Presentation on theme: "I. Analysis of the concept of beauty. II. Library work."— Presentation transcript:
1I. Analysis of the concept of beauty. II. Library work. Unit 7 BeautySusan SongtagTeaching objectives:I. Analysis of the concept of beauty.II. Library work.III. Comprehension of the text.IV. Organization and development.V. Language points.VI. ExercisesVII. Further readings
2I. Background knowledge: Greeks:universe: a delight Definition of beauty.Greeks:universe: a delightBeauty ： a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning or satisfaction.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, sociology, social psychology and culture. As a cultural creation, beauty has been extremely commercialized.
4. "beauty" was used to mean "women," not muscular or strong. body's contours(轮廓 ): precise technical specification for softness and curvature(弯曲), glossy hair, and lots of it - red lips, a small delicate nose, a face wide at the temples and narrow at the jaw, a dainty neck.
52.History of beauty :Aesthetics, branch of philosophy(1)Plato ： Plato's thinking had a marked ascetic（禁欲者） strain.(2)Aristotle ：Aesthetics was inseparable from morality and politics.(3)Neoplatonism ：a life of sense through a rigorous(严格的)ascetic discipline.. Symmetry youthfulness
11Bacon’s MottoesOf Beauty VIRTUE is like a rich stone, best plain set美德好比宝石，在朴素背景的衬托下反而更华丽。Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last.美有如盛夏的水果，而容易腐烂而难保持的。if it light well, it maketh virtue shine, and vices blush. “假如美落在人身上落得适当的话,它是使美德更为光辉,而恶德更加汗颜的。”
12(4)Johann Gottlieb Fichte beauty： a moral virtue. (5)in the 18th and 19th centuries ：art as imitation of nature.Jane Austen and Charles Dickens in England and dramatists such as Alexandre Dumas ： presented realistic accounts of middle-class life
13(6) Henrik Ibsen, criticize society and so lead to reform. In the 19th century, in painting. French impressionists(7)the impressionist objective was to capture the fleeting moment, the optical sensation produced by a chance effect of weather, light, or movement.pointillism点画法：分色主义；点描派：后期印象主义绘画，以19世纪后期法国的乔治·修拉和他的同好为典范，特征为运用颜料以小点或涂绘方式构成画面
15Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
16Seurat’s Trombonist长号手 French artist Georges Seurat’s drawing of a trombonist ( ) in chalk and conte.
17(8) “art for art's sake(9)John Dewey, human experience ：disconnected, fragmentary, full of beginnings without conclusions (10)Marxism and Freudianism:Marxism ：art is great only when it is “progressive,”Sigmund Freud art ： therapeutic use。James Joyce： The stream-of-consciousness
18(11)Existentialism: A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.存在主义：一种强调在怀有敌意或冷漠的世界中个人经历的独特性和孤立性的哲学，它认为人的存在是不可解释的，并强调调选择的自由和对自己行为的结果负责
224.Susan Sontag (January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004) was an American literary theorist, novelist, filmmaker, and political activist.
23II.Library workFind out about the difference between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism in the Christian religion(para.4)Roman Catholic Church is Christian church headed by the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. Roman Catholics may be simply defined as Christians in communion with the Pope.
24Roman Catholicism holds that the Pope and the Bishops have in varying degrees the spiritual authority Christ assigned to his apostles. The voice of the Pope is regarded as infallible when speaking on matters of faith and morals.
25Protestantism is a special development within Christianity Protestantism is a special development within Christianity. It is distinct from Roman Catholicism in that it breaks from papal obedience. Protestantism is widely practiced in most northwestern European countries except southern Germany, Ireland, France, and Belgium.
26What is the definition of “pagan” What is the definition of “pagan”? In what ways is a pagan different from either a Catholic or a Protestant?A pagan is one of a people or community professing a polytheistic religion, i.e., a religion based on the belief in more than one god. Ancient Romans and Greeks were pagans. A pagan is different from a Roman Catholic and a Protestant in that the latter believe in only one god.
27III. Organization and development: 1.What can we infer from this etymological study of the word?To Sontag, the change that has occurred in the meaning of the word is not merely an instance of semantic narrowing, but ,more significantly, an instance of the distortion of the lexical meaning of a word which has been inflicted upon it by social prejudice. It is just such social prejudice that the author aims to expose and denounce.
282.Can you find where?Her point is made especially clear in the last and conclusive paragraph. This is a justifiable alternative because of the complicated nature of the issue she deals with in the essay.
29IV. Answer the following questions. 1.How does the notion of beauty held by the ancient Greeks basically differ from the modern one?For the ancient Greeks beauty embraces both inside and outside excellence, a combination of a person’s virtue and good looks. In present-day English beauty refers exclusively to the good looks of a female.
302.What does the word “ paradoxical” (para.1) mean? Contradictory.
313.In what sense is the word “ beauty” used in the sentence “ we are wary of the enchantments of beauty” (para.2) ?And how do you interpret the sentence?In the overall sense of the word, i.e.,overall excellence. We are more aware (than the ancient Greeks) of the aspects “beauty” has, which we think distinguishable and should be distinguished.
