Your project for this course has two parts. In part one, you will complete an exploration document examining two cultural artifacts that you select, identifying a theme common to both of them and developing a thesis statement related to the theme and artifacts. You will also identify an audience who would be interested in your artifacts, theme, and thesis statement. In part two, you will develop a presentation for your audience. In your presentation, you will discuss the impact of the cultural artifacts, theme, and thesis statement on both individuals and society, supporting your claims with evidence. You will also explain how the study of the humanities has impacted you both personally and professionally.
I would suggest using a painting like The Monalisa as one of your cultural artifacts. You are free to use anything at your discretion.
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is one of the most renowned literary works that was first published in 1847 in London, United Kingdom. The novel was first published under the pseudonym of Currer Bell, which was meant to disguise that the author of the novel was a woman. This is because in 1847, women were not involved in literature, and their works were rarely published. Jane Eyre, therefore, provides a story of individualism for women in that the main character in the novel rises from being a poor and orphaned girl into a successful independent woman. Jane Eyre combines themes from different Victorian and gothic literature to clearly develop the central character.
The Great Gatsby is also another important literary work that was written by F Scott Fitzgerald in 1925. The novel is set in the jazz age of the 1920s in the United States. The main character in the novel is Nick Carraway moves into New York City and eventually becomes friends with an eccentric rich neighbor Jay Gatsby. The Great Gatsby novel provides an inside look at the Jazz ages of the 1920s in the US but also critiques the American dream idea.
The common theme that is evident in The Great Gatsby and Jane Eyre is class. In her novel, Charlotte Brontë explores the complicated issue of social hierarchy in Victorian England. In the novel, Bronte portrays Jane, her main character, as having an ambiguous class standing which results in a lot of tension between various characters around her (Brontë & Prior, 2021). In the novel, Jane is therefore portrayed as having the education and sophistication of an aristocrat but also as a paid employee who is treated as a servant. This makes Jane remain powerless and penniless while she works as a governess at Thornfield. Jane eventually speaks out against class prejudice in different sections of the novel. Jane eventually notes that as a woman intellectual, she does not enjoy the same social class as men intellectuals (Brontë & Prior, 2021).
On the other hand, in The Great Gatsby, the theme of social class is also clear in that Scott Fitzgerald highlights that in the world of The Great Gatsby, class has a significant influence on all aspects of life, especially in the choosing of spouses to date and marry. For example, Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy in the novel is significantly affected by class (Fitzgerald, 2021). The author highlights that Gatsby is only able to make a move on Daisy only after he amassed a large fortune. This shows that in the society in which The Great Gatsby is set, the maintenance of social class is important. Fitzgerald also highlights at the end of the novel that only social class has a significant impact on which marriage will survive and which marriage is eventually destroyed and marriages that will never come to be. In the novel, the author illustrates that only the most affluent are able to effectively navigate various life events (Fitzgerald, 2021).
Although the literary works were written more than a century ago, it appears that the theme of social class is still prevalent in contemporary society. Personally have had several experiences with social class and especially how individuals treat others they consider as coming from a higher social class and those they consider coming from a low social class. Individuals coming from a higher social class are therefore more likely to be treated with respect and given more attention compared to those who come from low social class.