My Writing Humanities 101

I decided I wanted to post the essay’s I’ve done since being at school. I can see the progress from when I started to now. These are my humanities essay’s.

Stephanie Morante 

18 January 2021 

When is someone asked what the principles of humanities are? They usually respond with a person’s character and ethics towards those around them and work. Most do not realize that humanities are based around “…not only inspiring achievements in themselves but also the study of those achievements…” (Janaro, Richard Paul., and Thelma C. Altshuler 4). Scholars and critics study those achievements in detail to try and have a better understanding of those in our histories. They question not only the basic of questions but the philosophies that have been recorded and spoken. The arts are in many different forms, such as painting, music, dance, theatre, sculpture, architecture, and literature. The mythologies, origins of humanity, the meaning to life, and religions of the world and the stories surrounding them. They do what they can to educate themselves to analyze the better who is, what is, and how is. Scholars and critics do what they can to help those around them to understand those questions better.  “…not only evaluates but serves as a teacher to those of us without substantial backgrounds in a particular art form” (Janaro, Richard Paul., and Thelma C. Altshuler 29).  

To learn about humanities is to not only have a better understanding of people but also of history. Through humanities such as religions, we learn about the customs of cultures. Some teach how to deal with suffering and pain. While others tell say who is and is not of purity because they do not follow their beliefs, they are sinners and punished. While those who follow the same belief system, if they do not follow it the way it is written in the text of the recording for that religion, they could have been punished in history. For instance, women have been persecuted for being witches after the writings of The Witches Hammer (Arpin 14). Most people would not take a rational or critical way of looking at those who were being persecuted; instead, they followed their superstitions and beliefs without question. “Part of critical thinking is being aware of our biases. This does not mean not having opinions, it means having a healthy awareness of biases.” (Arpin 15).  

Humanities have shaped our histories through the ages in our societies, and most do not realize it. The teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Leonardo De Vinci have been prominent. However, many do not think about Shakespear and his many plays, and Aeschylus play The Oresteia and being the first courtroom drama played out where the accused is acquitted. Friedrich Nietzsche’s book The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music, “…for making the famous distinction between…” Apollonian and Dionysian (Janaro, Richard Paul., and Thelma C. Altshuler 18-19). Apollonian engages with the rational side of a person’s thoughts to be critical and rational with what is portrayed. Whereas Dionysian engages with the emotional side of a person’s thoughts, it creates feelings and emotion with what is being portrayed. Through these lessons, people better-understood empathy in many different art forms. It gave people an understanding of how to portray their work to the public better.  

People have been learning about humanities and seeking them out without realizing it. Many do not realize that humanities are the arts, philosophies, mythologies, works of literature, religious texts, dramas, music, dance, and many other art forms that make the studies of humanities. For someone to educate themself on the subject is to become more aware of the lessons, the scholars and philosophers wanted and continue to teach. It is to become more aware of what a person is experiencing to take it in and analyze it. To find beauty in something that others push aside. Humanities can help pave the way for a person to see the world around them in a whole new light and with more understanding. 

Janaro, Richard Paul., and Thelma C. Altshuler. The Art of Being Human: The Humanities as a Technique for Living. 10th ed., Pearson, 2012. 

Arpin. An Introduction to The Humanities: PowerPoint. Introduction To Humanities 101, 2021.  

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I’m going to do diamond paintings, and I’m hoping to work on them an hr a night. I’ve also been coloring in adult coloring books and using that to better my skills with colored pencils. I want to be better at shading, blending, and creating texture with them. I do try to do at least a picture every couple of days. I think it takes me about 4 hrs to finish a picture.  I’m hoping to try to do some drawing, but I’ll see if I have time to work on that during the week. 

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Stephanie Morante 

1 February 2021 

Francisco de Goya painted this painting, known as The Third of May. In 1808 during the Napoleon invasion in Spain, the French invaded Spain in the first decade of the nineteenth century(Janaro, Richard Paul., and Thelma C. Altshuler 124). Goya remained employed in the royal court, but his reputation decreased. It was not until “after the restoration of Ferdinand VII in 1814, Goya was exonerated from the charge of having ‘accepted employment from the usurper’ by claiming he had not worn the medal awarded him by the French. He painted for the King two paintings, one of which is known as The Third of May, 1808” (Maria 50). Those were not his only creations of the brutality during the invasion of the French he did, “equally dramatic. Even more savage and macabre are the sixty-five etchings Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War, 1810-14) – nightmare scenes depicting atrocities committed by both French and Spanish. They were not published until 1863, 35 years after his death”(Maria 50). 

He created it with oil on a canvas with the measurements of 266 x 345cm. The art is communicating intense brutality from soldiers to civilians during the war between Spain and France. The victims may have been pleading for their lives or froze with terror. The man was holding his arms up in wide-eyed terror, with an almost resigned expression. As though the pleas he was doing wasted on deaf ears. 

