Essays of All Kind

On Religious Freedom in China

(This was early my freshman year so not the best)

Is there religious persecution in China? The answer is yes.

Christianity is the main religion being persecuted. China has been

persecuting Christianity since before 2000. China’s main religion is


During the elction campaign running up to the 2000 election,

China had a streak of torture reported cases including beating

with wrists strapped to the ceiling, “beaten

with a board until it was reduced to splinters and then with a wooden

door frame until it, too, splintered”(Ponnuru 1), and shoving a man

into a small cell for months with water to his waist. All of these beatings were

ordered by the Chinese government to multiple men for being

Evangelical Christians and/or speaking the Bible out loud. In this

situation the U.S. government couldn’t do much without partially

crippiling our already troubled economy. The U.S. depends so

heavily on Chinese goods and services that if we started a political

war then it would potentially destroy our economy.Some choices the government

could enact would be trade sanctions or they could try to get the UN to

denounce China’s actions. If the UN denounced China it would casue a lot of

bad press that may cause China stop the persecution.

China has always been known for control but a lot of people wonder;

why they perscute religion, wouldn’t religion make the people all the more

faithful to their government? No, for one Isis is the perfect example of

where religion didn’t tie them to their original government. and second

China wants everyone to be the same, so much so that they have their own

internet with “every server held in Beijing”(Anti). Most of this results from the

Chinese Revolution but it has even deeper roots in the Emperor’s of old who

felt that China didn’t need modernization. China is mainly Bhudist even while

their government supposedly favors no religion.

China has been persecuting Christians for many years. Justice could

come in many forms including denouncement and trade sanctions.

Works Cited:

Ponnuru, Ramesh. “Paper Tigers. (Cover Story).” National Review 49.8(1997): MAS

Ultra-School Edition. Web. 2 Feb, 2015.

Anti, Michael. “Behind the Great Firewall of China.” TED. Video. Jul 2012

On Jack Andraka’s Breakthrough Motivation

 Jack Andraka, made famous for his discovery of early detection for pancreatic cancer, is not some brainiac robot who is programmed to know all of the math and science required for such projects off the top of his head. Jack went through multitudes of research and testing before finding his answers and hundreds of factors, such as his uncle’s death by pancreatic cancer, pushed him to arrive at success.

Friendship was always a roller coaster for Andraka. He had a few really close friends for years, “I had made two new friends, Jake and Sam, and the three of us were inseparable”(Andraka 23), but as he started to think about who he was as a person he eventually alienated, or got alienated by, most of his friends. “I still hung out with Jake and Sam, but they had begun to notice some changes in me too”(Andraka 26). He went through a lot of pain during his junior high years, and then came high-school. High-school was like the biggest slice of pumpkin pie, with double the whip cream. In weight. The first lunch shift he met a girl named Chloe and they hit it off right away. She encouraged him and actually partnered with him on a project later after his pancreatic breakthrough. Friends motivated Jack, some by giving him a reason to beat them, and others encouraging him the whole way.

Learning wasn’t just school. Andraka loved to learn about anything and everything to do with math and science. He would go home and conduct experiments on everything from cow pies to microscopic glowing creatures. “I wanted to learn more. As soon as I got home, I hit the family computer and began to research on the internet”(Andraka 27). His passion for learning enveloped everything else. He was a star student and got first in many different science competitions throughout his state and different parts of the country. Andraka’s love for knowledge pushed him immensely towards his discovery.

Jack was a teen, but that didn’t hinder him. He pushed for new discoveries, researched and tested inventions and innovations for current problems trying to always find research that mattered. “I began to think, what if I could find a way to change the flow of the water so that it wouln’t pull swimmers down?”(Andraka 27) Jack is a huge role model for teens who think they can’t make a difference. Almost two hundred scientists told Jack that he should go back to school some more before attempting this research again, but one did believe in him and that is all he needed to make a difference. Teens can make a difference despite some people telling them they can’t and Jack fed off of that energy.

