Writing Prompt 3


The Book of Life’s “What is Art For?”
John Armstrong’s “La Bella Vita”
One or more “Let’s Talk About Art” projects

We’ve asked a lot of questions in this class, and John Armstrong’s “La bella vita” proposes yet another: Can beauty help us become better people—as individuals and as a society? As you spend time with Armstrong’s essay, think about what you consider to be beautiful and the role this beauty plays in your life.

Your task: Using Armstrong’s understanding of beauty, The School of Life’s prescription for the purposes of art, and one or more of your peer’s projects on art, write a 1,100-1,400 word multi-modal, personal academic essay exploring your experience of beauty as it connects with society’s experience of beauty. Try to get at the core of what you experience as beautiful and analyze it in light of Armstrong’s text.

Summarize Schiller’s understanding of beauty and the importance of balancing the ‘sense drive’ with the ‘form drive.’ Analyze the role that beauty can play in life—both yours and the larger population’s—and expand on Schiller’s “unnerving…conviction that ambitious social reform [will] always be frustrated until a much larger number of people [have] reached a higher level of inner development of the sort enabled by beauty” (Armstrong).

Be sure to explain in detail how your own ideas regarding aesthetics, values, and personal development fit with our other texts. Display your thinking on art, beauty, culture, and behavior and how this thinking connects, overlaps, or contrasts with the complicating values expressed by our society.

In order to fulfill the multi-modal element of this essay, please include at least 3 other modes of composition (besides linguistic). This is your chance to put those blogging skills to work. Include hyperlinks, embed videos, audio, and/or images. Use the five modes thoughtfully. Consider where you choose to incorporate your media and how this placement influences your overall argument. The multimodal element will count toward 10% of your paper’s overall grade. Please post the formal draft of your paper as a page on your ePortfolio under the parent page: ENG 110.

A note on MLA citation: It is important that you cite every source that you use, including images, audio, and video. If you do not have rights to the media you want to use, consider linking to it via a hyperlink in your essay. After you have identified your sources, use your Little Seagull as a resource to understand what information you need to provide in your Works Cited page (as well as in your in-text citations).