Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Theory of the Ideas and Plato’s Ontology - 2075 Words

I. THE THEORY OF THE IDEAS AND PLATO’S ONTOLOGY I. 1. The ontological dualism The theory of the Ideas is the base of Plato’s philosophy: the Ideas are not only the real objects ontologically speaking, but they are the authentically objects of knowledge epistemologically speaking. From the point of view of ethics and politics, they are the foundation of the right behaviour, and anthropologically speaking they are the base of Plato’s dualism and they even allow him demonstrate the immortality of the soul. Plato defends a clear ontological dualism in which there are two types of realities or worlds: the sensible world and the intelligible world or, as he calls it, the world of the Ideas. The Sensible World is the†¦show more content†¦The objects to which names (such as Socrates or Napoleon) refer are individuals; but we have certain problems about the objects to which other terms (nouns, abstract adjectives and abstract nouns) refer. We call them UNIVERSAL terms because they do refer to a plurality o f objects. For that reason Plato deduces there must be universal beings matching up those universal concepts of which there are plenty of individuals or examples; â€Å"The Green† would match the concept of green, â€Å"The Kindness† would match the concept of kindness, â€Å"The Beauty† would match the concept of beautiful, â€Å"The Truth† would match the concept of truth. Those beings which match universal concepts are called Ideas or Forms. c) The possibility of scientific knowledge: science strictly talking cannot deal with things which are continuously changing; the sensible world is continuously changing, so science cannot study it; it has to study an immutable world. The second premise shows a clear affinity with Parmenides of Elea and Heraclitus of Ephesus: what is given to our senses is a world ruled by continuous change, by mutation. As far as the first premise, we have to think about something permanent in those objects we want to have knowledge about if we want this knowledge to be true. Is there any knowledge that is always true and not just sometimes true? If there is, then we have to think there are thingsShow MoreRelatedIntroducing Plato s Theaetetus : A Dialogue About The Nature And / Or Limits Of Human Knowledge969 Words   |  4 PagesIntroducing Plato’s Theaetetus Plato’s Theaetetus is a dialogue centrally about the nature and/or limits of human knowledge (episteme). Episteme can be translated in many ways, such as knowledge-how, knowledge by acquaintance, knowledge that something is the case, etc. Plato is primarily interested in establishing that something exists, e.g. justice, and then understanding what that something is and why it is what it is. All of these claimants can be utilized for this purpose. While many of Plato’s dialoguesRead MoreBuddhism, Spiritual Wisdom, And Ontology Parts939 Words   |  4 Pages Buddhism,Transcendent Wisdom, and Ontology Parts Ontology is the theory of being. Ontology has one basic question What is real? Ontology seems to be wanting proof of what is, meaning in my mind through the examples in the book that their is no perfect or real circle. The radius will never be the exact same, the circle will always be lopsided, so the circle can only be imagined as the correct way and can never truly exist as a circle because a circle should be perfectly round and have exactlyRead MoreCritical Analysis Of Platos Parmenide962 Words   |  4 Pagesthat Platos Parmenides is a particularly important, yet astonishingly confusing platonic dialog. Part pointing out flaws to the theory of forms hidden in two layers of speakers, part treatise on being, the Parmenides structure can lead to some confusion. One particularly confusing aspect of the Parmenides is its attack on the theory of forms - a shattering attack in which Parmenides methodically addresses the theorys logical problems - followed by not a complete rejection of the theory but theRead MoreCan Realism Offer A Plausible Response?1677 Words   |  7 PagesBaxter (2001) and Armstrong (2004) have advanced moderate realist theories of partial identity in order to overcome a version of Bradley’s regress as it arises concerning relations between particulars and their properties. Such arguments, if successful, would also appear to strengthen the case for accepting realism over that of opposing accounts, such as nominalist trope theories . This paper is primarily concerned with Baxter’s theory and finds that, whilst not without merit, it ultimately fails toRead MoreThe Strengths and Weaknesses of Dualism4580 Words   |  19 Pages this does not mean that dualistic theory is foolproof: for example, can our experience be enough to prove such a concept? Indeed, many philosophers are not in favour of dualistic ontology. In the course of addressing this question, the origins of the mind and body problem will be discussed, which will the n permit a fully focussed evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of Cartesian Interactionist Dualism. Whilst looking at the support for Descartes theory I will explore arguments from MadellRead MoreConflicts Between Science and Religion1662 Words   |  7 Pagesconcurrently developed this theory in the early to mid-19th century. Even though Darwin could not explain all the scientific details of the process, but to beat Wallace to publication, release On the Origin of Species in 1858. This literally polarized the world within a few months after its release, many seeking to utilize the basic premise in a number of academic disciplines (The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online). The terms scientific creationism or intelligent design theory are relatively recentRead MoreThe Views On The Senses, But At The Same Time1368 Words   |  6 Pagesunderstanding the world of ideas is the theory that in terms of understanding the world around us is favorable, especially when it comes to learning. He sees it as considerably unfavorable to only rely on received knowledge and empiricism alone. Due to the fact received knowledge in contrast to the knowledge of ideas is considerably more subjective and is able to be biased, depending on the source. In terms of Rene Descartes philosophical views, he covers both ontology and epistemology, by remarkingRead MoreReflection Of Socrates And Plato889 Words   |  4 Pagessensory beliefs he took more of a rational approach. Plato discussed every philosophical idea that included reincarnation, political, and virtue. Plato was responsible for introducing dualism to the world. He spoke of the soul and the mind bound together but never explained what specifically bound them. He believed that they were one but separate thus the thought of dualism. â€Å"Philosophers have used the term  ontology  in diverse ways. For our purposes, we can define it as the study of the nature and relationsRead More Plato on Education as the Development of Reason Essay3512 Words   |  15 Pageslife, this is no more than moral luck. One is still guilty on the level of the logos, and liable to blame and punishment not for what one does, but for what one could have done. The unexamined life, says Platos Socrates, is not worth living for men (Apology 38a5). Two central ideas of Western philosophy came together in this saying, and also a third, Socrates own great innovation. The novelty was not his turning towards man; in this he was but a child of the sophistic revolution. Nor wasRead More Heideggers Reading of Descartes Dualism Essay4357 Words   |  18 Pagesbecause I have the idea of the worldly thing in my cogito, and therefore cogito with its contents is beyond doubt. According to Descartes, res cogitans also means cogitat se cogitare. (3) The ego as subject has its predicates in a cognizing way; so I know about the predicates I have, i.e., I know myself. Heidegger thinks that Descartes understanding of subjectivity is connected with the hupokaimenon in which the subject is present or the extant. In ancient ontologies, being is understood

Monday, May 18, 2020

Identity and Ideology Beyond Death in Emily Dickinsons...

Emily Dickinson had a fascination with death and mortality throughout her life as a writer. She wrote many poems that discussed what it means not only to die, but to be dead. According to personal letters, Dickinson seems to have remained agnostic about the existence of life after death. In a letter written to Mrs. J. G. Holland, Emily implied that the presence of death alone is what makes people feel the need for heaven: â€Å"If roses had not faded, and frosts had never come, and one had not fallen here and there whom I could not waken, there were no need of other Heaven than the one below.† (Bianchi 83). Even though she was not particularly religious, she was still drawn to the mystery of the afterlife. Her poetry is often contemplative of†¦show more content†¦Beauty is even capitalized in the sentence to stress its importance. By punctuation, one cannot as easily rush through this line without feeling the weight of it. Therefore, I believe it is because Dickinson had found the words to fully express what she meant that she used dashes to intensify their impression on the reader. The narrator of this poem seems to be Dickinson herself. Dickinsons poetry about death is often imaginative of what it would be like to die, (as in â€Å"I heard a fly buzz†). It seems unnecessary for her to create a fictional narrator for her poems that are not about the narrator so much as they are about the situations of the narrator. Also, there is no evidence to indicate the â€Å"I† referring to a person other than Dickinson herself. In â€Å"I died for Beauty,† Dickinson begins by imagining her own death. The opening line does not tell us how the author has died, but attempts to explain why. That she died for beauty could mean one of a number of things. The â€Å"for† could mean â€Å"in order to obtain,† as in the sentence â€Å"I paid for lunch.† The problem with this definition is that the rest of the poem does not indicate the expectation of the narrator to have gained something by dying. Another possible meaning of â€Å"forâ₠¬  could be â€Å"in place of,† as a bodyguard is willing to â€Å"take a bullet for† a person being protected. However,

Monday, May 11, 2020

The Selfish Linda Loman in Arthur Millers Death of a...

The Selfish Linda Loman in Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman Linda, a character from Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman is a selfish housewife. She pretends to care about her husband, but in reality, prefers that he kill himself so that she can live an easier life. Linda is given nothing but motive for wanting her husband, Willy, to die because of the ways he mistreats her. For example, during a family conversation in Act I, Linda, trying to put in a few words, says, Maybe things are beginning to change-, with Willy coming in right after her, (wildly enthused, to Linda)Stop interrupting!...(1187) Linda, trying desperately to be a part of the conversation, is constantly denied her voice. Always under Willys control,†¦show more content†¦Their whole marriage has been a lie and Linda strives for a moment of peace. Too scared to reveal the truth, Linda holds her motives in and allows Willy to trip until he falls. Along with her motives, Linda attempts to keep any voice of reason away from Willy, showing that her selfish desire of her well-being is more important than his. In a discussion with her boys in Act I, Linda says, Im- Im ashamed to. How can I mention it to him? Every day I go down and take away that little rubber pipe. But, when he comes home, I put it back where it was. How can I insult him like that?(1184) Linda claims that acknowledging the truth about Willys possible attempt to kill himself is an insult. But, in order to develop a solution to any preoblem, one must start with the truth. Linda merely wants to accommodate Willys mental problems rather than get rid of them, causing him to stay in his troubled state of mind. In another conversation in Act II, Linda tries to push Biff away from speaking with his father: Linda: Youre not going near him. Get out of this house! Biff: (with absolute assurance, determination) No. Were going to have an abrupt conversation, him and me. Linda: Youre not talking to him.(1221) Linda does not want Biff talking to Willy in fear that her indisposed attemp to keep Willy in his troubled state of mind will be unraveled. But in reality, Willy needs to hear the truth rather than the promotion of a dead-end dream. Linda,Show MoreRelated Willy Loman Died a Coward in Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman880 Words   |  4 PagesWilly Loman Died a Coward in Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman   Ã‚   In his early sixties he knows his business as well as he ever did. But the unsubstantial things have become decisive; the spring has gone from his step, the smile from his face and the heartiness from his personality. He is through. The phantom of his life has caught up with him. As literally as Mr. Miller can say it, dust turns to dust. Suddenly, there is nothing (Internet 1). The New York Times has expressed the tragedyRead MoreThe Role Of Dreams In Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller1472 Words   |  6 Pagessometimes there are people with selfish dreams, who change not by bettering themselves, but by doing anything and everything to make their dream come true. In Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is a salesman who wants to attain the American dream and struggles as a parent and in his career, which reflects an American tragedy. In the article about Arthur Miller, â€Å"Salem Witch Trials,† Miller was described to be a little like his character from Death of a Salesman, Willy, because they bothRead MoreEssay about Marxism and the Fall of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman2986 Words   |  12 PagesUnited States endured internal battles in political ideologies between capitalists and Marxists, which is the focus of Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman. According to Helge Normann Nilsen, author of â€Å"From Honors At Dawn to Death of a Salesman: Marxism and the Early Plays of Arthur Miller,† the Great Depression had a profound impact in forming the political identity of Arthur Miller: â€Å"The Great Depression created in him a lasting and traumatic impression of the devastating power of economicRead MoreWho Suffers Most from Willys Delusions?842 Words   |  4 PagesThe main character in Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman is Willy Loman. He is an old salesman who lives in world build up of illusions and memories. His life is based on dreams which never come true. Willy is trying to accomplish the American Dream, but in his dream accomplishment successes of his sons, Biff and Happy, do not exist. Lomans receipt for wealth is personal attractiveness and well likeness, unfortunately he never achieve these receipts. During his life he followsRead More Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller Essay1241 Words   |  5 Pages Death of A Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, is a play based on the turmoil within an average American family. Miller wrote Death of A Salesman easily showcasing the elements of drama. I was easily able to follow the plot, identify with his characters, and picture the setting. The main theme of the plot seemed to be Willy reaching for the American Dream. Financial success, business success, outwardly perfect family, revered by your peers, and in general respected by all. EarlyRead MoreAnalysis Of Death Of A Salesman By Arthur Miller1235 Words   |  5 Pagesself-realization or misconception of reality. Death of a Salesman, a tragic play by Arthur Miller, explores the effects of such deception through the character Willy Loman and the consequences of his decisions. It does so by addressing the mental and financial struggles associated with achieving the American Dream whilst showing readers the significance of acceptance and how lies and deception can lead to unhealthy relationships and a disgruntled view of ones self. Willy Loman is an aging businessman with a veryRead MoreArthur Miller s Death Of A Salesman And The Crucible2615 Words   |  11 Pagestimes. Arthur Miller’s writing style focuses on how his characters deal with external and internal problems and how their reactions to these problems reflect their characterization. Arthur Miller uses external conflict, internal conflict, and indirect characterization, in Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, to show how ideas of society do not always agree with the ideas and beliefs of others which can lead to a fatal action. There are three major external struggles brought forth in Miller’s novelRead MoreDeath of a Salesman by Arthur Miller637 Words   |  3 PagesThe tragic fall of an individual is brought about by a tragic flaw. