Mma Larkins Finding George Orwell in Burma
Please type and single-space your responses to the following questions, clearly labeling the question being addressed and utilizing standard margins and a 12-point font. Your responses will be based primarily on the Larkin text, along with the chapters by Aung San Suu Kyi (In Quest of Democracy and Freedom from Fear) and associated class materials (discussions, powerpoints, in-class video, and on-line exercises). Include a citation (any standard format is fine) if you are: a) referring to information gleaned from outside of the Larkin text or Aung San Suu Kyi chapters; b) using a direct quotation from any source. Responses getting high marks will demonstrate the following characteristics: a thorough treatment of the issues raised in the question, well written, tight organization, and thoughtful. The exam is due in class on Monday, March 9th. Late assignments will be penalized one full letter grade per day.
For many decades, Burmas government has been widely considered one of the worst in the world. Unfortunately, many post-colonial nations (i.e., nations that were colonized in the past by Western nations but have now been granted independence) have been saddled with corrupt, inept, and tyrannical governments since gaining independence. A thread that weaves its way through Larkins text is the similarities between the ways in which the British colonial government ran Burma and the ways in which Burmas military regime has operated. Because of these similarities, Aung San Suu Kyi has characterized the current period in Burmese history the second struggle for independence (the first struggle being, of course, against the British). Using at least five (5) specific examples from the Larkin text, discuss how the military government of Burma has been a sort of reflection of the British colonial government that preceded it, in terms of its practices, policies, attitudes, etc. (This response should be about 2/3rds of a page to one page in length, single-spaced; 20 points possible.)
Using the Larkin text and the handout Finding George Orwell in Burma: Some Notes on the Exercise of State Power as inspiration, discuss at least five (5) of the tools the post-colonial government of Burma has used to exercise power over the people of Burma. Relate the concepts in the handout to specific examples from the Larkin text, as well as class discussion. Among others, be sure you include two primary tools in your discussion: 1) the concept of fear; Aung San Suu Kyi chose to title her most important book Freedom from Fear. In what ways has the Burmese government utilized fear as a means of controlling the populace?; 2) A central theme of Orwells writings was the power of surveillance. Use the term panopticon, as we discussed in class and you read about for the on-line assignment of February 27th.
Leaving Burma for a moment, in what ways do governments in general (including your own government), powerful corporations, the financial sector, etc. employ fear as a tool of manipulation and control? Include the concept of surveillance/the panopticon in your response. What, if anything, can be done by ordinary folks to fight the power of fear as it is utilized in attempts to control us? (This response should be about 2/3rds of a page to one page in length, single-spaced; 20 points possible)
I am curious to know what you found particularly interesting or striking about your readings of Larkin and Aung San Suu Kyi. Please mention three things from the readings that intrigued you, and what you found interesting about them. (This response should be about 0.5 page, single-spaced; 10 points possible)
use one source at lest for each question.