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John Berger, in his book of essays, "Ways of Seeing", offers provocative reasoning why the historical nature of art is critically important to both the individual and society. He argues that the most significant aspect of viewing art is its historical significance, not as a relic, but as a personal testimonial of a specific time and place. Berger boldly criticizes what he calls the "mystification" of visual art, created by elite classes. He argues that, in effort to maintain the status quo of a fragile, outdated, social structure; art and its valuable historical content has been controlled and obscured. Although his cultural critique is controversial, Berger poses a convincing argument for the historical relevance of art. The ruling classes have always maintained the financial power to control works of art physically, and consequently their meaning. For this reason, as Berger illustrates statistically, the less educated lower classes have little or no interest in "art appreciation." These heavily guarded "holy relics" are viewed as priceless objects, owned and maintained by the wealthy. Consequently, these objects are not viewed as direct historical links offering crucial perspective for an individual to understand their present existence. Berger illustrates convincingly that this historical ignorance negatively impacts the choices and actions one makes in the present. The past can be a powerful learning tool, offering proven examples for positive solutions. Henry David Thoreau's essay, "Civil Disobedience", inspired Mahatma Ghandi. The success of Ghandi and his peaceful methods became an example which later inspired and educated leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. to accomplish other changes. These examples may seem unrelated to Berger's point; however, the significance of these events has been translated into visual art. Diego Rivera's murals depicting the political and social struggles of Mexico are a perfect example of this translation. In the ambitious task of his...
pages: 2 (words: 362)
comments: 0
added: 12/27/2011
Sherwood Anderson is probably the least critically revered and commercially successful of all of the authors studied in this course. Even Anderson was known to be a harsh judge of his own literary reputation, writing in his Memoirs, "For all my egotism I know I am but a minor figure." That is not to say that he didn't contribute greatly to his literary contemporaries, both by way of promotion and influence, mostly through Winesburg, Ohio, his one masterpiece, and several short stories, still considered by many to be among the finest of their genre. Born in 1876 to Emma and Irwin Anderson in Camden, Ohio, the third of seven children, Sherwood Anderson was raised in Clyde, Ohio, which was to be the inspiration for Winesburg. Anderson's sporadic education was often interrupted by work, having to support his family in Clyde. He left Clyde upon the death of his mother, to whom he was very close, and the resulting break-up of his family in 1895. There are many veiled references and responses to his parents in his work, but none more obvious than those of Tom and Elizabeth Willard in Winesburg, Ohio. During the latter part of the century, Anderson was a laborer in Chicago and then a private and corporal in an Ohio volunteer infantry company in the Spanish-American War. In 1899 he served in Cuba and, upon his return, attended school for one year before embarking on a career as an advertising copywriter and salesman in Chicago. In 1903 he married Cornelia Lane, the educated daughter of the head of a wholesale company, and they had two sons and a daughter. In 1907 Anderson founded a mail-order paint company in Elyria, Ohio, where he first began to write. In 1913, Anderson suffered a nervous breakdown, abruptly left the business world and Elyria...
pages: 12 (words: 3138)
comments: 1
added: 12/01/2011
Renaissance humanist cultivated the proposal of the high-quality life. For example: Castiglione, and Machiavelli fervently infused scholarship with action. Allying their inquiry of the precedent to an experiential study of the present, they championed a brave ideal of the human being that surpassed all traditional models. For Castiglione, the greater kind of individual was the well-formed and cultured being; for Machiavelli, only a heartless master of power politics could guarantee the endurance of the state. They are ambassador of those thinkers who assert the endless capability for self-knowledge and dignified the task of the individual in the worldly world. Their views twisted the modern personality of the humanistic tradition in the European West. These two thinkers express their ideas in the books their wrote. In this paper I will compare and contrast the social ideal Castiglione articulate in The Book of the Courtier and the political ideal Machiavelli articulated in The Prince. The Book of the Courtier changed the Renaissance deeply in many ways such as the deeds expectations of the courtier and what his wife should do to assist her husband. He also said that the courtier should be of dignified birth. He should be good at certain sports like tennis, throwing rocks, jumping, running, and swimming. He should also have a wide education in many dissimilar areas and also be amusing, enjoyable and an aristocrat. In the Prince, Machiavelli offered a monarchical sovereign guidance designed to keep that ruler in power. He suggested policies that would dispirit mass political activism, and channel subjects' energies into private pursuits. Machiavelli wanted to convince the monarch that he could best conserve his power by the prudent use of violence, by respecting private property and the traditions of his subjects, and by promoting material prosperity. Machiavelli held that political life cannot be governed by...