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is seen as a densely flawed human being. Ironically, the flaws that Willy lives off of are what ultimately leads to his demise. The major faults that contribute to his downfall are his compulsive lying, his selfishness, and his unrealistic expectations and perceptions. To begin, Willy could be described as having a case of misguided life goals paired with self-deception. Willy wasRead MoreStubbornnes in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller1463 Words   |  6 Pagesadapt to what happens around them. Being stubborn can also lead you to get into some big trouble if you do not compromise sometimes. In all honesty, I am a stubborn person and hate to compromise, but I will if I have to. In Arthur Miller’s play, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman is unbelievably stubborn and definitely delusional. Constantly, Willy is hallucinating about things that have already happened, or things that never even could have happened. Although, Biff, Willy’s son, changes by the endRead MoreExpositions Of Exposition In Trifles By Susan Glaspell1749 Words   |  7 Pagesmust have occurred at that house. Mr. Hale then starts to tell the characters what exactly he saw the day before when he visited the Wrights. He states that he found Mrs. Wright in her rocking chair acting strange and found her husband strangled to death in his bed. Mr. Hale’s description about what he saw automatically lets the audience know that a crime scene occurred. His observation of Mrs. Wright’s strange behavior also suggests that she is a potential suspect of committing the murder. 12. Conflict:

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Essay about The Plot of Frankenstein - 2089 Words

Plot of the novel Victor hides from the creature in a remote part of the world which is below 0 °C and was found by a group of crusaders seeking to destroy the monster. Part 1 – Lesson 1 Life and times of Mary Shelley Mary Shelley was born on 30th August 1797, Somers Town, in London. Her parents were called William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. She had a depressing childhood because her mother died when she was 10 days old and was raised by her father and much resented step-mother. When Mary is sixteen, she meets a young poet called Percy Bysshe Shelley (future husband). For several times, they ran away to Continental Europe along with her step-sister. Shelley was already married when they ran away. Later on, in†¦show more content†¦Plot of the novel Victor hides from the creature in a remote part of the world which is below 0 °C and was found by a group of crusaders seeking to destroy the monster. Victor then tells of his story to them to prove that he is dangerous and should not be approached and how he spent his life devoting himself to create the creature. ‘Frankenstein’ is about a philosopher called Victor Frankenstein who studied Medical Science in Ingolstadt. He wanted to create a human being from dead body parts and organs. His aim was mainly to create someone that could help cure diseases that were roaming around at that time and to be a tester in testing the antidotes to see if they will cure the disease. However, Victor’s dream shatters when he creates the creature because it turned out to be what he hadn’t expected†¦an ugly, vile, and unique creature. Later on, Victor abandons the creature thinking it was dead. The creature is left with a journal about his master and how he attempted to create him. The creature then tries to seek his master but murders people because they are all afraid of him. He is forced to hide just in case the people try to destroy him. In the middle of the story the creature learns how to interact with humans thus he is a human himself. He learns about feelings towards others and why they sorrow. He also learns how to care for people. He meets a small family in aShow MoreRelatedWhen Summarizing The Plot Of Mary Shelley’S Frankenstein,1695 Words   |  7 Pagessummarizing the plot of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, most who have read it would describe it as the story of a scientist who brings the dead back to life, but must then face the wrath of his angry and evil creation. Those who say this are by no measure wrong in any way. This is, in fact, what the novel is most commonly interpreted as and what Shelley most likely had in mind when she wrote the story, but it cannot be denied that there could be another side to the story. When Frankenstein is analysed inRead MoreThe Theme Of Sublime Nature In Frankenstein By Mary Shelley863 Words   |  4 PagesIn the novella Frankenstein, Mary Shelley uses geography to further the plot, reveal the true intentions of characters and convey the novella’s theme of sublime nature. The theme of sublime nature is the idea t hat nature is comprised of a mixture of terror and beauty. One example of sublime nature supported by geography is the monster, which is truly a terror in appearance and spirit being born in Ingolstadt. Shelly contrasts this â€Å"terror† of Ingolstadt to the beauty of Geneva, Frankenstein’s birthplaceRead MoreThe Female Sex Is A Crucial Part Of Creation And Development Of Offspring1501 Words   |  7 Pagessex is a crucial part of creation and development of offspring. In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley explores the significance of women to the protagonist, Victor Frankenstein , as he surpasses the woman’s role in the production of life. Besides the major themes of abandonment and loss in the novel Frankenstein, there is an ironic focus on the female role throughout the plot. The disregard of women’s roles in society and by Frankenstein show the importance that these women actually played on his life. FrequentlyRead MoreFrankenstein vs Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde 1435 Words   |  6 PagesSamantha Fajardo Frankenstein Comparative Essay Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, is a novel about a creature that is produced by Victor Frankenstein, as a result of his desire to discover the secret of life. Dr. Frankenstein founded this secret by animating dead flesh and stitching human corpses together to create a superhuman. As a reader, one realizes the consequences of Victor’s discoveries through series of unfortunate events that occur in the novel. The story begins with four lettersRead MoreHannah Hjerth . Schroder. English Iv Honors. 8 December828 Words   |  4 PagesHannah Hjerth Schroder English IV Honors 8 December 2016 Women’s Themes in Frankenstein Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, had been raised by strong women’s rights advocates, which makes her characterization of the women in her story a wildly controversial discussion topic even all these years later. Mary Shelley’s philosopher father paid for her high education, and her mother wrote several works about equality for women. She lived a substantially progressive lifestyle, considering the timeRead MoreDr. Mary Shelly s Frankentein And The 1994 Adaptation Of The Novel 1176 Words   |  5 PagesShelly vs Baranagh Mary Shelly’s â€Å"Frankentein† and the 1994 adaptation of the novel have many similarities and also many differences. Differences focus mainly on death and the similarities focus on the plot structure. The similarities override the differences because the overall plot structure stayed the same. The changes of how people died is one major difference that Branagh had taken away from the original novel. In the book, Victors mother dies from scarlet fever that she has gottenRead MoreAnalysis Of The Movie The Bride Of Frankenstein 1514 Words   |  7 Pagesand contrasting them to concluded which out of the two is a better horror movie. The first movie that I watched for this discussion is the Bride of Frankenstein, this movie was made in 1935 and directed by James Whale. The Bride of Frankenstein is a sequel to The movie Frankenstein which follows the after math of the suspected death of Frankensteins monster. The second movie that I watched was The Conjuring 2 released in June,2016 and directed by James Wan. The Conjuring 2 follows two paranormalRead MoreEssay on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley838 Words   |  4 PagesIn the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein is the creator of a monster. Because of his thirst for knowledge and ambition to create life, he goes too far and creates a huge creature, which he immediately rejects. This rejection plays a major part in the monsters hatred for humans, especially Victor. The author, Mary Shelley, supports the theme, loss of innocence, through plot, setting and characterization. This essay will explain the many ways that the characters lost theirRead MoreFrankenstein Novel Analysis Essay1664 Words   |  7 PagesMyrjun Angeles Ms. Ammendolia EWC4UI 10/13/17 Frankenstein Novel Analysis Frankenstein is partly an epistolary novel. In what way do the letters at the beginning of the text help frame the story that follows? The series of letters at the beginning of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley are from Robert Walton, and were sent to his sister, Margaret Saville. In each letter, Walton tells his sister of updates while he’s on one of many sea trips and to coincide with that, readers of the novel get a glimpseRead MoreFrankenstein as a Gothic Novel Essay1332 Words   |  6 Pagesatmosphere, symbolism, and themes: these are elements of a Gothic novel. Though Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, written in the early 19th century, certainly contains many components of a Gothic novel, can it be correctly grouped under that genre? A definition of a Gothic novel; according to Tracy, is a description of a fallen world. We experience this fallen world though the aspects of a novel: plot, setting, characterization, and theme (De Vore, Domenic, Kwan and Reidy). As well, early Gothic

Absurdism Free Essays

1 This thesis has been approved by The Honors Tutorial College and the School of Theater Dr. William F. Condee Director of Studies, Theater Tutorial Program Thesis Advisor Dr. We will write a custom essay sample on Absurdism or any similar topic only for you Order Now Angela Ahlgren Visiting Assistant Professor Thesis Advisor Jeremy Webster Dean, Honors Tutorial College 2 HAPPY DAYS: A MODERN WOMAN’S APPROACH TO ABSURDISM THROUGH FEMINIST THEATER THEORY A Thesis Presented to The Honors Tutorial College Ohio University In Partial Fulfilment Of the Requirements for Graduation From The Honors Tutorial College With the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater By: Rachel Collins 3 Table Of Contents Introduction †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦.. †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦4 On Absurdism†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦ 6 On Beckett†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦ 10 Happy Days Production History†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦. 16 Feminist Theater†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã ¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦. †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦18 Beckett and Gender (Happy Days)†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦. 23 Happy Days in Performance: A Feminist Perspective (Process)†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦. 34 Happy Days in Performance: Reflection†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦ 40 Conclusion†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦48 Annotated Bibliography†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦. 52 Creative Supplementary Materials†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦ †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦59 Happy Days Rehearsal Notes†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦. †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦ †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦.. 59 Happy Days Rehearsal Script†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦. †¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦74 Happy Days Program and Event Flier†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦ 92 Happy Days Production Photos†¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦Ã¢â‚¬ ¦.. 94 4 Introduction This thesis examines the character of Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days through performance and the lens of feminist theory and critique. In the wake of the Second World War, a number of artists in Europe attempted to find meaning in what some considered a meaningless world. The war had ravaged Europe, and it was difficult to find hope across the continent. Many artists during this time were concerned with existentialist ideas. These new social constructs led dramatists to experiment with new forms, which dealt with these existentialist philosophies through a dramatic medium. These forms experimented with language, de-railed linear plotlines, and placed characters in bizarre situations. Martin Esslin, the producerjournalist turned scholar, coined the phrase â€Å"the Theatre of the Absurd† in his book of the same title. One of the major writers of this new form of drama was Samuel Beckett. Since Beckett’s plays began to be performed in the 1950’s, theater critics have typically viewed performances of Beckett’s works through the lens of existentialism, and his style prompted many to consider him an absurdist. Absurdist theories were able to frame the dramatic works for that time, but as the social constructs of Western culture, especially those concerning women, have changed, so has dramatic criticism of women. As half a century has passed since the initial writing of Beckett’s plays, it is important to consider them, especially those with strong female characters, through a modern feminist critique. Beckett’s writing took place during the second women’s movement. The Second World War had changed people’s views on morality, and society was forced to 5 redefine its standards. Before the First World War, class structure in Europe was rigidly defined. People â€Å"knew their place† and the gap between the rich and the poor was almost un-crossable. The war created opportunities for the lower class to advance in social position, but once it was over, society attempted to return to its pre-War structure. This cycle happened again after the Second World War. During the war, oppressed peoples in Europe were allowed to do things that they hadn’t been able to previously, but once it was over they were expected to return to their place in society. In Europe these people, including racial and religious minorities, the working class, and women, were fed up with these constraints. Women in particular strove to gain more equality in the job market and other venues. Beckett was in the