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GRE:ISSUE218 - "In order for any work of art-whether film, literature, sculpture,


Edward_L 1 / 1  
Aug 15, 2010   #1
Hi everybody, I'm new here and not quite familiar with the rules, can anyone just help me out here? Taking the aw test next week.. Thanks!!

ISSUE218 - "In order for any work of art-whether film, literature, sculpture, or a song-to have merit, it must be understandable to most people."

The author claims that a work of art can have merit only when it is understandable to most people. As far as I am concerned, I disagree with the author although the statement is seemingly reasonable. For that it is those previously nonmainstream forms of art that had ultimately altered and pushed forward the art.

Admittedly, if a work of art is understandable to most people, we can safely assume that it is in possession of some kind of value to people. For example, the king of pop, Michael Jackson, who had stayed on the top of the best-sellers for decades, was world-known because his music was understandable to most people. His songs were so brilliant that anyone who listens to them can easily feel the passion and expressions in his artworks. His songs were filled with sections that people can effortlessly remember and reproduce. Consequently, it is not difficult to find the merit in his music - to Heal the world or to look at the Man in the mirror in order to have a clearer understanding of ourselves about how well we are doing.

However, if a work of art is merely understandable to people without any actual meaning, does it necessarily has the merit to bring people joy and happiness? Negative! In my opinion, some of the works of art that are totally understandable in our modern society, are probably of no merit and hardly have the value to exist because instead of bringing the society happiness and further development, those non-mainstreams are actually dragging and slowing the development of society down. For example, some of the songs and novels or even movies on the internet that were produced to make fun of the society or people are popular these days largely because they are quite understandable, those so-called "works of art" are the products by the irresponsible writers who will do anything for their survival. Such as novels or movies depicting sex and violence, while understandable, they are doing harm to the society especially for those teenagers who are in their vital period of characteristic development. Thus, works of art should have a positive influence on the society, besides being understandable, in order to have some merit.

I believe that works of art should at least bring people joy, if not considerations regarding the society. Furthermore, in order to have some lasting value, the work of art should also help contribute to the greater good of the society. Let us look back into the history of human art. Those that have been past down generations after generations were works of art that processes deep influence or consideration about the society. For example, in the novels written by the famous Chinese writer and educator, Luxun, we can find deep considerations of the society of China and it is the consideration that had kept the novels alive.

Moreover, I suggest that in some cases a work of art need not be understandable for most people in order to have merit. For example, the impressionist Monet who was the leading artist of the impressionism, created a brilliant period and art style for the world. Its merit helped define a period of time. However, such a great artist was not even recognized during his lifetime. His works was abandoned and considered "ugly and unrealistic". However, such works of art that were totally not understandable finally become recognized and altered the world. Numerous examples regarding those "non-mainstreams" can be found throughout the history such as Van Gogh who did not even sell a single painting in his lifetime.

To sum up, I believe it is irrational to say that merely understandable form of art possesses the value to our society. All forms of art, in my opinion, have its own value of existence, the government should support those kinds of art as long as they are not bringing bad influence to our society.
meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Aug 16, 2010   #2
Hello~ and welcome to our wonderful world :D

As far as I am concerned,

Wordy

For that it is those previously nonmainstream forms of art that had ultimately altered and pushed forward the art.

continue this with the previous sentence. Otherwise, it would seem to appear to beIS an incomplete phrase/clause.

I guess your way of writing and elucidating your ideas is simply different from mine.

we can safely assume that it is in possession of some kind of value to people.

Can you say, "we can safely assume that has some value to some people"?

For example, the king of pop, Michael Jackson, who had stayed on the top of the best-sellers for decades, was world-known because his music was understandable to most people.

I want to point this out simply because you have too many commas in there. You could rephrase it, "For example, Michael Jackson, who had stayed on the top of the best-sellers <list?> for decades, was world-known as the king of pop because..."

other notes about this paragraph, I don't understand your usage of the - (dash?) in the last sentence; I don't quite understand the reasoning, and if I do, it's rather roundabout. You're saying MJ's music has value because people can associate with it, but you're not saying it directly.

does it necessarily has the merit to bring people joy and happiness?

Are you making up a new question?
So I get your idea, which is a good thing, but you're quite vitriolic towards the subject:

irresponsible writers who will do anything for their survival.

I assume you are inferring p0rn/drugs? if you don't pinpoint it down to something specific, you'll be throwing flames where you don't want to...

I'm confused what you mean by "considerations"

and altered the world.

I hope this is true; he may have changed the art world...

So, in consideration of your essay written here, I understand your overall thesis, but try to make it clearer in the introduction. I like the use of examples. Talk more about them, especially about the latter ones. Also, make sure tenses are consistent. Singular subjects with singular verbs, plural with plural.

The most important issue you have to work on is making sure you don't trip yourself. Answer the question asked. Don't make overly strong remarks without supporting them. You did support a few, but others were left with little supportive reasoning.

Cheers
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Aug 17, 2010   #3
As far as I am concerned, I disagree with the author although the statement is seemingly reasonable. For that it is those previously nonmainstream forms of art that had ultimately altered and pushed forward the art.

I agree that it is wordy at the start, but it could also be changed so that "as far as I am concerned" is okay. It is redundant to say "as far as I am concerned" and also "I disagree" but you could do this:

As far as I am concerned, I disagree with the author although the statement is seemingly reasonable, but it is those previously nonmainstream forms of art that had have been the ones that ...

And here, this is awkward: ultimately altered and pushed forward the ar t.
...have been the ones that changed people's ways of thinking about art.

However, if a work of art is merely understandable to people without any actual meaning, does it necessarily has have the merit to bring people joy and happiness?

You make some good points! Indeed, the purpose of art seems to be to enable us to express ideas that are not always easily understood!
OP Edward_L 1 / 1  
Aug 19, 2010   #4
Thanks! Jonathan and Kevin, really appreciated your comments!


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