The Most Morally Complex Hero
On one level, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, is just a tale of a few mischievous kids and their charismatic leader, Tom Sawyer, getting into trouble. On another level, it is the story of all the real damage that can result from seemingly innocent adventures. Tom Sawyer is at the center of this narrative. He cons Ben Rogers into washing the fence for him. He lets Potter go on trial for a murder that Tom knows Potter did not commit. Tom lies to his aunt many times. Worst of all, Tom allows the entire town to believe that he and his friends have drowned.
Yet he does eventually come clean to save Potter. He also has deep regrets about the pain he ends up causing. It is hard to pin Tom Sawyer down morally because he acts in ways that hurt others, but when he realizes the consequences of his actions he is often regretful.
It is a fair argument to say Tom Sawyer should be forgiven all his mistakes. After all, he is just a child. He seems to understand that the things he has done hurt people, and he regrets them. Tom even goes to lengths to make the people he has hurt feel better. However, it would be difficult to argue that Tom would not make many of the same choices all over again. After Tom and Becky nearly died in a cave, Tom still brings Huck back to that same cave to find gold. While he presumably knew where he was going that time, the danger still remained. Tom caused immense grief and sadness for his Aunt Polly when he allowed her to believe his friends and him were dead. He even went so far as to come back to his house to spy on Aunt Polly grieving for him without ever revealing himself because it would have, “ruined the surprise.” There is sincere regret for each of these actions, yet they still occur many times.
The question remains for Tom Sawyer. Maybe Tom would not be so morally complex if he was an adult. He would be cast as manipulative, selfish, and callous. His youth muddies up the discussion. Yet, there has to be a point at which the moral immunity of his youth wears off. What Tom Sawyer’s character makes so difficult is where that point is.
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The history about adventures of Huckleberry Finn is famous and well-known in the world. It must be clear that, as any high-quality story, it must have some moral. It is important that the moral of the story still stays interesting for the researchers. One can notice that they are interested not only in the main moral of the whole story but more about the moral of the main character. The case of Huckleberry Finn seems to be quite interesting, taking into account the factors that have an impact on him. Reading the story, one can notice that Huckleberry is surrounded by the common morality of his time and environment. However, when it is time to act in some way, Huckleberry behave in the way that seems to be right for him and the modern readers, not for the sources of common moral that could affect him. In this way, considering the sources of Huckleberry’s morality, one can notice not only different external sources but also his own feelings about right and wrong.
Considering the moral values and the source of morality for Huckleberry Finn one can pay attention to the article written by Schinkel, who cited Copeland (2002), writing that “whereas Miss Watson tries to get Huck to behave by telling him ‘all about the bad place,’ the widow, in a more Stoic frame of mind, teaches Huck to pray for ‘spiritual gifts,’ which means, as Huck says, ‘I must help other people, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself’ [. . .]” (516). Considering the following behavior of Huckleberry one can say that widow’s morale had more impact on him. One can also suggest that Huckleberry’s own representations of morals, even they were not strictly formulated, was closer to widow’s moral. At least he definitely agreed with the idea of helping other people, particularly his friends and people who were kind to him. Independence is an important feature of Huckleberry Finn. However, he, like any other person, can not avoid an impact of environmental factors. Thus, he can accept or not the morals which Miss Watson and the widow tried to instill him. However, except these two women, there is one more source of morality that had an impact on Huckleberry Finn.
One of the main points related with moral of Huckleberry Finn is his interaction with his friend, fugitive black slave Jim. One can notice that in this relationships moral of Huckleberry Finn became the clearest. On the one hand, “in his earliest years, Huck wasn’t taught any principles, and the only ones he has encountered since then are those of rural Missouri, in which slave-owning is just one kind of ownership and is not subject to critical pressure” (Bennett). In this way, whether he accepts it or not, an environment has an impact on Huckleberry. On the other hand, Huck allows Jim to escape and helps him if their following travel. This fact clearly shows that except the common rural Missouri moral Huckleberry have another one, that makes him act the way he did it, helping Jim.
Considering the moral issue of Huckleberry Finn, Schinkel wrote that “Huck somehow has to deal with two alternately dominant manifestations of the concerned awareness we call conscience” (515). The researcher pays attention to the fact that “one of them is articulate, taking its standard from conventional morality; the other is mute and has no articulable standard to go by – Huck cannot articulate any standard on this side, because the whole of his moral vocabulary is in service of the first” (Schinkel 515). In this way, the researcher emphasizes and shows the issue of two morals that Huckleberry has. On the one hand, he has the moral that society and certain people tried to instill him. On the other hand, Huckleberry has his own moral, own feeling about right and wrong behavior and actions. What is more important, even the second type of moral is not articulable, this moral, not the first one, makes Huckleberry act in the way he acts and helps Jim. In this way, considering sources of Huckleberry’s morality, one can consider not only the different external sources such as society in general or particular people who have the impact on Huckleberry but also his own feelings about right and wrong.