Family members doubted Jack, then believed in him, then they doubted him again, and then in the end everyone believed him. He had ups and downs with his family ultimately supporting him but he was just happy to have their support. “My father was wearing that worried look–again”(Andraka 1). Jack spent hours at the lab, one time leaving his mom out in the car at two in the morning when he had school the next morning. His parents got tired but he kept pushing and eventually their energy caught up and they all celebrated when he won ISEF. “I could see my dad, who was tearing up, and my mom sitting next to him”(Andraka 155). His family’s support kept him together in the toughest of times.

Competition was sprinting through Jack’s blood. Not the competition that exists in high-school sports or the Olympics, but the kind of competitive spirit that existed in an academic atmosphere. Every kid at all of the science competitions was into learning, science, math, and their projects. He competed against many extremely smart kids and always had fun laughing and goofing off with them, but also getting serious and trying to beat them with a better science project. “Never had I o enjoyed working on math problems with a partner”(Andraka 57). Fun, competitive atmosphere and good competition that knew how to have fun kept Jack with a high energy level and inspired to always come up with a better experiment, a better project, and a better method.

Jack had trouble staying motivated all the time. “I could visualize myself dancing around the fire… in a wild fit of rage”(Andraka 105). He would think about all the times he’d failed and wonder if he even should test the next protein, or run the next computer analysis of his process, or build another paper test strip. Jack had to push through everyone of these moments to make it through. “None of that happened. Instead, I just took a deep breath and pushed on”(Andraka 105). He had to breakthrough every wall, every challenge, every mountain that presented itself and focus on the task at hand. Jack had perseverance. He had mounds of perseverance compared to most teenagers, pushing through months and months of papers, research, testing, extra research, re-testing and testing a third time. Perseverance carried Jack throughout his science project turned famous national innovation.

Jack’s uncle, Ted, died of pancreatic cancer. Ted was one of Jack’s closest friends and essentially his family. Ted took him crabbing, encouraged his projects, told him to be himself, and led him through a multitude of childhood and teen struggles such as long division. Ted made such an impact in Jack’s life that when he passed away Jack felt like he could barely breathe. “..replaced by a heavy pain that sat inside my stomach”(Andraka 86). Jack’s emotions and love for Uncle Ted pushed him to start researching a cure, now an early detection method, “I decided I had a new mission. I would find an early-detection method for pancreatic cancer”(Andraka 93).

Multitudes of reasons motivated Jack Andraka to make his discovery of an early detection method for pancreatic cancer. Without friends, family, perseverance, competition, and a love of learning Jack could not  have made it as far as he did. Jack used his many modes of motivation and transformed that into a wonderful scientific discovery.

Works Cited

Andraka, Jack, and Matthew Lysiak. Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator is Changing the

World. Changing to World. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2015. Print.

An Essay on Freedom Writers

William Styron wrote a story where a son listens while his dad says that life “is a search for justice.” Freedom Writers chronicles several searches for adventure, one main one is Ms. Gruwell’s. Ms. Gruwell has an in-depth understanding of justice, Ms. Gruwell finds success in multiple huge ways but also that didn’t look as significant before, and the significance of Ms. Gruwell’s search is key in this novel because her search for justice created the novel.

Ms. Gruwell’s understanding of justice is immensely in-depth and broad. Ms. Gruwell understands that there can be multiple forms of justice for many problems. She found justice in black kids going to a typically white theatre on a normal basis for educational movies, for example (name a couple of the movies they watched). Gruwell introduced justice to her students who, for the most part, didn’t even think about graduating much less college by teaching them and helping them to get into college and get financial aid. “A full-ride scholarship to college! Four years ago, I would have never pictured this.”(Gruwell, 251) She had a very in-depth understanding of justice.

Erin Gruwell’s search for justice was very much a success. Erin’s first year she met a student made Sharaud. She made such an impact he graduated high school and went to college.

