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Analysis Of The Bridge Of San
People who thinks of Thornton Wilder primarily in terms of his classic novella "Our Town," The Bridge of San Luis Rey will seem like quite a switch. For one thing, he has switched countries; instead of middle America, he deals here with Peru. He has switched eras, moving from the twentieth century back to the eighteenth. He has also dealt with a much broader society than he did in "Our Town," representing the lower classes and the aristocracy with equal ease. But despite these differences, his theme is much the same; life is short, our expectations can be snuffed out with the snap of a finger, and in the end all that remains of us is those we have loved.
The novella begins by describing the quest of a Franciscan monk, Brother Juniper, to figure out why some people's lives are cut short while others, apparently less deserving of life, live well into their eighties and nineties. He has happened to witness a terrible accident
(the sudden collapse of a national landmark, the Bridge of San Luis Rey) which five people were crossing at the time of the disaster. All five were killed instantly: a little boy, a young girl, a wealthy old woman, an old man, and a youth. Brother Juniper is shocked into a metaphysical thought: "If there were any pattern in the universe at all, any plan in a human life, surely it could be discovered mysteriously latent in those lives so suddenly cut off. Either we live by accident and die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan. And in that instant Brother Juniper made the resolve to inquire into the secret lives of those five persons, that moment falling through the air, and to surprise the reason of their taking off" (Wilder, 5).
This is the wonderful premise behind Wilder's examination of the connected lives of these five people. Several of them never actually meet, any more than we "meet" people with whom we happen to ride an elevator but, each of them knows someone who knows one of the other victims. Wilder goes on to clear up the stories of their lives, devoting a chapter to each of the major characters: The old woman, The Marquesa; The young man, Esteban; and the old man, Uncle Pio. (The other two victims, the young maid Pepita and the child Jaime, are not really explored, because they are seen primarily in relationship to the adults they accompany.)
The Marquesa, Wilder reveals, lives an extraordinarily lonely life; her husband is dead, and her only daughter has deliberately moved to Spain to get away from her mother. The mother, however, is devoted to the girl, and writes voluminous letters about every aspect of
Peruvian life, under the misguided assumption that the girl must be homesick for news of her native city. These letters are in stark contrast to Wilder's description of what the Marquesa's life is really like; she is old and ugly and eccentric, and the butt of all Lima's jokes. She, however, lives in blissful ignorance of this fact, because her attention is so completely focused on her daughter. She does not even see the fact that in her own household her faithful little teenage maid is miserable from the lack of being loved. When she accidentally learns this from reading one of Pepita's letters (coincidentally on the same day that the Marquesa receives a criticizes letter from her own daughter) she goes in and touches the hair of the sleeping Pepita and says, "Let me begin again" (Wilder, 39). Wilder concludes the chapter with, "Two days later they started back to Lima, and while crossing the bridge of San Luis Rey the accident which we know befell them" (Wilder, 39).
The next story tells of a twin, Esteban. He and his brother Manuel are foundlings, raised in the same convent as Pepita herself had been. However, Pepita, as we know, was taken in by a wealthy woman, while Manuel and Esteban seem to have fended much more for themselves. The boys are very close, even speaking an invented language (not an uncommon phenomenon among twins). Esteban becomes very jealous of Manuel when he attracts ... more
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Uleashing the killer app book
ULEASHING THE KILLER APP:BOOK REPORT
Digital Strategies for Market Dominance
Killer apps, goods or services that establish quickly and dominate the market, are displacing traditional planning and strategy in business. These revolutionary realities such as email, the first word-processing program, and e-commerce are sudden and dramatic changes that have recently found success in changing the face of business. Companies that use existing technologies are finding possible killer apps as a way to gain advantage over competitors and serve their customers in a more efficient manner. Companies that choose to use existing, traditional ideals of strategy and planning are being passed over as the power of emerging digital solutions attracts their customers.
Companies must now adopt a digital strategy to help produce their own killer apps to survive in their marketplace. This digital strategy encourages full staff involvement in the development of possible improvements in processes, rather than having a group of people who spend years developing strategies. This full staff involvement brings together the ideas of workers on the front lines of production who have real world answers on how to make their work faster and eliminate non-essential processes.
Once developed, killer apps take their market by storm. For example, electronic mail has established itself as the way of communicating notes and short correspondence over the traditional ways of writing letters. The US Postal Service has experienced extreme loses in revenue due to the hands of email. Killer apps will dominate a market quickly as customers find its advantages over traditional services and products.
THE LAWS THAT LEAD TO SUCCESSFUL KILLER APPS
Moore's Law, Metcalfe's Law, and the economic theories of Ronald Coase help support the rise and domination of killer apps. Moore's law focuses on the constant growth in computing power. The law states that for every 18 months, processing power doubles while cost holds constant. Killer apps are now able to constantly evolve faster, smaller, and more efficient while keeping costs somewhat constant. In 1980, a gigabyte of storage cost several hundred thousand dollars and took large storage space. Moore's law has made it possible to shrink cost to $200 and drastically reducing storage space to the size of a credit card. This ever-improving processing power will serve as the backbone to the future of killer apps. Companies that choose not to invest in these technological answers to problematic issues will soon find themselves at the bottom of the market. This leads us to Metcalfe's law.
Metcalfe's law explains why technology spreads so rapidly, and how quickly people so readily accept it. R. Metcalfe is the founder of 3Com. His law states that new technologies are valuable only if people use them. His concept is easy to understand. If only two people have email accessibility, email would not be very important. Only those two people could communicate with each other using electronic mail technology. If the entire office were given the same email accessibility, email would become much more important. The more people use something, the more valuable it becomes, which will attract more people to use it. A prime example of the validity of Metcalfe's law is the Internet. As more people use it, it will become much more attractive to others.
Economic Theories of Ronald Coase
The economic theories of Ronald Coase have produced many opportunities for smaller companies to compete easier with larger, more established firms. Coase believed that firms are set up to minimize transactional costs. A larger firm can produce products like steel at lower economies of scale and more efficiently than an individual. Existing corporations are now competing against the economies of cyberspace. The economies of cyberspace significantly lower transactional costs more than traditional firms do because of the greatly reduced costs of land, labor, and capital. An online bank can offer as many advantages that traditional banks currently offer. This is because the transactional costs of an online bank are much lower. Their website serves as their "land" and their employees mostly work part-time. Clearly, Moore's Law, Metcalfe's Law, and the economic theories of Ronald Coase have provided a prosperous environment for killer apps to flourish in today's society. Killer apps will provide opportunities ... more
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Analysis Of The Bridge Of San People who thinks of Thornton Wilder primarily in terms of his classic novella Our Town, The Bridge of San Luis Rey will seem like quite a switch. For one thing, he has switched countries; instead of middle America, he deals here with Peru. He has switched eras, moving from the twentieth century back to the eighteenth. He has also dealt with a much broader society than he did in Our Town, representing the lower classes and the aristocracy with equal ease...
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