Aesthetics Expression Reading Questions

1. For John Dewey, what should we pay attention to if we want to understand the aesthetic value of a work of art, and how is that aesthetic value conveyed?                                            

To understand the aesthetic value of a work of art, Dewey explains that it is essential to focus on emotional undertone, personal experiences and events that happen in real life. The artist creates a new meaning about certain thing or object based on his past experiences in life.     

2. For Dewey, what is the connection of “art” to everyday life?                                         

Dewey developed a theory that supports that art significantly depends on daily activities and events in life. Thus, to understand the artistic expression, it is important to consider the situations and interactions in our daily life.                                                                                  

3. For Dewey, what is the value of “high art” or “fine art” compared with popular art? Comparing with the popular art that is based on popular culture and everyday images, the value of “high art” or “”fine art” is deeply rooted in continuity of aesthetic expression with normal living, human soul, natural world and environment.                                                        

4. For Dewey, how is art related to imagination?

According to Dewey, art and imagination are closely related; art is related to imagination in a way that it gives a powerful direction to express experiences with the nature and environment we live in.                                                     

5. For Dewey, what makes something an act of “artistic expression?”                                

Dewey explains that something that makes an act of “artistic expression” means its relation and reflection of the past experiences, which in its turn encompasses a set of different emotions and perceptions, starting from the deepest excitement and fun and ending with drama, fears, and anxieties.              

6. For Dewey, what factors should be considered in trying to understand an art object?            

To understand an art object it is essential to focus on personal experiences, nature, the environment and personal feelings and perceptions about artistic piece. According to Dewey, it is also important to consider processes that affect artistic expression and the individual’s vision.                                             

7. What does Achebe mean when he claims Africa is often though of as a “foil” for Europe?

Achebe describes the “foil” is a character that preserves some features and characteristics of others; Achebe explain that many nations did not understand African civilization and its history denying the country’s power, recourses, and abilities.                                                       

8. For Achebe, how is the “humanity” of Africans portrayed in Heart of Darkness?       

In Heart of Darkness, the “humanity” of Africans is portrayed as “the other world”, the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization, a place where a man’s vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality” (Achebe, 1784).                          

9. For Achebe, why is Conrad’s Heart of Darkness disqualified as “art?”

Heart of Darkness represents the image of African civilization and serves as an antithesis to Europe; Conrad’s work is disqualified as “art” as represents racism against black Africans and antipathy to black people.  

Works Cited:

Achebe, Chinua. An Image of Africa. From The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and                 Contemporary Trend, 3rd edition D.H. Richter, Ed.    

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[Accessed: July 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: July 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: July 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: July 2, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: July 2, 2020]