If she can do it to one why not more? She took that question as a challenge to help as many kids as possible. She took 150 kids through four years in her class and changed them from a bunch of kids who were shy and didn’t think anyone cared about them to graduating from highschool and going to college for the most part. In this whole process Freedom Writers was created. The search for justice in Ms. Gruwell’s life resulted in the creation of a book that thousands of people will read and will learn from, so she went from helping 150 students to making a nationwide influence! Gruwell’s search for success was very much successful.

Gruwell’s search for justice is the key to this whole book. The book Freedom Writers is basically a chronicle of Ms. Gruwell’s search for racial, social, and religious equality through the journal entries of the students. Each student was dealing with multiple problems spanning from abusive parents to being a cocaine addict. Ms. G never judged them or asked for details because she respected their private life. By doing so it showed her students that they didn’t need to treat people differently whether race, past wrongs, or just because you don’t like them. She searched for justice in every possible way for all 150 of her students. Ms. Gruwell literally is the only reason this book is here, What if she had just said; These kids can do it on there own? Well, these kids definitely would not be this far, a lot of them didn’t even know what college really was until she showed them. Her search is the main point of the whole book.

Life is a search for justice. Ms. Gruwell searched and found justice on many levels. She also helped 150 students do the same thing on her way. Ms. G understood justice, successfully searched for it, and, in the process, Freedom Writers was created.

Impact of The Federalist Papers on the U.S. Government

The Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, where a collection of eighty-five essays explaining, defining, and parading the new constitution through the streets of New York. Hamilton, Madison, and Jay were very passionate on this topic, Jay authoring five, Madison fourteen, and Hamilton 51, the other fourteen are under dispute. The papers since their publication have affected the U.S government time and time again.

The Federalist Papers were beautifully authored by three influential framers of the constitution. The trio wrote these essays in an effort to persuade New York to ratify the brand new constitution and to get the people of the union to support the new form of government. In a letter to James K Paulding, Madison wrote “The Immediate Object of them was to vindicate and recommend the new Constitution to the State of New York whose ratification of the instrument was doubtful, as well as important” (Madison). New York had been predicted unlikely to ratify but the union new that if New York did not ratify they were unlikely to survive. The papers were first written and published in New York newspapers, later reprinted in a two volume set. “The essays, which later became known as the Federalist Papers, were printed together in a book in 1788,” (Valentine). Hamilton and Madison were quite qualified to define what the constitution was intended for, both participating heavily in the constitutional drafting process, both taking extensive notes. “To the extent that the Framers of the Constitution had a clear intent, Madison and Hamilton probably knew it. They both played active roles at the convention… (Though Madison took more notes)” (Maggs 24). Madison is widely considered the father of the constitution, as he contributed a multitude of the compromises and drafted the original twenty-seven or so articles. The authors of these beautiful essays new the intention of these essays and new that it was unlikely New York would ratify the instrument anytime soon. In the effort to persuade the independent state of New York to ratify the Federalist Papers were born.

Many heads were turned as the constitution was explained plainly before them. Madison and Hamilton truly gave definition to the constitution through the papers they authored. The men who created the constitution were representing the populace decently well. They had jobs like farming, banking, being  merchant or a lawyer, just like other citizens of the U.S. “These men were fairly representative of the early states” (Valentine). The papers were read by multitudes in their time, citizens wanted to know more about their new government. The essays were widely read as they appeared, and all except the last 8 were first printed in New York newspapers; the last 8 were first included in a two-volume edition of all the essays in 1788 and were then reprinted in the newspapers” (Gietze). There are significant numbering differences depending on if you read the volumes or look up the separately written articles, which is cause for some discrepancy in conversation but has been sorted out many times. Hamilton, Madison, and Jay were all exemplar writers, molding the english language to give images of the future U.S. constitution to the people. “We give little credence to the possibility that Hamilton wrote but Madison thoroughly edited the disputed papers, so that they finally looked Madisonian, rather than like a mixture of styles or a parody” (Wallace 264). It is highly unlikely that Hamilton wrote the disputed essays and Madison edited them, research shows that over three hundred words per essay would’ve had to have been changed or rephrased for the essays to sound Madisonian instead of a mixture or medley. This multiple authorship and trio effort was supplemented by their ability to write and their knowledge of the original intent of the constitution.

