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English: Mahatma Gandhi, I have lived a Thousand Years (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
This essay will mainly be based on your own thoughts, but you should also be able to link your thoughts to two of the stories attached. Preparation: Before you begin writing anything there are a few pages you need to look at as preparation. You need to: - Review the three texts you have read/listened to from Chapter 5 (Mahatma Gandhi, I have lived a Thousand Years). - Read Ellen Mac Arthur Writing the essay: You have now read three texts and listened to one. These texts have told you about four people and parts of their life experiences. You are now to write an essay based on your own thoughts, trying to answer a question below. You are then asked to link your thoughts to the people from the texts. Now, choose a question below and start writing. Make the essay about 500 words. Remember to think about your disposition (the order and arrangement of your text) carefully. As with all other texts, make sure you have a good introduction and a natural conclusion. 1. The stories from Chapter 5 tell us about people who have thought about what is important in life. What do you think makes life important? Relate your thoughts to two of the people from the texts. Discuss. 2. Chapter 5 is called ‘Fighting Spirits'. There we get to know characters that stand out in some way. What defines a ‘fighting spirit'? Relate your thoughts to two of the people from the texts. Discuss. 3. In some of the stories from Chapter 5 we can read about how people treat each other. Do you treat everybody the same? Do you let prejudice influence your behaviour? Relate your thoughts to two of the people from the texts. Discuss. 4. The people from the texts in Chapter 5 have had to struggle in order to reach a goal. What would you do to reach a goal? How many setbacks could you handle? Relate your thoughts to two of the people from the texts. Discuss. 5. In some of the stories from Chapter 5 we can read about different kinds of captivity. What is freedom? Relate your thoughts to two of the people from the texts. Discuss. Checklist: After you have written your essay please look at the list below and see if you have thought about each point. Content: - Have you answered the question of your choice? - Have you made the connection to the texts you read as preparation? Structure: - Have you written a heading, following the guideline from On Writing? - Have you written a text divided into paragraphs, beginning with an introduction which catches the reader's interest and ending with a conclusion to wrap up your essay? Language: - Proofread your essay and make sure you do not have any unnecessary spelling or grammar errors. The stories from Chapter 5 Mahatma Gandhi The English magistrate kept staring at Gandhi's turban and finally asked him to take it off. Gandhi demurred – Indian men wore turbans as a symbol of their manliness and thought it disrespect¬ful to remove them in public – and quit the court. Outside, Dada Abdulla Sheth explained that in South Africa turbans were often treated like hats and removed in public, precisely in order not to be disrespectful. Gandhi said that he could not treat his turban like a hat, and that therefore he should perhaps get a hat. Dada Abdulla Sheth then told him that Indians in South Africa who wore hats and Western dress were usually Christian converts, worked in European restaurants as waiters, and were regarded by other Indians as outcastes. He went on to explain, however, that the forms of race prejudice in South Africa were quite haphazard and capricious, and that another English magistrate might not have regarded Gandhi's wearing his turban as disrespectful. Gandhi decided he would take his chances with his turban. Gandhi left the port city by night train for Pretoria, some three hundred and fifty miles away. He was travelling first class. Before the train had gone very far, a European passenger ordered him out of the compartment, telling him he must travel in the van reserved for colored people, in the rear of the train. Gandhi appealed to a train official, informing the man that he had a first-class ticket, which had been bought for him from a European ticket clerk, and he refused to move. But the train official called a constable while the train was in the station at Maritzburg, and the constable forcibly removed Gandhi. Gandhi spent the night alone, huddled up in a cold, dark wait¬ing room in the station, too humiliated and confused to ask the stationmaster for his luggage, which contained his overcoat, and wondering whether he should proceed to Pretoria at all or return home to Rajkot; whether he should fight for his rights or let himself be insulted. He later came to regard his night in the Maritzburg