Archivo de la categoría: Inglés

The Victorian Era VS Today


Victorian London, 1887

I cannot imagine my mom just staying at home doing the dishes and washing our clothes, making sure that when my father comes home his dinner is ready. I can certainly not imagine that as my adult life. But that’s kind of what it was like in the Victorian Era, that’s why I think our society is better than the society then.

In the Victorian Era, there was a big difference between classes. There were 3 classes: the upper class, the middle class and the lower class. The upper class barely had to work, because in many cases their families and ancestors had earned enough money for them. Their children were able to get tutors, who belonged to a developing middle class. Other people from the middle class owned industries. The lower class, however, lived the worst life. Their families were big, so only the father working was often not enough. That’s why children had to go to work for long hours with low incomes. Now we cannot imagine sending 7-year-old kids to factories to work all day long. Every child in our society gets educated and if parents don’t earn enough money or don’t have a job, the government can help.

Another big difference between the 2 societies is the way women are treated. Although the Industrial Revolution changed the opportunities for women and they could have a job as well, there were still a lot of inequalities between men and women.

In the Victorian Era, the knowledge about medicine was developing and growing. The problem was that it was only for people who could afford it. Now, no matter how much money you have, everyone can get the medicine he or she needs.

Therefore, I think the society we live in is better than the Victorian Era’s. There is a smaller difference between classes. Actually, I think we can’t speak about classes anymore. Also, our society offers more opportunities: there are more jobs, everyone can go to school and study whatever they want and the equality between men and women is quite acceptable.

Marie Do.


Queen Victoria’s portrait (1887)

In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era formally begins in 1837 when Victoria became queen and it wasn´t until her death in 1901 that this period was actually finished. Over this period of time the UK was able to consolidate and progress in terms of economy, technology and territorial expansion. In this essay we are going to talk about how this could affect people, and then we will compare the Victorian society with today’s.

On one hand, regarding the Victorian society it is very important to mention that due to all of these rapid changes and development, the British population underwent a massive increase from sixteen million to over thirty two million people. Nevertheless, a portion of this individuals decided to depart to Canada, the USA and other countries in order to find a better life despite the progress in the UK.

Another point of high relevance is that society was actually able to advance in the pyramid, being able to join ranks which belonged to the high-class; of course, they had to obey Victorian stereotypes but it still was the best chance they ever had as ordinary citizens.

On the other hand, today´s society has better life conditions than people in the Victorian era as, first of all, we have almost two hundred years of advantage. However, there are some key features which need to be pointed out. Currently, we have a democratic government so we take part in most of the social and political decisions. Also, our jobs are more rewarding, education has improved and we are able to join more leisure and cultural activities.

In conclusion, modern society has clearly evolved compared to the Victorian one, and as a consequence we can affirm today´s society is much better. But it is also important to say that the Victorian period promoted decisive changes that provided society with some of the advantages that we have nowadays.

Miguel C.



Views on the Jack the Ripper museum

ripper museum.jpgThe opening of a museum dedicated to Jack the Ripper in Cable Street, London has recently been the subject for eyebrow-raising. Although many may consider this strange, it’s the original premise of the exhibition what really bothered people: it had been announced that a new museum dedicated to women’s history would open in East London. It’s not hard to see why it was criticized by Londoners and many others, including me, when we found out about its real theme.

My opinion on museums will never be altered: if it’s educational, and adds to the knowledge of visitors, then I’m all for it. The problem begins when something is sold as something it’s not, which is the case of the Jack the Ripper museum. Why is the first  museum in the East End supposedly dedicated to women’s history entirely about a man’s actions? This only proves the fact that sexism is still well-and-alive in today’s society, which leads us to my second argument.

Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, the creator of the museum, argues that the exhibition explores the perspective of the victims, only to later discuss their responsibility on their own murders. Easy analogies can be made with what happens nowadays with rape claims from women: they aren’t taken seriously based on the woman-in-question’s behavior or clothes, for example. Palmer does the same with Jack the Ripper’s victims when he explores the possibility that prostitution was the deep cause of their death. Aside from the fact that it’s never anyone’s fault when they’re attacked, I’d like to point out how women those days were forced into prostitution in order to survive and how an action for survival should never lead to something much worse like death.

Leaving moral thoughts apart, I want to say I find the idea of a Jack the Ripper museum to be very interesting as, if done right, visitors would be able to enter the murderer’s mind and learn about all kinds of related aspects.

In conclusion, there’s a great appeal to the existence of a Jack the Ripper museum, but it should definitely not be sold as a museum dedicated to women’s history and, much less, try to find their fault in the situation. This is an idea what many don’t seem to understand yet.

Elena A.

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Protest against the opening of the Jack the Ripper museum

Everybody knows about the Whitechapel murders and most importantly, about the murderer. It might sound like something sick for some people, but to others it’s just fascinating. This is why the museum should not be closed, although it has to be somewhere appropriate so people won´t complain.