The papers as a definition of the constitution have been used time and again by the U.S. courts and state courts being cited in over seventeen hundred different cases. The supreme court has used numerous times these documents to define the constitution in cases and other government institutions have also cited them for meaning and clarification. Historians, while disputing over authorship of a handful of the papers, credit these papers as defining documents for not only the constitution but the U.S. government as a whole. “Although the essays had little impact on the debate to ratify the Constitution, they are still considered a classic work of political theory” (Gietze). History classes across the nation do lessons over the essays, most notably the tenth, and study out the different subjects these essays cover concerning the ambitions of the ,then newly written, constitution. The courts, and the government as a whole, cite, quote, and access these essays as defining documents giving definition to the U.S. government system and the constitution.

The Federalist Papers have had resounding effects on the nation since their authorship. Despite it’s lack of passionate readers during the era they were published they are still used today through court cases in the multitude, government institutions use it as defining the constitution, and federal down to local governments use it as a framework for the U.S. form of government. History teachers and historians widely consider the Federalist Papers to be a defining document of the U.S. government, and the ideals of our people. The essays that are still used today, originally published in New York newspapers and intended to persuade New York to ratify, have had and continue to be the defining documents of the U.S. framework entitled the constitution.

Works Cited

Maggs, Gregory E. “A concise guide to the Federalist Papers as a source of the original meaning of the

United States Constitution.” George Washington University Law School Public Law Research Paper 258 (2007).

Mosteller, Frederick, and David L. Wallace. Applied Bayesian and classical inference: the case of the

Federalist papers. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.

“James Madison.” DISCovering Biography. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 9

Oct. 2016.

Valentine, Rebecca. “The US Government.” UXL Civics. Vol. 1: American Government. Farmington Hills,

MI: UXL, 2015. 1-29. Student Resources in Context. Web. 9 Oct. 2016.

“Federalist, The.” The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

Student Resources in Context. Web. 9 Oct. 2016.

Letter from James Madison to James K. Paulding (July 24, 1818), in 8 The Writings of James Madison 410

(Galliard Hunt ed, 1908).

Feminism Got It Wrong

(opinionated I know)

Feminism focuses on the place of gender and writing and literature. There are many points to Feminism and it ends up being just as confusing as the female gender themselves. One main point from feminism is that Feminists believe that differences between dominant and marginalized groups should be removed. Gender differences in US and other major countries does not exist on the level that feminism would have you believe.

“13. Dress like a princess if she asks you to… And let her dress like a Power Ranger if she wants.”(Source D) This rule for dads has some truth to it, and it highlights one of the problems with today’s society and the feminist approach. Feminism seeks to obliterate the differences between male social class and female social class. When those two get obliterated what does it do to the world’s view of honour, chivalry, all of them slowly die because girls have to act like they are men. The reader may say that it’s just a power ranger suit when she is a little girl, but when she gets older, she may just reject men as a whole if she feels manly enough to equal men. Women need to act like Women, not men, because they weren’t made to be treated like a brick wall.

Feminism can make women go crazy, kill their kids, and divorce their husbands, because they want to be treated “equally”. The Awakening by Kate Chopin provides ample examples showing a woman who starts to think of herself of needing to be exactly equal to her husband in every way, she also doesn’t feel a love with him. She goes insane, rejects society, falls in love with another man, feeds her kids all the fattening food they want, and then goes to the water and swims out. The book ends but the reader may conjecture that she let herself drown. Feminism is a crazy person’s approach to life.