324. Did the limitation Christianity placed on the meaning of the word “beauty” give it any sexual bias?No. It was limited to superficial enchantment only.
335. What does Sontag mean by “And beauty has continued to lose prestige”(para.3)? It has lost prestige when its meaning was narrowed down from overall excellence to superficial enchantment. And it further lost prestige when the superficial enchantment it referred to became associated with the fair sex only.
346.Do you think Sontag will agree that “handsome” means to men what “ beautiful” does to women? Not quite, “ handsome” does not have the demeaning overtones “beautiful” has.
357. Why does Sontag think that regarding women as the beautiful sex is detrimental to both the notion of beauty and that of women (para.4)It depreciates the notion of beauty itself , and implies a sexually unfair judgment of women.
368.Explain “ It does not take someone in the throes of advanced feminist awareness to perceive that…’(para5)One does not have to be a feminist who is painfully aware of the many social biases women have to put up with to perceive that. In other words, virtually anyone can perceive that Songtag’s purpose here is to show the obviousness of the phenomenon.
379.What does Sontag refer to by “stereotypes” in the last sentence of para.5? And what have they to do with the “ mixed reputation” beauty enjoys?Fixed notions of the two sexes; what people generally think a man or a woman should be like.The association of beauty with nice looks but dependence and inability, and disassociation with intellect and success give it a mixed reputation.
3810. How does Sontag show linguistically in para 10.How does Sontag show linguistically in para.5 that social convention plays a role in maintaining feminine stereotypes?Use of the passive : women are taught ; use of indefinite pronoun”everybody”.
3911.Can you think of any concrete example of what Songtag calls ‘ a flattering idealization of their sex’(para.6)? What effect does such idealization have on women?Winners of a beauty contest , Miss America, sex symbols, Marylin Monroe,some fashion models.Women are encouraged to look as attractive as possible , given the models of what they should and could possibly look like.
4012. Constrasting para. 6 with para 12.Constrasting para. 6 with para.7 ,do you think (Sontag’s ) society is fair in its expectations of men and women with regard to their looks?Definitely not. For women perfection is the goal; for men a small imperfection is considered favourably.
4113.What critical view does Songtag take of Cocteau’s remark “ The privileges of beauty are immense”(para.8)?Refer to the paragraph.14. What /Who has made it a woman’s duty to preen? If a woman succeeds in keeping herself look nice , how would she expect society in general to asses her?Social conventions .Her good looks conceal an empty mind ;superficial allurement is the best asset she can claim.
4215. Do you agree with Songtag that it is dangerous to consider persons as split between what is ‘inside’ and what is ‘outside’?It is not totally irrational to consider the “ inside “ and “outside” of a person separately for they do not always go together (as in the case of Socrates).However, danger arises when the two aspects are placed at opposite ends and regarded as incompatible. This will entail an erroneous notion of women.
4316. To get women out of the trap they are caught in, Sontag suggests that they ‘get some critical distance from that excellence and privilege which is beauty’(para.10).What do you think this means?Disassociate themselves from the notion of beauty as far as possible; de-emphasize the notion of beauty in their life.
4417What does “ the mythology of the feminine” (para.10) mean? The traditional /conventionalized but false/ not well-grounded notion of what women should be like.
45How do you interpret the last sentence of the essay? There should be something we can do so that ‘beauty’ will not be an exclusive superficial feature of women, (let it be shared by men, too); and women will be beautiful in the true sense of the word.
46V. Paraphrase the following: One of Socrates’ main pedagogical acts was to be ugly---- and teach those innocent, no doubt splendid-looking disciples of his how full of paradoxes life really was.(ll6-8)The contrast between Socrates’ outward ugliness and his inner strengths served to draw the attention of his naïve and handsome followers to the fact that there were many such strange contrasts in the world.
47We not only split off--- with the greatest facility ----the “ inside’ (character, intellect) from the “outside”(looks); but we are actually surprised when someone who is beautiful is also intelligent, talented, good.(ll10-12)We tend to resist the idea that inside beauty (character,intellect) can coexist with outside beauty(looks) in one single person, and are in fact taken aback to meet one who is beautiful both inside and outside.
48Associating beauty with women has put beauty even further on the defensive, morally.(ll18-19) Beauty, when considered in relation to a female, involves a judgment of not only looks but also character and intellect, making itself a much more controversial issue.
49If a woman does real work---- and even if she has clambered up to a leading position in politics, law, medicine, business, or whatever—she is always under pressure to confess that she still works at being attractive.(ll61-63)However successful a woman may be in her career as a politician, lawyer, doctor, businesswoman, or whatever, she unavoidably feels compelled to admit to making an effort to look attractive.
50One could hardly ask for more important evidence of the dangers of considering persons as split between what is “inside” and what is “outside” than that interminable half –comic half-tragic tale’ the oppression of women.(ll66-68)
51One could hardly ask for more important evidence of the dangers of considering persons as split between what is “inside” and what is “outside” than that interminable half –comic half-tragic tale’ the oppression of women.(ll66-68)The biased attitude towards women –the long story of which is both lamentable and laughable--- is the most powerful proof as to how harmful it can be to judge a person by refusing to put into consideration both inner beauty and outer beauty together.