Aims For a New Future

After 300 years of Tsarist rule in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II was forced to renounce his thrown because of his inability to modernize the Russian autocracy. Therefore the duma, an elected body of legislators, was given an inordinate amount of power over the aims of the First Provisional Government.

First, the Duma aspired to represent the Russian public through the selection of ministers for the new cabinet. The Duma wanted to assure the masses of the First Provisional Governments aim to distance themselves from the oppressive rule of past Tsars. On March 1917, the Izvesttia, a long running newspaper in Russia released the goals of the cabinet. The cabinet members of the New Provisional Government wanted to ensure: freedom of speech, fair elections based on direct suffrage, freedom of the press, a unified police and, the elimination of constraints based on class (( . Furthermore, the cabinet articulated that it did not want to use military force to carrying out the New Provisional Government’s principles.

In an effort to disassociate the New Provisional Government with the oppressive rule of past Tsars, the cabinet’s goals highlighted socialist ideals. How did the New Provisional Government influence Soviet Russia’s political, social, and economic thought in the twentieth century? In what ways did the duma succeed in their aims to instill unity in the public through the creation of the New Provisional Government?

Frankenstein Volume II

In Volume II of Frankenstein author Mary Shelly depicts the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein in deep distress after his creation killed his younger brother William. Victor wants vengeance on the monster that killed Justine and William. In order to “seek relief” from the situation Victor goes to the valley of Chamounix. In nature the protagonist is nostalgic of his pleasant childhood. Shelly describes the sublime valley as giving the protagonist consolation. While in the wilderness Victor encounters the creature he created. The creature demands Frankenstein listen to his story and threatens to kill more people if he does not. The monster explains his journey in the wildness and the challenges he encountered when attempting to interact with humans. The creature is fascinated with everything that he sees and has a thirst for knowledge like Victor. After wandering in the woods the creature notices a cottage and observes the people in it. He calls the people in the cottage his “protectors”. The monster continues to struggle with how ugly he is, considering that is the reason why people are afraid of him. A blind man named De Lacey lives in the cottage with his family who came to Germany after being banned from France. The creature hopes to talk to De Lacey and believes because he is blind that the man will not run away in fear. One afternoon when everyone in the house left the creature talks to the blind man but the monster is then violently kicked out of the college after the children come back to see De Lacey. The monster reiterates how he wants to have a relationship, someone to sympathize with him. Then when walking through the forest during the day the creature saves the life of a girl then is shot. At this point the creature wants to get revenge on Victor for creating such an ugly monster that continues to be alienated. In search of Victor the monster goes to Geneva and finds William and explains how he killed William and framed Justine. When the creature is finished telling his story he demands that Frankenstein create an ugly female monster. The creature longs for a connection with another creature. After arguing with the monster Victor finally agrees to make another creature.

A reoccurring theme throughout the novel is the power of nature to comfort man. At times the presence of nature affects the characters in ways that human relationships cannot. While in the mountains Victor explains how the sublime sights of nature, “subdued and tranquillised[1]” his guilt. Nature is able to offer Victor relief that the relationship with his sister Elizabeth cannot give him. The creature is also enamored by nature. He explains how his, “spirits were elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature[2]”. For both Victor and the monster he created the power of nature offers the characters serenity.

A passage that stood out to me is the first time the monster feels emotion. He said, “I felt sensations of a peculiar and overpowering nature: they were a mixture of pain and pleasure, such as I had never before experienced, either from hunger or cold, warmth or food; and I with drew from the window, unable to bear these emotions[3]”. I believe that the monster having emotions humanizes him and allows the reader to feel sympathy for the monster. A trait that separates humans from animals is the profound want to create deep connections and relationships. If the creature merely wanted to destroy Victor out of tribal instinct the reader would not feel as bad for the monster. Opposed to the monster wanting to harm Victor because of his inability to form relationships.

[1] Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. Frankenstein (New York: Dover Publications, Inc.,1994), 66.

[2] Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. Frankenstein (New York: Dover Publications, Inc.,1994), 81.

[3] Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. Frankenstein (New York: Dover Publications, Inc.,1994), 75.

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IS Professor Podcast

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Paper Proposal #1

Scope: I want to examine the effects of racial prejudices on the African American population towards achieving quality primary and secondary education in the United States. As Patricia Hill Collins said, “knowledge is power”. Education is one of the most powerful tools in order to create profound social, economic, and political change within a society. After the Emancipation Proclamation blacks became “quasi slaves” that were socially and economically subordinate to white supremacy in the nineteenth century. During the mid-twentieth century the landmark court case of Brown v. Board of Education intergraded blacks into white schools systems. Although the court case overturned Plessey v. Ferguson, the initiative created major backlashes among the white community eventually leading to the privatization of schools where blacks were placed into low funded school districts with a minority of white students. A study was done in L’Heureux R. McCoy-Lewis’s book called Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban School that found the more racially diverse a school is the more likely black students will preform at a higher level. But because of the economic restrictions instilled from the Emancipation Proclamation juxtaposed with deeply rooted social prejudices African-American students are unable to receive a quality education further perpetuating poverty and homogenous thought which puts the United States at risk of failing to address crisis in the future.