Women believe they are mistreated by men because men assume that women are crazy control freaks with no stop in the motion of their brain cycle, but claim men forget about the few who associate more with men or the ones who just don’t act that way plainly. Women do the exact same thing to men and act like it is completely normal! How do you get to  man’s heart, their stomach. What goes on inside a man’s brain when he’s watching TV, drinking a soda and staring into space, absolutely nothing! The reader may conjecture that not every woman sees men that way and they would be correct and the same goes for the men’s view of women,  the problem arises when the majority of America thinks that, yet women always have this tendency to just not like and type of stereotype whether it’s true or not. Kind of like black people. The solution is to stop stereotyping men and women period, some women don’t think about everything all at the same time. Some men think about all the things at one time, and some are in the middle. “I think I over complicated their simplicity”(Source A) Perfect example. Men are not as simple as most people make them out to be. Once someone thinks about how simple the mind of a man could be they have already over complicated the process while simultaneously over simplifying the man’s simplicity. Women are treated sometimes better than most men.

Feminism focuses on the place of gender in literature, which is totally fine and a perfect object to examine. One of feminisms tenants, as it were, is that dominant and minority class differences should be eradicated, mainly speaking, the difference between men and women. Feminists have it wrong, women aren’t dominated over, especially in today’s society where a man kissing a girl he’s not in a relationship with in public can lead to arrest, men are the ones who are being hunted for being courteous, chivalrous, or flirtatious, simply because we believe we need to treat women like a respectable person, or we simply want to be nice and compliment them or enter into a relationship with them. Feminists got it wrong when they started the men and women equality movement.

Knowledge for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship is an ever growing field spanning a wide range of ages. Many people in Lebanon have gone into this field, Jim Carr, Dan True, Bill Hash and numerous others. A major influence to the area of Lebanon Entrepreneurship is Angie Jackson, while not starting the business, is third generation to work in Justice Furniture. Angie Jackson is extensively flexible, community minded, and works to produce domestic made products. Entrepreneurs should learn to be flexible, community minded, and to stay domestic when possible.

Flexibility, being able to work in and out of a schedule, is key to entrepreneurs. Flexibility helps immensely when, for example, someone important comes in for a meeting while the entrepreneur is in the middle of working out next year’s budget. Flexibility allows entrepreneurs to move things in and out of their schedule as the work day demands.  For example Justice had a truck that was late for pick up and they had to call their workers back to fill the truck when it arrived.  Flexibility makes the workplace easier and more enjoyable and it is important for entrepreneurs in their work lives. Being able to work around multiple schedules is a skill all entrepreneurs should possess.

Domestic products, an item produced wholly in America, despite being more expensive are high quality and boost the economy. Producing a product in America is very expensive, per se, compared to producing work in China or Mexico. American wages elevate the final price for the consumer of said product. A domestic made product is usually higher quality, while more expensive, it lasts longer and is a sturdier product. Domestic products, while more expensive, put money back into America versus China or Mexico and it is higher quality for the consumer.

Multitudes of companies participate in community service, Justice Furniture is part of the Local Chamber of Commerce, and it benefits not only the community but also that company. Giving back comes in many forms, Chamber of Commerce, donations, community events, etc. These different examples all help the community and ultimately it comes back around to the company. When a company, gives a donation to build a library not only is the community economy benefiting from this donation, the company reaps benefits as well.  Their company name is recognized as a company that gives back and supports it’s community. This can influence sales of their product. Giving back to the community ultimately benefits the company in return.

An entrepreneur needs to be flexible, give back locally, and produce domestically. These three key points are what make an entrepreneur successful like Justice Furniture.  Being flexible, giving back, and staying domestic are what make Justice furniture great.  

What People Really Want For Christmas

Christmas time is a fun time for families and friends. Families and friends get together to enjoy food and gift unwrapping that fateful morning. It is a classic tradition to write letters to Santa a week before, months before, even up to a year. People ask for toys, books, candy, games, electronics among many other things. People, contrary to belief, don’t write down what they truly want for Christmas. Those people who don’t have a whole family don’t ask for a new dad, the friend who feels lonely doesn’t write for a companion, and the romantic who can’t get a date doesn’t ask to be swept off their feet. People want something meaningful from their family, friends, and significant other.