Though, looking at the soldiers, their heads are down. It is as if they are following orders, as though they too do not get to choose. Francisco de Goya used chiaroscuro and Rembrandtian, from how he used light and dark contrasts. He made sure to bring the victims forward and more prominent than the soldiers who are more in the shadows. It was a way to ensure that the eye went to the more prominent area. People tend to look at what catches their eye, usually the most prominent piece of an artist’s work. Without realizing it, Goya used colors that are “hot color shades such as Red and Orange which have a high impact on people” (Patil 69) psychologically today. He also used yellow tones, which “are more visible and tend to make objects look larger and closer. They are easier to focus upon” (Patil 70). Goya made sure that the focus was on the victims with the bold colors used. The victim’s arms are held in the air to show he is not fighting back. People around the man are crying. The fear in their faces is prominent as well as poignant.  

It told the horrors of the invasion, and it did cause shock to the people who saw it. He thought that people did not understand the horrors of the invasion, especially the new government, from reading. He wanted to show the truth to them in a blunt way. To show them the horrors of what people endured during that time. Art tends to tell a beautiful truth or a hideous reality that people would not think about in their day to day lives. He knew that later in his life and made sure to show it the only way he knew how, with his art, even though his later works were considered “…downright unpleasant, in not hideous, too many viewers” (Janaro, Richard Paul., and Thelma C. Altshuler 125). He lost his hearing and was completely deaf physically, but he heard what he saw around him. Many thought he had lost his mind last in his life, especially after seeing his black paintings. His most known black painting is called “Saturn Devouring One of His Children,” painted in 1819-23 on Plaster; it then mounted on canvas, 146 x 83 cm. 

I wanted to include the painting “Saturn Devouring One of His Children” as reference since I mentioned it.

Citations 

Francisco de Goya. The Third of May, 1808. 1814. Artstor, library-artstor-org.ezproxy.ccs.spokane.edu/asset/LESSING_ART_1039490451 

Francisco de Goya. Saturn Devouring One of his Sons. 1820-1823. Artstor, library.artstor.org/asset/LESSING_ART_1039490446 

Janaro, Richard Paul., and Thelma C. Altshuler. The Art of Being Human: The Humanities as a Technique for Living. 10th ed., Pearson, 2012. 

Maria Peitcheva. Goya: Drawings 177 Colour Plates. Peitcheva. Kindle Edition. 

Michalak, Jacek. 122 Color Paintings of Francisco Goya – Spanish Romantic Painter (March 30, 1746 – April 16, 1828). Unknown. Kindle Edition. 

Patil, Daivata. “Coloring consumer’s psychology using different shades the role of perception of colors by consumers in consumer decision making process: A micro study of select departmental stores in Mumbai city, India.” Journal Of Business & Retail Management Research 7.1 (2012): 60-73. 

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My caption is “Healer.” 

I’m calling it healer because when I got this furball (who I named Yuki), my dog had passed away in April 2019, the month before. I had no intentions of adopting any animals; I just wanted to be around some, so I went to the humans’ society to hold the cats. Going in there, the cats were so cute I walked around petting and holding then I came to him. He was pawing at me and kept grabbing my coat. I just fell in love. Without realizing my mom fell in love with a kitten, and we turned around at the same time and said, in unison, “I want this one!” I took 3 pictures of him when he says his good mornings every day. He’s the first one I see and talk to every day, which has been huge lately with my marriage falling apart and filling for divorce this past month. He’s healed me more than he knows. 

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There was a paper in between these that I didn’t end up doing and turning in. This was the most intense part of February when I had to do this paper on music.

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For my “art pursuit,” I did my first diamond painting kit. It was enjoyable to do. I did two pictures one is the scenery and the other is of Jesus and Mary that I gifted to my friend’s mom. I found doing this very relaxing to do. I got my mother into doing it too. I actually got back into writing, and I put the coloring on the side for the time being. I know I said I was doing the coloring pages to learn shading and textures with colored pencils. Though in December, I’ve been writing down a world I’ve been creating since I was 10, and I never wrote it down. I’m becoming quite passionate about writing it down and learning the process of creative writing. 

I have BPD. I would disassociate and go to that world a lot. Now I’m trying to stay in this one. My way to do that is to write down that world and stop hiding it. Then close the door for good and move onto the future. I want to put a couple of quotes from a character I created. When I learned about civil rights and Gandhi as a child. I’ve been working on this character named Ralph for the past month. I have shown these quotes of his to friends and family. I just thought it would be nice to share it here since literature is also part of humanities.  