For criminology lovers, this is the chance to see first-hand information, documents and objects which helped in the investigation. It´s the most truthful source they´ll ever be able to acquire knowledge from. As a person who is interested in criminology, I would visit it myself.

Also, for people interested in history, it´s a unique way to experience the Victorian era, from a whole new and different point of view: the mind of the assassin. We might not learn about the sociocultural differences between classes, but historical criminology is also history, and in my opinion, it´s one of the most interesting fields, seeing how detectives worked back in the times of Queen Victoria, and the differences between investigations nowadays. Today, for example, it would be unthinkable to send a bloodstained knife to the police, because it would be like giving your name and address.

And finally, I think the museum is a good option because it gives you perspective. It´s really easy to judge how crazy Jack the Ripper had to be to commit all those murders, but no one actually knows how mentally sick he was. He could have done it all out of madness, or even vengeance, or maybe he wasn´t sick at all and was a cold blood killer. No one will ever know his motives, but we know he killed innocent women and that´s enough to give him his blood chilling nickname, the Ripper.

So, in conclusion, Jack The Ripper museum should be built somewhere appropriate so people can visit without anyone being annoyed at it, and so everyone can gather knowledge, learn about history or try to guess Jack the Ripper´s darkest motives to do what he did.

María M. A.


Jack the Ripper and the sensationalist media

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In 1988, a terrible serial killer known as Jack the Ripper haunted the cold streets of the East End of London. Although he only killed prostitutes, the newspapers and the media accentuated the citizens’ fear by publishing Jack’s grotesque and explicit letters to the police and not hiding any details from the murderer’s crimes. My opinion on this matter is that, nowadays, these kind of horrors should be kept away from the general public.

Firstly, I’d like to talk about how impressionable people might be affected by these type of crimes. Nowadays, everyone has access to newspapers, television or the Internet, including little kids or mentally ill people who could be triggered by the situation. If the details from the crimes are divulged with no initial thought whatsoever, this could affect people’s lives forever.

Although I consider myself to be a curious and open person who doesn’t want to be lied to by the government or the media, I care way more deeply about the health and well-being of people around me, and wouldn’t want to risk these vital aspects of someone’s life just to know the truth.

Finally, I need to point out how, in 1888, Jack the Ripper sent a series of letters to the police laughing at their uncertainty and giving details about his next work. These letters are believed to have been written by different people as the written expression significantly varies from one to another. Although numerous theories discuss the possibility of Jack the Ripper being more than one person, the letters are more likely to have been written by impostors as a way of entertainment. We can’t risk this happening nowadays, seeing that it could lead to fake clues and only keep the authorities away from the real criminal.

In conclusion, I believe that, in general, the truth should not be hidden from the citizens, but there are cases in which there’s no alternative because it could alter their welfare, like it happened more than a century ago with Jack the Ripper’s case.

Elena A.

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‘From Hell’ letter handwritten in blood, allegedly sent by Jack the Ripper to Scotland Yard in 1888

“Jack the Ripper” might be the most well known killer in the world. But do people know about the real story that lies behind? Or do they only know what the journalists said about him? His murders were horrible, atrocious and insane; but he was never caught by the police.  Apart from that, the police didn’t give much information about his crimes so the sensationalist journalists invented stories.

Here’s the problem of keeping the information away from people. Everyone wants to know what’s going on with the murders, the killer… so if they don’t have the information, they’ll probably invent it. By the way, the people need to know what types of dangers they are exposed to. Imagine that the killer murders at night in a particular place, so the police need to warn people not to be out at night alone in the dark…

That way people would be safer, because they’d know what the killer does. Also, it’s really important that the information the police gives to the journalists doesn’t change. People need to know the truth, it doesn’t matter if it’s grotesque or terrible because the story hasn’t changed.

In conclusion, the truth is the most important element when fighting against crime. In the case of “Jack the Ripper”, if the police had given more information about it, the journalists wouldn’t have invented stories. Maybe some people wouldn’t have sent fake letters to the police and maybe the case could have been solved with everyone’s help. But we’ll never know who “Jack the Ripper” was and all the murders he or she committed will never be punished.

Eider V.

The issue of drug legalization

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Since the Victorian era, drugs have been legalized and prohibited once and again, depending on what country one resides in. The question is, should we legalize, regulate or prohibit the use of all drugs? I, for one, support regulated legalization of only some drugs because of quite a few reasons, although I’ll be centering on marijuana.