Gift giving has always been a tradition associated with Christmas. Gift giving has been used for hundreds of years as a non-linguistic form of communication. Gifts at Christmas mean just as much as normal gifts throughout the year if not even more. When someone gets a gift for someone, it requires them to think about the other person, what they like, and their feelings. On the same coin, giving presents makes a person think about who they are giving them to, and it has some philosophical effects that may or may not surprise people. Giving to others actually can make someone feel mentally, and physically, better. Dr. Langer states it plainly; “Giving to others reinforces our feelings for them and makes us feel effective and caring.”(Parker-pope.) People get a return on their deposit simply because they feel good about making someone else happy. Gift giving has a culturally historical significance and beneficial psychological effects.

The top gifts over the past few years are pretty extensive. Anyone can go onto Google and find the top gifts given over decades and some are pretty cool. For example; Razor scooter in 2000, or Beyblades which were most popular from 2002-2003.(Esquire.) Those toys were really popular then and those two specifically are still popular items. Christmas gifts have started moving to the electronics like an iPad or iPod touch whereas way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Mrs. Hasty was a kid, presents were most likely homemade and had immense meaning to the giver and the recipient.(Rowe.) Gifts today are becoming commercialized and monopolized.

The quote by Burton Hill, “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” provides for a strong argument. People want to be with their family, but on the other side of the same coin, modern day has seen an increase in divorces and relationships leaning to the short-term. People want less responsibility with the same results and life doesn’t work this way. People need to understand that with rewards comes the responsibility. Not only do rewards come with responsibility, but joy and fun also come with it as well. People need to be taught to take hold of life and understand the basic concepts. This quote is valid in the sense that people want their families to be together. Research shows that families are happier than people who are alone, when the family has a healthy relationship.(Kerr.) Suicide rates actually, contrary to myth, drop significantly during the Christmas season, yet when the year comes around to January and February the situation is not as cheery. Suicide rates increase above what they were before Christmas and then drop back down to around normal levels.(Huddleston.) Christmas does lower suicide rates, but the world makes up for it in the months  following. The best gift during Christmas is truly a family, wrapped up together.

The principles of responsibility, giving, and nonconformity all play a significant role in people’s life. No one wants to look, act, and think exactly like everyone else, otherwise they would feel left out, unloved, and not unique. People can apply values of responsibility, being the owner of their own actions good or bad, and take stress off of everyone else during Christmas, but also during the rest of the year. People need to give more. When people give not only does it make the recipient feel good, but it also has good effects on the psyche and physique of the gifter. Nonconformity may seem an arbitrary term to apply to someone’s life but it shows signs of status and self acceptance if it is taken as intentional. Mark Zuckerberg was seen wearing an informal hoodie to his tour for banks to invest in Facebook, and it was taken with respect because it was intentional.(Taulli.) Life can be fun and intentional, and the ability to do so almost requires a person to be intentional in all they do.

Christmas presents contain multitudes of meaning. People should give, not only for the recipient, a good thought, but also the effects it has on the giver. Gifts need to be meaningful and in our modern age the range of options is extensive. Nonconformity reassures self esteem and it shows a priority in cultivating the person. People should start being responsible for their actions, it relieves stress: for everyone. People, throughout the world, need to take these principles into account during Christmas; The best Christmas gifts are those from family and friends that hold meaning and both parties appreciate.


Kerr, Michael, and George Krucik, MD. “Holiday Depression.” Healthline. Healthline, 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. <>.

Esquire. “A Timeline of Top-Selling Christmas Gifts… Ever.” Esquire. Esquire, 16 Dec. 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015 <>

Parker-pope, Tara. “A Gift That Gives Right Back? The Giving Itself.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Dec. 2007. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. <;.

Taulli, Tom. “Mark Zuckerburg: The Power of The Hoodie.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 May 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

Huddleston, Amy. “Not quite the ‘holiday blues’: Suicides fall during holiday season.” Times-News, The (TwinFalls, ID) 27 Dec. 2010: Newspaper Source. Web. 17 Dec 2015.