station as one of the turning points of his life. In the morning, he telegraphed Dada Abdulla Sheth and the railway authorities in Durban, and, thanks to their intervention, he was allowed to continue his journey in a first-class compart¬ment. The train from Maritzburg took him as far as Charlestown, where he was obliged to change to a stagecoach. Its conductor, a Boer, would not let Gandhi sit inside with him and his other passengers, who all happened to be Europeans that day, but said he must sit next to the coachman, on the coach box. Gandhi pro¬tested but did as he was bidden. When the stagecoach stopped at a town called Pardekoph, the conductor ordered Gandhi to sit on the footboard, so that he himself could sit on the coach box for a while and have a smoke. “The insult was more than I could bear,” Gandhi writes. “In fear and trembling I said to him, ‘…You would have me sit at your feet. I will not do so…' The man came down upon me and began heavily to box my ears.” The conductor heaped curses on Gandhi and tried to push him onto the foot¬board. But Gandhi held fast to his seat, and the other passengers finally took pity on him and made the conductor leave him alone. After several other humiliating encounters, during which Gandhi sometimes invoked and obtained the help of the authori¬ties, he reached Pretoria. Within a few days of arriving in Pretoria, Gandhi, perhaps because of his humiliating journey, set up a series of regular meetings of all Indian residents, mostly petty traders, at the home of an Indian acquaintance of his to discuss their experiences of racial discrimination. He also started studying the so-called “disa¬bility laws” directed against Indians in the Transvaal. Indians were prohibited from owning property except in designated location, and even there they could not have freeholds. They were not allowed to vote, and they were required to pay an annual head tax of three pounds. They were prohibited from being on the streets after 9 p.m. unless they were on business for Europeans, in which case they had to carry a pass stating the nature of the business. Individual government officials, all of whom were Europeans, exercised considerable personal discretion in enforc¬ing the disability laws. After Gandhi had been in Pretoria for about three months, he wrote to the Natal Advertiser, a newspaper published in Durban, “It seems, on the whole, that their [Indians'] simplicity, their total abstinence from intoxicants, their peaceful and above all their businesslike and frugal habits, which should serve as a recom¬mendation, are really at the bottom of all this contempt and hatred of the poor Indian traders. And they are British subjects. Is this Christian-like, is this fair play, is this justice, is this civiliza¬tion?” From Mahatma Gandhi and His Apostles By Ved Mehta I Have Lived a Thousand Years When I was thirteen, German soldiers bearing Nazi flags marched into Budapest, the capital of Hungary, and my life changed forever. Within days, my family – my mother, my father, my brother, my aunt and myself – were taken away from our home. We were delivered to another town where, along with thousands of other Jews, we were crowded into the synagogue compound designated a “ghetto”, or a transit camp, to await “deportation”. From there, a three-day ride in a dark, cramped cattle car with little air and no water was the prelude to our descent into the nightmare of Auschwitz, a concentration camp where close to four million people were mass-murdered and a few thousand were kept alive to perform slave labour. My father was no longer with us. A few days before our incarceration in the train he was taken away abruptly, without a last goodbye, to a different forced labour camp. Upon our arrival on the Auschwitz platform, my seventeen-year-old brother was shoved brutally into a line of men. Then a frenetic march of panicky women and crying children began. Driven by barking, ferocious bloodhounds and an ongoing hail of blows, the march ended at the gate of the camp. Here a man named Dr Josef Mengele decided whether people would live or die. With stick in hand, Dr Mengele selected Aunt Serena for the gas chamber together with the infirm, the elderly and mothers with their children. Because I was tall for my age and my blonde plaits made me look Aryan, Dr Mengele, the “Angel of Death”, pulled me and Mummy out of the line leading to the gas chamber. Instead of death in the crematorium, Mummy and I were condemned to life in the inferno. Through a series of miraculous twists of fate, Mummy and I survived until the end of the war, a year later. On 30 April 1945, American soldiers liberated us from a train in which thirty thousand dying inmates from a number of camps were being shipped to an unknown destination. By another one of those incredible twists of fate, my