Analytical Questions: From the book Transformation of African American Intelligentsia author Martin Kilson poses an overarching question about racism in America. Kilson inquires, “How do you challenge and eventually reverse the undemocratic and oppressive impact of America’s white-supremacist system on its Negro citizens?” Kilson later answers his own question and explains how through the education of black folk, African Americans will be able to rise socially and economically. My question in response is if blacks did get a quality education, to what extent would their knowledge be prohibited by the social and class structures currently in place? How would desegregation be different for inner-city schools considering it has failed multiple times? How does one quantify and qualify a “quality” education? I wonder to what extent does receiving an education depend on an individual’s socioeconomic status. In the Souls of Black Folk W.E.B Du Bois said, “The South believed an educated Negro to be a dangerous Negro. And the South was not wholly wrong; for education among all kinds of men always has had, and always will have, an element of danger and revolution, of dissatisfaction and discontent”. Following up on Du Bois’s commentary, to what extent does the American society actively try to inhibit African American intellectual progress?


Originality: The American education system has failed a large portion of minority students and subjects them to the “inverse American dream” where they are disadvantaged and cannot compete in the marketplace creating a lack of perspectives, and perpetuating group thinking in the long term. In psychology group thinking is a term that describes adopting the opinion of the group without question, an effect of a lack diverse perspectives. The United States cannot begin to address pressing issues for the future like water insecurity, global warming, terrorism etc. if we continue to disenfranchise a large segment of the population intellectually, socially, economically, and politically. If blacks continue to lack a quality education from the grassroots level, then poverty will continue to rise, jails will continue to overcrowd, income inequality will continue to manifest and America will fail to progress as a society. Now more than ever in the United State’s history, class and race are becoming more interrelated, however through receiving a quality education blacks have a better chance of breaking the cyclical nature of poverty and oppression in America.



There are a plethora of both primary and secondary sources that I can use to research more about this topic. Especially through Dickinson’s library there are an assortment of helpful researching tools like the online database. So far I have found a multitude of useful ebooks and journals that will allow me to further my research. I will also be able to get information from current events happening in the New York and Los Angles Times about racisms’ effect on the education system.



Bloome, Deirdre, and Bruce Western. “Cohort Change and Racial Differences in Educational and Income Mobility.” Social Forces 90, no. 2, 375-95.

Du Bois W. E. B The Souls of Black FolkGreenwich, CT: Fawcett Publications, 1961.

Kilson, Martin. Transformation of the African American Intelligentsia, 1880-2012.

McCoy-Lewis R. L’Heureux “Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban School” June 2014.

Sawhill, Isabel V. “Still the Land of Opportunity?” Spring 99, no. 135 (1990): 3-15.

Tonry, Michael H. “Punishing Race: A Continuing American Dilemma.” New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, 45-60.

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Marx in Soho

The nineteenth-century based play Marx in Soho written by Howard Ziin is performed by Bob Weick, a monologist, who interprets philosopher Karl Marx’s life and relates it to twenty-first century America. Through satirical and witty rhetoric, Bob Weick emphasizes how humans create social institutions based on economic factors resulting in income inequality and class division. Under these conditions a minority of the population control a disproportionate amount of economic power over the masses breeding poverty and oppression in both the nineteenth and twenty-first century.

Throughout the play, Bob Weick, as Karl Marx, explains how the social structures in the nineteenth century and the twenty-first century are similar in that the wealth gap continues to widen creating an impoverished, powerless, and uninformed working class. Mr. Weick makes the case that while in the twenty-first century the United State’s Gross Domestic Product is around 5,000 billion dollars, only one percent of the population controls half of the nation’s wealth. To have the top one percent of the population hold the majority of the wealth emphasizes the severity of the growing wealth gap. An effect of having a minority population of ultra rich and a majority population of poor leads to worsening drug and alcohol abuses, overcrowded prisons, and flawed public education institutions. In fact, nineteenth century Europe is not so different, in terms of income inequality, as twenty-first century America. In Europe, the working class was viewed as expendable given just enough money to meet the bare minimum requirements that a human being needs to survive.

Marx explains how capitalism continues to triumph in the twenty-first century and will continue to “breed rebellion”. The disproportionate lack of power that the working class has in the nineteenth and twenty-first century will precipitate social, economic, and political inequality until the rise of a communist revolution.

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