pages: 3 (words: 698)
comments: 2
added: 11/25/2011
Jeremiah was a priest, a prophet, and a messenger of God. He was chosen by the Lord to assist in the damnation of false prophets and kings, and to set forth promises of restoration. Jeremiah's life covered the last forty years of Judah's existence before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. He was commanded to carry out God's wishes, heralding the Lord's words to return to Him and the Lord's supremacy over the nations [Verse 5]. For this, Jeremiah was divinely protected by the Lord, while he was also being brazenly persecuted by an idolatrous faction in Israel. Although Jeremiah was called a prophet, his existence was known for warning the people of Jerusalem and Judah of their sinning, and in turn, their impending judgment. In Jeremiah's passages, we find that God is enraged that people of Israel have forsaken Him and have worshipped other gods. The Lord is disappointed in their unfaithfulness and lack of belief in Him. When God created mankind, he gave them the freedom of choice; expecting their conscience to persuade them from making wrong decisions. When the Israelites took advantage of God's benevolence and sinned beyond what He could tolerate, their punishment was unavoidable. This story sets an example for forthcoming sinners and also plays a key role as grounds for their judgment. God's wrath is mighty and He exhibits this to deter others from taking part in wrong-doings. In chapter 4 verses 1-9, we are presented with the emotional pain of a God who is torn. The people of Judah and Jerusalem cry for His help. The Lord wishes to show them mercy, but He knows their hearts are not sincere. The Israelites had forgotten that it was only on condition of obedience to God and his words, and an acknowledgement and forsaking of their...
pages: 3 (words: 558)
comments: 0
added: 02/16/2012
Suffering is a major concept present in the stories of J.B., "The Book of Job", and "A Masque of Reason". J.B. and "A Masque of Reason" are based on the original biblical tale of Job, a righteous man who is made to suffer by God. However, "The Book of Job" and these two modern interpretations by MacLeish and Frost, use the original story but take very different twists and viewpoints in their development and focus on the concept of suffering. The characters of Job and J.B. are similar in that they both have not experienced the pain, loss, and sadness, which comprises suffering, while the Job of "A Masque of Reason" is a Job after his painful experience and restoration by God. Frost named his post-suffering scene "Chapter Forty-Three of The Book of Job". J.B is introduced to us as "a vigorous man in his middle to late thirties," whom is obviously enjoying a luxurious life-style as set forth in the description of the "maids parade" bringing in fine china, and large amounts of food for a Thanksgiving Day feast. Likewise, Job was also a man of wealth in his community because God had "put a hedge about him and his house… [and] blessed the works of his hands." When both J.B. and Job's blessings were taken away they did not understand the vital "Why?" to their suffering because they were not aware of the dialogue between God and Satan (or in J.B. Mr.Zuss and Nickles). In J.B., Mr.Zuss expressed that "there's always someone playing Job". This brings together the idea that the suffering of these characters is one is often witnessed and thus allows the audience or reader to relate to the suffering of the main characters. When then height of Job's and J.B.'s suffering is reached, each react differently to...
pages: 4 (words: 874)
comments: 0
added: 07/17/2012
The book of Job is mainly the story of Job himself. The authorship is unknown, although many believe it could have been Job, Elihu, Moses, or Solomon. The time setting of Job is said to be anywhere from the time of Abraham to the time the Jews returned from their Babylonian exile. Scholars suggest that the book was written somewhere around the Palestine area. I think the central theme of the book is why do the righteous suffer. In the beginning of the book it tells how Job is a very wealthy man with the best family. Unlike many others in this time period Job was a very faithful man to the Lord even though he was wealthy. Satan one day confronts the Lord with a proposition, talking about how can Job be so faithful when the Lord has provided him with everything he could ever imagine. So the Lord granted Satan the authority to do anything to Job as he pleases to test his faith to the Lord. So that was it Satan starts by killing his animals. Messenger after messenger came; first Sabeans killed his donkeys and oxen. Then a fire burned up all of his sheep and the herdsmen. Next three bands of Chaldeans drove off his camels and killed his servants. Last while he was still talking to the last messenger his sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brothers home when a great gust of wind came and caused the roof to collapse killing them all. After all of this Job tore his robe from him and proclaimed himself to the Lord saying, "The Lord gave this all to me and it was his to take away". This alone is inspiring to me that a person could get everything he owns ripped away from him...
