These essays and capstone papers were submitted by students who took Arts One in 2020-2021 and selected to be published in this annual journal of Arts One student work, entitled ONE. Please see this page for more information about the journal.
Though the essays are provided here for public reading, they are all still copyrighted to their respective authors (listed on each article) and may not be reused or reposted without express permission of those authors. Of course, paraphrasing or quoting from them with proper citation is encouraged!
Verdure and Vermin: The Similarity and Superiority of Emma Woodhouse and Raskolnikov
October 5, 2021
Photo via Flickr by Marcus Degenstein At first glance, Jane Austen’s Emma and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment seem as different from one another as two novels can be. Their protagonists inhabit vastly different worlds and reckon with stakes orders of magnitude apart in their gravity; while Crime and Punishment’s Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov trudges through […]
The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels claims that the material conditions of society are the foundation of our intellectual development. Their theory of dialectical materialism states that the notions we have about society are formed by our underlying social conditions.
“The Dissolving Blues of Metaphor”: Rankine’s Reconstruction of Racism as Metaphor in Citizen: An American Lyric
July 21, 2021
Photo via UBC By Vanessa Lee In Citizen: An American Lyric, Rankine deconstructs racism and reconstructs it as metaphor (Rankine, 5). Her formally and poetically innovative text utilizes form, figuration, and literariness to emphasize key themes of the erasure, systemic hunting, and imprisonment of African-Americans in the white hegemonic society of America. The structure, […]
Tommo, the main character and narrator in Herman Melville’s Typee, experiences many forms of captivity throughout the novel. He is physically confined to the whaling ship, Dolly, and he is held captive by the Typee islanders, but Tommo is a prisoner to something much more significant: his own cultural values.
Herman Melville’s Typee depicts cannibalism at a time when the practice’s nature, and even its existence, is an uncertain question for its contemporary readers. During the colonization of Pacific islands such as the Marquesas, on which Melville spent time after abandoning a whaling vessel and subsequently set Typee, groups indigenous to the islands were often assumed to practice anthropophagy, but evidence for these practices was primarily second-hand and of limited reliability.
In her series of lyric essays Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine employs the pronoun “you” in both an accusatory and uniting fashion. The feelings of Black people are often neglected and scorned, and Rankine’s direct address to the reader highlights the microaggressions they experience.
“God is dead.” So said Friedrich Nietzsche in 1882’s The Gay Science, but for some, God had been dead long before Nietzsche wrote His death into the public consciousness and put in His place stood a new breed of men, the Übermensch. Before Nietzsche, there was Fyodor Dostoevsky who, at the time of writing Crime and Punishment in 1866, set out to deconstruct this type of man who epitomized a distancing from the church, something the reformed clerical reactionary could not let succeed.
From the saturated pages of Watchmen emerges Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ antihero protagonist Rorschach, a stark representation of black and white against the vivid colouring of Watchmen’s setting and other characters. As the only character that does not adorn any bright colours, Rorschach appears to become Watchmen’s moral centre—the black and white amidst the chaotic colouring of his environment.
There are many similarities between Herman Melville’s 1846 novel Typee and Margaret Cavendish’s 1666 novel The Blazing-World. Both texts focus on an outsider who is given an intimate view of a society fundamentally different from their own. In Typee, a sailor named Tommo spends four months with the Typee, an Indigenous tribe on the South Pacific island of Nukuheva. Melville, through the character of Tommo, expresses his views on the European occupation and “civilization” of the Marquesas islands.
Icelandic Sagas all have in common the ubiquitous presence of friendships – among strangers, families, rulers, and members of a community. Two major currents of thought have aimed to explain the presence and function of these networks in Icelandic Sagas: friendship as a product of socially accepted morality, and friendship that exists to uphold Iceland’s legal and social infrastructure.
July 18, 2021
Herman Melville explored the art of carefully placed sexual innuendo, implied romance, and extended metaphor across multiple queer-coded texts throughout his 19th-century literary career. Typee, Billy Budd, and Moby Dick are all examples of notable work by Melville that feature queer-coded protagonists and clearly defined same-sex romantic subplots.
Painting with Words – The Illusive Art of Representation Appearance and Reality From the Perspective of Visual and Literary Art in Zbigniew Herbert’s Still Life with a Bridle
July 18, 2021
Still life with a Bridle navigates the stories conveyed by art and other artifacts from the Dutch Golden Age. Herbert records his “artistic journey”, with the keen eye of a historian, weaving in poetic “descriptions of places and artefacts of interest to him” (Slodczyk 127). The text ties many accurate facts loosely to reality, forming a collage of fact and fiction, both imaginative and informative.
At first glance, gender and sexuality have little to do with Jean Bauldrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation, with the irreversible collapse of the true, real, and referential. But Judith Butler, over the course of several essays, establishes that both constructs do, in fact, perfectly embody Baudrillard’s concept of the hyperreal.
Loving Her Was Red: The Dichotomy of Love and Desire According To Sappho and Taylor Swift
July 16, 2021
Love is complicated, and the Greek poet Sappho knew this all too well. The lyrical beauty of Sappho’s poetry, and its intensely personal depiction of love and desire, led to acclaim from many of her contemporaries. In many ways, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is Sappho’s modern analogue.
Destined Distance Between Melville, Tommo, and the Typee
July 16, 2021
Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life promises an account of Native life impartial to European bias: “the unvarnished truth” (Melville 2). Herman Melville, an American author, composes an exaggerated version of his own experience living amongst a group of islanders.
When sisters Lana and Lilly Wachowski wrote and directed the 1999 film, The Matrix, it was highly improbable they had Jane Austen’s novel Emma in mind. The Matrix takes place in a dystopian future where sentient machines have taken over all facets of society.
Heroes and Heroism in Moore and Gibbons’ Watchmen
July 16, 2021
We wanted all of these very ordinary human beings, who sometimes speak sensibly, but most often don’t, who sometimes know what they’re doing, but most often don’t, to have a place in this vast organic mechanism we call the world. -Alan Moore, 1988
Austen’s Emma: Self-Knowledge and Growth
July 16, 2021
Satirically critiquing her characters’ behaviours and the English society in which they—and she—live, Jane Austen sketches a vivid portrait of her characters, their flaws, and the confines under which they operate in Emma. Austen’s Emma focuses chiefly on Emma’s blunders, imperfections, and progression; by letting go of her prideful notions and uncompromising supervision of the people around her, empathizing and identifying with them, and trusting their judgements of themselves, Emma learns that despite the unpredictable world around her, a change she can control is her own growth.
The Danger of the Unclassifiable Form: Hybridity, Rulership, and Knowledge within Cavendish’s Blazing World
July 16, 2021
Margaret Cavendish’s science-fiction novel The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World can be read as evidence that a ruling class which places value on the perceivable world will struggle to remain in power. Cavendish’s Empress favours empiricism, and desires a complete understanding of the material world; however, the hybridity of her citizens and the immaterial world which she rejects are evidence of knowledge gaps within the Empress’s understanding.
The Restrictive Power of Schools and Streets in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me
July 16, 2021
In hopes of educating his teenage son on the everyday struggles black people experience, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes of his own personal life experiences in his memoir Between the World and Me. Presenting his revelatory experiences from childhood and adulthood, Coates struggles to understand how the destruction of black people is justified by the divide between the perceived races of black and white.