Monthly Archives: March 2007

GRE Issue: Laws and Human Nature

“It is possible to pass laws that control or place limits on people’s behavior, but legislation cannot reform human nature. Laws cannot change what is in people’s hearts and minds.”

Laws are made for there two basic functions; to provide every person with basic rights and to restrict other persons to encroach on a right of an individual. Although these may seem to converge at a single point, but they have subtle differences. I agree with the concept provided to a certain extent that these laws cannot change what people think or feel about something.

Lets start from the very starting of the human life, the schooling period is foremost period in which an individual comes in touch with laws or restrictions. Some of the rules like not bunking the classes, not making noise, etc. Every student faces these laws, some like them as it enables them to be in a disciplined life, some others are indifferent about them as they already are disciplined, and some others scorn them for they believe that these laws debar them from the right of freedom. Among these students, some follow them from the fear of being punished while others keep on violating them inspite of the fact that it causes them harm. They keep on following what their heart and mind believes and others who are not violating these laws, from the fear of being punished, also have their heart and mind in the same things.

Further, we are able to see in day-to-day life that there are innumerable laws to restrict persons from encroaching on the other people’s rights. But the maximum the laws can do is to restrict them from not doing so but it doesn’t changes the laws. Like, in India, showing public affection is considered to be a crime and there are strict laws against it. But again, you can see the young generations, cuddling and kissing in public places like parks and restaurants, though quite secretly. And like in the previous case, those who are not showing public affection illicitly doesn’t mean that they want to abide by the rules willingly, but they are not doing so just from the fear.

Although these examples quite explicitly show us that human nature is irreparable, but there are other examples which show, though not explicitly, that human nature can be reformed. Take for example, the life of a person to whom it is inculcated right from his birth that we should respect the laws and behave accordingly. These persons become those law abiding residents of the society who believe in the things they do, even if they are imposed on them in their unconscious mind. Also there are felon who through community service, a part of their punishment, come to know that their violating of rules was very harmful to some other. These people get a change in the way they think and do.

Concluding over here, I would like to say that, most of the times, I go with the authors believe that human nature is immutable and although they will abide by the laws of the society but these laws cannot restrict them from thinking the way they do. But, in some cases, which are more than exceptional, humans do change and thats why the concept of society is still intact. It is because of this, I believe, that humans are different from others. It is their power to reason over something, as is illustrated by Mario Puzo in his book “Godfather” very efficiently.

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GRE Issue: Originality

“Originality does not mean thinking something new that was never thought before; it means putting old ideas together in new ways.”

Originality can be defined on the basis of how an observer see it. One can say that this universe is so vast that we can find a similarity to every original thing in the universe. Or in other words, the basic idea is always existing, its just a matter of inclining it to our use. So, although every new thing is evolved from some old thing, but they are more than transformations.

Originality is creativity; going away from commonplace or trite things and delving into something new. Take for example, the invention of telephone which was a totally new idea. Although you would contravene it by the fact that it is a way transferring information or to be in contact, just the same purpose letters served before that. But according to me telephone is not just a transformation of letters but according to me fax, etc are the correct products of letter. In telephone, the sound was transferred from one place to another which in itself was a very new idea.

Further, we can also take the example of Airplanes, which is a very bold and a new idea of Wright brothers. Every one had thought of traveling through land, through water but no one had thought about traveling through air which is considered to be ephemeral or a nonentity. Traveling through a medium was never a problem, but what had been thought was to travel without the need of any medium.Again you can say that birds are the source of this idea, but the idea that man could fly is as bold (and original) as the idea of a time machine.

But its not always that originality always consists of new ideas only. As one can see from the example of automobiles which are just a transformation from a bullock cart. The only creativity in its invention was to thought of something which can drive a vehicle. Similarly one can go as far as to take the example of movies, in which again the only thought was to make a play shown at two places simultaneously without the need of the artists to be present at both the places.

So one can come to the conclusion that although we try to emulate things already present in nature but they can either be new or just a new version. It depends on the degree of disparity between the old and the new things. A highly distinguished idea cannot be just called a new version for its dependent on the old. And similarly a minute change cannot be identified as something new.

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GRE Issue: Artists and Critics

“Artists should pay little attention to their critics. Criticism tends to undermine and constrain the artists creativity.”

Critics play an important part in the world of art, their expertise. And as per the authors view that their criticism undermines and constrains the creativity of artist seems a bit exaggerated. The main function of the critics, as acknowledged by themselves, is to help the artists by elucidating them their mistakes in their recent work.

Critics are the persons who have an expertise in some form of art and they want to put their qualities to a good use by refining the works of artists. Criticism, in my perspective, helps the artists to know the multifarious responses of the public. And this criticism can either be put to use by artist to improve their work or they can play a deaf mute to these if they don’t find it pertinent.

Exemplifying, through the cinema, we can examine the motley of movies based on very varied genres. The directors play deaf mute to the criticism only if their work is praised from the other sources. So, further, we will focus on only those movies which have been successful. Their exist two type of cinema, one is critically acclaimed and the other has got acclaim from general public. And both of these cinema coexist in the contemporary world. This is because that not everyone wants to see a perfection in art. Art is considered, by many, a medium to express themselves and in the process of doing so, they want to explore their creativity and not restrict themselves to some of the stringent rules laid out by the critics.

Further, I don’t want to completely abolish the notion of the author. Since we have considered only those movies which have been successful either in terms of the profits or through the praises. But among the rest of them, which constitute a major portion, many artists try to find their misdemeanors. Some of these artists, in desperation, for a need to win may go to the extent of completely impeding their creativity.

So I want to conclude, that though, sometimes, criticisms can constrain the creativity of artists. But for those who revere their art, and consider it as a canvass to express themselves freely never waver through criticisms. And those who just try to get a praise from a public, also, don’t like to follow the path of perfection.

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