Are Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales Closer in Outlook to Greek and Roman Literature than They are to Hebrew, Christian, and Medieval Literature?

The comparison of pieces of literature to literary genres or other pieces of literature is an educational exercise that helps you better understand the piece of literature you are comparing. Two pieces of literature that were written in a similar time period(late medieval period), are Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. In the note of comparison, are Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales closer in outlook to Greek and Roman literature than they are to Hebrew, Christian, and Medieval Literature?

Boccaccio’s Decameron, is a story collection written in the late 14th century during the period of the catastrophic Black Death or Bubonic Plague. The story collection begins with a story of ten men and women who attempt to escape the Black Death by staying in an abandoned home. During their stay in this abandoned house, these ten individuals over the course of the days each share a story each day, which is thus why there are a total of 100 stories in the collection. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is another late medieval period, story collection. Similar to the Decameron the Canterbury Tales is a story collection that begins with twenty-nine pilgrims who are journeying to a shrine of a Saint. These pilgrims decide to each share a couple of stories each day of the journey. The collection itself only contained twenty-four stories which most likely meant that Chaucer did not finish the collection. Both of these pieces of literature are very similar to each other in style, structure, and even context; but are these pieces of literature closer in outlook to Greek and Roman literature than they are to Hebrew, Christian, and Medieval Literature?

Greek literature, meaning literature written in the period of ancient Greece is a literary period that comprised of epic poems, plays, and prose. Ancient Greek literature usually revolved around the mythological, or revolved around philosophic thought. Examples of Ancient Greek literature include the famous and well-known Iliad and Odyssey by Homer, to The Republic, by Plato. Similar to ancient Greek literature is the genre of Roman Literature; literature written in the period of the Roman empire. Like ancient Greek literature; Roman literature was a literary period that had a mythological light or leaned to a more intellectual or philosophical light. Some Roman literature pieces also had a warlike theme to them. War was a key aspect of the culture of the Romans. Many of the pieces of literature written in the Roman period were inspired by the previous ancient Greek literary pieces. An example of Roman Literature is the, Aeneid: an epic poem written by Virgil.

Hebrew literature was literature mainly written by the Hebrews. This area of literature consisted of a variety of topics but the common theme was that these topics had a religious theme to them. On the note of religious themes Christain literature also highly revolved around religion. A key example of Christain literature is the Christian Bible itself, which is the key book that the majority of Christians today use as a written guide for their faith. A subset of Christian you could say is seen in Medieval literature which had many literary pieces that had Christian themes, even in the pieces of literature that in and of themselves would not be considered religious. Medieval literature is a vast collection of literature with a variety of pieces, which either consist of myth-like stories with a moral ending, religious stories, etc. 

But how do these genres of literature listed above apply to Decameron and the Canterbury Tales? Which literary style is most similar in outlook to the Decameron and the Canterbury Tales? Regardless, both of these pieces of literature because they were written in the medieval period would fall into the category of medieval literature, which is a wide area of literature. An example of a story in the Decameron itself is a story of a sinful man who on his deathbed provides a false confession to a priest. The priest who believed this false confession in turn influenced this sinful man to become a Saint. Though at first, this story would seem to fit the category of Christian literature this story itself shows the loss of faith in the structure of the Church. Clearly, how could one trust the judgment of the Church if the Church allowed this sinful man to become a Saint? Many of the stories in this collection use satire to show the shortcomings or flaws of the Catholic Church during that period. In the Decameron, there are many stories that are more secular(do not have religious themes), such as displaying the collapse of society during the Black Death, which in a sense is similar to ancient Greek and even Roman literature.

The Canterbury Tales, like the Decameron, had stories that had Christian themes, even including a widely anti-Semitic story of how a group of Jews killed a young Christian boy. This story even though it does have Christian themes the structure itself makes it clear that it is similar to Greek and Roman Literature. Another story in the Canterbury Tales, which further shows that this collection of stories is similar in outlook to Greek and Roman Literature is the Pardoner’s Tale. This story is about three men who set off to kill Death itself. Ultimately in the end of this story, Death tricks the characters, and the three men end up murdering each other instead. The Pardoner’s Tale, is a story that is clearly not factual and contains similar themes to some of the Greek and Roman myths. If this story had been written in the Greek and Roman periods of literature it would be believable.

With these points in mind, Boccaccio’s Decameron, and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, are medieval literary pieces that are more similar in outlook to Greek and Roman literature than Hebrew and Christian literature. Both of these pieces of literature do have aspects of Christian themes, overall these stories are more secular. Hence, why they are more similar in outlook to Greek and Roman literature. 

If I Were Flying Across the Country, Would I Rather Sit in First Class, or Would I Rather My Parents Give Me the Difference Between the First-Class Fare and the Coach Fare? 

