Question body once a person has died due

Question
1

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s views on the
afterlife has many similarities with that of how Christianity views death and
the afterlife. Tyson states “…there’s no evidence that I have any consciousness
of anything…did you have consciousness before you were born… we fear death
because I was born only knowing life.” (Tyson, 2016) This statement links to the Christian view of death as according to the
Christian doctrine, “death for those who love and have faith in the word
of Christ is but an appearance, a rite of passage.”(Ferry,2011, 3-4) This
relates to Tyson’s view on the afterlife as by referring to death as ‘a rite of
passage’ it implies that death is feared due to a fear of the inevitable which
is caused due to not knowing what occurs spiritually after death. We as humans,
know what occurs to a body once a person has died due to witnessing
decomposition; however, in Christianity, it is taught that if you live a moral
life according to the teachings of Christ a person shall go to heaven, but if
they have lived immorally and are unable to be redeemed; they shall enter hell.
The Stoics believed that “…the Christian God is transcendent in relation to the
world, whereas the divine…. Is wholly immanent.” (IBID,26) Therefore, the
Stoics believed that the Christian God was purely maintaining the world, unlike
the Stoic belief in which their God’s were superior.

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 This can link to Tyson’s view on the afterlife
as when he is asked if he would like to be immortal; he responds by stating
“…it is the knowledge that I am going to die that creates the focus that I
bring to being alive. The urgency of accomplishment, the need to express love,
now, not later.” (Tyson, 2016) This links to the Christian understanding of the afterlife as Christianity
is built upon the ideals of love, “…love is stronger than death…’ (IBID,3-4). This statement implies that
love, unlike death is everlasting and all-powerful. When a person loses a
family member, they never stop loving them despite them not being alive. The
Christian doctrine of how love can be viewed as the love of God, and the love
of others. Thus, linking to views about death and the afterlife as when a
person is aware that they are dying; some ask for a priest to visit them to
repent for their sins as well as to have someone of spiritual importance to
guide them into the afterlife. This is significant as it implies that if
someone repents for all their sins on their deathbed; it gives them an
increased chance of making it to heaven.

In the interview about the afterlife,
Tyson mentions this quote “…be ashamed to die until you have caused such
victory for humanity…” (Horace Mann, Address at Antioch College, 1859) The significance
of this is that Tyson wishes for this to be placed upon his tombstone;
therefore, suggesting that at the time of the interview, he has already thought
about what he wants to occur after his death.

Question 3

Within the opening credits of The Apprentice (USA) Marxist views of
capitalism are clearly seen throughout the entire sequence. The first half of
the opening credits consists of the viewing audience being introduced to Donald
Trump and his large business empire. In a Marxist lens, this would be viewed as
Trump introducing himself as a member of the bourgeoisie and
therefore a member of the ruling class. In the opening fifteen seconds, Donald
Trump opens his narration with “…New York. My city.’ By referring to the city
as his property it implies that he views himself as a position of authority due
to his large real estate business. This links to Marx’s view on capitalism as
refers to Marx’s ‘economic base.’ “…the capitalist class who owns those means
of production, and the proletariat class whose labour-power the capitalist
buys…these ‘forces’ and ‘relations’ of production form what Marx calls ‘the
economic structure of society’, or…the economic ‘base’.” (Eagleton, 2002)

Within the opening credits,
Trump refers to how the contestants come from all classes and with different
levels of experience; therefore, placing the contestants in the category of the
proletariat in comparison to himself. Immediately after this, the audience is
shown images of wealth and success such as chauffeured cars, private
helicopters, aeroplanes as well as images of the Trump business empire with large
amounts of money. In a Marxist perspective, the economy can influence culture; therefore,
if the stock exchange is successful, more members of society would want to live
an expensive lifestyle; thus, by showing the viewer images of wealth and
success, it emphasises how the bourgeoisie are impoverishing the other members
of society by convincing them that they are economically affluent; despite
having to work much harder, in order to gain less, in comparison to those who
have economic power.

For
Marx, economics
was the most powerful source within society. The shape of our economy gives us
the form of our society, and determines everything else that occurs. This is
present within the opening credits of The
Apprentice (USA) as images of people from all aspects of society are seen.
Those with wealth are emphasized as the main aim of the programme is to get
experience working with Donald Trump; however, those of the lowest social class,
such as the homeless who are sleeping on the streets were also shown to
emphasise the difficulties of working in business; as well as to highlight how it
is difficult to both live and work in New York. However, this may have also
been done to highlight Trump’s successes, and the success in which the winner
of the programme could achieve.

