UN The Notion of Utopia & Platos Republic Cultural Comparison Essay

I’m working on a History exercise and need support.


1) Utopia:

In this paper you‘ll respond to the notion of utopia. First, write a good paragraph that summarizes Plato’s Republic, the original utopia. Then research two other utopias, to provide a paragraph apiece on their main aspects. Choose from any of these:

Thomas More, Utopia; William Morris, News From Nowhere; Samuel Butler, Erewhon; Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward; H.G. Wells, A Modern Utopia; B.F. Skinner, Walden II; Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia.

Finally, describe what you would consider a perfect society. What problems would need to be solved, and how? You need to consider social, economic, educational, environmental, and any other areas that would be important and necessary. Obviously everyone has different ideas about what’s important and/or problematic, so there’s no absolute right or wrong. Nonetheless , take the categories seriously and develop your own ideal society!

2) Cultural comparison:

Choose two of the civilizations we’ve studied throughout the term and compare their aesthetics, using at least two examples from each culture. You may compare examples of architecture, sculpture, literature, philosophy, and so on. Using the 3-step Cunningham-Reich rubric from the start of term (see below for Humanities-A Primer), analyze the works for their unique qualities — again choosing two from each civilization. Start with a solid paragraph describing the historical context: e.g., what life in ancient Egypt was like, or the Minoan World, or Imperial Rome, etc. Then consider the specifics of the artwork (what it is, how it was made, what style or genre it represents). Then interpret it to explain both what it was intended to be (purpose/message) and how you perceive it as a modern viewer.

aesthetics – art and taste, the appreciation of beauty

SOCIAL ELEMENT: Work in historical context

FORMAL ELEMENT: Design (how made materials, etc.) & composition (style, technique)

SYMBOLIC ELEMENT: Purpose (why made?) & message (intended or not)

See Module 1 for the complete Cunningham-Reich text.

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