26 Oct Instructions Course Project, Part 1: We have covered almost 150 years of American literature and American Civil Rights. For this project you have the freedom to explore any writer or time
Course Project, Part 1:
We have covered almost 150 years of American literature and American Civil Rights. For this project you have the freedom to explore any writer or time period/movement that we have covered in this class. I encourage you to revisit your journals for ideas. The topic must be focused with a specific thesis. No more than 20% of the JOURNAL should be quotes and paraphrasing. The focus must be on your own ideas, analysis, reactions to the writer or literature. You must refer to and quote from at least two (2) pieces of writing in your JOURNAL from this class.
Include the following:
- Topic (a specific statement. Eg. I plan to write an analysis of the impact of And the Band Played on on the American government’s response to the AIDS crisis or “I want to explore how Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle continues to impact worker and animal rights in America today.”
- Thesis: Write a 1-2 sentence statement of the main point of idea of your project.
Sample Thesis: Upton Sinclair's focus on immigrant labor abuses is an essential document for support of a $15 Federal minimum wage increase.
- Write a short outline of the major points you will cover (how you will support your thesis).
Write the outline in outline format. Include a topic sentence and 2-3 points you will cover in each body paragraph.
- Identify 3 scholarly sources (cite in MLA format) and explain how these sources will support your thesis.
ART AND SOCIETY 1
Art and Society
ART AND SOCIETY 2
Art and Society
Art is not a major requirement in making social change but it is able to bring
greater changes. The presence of arts increases the community identity and social
wellbeing. The artists create works that are meant to address the social issues and the
changes the way the world perceives certain aspects. The artwork can take any form as
long as it enhances and ignites the outrage and the demands of change by providing
the society with an opportunity to reflect, collaborate and to build the community. For
this assignment, the three articles considered include “The Jungle,” “The Souls of Black
Folk,” and “Native Son.”
“The Jungle” is an article that was written to expose the conditions the
immigrants face when they are living and working. The main aim of Upton Sinclair
was to bring change for the immigrants since they were experiencing poor working
and living conditions and environments (Sinclair, 2011). The focus of change was on
the meat packaging industry where unsafe practices were reported with companies
supplying rotten canned beef to the U.S Army during war. It is the work of Upton
Sinclair that made the people to understand about the unsanitary and dangerous
practices that were happening in the meat packing industry. The changes that
ART AND SOCIETY 3
happened during this time are still in place today. Although there are changes in laws
that have been added and changed with time, the immigrants are still faced with the
problem of poor working conditions. Upton Sinclair wanted to change the situation
with the immigrants but his work changed other aspects.
The “Native Son” speaks about the stereotypical role forced on the people of
color. There are many stereotypes that have been forced on to different people where
they are considered to be angry and violent. Richard Wright speaks about a 20-year old
boy Bigger Thomas who was living in poverty and tries to explain the systemic
causation of the causes of crimes (Wright, 2016). Through the work of the author, the
aspect of discrimination for the people of color. The background in which Bigger grew
in affected the person he became when he was an adult and therefore, this work was
meant to enhance the knowledge of proper upbringing. Receiving hard treatment and
finding it difficult to get out of the situation makes a person to change and affects the
type of person one turns out to be.
W.E.B Du Bois’s on the article, “The Souls of Black Folk” uses different essays to
explain the struggles, historical narrative and the attacks that happened on the other
writers. The psychological struggles of racism affected the African Americans
ART AND SOCIETY 4
especially from their background in Africa and when they arrived in America (Shaw,
2013). The work of the author uses effective language to create awareness about the
negative effects of racism. The life of the African Americans under slavery was a major
cause of the oppression the people were facing. By examining the impact of slavery
and morality created awareness on how the history of Negro in America and how this
history is not uninteresting to the people.
In conclusion, the authors used their sense of art to accomplish through the
writing. They were able to bring into light some of the bad things that were happening
in order to prevent the occurrence of the same in the future years. They wanted to
share a version of stereotyping that was occurring in the society and be able to push
them away. Thus, art is a unique aspect because it is able to push the limits and to blur
the lines that exist between the fiction and fact. The art is able to bring changes in the
views of the society.
ART AND SOCIETY 5
Shaw, S. J. (2013). WEB Du Bois and the souls of black folk. UNC Press Books.
Sinclair, U. (2011). from The Jungle. Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts,
5(1), 1-11. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/462926/summary
Wright, R. (2016). Native son. Random house.
Queer People and HIV and AIDS
The society has passed through a period of lack of understanding when it comes to the
AIDS pandemic. The two articles Rent and 1,112 and Counting are a representation of the
myths that existed about AIDS and how the knowledge of this disease resulted to
marginalization of the people due to lack of cure. However, the people living with the disease
were accommodating to each other and could fall in love. These two articles analyze the
disease that was associated with a particular group of people and caused lack of
understanding even in the medical team. However, they help to demystify the myths that
surrounded the people and increase knowledge sharing. The analysis will compare and
contrast the themes of stigmatization and support for people living with AIDS.
AIDS was a disease that caused massive deaths in different places. However, in 1,112
and Counting the highest levels of discrimination were on the gay people. The disease was
shown to be killing this group more and spreading faster. It is due to the spread of the disease
that the hospitals saw a decline in efficient care for the patients. There was also lack of
understanding of how the disease was spread. The gay people were thought to have been
greatly affected due to their sexual behaviors as the straight people were shown to be less
affected. Due to this statistic, the interventions on research were limited and many gay people
continued to face a threat to extinction with little interventions (Larry 15). In Rent, there was
indefinite discrimination with some people preferring to commit suicide when they were
diagnosed with AIDS. However, amongst the major characters, there was an effective living
with knowledge of the disease. Roger and Mimi know that they have AIDS but they choose to
fall in love with each other. With the knowledge of the disease, Roger decides that it is best to
avoid the relationship with Mimi in order to prevent burdening her with his baggage
(BroadwayInHD). Thus, in Rent, there is reduced stigmatization of the people living with HIV
and AIDS compared to 1,122 and Counting.
Supporting people living with AIDS is one way of making them believe in a just society.
The 1,122 and Counting shows a situation where the society is not supporting in actions of
enhancing the understanding of the disease and how it can be prevented since it was affecting
the gay people negatively. Kramer explained that since majority of the people who were
affected by AIDS were gay, there was limited response from the government. The Mayor of
New York was also silent as the disease was increasingly killing the gay people (Larry 18). The
exception however, would have been made in the case of the straight people having been
affected. However, in the case of Rent, the support the people get from around them is massive
even after learning they are HIV positive. The characters held together to the end even after
knowing some were infected and bisexual.
Schulman presents the problem she has which is the recycling of ideas on HIV and
AIDS with people presenting them as their invented ideas. She believed that Rent did a poor
depiction of AIDS and does not get it right with the queer people (Schulman 17). Although Rent
tries to show the societal aspect of HIV and AIDS there are many instances that show these
people as distinguished or bisexual. Mark and Roger however, commands most musical focus
and the latter is straight. However, it is Roger and two other queer characters that have HIV
but it is Angel who is a Trans who dies while Roger lives on. The bias represented is that the
queer community is majorly at a higher risk of death from HIV.
BroadwayInHD, “RENT,” (Nov 17, 2016)
Larry, Kramer's “Historic Essay: AIDS At 30: 1,112 and Counting,” New York Native, Issue 59,
(March 14, 1983)
Schulman, Sarah. Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the marketing of gay America. Duke
University Press, 1998.
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