GCE A Level 2006 Essay Outlines

1. Is there still a place for charity in today’s world?

‘today’s world’ – modern world – more global view
‘still’ – even at this time/ even more so/despite this…
‘charity’ – trait of altruism

There used to be room for aid, compassion, generosity, humanity in the past.
Charity has value in the modern world.

• Learning compassion is a core value/vital aspect of human nature as it is a measure of what is fair/good and just. It defines who we are. It is a timeless quality that deserves recognition ensuring its place in this cold compassionless world where the politics of competition and dominance rule.
• Being chartable is a quality that scarce in the modern world as people are taught to be selfish and materialistic, caught up in their own pursuits ( individualism) This makes charity ever more important. • Nature of contemporary society where capitalism has gripped the world and commodified everything, therefore measure of success through one’s wealth/status and to display compassion is to emphasize weakness.
• Distortion/Abuse of the true value of “charity” has led to cynicism and skepticism.

Examples: food aid(!), loans/trade, drug embargo, international organizations etc global examples please
Characteristics of today’s world: wealth, power, prestige, deceit and “survival of the fittest”

2. ‘A picture is always more powerful than mere words.’ What is your view?

• Pictures can express what words cannot
• Pictures have great influence

“Powerful”: bringing about social change, reaching out to power, commanding, potent and influential.

• Modern world is dominated by image—dynamic, visual and vivid impact. We live in world where everything changes so drastically so pictures have the ability to clarify immediately. Whereas using text can be tedious in delivery.
• Pictures are universal in the sense that it cuts through cultural, language barriers and overcomes differences effectively. It can stir emotions (therefore powerful) than words. Words are dependent a user understanding the language and the context. E.g. Danger signs in all languages. P. Mohammad cartoons (inciting disturbances) Contemporary Art Gallery ( Death Penalty Gallery) Advertising ( billion dollar industry that uses a series of moving pictures to convey a universal msg)
• Pictures especially catalyzing images are able to strike a cord in the human conscience especially in a desensitized world where we are constantly bombarded with images and pictures such that we are not easily affected by what we read or see. Words may fail to sensitized.
• Pictures allow for many interpretations and a larger audience as compared to words that may be limited in impact due to being lost in translation. Pictures are more powerful as it has a wider reach and extent. • A picture has its limitations as it also only conveys 1 aspect (perspective) of an issue and pictures have through the course of history misled. Pictures are at best preliminary and incomplete knowledge unlike words which will give a more detailed analysis of the issue. It will be more accurate.
• Words present complexity of meaning through its delivery nuances and the beauty of the written word is showcased. E.g. Hamlet, Poems etc

Catalyzing images: Hiroshima, Napalm Vietnam 1972, Twin Towers 2001, Tiananmen Rebel 1989, Man on the Moon 1960s, Iwo Jima etc

3. Does modern technology always improve the quality of people's lives?
• Quality of life quality of life has improved.
• Modern technology has the ability to improve the lives of individuals.

--Quality of life -- wealth (material needs), efficiency, freedom, community life, health etc
--Must show how quality of life has increased or decreased -- different regions, different contexts

4.'National boundaries make little geographical or economic sense nowadays.' Discuss

• In a globalised world, physical territory is irrelevant/worth little these days.
• National boundaries are hindrances to development.

--National Boundaries – national sovereignty and territory
--Highlight role of national boundaries and show why they are redundant or otherwise today.
--Is there value of geographical/physical boundaries?
--Is there economic value of national boundaries?

6. How far is your country prepared for future crisis?
• Countries should be prepared
• Crisis will dot the horizon; we should be prepared for them.

--What are the qualities that country should process in order to deal with crisis.
--Identify the threats (biodiversity, international crisis, water crisis, race relations, migration etc)

7. ‘The world would be a better place if everyone spoke the same language.’ Discuss
• There has been miscommunication that has led to misunderstandings making life less pleasant.
• There is possibility of unity if people were on the same page.

8. To what extent do young people in your society take an interest in politics?
• Youths are not interested
• Youths should take an interest

--What stops youths from participating?
-- How effective have the present measures been?

9. ‘Entrepreneurship is just another name for personal greed.’ How far do you agree?

• Entrepreneurs are driven by selfish reasons/desire for excess
• Entrepreneurship should not be driven by greed.

--What is the nature of entrepreneurship?
--What is/are the differences between entrepreneurship and traditional business?

10. Do myths and legends still have a role to play in Singapore?

• Myths and legends did/used to perform a function.
• Myth and legends are irrelevant.
• There are factors now that are affecting the role of myths and legends.

--What are the differences between myths and legends?

11. Women will never enjoy the same rights as men. Do you agree?

• Women are never as highly valued.
• Women are lacking and inferior as compared to men.

--bear in mind; different context ( regions), different needs, tradition etc

12. To what extent do the newspaper and magazines that you read deal with what is trivial rather than what is important?

• The focus of the media has shifted dealing with what is unimportant.
• Media should deal with what is important (expectations of the media)

-- ‘you’ – a more personal account may be tolerated.
-- Why do media deal with the trivial?
--What is considered important?


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