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The essay consists of three parts. The first part deals with the explanation of a 2009 movie sin Nombre which is basically a crime movie about a Mexican based gang while the second deals with the concepts about nationalism in the two articles while the third and final phase deals with the relation of the movie and the articles with each other. Let us formally begin the essay with the explanation of the movie plot which is the first phase.
The movie starts in a small Mexican town called Tapachula (which located near the Guatemalan border) where a person named Willy, whose nickname is El Casper, resides. He is the member of the town’s well known gang called Mara Salvatrucha. A young boy is introduced into the group by him and is given the nickname of Smiley. Smiley then fulfills his initiation of executing a rival gang member with the help and support of Casper. A girl named Martha Marlen is then introduced in Casper’s life with whom he establishes romantic relationships. In order to ensure the safety and protection of Marla, he keeps his underworld life a secret. In order to do this, he has to play a double role, one for the girl and the other for the gang. His performance in the underworld life was not the same as it was before the girl. This causes the other gang members to doubt his loyalty. Since Martha also had doubts in her mind that Casper is keeping something secret from her so she decides follows Casper one day. This leads Martha directly into an ongoing meeting of Casper’s gang. Mago, the gang leader, tries to cover things up for Casper by escorting her out. After getting out of the premises, he tries to rape her and accidently kills her.
Mago, the gang leader, then tries to enter the United States illegally along with Casper and Smiley. They arrive at La Bombilia which is famous for illegally transferring immigrants to the US. During the journey, Casper and Smiley keep an eye on Honduran family consisting of a young daughter, her father and her father who are on their way to New Jersey. The trio tries to rob the family. While doing this, Mago tries to rape Sayra, the girl. Casper intervenes and end up killing Mago. He, later, sends smiley back. Smiley returns to the gang stronghold and reports about Mago’s death. El Sol, the new leader to the gang, exclaims that Smiley is making up conclusion and is disloyal to the gang. Smiley proposes that he should be sent back to kill Casper in order to prove his loyalty. El Sol agrees and sends Smiley to find and kill Casper. On the other hand, passengers on the train avoid Casper and try to get rid of him by throwing him off the train. Sayra tries to defend him despite of her father warnings not to do so. Casper, as we know it, is a gang member and is very efficient to deal with situations like these. He successfully evades the passengers. Although Sayra’s family accepts Casper’s heroic act of protecting their daughter, he decides to leave the train at night. Sayra also follows him without his knowledge. Against all odds, the two reach the immigrant shelter in the car provided by one of Casper’s friends where Sayra notices someone familiar. She is told that her father has died and her uncle has been caught. She sobs and goes to the chapel where Casper finds and confronts her. Then they reach a river which is basically a border between Mexico and the US where a coyote helps them to get across one by one in exchange of something valuable. Payment is done to coyote in the form of a camera containing a picture of Casper’s ex-girlfriend. He insists Sayra to go first. When she reaches the middle of the river, Casper is surrounded by the members of the gang. Casper tries to escape but runs into Smiley who instantly kills him. The remaining gang members reach the scene and empty their magazine on Casper’s dead body. Witnessing this horrific scene, Sayra screams in horror and sadness.
In the climax of the movie, Sayra is seen making attempts to phone her father’s new family from the outside of an american mall while her uncle making another attempt to cross the border into the US. On the other hand, Smiley gets a lip tattoo as a symbol of his loyalty for the gang.
Now let us move on to the second phase of the essay which is the explanation of the articles. The definition of nationalism given by Gellner is that the main focus of politics is to hold politics and national unit a single body.
A process conversion from lower culture, which was previously the lifestyle of the majority of the high culture, has occurred in the general population. By this we mean innovations in educational systems both high and low level, technological process and better bureaucracy. On The new culture has integrated various individuals from different cast, color, creed and origins thus making things simpler and easier to understand. Previously, people with same origins or the parameters mentioned above formed groups where the integration of different people to a single society was not possible.
The authors of the two articles made attempts to explain nationalism from historic point of view as well. It was established that mixing or integration of various people is necessary and mandatory for the proper functioning of the society in the modern era. It is also explained that modernity is the need of the current era. Hence old-school and illiterate beliefs from the minds of the people can be removed by means of proper education, better political policies and better economic situation of the country. However, not everyone liked the idea of social integrity. Hence modernism didn’t flourish among various nations at the name pace. Even today, some groups are self-centered and are reluctant to become integrated with the modern society. Sociological conditions are also important for nationalism to flourish properly. However, there is not guarantee whether these conditions will fulfill their intended purpose or not. Studies conducted on multilingual countries like Belgium, Canada and Switzerland showed that they shifted rapidly and radically from agrarian to industrial era. The authors of the two articles primarily focused on the political and cultural aspects of the transition in the countries mentioned previously. The prime focus of the articles is progress in every module of life i.e. technological, social, educational, cultural etc. It was established that industrialization is the solution of the problems the previous nations faced. Industrialization will lead to better educational, health, economic and social condition, either directly or indirectly. In other words, industrialization will make the society at hand better and put an end to feudalism which has haunted previous societies for ages.
The society which desires that nationalism flourishes in it should have the following characteristics.
• An educational system defined in accordance with the needs of the modern society and one that provides equal opportunities to both the rich and the poor.
• Establishment of a homogenized cultural society that incorporates individuals with various background and provides equal opportunities to all.
• Check and balance on the governing bodies so that all decisions are made in favor of the general population.
• Eradicating or at least standardizing language barriers. Languages barrier can create a lot of problems for coming from alien regions. Hence, all countries should inculcate the universal language, English that is, in their systems of functioning.
• Some nations still don’t consider people, different origins who had been living and serving their nation, as their own and don’t award them the passports of the country. This feature is predominant in countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE. This has to stop as it is thinking of the stone ages
• Equality should prevail in the society. No one either rich or poor, nationals or foreigners should be treated above or below the law. This sense of equality will indeed lead to induction of love and respect in the hearts of the individuals for their society and their nation.
Finally, let us conclude our essay. The story of Willy aka El Casper has a great deal to do with the political, social and cultural conditions of his country. The movie depicts that the governing authorities have no hold within the country. Gangs and underworld bodies are prevailing. A sense of anarchy was felt while watching the movie as there was no or less interference of law enforcement agencies who could and would prevent the functioning the gangs. Gang members carried guns quite blatantly and killed anyone who tried to give up the gang. Illegal immigration was and is at its peak as thousands of Mexicans try to cross the border into the US every day. Most of them either get caught or killed. The articles presented the solution to the problems Mexico is facing currently. They need to strengthen their political, social and cultural system. Discrimination between the poor and the rich class of the society leads to increased violence and lawlessness. They need to rectify their policing system so that law becomes the supreme authority. Education system should induce nationalism and love for their country rather that depicting its shortcomings. Also, the sense that life is very easy in developed countries should also be eradicated. In short, Mexicans should be taught to love and struggle for their countries rather than trying to escape from it.
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