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WTH is Humanities?

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What exactly is Humanities?

What was once known as the “Classics”

a study of art, literature and philosophy and of what great artists, writers, and philosophers have accomplished to understand what it means to be a human being and thinker

Critically engaging in cultural artifacts, languages, customs and traditions to understand human experiences and condition

The Gifts of Humanites

Beauty

Beautiful Movement

Language

Ideas

Deeper sense of the past

Beauty

A pleasing arrangement of parts that affects us.

Beauty is determined by two things:

Aesthetic pleasure-the pleasure that beauty inspires

The feeling you feel when you see that special someone

Rightness-when the arrangements of particular parts of something are pleasing

A subjective interpretation of something’s attractiveness

Still, beauty is determined both by personal appeal and cultural standards

Beautiful Movement

we find aesthetic pleasure in not just watching others but also in participating to the best of our abilities.

Example-

You may not be a good skilled dancer, but you will still go out dancing with friends or dance around the house because it makes you feel goof

You may not be able to sing, but singing is something we all enjoy

Language

through language we make ourselves understood to others

We acquire models to make people take more, to provide recognition

Languages can be manipulated to the point that it connects us all

Everyday speech is just as important

Who doesn’t know what LOL means?

Ideas

words are the means by which we think

“The Mind” when people speak of it is generally where ideas are formulated and stored

We all think differently

This is why some of us are better at math than writing papers, some can read music and some can freestyle of the top of their head

Deeper Sense of Past

the realized human being is an accumulation of what has gone before and how that affects the present

These experiences help each of us to better understand what living is all about

The Humanities are reason why we still enjoy Shakespeare, why we still ponder over the Mona Lisa, why Classical music influences Hip Hop

Literalist v. Figuratist

Literalist

Non-critical person whose language reflects a concern for the immediate moment

what is happening or being viewed as relates to the self.

What is literally meant

Figuratist

A critical thinker whose use of language is characteristically colorful, often playful, filled with metaphors

suggest a greater interest in the general than in just the particular.

What is represented

How to Approach?

Apollonian

disciplined, analytical, rational, and coherent

responds by seeking meaning

What we think about something

Dionysian

emotional, intuitive, freedom from limits

responds emotionally

How we feel about something

Empathy and Alienation

Alienation

Used to describe the ideal, non emotional state in which the viewer is best able to derive the authors’ message.

Just the facts

Don’t feel, just think

Very Apollonian in nature

Empathy

The quality of identifying with another, becoming, in a sense, that person and being involved in his or her problems.

Put yourself in their shoes

Don’t think, just feel

“A Dionysian trick of our nature.”

Being an Infinite Person

commits no crimes against humanity

No longer preoccupied with self

free of rigid prejudices

Free to exercise whatever so long as everyone else can too

does not jump to conclusions

Views all sides before passing judgement

Critical Thinking

becoming objective in how we evaluate what we see, read, or hear

separating rational and emotional responses to make an informed response

delaying a final judgment until we have all the data.

Doing so sharpens the mind and helps us approach life issues from all perspectives

The Importance of Responding Critically

When we think critically about anything, do the following 6 things:

Define what we want to determine

Acknowledge emotional responses

Collect information and consider all factors

Evaluate topic in proper context

Accept characters unlike you

Form an opinion with evidence to back it up

Context

the framework of circumstances, background, or environment of which a given work is understood

historical context is the influence that the ideas, values, and styles of a particular time have on a society, work of art, or philosophy.

Context ALWAYS matters, so ALWAYS consider it\

Characters/Archetypes

Character

A person or other being in a narrative work

May be entirely fictional or based on a real-life person

Guide readers through their stories, helping them to understand plots and ponder themes

Type

A character who stands as a representative of a particular class or group of people

Think “stereotype” or “archetype”

The study of a character requires analyzing relationships with other characters

Status defined through the network of oppositions

Stock Character

Special kind of character who is instantly recognizable to most readers

They are ‘stock’ or ‘typecast’ or ‘stereotypical’ characters

Examples include:

the ruthless businessman

the shushing old, white-haired librarian

the dumb jock or blonde

They are not focus characters nor are they developed in the story; only fulfill background or filler roles

Flat Characters

Two-dimensional characters that are relatively uncomplicated

Can be described in a single sentence

no depth and not given much information on them

Stock characters are prime examples of flat characters

Round Characters

Complex figures with many different characteristics

Most like real people since they undergo development

Described in depth, with many details

The main character in a story is almost always round.

If you are reading a story where you know a character well, then most likely the character is round

Static/Dynamic

Dynamic characters

a person who changes over time, usually as a result of resolving a central conflict or facing a major crisis

tend to be central rather than peripheral characters

resolving the conflict is their major role

Static characters

someone who does not change over time

his or her personality does not transform or evolve.

remain the same throughout

How to determine?

Look closely at your character at the beginning and end of the story :

How does the character feel about him/her/itself? Do the answers to the questions changed?

How does the character act towards others?

What is the character’s goal?

Internal Change distinguished the difference between Static and Dynamic

a change in his/her personality

a change in his/her outlook on life

a change in his/her values

a change in the nature of the character.