interesting position of writing in the midst of this social revolution. In many ways, he was very familiar with the old world and traditions, where women’s place in society was subservient to her husband. But he was also looking forward to what the future could bring. His work in many ways anticipated the second women’s movement. Beckett’s early dramatic works are filled with male characters. Each of these men is attempting to answer the most basic of life’s questions: Who are we and why are we here? However, it was not until 1961 with Happy Days that he gave the stage over completely to the voice of a woman. In Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and Krapp’s Last Tape, women were not given a strong voice on the stage’s playing space. With Happy Days and the character of Winnie, Beckett gave women a voice in his work. Traditionally, Happy Days has been viewed through an existentialist lens, much in the same way that Beckett’s other works are 6 viewed. This study, however, attempts to re-frame Happy Days through a new set of scholarly examinations: the ideas of feminist theory and theatrical performance. Through scholarly research and performance of the piece, I looked at this important work from a new perspective. In the twenty-first century, an actress cannot approach the part with the same background as a woman playing the role in the early 1960’s. While it is important to look at plays within the historical context and tradition in which they were originally performed, this view limits the performer. If one was to only look at a piece of work historically and not interpret it using modern approaches, theater would, I believe, eventually become stale and no longer relevant to the world other than from a historical museum. Happy Days needs a new evaluation. It is time to examine it through the eyes of a modern-day woman, because that is the person who will be performing this role today. On Absurdism Absurdism was a deviation from traditional French theater but not conscience movement in itself. At the beginning of the twentieth century the avant-garde movement was regarded in the same vein as the symbolists of the late nineteenth century: their art was attempting to achieve the same results. Symbolists were reacting against the naturalist and realist forms of art and believed that the only way to represent the truth and meaning of life was to do it indirectly, instead of through exact imitation of reality. Much of the world was trying to recover after two large-scale wars. During the late 1940’s and the 1950’s, the French were interested in looking at the past for inspiration for their drama. Myths, legends, and symbols were primarily 7 used as subject matter. Particular emphasis was placed on the structure of language, for â€Å"the ‘poetic avant-garde’ represent[ed] a different mood; it is more lyrical, and far less violent and grotesque† than the theater of the absurd (Esslin 25). Productions tackled the mystery of dreams and desire through traditional dramatic conventions. Paris, which has been the cradle of a number of new artistic movements, was the birthplace for new schools of thought, and the avant-garde of Paris drama â€Å" is this part of the ‘anti-literary’ movement of our time, which has found its expression in abstract painting, with its rejection of ‘literary’ elements in pictures; or in the ‘new novel’ in France, with its reliance on the description of objects and its rejection of empathy and anthropomorphism† (Esslin 26). Theater artists realized that this was an important advancement for their art form as well, and began to experiment with these forms through dramatic constructs. Esslin choose the word â€Å"absurd† to describe these plays based on the word’s definition, which means â€Å"out of harmony with reason or propriety; incongruous, unreasonable, illogical† (Esslin 23). The work of the absurdist playwrights, including Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Harold Pinter, Edward Albee, Tom Stoppard, and David Mamet, carry these attributes. Most of these dramatists claimed they are not trying to be â€Å"absurdist. † Even Esslin, who coined the phrase, states that â€Å"the writers in question [are] individuals[s] who regard themselves as lone outsiders, cut off and isolated in his private world† (22). This phrase has, however, been accepted widely to describe plays of this type, because the authors in question â€Å"can be seen as the 8 reflection of what seems to be the attitude most genuinely representative of that era in style, execution, and philosophy† (Esslin 22-23). Esslin borrowed these notions of existentialism from the ideas of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. Camus’ essay â€Å"The Myth of Sisyphus† (1942) deals with existential issues, such as a lack of a God or omnipotent presence and fixed moral standards. Throughout the essay he stages an argument around suicide to examine what he considers the absurdity of life. In short, he believes that â€Å"the absurd enlightens [himself] on this point: there is no future† (Camus 58). He delves into the idea that life has no true purpose, and even when many humans discover how mundane life is, they still choose to continue living. Esslin quotes Camus: A world that can be explained by reasoning, however faulty, is a familiar world. But in a universe that is suddenly deprived of illusions and of light, man feels a stranger. His is an irremediable exile, because he is deprived of memories of a lost homeland as much as he lacks the hope of a promised land to come. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, truly constitutes the feeling of absurdity. (Camus qtd. in Esslin 18) With these ideas of man’s insignificant place in the world, humans, not God, determine their own existence. In the absence of the influence of a higher power, there is no longer any certainty in an afterlife, or in anything, as humans are fallible beings. This then creates a philosophy that is based more on the individual versus the collective. Sartre on the other hand explains a more hopeful interpretation of existentialism. While Camus stresses the human’s inability to break the cycle of absurdity, Sartre asserts that humans are absurd because their free will always puts 9 them in complete control of their fate. In his book Existentialism and Human Emotions, Sartre asserts: Man is condemned to be free. Condemned, because he did not create himself, yet, in other respects is free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. The existentialist does not believe in the power of passion. He will never agree that a sweeping passion is a ravaging torrent which fatally leads a man to certain acts and is therefore an excuse. He thinks that man is responsible for his passion (Sartre 23). A person is therefore in complete control of his or her own destiny. There is no God, so there is no set of doctrines or moral code to follow. The only thing that one has to rely upon is his or herself, and that reliance is what creates absurdity. Life has no meaning, because â€Å"before you come alive, life is nothing; it’s up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing else but the meaning that you choose† (Sartre 49). Therefore, life is meaningless unless one chooses to give it meaning. The philosophies of Camus and Sartre are critical to understanding the existential elements of the absurdist works. Another aspect of absurdism is that it attempts to create a world that accentuates the strange and bizarre. In short, it â€Å"strives to express its sense of the senselessness of the human condition and the inadequacy of the rational approach by the open abandonment of rational devices and discursive thought† (Esslin 24). It has a chaotic structure that creates the illusion of an irrational universe. The plots are unclear, as well as the relationship between the characters. There is ambiguity in space, time, and relationships between characters. Words and phrases are repeated so that language itself becomes inadequate and incomprehensible. Reality is skewed so that the viewer does not know the difference between fact and fiction. Plays tend to be 10 cyclical in that they end in the same place they started. These never-ending cycles create an illusion of despair, and remind the audience how continually hopeless life can be. There is also a strong vaudevillian presence within absurdist drama: this creates an element of humour that therwise might be absent, and also highlights that as desperate as life can be, there are still moments of laughter within misery. The plays are funny and tragic at the same time, and they utilize traditional clowning techniques as well as orchestrated pauses to convey their messages. Therefore, â€Å"the Theatre of the Absurd has renounced arguing about the absurdity of the human condition; it merely presents it in being† (Esslin 25). Although absurdism is a widely defined genre, Beckett is considered by many scholars to be one of the pioneers of the form. When considering other playwrights and plays as absurdist, many scholars to this day compare the writers and works to Beckett’s canon. Therefore Beckett, although he does not consider himself to be an absurdist writer, is one of the major contributors to this style of theater. His works are numerous and his unique style is what brought absurdism to the forefront of dramatic movements of the late twentieth century. On Beckett Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1906 to Protestant middle-class parents. After he pursued his education in Ireland he was offered a teaching fellowship in Paris, which he accepted. There he met James Joyce and a variety of other artists. Joyce, impressed by Beckett, stated that â€Å"he thought Beckett had promise–a rare 11 gesture for him† (Alvarez 12). It was during the late 1940’s and into the early 1950’s that Beckett â€Å"began his lifelong association with Paris† and his fascination with the French language and linguistics in general. It was then that Beckett began writing; he published his first novel Murphy in 1938. After spending time in Ireland with his mother, Beckett returned to Paris when World War Two began. He volunteered for the Red Cross and was involved in the war in many ways, from helping with wounded soldiers, to joining radical political groups and trying to aide France’s war effort. He was forced to flee Paris when friends in a radical political group were arrested. Once the war ended, Beckett returned to Paris. It was during this post-war period that he wrote a number of dramatic works, including his most famous play, Waiting for Godot (Bair 381). After Godot Beckett wrote Endgame (1957) and Krapp’s Last Tape (1958). Shortly after the premier of Krapp he began writing Happy Days in October of 1960. Happy Days came at an interesting time in Beckett’s career: because of the success of Godot, Endgame, and Krapp, â€Å"celebrated playwrights, [and] other dramatists who studied his plays wanted to share their ideas, and in most cases, to pay him homage† (Bair 527). His new fame also caused rifts in Beckett’s personal life. He and his partner Suzanne Deschevaux-Dumesnil were planning on getting married, but wanted to keep the ceremony under wraps. They were making their relationship official because Beckett had realized current French law would not allow Suzanne to inherit the estate or his money if he were to die. They wanted to get married in England because â€Å"as an Irish citizen whose financial affairs were concentrated in 12 England, he had to be married there to insure the legality of the ceremony and Suzanne’s right to inherit his estate† (Bair 530). However, since Beckett and Suzanne had been living in Paris, he had to reside in England for two weeks before the ceremony was legal, according to English law. During these few weeks, Beckett hid himself from the public eye in the Bristol Hotel and worked on his Happy Days manuscript. Like his early plays, Happy Days is an examination of life in an absurd situation. A woman, Winnie, is buried alive in an ant hill in a scorched landscape, while her husband Willie prattles around behind the landscape. Winnie is first buried up to her bosom and then to her neck in a large hill (presumably an abandoned ant hill, as one single emmet wanders the mound). She spends her days chatting about seemingly mundane nonsense, all with the hope that Willie might just be listening to her. While Winnie endures blistering heat, increased immobility, and a strident bell that keeps her from falling asleep, â€Å"she remains to the bitterest end, implacably optimistic and talkative† (Alvarez 108). Her unfailing hope in the future is both depressing and hopeful. It is her optimism that causes so many audience members to be moved by Winnie. In one Beckett biography, Diedre Bair asserts that as a result of Beckett’s increasing fame, Suzanne found it more difficult than usual to deal with her new husband. According to Bair: She resented his fame and felt that he should have made a more public acknowledgement of her important role in bringing it about. She wanted to be known as the helpmate who had made his success possible. He wanted nothing at all known about himself, least of all details which he considered of no more 13 than domestic import. He felt he had demonstrated his gratitude to her by marrying her when both considered the ceremony a mockery. (533) Bair believes the couple grew apart as the years passed: â€Å"They had nothing in common anymore, but neither thought of parting. Beckett began to envision their relationship as one in ineluctable bondage, and from then on, veiled references to their situation began to appear in his writing† (Bair 534). It is conceivable that much of the Happy Days plot was derived from his personal life, because it was written during the events surrounding his secret wedding. Other biographers, including James Knowleson, assert that Beckett and Suzanne had a loving relationship. While they were having problems in their small apartment, they felt if they moved to a bigger space they would have more time to live independently of each other. Therefore, Knowlson notes â€Å"the [bigger apartment] allowed them to live parts of their lives independently-without one disturbing the other, if he or she did not want to be disturbed† (423). Knowlson also mentions in this biography that Beckett had a mistress named Barbara during this part of his life, but that Beckett still felt (even though he waited almost a quarter of a century to marry her) that he was committed to Suzanne. In this account the marriage was troubled, but the couple was working through their problems. Because of their fiercely independent personalities, both wanted and desired independent space: their union worked best when there was a good combination of time together and time apart. It is this examination of Beckett’s married life that is pertinent to Happy Days, as Beckett’s view on the institution of marriage and lifelong commitment is explored throughout the text. 14 As Beckett is from Ireland and his English dialect is influenced by that country, Happy Days has Irish undertones in plot and form. While Beckett spent a majority of his life in France, his strongest ties were to his Irish roots. He was fascinated by the old ways or the old words that the Irish used, such as emmet (an ant). The way Beckett manipulates language is particularly Irish. Beckett’s use of the language is distinctive, utilizing traditional Irish techniques of â€Å"repetitive . . . words or sentences; . . . transformations, division, contraction, shortening and lengthening of words; and the minimization of the number of different words per sentence, but also exaggeration through redundance† (Van Slooten 48). Beckett also was very attached to music in the Irish tradition. He wrote to utilize â€Å"vocal techniques and sound effects [including] the sound of vowels and consonants and the alternately winded, syncopated, and pounding rhythms† to shape his texts† (Van Slooten 48). What is most interesting about this concept is the life and mobility that the Irish language gives to a piece like Happy Days, where the central character is trapped in a hill. The dialect itself requires a wide range of emotion and tonality in its expression, so that â€Å"stage directions such as ‘sad’, ‘suppliant’, ‘very excited’, ‘irritated’, ‘laughing’, ‘explosive’, ‘melancholy’, and the individual diction for different characters indicate how much importance [Beckett] attached to these matters and show how his words should be voiced† (Van Slooten 58). Because of the nature of the language in Happy Days, it is important to evaluate it through the Irish musicality to find the momentum of a play that contains little to no stage movement otherwise. 