Inthe 19thCentury, a romantic hero bore the image of expansive subjectivity aswell as the national emotion. The romantic hero described in Chapter28 has the characteristics of a superhuman as shown by the hugeambition that he has as well as an immense talent. One of theromantic heroes that did his best to make the world a better place asshown in chapter 28 is Napoleon. Napoleon was quite full of life andshowed great zeal as it related to the quest for power and knowledge(Fiero 28). This aspect was very essential as it made him have greatsuccesses in his life. Chapter 29 of the book brings up the medievallegends that had great input as it related to retaining theidentities of their countries and defending them against externalaggression, an element that was important for sustaining the lives ofpeople found in such lands (Fiero 29). These examples were chosensince they act as a good example of how people can have positiveinput in the society.
Thelast half of the nineteenth century show great developments inindustrialism and empire building. For instance, the use of steel hadgreatly increased as this material was in great demand forconstruction of buildings and railway lines. Coal was being used as asource of energy in most industries, a factor that led to thecontinual growth of industrial development. As well as runningtrains. Economic activities were greatly increasing with thedevelopment of other money-making activities such as photography.This meant that people were able to make immense contributionstowards the development of their empires. Industries such as thetextile industry had a great boost with the availability of rawmaterials, labor, and ready market. Architecture had also greatlydeveloped this meant that people were able to come up with strongand highly fashionable buildings (Fiero 40). All these factors showedthat the areas that people lived in would continue to show an immenselevel of development.
Oneof the works explained in chapter 30 that relates to the themes ofindustrialism or empire building is the book, Ghosts,by Henrik Ibsen, who was a Norwegian novelist. The book attends tothe very topic of highlighting the plight of women at such a timewith the major aim of trying to ensure that they are treated in amanner that accords them some value. For a long time, women inEuropean societies and even in the communities of other parts of theworld were made to seem insignificant (Fiero55).However, as an indication that the world was changing, so as to aidin empire building, it was quite important for such a case also tochange so that the women would also play a crucial role in ensuringthat the empires which were being created would be well taken careof. The book by Ibsen was a work of art that had a great bearing uponthe cultures of people as they saw it as a nice opportunity tofurther their agenda of empire building.
Thewritings of Nietzsche and Bergson illustrate movements in Modernismand modernist thought/philosophy in that they showed a shift fromintuitive vision to elusive feelings. People were now more gearedtowards what they saw as opposed to what they felt. This is quitetrue in relation to music discussed in class which talks about thevalue that people today attach to physical beauty as they see it themost important part for striking any romantic relationship with agiven person (Fiero64).The last parts of the 19thcentury were also characterized with most parts of Western Europebearing the elements of Japanese art (Fiero64).This art was seen in pieces of textile that were made in the Europeannations as well as various architectural structures. Most people inEurope had the belief that by incorporating ideas from other parts ofthe world, they would be moving much closer to modernity andsophistication that they really wanted. As a result, this era wasladen with the borrowing of ideas from foreign lands.
Theseworks of art were quite important in showing that there was anincreased awareness of world cultures outside Europe in that, someworks of art formulated outside of Europe, by a greater margin, hadsome symbols that were only found in Europe. This was a clear showthat the culture of the people in Europe was also well known by otherpeople who lived outside of Europe (Fiero91).The work of Degas, which was represented in a sculpture that he madewent a long way in representing the ideas that the artist had in mindas it relates to showing the ideas of people outside Europe and howthey would be incorporated to that of the people who were found onthe European continent. As a result, this would encourage more peopleto get outside Europe so as to help identify with the cultures ofother people in a bid to borrow what they felt was necessary and ofhuge importance for them. Such practice would totally enhance thespread of cultures.
InChapter 33, Freud was not afraid to study topics consideredunmentionable by polite society. Although modern psychology haschanged a great deal, Freud`s theories were the foundation of modernpsychology and psychotherapy as well as being influential in theinterpretation of both art and literature (Fiero117).As a result, one of the greatest effects of the works by Freud is thefact that they went a long way to revolutionize the world and have achange in the way people used to think. One of the work of art thatis quite relevant to the theories of Freud is the Erwartung,which is a monodrama created by Arnold Schoenberg. The play relatesto the aspect of human sexuality and the fact that people need torespect the sexuality of others as all people are special in someway. Such kind of works of art was quite paramount in causing change.
Inchapter 34, totalitarianism is shown to be a situation where thegoverning body of a given state is seen to have no limits as itrelates to affecting its authority on its subjects. As a result, thesubjects most often lack the varying element of autonomy and privacyas most of their activities are set and dictated by the state. In thefirst half of the century, totalitarianism and world war were quitecrucial in defining how life was (Fiero132).People were supposed to do what the governing masters required ofthem without having any questions whatsoever. As a result, some ofthem got out to oppose those who were under authority. They,therefore, engaged in wars to break off the main geographical bodyunder the same leadership so as to form their own, which would be runas with regard to how they wanted their activities carried out. Inthe end, such wars would go on to run for long periods.
Oneof the works of art represented in chapter 35 includes the literarywork of Samuel Brackett. Brackett goes a long way to show howantiheroes were keen on preventing other human beings from attaininghigh standards of living through constantly harassing them. As aresult, people grew quite weary and made attempts to free themselvesfrom the crude oppression that they were exposed to (Fiero151).The one challenge that people faced at such a time is the fact thatmost of these antiheroes were quite powerful people in suchsocieties, and it would, therefore, be challenging to avoid themaltogether. This situation saw some people running to faraway landswhere they would be able to protect themselves completely. One of themeanings that the literary work of Brackett contains about sufferingand human existence is that those who usually harm others are usuallynot more special than those who are under oppression.
Chapter36 shows the struggles that people went through as they tried toliberate themselves from colonial rule. The struggle is representedin various works of art such as movies and songs that were developedand spread around the world in the 20thcentury, with an aim of showing other people around the world theplight of the people who were found in the countries that were undercolonialism (Fiero170).As a result, other people would come in handy in trying to assistthose who are under colonialism through pressuring the mastercountries to stop such an act. These works of art were also able topreserve the struggles that people underwent with the need to ensurethat future generations would be able to appreciate the problems thattheir forefathers experienced so as to accord them the liberty thatthey do experience currently. Such form of art ended up achievingtheir primary objectives.
Chapter38 goes a long way in portraying the aspect of globalism. Forinstance, electronic as well as digital technology has helped thecultures of different parts of the world to be known in other parts.As a result, people are able to adopt the cultures of other places ifthey consider that such cultures are desirable for them. People are,today, not limited to the geographical region that they are in, aswell as the cultural influence of such areas (Fiero188).They are, therefore, able to visit other places that they findinteresting and adopt their cultures. The major effect of such asituation is the fact that the cultures of different places becomemore and more dilute. Also, with the transfer of cultural practicesfrom one area to another, it is quite difficult to ascertain whetherthe culture of people in a certain area is indigenous or if it wasadopted from other places.
Fiero,Gloria.TheHumanistic Tradition, 4/e. 2011, 28-188