in Images of Women
scholars have been quick to read Impressionist Edgar Degas' work as either
misogynistic or as privileging women with agency. Recently, feminist art
history has provoked a rereading of these two main arguments. This essay argues
for the importance of a middle ground because Degas' representations of the
female form are so varied that it is both difficult and problematic to make
conclusions about his perception and subsequent depiction of women. More...
and the Dissolution of the Court in King
considerable critical effort has gone into articulating the nature of King
Lear's tragic flaw, comparatively little has been said regarding the generative
conditions for such a character as the hero of Shakespeare's famously
nihilistic play. This essay aims to situate the plight of the disgraced king
and his ruined court within a larger context of historical forces that
constitutes the background to the play's events and determines the fate of the
kingdom. Guided by the seminal insights of Adorno and
Horkheimer's essay "The Concept of Enlightenment," King Lear is read as a microcosmic
prefiguration of the Frankfurt School philosophers' sweeping, apocalyptic
vision of calculative reason gone mad. More...
Colorless Void: The Cybernetic Synaesthesia of Neil Harbisson
sensory phenomenon known as synaesthesia has
captivated creative individuals since it first entered neuro-scientific
discourse in the last decade of the 19th century. Existing not only neurologically, but as a
metaphorical trope employed by artists and writers, synaesthesia
is the subjective sensation of a sense other than the one being stimulated (for
example, a color evoking a sound). In
the 21st century, contemporary artist Neil Harbisson,
born colorblind, made use of modern cybernetic technology to transcribe the
colorful world around him into sound waves.
This essay argues that Harbisson's digitally
augmented senses have allowed him to become the living embodiment of both
neurological and metaphorical synaesthesia. More...
Imagery: Fight or Flight
the presence of insect imagery in multiple works of Holocaust literature, this
essay argues that the use of these images was a rhetorical strategy perpetuating
negative stereotypes of the Jews during World War II. Considering works
published both before and after the Holocaust, insect imagery has detrimental
effects on all subjects, whether Kafka's Gregor or
Andre Schwarz-Bart's Ernie, suggesting the prevalence of this tactic. It
appears as though the motif of people as insects transcends time, always
showing the potential mental anguish caused by the impact of words on a
person's psyche. Only by reversing these depictions from "vermin" to
"victor" can these images represent resiliency rather than defeat. More...
and Time in García Márquez's
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
In his novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel García Márquez creates something far
more expansive than a mere crime solving work of detective fiction. As the
narrator uses the form of a chronicle to organize information, he engages in an
historical inquiry of both the murder of Santiago and the nature of time
itself. Through the chronicle's limited ability to account for the impositions of
past and future, time emerges as an entity and calls into question the linear
segmentation constructed by human beings. However, where some critics interpret
this imposition of the past and future as an indication of predetermination,
this essay maintains that Chronicle affirms personal agency through its
depiction of Angela's letter writing, which asserts the authority of the
present and reassigns meaning to the past and future. More...
Beyond! Winslow Homer and the Gilded Age
Homer (1836-1910) was more than an American painter. With work spanning from
the Civil War through Reconstruction and into the Gilded Age, Homer's art
lends itself to the world of art commentary as an historical
artifact. Homer both critiques his times and ruminates on the nation's future,
and he marries these concerns in his 1896 painting The Lookout-All is Well. By
contextualizing both the beauty and underlying metaphor of Homer's Lookout in terms of the Gilded Age
that created the art and the Civil War that shaped the artist,
this extraordinary painting takes on new life as a symbol of its times and its
short story "Magnolia Secrets" investigates the mystery of Maxwell Carter's
death and the affect it has on those he left behind. It features two narrators:
Isobel, the girl who has a shot with the boy of her dreams, and Landon, the
best friend who watches Isobel slowly fall apart in the months after Max's
disappearance. A Homecoming victory party, the coldest winter in Pinecrest's history, and magnolias that never stop
whispering all swirl together in this atmospheric thriller. More...
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit: An Examination of Suburbia,
Organization Men, and Conformity in 1950s America
BY CHRISTINE KELLEY
Sloan Wilson's The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
examines the uneasiness about social mobility and "keeping up with the Joneses"
in American society after World War II.
The novel follows Tom and Betsy Rath as they
attempt to move onward and upward. Tom
works as an Organization Man-though he is miserable in his job and dissatisfied
with his life, he tries to follow the American dream by chasing a job with a
higher salary. Betsy is a homemaker who,
likewise, is dissatisfied: she loves her children and tries her best to be a
good mother, yet is constantly frustrated by the family's tight finances. As a solution, Tom and Betsy sell Tom's
grandmother's home-the ancestral Rath estate. Their
hope to profit from this sale mirrors the suburban boom, which occurred in the
1950s as families grew following the post-War baby boom. More...
of Venice as a Non-Racist Text
on the presumption that it is a primarily racist text, Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has been largely banned
from schools and stages in America for decades. While the play certainly
demonstrates blatant racism and explores its causes and effects, an exploration
of the treatment of Shylock's character due to his Jewish background concludes
that the text itself never provides closure on the issue of whether its
characters are judged or misjudged based on stereotype. Because it provides no
such judgment, Merchant is not only
appropriate for modern American stages and classroom study, but should be
encouraged as a safe venue in which to discuss relevant issues in contemporary
Your Average Bildungsroman: An Examination of
Maturation in the Works of Jeffrey Eugenides
BY BRITTANIE LEWIS
his novels Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides, author Jeffrey Eugenides develops and details the coming of age of
socially atypical characters, namely Calliope Stephanides,
a Greek-American hermaphrodite, and the Lisbon sisters, an esoteric group of
seemingly normal, suburban schoolgirls. The outcomes of their journeys to
maturity differ greatly. However, both stories demonstrate Eugenides'
emphasis on the inherent value of the underrepresented, strange perspective.
This paper provides a contemporary interpretation of how coming of age is
fraught with difficulties, a common theme in literature. Eugenides
reconstructs the theme in a way intended to make readers question what maturity
might really mean and to help readers understand the wide variety of
experiences that may encompass "growing up." More...
Me): The Construction of Masculine Identity in Chaos Walking
award-winning young adult trilogy Chaos
Walking chronicles the coming-of-age of a boy named Todd Hewitt in a
dystopian future. The series examines how he learns to be a man from the people
around him and from his own experiences. Many studies have examined the
construction of gender, but the focus has been primarily on femininity; there
is a surprising lack of serious study of masculinity in adolescent fiction.
This paper suggests that in his exploration of his own emerging adulthood, Todd
investigates the concept of the postmodern hero and learns to both confirm and
resist traditional concepts of masculinity, particularly through his
relationship with his friend Viola. Constructing and deconstructing Western
society's fixation on violent masculinity, Chaos
Walking is a poignant examination of the adolescent male psyche shown
through Todd's desire to create a different kind of masculine identity. More...