15 This â€Å"Irishness† can be seen in a London performance of Happy Days at the Old Vic Theater in 1975 (later transferred to the Lyttleton Theater in 1976). In this production, Dame Peggy Ashcroft played Winnie, Harry Lomax played Willie, and Peter Hall directed. Despite Ashcroft’s positive reputation, this particular production received a number of mixed reviews. One reviewer, Rosemary Pountney, believed that Ashcroft’s biggest weakness was her lack of vocal range. She believed that while Ashcroft had a great vocal capacity, Pountney loathed the Irish accent that Ashcroft attempted: Her greatest strength as an actress, the marvellous flexibility of her voice, was flattened and deadened in an attempt to convey an Irish accent—not a strong Irish accent, but, much more difficult for a non-Irish woman, the suggestion of one. A ‘non-accent’ accent resulted, with Dame Peggy’s superb voice not merely out of tune but restricted in its range, as though straitjacketed. Thus Winnie’s fluctuations of mood†¦ were dulled and Act 1 seemed to lack impact (Pountney). Although Ashcroft did not do the dialect justice, Pountney addresses that Beckett had written a musical quality to his dialogue, which in many cases is what â€Å"scores† the actress through the piece. The repetitions in the script work as guidelines and create the score of the production. Pountney was impressed by understanding of the Irish nature of the piece, but not so much their enactment of it. It is important to note that Happy Days was originally written in English, whereas most of Beckett’s works were previously written in French. Beckett stated that his reasons for writing in French were because it gave him a strict structure around the language. Because French was not his native language he was forced to be selective when he chose words, he chose words selectively, and did not inadvertently 16 embellish the language (Van Slooten 48). Although he translated all of his plays himself from French to English, there is still an element of sparseness to the language. Since Happy Days was originally in English, the style of the writing is different. Although there are pauses in the dialogue, the sentence structure flows differently than the sparse language of Godot or Endgame. Therefore, Beckett’s use of the English language in my production is paramount to understanding it through performance. Happy Days Production History Happy Days was performed for the first time on September 17, 1961 in New York at the Cherry Lane Theater. The production starred Ruth White as Winnie and John C. Becher as Willie; Alan Schneider directed the production. Schneider and Beckett had a long career as collaborators. Schneider directed a number of Beckett’s plays, including the American premier of Waiting for Godot, and Film? among many others. Because of prior commitments Beckett was unable to come to New York to supervise direction of this production. The two men therefore corresponded in letters to relay information, and according to Bair â€Å"Beckett’s letters could easily become a textbook for Happy Days should [anyone] ever decide to publish them† (536). As with any Beckett performance, the directions given to the actors were thoroughly specific, as Bair describes: They are long and painstaking, filled with minute directions for action and how it should correspond to speech; detailed descriptions of lighting, even to the physical properties, brand name and positing of each individual bulb; and a series of drawings in pen and ink done by Beckett to show exactly how he wanted Winnie and her mound to appear, and what the position of Willie should be at all times in relation to her. (536) 17 At many times throughout the process, Schneider was worried that he was not doing Beckett or his script justice, since the directions were so specific. He remained worried until the show opened to an eager audience. The reviews of the play were mixed, as they had been for many Beckett plays before, but the reviewers who liked the production were not shy in their praises. In The New York Times, Howard Taubman praised the performance, especially White’s, stating that she: conveys a profound sense of the dark, empty spaces of Winnie’s life. She uses her voice to achieve a remarkable range of nuance. Her eyes, her lips, the very lines in her face suggest mood and feeling. She fusses bravely with the black shopping bag that seems to contain all her worldly possessions. Her attempt to be invincible turns into a pitiable failure. At the end, with the silly, feathered little hat atop the head projecting out of the mound, she seems like a puny, weary Earth Mother of a mean, despairing world. (Taubman) The performance was praised for its ability to not only inspire viewers to look at life’s deep existential and sometimes disheartening questions, but also to reveal compassion, which is rare in Beckett’s works (Taubman). Ruth White’s performance was so revered that she received a 1962 Obie Award for Distinguished Performance. While the first few performances were received well, they were still looked at from a primarily masculine perspective. The majority of theater reviewers were male, and so the comments on the productions came from a male perspective. At this time however, a different group of artists was exploring theater from a feminist perspective. They experimented with dramatic forms to ighlight the female experience, which they believed to be lacking in society. It was during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that feminist theater began to be produced. 18 Feminist Theater For many centuries the theatrical arts were dominated by men. Notable feminist scholar Sue-Ellen Case states that when the second-wave feminist movement began in the early 1960’s, â€Å"the singular term ‘feminism’ was often employed to describe a variety of political and critical re alms. This term was interchangeable with the term ‘the women’s movement’† (62). The feminist movement was divided into a number of philosophies. In the theatrical world, there are two major approaches that scholars have identified as self-conscious approaches to feminist work: that of the radical or cultural feminists and that of the materialist feminists, otherwise known as socialist or Marxist feminists. Both of these groups influenced how the experiences of women were presented on stage. The most common form of feminism in the United States and democratic European countries was what Case identifies as radical feminism. This particular form of feminism â€Å"is based on the belief that the patriarchy is the primary cause of the oppression of women†¦ the patriarchy represents all systems of male dominance and is regarded as the root of most social problems† (Case 64). Radical feminist performers and theater practitioners have concerns with the style of realism, because of â€Å"the nature of realism as a conservative force that reproduces and reinforces dominant cultural relations† in which man is superior to woman (Dolan 84). They believe that most male playwrights write about the male experience from a male perspective, even if writing female characters, and that the male experience is directly linked to patriarchal society. According to Jill Dolan: 19 By rejecting both realism and the genderized posturings of the of the maledominated experimental theater groups, the new feminist theater meant to create woman identified productions. This work, created by women for women, focused on woman’s experience with one another and their connections to each other through gender and sex. Identifying with each other as women was meant as an antidote to their oppression under patriarchy (85). Radical feminists believe that realism is inherently patriarchal, so they want to create a new form of realism for the female spectator so she â€Å"can find a coherent identity in the mirror image they hold up† (Dolan 99). It was the continual oppression of the feminine gender that most radical feminists wanted to examine. One of the most significant oppressions that women felt was that of sexual oppression from a maleoriented society. For centuries, â€Å"male culture made women’s bodies into objects of male desire, converting them into sites of beauty and sexuality for men to gaze upon† (Case 66). Many women as a result were afraid to discuss intimate details about their biology or their sex lives and desires. Radical feminists wanted to challenge social norms and allow for women’s issues to rise to the surface, to reclaim women’s place in history. They wanted to portray women’s collective struggles against the â€Å"patriarchal backdrop on which women have been victimized,† to highlight the centuries of male dominance in the theater (Dolan 88). In radical feminist theater, Brechtian and Artaudian techniques were often utilized. The Verfremdungseffekt, otherwise known as the distancing effect, is a technique Bertolt Brecht used in his epic theater to ensure that the audience would not become emotionally attached to the characters and could serve as an external political observer. In contrast, Antonin Artaud believed that the theater should contain an aspect of cruelty. He did not intend cruelty to mean causing physical pain for an actor 20 r audience, but cruelty in the way of making violent or disturbing actions on stage so the audience member is forced to deal with uncomfortable topics. Brechtian techniques are used in feminist theater to alienate the audience and Artaudian to make them feel uncomfortable as they are faced with the breaking of cultural norms. Radical feminist performances, however, differ from those traditions in that radical feminist performances generally consist of a ritualistic element, which created t he illusion of timelessness. This differs from Brecht’s usual usage of historical events to urround his plotlines. These performances also highlighted the biology of women and the power they held as a result, whereas Brecht largely concentrated on the politics and Artaud on the cruel intentions. While this was the intention, often â€Å"the body is curiously lost in [performance], perhaps because truly considering the body in space means dealing with the representational apparatus, which the feminine aesthetic is inadequate to handle† (Dolan 97). This struggle between rejecting and embracing realism is used as a means to advance feminist ideologies through performance. Dolan and Case discuss one other type of feminist performance: that of the materialist feminist. The major idea materialist feminism expounds is that all oppression comes from societal construction, and that capitalism is the major determinant in this construction. This can be seen through a historical labor production as Dolan explains: Production is the central human action played out in the market place and, for women, in the domestic sphere. The organisation of the forces of production and the role of wages create the situation of the worker. In the market place, the woman worker has generally been paid lower wages than the man and retained in a subordinate position without upward mobility. In the domestic sphere, unpaid housework and unpaid 21 reproductive and child-rearing labour have been instrumental in shaping the condition of women. The nuclear family is perceived as a unit of private property, in which the wife-mother is exploited by the male as well as by the larger organisation of capitalism (Dolan 83). Therefore, the materialist feminists believe that there should not be a distinction between genders, but that all genders should be treated with equal weight. Instead of viewing women as a gender, they are treated as a class, much like middle class, upper class, or working class. In short, the woman lives in a system that provides free labor to her husband or her employer. She provides free labor for her husband â€Å"by producing future workers as babies and by preparing the labourer for each day’s work† (Case 84). As a result, this form of feminism has been most prominent in European countries, as the class structure is more defined in those countries than in North America. The only way that a woman can liberate herself from this structure, according to this form of feminism, is to enter the workforce. According to Simone de Beauvoir1 in her revolutionary text The Second Sex (1949), when a woman receives employment she is liberated from her husband and can be her own member of the social structure. She then â€Å"ceases to be a parasite [and] the system based on her dependence crumbles; between her and the universe there is no longer any need for a masculine mediator† (Beauvoir 679). In patriarchal society, men have the liberty of having their occupation not determined by their gender. Women who try to deviate from this norm are subject to oppression, as â€Å"the woman who does not conform devaluates herself sexually and hence socially, since sexual values are an integral feature of [a patriarchal] society† (Beauvoir 682). Materialist feminists believe that by changing the economic structure, 22 the social structure will soon follow. If women are given equal opportunities in the workplace and are treated as men, they will not be sexualized and demoralized as before. Therefore, in performance, materialist feminists do not see it necessary to portray women as accurately as they would in life, because that is not the aim. The aim is to see women as a class, not as a performer of gender. Materialist feminists believed that the theater could be used to advance their gender in society, but they felt that the radical feminists were slightly misguided. They felt that if women were still working under the constraints of a male society, they were weakening women until she could only exist as a representation on stage. Therefore, the materialist feminists wanted to discover â€Å"how to inscribe a representational space for women that will point out the gender enculturation promoted through the representational frame and that will belie the oppressions of the dominant ideology it perpetuates† (Dolan 101). The materialist feminists deviated from the idea that â€Å"patriarchy is everywhere and always the same and that all women are ‘sisters’† and instead used their theater to underscore â€Å"the role of class and history in creating the oppression of women† (Case 82). The most successful way to make their points, they believe, is by highlighting the arbitrary nature of gender and its performance in society, and to assert that all real differences between individuals are the results of class inequalities, which in turn manifest in gender inequality. They wish â€Å"to reveal the complicity of the representational apparatus in maintaining sexual difference,† and prove that it is not as important to maintain these differences on stage as it had been in works of realism (Dolan 101). 