In this way, there are different sources of Huckleberry’s morality. There are two women, Miss Watson and the widow, who tried to instill him their morality. One more source is the common morality of his time, which can impact on Huckleberry from the different people and different sources, but he in any way could not avoid it. However, actions of Huckleberry are not caused by any of that morals. Thus, the sources of Huckleberry’s morality can be separated in external and inner. One can notice the inner feelings and understanding of right and wrong is the most important for Huckleberry and it causes his behavior, not the common morality of his time or people who tried to instill their morality to him.
Bennett, Jonathan. The Conscience Of Huckleberry Finn. 1974, http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/jfb/huckfinn.pdf.
Schinkel, Anders. “Huck Finn, Moral Language And Moral Education.” Journal Of Philosophy Of Education, vol 45, no. 3, 2011, pp. 511-525.
PART 1: TERMS OF REFERENCE/EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This report is based on Zara Company which is a Zara is a publicly traded apparel company with headquarters in Spain and other locations within UK and U.S. among other countries. The report focuses on a critical analysis of the company to identify any problem or opportunity that can be exploited to improve the company’s success. To perform the analysis of Zara, the report will make use of powerful conceptual frameworks which are important in determining the internal and external business environment within which the company operates. These include; identification of current market situation, SWOT analysis, competitor analysis and PEST analysis. Consequently, the report will present the findings and recommendations for solving the identified problem and the recommendations for improving the situation. Zara provides a good case to demonstrate how a company within the apparel industry can succeed by creating a powerful brand and by creating customer value along the entire value chain.
PART 2: METHODOLOGY/PROCEDURE
To establish the current position of Zara and identify the problems or opportunities which remain to be exploited, a critical analysis of the company’s internal and external business environment will be performed. First, the report will give an overview of the company and the current market situation. Secondly, a SWOT analysis which involves analysis of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will be performed. Within the SWOT analysis, the strengths and weaknesses will be used to establish the situation within the internal environment while opportunities and threats will be used to offer understanding on the external environment.
Next, a PEST analysis which examines the company’s macro-environment in terms of the political, economic, and social and technological environment will be performed (Gallaugher 2008). After the PEST analysis, the report will carry out a competitor analysis to determine the competitive environment in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of the major competitors (Keller 2012).
The information on competitor analysis will be used to determine the areas that Zara needs to improve or whether it should put in place new strategies to cope with the competition. At the end of each analysis, the company will provide the strategic implication to point out what each means for Zara’s success. Finally, the report will concentrate on explaining the identified problem or opportunity in order to offer appropriate recommendations on how the situation can be improved.
PART 3: FINDINGS
This section presents the major findings of the analysis of Zara and the implications on Zara’s business strategy. The major findings are divided into the following categories:
I. Zara’s current market situation
Zara is a publicly traded company which operates under the parent company the Inditex Group whose headquarters are in Spain, Europe. It was established in 1975 by named Amancio Ortega. Presently, Zara has more than 1,600 physical stores located in over 77 countries around the world. Zara’s business strategy within the fashion industry is based on an efficient supply chain system in which new fashion designs are released within a relatively short period (Keller 2012). Zara’s new fashion products are developed within four to five weeks and delivered to the various stores. This is a record turnover time compared to the industry average which is about six months (Awat and José 2006). Zara is also a market leader in terms of developing new designs as more than 10,000 new designs are released to the market every year.
Besides, Zara has an exemplary strategy of production and marketing as it does not rely on heavy advertising and minimizing production costs like other players within the industry. Instead, the company relies on vertical integration strategy in which the company’s products are produced in a central location and distributed to the worldwide store locations within the shortest time possible. To compensate for the advertising, Zara relies on the strategy of investing in attracting and retaining a pool of talented designers who are extremely committed in developing exceptional designs at a higher rate than the competitors (Awat and José 2006). In this way, the company is able to meet the expectations of the customers who are interested in shopping for the latest fashion regardless of whether the products are offered at a higher price than the market average. However, Zara is moving towards adoption of an online shopping in order to avoid overreliance on the physical store locations. The online shopping offers a good opportunity for the company as it looks forward to increase the market share and to cope with the intense competition from the existing international players within the apparel industry.
In terms of the market, Zara’s products are targeted at customers who are keen on shopping form variety of trendy wear including casual clothes, official wear, shoes, men’s accessories, children clothes and cosmetics among other apparel items. Zara offers its customers with a unique opportunity to sample new fashion trends within a short time. Besides, Zara’s products are differentiated in terms of size and cost in order to increase the customer base. In terms of location, Zara has many flagship stores which are characterized by superior interior designs with locations in prime areas like in George Street in London, Rathenauplatz in Frankfurt, Pitt Street in Sydney and Van Baerlestraat in Amsterdam among other areas (Keller 2012). In terms of marketing, Zara does not put emphasis on advertisements but rather on store locations. The company is looking forward to extent its presence from the traditional European markets using a multi-channel strategy to reach to new markets in the U.S. and Asian countries.
II. SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is based on an identification of the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses as well as the external opportunities and potential threats within the operating environment. Zara is a strong brand within the global apparel retail industry due to its ability to develop new designs and avail them to the stores within a short time. Zara has a strictly vertical integrated structure which enables quick decision making, fast distribution of new designs and cost reduction (Dutta 2002). Zara’s strategy also creates enables it to maximize the sales, enhance customer loyalty and to create a unique customer value…
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