From a Buick 8
My favorite character in the novel ‘From a Buick 8’ by Stephen King is Ned because he displays a level of curiosity and bravery that is almost unmatched in the novel. Ned is the son of the deceased police officer Curtis Wilcox who was killed by a drunk driver; however, after befriending he police officers at Troop D, a state police barracks in western Pennsylvania, he finds out that mysterious powers of a 1953 Buick Roadmaster that has been parked in a shed next to the barracks from 1979 might be responsible (King 41). His friendliness and likeability enable him to fit into the barracks seamlessly, and his character is intriguing enough to make the reader follow on what he will do next.
This results in Ned taking the single action that no other police officer has attempted before, trying to destroy the car by pouring gasoline on it. However, Sergeant Sandy Dearborn, in charge of the barracks, stops Ned and pulls him out when the car attempts to teleport Ned to another universe (King 86). Ned is not frightened, and the skillful combination of his friendly nature and his courage guide the readers excellently through the story. Ned is the best character in the book for me because his actions are determined by the narration of the sergeant and other police officers at Troop D. The mysteries surrounding the Buick Roadmaster are brought out excellently through the courageous actions of Ned in his determination to seek the truth for himself.
Circle of friends
My favorite character in the novel ‘Circle of friends’ by Maeve Binchy is Eve because she is ferocious and has a very friendly nature almost at the same time. As an orphan, it is surprising that she manages to express a high level of friendliness, and the fact that she becomes best friends with Benny, an over-weight girl, emphasizes this point. Their friendship blossoms into their teens when they go to Dublin and have to face different choices in their lives (Binchy 27). The kindheartedness of Eve is evident because she does not stop Benny from going to university at first even though she has money problems preventing her from doing so.
Instead of looking at life from a negative perspective, Eve takes it on as it comes, and she decides to do a secretarial job instead. However, all is well when one of her more affluent relatives decides to pay her university tuition fee, thereby managing to get an education. Her kindheartedness is reflected in her happiness for Benny when she manages to win the heart of Jack Foley, the son of a doctor. Eve also displays her temper and anger at those who go behind her back when Nan tries to use her family connections to her own advantage (Binchy 64). The character of Eve, in terms of the complexities of the book, is complete because she is courageous and full of life.
Harold and Maude by Colin Higgins
My favorite character in the novel ‘Harold and Maude’ by Colin Higgins is Harold because his character excellently combines comedy with tragedy. His negative approach to life where he likes everything to do with death, gothic scenarios and funerals quickly ostracizes him from the community (Higgins 8). Instead of taking it seriously and changing his ways, considering everybody, including his mother is disgusted with him, he takes it a notch higher when he meets Maude, a 79-year old woman who seemingly shares Harold’s hobby of talking about death and attending funerals.
Harold’s character is quite laughable because he forms a bond with the old lady that allows him to learn different things, such as art and music, that conventional society could not teach him. The manner in which he scares away his potential wives one by one is laughable despite the fact that they depict fake self-mutilation acts, seppuku and self-immolation staging (Higgins 16). The character of Harold becomes even more exciting and inspiring when he decides to marry Maude as she is turning 80, much to the displeasure of his mother and the rest of the community. However, when Harold finds out that Maude is committing suicide, citing that 80 is the right age to die, he takes it to heart, staging an apparent suicide by driving off a seaside cliff. However, he is spotted on top of the cliff after the crash playing a banjo, one of the legacies that Maude leaves behind.
Literary Review: Getting to Grips with Stress in the Workplace
The article Getting to grips with stress in the workplace brings into perspective the issue of stress in the workplace and the several dynamics that are incorporated in the process. It is argued that a stressful workplace not only causes harm to the employee but the organization is also affected. Stress in the workplace, or occupational stress, has been described as the perceived difference that exists between an employer’s demand and the employee’s ability to meet the demands in question (Carr et al., 2011). Employees’ health eventually gets affected and they start exhibiting stress symptoms such as migraines, aggressive behavior or losing one’s temper on colleagues and customers. Corporate stress might appear to be a complicated issue, but the article in question approaches it from a specific perspective and provides recommendations on how to deal with the issue. The main concepts that are addressed include causes of stress, the manifestation of stress in the workplace and the role of management as far as occupational stress is concerned.