Rowe, Sara. “How I Made The Holidays HAPPIER.” Vibrant Life 29.6 (2013): 12-14. Consumer Health Complete Web. 17 Dec 2015.

Being a Leader In My Community

There are hundreds of aspects to being a leader in my school and community, and they can range from large, for example giving speeches, to small, helping someone who dropped their backpack in the hall. All leaders have their ups and downs and to achieve success they learn how to assess the rewards and challenges of being a leader. Leaders should be the example in any given situation.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a leader in my school and community is getting to see people grow. People get excited when they achieve success, and seeing that success is a reward in itself. Leaders experience joy from helping lead others to achieve a new height of learning or proficiency while accomplishing a task.

One of the biggest challenges for leaders, in my school and community, is getting people to follow. Leaders can motivate a crowd through their actions as well as their words. Leaders need to lead by example and understand that the majority of the populace won’t participate in an activity or challenge that is out of their comfort zone. Leaders need to be less about “telling how” and more about “showing how”. As a leader in my school and community I can lead by example.

There are multiple rewards and challenges of being a leader in my school and community. Leaders are tasked with multitudes of challenges they navigate every day, but a leader’s reward is seeing tasks accomplished as those around them grow. A leader experiences a feeling of pride and humility as they achieve success through all of their challenges in my school and community.


“It is a sin to write this,” (Rand, 17) is the beginning sentence of Anthem. The significance of this opening line to the story and to the meaning of the novel is that Equality 7-2521 is breaking moral laws in a very utopian society. This line embodies the moral viewpoint of something wrong or that writing this journal entry is morally wrong. Equality 7-2521’s latter assessment of this sin is that he is doing it for the good of society, by bringing them new information.

The opening line of Anthem is significant to the story and meaning of the novel because Equality 7-2521 is breaking societal moral laws. Anthem is about Equality’s realization that the people in the world don’t always have to work for everyone else, but have the ability to work for themselves.   This becomes a main part of the meaning of the novel. The meaning of the novel encompasses the idea of objectivism with the very real fact that a utopia looks different to every person. The opening line of Anthem, “It is a sin to write this,” (Rand, 17) is significant to the story and meaning of the novel because Equality is breaking societal moral laws in a utopian society.

“It is a sin to write this,” (Rand, 17) is taking a moral viewpoint that what Equality is doing is wrong and that writing that journal entry is morally wrong. If it is a sin to do something, usually it either has to do with breaking moral or societal standards that are upheld to a sacred standard. Equality is acknowledging his breaking of those laws in their society. Equality makes the sentence sound almost as If he feels like he needs to do this but he doesn’t have the urge to full on present his work in front of everyone else.

Equality’s assessment of the sin changes from it being bad to the idea that he is doing it for the good of society. Equality starts to reason with himself that this is all for the good of society and that after he shows them his artificial light he will be accepted into the higher ranks of scholars. Equality seems almost to lie to himself so he will keep going even though he knows in his heart that he will not be accepted. In the end Equality assessed his “sin” as something that could’ve helped the society if they had let him.

In conclusion “It is a sin to write this” (Rand, 17) is a literal sin in Equality’s world. It impacts the meaning of the story because he is breaking societal laws, It embodies the moral viewpoint that writing is bad, and Equality’s final assessment is that he is doing this for the good of society.

Works Cited

Rand, Ayn, and Leonard Peikoff. Anthem. New York: Signet, 1995. Print


Romeo and Juliet, written by Shakespeare, has been portrayed in many fashions. One of the more famous ones is West Side Story. West Side Story takes the story of Romeo and Juliet and presents it in a semi-modern 1950’s format. There are five major differences between the stories as follows: Elizabethan period v. 1950’s America, family feud v. gang war, friar v. Doc, marriage v. imagined marriage, and lastly Juliet/Maria; death v. life.