23 It is through the performance ideologies of radical and materialist feminism that most feminist theater of the late twentieth century can be categorized. Also, many subsequent forms of feminist theater have been widely influenced by these theories, either directly or because the performers choose explicitly to deviate from the feminist theater norm in order to make their own points on gender in society. However, even today, much of feminist theater employs techniques of distancing, alienation, highlighting differences between sexes. They are less concerned with making sure gender is represented accurately on stage in accord with realism, or talking about issues that are traditionally considered feminine, such as women’s sexuality, body, and life experiences due to gender. Beckett and Gender (Happy Days) Beckett is often criticized as being sexist. This claim comes mainly from the way the Beckett Estate, which is in control of all of Beckett’s works, deals with gender when giving out performance rights to companies. Beckett has made it very clear that only men are allowed to perform the roles for men, and women are allowed to perform the roles for women. His estate has filed a number of lawsuits on companies trying to change the gender roles in his works and has been successful in most instances (Jeffreys). Though some have gotten angry at the iron grip that the Beckett Estate seems to have on Beckett’s works, there is a logic to the demand that each gender represented in a play must be played by an actor of that gender. Beckett intentionally wrote a part for a man so a man could play it, in the same way that he wrote a part for a woman to play. He wrote very clear male and female voices. The female voice 24 specially that of Winnie, is inherently unique. She does not speak about herself or her troubles in the way that Vladimir and Estragon do in Godot. She does not speak about prostates or having an erection, she speaks about lipstick and quotes Shakespeare. Therefore, it is imperative to explore gender and choice of language in Beckett’s works, because he was so deliberate with gender in his productions. In many ways, Beckett has represented his women stereotypically. Throughout his writing career, however, Beckett began to challenge his original notions and began to portray women more diversely. At the beginning of his career, when he was focusing on prose, most of Beckett’s women were overbearing and clearly antagonistic to men. For example, in his first novel Murphy, the main female character, Celia, is a prostitute that Murphy lives with. Celia makes many demands of Murphy, and is portrayed as an overbearing woman throughout. On the other hand, Beckett did move away from some established theatrical gender roles. In traditional gender roles, young women were often sexualized and are portrayed as â€Å"beautiful, chaste, and usually static† (Bryden 18). Some say that Beckett does not conform to this gender stereotype because most of his women are loud, overbearing, in grotesque circumstances, and older. For example, in Happy Days, Winnie is continually overbearing toward Willie, especially when giving him specific directions on how she wants things done. He cannot even go where he wants without Winnie screeching, â€Å"Do as I say, Willie, don’t lie sprawling there in this hellish sun, go back into your hole† (Beckett 25). Winnie has lost much of her vitality, and in a way is so far removed from it she is no longer bound to the stereotypes of youth. Instead, Winnie is 25 confined to stereotypes of age, as many older women are portrayed as meddling, controlling, and loving, just as Winnie is. Another gender stereotype would be the care that Winnie takes in preserving her appearance. Throughout the beginning of the play, Winnie is focused on making sure she keeps up her physical appearance. The act of obsessive grooming and the placement of value in physical appearance tend to be regarded as feminine traits. At the beginning of the play Winnie is following her morning routine. She brushes her teeth, checks herself in the mirror, and begins to apply lipstick. She is also concerned about the appearance of her hair. Winnie is in the middle of a thought when she anxiously cries out, â€Å"My hair! Did I brush and comb my hair? I may have done, normally do† (Beckett 22). In a number of productions of Happy Days, the design takes into account the idea that in Act II Winnie is unable to move her arms any longer. Therefore she is unable to tend to her personal appearance. In the 2007 production of Happy Days at the Royal National Theatre in London starring Fiona Shaw, the actress had blackened teeth, mussed hair, and a dirtied face at the onset of Act II. This showed that Winnie was unable to take care of herself, and this choice is even supported in the text when Winnie mentions, â€Å"Willie, look at me. Feast your old eyes, Willie. Does anything remain? Any remains? No? I haven’t been able to look after it, you know† (Beckett 62). Willie, as a man, does not tend to his appearance in the same vein at all, and to that effect does not help Winnie keep up her looks when she is no longer able. Winnie must give him orders on how to take care of his 26 appearance. Therefore, Beckett places the female in the stereotypical role of taking care of her appearance, while the male is placed in the role where he does not. Winnie is also obsessed with her declining looks. It is clear that she spends much of her time trying to impress Willie and feels that because she has lost her looks, she has lost what makes her desirable to men. She states, â€Å"Was I lovable once, Willie? Was I ever lovable? Do not misunderstand my question, I am not asking you if you loved me, we all know about that, I am asking if you found me loveable at one stage† (Beckett 31). Winnie believes that her lovability is directly attached to the past, and therefore her youth. It is generally considered typical of women, rather than men, to be obsessed with their own youth and beauty. Women are typically cast off as undesirable when they reach a certain age, whereas men have a much longer time frame before society deems them too old to be physically attractive. Winnie also remembers her beauty from before she was in the mound, stating: and now? The face. The nose. I can see it†¦ the tip†¦the nostrils†¦breath of life†¦ that curve you so admired†¦ if I stick it out†¦the tip†¦suspicion of brow†¦eyebrow†¦imagination possibly†¦. Cheek†¦no†¦no†¦ even if I puff them out†¦ no†¦no†¦damask. (Beckett 52) She truly believes that her looks are the only reason that Willie could have ever loved her, and now that they are gone, she has no means of attraction. It is stereotypically characteristic of a woman to have these thoughts, and the preoccupation fits the gender stereotype. Winnie is also a stereotypical woman in the way she remembers her past lovers. For example, she is very sentimental about the memories of her first ball and her first kiss. It was with â€Å"a Mr. Johnson, or Johnston, or perhaps I should say 27 Johnstone. Very bushy moustache, very tawny. Almost ginger! Within a toolshed, though whose I cannot conceive† (Beckett 16). According to most gender stereotypes, it is typical of women to be obsessive over past relationships. Winnie’s memory is no exception. She also remembers another lover before Willie named Charlie. It is a fleeting memory, where she contemplates the situation, stating, â€Å"Ah yes†¦ then†¦now†¦beechen green†¦this†¦Charlie†¦ kisses†¦this†¦all that†¦ deep trouble for the mind† (Beckett 51). Clearly, Winnie is saddened in her memories but clings to them because she has little left that she can value as a result of her situation in the mound. Holding onto her past lovers represents Winnie’s desire to hold onto her rites of passage, including her first sexual experiences. Beckett explores a number of other stereotypes, including the purse Winnie carries. A purse is traditionally considered a feminine object to carry and generally is filled with trinkets that women are prone to using or carrying around. For example, the bag that Winnie uses is filled with such objects as a compact mirror, a handkerchief, a bottle of medicine, lipstick, a brush and comb, and a nail file. Although it can be argued that Winnie is bound to her purse because of her lack of mobility and things to occupy her time, it can also be seen as a comment on the female gender and their stereotypical dependence on the purse or bag that they carry. Winnie has great faith in her bag, and is protective of and dependent on it, stating: There is of course the bag. The bag. Could I enumerate its contents? No. Could I, if some kind person were to come along and ask, What all have you got in that big black bag, Winnie? Give an exhaustive answer? No. The depths in particular, who knows what treasures. What comforts. (Beckett 32) 28 Winnie is so attached to her bag she believes that the objects themselves carry not only meaning, but life. In the second act Winnie contemplates, â€Å"It’s things, Willie. In the bag, outside the bag. Ah yes, things have their life, that is what I always say, things have a life† (Beckett 54). This materialistic view has been attributed to women in many instances. Someone who marries a person for their money or resources is more likely to be a woman than a man (even though it is a stereotype for both genders), as women are seen as a lower class, and to escape their place in the class structure they marry into their wealth as they are not as privileged to earn it themselves. There is, however, one stereotypically masculine object in the bag: the revolver. In many cases, the revolver is a symbol of power and dominance over others. In the past, men typically carried firearms on their person and were given guns to use in war, an arena that has only recently been occupied in a standard capacity by women. The shape of the gun itself can also be considered phallic. The gun, considered as a phallic object, can also be seen as a castration of Willie. Winnie has essential ownership over his manhood. This can be supported by one of Willie’s few lines, in which Winnie asks him what a â€Å"hog’s setae† is, to which he replies, â€Å"Castrated male swine. Reared for slaughter† (Beckett 47). Willie clearly sees himself as someone who is no longer in control of his masculinity and has fallen so far that his status is reduced to that of a pig. He is also so far gone that he is ready to be killed. He is on his deathbed, waiting to go to the slaughterhouse. This viewpoint is very alarming, and does shed a slightly negative light on women. Winnie, in many ways, 29 can be seen as a monster for having power over the gun and therefore Willie’s masculinity. It is again remarkable to note that Winnie, not Willie, is the owner of the gun as it suggests that Winnie is in possession of the masculine object, and thereby the power. It is in her bag, and though she seems repulsed by the idea of a gun, she is also somewhat fascinated and consoled by its presence. When considering the gun, Winnie states, â€Å"oh I suppose it’s a comfort to know you’re there, but I’m tired of you. I’ll leave you out, that’s what I’ll do. There, that is your home from this day out† (Beckett 33). It is also unclear whether or not Willie is attempting to reclaim the gun from Winnie or not. At the play’s end, when Willie comes out â€Å"dressed to kill† and comes to Winnie on the mound where the gun is resting near her, Beckett makes sure that Willie’s last lunge towards the mound is ambiguous (Beckett 61). One is unsure whether or not he is trying to reach for Winnie, or for her gun. Regardless of his motive, one thing is certain: he does not attain the gun; it remains in Winnie’s possession. It is fair to assume that if the play’s narrative would have continued, Willie would never have gotten the gun from Winnie. Therefore, though Winnie is considered stereotypical with the use of her purse to carry trinkets and her attachment to her purse, she also is the wielder of a surprisingly masculine object, and the male character is unable to have it for himself. Another notable point is that commonly arises in Beckett plays is the lack of mobility women usually have, which suggests that women have little room for advancement in this world. Scholar Mary Bryden points out that â€Å"in these plays, stasis 30 has more in common with aspiration than with condemnation,† meaning that those who are not moving have aspirations that are static, not that they themselves are condemned to some sort of hell (90). Nell in Endgame lives in a trash can. The women in Play (1963) are trapped in urns. While this lack of mobility can be seen in male characters as well (Nagg in Endgame, the male in Play), the effect is different. Other men are given mobility in Beckett’s works, when women are less likely to be given movement. Hamm is able to move, as is Krapp, Vladimir, Estragon, Lucky, Pozzo, and most notably Willie. Willie is given the option of mobility, whereas Winnie is not. Winnie is actually happy with her lack of movement, stating, â€Å"What a curse, mobility! † (Beckett 46). She is aware that at one time she used to be mobile, but blissfully unaware at how much easier her life was when she was mobile. She was able to hold a parasol above her head with ease instead of with pain and discomfort. She was not the object of spectacle when others passed by. She was independent in many ways because she was not bound to the earth. She even dreams of leaving her situation, and dreams that â€Å"if I were not held–in this way–I would simply float up into the blue. And that perhaps someday the earth will yield and let me go, the pull is so great, yes, crack all round and let me out† (Beckett 33). Winnie recalls these things many times and acknowledges that mobility would be best for her. But she remains complacent about her situation and still finds happiness in her utterly dependent state with Willie, because her aspirations cause her to stay immobile. Her mobility is in direct relation to her ambitions. Since her dreams are not going anywhere, neither is Winnie. 