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Comparison essay with subject on tolerance and power.


danielh 2 / 9  
Sep 12, 2009   #1
The essay question is "Which one, in your opinion, is more persuasive and why? Do your own feelings on the subject contribute to your opinion?"

I have to do a comparison essay on Edward M. Forester's "On Tolerance" and Jomo Kenyatta's fable "Gentleman of the Jungle". I had to do this assignment for school, and I am a canadian in grade 11. What do you rate this essay and what could I do better?

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Tolerance and Power

In order for people to live harmoniously within a community, they must make a few realizations first. Love is powerful, but for everyone to express it all the time is irrational and for the most part impractical. But one may ask, isn't love the essence of good relationships? Love can prevent people from turning against each other, but tolerance is much more sustainable and equally adequate. Edward M. Forster and Jomo Kenyatta explain what is required to live harmoniously through some interesting literature. While E. M. Forster encourages tolerance through a straightforward essay, Jomo Kenyatta brings across his message of peace through a fable. Point is, for a global community to survive at a level of mutual understanding and peace; people must be courteous and tolerant.

As indicated by E. M. Forster in his essay on tolerance, people must learn to respect each other's differences. For most people, it is impossible to love everything in life. Many may find it difficult to accept others for whom they are, but treating others unfairly for impersonal reasons is unjust. If people don't tolerate each other's differences and beliefs, freedom of speech is compromised as well as the lives of many. Freedom of speech is a big part of democracy, and so is tolerance. "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" This quote from Mahatma Gandhi clearly reflects the previous point. If people were free to kill and persecute who ever they pleased, society would crumble under hatred's foot. Mahatma Gandhi struggled to bring peace to the conflicting Hindus and Muslims of India, and in his struggle the quote "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind" was made to reflect what happens when people resort to anger and violence. True, is it not? Edward M. Forster stated "Don't try to love them: You can't, and you'll only strain yourself. But try to tolerate them. On the bases of that tolerance a civilized future may be built". It only makes sense that a civilization will strive if the people within it are civil.

Although tolerance is of utmost importance, so is power. If a nation is desperate to expand its dominion, it may conquer another nation. Jomo Kenyatta's fable Gentleman of the Jungle is a symbolic example of how power can also cause people to turn against each other. When one takes advantage of another's weakness, intolerance is demonstrated. But when one takes out their anger on someone who did them wrong, it is revenge (or self defense depending on the situation). Although Gentleman of the Jungle was an entertaining read, it doesn't cover the fact people can be cruel without having extrinsic motivations (the hunger for power). It's insightful but it lacks the stern attitude required to tell the reader that the struggle for power is a serious issue that must be stopped. A desperate or naïve person could even be inspired by the man in the fable to reject certain authorities and extort others. Edward M. Forster's way of utilizing the medium is more effective at delivering a clear message that asks for consideration on the presented issue. Intolerance is the root of all problems relating to civilization.

Some level of dominion is required by a civilization to strive, but as a global community tolerance must be practiced to its fullest extent. It has been revealed to humanity time and time again that intolerance will surely lead to war and death. As long as peace is induced by the people and for the people, love will eventually fall into place. "We must be the change we wish to see" -Mahatma Gandhi
Jeannie 10 / 214  
Sep 13, 2009   #2
Eliminate the contractions. I could pick this essay to shreds, but then I would have to let you see mine and allow you to deliver an equal blow, haha!

I thought this was fabulous! Yes, there were errors (get rid of the contractions...seriously not allowed in academic writing...), but I loved it! Check your noun/pronoun agreements, and take a close look at the ending paragraph...you may have been tired. Have someone read it aloud to you (annoying, but effective), and then fine-tune it.

All in all, I would grade this an 'A' if I were the teacher; it is very well above 11th grade level. Go with yer bad self!

I am now inspired to go see who Forrester and Kenyatta are. Oh, by the way, be aware that when you get into college, profs are picky about what percentage of your assignments are quotes. I felt that you used quotes to effectively and eloquently enhance your argument, but more of your own thoughts will be required. Don't worry, you have great ideas and insight; you'll be brilliant! Good luck, Daniel! Great Job!
OP danielh 2 / 9  
Sep 13, 2009   #3
Wow I never realized how informal the essay would sound with the contractions, even if there were just a few. Thanks for your review. It was helpful but I still don't really know what to do about the last paragraph. All I changed there was:

As once said by Mahatma Gandhi, "We must be the change we wish to see".