Hero/Heroine

A character who combats misfortune through feats of skill, bravery or strength

Often sacrifices personal concerns for greater good and often celebrated through legends

The Hero’s Journey consists of three separate stages

Departure

the call to adventure (which they may initially refuse)

Initiation

a road of trials, achieving a realization about themselves (or an apotheosis), having a moment of clarity (anagnorisis)

Return.

attaining the freedom to live through their quest or journey

Examples: Gilgamesh, Beowulf, Jesus, Joan of Arc, 911 heroes, Superman

Tragic Hero

flawed individuals who commit, without evil intent, great wrongs or injuries

Misfortune often followed by tragic realization of the true nature of events that led to this destiny

Originating from Greek tragedy, must evoke in the audience a sense of pity or fear

Examples

Oedipus Rex

Anakin Skywalker

Michael Corleone of the Godfather trilogy (depending on who you ask)

Anti-Hero or Heroine/Bad Boy or Girl

A protagonist who lacks conventional heroic qualities

Not necessarily ideal, courageous, or moral

May sometimes do the right thing but maybe not for the right reasons

Often acting primarily out of self-interest

Emerged as a foil to the traditional hero archetype

Examples

Deadpool

Django

Walter from Breaking Bad

The bad boy/girl is a extension

a person who behaves badly, especially within societal norms.

irresistible rogue

More romantic or sexual overtones

Other Hero Types

Reluctant Hero

ordinary person required to rise to heroism, or an extraordinary person forced to use abilities to benefit greater good

Example: Hancock

Folk Hero

real, fictional or mythological figure who has imprinted their name, personality and deeds in popular consciousness Example: Davy Crockett

Culture Hero

mythic hero specific to a cultural, ethnic or religious group who changes the world through invention or discovery

Example: Prometheus who “discovered” fire in Greek Mythology

Other Hero Types

Romantic Hero

rejects established norms, puts self at center of own existence; focus on thoughts rather than actions

Example: Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter

Action Hero

protagonist of an action film or other entertainment which portrays action and adventure

Example: anybody Liam Neeson plays

Superhero

Possess supernatural(human) powers, dedicated to fighting crime, protecting the public, and battling supervillains

Example: Wonder Woman

Foil

a character that highlights out contrasting qualities of another character

usually contrasts with the protagonist

usually either differs dramatically or is extremely similar but with a key difference setting them apart

may also be used to portray a difference between two things

a subplot can be used as a foil to the main plot

Example:

If you look at Victor Frankenstein and compare him to the monster, his foil, who is really the monster?

Villain

an “evil” character in a story who tends to have a negative effect on other characters

usually the antagonist (though can be the protagonist)

function in the dual role of adversary and foil to hero

Adversary-serves as an obstacle the hero must struggle to overcome.

Foil-exemplifies characteristics that are creating a contrast distinguishing heroic traits from villainous ones

“Sympathetic” villains-ALMOST like anti-heroes

may wish to make the world a better place but go to antagonistic lengths to do so (like Mr. Freeze)

may employ a code of honor in fighting his enemies, even if it is to achieve antagonistic goals (like Dexter)

may be pushed to antagonistic lifestyles by society’s mistreatment of him (like Derek in American History X)

may include those manipulated by malevolent and opprobrious forces (like Jack Torrance in The Shining)

Everyman

an ordinary individual who is often placed in extraordinary circumstances

not in the same way as the reluctant hero as protagonist is not necessarily a “hero”

react realistically in situations that are often taken for granted by traditional heroes

not necessarily a round or a dynamic character

the audience or reader is supposed to be able to identify easily

audience imagine selves in the same situation without possessing knowledge, skills, or abilities that excel potential

may project themselves into this character, if no dominant characteristic of prevents them from doing so

may be used as a narrator or to fill in temporal gaps in the flow of a story

Straight Man

stock character in a comedy performance

responds to comedic antics with a transition from poise to outrage or from patience to frustration

never responds with laughter

ability to maintain a serious demeanor is crucial

makes the partner look all the more ridiculous by being completely serious

Examples:

Dorothy Zbornak in Golden Girls

Jon Arbuckle in Garfield

Hank Hill of King of the Hill

Boy/Girl-Next-Door

a character perceived as familiar, approachable, and dependable

often invoked to indicate All-American or “average” masculinity or femininity

may serve as a love interest for a protagonist

often will live near by and more often than not present in romantic or sexual stories

Damsel

a beautiful or innocent young woman placed in a dire predicament by a villain, monster or alien, and who requires a male hero to achieve her rescue

After rescuing her, the hero often obtains her hand in marriage

mainstay of the comics, film, and television industries throughout the 20th century

Classic damsels

Ann Darrow from King Kong

Lois Lane

Olive Oyl from Popeye

Princess Zelda and Princess Peach

Strong Female Lead

the opposite of the damsel in distress stock character

used to question implicit assumptions about male privilege and patriarchy

not necessarily (but can and often is) physically strong or an action heroine

Examples:

Buffy Summers

Hermione Granger

Maid Marion from Robin Hood

Femme Fatale

stock character of a typically villainous, or at least morally ambiguous woman

ability to entrance her male victim can be seen as supernatural in some literature

enchantress, seductress, vampire, witch, or demon

tries to achieve her purpose by using feminine wiles such as beauty, charm, and sexual allure

common traits of the femme fatale includes promiscuity and the “rejection of motherhood,”

Examples:

Catwoman and Poison Ivy

Alex from Orange is the New Black

Catherine from Basic Instinct

Noble Savage

stock character who symbolizes humanity’s innate goodness

an “other” who has not been “corrupted” by the moral failings of modern civilization

romanticized stereotype of indigenous peoples as simple-minded with a connection to nature

life of the noble savage is:

desirable because of its simplicity

pitiable for its backwardness

Examples:

Na’vi people from Avatar

Adam and Eve

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