Airline travel is very common today and highly relied on. A downside of airline travel is that it is highly costly, and even the cheapest ticket for the cheapest seat is still very costly. With this in mind, if I were traveling across the country, would I rather sit in first class, or would I rather my parents give me the difference between the first-class fare and the coach fare?

If I had the financial funds or the means to pay for a first-class flight, especially for a flight across the country or overseas I would. A first-class seat is more comfortable than the coach seat which has limited legroom, and in general, is not comfortable to sleep in. Of course, if I did not have the means for a first-class flight I would make the sacrifice for comfort for a standard coach flight. If my parents gave me the difference between the first-class fare and the coach, would I rather sit in first class?

This is a complicated question since it depends on the circumstances. If I was a college student who did not have a lot of money and my parents wanted to give me the difference between the first-class fare and the coach fare I would take their offer and sit in coach. On the other hand, if I had the personal funds to afford a first-class flight I would prefer the first-class option.

In conclusion, if I were flying across the country, and had the means to do so I would sit in first class. On the other hand, if I did not have the funds to fly first class I would rather my parents give me the difference between the first-class fare and the coach fare.

Are Voters Informed? If or Why Not? According to Professor Caplan, is the Problem Ignorance or Irrationality?

Today there is still an ongoing debate on the question: are voters informed? A man who dove into this question and explained it further is Professor Caplan, who went as far to also ask and answer the question: if voters are uninformed is the problem ignorance or irrationality? 

The common agreement is that the majority of voters are uninformed, which is unsurprising. Most voters make many errors in their voting and continue on to make those same mistakes throughout their voting days, the reason why they continue to make the same mistakes is that the consequences are not direct because individual votes do not count. Professor Bryan brought up the question: is the problem with the lack of informed voters due to ignorance or irrationality?

Byran argued that the mistakes that voters make are systemic, not random, in other words, the problem is mainly due to irrationality, not ignorance(though that does not mean that ignorance does not play a role whatsoever). The reason why Byran believed that was because most voting errors are made in the direction of a personal bias. Another reason why voters make errors that relate to irrationality is that “false beliefs are cheap.” Because individual votes do not dictate the outcome of an election, having false political beliefs do not carry much weight and do not really affect the voter’s life. If it did matter to be informed when it comes to voting, and those false beliefs do carry weight and can affect the voter, then most likely most voters would be informed. But that is not the case.

 Voters in general are usually uninformed because the consequences of an individual vote are minuscule to the individual. Professor Caplan believed that the problem in the matter of uninformed voters is due to irrationality, not ignorance. 

Evaluate this Claim: “The New Deal was a Wise Series of Government Actions that Healed the Problems Afflicting the Economy”

The New Deal was a series of US government actions during the turbulent time of the Great Depression, under the Presidency of F.D.R. A common claim that people make in regards to the New Deal is this: “The New Deal was a wise series of government actions that healed the problems afflicting the economy.” Is this claim really accurate?

An example of the government actions during the New Deal was the National Industrial Recovery Act, which was designed to provide stability to businesses but to prevent competition. To authorize fair wages and prices. This ultimately was not beneficial whatsoever to the small business and instead benefited large businesses, which had multiple locations in various areas. Because the only way that small businesses could compete with large businesses is through low prices, the small businesses suffered because they could not compete with low prices. Another example of a New Deal government action was the Agricultural Adjustment Act. This was carried out by destroying already grown crops to raise prices; also the government limited the number of acres. The outcome of this was the unemployment of two million share or tenant farmers, and not enough food being produced to feed the country.

The New Deal was not a series of wise government actions that healed the problems afflicting the economy, which is clearly seen in some of the examples listed above. The moral of the story is that government intervention is usually not clean-cut and most likely causes more harm than good.

Why Did Karl Marx Think Socialism Was Superior to Capitalism?

Karl Marx(1818-1883), was an Economic philosopher, who mainly studied the political ideology, which Marx himself referred to as either communism or socialism(who used those terms interchangeably). Though the ideas of communism have been around for longer than Marx, he was the one who further influenced the concept of this ideology to what we think of it as today. A common theme with Marx was that he believed that socialism was superior to capitalism; why did he think this?

One reason why Marx believed that socialism or communism was superior to capitalism was that capitalism in his opinion does not use everyone to their full use. In other words, people who are unemployed, he saw as a waste of human potential. Everyone in a communistic economy would be working which means no waste. Another reason why Marx believed this was because he believed that factory business owners’ exploited their employees because they would pay their employees just enough for them to survive. In communism nobody would own anything that would be “solved.” Something that is also to be noted is that Marx believed that communism would make people less selfish. This to conclude is some of the reasons why Marx believed that communism or socialism was superior to capitalism. 