To give some context, this is from a critical person who shapes the views and feelings of the future king to this world whose father is mad, to say the least. I do have a description of the prince’s father and the type of person he is on my site Vasska the Mad King (Links to an external site.).   

Here are the quotes, 

Ralph, Remus’s father, said, ” That without those two things, people are treated as nothing more than animals or objects. They all have feelings, physical and emotional, like you. To take a person for granted, if to disrespect them and the life God gave them. It’s like during the vast hunt in the fall that all the men go for, they ask God to be granted permission to have the lives of those animals in return for food. That is showing respect for God’s creation, and a person is also his creation; they too deserve respect and integrity. Never forget to have God’s compassion for his creations because he had compassion as he created their lives; that is why they live and breathe. That is why they have a heartbeat, their heart holds their soul, and it’s the most vital part of a person in order to live.”  

“To give people hope is to give them reasons for life and to provide for their families. Understand they are deserving of compassion and understanding. that they won’t work or fight for you unless you do so for them. Show them empathy, not sympathy because empathy shows you’re willing to feel their pain with them, and to show sympathy is to show pity onto them. Treat them as you would your beloved creator who gave you this life.” Ralph told the boys during their evening meal as they discussed their daily lessons. 

I’m relearning writing now. I’m so used to technical writing I forget the complexities and rules for creative writing that I learned in middle school. It’s been a roller coaster relearning it. Though, more emotional to write it out and share it. I hope it’s okay that I’m sharing this along with my diamond painting. 

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Psycho – Alfred Hitchcock

1. What was the message being delivered if there was one?

2. How did the cinematics and special effects come across on screen?

3. Did it urge people to start a conversation outside of the movie?

Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho was an intriguing and first of its kind when it came out. When he released it there were few psychological thrillers out if at all. He showed that not all monsters are hideous ugly creatures; sometimes they are the person who lives next door. The person who you lease suspect to be a killer. He gave Norman Bates an interesting personality but also a realistic one in terms of a psychological personality disorder. He was also inspired by the story of the killer Ed Gein, who would dress as his mother and portray her in his home after her death. Though, he did not kill as many people as portrayed by Norman Bates. He was known to only to of confessed to 2 murders from the documentary World’s Most Evil Killers. Hitchcock took parts of Gein’s story and used it to portray and give personality to Norman Bates. It was a movie that made people really think and realize that you really do not know who a person is just by looking at them. 

Watching the movie, the most iconic part of it is the music. Everyone who knows this movie knows the music to it. When I told my family and friends, I was doing my analyses on Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho they all did the slashing of the knife in the shower and made the sound from the scene. I have always found it fascinating that Hitchcock did not use traditional methods for fake blood, he used chocolate syrup. It was more cost effective, but it also gave the right consistency in the shower scene. The sequence in the shower scene is the most known one, but my favorite one is the ending. Where they are in the police station and the camera is on Norman and there is a voice over, but the voice is his mother’s. It shows that he has a double personality and split into one that portrays his mother. To the point he thinks as her with her voice. I found it an intriguing part of it because it makes me want to look more into those personality disorders and see if that’s how people with that disorder think.  

In the beginning of the movie, they show Mary Crane so innocent and nice but when she steals the money it is unexpected. When people think of a thief, they picture someone in all black a mask and with a gun, not a blonde woman who looks like she is just running the days errands. Again, this way of showing the character in this way, a very nontraditional version of a thief, makes people start to talk about it. It raises those questions that most people do not think about. I have always loved how the camera would zoom in and out of on the scene in these movies. Along with they focus on the actors faces and body, it really showed the tension they had to portray especially in the thriller suspenseful movies such as this one. I would have found the driving part boring if they did not put in the inner monolog of Mary Crane while she was on the run with the $40,000. It gives a more Indepth look at her thoughts and feelings as she is on the run.  

Hitchcock made sure to portray Norman Bates as an innocent person but shows him get nervous when asked questions by the private investigator. Especially when the investigator wants to question his mother, that is when the part of his brain that is programmed to act like his mother was triggered. Since it is after that when Norman Bates attacks the investigator dressed as his mother. I know a great deal of people refer to the acting of that period being very over dramatic, but it gave a better feel to it. Not because of them not having the effects, but because Hitchcock wanted to make a movie that was low budget and would intrigue people with the storyline. He was not worrying about the fancy affects he wanted to create something that was realistic with this movie. He wanted people to be thrilled or scared by watching this movie and have them talking about it. It was to create an intense story but also one of a kind, something that had not been done before. He did it with this movie, many directors follow and look to Alfred Hitchcock for inspiration for their thriller movies. He did not do it just to do it, he wanted to create a piece of art and he succeeded at it.  

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There you have it, this is the writing I did for humanities this quarter. I’m one of the weird ones who pick the writing intensive courses. I like to write, it’s something I thoroughly enjoy.

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