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Summer Homework

by: Danelle Almiranez

Summer Homework COWL 80A - UD: Imagining Justice

Danelle Almiranez
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COWL 80A - UD: Imagining Justice
Frangos, M
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danelle Almiranez on Tuesday October 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COWL 80A - UD: Imagining Justice at University of California - Santa Cruz taught by Frangos, M in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see COWL 80A - UD: Imagining Justice in Core class at University of California - Santa Cruz.

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Date Created: 10/04/16
Danelle Almiranez  Summer 2016 Cowell Writing Assignment Island of a Thousand Mirrors  Saraswathi’s world has changed completely after she was “spoiled” and joined the army  of Tigers. Saraswathi was a sweet, young lady that loved her family and enjoyed reading books.  She had plans to become a literature teacher, already shadowing the local school teacher.  The event I believe was the integral part of her change was when she got raped by some  soldiers in the Tiger army. Her parents and little sister went to visit a relative, leaving her alone  in the house to prepare food. She loved this kind of time of being alone because she liked hearing herself think and the quietness. The soldiers broke into her home, probably knowing she was  home alone, scaring her dog and knocking over pots and pans. They grabbed her and her heart  was racing, bringing her into a dark house. They tie her down and rape her. She tries to fight, but  it is no use. They call her “Tiger bitch” and they continue this action until her “body [was] no  longer [hers] (152).” She then realized what it meant for a soldier to “spoil” her. The worst parts  of this experience were the nightmares and the inability to forget about the smell and how she  lost her own smell.  Another event that was important for her transformation is when her parents decided to  send her to Tiger camp. She had been depressed after the incident and stayed home for most of  the time. Her parents told her that she was sick, but some people knew what really happened. Her parents thought that it was time to let her go to Tiger camp, so that she would become herself  again and give pride to the family name again. They said that no one was going to marry a  spoiled her. She had to make a name for herself. After the camp, she had become a totally  different person. She was very serious and nothing really bothered her. Unlike others, she did not hesitate with her first kill.  This story changed the way I viewed terrorism. I thought that terrorism were just radical  believers that have been evil all their lives. In this story, it was what they were surrounded with.  The civil war of this area was very serious and the two sides hated each other. There were many  innocent people killed, but because they genuinely wanted what was best for their people. They  were almost brainwashed, and not everyone had the luxury of moving to another country like  Yasodhara family. Between the World and Me “Between the World and Me” was a beautifully written, thought­provoking piece of  literature. It did not just interest me, but changed my perspective on life and the world as I knew  it. The way he employed it was so elegant and the words flowed so well. I did not have a hard  time finishing the book; in fact, I couldn't put it down. The effects of his choice of a letter format were useful. It made it more personal to the audience, as if you were part of his family, and held  a sense of truth and genuineness.  I found myself really enjoying the book. I felt as if I was looking into his world, a world I had never experienced before. I am a Filipino raised in California, so I would say I’m pretty  white­washed, and to think that people in this country or even in this world is treated that way  just breaks my heart. It made me mad to think that the world treats African Americans so poorly.  Something I found interesting in the book was that Coates’ never got upset about the  people directly, who treated him inferior. He got mad at the societal standard. For example, there was an instance in the book, where a white woman pushed his son, and he goes ballistic. Coates  got into a fight with another man in result of it. He didn’t like the way the woman treated his son. He made a point as it isn’t the white people’s fault, it is society’s. African Americans have  struggled for a long time. Their freedom hasn’t occurred all at once, there were “hand of events  that were beyond our individual control (96).”  The murder of Prince Jones was very important part in the book. Coates couldn’t help but picture himself in his shoes. He talks about this overwhelming fear throughout the book, “a  different kind of fear that propelled them out into the cosmos (85­86).” They feared that anyone  could take their bodies at any time and get away with it. It was scary that they were familiar with this feeling. In “Between the World and Me,” Coates establishes a goal to present information about  his race and the struggles they go through by narrating the story as if it were a letter to his son. It  conveyed the message so much clearer in a personal way. I learned how it is in another person’s  shoes and felt like I was in his family. The book really inspired me.  The Moral Instinct  In “The Moral Instinct,” Steve Pinker explores the different reasons as to why people  from different areas in the world come to a conclusion of morale, and how difficult it is to  explain why an individual comes up to a conclusion or opinion. In this text, he opens readers  eyes of differing values and ideas of justice, which are also represented in “Island of a Thousand  Mirrors” and “Between the World and Me.”  In the novel, “Island of a Thousand Mirrors,” Munaweera showcases the lives of two  similar women with different backgrounds. This war is based during the civil war between the  Sinhala and Tamil. The novel comes from two point of views, Saraswathi that’s Tamil and  Yasodhara that’s Sinhala. These two girls have a lot in common and probably would’ve been  great friends that connected with one another if not for this war. Yasodhara grew up with Tamil  housemates and was told not to get too close to them because they are too different and inferior.  Yasodhara moved to America to find a new beginning and get away from the violence. On the  other hand, Saraswathi’s whole family went through the system. Her brothers died as soldiers,  and she soon became a suicide bomber for the rights of her people.  Both sides of the civil war thought they were acting morally, which is mentioned in “The  Moral Instinct” in the section “Doing Better by Knowing Ourselves.” With the Tamil Tigers,  they were fighting for their rights because they were treated badly, as if the Sinhala was superior. They were using violent tactics, such as bombings, raping, etc. On the other hand, Sinhala people were just trying to protect themselves from these outrageous violent acts. Both were trying to  figure out what was best for their people. The essay has helped me better understand the sides of  these two different people. It wasn’t a simple problem, like in Disney movies where there’s a  clear hero and villain. 


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