate a line through the data so that we’re roughly focusing on everyone with a net worth of $1 million or higher. Income and Savings Rates: Diagram 2 Just as there are only a few 8-foot tall people, there are also only a few people with incomes close to $1 million or higher. The rate that people save their money, rather than how much they earn, is much more evenly distributed across income levels. When you look at the way income levels rapidly extinguish as you get closer to a million, you can conclude that it’s a lot more common for people to accumulate $1 million or more by significantly raising their savings rate than by boosting their income into the six digits. This math shows us that most millionaires amassed their fortune through saving a lot. While this is useful to know, it’s not necessarily as revelatory as the marketers of The Millionaire Next Door have made it seem. By simply looking at the numbers, you can figure out on your own that most millionaires became wealthy by spending little and saving a lot. Given this mixed review of The Millionaire Next Door, what’s the final verdict? Should you read this book? The hats in the example above are a metaphor, as hats so often are. Reader’s Choice: Should You Read The Millionaire Next Door? All in all, The Millionaire Next Door has a lot to teach us about the choices and lifestyles of the average millionaire in the US. Whether or not it’s the most enlightening book for you largely depends on what you’re looking for. Is your main financial goal to save over $1 million in the bank and assets while spending little? If so, then this book will be right up your alley. Or would you rather spend well on things that you enjoy, but not necessarily go over the tipping point from $900k to $1 million? If this sounds like you, then this book may not apply as well to your financial goals. It's also important to remember that this book came from a study of the nation's millionaires. It's valuable and interesting for those who want insight into how others accumulate wealth rather than tips for how to do it themselves. In closing, let’s go over the main takeaways from The Millionaire Next Door. Remember that The Millionaire Next Door came from the studies of two academics. It wasn't meant to be a how-to guide for your personal finances. The Millionaire Next Door: Final Takeaways The Millionaire Next Door offers several lessons that endure for people today. To responsibly manage your finances, you generally want to save more, spend less, and avoid debt that you can’t afford. You should also take advantage of compound interest growth by making smart investments early in life. At the same time, you won’t find much discussion of quality of life or increasing your spending in a sustainable way in these pages. After all, it was not originally meant to be a personal finance guide, but rather an in-depth study of the nation’s millionaires. The book does not promise that anyone who saves and invests will become a millionaire, nor does it discuss social realities of inequity and privilege. You should read with a critical eye, so that you don’t come away with an overly idealized view of economic mobility or forget that some people experience barriers to wealth while others have more doors open. Ultimately, the book's lessons about what it means to be a millionaire can be useful for anyone who is trying to set financial goals and find realistic ways to work toward them. Readers will need to strike their own balance between self-denial and consumption as they take control of their personal finances.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Assignment 1 - Behavior Contract Part A & B Essay

Assignment 1 - Behavior Contract Part A & B - Essay Example emotional health, physical health, social health, spiritual health, intellectual health and environmental health. In other words, when a person strives to achieve wellness, he or she endeavors to strike the balance between these aspects. Thus, such a person is said to be leading a healthy lifestyle (McConnell 2014, pg. 49 ). As a young woman and a single mother of two daughters, life demands can at times overwhelm me. I have to keep track of every activity I partake to ensure that I observe all the aspects of my health and wellness. I have come to realized that I need to watch various areas of my life for achievement of health and wellness. Some of these key areas include my family’s nutrition, body exercising, management of friendships and family relationships, decision-making, stress management, life fulfilment and financial management among others. I hope that by formulating this health behavior contract, I will manage my health better, and expectedly, develop more as a good mother to my daughters and be more physically fit. Like anybody else, I have my strong points and my weaknesses in life. For this reason, I clearly understand the need to focus more on my strengths while striving to improve on my weaknesses. For example, I have very creditable socializing skills, and thus I am able to keep friendships for long. It is through this strength that I have developed a very cordial relationship with my daughters and family as well. Additionally, I have devised great ways of fighting and managing stress in my life through engaging in activities such as taking yoga classes, openness and problem sharing with trusted friends and meditation. On the contrary, I have some few areas that I need to improve such as on financial discipline, eating patterns and inconsistent exercising. Looking at my strengths and weaknesses as highlighted above, I can acknowledge some of the positive health behaviors that I