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Critique of a Critic - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Critique of a critic. Division of labor and specialization is not something recent; as seen in recent times it is still a popular way of creating social order. Regardless of whether a profession is one of privilege or modesty, society was such that the end beneficiaries…
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Critique of a Critic Essay
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"Critique of a Critic"

Download file to see previous pages I am of the opinion that Berger’s statement is one of Marxist elements. Advancing the idea of classes, and in a subtle way, brushing on class struggle and conflict caused by class segregation in society. Berger is presenting the labor world as one that has borrowed heavily from the feudal system that existed in medieval Europe. However, the emphasis on labor has fallen short of its purpose because of its focal point of comparison. This is because research on the symbolic meaning of this painting, reveals that it has many religious concepts. Most scholars are of the view that the painting’s symbolism illustrates the conflict between secular and religious authorities. There is little mention of conflict between the rich and the poor. Berger’s statement is, therefore, subject to personal testimonies. Though he is a scholar of the art world himself, symbolism will always remain a personal reflection of ideas unless there is a presentation of undisputed evidence. One instance of evidence giving would involve giving another painting as a comparison to The Ambassadors. There are paintings that represent states of poverty in Europe like the Spain 'Street-Boy of Seville' by BartolomZ Esteban Murillo (1618-1682) or the France 'Charity' by Adolph William Bouguereau (1825-1905). From the ideas expressed in the first paragraph of this paper, there appears to be a clear and direct link between events in history and those in present times. One can conclusively state that there is no present without a past. The occurrences of the present times are largely dependent on what happened in the past. The labor trends in the past have affected the current labor situations in more than one way. For instance, the industrial revolution begun around the 1800, at this time European nations were colonizing to finance the industrial revolution in Europe. The effects of these historical events are that Africa is still far behind in industrialization while European countries have surpassed them (John 23). What Berger is explicitly suggesting is that the labor trends have not changed, there is still a class of oppressed and a class of oppressors. In his further writings, he explains how humans since the beginning of organized labor have been blind; they are not aware of their oppressed situation. He also holds that even in present democratic times, there is no capitalism. All those free labor ideologies propagated are a sham; in fact, we are merely prisoners of labor and employees (Robertson 34). Berger is suggesting that the ambassadors display heartlessness for one main reason. They appear to be privileged and wealthy. The ambassadors use their wealth and privileges only for their enjoyment and to the expense of the ones facilitating their enjoyment (John 27). This might be true, but studies related to this painting do not indicate whether or not the persons in the painting deliberately commissioned embroiders, leather workers and blacksmiths to make items specifically for the painting to be painted. Most of the evidences tend to support that the painting was merely the idea of the painter Holbein (Berger 67). There are other forms of historical evidences that might have given his argument more credibility, but he has restricted himself to the painting. It is crucial to note that embroiders mentioned by Berger and other workers around this time did not have the same view as Berger for a few ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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