31 In other ways Beckett does break standard gender stereotypes when portraying his women. In a patriarchal society the wife is supposed to be the servant to the husband. While Winnie is holding up her parasol and her arm tires, she asks his permission to put it down, stating, â€Å"bid me to put this thing down, Willie, I will obey you instantly, as I have always done, honoured, and obeyed† (Beckett 36). It seems that Winnie is a woman who is completely dependent on her husband, and in many ways she is because of her situation in the mound. However, Willie is the one who serves Winnie. Willie is the one who brings her items when she demands them, answers to her voice when she calls out to him, and essentially does whatever she demands. Winnie, in effect, has not taken the role of the stereotypical married woman. She mentions that she serves her husband and is bound to do so. Therefore she does not leave because of her duty and her vow of marriage and her situation in the hill. Willie, in the same vein, is not trapped in the hill as Winnie is. He is able to leave the harsh environment whenever he would like and essentially let fate take Winnie. He doesn’t leave, however. He takes the abusive phrases from his wife and he stays with her until presumably the end of her days. In much the same way, sex in Beckett plays is just as forgotten and elusive to men as it is to women. Characters in Beckett plays remember that sex, at one time, existed. But now it is so far in the past that it is almost forgotten. Winnie’s only memories of sex seem to be poor, as she states â€Å"sadness after intimate sexual intercourse one is familiar with of course. You would concur with Aristotle there, Willie, I fancy† (Beckett 57). Ironically, the Aristotle quotation actually refers to men, 32 stating â€Å"the exhaustion consequent on the loss of even a very little of the semen is conspicuous because the body is deprived of the ultimate gain drawn from the nutriment †¦ [so] as a general rule the result of intercourse is exhaustion and weakness rather than relief† (Alexander). It is extremely interesting that Winnie, as a woman, references such a masculine viewpoint on sexuality. However, she does seem to agree with this overtly masculine philosophy. Through her condition in the hill, Winnie’s sexuality is gradually covered up. Cooker, or Shower, as Winnie is hard at remembering, has made numerous comments about her sexuality in regards to the mound. Cooker and/or Shower is a man and his wife, that occasionally pass Winnie and Willie, and make rude comments about the state that Winnie finds herself in. Beckett was well versed in German, and used these English names as a play on words. In German, the word â€Å"schauen† means to look, and â€Å"gucken† to watch: naming his onlookers Shower and Cooker was highly suggestive. The mysterious onlooker is curious as to whether her body is still good looking, stating, â€Å"can’t have been a bad bosom†¦in its day. Seen worse shoulders†¦in my time. Does she feel her legs? . . . has she anything on underneath? † (Beckett 58). She is infuriated by the comments, yelling, â€Å"let go of me for Christ sake and drop! Drop dead! † (Beckett 58). But her condition in the mound makes it impossible to defend herself. While man and woman are both foreign to sex, it is the woman who is trapped and made a fool of, and has no way to defend herself because of the condition the playwright has placed her in. Dolan makes a point to discuss this in her work, commenting on the role that sexuality plays in performance. She believes that â€Å"if power adheres in sexuality, and cultural feminists 33 assume power leads to violence against women, it becomes politically and artistically necessary to attempt to disengage representation from desire,† meaning that in feminist theater practices, women have to be presented as women, not the object of male sexual desire (Dolan 61). In Beckett’s production, Winnie is literally trapped and gaped at, proving Dolan’s point that in most of the modern canon, the representation of woman on stage is synonymous with desire. One of the scenes in Happy Days that concentrates most on sex is that in which Winnie discusses Mildred, commonly referenced as Milly, and the mouse. The story is quite frightening and underlines the idea that sex for women and for Winnie in particular has been terrifying and un-gratifying. In the second act, Winnie describes Mildred, a little girl who could have been Winnie as a young woman. She has been given a wax doll named Dolly. Milly sneaks out of her room to the nursery to undress Dolly, as she seemingly has been â€Å"forbidden to do so,† then suddenly out of nowhere a mouse appears and crawls up Milly’s leg (Beckett 55). She screams, and the entire household comes running to see what the matter is. It is at that moment that Winnie stops her story, and is too overcome to finish. It is clear from the language, that the story is one of Milly’s, or perhaps Winnie’s, first memories of sexuality and perhaps her own sexuality. Clearly the experience frightened her in regard to her sexual nature, because she abruptly stops her story by warning Willie that he â€Å"may close [his] eyes, then [he] must close [his] eyes- and keep them closed† (Beckett 59). While Winnie’s sexuality has shifted and her sex drive has been affected by her entrapment in the 34 mound, it is clear that even from a young age she was not accepting of her sexuality, or able to properly deal with it because she felt violated. Throughout Beckett’s work, gender stereotypes are present. However, these stereotypes are accompanied by a number of gender deviations from the stereotypical norm. Therefore, when considering the work of Beckett, it is valid to assert that although Beckett conforms to gender stereotyping, he is not bound by them. Even though his work is informed by a world on the verge of the second-wave feminist movement, he is beginning to break gender stereotypes that are inherent in his earlier works of prose and even drama. Therefore, Happy Days is an appropriate and interesting play to look at from an absurdist feminist perspective. Happy Days in Performance: A Feminist Perspective (Process) When mounting a production there are a number of individuals involved, and they all have a certain role to play. Actors, directors, producers, and the production design team all work together to create a final performance. In the fall, I spent most of my time researching the production and writing the preliminary part of my thesis. In the production, I held two roles: that of producer and lead actress. As a producer, it was my responsibility to be in charge of the logistical elements of the production. I was responsible for coordinating the space rental, finding rehearsal spaces, making the program and fliers, and essentially all of the production aspects of the performance. Some of my duties I gave to my director and stage manager to handle, which in a typical performance would not happen; however, since I was also taking on the role as the lead actress, I had to divide my time. In that role I was expected to memorize all of 35 my lines, have character ideas, personalize emotional responses and relationships, and have a set of actions to achieve my objectives. This role proved to be the most time consuming, as the Beckett script was repetitive and convoluted, making it difficult to memorize. Winnie is essentially the only character who speaks (meaning there are no other actors to rely on for help with lines and following the through line of the script, or the journey of the character throughout the play), and the nature of absurdist work makes it difficult to discover objectives and relationships. One of my first duties as producer was to assemble a production team. First, I chose a performance faculty advisor. I asked Professor Shelley Delaney because of her work with one-woman performances and her knowledge of the craft of acting. After making this choice, I was informed that Professor Delaney would not be able to help direct me in the production. I knew that as an actor I would not be able to assess my progress without the help of a director. Therefore, I asked Arielle Giselle Rogers to direct me. She graduated from Ohio University’s School of Theater with a BFA in Acting in 2011, and she is very experienced in directing and performing in onewoman shows, especially feminist works (she is the founding member of F-Word, a feminist theater performance group on Ohio University’s campus). I also needed a stage manager; someone to handle the day to day operations of rehearsal. For that I choose Jacob St. Aubin, a junior BFA stage management major because he is an impeccable organizer and very talented. I then needed a set designer to help with the construction of the hill that Winnie is buried in. I chose Ryan Myers, a senior BFA production design and technology major who specializes in set design, based on his 36 previous design and portfolio work. For costumes I turned to Megan Knowles, a senior BFA production design and technology major who specializes in costumes, because I had worked with her before and she has a very impressive portfolio. For the sound design I asked Aaron Butler, a graduate student in the School of Music, because of his work in other School of Theater productions in which he utilized minimalist soundscapes and experimental music. For the lighting design I asked Keri Donovan, a BFA production design and technology major who specializes in lighting design to create the effect of the fire and generally light the show. Finally, I solicited help from one other faculty member, Laura Parrotti, who was my vocal coach throughout the process. Professor Parrotti has been a vocal coach on a number of professional productions, as well as the main voice coach for the School of Theater students. Her advice on how to handle the Beckett text from a vocal standpoint was instrumental to the process. Rehearsals for Happy Days began January 9, 2012. The cast consisted of me (Rachel Collins) as Winnie and Sean O’Brien as Willie. Rehearsals were coordinated through a joint effort between Jacob and me, but he facilitated the rehearsal reports, space rental, and coordination of meetings with the production team. The first week of rehearsals consisted of table work, which was run by Arielle. Table work is generally the term used for the first week of rehearsal, in which the actors go through the script beat by beat and look at the academic and theoretical aspects behind the script that would inform the performance. Sean and I read through the script while Arielle gave notes. Then the three of us would discuss the scholarly background of the play, 7 characters, motivation, and my take on the thesis, etc. , with the group and began to come up with character ideas and how to shape the piece. The main aspect we discussed through these workings was the idea that Winnie is a woman who i How to cite Absurdism, Papers

Conflict Between Right and Wrong in Twelve Angry Men free essay sample

Rose uses the jurors to show the conflict between right and wrong in Twelve Angry Men. Discuss. In the historical play Twelve Angry Men the author Reginald Rose, shows how the jurors in the play highlight the right and wrongs and how hard it can be to overcome them, which leads to conflict. The twelve jurors had the job of convicting a criminal on the term of beyond reasonable doubt according the evidence they were given in court. Juror 8 was the only juror that took this on board and based his decision on this term which was highlighted during the initial vote. Juror 8 showed how his reason and logical approach demonstrated one of the few rights in the play. During the initial vote it was juror 8s courage to rise above everyone and vote not guilty despite what the others would say to him that showed the reader that Rose used his character to demonstrate the right way to act. We will write a custom essay sample on Conflict Between Right and Wrong in Twelve Angry Men or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page His good behaviour is shown from the first vote right through to the end of the play. Its just that were talking about somebodys life here. I mean, we cant decide in five minutes was his attitude at the first vote even though he did not believe he was guilty or not guilty he couldnt leave that room without doing the job that he was in there to do which separated his characteristics from the other jurors. Rose deliberately made Juror 8 have these characteristics to show the conflict between being right and being wrong in this situation and also the importance of standing up. Personal feeling and personal prejudice were the main influences of Jurors 3 and Juror 10s verdict towards the case. This case triggered an emotional response within Juror 3 and this resulted in him acting in ways which were considered to be wrong. He became too involved and emotionally attached to the case and let his feeling block out the facts that were being presented to him. He relates this case to his son and they fact that he didnt punish him so instead he would take his feelings about his son onto this case, which caused him to make claims like he was going to be the boys executioner. Personal prejudice, hatred of people from a slum background, was the cause of Juror 10 to become blinded by the facts and truth that was being discussed on the table in front of him. He based his opinion on what people had told him about people from a slum background and stating they want to destroy us to persuade the other jurors to side with him again as he could see them slipping away. Rose makes these two characters become blinded by their own feelings and prejudice to show the conflict that was caused between those who were right and wrong by them behaving the wrong way. The conflict that the jurors caused between themselves by their behaviours of right and wrong made the final decision even more difficult to achieve. At the first vote all but one juror followed the rest of the group and their attitude to having to be on the jury and make a decision was negative. This is what started the conflict between many jurors. The fact that some jurors let their personal feeling get in the way of the facts of the case led to arguments between those who saw the facts and evidence and those who let their feelings blind them from the truth. This conflict between the jurors is how Rose showed who was showing the right attitude and who was showing the wrong attitude during the play. There were many jurors who sat in silence throughout the discussions and based their verdicts on what other members of the jury decided upon, which is portrayed to be immoral by Rose. Their role as a jury was to discuss the case and decide a verdict based upon only the facts of the case. Rose makes the jurors who just sit there and do not have an input into the discussion appear to be as bad as those who are prejudice and have personal feelings towards the case. The others are silent was the stage direction that showed the readers that the other jurors had no input into the conversation. The jurors who did not have an input were portrayed to be just as bad as those who let prejudice and personal feelings be the decided of their opinion. Twelve Angry Men shows how Rose uses the characters to show the conflict between right and wrong. Characters who let personal feelings and prejudice blind them from the truth were Roses demonstration as wrong in the play, where as Juror 8 show how his reason and logical approach lead him to be the demonstration of right. The jurors who didnt have any input and just sat around the table silent, were also considered to be wrong because their role was to discuss the evidence and bring forward a unanimous verdict based upon their discussi ons.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Concepts of Humanity and Art Appreciation Essay Example For Students