Question 5

‘One is not born, but rather
becomes, a woman’ (Simone de Beauvoir, 1949) This statement implies that
Beauvoir has considered not just the biological aspects of being a woman; but also,
the social and historical aspects of life that women have lived through. This
statement furthermore implies that Beauvoir has considered the inequality that
women have had to live throughout history, and the inequalities that many women
still live with in modern times. By stating that someone “…becomes, a woman…’
(IBID) it implies that women are not only defined by their biology; but also,
how they are viewed in relation to men.

Around the world, many
countries are still living within a patriarchal society, and women are still
being oppressed by men. One example of this is how in Saudi Arabia, ‘…women
still need a male ‘guardian’ in order to travel, marry, or exit prison and it
may be needed to be granted employment or access to healthcare.’ (A. Madhavan,
S. O’Gorman, 2017) The given statement can also refer to how in recent years,
people have begun to understand gender as being in the mind rather than what a
person biologically identifies as. Feminist Julie Bindel has said regarding a
transgender woman’s experience that “…identifying as a woman… is not the same
as experiencing girl-hood and the oppression of growing up as a woman.’
(Bindel, 2017) This declaration links to Beauvoir’s statement as it implies
that although one is able to become a woman due to medical advances and
identifying as one; a transgender woman would not have the same experience as a
girl who had grown into a woman. This is due to the oppression of women by men,
being taught gender stereotypes such as girls can only play with dolls, thus
emphasising the maternal aspect of life, and boys play with cars, as well as how
in many countries around the world girls are unable to be educated in schools,
as well as having a large risk of them being married as children, or having to
undergo female genital mutilation; which a transgender woman would never
experience or be at risk for.

Another possible
interpretation of Beauvoir’s view, that one ‘becomes a woman’ when they get
married; this may be due to how most of the world is still living within a
patriarchal society, but many view marriages as the time when a girl becomes a
woman due to how she is ‘given away’ by either her father or another prominent
male figure to her husband. Traditionally, the bride has worn white in order to
signify purity; thus her virginity, therefore implying that a girl becomes a
woman when she loses her virginity. However, despite all of this, “…Virginity
loss is widely understood, by scholars and lay people alike, as a central event
in the process through which girls and boys become adult women and men. (Gagnon
and Simon 1973; Long Laws and Schwartz 1997, Solin; 1996)” and “…Throughout the
nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries, young women typically perceived
their virginity as precious and strove to maintain it until they were married
or at least engaged…” (L.Carpenter, 2002) Although in recent years in western
countries, this is not always the case as many no longer identify sex as a part
of becoming a woman, as the world has become more accustomed to those who
identify as a gender different to their own.

Question
7

The following video of Coldplay’s Hymn for the Weekend (2016) can be considered an act of ‘cultural
appropriation’ as throughout the entirety of the video, the members of Coldplay
are seen to be taking elements of Indian culture and using it in order to make
their video aesthetically pleasing. One example of this is when the members of
the band are seen to be celebrating holi by
throwing the coloured powders into the air and running through them with local
children. This can be viewed as cultural appropriation as holi is a religious festival celebrated by both Hindu and Sikhs in
order to celebrate the arrival of spring, as well as to signify the victory of
good over evil. It is also used as a time to forgive, repair fractured relationships
and to enjoy life with one another. By using this festival within the music
video, it removes some of the significance of it; as well as not educating the
viewer about the meaning behind the celebration.

Beyoncé is also seen to appropriate Indian culture via her
costume in the video. Her clothing is clearly inspired by traditional clothing
however it is cultural appropriation as the costume designer has altered it to
make it appeal to a western audience. Furthermore, the style of dance in which
Beyoncé takes part in is inspired by Bollywood dance films, as seen via the
backgrounds used when she appears as well as the choreography; however, rather
than being a tribute to the success which is Bollywood; she only does movements
which are seen to be very stereotypical of such films. Though, despite this
traditional dance is used; which can be considered as cultural fusion due to
how the traditional dance and costume are used; despite accompanying the
Coldplay song rather than a piece of traditional music. Similarly, this is seen
in another scene in the music video when a group of Indian children are filmed
dancing in a westernised style yet they are covered in the coloured powder from
the holi celebrations. This could
also be considered as hybridity as it is combing both the traditions of holi with the modern, western dance.

By setting the music video in India, it educates society
about the traditions as well as the cultural side of India rather than only the
side that tourists see. Also, within the music video, women are heavily used in
order to emphasise the cultural aspect of India, this may be due to how “…the
construction of Indian womanhood are both reflections of this essential Hindu
identity…” (P. Chakravorty, 2001) However,
this may have also been done to appeal to a western audience whom are used to
seeing female sexuality to emphasise enjoyment. Therefore, by including
different images of women both in dance, and in traditional dress within the
video, this could be considered as cultural appropriation as it is taking the
traditions of a religion and culture, however it is using them in order to
appeal to a western audience by using female sexuality. 

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