How was the Standard of Living Affected by the Industrial Revolution?

In Western history during the majority of the 19th century the West experienced a historical phenomena known as the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution brought a surge of change and development in western society, with more technological advancements than ever before. Because the Industrial Revolution was such an important and changing period in history the standard of living was affected. How was the standard of living affected by the industrial revolution?

The standard of living during the industrial revolution was affected greatly in the positive direction. The industrial revolution brought forth more opportunities for workers. Instead of having to work as a farmer or a tradesman of some form now lower class workers were able to choose different options for jobs. Income rates increased greatly during the Industrial Revolution especially for the lower class which of course affected the standard of living for the good. Thus, in short the standard of living in the west was affected very much in the positive direction by the industrial revolution.

How Were Adoption and Inheritance Related in Paul’s Thought?

Paul was a very influential follower of Christ whose story is still read and told today. Paul before he became a follower of Christ was actually a murderer who made a living off of killing Christians. His story is a very important example that no matter what you have done, if you accept God into your heart you will be forgiven of your sin or the wrongs you have done in the past. Two important words that Paul addressed were the words: Adoption and Inheritance. How were the terms of Adoption and Inheritance related in Paul’s thought?

Adoption in this context refers to letting Jesus enter your heart, or in other words your heart is “adopted.” This phenomena can happen no matter what you have done in the past, at any time. Paul’s story is a very great example of this; even though he did horrible and very wrong things in the past God was still willing to “adopt,” his heart. Inheritance on the other hand refers to after your heart is “adopted,” by Christ, you will receive or inherit his promise, which is that your soul will live on after your physical death in Heaven. Adoption and Inheritance more or less in this context work together. 

In Paul’s thought, how were adoption and inheritance related? Above I noted that adoption and inheritance in this context work together: adoption after all is when you accept Jesus into your heart, and inheritance is the promise that your soul will live on after your physical death in Heaven, after you have accepted Him into your heart. I believe that adoption and inheritance are very accurate terms to describe Paul’s story. His story was about how no matter what wrong things you have done in your past you can still be saved. 

To conclude, adoption and inheritance are closely related in Paul’s thought. Afterall adoption is when you accept Jesus into your heart, and your heart is adopted by Him, and inheritance is the promise that your soul will live on after your physical death.

What are Some of the Major Arguments Advanced by the Public School of Economics?

The main view of the public school of economics is: individuals are self interested: they remain self interested when they enter government. This is very unlike the more “romantic,” or “idealistic,” view being that people in government are committed to public good, or are “public servants.” With the main view of the public school of economics in mind, what are some of the major arguments advanced by the public school of economics? 

One of the major arguments advanced by the public school of economics is that in the free market, one can receive a benefit or face the consequences in an exchange. This is unlike politics because officials do not face any form of feedback or consequence in the form of voting. Another important argument is on the topic of voting. When a person votes for a politician they do not vote for that politician because they agree with him/her fully. Most likely that person disagrees with many of the beliefs or points that the politician believes; which means that the only reason why that person is voting for this person in the first place is because the politician shares a similar belief in a large or important issue, that the voter feels strongly about. 

To conclude, these are some of the major arguments advanced by the public school of economics.

What Kind of Success did Africa Have With Governments that Wielded Great Powers Over the Different African Economies?

After World War II countries in Africa began to slip away from Western control and began governing themselves. The outcome of this was a mixed result, due to the fact that some of those countries ended up with very restrictive and controlling governments. What kind of success did Africa have the governments that wielded great powers over the different African economics?

Africa did not have great success whatsoever with governments that wielded great economic power. The individual African countries that adopted this form of government suffered greatly, with severe economic lows, low production rate, corrupt leaders, etc. This form of government actually made the countries who adopted it poorer and less successful overall. Thus in short, this was the kind of success Africa had with governments that wielded great powers over the different African economies. 

What Happened in France During the Revolution of 1830?

During the 1830s it was a time in which Revolutions were happening across Europe. A country in Europe that fell into Revolution again was France. Unlike the first main Revolution in France this Revolution was of smaller scale, which is thus why it is often overlooked in history textbooks today. What happened in France during the Revolution of 1830?

Charles X became king in 1824, he was an Ultra(which was a French political faction). During this time politics was mostly made up of Moderates and Liberals, but instead Charles chose his own officials from his own political faction, the Ultras. This was not exactly something that pleased the majority at the time. To make the tension worse Charles dissolved the chamber of deputies(which was a lower house of the French Parliament), and decreased the number of eligible votes to a number below twenty three thousand. 

This ended in Charles being deposed, and protests in the streets. He was replaced by a man named Louis Philippe. This did not end the issues though because the Artisans were now displeased about free market economics.

Thus, this is what happened in France during the Revolution in 1830.