The time period of the stories is a major difference. Romeo and Juliet takes place in the Elizabethan time period which included the Renaissance as well as the plague. West Side Story on the other hand took place in 1950’s New York City which was a time of immigration and is why the two gangs are of different cultures. In Elizabethan times fighting and dying was much more commonplace than in 1950’s America. Especially, if you had a  leader who was more on the blood thirsty side of life; usually though, it only took one or two deaths to stop the quarreling. In West Side Story the fighting is based on cultural differences and the gangs fight for territory.  The Puerto Ricans were immigrating and some people in New York didn’t want them to move there because they were different. West Side Story being set in the 1950’s modernizes the story of Romeo and Juliet.

In Romeo and Juliet the quarrel is between two families belonging to gentry, in West Side Story it is two gangs who are fighting each other because of racial origin and territory. Romeo is a Montague, an established family; Juliet a Capulet, an equally established family. I conjecture their quarrel with each other has to do somewhat with being the top gentry family in the city of Verona. West Side Story is about two gangs fighting over who owns the small little piece of street, the Sharks or the Jets. The Sharks are Puerto Ricans and the Jets are caucasian.  In the 1950’s Puerto Ricans weren’t exactly welcome company in America. The Jets thought of them as trash and hated their guts, hence the fact that they don’t get along at the dance or when Tony offers peace as a solution.  Their hate for each other is so strong they can’t hear Tony’s message of peace.

West Side Story really doesn’t have a “friar” as Romeo and Juliet does. The closest West Side Story gets to a “friar” is Doc at the drugstore.  Romeo and Juliet go to the Friar for help throughout the whole story, whereas in West Side Story the gangs don’t really go to the Doc for help although he does provide some oversight and gives some much needed advice. He tries to help Tony and Maria leave town by gathering money for them, but then has to break the news to Tony that Maria was killed by Chino.  He also breaks up the assault of Anita in his drugstore and asks the Jets why they fight and kill.  He plays a different role than the friar in Romeo and Juliet.

In Romeo and Juliet, they actually got married by the friar, in West Side Story Tony and Maria held an imaginary wedding in the dress shop. A real marriage is very important because Romeo and Juliet could not legally leave each other because they were married in a time when marriage was permanent. In West Side Story, Tony and Maria only knew each other for two days and were never married.  Maria will probably not marry for the rest of her life because she actually loved Tony. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story did not have a real marriage between the two lovers.

Romeo and Juliet both die in Shakespeare’s play but in West Side Story Tony(Romeo) dies in Maria’s(Juliet’s) arms and Maria doesn’t physically die. However, Maria doesn’t die from a wound but she is basically dead inside her soul. Her only love died in her arms and she died inside, her soul evaporated like Tony’s last breath. She will never love again because of those two days in her youth. Maria doesn’t die physically as Juliet does but her soul dies at the loss of her love.

Romeo and Juliet was a very interesting story to read. It intrigued me that they ended up dying after a week. Especially when they could’ve solved the conflict by not taking the whole thing to drastic measures. In my opinion they overreacted to Romeo’s banishment. The plan was to awaken Juliet and then have her run away to Mantua. Why didn’t she just go to Mantua in the first place? She obviously would die for Romeo but she wouldn’t run away? Seems kinda weird to me. The friar was surprisingly sly for being the city friar. I really enjoyed reading Romeo and Juliet.

West Side Story was an interesting movie. I did not like it as much as Romeo and Juliet but that is mainly because I thought it did a somewhat poor job of representing Romeo and Juliet and did a better job of being it’s own 1950’s love story. It was only two days but seemed to go on for much more than two days. It was a great movie, don’t get me wrong here, I am just a die hard originalist and tend to not like reproductions or extensions that aren’t the same because usually they change my favorite parts. The fact that it happened over two days was a bit far fetched.  The fact that both Tony and Maria don’t die is another discrepancy that bothered me as I watched.  West Side Story was ok at representing Romeo and Juliet and ultimately an amazing movie.

I enjoyed very much reading the play and watching the movie and would recommend both to my peers.  In conclusion, Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story were both very good despite their various discrepancies.