As for pronouns, the only ones I could find were within quotes so I couldn't change them.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Sep 13, 2009   #4
As once said by Mahatma Gandhi, "We must be the change we wish to see".

Be careful, whenever using a well-known quotation, to double-check to make sure you've got the wording exactly right, as these sayings tend to be remembered by different people differently. I'm not quite sure you've got this one quite right, but I may be wrong.
OP danielh 2 / 9  
Sep 13, 2009   #5
"Be the change you want to see in the world." is another quote from Mahatma Gandhi that is very similar. There are more variations of it but they are all equally recognized on google search though. I guess it doesn't help if the original quote was translated into English.
Jeannie 10 / 214  
Sep 13, 2009   #6
Hi, again, Daniel! Here is one noun/pronoun problem:

"But when one takes out their anger on someone who did them wrong..."
One can not also be them because "them" is plural. Also, I realize you are using "their" as a possessive, but it is a little awkward when you look at the problem of "them." Does that make sense?

How about this: "But when people take out their anger on someone who did them wrong..." You decide; I only know about as much as you, I suspect, but I always like another eyeball on my writing before I hand it in. I am a little OCD about my own assignments; I drive myself nuts sometimes, haha! Not to mention I have a teacher who took points off an assignment because I checked all the correct answers with "xx" instead of "X" - not kidding. She's going to give me an ulcer!

BTW, you are absolutely right about contractions within quotation marks being acceptable.

Good luck! I bet you will get an A!
OP danielh 2 / 9  
Sep 14, 2009   #7
Hi Jeannie! Thanks again for the pointers. I was too paranoid over using "I" and "you" that I overlooked some of the more obvious things.

I think it's normal for people to be a little worried or concerned over things they care about. I know I would if my teacher was that strict.

Anyways take care and good luck with your studies!
Jeannie 10 / 214  
Sep 18, 2009   #8
Some level of dominion is required byfor a civilization to strivethrive , but as a global community, tolerance must be practiced to its fullest extent. It has been revealed to humanity time and time again that intolerance will surely lead to war and death. As long as peace is inducedembraced?? by the people and for the people, love will eventually fall into place. "We must be the change we wish to see" -Mahatma Gandhi

I really like this ending; I believe it!
Just my thoughts, Daniel! Good luck!
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Sep 18, 2009   #9
but treating others unfairly for impersonal reasons is unjust.

Um, so is treating them unfairly for personal reasons. In fact, inasmuch as "unfair" and "unjust" can be read as synonyms, treating others unfairly will always be unjust.

This quote from Mahatma Gandhi clearly reflects the previous point.

No, actually, it doesn't. It shows that democracy need not be tolerant, and that the intolerance of a democratic nation can be just as bad as the intolerance of a tyranny (though I'm not sure that even that was Gandhi's meaning). It makes no sense at all if one believes that tolerance is innately a part of democracy, as then the notion of democracies engaging in oppressive warfare would be foolish.

When one takes advantage of another's weakness, intolerance is demonstrated

No, again. It may indicate power lust, but not intolerance. If I decide to steal the wallet of a man who has collapsed on the street, for instance, then I am greedy, dishonest, and ruthless, but I am not intolerant.

a global community tolerance must be practiced to its fullest extent

Should we tolerate people who don't believe in tolerance? Because most cultures don't. The belief that one's own culture is superior is as fundamental to most cultures as the urge to fight to live is fundamental to most animals. Men may embrace tolerance in much the same way as they commit suicide, but in neither case is the condition natural. You could of course try to spread the idea of tolerance to all, but to do that, you would need to spread the ideological underpinnings of the notion of tolerance, too. In other words, you would have to subjugate everyone to a single set of core beliefs.

Overall your essay isn't very well thought out, logically speaking. It expresses the right sentiments, though, so I imagine you'll do okay.
Jeannie 10 / 214  
Sep 25, 2009   #10
So, Daniel, how did it go?
Update, please... :)
Jeannie
OP danielh 2 / 9  
Sep 26, 2009   #11
To EF_Sean
Hmm, I better be more careful with how I word things next time. Actually it wasn't until recently that I figured out what makes and exceptional essay. This is one of my first essays where I tried to write like an actual high school student instead of an elementary kid with great diction.

Thanks again for the feedback Jeannie!
My teacher is really busy now so I probably won't get any feedback from him for another week or two.


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