Explain the importance of situating a society’s cultural and artistic expressions within a historical context.

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Assignment 1: Essay Due Week 4 and worth 100 points
Choose one (1) of the three reading selections from the list of topic choices below. Read the selection in the textbook. Write a three to four (3-4) paragraph essay (250 words) which analyzes the “surprise ending” of the reading selection.
Topic Choices: • Reading selection from Descartes’ Discourse on the Method (Part IV). Descartes begins with the problem of being able to prove his own existence but ends up with an argument proving the existence of God. Read more about the Discourse on the Method located at http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/authors/descartes.html. • Reading selection from Swift’s A Modest Proposal. Swift begins with offering the solution that the English could do things which might solve the problem of overpopulation and the mistreatment of citizens in Ireland. It ends by offering the solution that an internal change in the Irish government would best solve the problem of overpopulation and a populace victimized by its own government. Read more about A Modest Proposal located at http://www.victorianweb.org/previctorian/swift/modest.html. • Two reading selections from Voltaire’s Candide. The story begins by acknowledging the foolishness of the superstitious traditions held by the people in the city of Lisbon but ends by confirming Voltaire’s belief that religion in general is equally based in false superstitions.
For the reading selection you choose: 1. Clearly state in your own words the “surprise ending” in the reading you selected. Identify the point in the reading when you realized that the ending would be different from what the beginning of the reading suggested that it would be. 2. Since you were expecting a different ending, evaluate how successful the author was in convincing you to accept the validity of the “surprise ending” that was not clearly suggested at the beginning.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements: • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA Style format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions. (Note: Students can find APA style materials located in the course shell for reference) • Include a cover page containing the tile of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are: • Explain how key social, cultural, and artistic contributions contribute to historical changes. • Explain the importance of situating a society’s cultural and artistic expressions within a historical context. • Examine the influences of intellectual, religious, political, and socio-economic forces on social, cultural, and artistic expressions. • Identify major historical developments in world cultures from the Renaissance to the contemporary period. • Use technology and information resources to research issues in the study of world cultures.

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