The theoretical framework of the article is established on the rationale that without proper programs designed to deal with occupational stress, both individual and organization performance will constantly be muffled. It makes the argument that occupational stress continues to become a growing problem in organizations and needs to be addressed to avoid employees being subjected to health problems. Some of the causes of stress that have been highlighted within the article’s theoretical framework include individual differences, social demands, and job demands. The stress eventually manifests itself and affects employees’ reasoning, physical symptoms, emotional symptoms, and behavioral symptoms. The role of management, in this case, is to get to the source of the problem and offer peer support to the employees.
There are three main central concepts in the article, and they have been clearly defined to describe its scope. The concept of stress, in this case, is defined as occupational stress, and it refers to the strain in the relationship between employer’s demand and an employee’s capabilities to meet the same demands. Secondly, the manifestation of stress is defined in reference to how people respond to stressful situations at the workplace. Some of the responses have been described as ‘foot on the brake,’ ‘foot on the gas’ and ‘foot on both’ (Carr et al., 2014). Finally, the management’s role in stress management has been described to be more of preventive rather than reactive. For example, developing corporate policies and culture that accommodate work and life balance is one way that is used to ensure that the employees do not plunge into stress.
The article incorporates sufficient evidence from different sources that help support the argument it is trying to posit. For example, the article incorporates a report done by the Department of Public Health, Western Health Board, in 2003. The findings of the report highlight the main causes of occupational stress to be job dissatisfaction, poor communication and understaffing.
There is also evidence from a survey conducted by a university in Spain where it was found that 29% of the respondents had noted that they had observed stress symptoms among their colleagues at higher levels compared to the previous years. Perspectives from different notable professionals in the field were also included in the article shedding more light on the issue of stress and how to manage it in the workplace environment.
The article creates a strong argument that fits into the field of psychology and aims to create awareness regarding stress management. Narrowing its focus down to occupational stress gives it a more specific approach in terms of problem identification and recommendations on how an organization can tackle the issue at hand. In addition, stress has been noted to be a prevalent issue that rarely gets the attention that it needs. This is based on the fact that people are living in a fast-paced society and the affected individuals barely take the time to note that they are being subjected to stress. Therefore, the article advances knowledge in its respective field by placing its main focus on the corporate world. It is not only significant for individuals who are employees in different organizations, but also to the management levels as far as optimizing organizational performance is concerned.
The authors’ approach is clear and specific in the entire article. Dividing the article into various sections and subsections allow a reader to have a clear flow of the issues being addressed. In addition, the rationale that is used to pinpoint the issue of occupational stress creates a platform upon which different entities can weigh in on whether it is rational or otherwise. Arguably, it can be noted that different people react differently to stressful situations. Therefore, it might be difficult when it comes to organizations developing a blanket approach on how to deal with occupational stress.
However, this does not necessarily mean that it is a problem that cannot be solved. Each of these issues is well highlighted in the article with effective recommendations being provided. I agree with the author’s’ approach of encouraging individual stress strategies and not heaping all the blame on organizations’ management.
Conclusively, the article serves a significant purpose in addressing the issue of occupational stress in relation to both individual and corporate perspectives. It is an issue that has not been dealt with accordingly, and as a result, the impact of occupational stress continues to worsen. It is also highlighted that stress is a very serious threat that subjects the body to react the same way it would do in a life or death situation. Therefore, the conceptualization of stress, in this case, is not simply based on the feeling of strain but how an individual reacts when faced with intense stress. Either way, the negative effect of stress cannot be undermined, and the role of an organization’s management is to ensure that its employees are not stressed. Inaction from the management would eventually affect the organization’s performance, and it will eventually lose competitive advantage in the market. There is no specific strategy that can work in one situation, and it is important that an organization’s management develops effective approaches that help deal with unique circumstances. Most importantly it is more effective for an organization to apply permanent solutions rather than quick fixes. For example, after an individual receives counseling, it is illogical to allow him to go back to the same working environment.
Carr, J., Kelley, B., Keaton, R. & Albrecht, C. (2011). Getting to grips with stress in the workplace: Strategies for promoting a healthier, more productive environment. Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 19 (4), 32-38.
Binchy, Maeve. Circle of Friends. Seltice Way, Post Falls, ID: Century Publishing, 1990. Print
Higgins, Colinn. Harold and Maude. Dir. Hal Ashby. Perf. Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles Ruth Gordon. 1971. VHS, DVD.
King, Stephen. From a Buick 8. New York: Scribner, 2002. Print