Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Discussion, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1372

Essay

The best example I can think of that shows how family dynamics can be challenged by human rights abuses is seen in the film “Death and the Maiden.” The main character of the wife is living with her husband in a house far removed from society, off in the country. Her husband is a lawyer and seems to be s prominent member of society, but his wife has apparently decided that her life in the country house is a safe place away from the torture she experienced when the previous government was in charge.

When a stranger arrives one night during a storm, and the house is cut off from the power and phone lines, the wife is convinced that the stranger is the man who was responsible for torturing and raping her. She had never seen his face, but she had heard his voice. She demands that her husband put on a trial in their home to decide his guilt or innocence. This seems to disrupt the balance of their relationship. The husband knew about what she had gone through, but he is unsure if she really has identified her torturer or if she is losing her mind. The wife had been living in fear, or at least hiding herself away, but suddenly her fear turned to anger, and it was her husband who was now afraid of his wife. In the end, it turns out that she was right all along about the stranger, and it seems that the husband knowing the truth about his wife and what she went through will always be part of their relationship.

***

The poem “Auschwitz” by Charlotte Delbo addresses the way that the world often looks the other way when human rights abuses are taking place. There is no question that one of the most well-known human-rights issue of the 20th century was the treatment of Jews and other ethnic and social minorities by Germany’s Nazi regime. Many people have asked how such horrible things could be taking place in Germany while the German people were unaware of it or simply ignored it. In “Auschwitz,” the narrator of the poem describes what it was like to be a prisoner driven on the back of a truck through the streets of Germany on the way to a concentration camp. As the narrator looks out over the people on the streets, she says “none of the inhabitants of this city had a face, and in order to hide this all turned away as we passed.” This line describes how the people of Germany looked away as she passed, and seems to show the inner sense of shame and recognition that they must have felt. Otherwise, why look away? The narrator goers on to describe how she could not even see her own face reflected in the glass of the shop windows they passed, as if she had become as invisible to herself as she and the other prisoners had become to the people of Germany. Being a victim of such abuse robs people of who they are, making them seem less than human to others and to themselves.

***

In the short story “The Son of Man,” author Natalia Ginsburg gives readers a sense of what it is like for those who have survived living under a brutal government. In this case it was the Fascist government of Italy, but it could just as easily have been written by anyone who understood what it was like to survive such a situation. The narrator describes how the fear and terror that became a part of everyday life for her and everyone she knew never goes away even after the circumstances change. For her, a knock at the door in the middle of the night can only ever be a bad thing, and can only mean that the police are there to take her or someone she loves away.

Even though the old government has been replaced by one that does not present the same possibility for being arrested or tortured for no reason, and even though she knows that the police are no longer her enemy, she still cannot leave the fear behind. She is “relieved” that she will not have to wake her children in the middle of the night and “run off” with them, but it is not a “deep, lasting relief.” She may understand in a logical sense that her fears are unfounded, but the emotional scars of her experience will never completely fade. “We shall never be at peace again,” she writes, but she also sees how the next generation, one that did not have the same experiences, does not have to live with the same fear. For that, she seems happy.

***

Several of the readings address the connection between mind and body in relation to human rights abuses. In the short story “Blind Chinese Soldiers,” this connection is viewed from the perspective of a witness to the horror, as a Japanese passenger on a train sees a group of Chinese soldiers being led as prisoners on a train. The Japanese passenger realizes that the Chinese soldiers are all blind, and that they have been blinded purposely through some form of torture. This physical representation of their torture horrifies the passengers, some of which begin to cry. The Japanese soldiers try to hide the prisoners away before too many people see them, as if they hoped that the people who witnessed them would be blind to the sight of them.

In the opening passages of “Piercing the Blockade,” Nawal El Saadawi describes how she marks the passage of time as a prisoner by noticing and experiencing the changes in her body. She describes how her “fingernails have grown and lengthened,” and how her hair has grown long and thick. She writes “I have forgotten the shape of my face,” because she and the other prisoners do not have access to mirrors. On one hand she seems closely connected to some of the changes happening in her body, but on the other hand she seems to be losing her sense of self when she cannot even remember her own face. Like some of the other readings, El Saadawi’s writing about human rights issues emphasizes how such abuse steals away the very things that make people human.

***

In Jack London’s “The Apostate,” the issue of child labor is addressed, as London tells the story of a young boy who has been physically and emotionally drained and aged beyond his years by the physical brutality of factory work. It also offers a view of this character finding some inner strength to finally leave behind the imprisonment of labor, no matter what the consequences.

The conditions the boy lives in are poor and bleak. He has never seen a toothbrush and would not know what to do with it if he did. There is never enough food for him, his mother, and his younger siblings. And even though he is only a young teenager, he has been working for almost all of his life, and in many ways he is already an old man physically and emotionally. London’s story makes it clear how the abuse of child labor robs children of their innocence and their childhood. This boy simply never knew what it was like to be a child the way that most of us think of children. He was nothing more than a living machine that had to operate the mechanical machines in the factory.

After an illness, and two weeks away from the factory, the boy decides he has had enough, and tells his mother that he is leaving home. He refuses to be responsible for feeding his younger brother or sister any longer, and tells his mother that she can send the brother to work just as he had to work. His relief at this decision seems to bring him a sense of happiness he never felt before, and he leaves home with no plan for the future other than to never return to the factory. It does not matter that he does not know where he is going, all that matters is that he has stood up to the confinement of the factory and tried to find a new path in life.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Essay Samples & Examples

Email and Voicemail Monitoring, Essay Example

When it comes to email and voicemail monitoring, it is important to consider the implications of these actions on behalf of both the employee as [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 340

Essay

Description of Place: A Forest, Essay Example

The logic behind the significance of specific locations to individuals inevitably varies. Some places may hold pertinence since they are the sites of important personal [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 315

Essay

Quality Management System, Essay Example

Customer needs and expectations are the products any customer attaches to a company and knows that he or she will get it when need arises. [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 337

Essay

What Does It Take To Be a Good Parent Assignment, Essay Example

The issue of what does it take to be a good parent is contentious, insofar as the thematic remains susceptible to subjective interpretations. One may [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 330

Essay

Human Rights Violations and the Legal System, Essay Example

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter: UDHR), advanced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947, was a watershed moment, insofar as with this [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1122

Essay

The Critical Consulting Firm, Essay Example

Week 5 Issues The CanGo operation provides interesting insights into, unfortunately, how to conduct employee relations poorly. This is obviously not the company’s intent; on [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1287

Essay

Email and Voicemail Monitoring, Essay Example

When it comes to email and voicemail monitoring, it is important to consider the implications of these actions on behalf of both the employee as [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 340

Essay

Description of Place: A Forest, Essay Example

The logic behind the significance of specific locations to individuals inevitably varies. Some places may hold pertinence since they are the sites of important personal [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 315

Essay

Quality Management System, Essay Example

Customer needs and expectations are the products any customer attaches to a company and knows that he or she will get it when need arises. [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 337

Essay

What Does It Take To Be a Good Parent Assignment, Essay Example

The issue of what does it take to be a good parent is contentious, insofar as the thematic remains susceptible to subjective interpretations. One may [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 330

Essay

Human Rights Violations and the Legal System, Essay Example

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter: UDHR), advanced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947, was a watershed moment, insofar as with this [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1122

Essay

The Critical Consulting Firm, Essay Example

Week 5 Issues The CanGo operation provides interesting insights into, unfortunately, how to conduct employee relations poorly. This is obviously not the company’s intent; on [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1287

Essay

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!