Concepts of Humanity and Art Appreciation Essay Course Description Art Appreciation focuses on the study and appreciation of representative examples of visual and performing arts, literature, music and significant famous structures around the world. The exploration of interrelationships of the arts and their philosophies emphasizes the nature of humankind and the need to create. The course explores human values, attitudes, and ideas by examining the history and nature of human creative expression from a variety of time periods, art forms, creators and cultural traditions. This course aims to introduce the students to the visual arts, literature, philosophy, music, and the performing arts. General Objectives 1. To provide the students with a general overview of the humanities making them see their own world from many vantage points and help them grow up to become better human beings. 2. To acquaint the students theoretically to visual, auditory, and performing arts (traditional and contemporary) through the study of the types, medium, basic elements and principles of organization of each form. 3. To become aware of his/her surroundings and associate them with man of the past thereby integrating the two periods together, thus making the world a better place to live in. . To help the students develop aesthetic satisfaction of the different forms of the arts, both local and foreign. 5. To enable the students to develop critical and analytical mind in the appreciation of the different form of arts. 6. To make the students aware of the different works of art particularly those of the Filipino artists to make them feel proud of their heritage. Significant Concepts and General Overview of the Humanities A. History of the Humanities In the West, the study of the humanities can be traced to ancient Greece, as a basis of broad education for citizens. During the Roman times, the concept of the seven liberal arts1 evolved, involving grammar, rhetoric, and logic (the Trivium), along with arithmetic, geometry, astronomia, and music (the Quadrivium). These subjects formed the bulk of medieval education, with the emphasis being on the humanities as skills or â€Å"ways of doing. † A major shift occurred during the Renaissance, when the humanities began to be regarded as subjects to be studied rather than practiced, with a corresponding shift away from the traditional fields into areas such as literature and history. In the 20th century, this view was in turn challenged by the postmodernist movement, which sought to redefine the humanities in more egalitarian terms suitable for a democratic society. B. What is Humanities? The humanities is a group of academic subjects united by a commitment to studying aspects of the human condition and a qualitative approach that generally prevents a single paradigm from coming to define any single discipline. The humanities are usually distinguished from the social sciences and the natural sciences and include subjects such as the classics, languages, literature, music, philosophy, the performing arts, religion, and the visual arts. Other subjects at times included as humanities in some parts of the world include archaeology, area studies, communications, cultural studies, and history, although these are often regarded as social sciences elsewhere. Many students approach Humanities with awe and dread. They feel the material is overwhelming or obscure or, worse yet, irrelevant to their lives. But this is a false impression. You may or may not believe this now, but you will be reflecting on the material of this course for the rest of your life. Right now, many of you are concerned with very immediate issues: Can I find a job? Can I find a life-partner? Where is the next dollar or peso coming from? Humanities may or may not have the answers to these practical questions right now. But after you have graduated, after you have gotten a job, after you have established yourself in the community, you will come to appreciate the Humanities courses even more. The Humanities courses have been formally defined as presenting Western civilization through the study of history and in equal measure the study of great books. But presented that way, we are actually focusing upon results rather than causes. The Humanities courses try to answer the questions: 1. What does it mean to be human? 2. What are we here for? 3. What is the meaning of life? (we can ask this in a philosophical way) 4. What do I need to do in order to live well and live better? (we can ask this in a practical manner) C. Three (3) Things that Humanities are and One Thing that it is not, Humanities deal with: 1. What humans are: the human 2. What humans do: our humanity 3. What humans can be: the humane 1. What Does it Mean to be Human? If humanities come from humanity and humanity comes from human, we might trace this step further. The word â€Å"human† comes from the Latin word â€Å"humus† which means â€Å"earth†, in the sense of â€Å"soil†, or â€Å"dust†. Interestingly, the name of the Biblical first man, Adam, is derived from Hebrew word â€Å"adamah† which means â€Å"dust†. On one level, we are children of the earth – We go out, work, propagate, and die. â€Å"Dust we are, to dust we shall return. † Many of you would say that you are here to get yourself trained for a job. That for many people is the purpose of getting an education. Well and good! We value having a job as much as anyone else. But, important and necessary as job is, it is not sufficient for us to live a fully human life. Much more is possible in living than passing each day mechanically, subject to the push and pull of the moment. Simply put, holding down a job and doing housework is not being fully human. Are we born to bloom and drop? What of â€Å"soul†, however one cares to define that intangible â€Å"more† that makes human life worthwhile? We all know – more is possible; and this more is pointed to by Humanities. 2. What Humans Do Our Humanity Humanities deal with what arises from our humanity and â€Å"humanity† refers to all the people who have ever lived, are now living, and who will live in the future. The Humanities deal with what has been accomplished by this great chain of generation through the vast store of human memory we call â€Å"history. † We study those things which are distinctively human: art, language, literature, politics, religion, etc. We create and furthermore we can appreciate what we create. This is uniquely human. 3. What Humans Can Be The Humane And finally, Humanities deal with what creates our truest or highest humanity. We become more aware of and more sensitive to the many dimensions of human life. We become more humane – we grow in knowledge and sympathy. 4. What Humanities is Not: Humanism2 / Secular Humanism When some people hear the word â€Å"Humanities†, they associate it with the word â€Å"humanism† by which they usually mean â€Å"secular humanism† – a belief system that denies the transcendent and the divine. Secular humanism focuses on this life alone. It says that this world is all that there is – there is no transcendent dimension. But Humanities does not necessarily mean â€Å"secular humanism. † Secular humanism is only one of many different ways of interpreting what life and history are about. The Humanities courses focus on human achievement; to do so in no way deny that there may be a transcendent dimension to human life as well. Why Study Humanities The most usual question ask by the students regarding the inclusion of humanities in the curriculum is the relevance of the subject to the course. At first, the question sounds reasonable. It is true that the subject does not direct anyone to finding fortune. It does not teach anyone how to produce rice. But moving further into the deep of humanity unsheates the question with its credibility. The question becomes a demonstration of a complete ignorance to the true meaning of life. If this world is made up only of material things such as food, car, money, sex and others, then the artists have no right to inhabit this planet. They can live somewhere in the limbo where perhaps a decent being recognizes the reason of the artists’ existence. The basic reason why humanities is included in the curriculum is to equip students with a culture that is necessary to complete his being. This is the culture that frees man from sticking to the mandates of the world. Man is a highly cultures if he could live happily beyond the things that satisfy only the practicalities of life. Saint Thomas Aquinas said: art is opposite to the practical. Art is not concerned whether man has fine dresses, delicious food or if he has money. Art is concerned on something that lives beyond matters. Novelists write without thinking of any monetary return. They do it because there is something that they want humanity to understand. Student should remember that Total Human Development, as the meaning of education does not mean to finish a degree, find a ob and gather wealth to heap. Like the artists, man should labor beyond the value of money. The Branches of Humanities The Humanities can be grouped generally into three: fine arts, practical arts, and performing arts. The following are considered fine arts: 1. Painting. This is a kind of art, which main process is applying color or pigment to a surface. There are different mediums and various types of painting. 2. Literature. This is a kind of art which main medium are the written words. There are two main classifications, prose and poetry. The following are considered performing arts: 1. Dance. This combines movements of feet, hands and body in rhythm. Its aesthetic element is seen on the unity and harmony of the movements. 2. Singing/Music. The art of putting together the sounds in order. Its medium/media are either human voices or instruments, or a combination of the two. . Cinema. Or motion picture that blends together the fundamental and vital elements of music, painting, literature, and music. The following are considered practical arts: 1. Sculpture. Refers to the breaking, and or piecing together hard stone or other shapeable materials to represent something imagined or real. This is an art presented in three dimensions. 2. Architecture. This is an art of designing and constructing a building or other type of structure. Materials include concrete, brick, wood, steel, glass, and plaster. Art as, Personal, and Culturally Significant Meaning By deducing, we can say humanities, in broad terms, is a record of man’s quest for fundamental questions. By etymology, humanities came from the Latin word HUMANUS which means human, cultured and refined which underscores man’s essential worth for capacity for self advancement. However, humanities is applied to ancient writings of Latin authors. During the medieval age, it refers to philosophy theology (the quest for spiritual life or a preparation to life hereafter). In Renaissance, it is applied to disciplines taught in Universities (traditional branches are grammar, rhetoric, history, literature, music, philosophy, theology, language), a body of knowledge which asserts intrinsic value of man’s life on earth (as opposed to medieval times) or in other words, would make man’s life richer and more meaningful. In 19th cent. , humanities loss its prestige because of sciences which believed that they can procure everything that man needs wants. Consequently, science tones down its rising and humanities finds leverage when science hamper lives nature (atomic bombs, drugs, inventions, etc. , in which science can be well use if it’s controlled by individual w/ high ideals (the bright side which humanities offers) Furthermore, humanities, controversially, is closely connected to philosophical view of humanism (indebted to Protagoras dictum that â€Å"man is the measure of all things† which emphasizes dignity worthiness of ma n and recognizes creative expressions). Now, humanities refers to group of cultural subjects or to arts (visual, auditory, performing, literature), a branch which concerned to human thought, feelings relations. Although some universities when they talk of humanities they refer it to philosophy, theology, arts etc. Or by saying humanities, it talks about the inner space program concerned in thoughts, creations, and actions of man in the past in the present (matters of values, sentiments, priorities, insights, interrelations, transcendental realities). Humanities and Science By definition, science is systematized, organized body of knowledge, obtained from observation, studies and experimentations. It deals with the objective and external world of man. While humanities talks about expression, appreciation perception, personality, heart. It deals with the subjective or internal world of man. Importance Science educates minds, hearts; humanities educates feelings sensitivities so that we may use our things without forgetting that we are human beings. humanizing,’ Salvador Gonzalez says. Furthermore, science alone is not adequate to make man truly humane/educated, humanities is really imperative for humanization. Looking in education system, it prepares us for life’s career (work, work, work) but not for a better life! a life which not living for work alone. Humanities provides man with measure/education of his passion, desire, relation w/ others environment, potentials, and for enjoyment in arts leisure but productive which man will be recreated, fulfilled, creative. But subject’s humble objective is for students to be guided in their encounter with arts, find enjoyment in arts not as antidote for dull, boredom, lone moments but capacity to perceive, understand, appreciate arts, as well as personal artistic discovery. Arts By saying humanities, we simply say were talking of artsOur attitude towards arts may be influenced by these basic assumptions: 1. Art has been created by various people, at all places time. It exists because it is liked enjoyed. It does not grow old. 2. Art is something to be seen, heard 3. Art is the product of man’s imagination, good taste and skill in doing things. 4. Nature is artful, its beauty and artistry could be enhanced. Some philosophers have given up the search for an absolute and eternal definition of art. Although there may be agreement on defining art at any particular place and time, even a cursory look at the history of intellectual thought reveals that people have held quite different views elsewhere and in other periods. Art is always creative, always evolving in style, in purpose, and significantly, in definition. This being the case, art can only have an â€Å"open† definition that specifies the traits that are usually present in those things commonly designated as art, even though no single trait is definitely present in all art. However, in any case, it would be facilitating to have a conceptual definition of art to have a grasp of understanding. Etymologically speaking, arts came from a Latin word ARS which means ability skill . It covers those areas of artistic creativity that seeks to communicate beauty primarily to the senses. It applies to such activities that express aesthetic ideas by use of skill imagination in creation of objects/masterpiece. It talks not only of craftsmanship but also proficiency in performing such activity. Arts is an experienced activity 1) wants to communicate 2) expressing or creating 3) gratification of accomplished work. However, loosely, it’s anything that can be accomplished w/ great skill. Compared to other man’s activities, arts is impractical: it does not meant to meet to the requirements of day to day living, however, by function we say it’s for practical usefulness(functional non functional satisfying. Working Definition of Art Art is the communication of feelings/ideas by sensuous medium fashioned into symbolic language marked by beauty of design coherence of forms. Nature of Ar: 1. Aesthetic value (we always expect an art to be beautiful through our relative perception) 2. man-made (planned activity; not natural ; unburdened/shared feelings ) Medium The very existence of an art style presupposes the existence of a medium in which artworks are executed. Medium refers to the materials/means which the artists used to objectify (express) his/her feelings/thought (pigment, stone, wood, metal, plastic, sound, words, gestures, etc. ). However, these medium have inherent limitations as well as potentials to exploits. Symbolic Language Symbolic language refers to subject; it refers to what the work of art is represented/described. It could be representational or nonrepresentational but there lies the difficulty in assessing the matter. The subject provides the answer to the question: What is the painting or piece of sculpture all about? In painting, subject is no problem if the artist has painted realistically. We can somehow understand an artist’s subject in different levels of meaning through 1. factual 2. conventional meaning 3. subjective meaning. Forms The term forms apply to the over-all design of a work of art. 5 Forms refers to the classification of arts: 1. visual 2. auditory 3. performing 4. literature Michael Harper The Waterbowl EssayIn a long file of things or people, the figures in the distance are smaller than those in the foreground. Object seem to recede in the distance. This is perspective, the distant appearance of an object. 