brother, Bubi, was put on the same train, and the three of us savoured the bitter taste of freedom together. Together we confronted the real¬ity of life after liberation – the full realization of our tragic losses.Then we began the journey home. Little did I know then what agonies and adventures awaited me, and that our journey to reach a safe haven would take six harrowing years. My story is one of triumphs in the face of overwhelming odds, of extraordinary events in extraordinary times. And yet, I believe it is essentially the story of a teenager. It reflects the struggles, fears and aspirations shared by many teenagers at any given time. That teenager could have been you. by Livia Bitton-Jackson Ellen MacArthur Fearless, determined and heroic, Ellen MacArthur holds the world record* for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe. During her voyage she battled hurricanes and extremes of fatigue and loneliness. However, asked what the worst part was, she replied, ‘Getting off the boat at the finishing line.' Ellen's favourite expression is ‘à fond', French for ‘go for it'. This is what her many French admirers call out to her during races. The year 2001 was a year of triumph. In February, Ellen became the fastest female and youngest sailor to compete in the solo non-stop Vendée Globe race. She came second. Her reports from the race were shown on national television and she became a house¬hold name. In December she became sailing world champion when she won the Fico-Lacoste World Championship. In the same month, she was runner-up in the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award – second only to football hero David Beckham – and named the Sunday Times Woman of the Year. On 12 December, she received the MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. In 2002, Ellen announced her attempt to break the Jules Verne round-the-world record. Ellen began the voyage on 30 January 2003 on the 110-foot catamaran Kingfisher, with a crew of 14. Her record-breaking attempt failed on 23 February when the boat lost its mast 2,000 miles from the Australian coast. In April, her spon¬sors announced that a new boat would be built for Ellen with the sole objective of breaking solo speed sailing records. In the summer of 2000, Ellen had become involved with the French charity À chacun son cap (Everyone has a goal), accompa¬nying a group of children suffering from cancer on a sailing trip. She described the time she spent with them as one of the best day's sailing she had ever had. She was determined to set up a similar organization in England and in 2003 launched the Ellen MacArthur Trust, which aims to support and empower children with cancer or leukaemia by introducing them to the joys of sail¬ing on the sea. In Ellen's words, ‘I have seen first-hand the joy and inspiration that time out on the water can give kids suffering from cancer and leukaemia – for the short time that they are at sea, they experience another life. It's a transformation for many of them. I love this work.' *Her record has since been broken. Ellen began her next attempt at the round-the-world record on 28 November 2004 in the new 75-foot trimaran B&Q/Castorama. She set out from a point between Ushant and the Lizard in the Atlantic. During the voyage, she had to handle sails the weight of a car, stay up all night in storms, hang one-handed off a 90-foot high mast in churning seas, and negotiate hurricanes, icebergs and whales. Her strength, courage and competence were extraordinary. Apart from the physical fatigue, she also had to cope with great loneliness, ‘times when you'd start spiralling down¬wards without really understanding why. You're tired, and a lot of little things pull you into that spiral, and before you know it, you're at rock bottom and there's no one to pull you out.' On 7 February 2005, Ellen broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, setting a new record time of 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds. Day Twenty-Nine 26/12/04 13 hours 47 minutes ahead – 1,360 miles east of the Kerguelen Islands Well, I'm a bit stuck for words this morning. In fact it's about 3 p.m. local time – that just about sums up my day, really. I have no idea how much sleep I've had, though I know it's not enough by far … sleep is the rarest commodity out here, sleep and the time to eat. How many times have I said to myself: “Shall I eat or sleep?” Basic but fundamental decisions. Yesterday was a day from hell, with horrendous conditions and a few “full on” moments when your heart is in your mouth – well it's either that or your stomach, it all feels the same. We physically got picked up by a freak wave yesterday, which made poor Mobi seem smaller than a duck in a swimming pool, that was probably the scariest moment of the trip so far – just not knowing