pages: 3 (words: 671)
comments: 0
added: 01/08/2012
MATTHEW 1 In the first chapter of Matthew at the very beginning of the chapter Matthew explains how the prophecy that Jesus would come from the line of David. It also explains the love and compassion that Joseph had for his wife. Because he did not know right away that Mary had not been with another man, but he did not make an example of her like most men in those days would have done. But when the angel came to Joseph and told him that it was the Holy Ghost that was inside of her and to take her as your wife he obeyed. MATTHEW 2 In this chapter Matthew tells us how the wise men came and found Jesus by the bright star that was over the place where He stayed. He also tells us how the wise men had a dream that they should not return to Herod the King because he wanted to kill the Savior. Also how God protected Jesus by giving Joseph another dream that he should go to Egypt until Herod is dead. But when Herod died God came to Joseph in a dream telling him that it was safe to go to Israel and as they left Joseph found out that Herod son was reining in Judea Joseph became afraid and took his family to Galilee. This was another prophecy fulfilled that Jesus would be a Nazarene. MATTHEW 3 This chapter talks about John the Baptist and how he would go from place to place baptizing people. There was also another prophecy fulfilled in this chapter, the prophecy was that someone very rugged would come out of the wilderness and prepare the way for Christ. As John the Baptist was baptizing these people he was dressed in camel hair the bible says....
pages: 11 (words: 2816)
comments: 0
added: 12/30/2011
The book of Exodus is mainly about a liberator named Moses. Moses became one of the first liberators in the history of man. He was able to eventually free the slaves that were being used as slaves to build monumental building in the land of Egypt. I think that it is part of the human condition for people to want to be free. They want to have free will, as well as basic freedom and rights. This has always been the case throughout history. There has been slavery throughout history, and there have been people who thought that there should not be slavery. In the case of Moses it was his people, the Israelites who were being enslaved. It is part of the human condition to naturally assume that you are a free individual to be able to make your own choices, and that you have the right to live and do what you please. Moses grew up in the Egyptian court with pharaoh, but his own mother was paid to nurse him, so he knew of the condition of the Israelites pain and suffering. When Moses had grown up, he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite one day, and he killed the Egyptian. The pharaoh found out about this, and tried to kill Moses, but Moses then fled to the land of Midian. When he reached the new land, he settled down and married, and even had a son. One day while Moses was tending one of the flocks of his father-in-law, God came to Moses in the form of a burning bush, and told him that he had observed the suffering of the Israelites. He said that Moses was to go to the pharaoh in Egypt, and to set them free. God did not want to see the...
pages: 3 (words: 707)
comments: 1
added: 11/07/2011
The series of four songs found in Isaiah that are referred to as the servant songs present an interesting question. Who is the servant that these songs are talking about? The suffering servant could be Jesus the Messiah, the collective righteous persons of Israel, the individual righteous person of Israel, or Jeremiah, who is one of the prophets. Who the suffering servant is not of the utmost importance when discussing these songs, what is important is that the nature of the servant himself be discussed, what is he supposed to act like? God is depicting a definitive person that he trusts to bear the burden of the sins of the people. The servant is depicted in as having several distinct qualities. In the first servant song of the book of Isaiah the servant can be seen as a gentle person. In the song it says, "He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street"(42:2). This particular picture is a prophecy of the quiet manner in which the servant would go about his ministry, shunning the attention of the crowds and not being interested in the fanfare of men. This makes sense if the servant is Jesus because there are many instances in which he has performed miracles and asked that the people not tell anyone of the gifts he has. The servant in the second servant song can be seen as the fearless warrior prepared to do battle with any foe. In chapter 49 of Isaiah the servant is depicted as "And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me" (49:2). The servant is a weapon of God,...
pages: 4 (words: 953)
comments: 0
added: 01/13/2012
Yoshida Kenko and Confucius were both scholars who were very important in the cultural development of their country. Kenko defined the principals of good taste for Japan. He was the reining authority on Japanese manners and etiquette. Confucius was a Chinese philosopher who completely changed Chinese thinking. Confucian thinking was molded into the government and his name became synonymous with scholar. Yoshida Kenko, was originally named Urabe Kaneyoshi, lived from1283 – 1352 in Japan. He was born from a family of Shinto priests. He became a Buddhist Monk and used the excuse of a religious seclusion to further his studies. His book, Essays in Idleness, is about what he thought were considered good taste. Essays in Idleness consists of a random jumble of ideas, descriptions, aphorisms, and pronouncements. The main idea of it was that life is transient in passing. In fact, he saw stuff like spring, love, and life was more beautiful because it does not last. He considers perfection an allusion and considers maturity an acceptance of this basic principle of life. One of his quote is, "Ambition never comes to an end." I think he means that when we dream for something, we can always achieve it, no matter how far away it is. If you continue to push on, you can do anything you want, even if it takes forever. Truly, this quote is amazing and very inspiring. Ambition is like motivation, it can push you to your limits and even over it. It is like adrenaline, you can do the impossible, no matter how long it takes. Another one of his famous quotes was "Blossoms are scattered by the wind and the wind cares nothing, but the blossoms of the heart no wind can touch." This quote is a lot more abstract, but it can be interpreted as love...
pages: 3 (words: 720)
comments: 1
added: 10/29/2011
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