In not more than 300 words, write a descriptive account of Harmen Steenwyck’s: Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life ( Illustration Book, Colour Plate 10), paying particular attention to the organisation and lighting of the composition and to the effects of tone and colour.
Harmen Steenwyck illustrates an eclectic mix of objects in this fine oil painting. The objects are placed close to the picture plane, as within reach of the spectator, drawing the eye from left to right as the clustered objects increase in height. This suggests that this is the way that Steenwyck wanted the spectator to view them.
His skilful use of light draws us to the principal object, the illuminated skull, bringing out the richness of its golden colour whilst depriving the hollows of the eyes to add depth. Many of the objects have spherical parts to them that again are highlighted through the use of light. Steenwyck manipulates light and shade through gradual transition to form the illusion of their roundness. Not only do these contrasts produce a striking illustrative effect but they also help to define the objects from one another.
The fine brushwork picks up the finest detail, such as the leaves of the well thumbed books, the dial on the watch and the fraying rope on the urn. Harmen has organised the majority of his objects to the right side of the piece leaving the left feeling rather vacant, with our attention drawn to the pearlescent shell that stands almost solitary.
The painting depicts objects of grandeur, inducing the idea of wealth and travelling through such choice objects as the Japanese sword, Grecian style urn and the shell, those these are overshadowed by the objects with the most emotional quality, the skull and the waning lamp symbolising death and the frailty of life. The skull seems out of place sharing a table with such other splendid objects, leaving the spectator questioning the choices Steenwyck has made, perhaps these symbols of death serve as a warning to those who seek happiness in the “Vanities of Human Life”.
TMA 02 Part 2 Literature
Read also History Quizzes
Read John Keat’s Sonnet, “When I have fears that I may cease to be” ( resource book 1, A39). In not more than 300 words, write an analysis of the sonnet basing your response on the questions below.
1. Comment on the use of repetition. (e.g. “when”, “before”, “never”.)
2. What is the relationship between the octave and the sestet?
3. What part do the different rhymes, including the final couplet, play in conveying the meaning of the sonnet?
Keats begins by setting the tone for the sonnet, “When I have fears…”, indicating the major theme that is to run throughout. In the first two quatrains he writes about the fear of dying young, fearing he will not have the time he needs to fulfil himself as a writer and the third quatrain fearing that he will lose his beloved. Farming metaphors, “rich garners the full-ripen’d grain”, emphasize how he sees his imagination and creativity, like a fertile field waiting to be sown, with the alliteration in garners and grain highlighting this further. Keat’s emotive language draws attention to his love poetry, “before my pen has gleaned my teaming brain”, believing the world to be full of material he can create countless poetry from, devoting more lines to his love of verse than his beloved. Enchanting imagery illustrates his philosophy on love, “faery power” a mystical and supernatural force that he has no control over.
Alongside this immense fear of death, is the concern with time, the repetition of “When I” beginning both quatrains of the octave and introducing the sestet, stresses Keats preoccupation with time and the fear of it consuming him. This sense of time running out is emphasized through the enjambment in the third quatrain; the final line runs into the closing couplet, urging the reader on.
The rhyming scheme, abab cdcd gg, helps to intensify the poems train of thought and has great effect in the closing couplet as Keats resolves his fears by declaring the triviality of love and fame, “love and fame to nothingness do sink.”
The octave and the sestet share the continuity of rhyme, and underlying theme of death, though there is a clear change in the range of emotions as the sonnet develops. The octave concentrates on the emotions of confusion and fear whilst the sestet focuses on the fear of loving and being loved until reaching a feeling of acceptance over his fears.
TMA 02 Part 3 Music
For this part of the TMA you will need to listen to Track 10 on the TMA CD. You will hear the “First Tableau: The Shrovetide Fair” from Petrushka by Stravinsky. Listen to the track a few times and then answer the question below in up to 300 words on continuous prose.
How does Stravinsky combine the elements of music, introduced to you in Unit 3, to establish the atmosphere of the fair?
Stravinsky begins the piece with a high-pitched flourish of woodwind instruments, such as the flute and clarinet and is then accompanied by the strings which increase in volume to meet with a fanfare of trumpets, it sounds like the fair is opening. Rhythm plays a key role throughout the entirety of the piece, fluctuating sounds are created as the fluttering of the woodwind section meet with the loud sharp sounds of the strings. Stravinsky manipulates this rapidly changing rhythm to establish the excitement and commotion of the fair.
The choice of instruments, and concentration on certain sections of the orchestra in particular parts adds colour to the piece, perhaps representative of the colours and vibrant images of the fair. In the same way, the fullness of the orchestra may relate to the busy crowds at the fair and at the same time sounds very grand.
Full use is made of the orchestra, to create great noise and effect, where the strings are concentrated on, the music is very grand and striking; whereas the effect the woodwind has on the piece is fleeting and soft. The gradual change in tempo is marked by drum rolls which introduces adagio and accelerando, the timbre of the drum is loud and echoes briefly creating the feeling of suspense at the fair.
Each movement brings its own highlight, from the strong trumpet blasts to the precise beats of the triangle, which accompanies the softer woodwind section at the end of the piece. The atmosphere of the fair is lively and upbeat as Stravinsky ends his “First Tableau”, he employs a melody of sounds that are reminiscent of Russian dance and manages to shift effortlessly from establishing excitement, commotion and suspense throughout the piece to this buoyant finale.
TMA02 Part 4 Philosophy
Answer these questions in not more than 300 words in total.
1. Here are some claims. If possible, give a sound argument for each claim. Where this is not possible, give a valid argument anyway. Do indicate those cases where you believe your argument is sound.
A.) The Queen is a mother B.) The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain
C.) The earth is flat. D.) Eating people is wrong.
E.) Oranges are not the only fruit.
All women who give birth are mothers.
The Queen has given birth.
The Queen is a mother.
Rain clouds can only form over plains.
It rains in Spain.
The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.
People cannot walk any other surface than horizontal.
People walk the earth.
The earth is flat.
Eating people is illegal.
If something is illegal, it is wrong.
Eating people is wrong.
Every morning I eat fruit.
I never eat oranges.
Oranges are not the only fruit.
Arguments A and E are both sound arguments, as the premises for both are al true, and it follows that if the premises to an argument are true then the conclusion must be true.
Arguments B and C fail at being sound arguments as the information used can be disproved. Argument D is not sound, as in some countries and within some cultures cannibalism is legal.
2. Give an example of an inductive argument, and explain why it is not deductive.
I’ve owned lots of cars.
All the cars I’ve owned have had four wheels.
All cars have four wheels.
This argument cannot be deductive because it is based purely on assumption. I’m assuming that all cars have four wheels because I’ve only owned cars with four wheels; however the volume of cars I’ve owned is minute in comparison to the variety of models and makes. Therefore, I cannot presuppose that every car follows the same rule.
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