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The Case Against Perfection: What's wrong with designer children, bionic athletes, and genetic engineering by Michael J. Sandel 2009. 77-83

Scientific breakthroughs in genetics and other bio-technological science and technology fields present us with promises and dilemmas. The promises lie in the fact that soon debilitating diseases might treatable and preventable. The dilemma is that this brand new genetic information may also facilitate manipulation of our own nature in the bid to improve our muscles, enhance memory, and additionally adjust our moods. This technology will also allow one to select the height, sex, and other desirable genetic characteristics of our children. If advancements in science move quicker than the moral understanding, as is the case currently, people are bound to struggle to express their discomfort.

The Case against Perfection explores genetic engineering queries that relate to our quest to perfect our lives. The author, Michael Sandel, debates that the chase for flawlessness and perfection is blemished due to quest for safety and equality. The crazy drive to enhance the performance of the human kind by use of genetic technology is disagreeable for the reason that it represents an offer for mastery and domination that does not value the exceptional character of the human power and nature. This book debates that the genetic advancement will eventually change how philosophers talk about ethics and will also force questions that are spiritual in nature back to the main political agenda hence taking the reader far and beyond the familiar terms of political discourse.

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Although the author of this book seems to have made up his mind on the issue of genetic engineering and advancement in anatomy, this article can be helpful in the study of reactions and questions raised by the public concerning perfection and enhancement of our functioning and ability. The author is biased on the issue but this does not change the fact that the article is quite helpful in related studies. For there to be acceptance of enhancement through science, the moral ethics and questions raised must be well answered.

If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is? By James Baldwin, 1979. 343

James Baldwin poses the question “if Black English isn’t a language, then tell me, what is?” This article is an argument concerning how Black English uses, styles, or modifies its language such that it deviates from the normal English in the American history. As it is, it has completely nothing to do with the real question or the argument as directly posed. The argument is about the role of language and why different forms of language should be accepted and assimilated to the old form from where the evolved language branched. Language can be used to describe the speaker. It also defines the environment and different people from different parts of the world have different language structures.

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The author, of course, is aware that the so-called “Black English” can never be regarded a distinct language on its own. This is so even when most linguists would disagree on the basis that it adheres to most of the structural laws of the Standard English even though over time it has managed to develop a number of words and sentence structuring of its own in a distinct manner. Even as people wonder why the author, James Baldwin titles his article If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is?, one thing remains crystal clear; he is not referring to the real Black English but rather the whole language in general. As people evolve a language, it is mainly because they want to describe and ultimately control the situations and circumstances surrounding them. They also do so in an effort to express inner feelings and to gain a sense of belonging.

This article has been used as reference to most literally articles. I am of the opinion that it is incisive and educating in a way that forces an individual to look closer, read between the lines and think deeper. It is helpful when doing research study on language.

Judith Ortiz Cofer: The Story of My Body, 2007. 18-43

The roles of gender are socially constructed. This idea is not too difficult to accept although it may be a shock to become aware of the fact that even how we view our bodies is well filtered in the eyes of the society we live in through our social values and beliefs. In this article which is rather personal, Judith Ortiz Cofer sheds some light on her life and how her body affected her wellbeing. She explains the different roles her own body played in the differing situations and cultures. It is about her life in different societies and how the same have interpreted her physical self and appearance. Although the story of the author’s body somehow becomes the story of her life in different settings, it somehow relates to the life of a woman who is among the minority groups in the larger American and European society. In this tale, she weaves intriguing comments on gender and its role on cross-cultures.

The author begins the narrative by effectively giving a brief background about her young life and how she has fared, the things she has gone through since her life began. She clearly shows the reader the variation between what her native country people, Puerto Ricans, consider as “tall” and what the Americans in the country she lives in analyze as “tall”. She goes further to subdivide her story in three distinct sections; size, color and looks. This is done to achieve emphasis on the readers’ part for the different topics she aims at portraying through the story. She also tries to get the reader to understand all the struggles that she goes through.

This article is well crafted and unbiased on crucial societal issues of color and racism. It provides crucial information based on the real life of a woman who has gone through a lot to get to where she is today.

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