For this second essay assignment, you are asked to write a 4-5 page essay about one of the topics below (or choose your own topic). This paper also requires extensive use of the text; at least one outside source; and the incorporation of an artwork in your discussion.
What to include in your essay:
You will need to incorporate at least three quotations from the text (that is: Ibsen or Woolf). In addition, you need to use ONE outside source, either in the form of a quotation or a paraphrase (which is in addition to the three quotes, above). You must cite according to MLA guidelines and there must be a works cited page, which will include both the primary text and your outside source. I also ask that you incorporate one of the artworks from the periods (realism/impressionism/post-impressionism/modernism) and discuss how the topic you’ve chosen relates to the artist’s portrayal of the ideals from this period. For example, realistic paintings, in general, aimed at an accurate, detailed portrayal of contemporary life. How does the text you’ve chosen compare/contrast with an artwork from the period? You may look at the Powerpoints on Blackboard and choose one these paintings, or you might use one of the artists listed in the Powerpoint and discuss a painting not discussed in the presentation.
As with all papers, this paper should be double-spaced, and your last name should appear in the upper right corner along with the page number. Your name, my name, class, and date should appear in the upper left corner: on the first page only. The title should be centered above the essay. There is no title page in MLA.
When talking about an artwork, the best place to begin is with a visual description of the piece. Describe the artwork as well as the methods and materials used. How was the painting made? Is it oil or tempera on panel, or oil on canvas? In terms of composition: is the composition symmetrical or asymmetrical? Are rhythms created by the repetition of shapes and colors or by the relationship of lines and forms to each other? Where is your gaze directed to? Shapes: are certain shapes used more than others? Do particular types of lines dominate (long horizontal lines; soft, flowing curves; short choppy strokes)? Color: describe the organization and intensity of colors. Are the colors bold or is there a gradual transition of color? Is color used to focus your attention on particular parts of the composition? Light: From which direction does the light fall into the picture? Brushwork: is it visible? Movement: do any of the above factors contribute to a sense of movement or stillness? Point of view: Has the artist established a particular point of view? If yes, where is the viewer situated in relation to the forms in the painting: hovering over the landscape, looking up from below, gazing from eye level? Interpretation – consider the following: What was the original purpose of the work? How do you think the above formal elements shaped the original viewer’s response to the work? How do they convey its message/meaning/mood? What was the artist trying to say?
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