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Matt Candler W131 Paper 3 - Matt Candler Brown Paper 3...

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Matt Candler Brown, Paper 3 English W131 3-22-11 Tamed Action Against Authority Have you ever had that teacher at school or boss at your job that abused their power? Do they have little interest in your opinions and often view you as a something instead of a someone? This can be a very difficult and frustrating situation to be in, especially if you are in a circumstance where you can’t walk away from it. Maya Angelou, author of the short story, “Mary”, describes this very idea. In this case, it involves a young African American woman who is working for an older white woman by doing daily household chores. Mrs. Cullinan, a retired, somewhat controlling woman, who employs a young African American girl named Margaret, wields her power so much that it creates a bad working environment for Margaret. Mrs. Cullinan is so consistently rude to Margaret that it seemed as if Margaret wasn’t viewed as a person with real feelings and emotions. This is a troubling situation, because this ultimately broke down Margaret’s self-esteem and the opinion of her very own self worth. Some authority figures aren’t necessarily out to get the people that are below them, but sometimes the ones with major decisions often don’t have the best judgment. Many times, there are situations where ordinary people have made better decisions than those who are looked at as experts or great decision makers. This sentiment is relevant in Dr. Howard Brody’s essay, “The Social Power of Expert Healers”. Brody reveals a circumstance where an elderly couple is encountered with health troubles and the doctor to the elderly couple must construe difficult questions. Brody’s story brings up the point of truly relying on these so called “experts” who are doctors. The elderly couple, the Bakers, must decided
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2 what is best for them, what the doctor thinks is best for them, and outweigh both opinions, to ultimately, and hopefully, come up with the best solution for them. Decisions made by authoritative figures are often questioned. This inclination is exposed in Barbara Garson’s article, “McDonald’s – We Do It All For You”. In her article she interviews McDonald’s restaurant employees and asks for their experiences and opinions on their job and how they feel about company policy and decision-making. Being on a lower end of the “totem pole” than someone that you deal with on an everyday basis is a part of life, and there will be times when you succeed and things go your way. But, there will also be times when unfortunate things happen to you that you didn’t cause, and the blame rightfully so should be put on a decision maker who is looking out for their own interests. If this has every happened to you, you must stick up for yourself. People have more leverage over authority than what they think. Everyone has a right to be treated with respect, care, and dignity, not a controllable object.
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