For starters, I’d like to press on the fact that I think drugs like cocaine, meth and heroine should be completely prohibited, due to being highly addictive and extremely harmful. This leaves marijuana, which I consider the only drug that should be legalized, albeit while regulated by the government. Here’s why:

When put under government regulation, drugs are subjected to a higher standard of quality, eliminating the illegal and toxic substances some dealers add to their product. It would also make it more expensive, more so than cigarettes, as it would be taxed as a recreational drug. This would also factor into the loss of appeal for the younger generations, as it would be legal and would lose the “coolness” of being illegal.

Aside from these legal and social benefits, marijuana also presents some benefits to our health when consumed in its natural state. For example, it is used for people with anxiety to calm them down and by some asthmatics to relax the throat muscles.

Lastly, the legalization of marijuana would be key when talking about the eliminations of the cartels and crime related to drugs. By presenting a legal, higher quality product, people would stop depending on these criminal associations, thus causing their decline.

In conclusion, I support the legalization of marijuana as long as it’s regulated so as to ensure a safer, higher quality drug, at the same time as reducing the population who takes drugs, earning more money through taxation and exponentially reducing crime linked to drugs.

Paco S.

The greatest mystery of all

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Human fetus (source: BBC)

Out of everything that is mysterious to us, out of all the things we wonder about and frighten us, I think we are the most mysterious of all. We are, in essence, animals, like dogs or owls; but we do things that are abnormal for an animal to do, no matter how high the evolution chain is.

First things first, we are the only animals to discriminate other members of our own race because of something as trivial as their appearance, and we are also the only animals to kill our own kin out of emotions like hatred or envy. I don’t think I have to say we are also the only animals to organize and go to war over something as insignificant as oil.

Secondly, while we may be the most intelligent animal on the planet (well, some of us are) we still created and worshipped an invisible power just because we couldn’t understand why we, or anything, existed: that power is called God. Or Allah. Or Yahweh. Not to mention we’ve also used their name to justify murder for centuries, even millennia.

And finally, I want to talk about our capacity to survive: human beings have been faced with so much destruction, and even near extinction, over the course of our history, and yet here we are, alive and kicking. We’re like overgrown cockroaches: surviving even when the odds are completely against us.

However, the greatest mystery about ourselves is why we are like this. Why do we kill? Why do we steal? Why do we discriminate? Why do we worship God? Where did we get the capacity to reason like we do? It’s because of all I’ve talked about in this text, and more, I think the human being is the most complex, intricate, mysterious and terrifying thing on earth, maybe even in this universe.

Paco S.

The best novel within Gothic fiction

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Cut from Dorian Gray (Oliver Parker, 2009)

Gothic fiction is one of the main literary genres of the 19th century. For me, the most representative Gothic novel is “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. This novel was written in 1890 by amous writer Oscar Wilde. The main themes are horror, youth, beauty, society, love, friendship and portraits. In the past few years there have been several adaptations from the original novel.

The story is about the life of Dorian Gray. He was a lovely and nice man until he met Lord Henry. Dorian started living under Lord Henry’s influence, which stated that youth and beauty were the most important things in life. Gray starts committing a lot of crimes, such as killing his own girlfriend. His soul was reflected on a portrait that his friend Basil painted one day. So Dorian Gray was always young and beautiful, just as the portrait was created.

The painting got older and uglier day after day, but Dorian didn’t. Because of this reason I think that “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is the most representative novel of Gothic Fiction. It shows true human horror, but with some supernatural elements.

Agostina C.

Life on Mars?

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Cut from The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015)

What would you find scarier, thinking about how there may be life on other planets or about how we might be completely alone in the universe? The discourse on aliens has been a popular subject throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, and it’s even grown more popular with the recent discoveries of NASA. Everyone has their personal opinion on this matter and I just can’t find a reason why someone would cross out the possibility.

As of February 23, 2017, there hasn’t been a discovery on life outside our planet. However, just yesterday NASA announced that 7 new planets have been found in a solar system not relatively far from ours, and that three of them appeared to have the ideal conditions for life. And that’s just in one solar system, in an investigation that cost NASA months, even years of research! The universe is so immense that, even if there was life, we most likely wouldn’t be able to find it. Following this argument, I think saying life doesn’t exist in other planets is a bit selfish. When most people think about aliens, they refer to big, green, scary creatures with circular-spaced spaceships. I think of aliens as organisms living outside the Earth, whether they follow this imaginative description or simply are microscopic bacteria that live underwater.

Moral matters are also to be taken into consideration in this subject. What would happen if we, after all, found aliens? The word ‘alien’ comes from the Latin adjective ‘alius’, which means ‘other’. The human race has always shown mistrust towards individuals that aren’t alike. Take into account, for example, the Nazi Holocaust. This human massacre was entirely based on hate. If humans can be so monstrous with one another, how cruel could they be with other creatures?

In conclusion, life in other planets is entirely possible based on the fact that the human mind can’t prove it otherwise, and that the universe is so huge that choosing not to believe in it would not be a wise decision.

Elena A.