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Every day 30,000 people in the developing world die from curable diseases - many because they cannot afford the high prices charged by drug companies.

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Introduction

Bronson Alcott once said, "civilisation degrades the many to exalt the few" and that ladies and gentleman sums up the WTO in a nutshell. Welcome all to "The Right to Life" protests. This issue is not just for the handful of freaky hippies with bad hair days, or marginalised tree hugging greenies. This is a modern issue everyone can take part in. Every day 30,000 people in the developing world die from curable diseases - many because they cannot afford the high prices charged by drug companies. Nearly all medicines produced by drug companies are patented. A typical patent protection for new medicines lasts for twenty years. In 1997 President Nelson Mandela introduced the Medicines and Related Substances Control Amendment Act. The law was intended to help South Africa combat the country's HIV/AIDS pandemic where one in ten people are HIV/AIDS positive. Only 19% yes that's right, less than one fifth of HIV/AIDS positive South Africans receive any anti-viral medication because they can afford to pay for treatment through the private medical sector where drug giants Pfizer and Glaxo SmithKline sell their products. Forty-two of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies took exception to the Act and have now started legal proceedings against the South African Government. Until resolved, the Medicines and Related Substances Control Amendment Act cannot be implemented. ...read more.

Middle

Sybylla's transformation from girlhood to womanhood is characteristic of a fairy tale because it uses physical changes to symbolise growing maturity, " Aunt Helen's treatment for making me presentable was the wearing of gloves and a shady hat every time I went" (58). When Sybylla first meets her handsome prince, Harold Beecham she is dressed so that she is mistaken as one of the "kitchen fry" (79). Sybylla describes this experience by comparing it to fairy tale heroines, "on making my first appearance before my lover, I looked quite the reverse of a heroine. My lovely hair was not conveniently escaping from the comb at the right moment to catch him hard in the eye, neither was my thrillingly low sweet voice floating out on the scented air in a manner which went straight to his heart, like the girls I had read of". (75) At the night of the Yabtree ball, Sybylla has no competition with ugly sisters but she does have to compete with Miss Derrick, who brings "herself and her dress in with great style and airs" (121) and consequently is treated "as though she were a princess" (122). Sybylla is again acutely conscious of her difference from such a romantic heroine, remarking, "Beside her, I in my crushed white muslin dress was as overshadowed as a little white handkerchief would be in comparison to a gorgeous shawl heavily wrought in silks and velvet" (121-22). ...read more.

Conclusion

(33) In Sybylla's memoir of her early years at Brindabella, she records her early rebellion against social conventions "Her mind must not probe beyond limits tacitly understood ... to be discouraged in the realm of mental speculation till the mind becomes inelastic and atrophied was what I subconsciously resisted" (134-35). Further evidence of the protagonist's high spirits is the incident where Sybylla whips Harold for trying to kiss her, which represents her rejection of male dominance in marriage. What is even more unusual about Sybylla is her high demands to absolute equality in marriage that leads her to reject Harold's second proposal, "He offered everything - but control" (223). In many male bildungsromans, marriage is never the ultimate goal but simply an incident in the plot. When Miles Franklin tries to do this in the novel the story stops moving, "I could see my life, stretching out ahead of me, barren and monotonous as the thirsty track along which Harold was disappearing ... By training and education I was fitted for nought but what I was? (226) In conclusion, it is understandable that My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin is valued not only for its amazing insights into the uncertainties of adolescence but also for its comments on late nineteenth century society. Despite criticism of this work as crude in its execution, it as endured as a true Australian favourite for its honesty and vividness. ...read more.

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