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2008-08-04 22:52:29|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The arts (painting, music, literature, etc.) reveal the otherwise hidden ideas and impulses of a society

Do the arts reveal the otherwise hidden ideas and impulses of a society? Different people have different points of view. Although the arts are not always to unearth the hidden ideas and impulses of a society, I have to concede that the arts not only provide pleasure for us but also reveal the ideas and impulse that is root in a society.
From a popular angle, some individuals and groups base their argument on the point that the main function of arts that differ from politics, history or other social disciplines is not to discover hidden ideas and impulses of a society. One idea is that the most important role of the art is to provide pleasure and entertainment for public. When we go to the theatre to see a play or film, when we go to gallery to appreciate paintings, and when we read a novel at our spare time, we liberate ourselves from hard working and get away from tedious life temporarily. Thus, the arts have nothing to do with uncovering hidden ideas and impulses. Another idea is that the art is individual expression and the artists concern about personal emotions an expression rather than social problems. Thus, no matter from the audience and the artist; the arts have little relevance with the hidden ideals and impulses of a society.
However, we should prudent about taking the side of any of these arguments. If we only understand the arts as providing pleasure and individual expression, we will underrate the important role of the arts in our society. In my opinion of view, the art is the medium not only off us fun but also lead us to recognize our life and even those ideas and impulses deep in our society. Among all the illustrations of this truth which might be cited, the book—dream of red chamber written by Cao Xueqing in Qing dynasty in China is a cogent example. Mr. Cao fictions a perfect story as his weapon to condemn the restriction and prosecute from feudality system. Though there are some exaggeration and artistic skill existing in the book and showing vivid character imagine, readers can easily percept people’s mental situation, social development, social system nature, and interspersion relation in that time. Furthermore, the author ideals and impulses are presented according his pen.
Similarly, many national anthems which are created in a special history circumstance convey special history sense and people voice. A case of great Chinese national anthem, it reflected China is suffering from national existence crisis and Chinese people began to wake up and strive to struggle for revolution success and peace. When hearing the song, the scene for struggling for success is spontaneous generated in heart of every Chinese people and the patriot passion and national proud feeling are also enhanced.
In sum, the art not merely provide pleasure but express thoughtful idea, not only an individual expression but a mirror reflecting the hidden ideas and impulses of a society. At least, great art is this.
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