where, or how we would land … It's hardest when you have a few seconds to think about it. Normally when the waves hit you it's bang, and the damage is done; when you're thrown, it's a much more pro¬longed fear, like waiting for the trigger to be pulled – or not, as the case might be. We had two “hits” yesterday: the first was being thrown, the sec¬ond was a solid wave landing on the boat as hard as if an elephant had been dropped on us from heaven. I thank my lucky stars that I was down below at the time, and that the damage was limited – but just to see the elastic parted like butter and the rope bags ripped off was humbling … a statement of how irrelevant we are out here , and how we have to “earn” our permit to pass … It's not a place for bravado or complacency. This is real, very real, black and white real and when you close your eyes that reality does not slip away. The odds are only magnified in your head, reminding you that there's no way out but to stay cool. There are no second chances … After the storm yesterday I managed about 30 minutes in my bunk as the wind began to moderate, then it was all hands on deck … Briefly we saw the beautiful full moon, and the wind, which had been up at over 45, began to decrease … My sail changes had to start at a time when I scarcely had the energy to feed myself … Over a period of about 8 hours I did 12 sail chang¬es, from triple-reefed main and stay sail to full main genoa … by the time the wind died to 10 knots at sunrise this morning I was hurrying up and down the decks that were swaying around in a massively confused and vio¬lently undulating sea … each time struggling not to fall over or be hit by a breaking wave through the nets … by the time I had to pull out that final reef I was close to breaking … a cold, tired and emotionally drained wreck. Sitting, checking for hours and hours with every muscle in your body tense – just waiting for the next thing to go wrong takes its toll – even the antici¬pation of a really arse-kicker storm makes you quite weak at the knees … My mouth was dry, I felt quite out of sorts … fear and grim anticipation act in funny ways … Now I'm here at the chart table and for some reason I felt like getting this down as an e-mail. I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I know that this will feel better tomorrow – these thoughts will have drifted and faded by the next full moon and the sunset … Incidentally, it seems a while since we've seen the sun, another day of sailing through dense, white, drizzly, stormy clouds over a grey powerful sea. The generator's on, so my feet are finally warming – and the kettle's full, ready for lunch … Got that third reef to put in first, though; we're surfing at 26 knots and the wind just reached 35. We've sailed back into the front that left us behind … there really is no rest for us out here … no rest at all … I think we'll celebrate our Christmas at New Year … well we can always hope. Christmas this year … well we can always hope. Christmas this year was sadly just another day, albeit a bad one, at the office. At least Mobi and I are in one piece. FromWomen WhoChangedtheWorldby RosalindHorton andSally SimmonsandRaceAgainstTimeby Ellen MacArthur source..
Content:
Q: 5. In some of the stories from Chapter 5 we can read about different kinds of captivity. What is freedom? Relate your thoughts to two of the people from the texts. Discuss.
Freedom is an abstract. It`s not concrete nor is it an object; it`s more of an idea of great value. The term freedom may have different and unique meanings for each individual depending on one`s culture, ethnicity, situation, status, and other numerous factors. It may be attainable for some, but impossible for others. The idea of freedom is somewhat very complex since it does not really have a fixed and tangible definition. To understand this philosophical concept, it solely relies on the individual and whether the actions he or she takes in order to achieve freedom would have an effect on himself or herself and the people around him or her and in turn the actions taken by others.
Chapter 5 talked about the lives of different individuals who suffered from different forms of captivity. These forms of captivity are of physical, mental and emotional attributes. The two stories that really caught my attention on the quest for freedom was that of Mahatma Gandhi during the British reign over India and that of Livia Bitton-Jackson during the Second World War
Mahatma Gandhi, India`s savior from its captivity in the hands of the British conquerors during the first half of the twentieth century, is one of the most praised and loved heroes around the globe. He was a leader of the independence movement which aimed for India to become an independent nation. He encourage...
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