8. Symbols. Artists often include symbolic objects in their paintings. A symbol can be defined as something, which has special meaning or a special message. Artists use them to express such ideas as life, death, hope and faith in God. A painting may have hidden meanings within it as expressed in the symbols the artist uses. 9. Texture. This is the visual appearance of things. In sculpture, this includes the sense of touch that has something to do with the characteristics of surface. It can be rough or smooth, fine or coarse, shiny or dull. In painting, texture represents the skin, clothes, jewelry and other objects of the artists. Styles of Arts According to the Development Men had already appreciated art long before they learned to write. Paintings, believed to have been mastered before the advent of writing are seen on the walls of a certain cave in Cro-Magnon France. This art on the wall has an extreme theme of naturalism. They are reflections of things seen by the haunting cavemen. Most are pictures of wild animals and trees. But as shown further, the development of art in the cave was not left behind by the development of the people from food gathering to food producing. Some paintings contain symbolic elements as modern arts do. There are paintings of fallen leaves to indicate summer, zigzag line probably to indicate mountains or seas and fingers-made stripes may represent the rainbow. 1. Baroque Art It is derived from the word barocco, an ill-shaped pearl. The word can be associated to an overly ornamental thing or person. A person with too much adornment is labeled as Baroque. Curved and zigzag lines, which express vitality and actions, make fit to the standard of baroque art. This art flourished in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. Baroque art rejects straight lines because in art straight lines imply simplicity. 2. Gothic Art This is recognizable by its pointed arches and ribbed vaults. Pointed towers exemplify faith. Every important structure of gothic architecture served to illustrate its upright position. 3. Renaissance Rebirth, or revival of the classics. This is a movement in art that aims at bringing back the classic art of the Greeks and Romans. But artists of this period were still free to integrate their own taste into the classic although features of classism such as balance, harmony, proportions and intellectual orders were the standard of the time. 4. Modern Art Modernization is characterized by the advancement of technology. This technology brought several changes to man’s lifestyle and this lifestyle gave birth to several aristic creations. Some modern arts that came out through recent inventions are photography, industrial arts, cosmetics, and advertising. Cinematography is also an art that emerged together with the modern innovation of man. Methods of Presenting the Art Subjects General Grouping of Painting Generally, painting can be grouped according to its mood of presentation. First, a painting is called abstract when the painter does not show the subject as it appears in reality. The artist shows only his thought and feeling. At first sight of the painting, the meaning is not easily recognized. Other abstract painters present the figures in some recognizable forms but they are presented in a misshapen manner. Secondly, a painting is considered realistic when the subject is presented as it appears in reality. Critics of arts like Aristotle called this style as mimetic or imitation that the work of art exactly appears in reality. Styles in Painting In presenting anything, methods are employed in order to be effective. There are various methods of presenting art. 1. Realism. In art, this is the attempt to portray the subject as it is. Even when the artist chooses a subject from nature, he selects, changes, and rearranges details to express the idea he wants to make clear. Realists try to objective as possible. Here, the artist’s main function is to describe as accurately and honestly as possible what is observed through the senses. We can say that an art or work of art is realistic when the presentation and organization of details in the work seem so natural. Realism is a common way of presenting the art subject. In literature, realism has for its goal the faithful rendering of the objective reality of human life. Since the reality is the necessary raw material of all art, realism has certainly existed since literature began. 2. Abstract/Abstractionism. Abstraction is the process of simplifying or organizing objects and elements according to demands of artistic expression. Abstract: to move away, separate, moves away from showing things as they really are. Abstract presents the subject not as it appears in reality. Abstract art, is a style of painting or sculpture that is non-representational and in which form and color are intended to be appreciated in themselves. The term is generally applied to a distinct style of Western art that developed in the early 20th century and that today is still a central concern of artists and sculptors. There are various types of abstracts, which are as follow. a. Distortion. This is a kind of abstract which natural form is twisted or distorted. There is a misshapen look of the picture presented. A good example of this style is seen in the works of Spanish painter, Salvador Dali. b. Elongation. The character or the object being painted is elongated or extended. This is to emphasize a certain purpose of the painter. The Resurrection by El Greco for instance applied this style to mean that spirit and not the soul goes to heaven. c. Mangling. The object is presented as cut, lacerated, mutilated or hacked. This is not well-used kind of abstractionism. d. Cubism. Abstractionism that stressed through the use of some geometrical shapes such as cylindrical, triangular, spherical and other forms at the expense of the other pictorial elements as in the works of Pablo Picasso. e. Abstract Expressionism. It is a style of abstract painting that originated in New York City after World War II and gained an international vogue. Strong color, heavy impasto, uneven brush strokes, and rough textures are other typical characteristics. Abstract Expressionism departs completely from subject matter, from studied precision, and from any kind of preconceived design. 3. Symbolism. A symbol is a thing or a single object that stands for another thing. It is the visible sign of something invisible such as idea. A flying dove for instance stands for freedom. In painting, the subject is not visible. A sign or an emblem represents it. The objective is to transcend the ordinary sign reality and assumes new and fresh meaning originating from highly personal and even unique association born in the mind of the artist. examples: parables of Jesus, Juan Luna’s Spolarium) Symbolism, use of symbols to convey different meanings. Symbols maybe anything: object, words, colors, or patterns; their defining characteristic is that they stand for something other than their intrinsic property. For instance, while there is nothing intrinsically dangerous about the color red, it has become a symbol for danger in a number of societies. Sy mbols are equally potent in today’s world. For instance, a national flag or anthem, the crucifix, or indeed the color of sports teams can be charged with meaning and emotion. 4. Fauvism. from the French word â€Å"fauves† which means wild beast/animals because of use of uncontrolled, non-natural, and exuberant means. It is a kind of style or movement in painting that is characterized by thick pigment. Fauvism is usually used to express a feeling of joy, comfort or pleasure through extremely Gogh bright colors. A fauvist is too much concerned on the brightness of the colors. Van Gogh’s Starry Night is an example of Fauvism. Fauvism is a relatively short-lived movement in French painting (from about 1898 to about 1908) that revolutionized the concept of color in modern art. The Fauves rejected the Impressionist palette of soft, shimmering tones in favor of the violent colors used by the Post-Impressionist for expressive emphasis. They achieved a poetic energy through vigorous lines, simplified yet dramatic surface pattern, and intense color. 5. Dadaism. Artistic and literary movement reflecting a widespread nihilistic protest against militarism during and after World War I. The term dada, the French word for the hobbyhorse, is said to have been selected at random from a dictionary by the Romanian-born poet, essayist and editor Tristan Tzara. In their efforts to express the negation of all current aesthetic and social values, the Dadaist frequently used artistic and literary methods that were deliberately incomprehensible. Their theatrical performances and manifestos were often designed to shock or bewilder, with the aim of startling the public into a reconsideration of accepted aesthetic values. To this end, the Dadaist used novel materials, including discarded objects found in the streets, and new methods, such as allowing chance to determine the elements of their works. The German painter and writer Kurt Schwitters was noted for his collages composed of waste papers and similar materials. The French artist Marcel Duchamp exhibited as works of art ordinary commercial products – such as a store-bought bottle rack and urinal – which he called ready-mades. Although Dadaist employed revolutionary techniques, their revolt against standards was based on a profound belief, stemming from Romantic tradition, in the essential goodness of humanity when corrupted by society. Dadaism as a movement declined in the 1920s, and some of its practitioners became prominent in other modern-art movements, notably Surrealism. 6. Futurism. Early 20th – century movement in art that pointedly rejected all traditions and attempted instead to glorify contemporary life, mainly by emphasizing its two dominant themes, the machine and motion. The principles of Futurism were laid down by the Italian poet Flippo Tommaso Marinetti and published by him in a manifesto in 1909. Movies such as Star Wars, Time Machine and others picture out something in the future. The same thing is portrayed in the paintings. It exalts success in technology. Subject includes supersonic trains, jets, modern houses and anything that relates to the importance of modernization. 7. Surrealism. A movement in literature and fine arts, founded by the French poet and critic Andre Breton. Surrealism grows directly out of Dada, an art and literary movement reflecting nihilistic protest against all aspects of Western culture. Like Dadaism, surrealism emphasized the role of the unconscious in creative activity, but it employed the psychic unconscious in a more orderly and more serious manner. Surrealism is a style in presenting art by fantastic or incongruous imagery produced by unnatural combinations. Surreal means intense irrationality or beyond natural. It emphasizes activities of the subconscious mind. In other words, surrealism pictures out images in a form of a dream. Surrealism creates forms and images not by reason but by impulse, blind feeling. It attempts to show what inside man’s mind as well as appearance of the outside world. 8. Expressionism. This was a European method that flourished in the first decade of the twentieth century. In this method, the artist has a freedom to consider his personal style in presenting his subject or expressing his thought or feeling. Types of Painting / Medium of the Visual Arts Throughout the history of art, a variety of supports and tools have been used to create paintings. Here are the characteristics of several types of painting: 1. Water Color. As the word suggests, it is a combination of coloring materials and water. It is the most commonly used medium of painting particularly among school children because it is easy to use and is readily available in stores. 2. Oil. Oil-based paints produce glossy products. It slowly dries. Oil paint consists of ground pigments mixed with linseed oil vehicle and turpentine medium or thinner. Oil painting is slow in drying and allows corrections or working over. Drying can be facilitated with various agents added to the basis mixture. Since its development near the beginning of the 15th century, oil has gained popularity due to the variety of opportunities it gives to the painter. It presents many options for textural manipulation and is durable. 3. Tempera. It is one of the old mediums that persisted through the ages. It was well used before oil was adopted. Its mineral coloring is a mixture of egg yolks and ore. This medium is usually applied to a wooden panel that is made very plain with plaster called gesso. This type of painting was popular for centuries but is rarely used today. In egg tempera, ground pigments are mixed with vehicle of egg yolk and thinned with water. Tempera was the exclusive painting medium of artists during the middle ages. In the 1300’s, oil paint was invented in Northern Europe which led to the decline of tempera. If applied to a properly prepared surface, tempera is extremely durable. It can possibly attain pure and brilliant colors. Also the consistency and fluidity of the mixture allow great deal of precision. Tempera painting is usually done in a wooden panel that has been made smooth with a plaster coating. The pigment is mixed with egg yolk and dries quickly, thus there is a little blending or fusing of colors. 4. Pastel. This is a stick paste made of powdered pigment. It looks like a crayon and it is applied like a crayon. Although it is readily available and very easy to use, it does not attract the attention of the artists because its finished product is difficult to preserve. Pastel color closely resembles dry pigment. It possesses only surface light and does not give glazed effect. The pigments used in tempera may be used for pastel. The pigment is bound in order to form a crayon which is applied directly to the surface which is usually paper. Painting paper, pasteboard or canvass is used as support for pastel painting. Pastel is a flexible medium which may produce varied effects. However, pastel has not become very popular medium, maybe because no one has yet discovered the way to preserve its original freshness. The chalk tends to rub off and the picture loses some of its brilliance. 5. Fresco. It is taken from the word fresh, the art of painting on fresh plaster. This medium flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries. Michel Angelo’s Sistine chapel and Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper are examples of fresco painting. Fresco is the art of painting on plaster. Buon Fresco, or true fresco is applied on damp lime plaster; Fresco Secco is painting on dry plaster. In Buon Fresco, the pigments are mixed only with water and the lime of the plaster wall acts as a binder. As the wall dries, the painted image on it becomes permanent. The fresco secco, the pigments are combined with a vehicle of glue that affixes the color to the dry wall. Fresco painting also poses some problems one of which is the fact that the artist is limited to only what he can finish in one day since the paint must be applied to fresh, damp plaster. For this reason, large fresco paintings are composed of small sections, each has been painted in a day. The sections must be arranged in such a way that the joints will not be obvious, yet sometimes it is not possible to do so. Another problem is that there are some pigments that do not form chemical bonds with lime, thus, making these pigments unsuitable to the medium. Such lime resistance limits the artist’s palette and can make tonal transitions difficult. The Sistine Chapel in Rome is magnificently decorated with paintings by Michael Angelo. The series of frescoes continue to be one of the world’s greatest achievements in art. 6. Acrylic. It is a paint which adhesive element is acrylic resin. Contemporary artist use it because of its quick drying characteristic. Its good quality is that it preserves the freshness of the art through the years. Acrylic paint is a mixture of pigment and a vehicle that can be thinned with water. Unlike linseed oil, the synthetic resin of the binder dries colorless and does not compromise the brilliance of the colors. Also unlike oil paint, acrylic can be used in various surfaces that do not need special preparations. It is flexible and past drying, and it is water soluble, it requires no flammable substances for use or clean up. Acrylics constitute modern synthetic products and use an acrylic polymer as a binding agent.