Tutor profile: Sheelah S.
Subject: Film and Theater
Explain the importance of German Expressionism.
German Expressionism began to grow before Germany entered World War I and peaked during the 1920s. In terms of popularity, German Expressionism was only 10% of what was being produced by the film industry in Germany. This dark artistic style has managed to entrance filmmakers and viewers for decades with its moody and avant-garde style, uncharacteristic to Nazi Germany at the time with its desire for highly politicized media content. German Expressionism is known for its dark, bold contrasts and unusual portrayals of the world. It often explores dark, psychological disturbances, especially noticeable as filmmakers tried to cope with their loss in WWI and Hitler's ascent to power during Germany's economic demise. It was a way for filmmakers to capture and analyze the hell that was their world, and is one that inspires equally passionate movies today like "Edward Scissorhands" by Tim Burton and the modern interpretation of Batman's Gotham City.
Subject: World History
Compare and contrast the development of ancient civilizations. Provide at least 2 similarities and 1 contrast, or 2 contrasts and 1 similarity.
For any ancient civilization to begin, it needs several fundamental, life-sustaining developments to proceed. Like nomads in the desert in search of oases, water is one of the key components for any civilization to have sturdy roots and continue on for centuries (unless otherwise thwarted by enemy fire or catastrophic environmental disaster). The Mesopotamians and the Indus River Valley people both originated around sources of water, namely the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers and the Indus River respectively. These constant water sources allowed early civilizations to grow and cultivate civilizations with a more sedentary approach to life. Nomadic groups were still necessary to facilitate trade and eventually ideas, but rivers and water sources allowed settlements to be established and cultures to grow. With a stable and mostly clean water source, both Mesopotamians and Dravidians (people who established themselves in the Indus) began to invest their time into agriculture. While nomadic groups were known for hunting and gathering, settled people could allow themselves to care for and grow crops. Using the rivers as a water source, agriculture began and helped these settlements expand and develop. A difference between these two ancient civilizations are their government systems. Mesopotamians were ruled by a hereditary monarchy, where the leadership was passed on within one ruling family. They were awed by numerous gods, but stayed mostly within the control of their leader. On the other hand, the Dravidians had city-states presided over by priest kings. It was a far smaller level, one that mainly took place in their well-known cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-Dara.
Read the following excerpt from Sandra Cisneros' "House on Mango Street" and analyze what it is Cisneros is trying to convey in her short vignette-style prose: Those who don't know any better come into our neighborhood scared. They think we're dangerous. They think we will attack them with shiny knives. They are stupid people who are lost and got here by mistake. But we aren't afraid. We know the guy with the crooked eye is Davey the Baby's brother, and the tall one next to him in the straw brim, that's Rosa's Eddie V., and the big one that looks like a dumb grown man, he's Fat Boy, though he's not fat anymore nor a boy. All brown all around, we are safe. But watch us drive into a neighborhood of another color and our knees go shakity-shake and our car windows get rolled up tight and our eyes look straight. Yeah. That is how it goes and goes.
Throughout the series of vignettes in "The House on Mango Street," Sandra Cisneros portrays the Latino area of Chicago through Esperanza's eyes. Each vignette is told in a similar, innocent and child-like way, where Esperanza unwittingly critiques the racial and social dynamic of her era. In this vignette, Esperanza notes how nervous people are when they enter a neighborhood by accident, specifically ghetto or colored areas. In her childish demeanor, Esperanza mocks those people as being "stupid people [who] got here by mistake," but she also realizes that she and her family do the same when they accidentally pass into another's domain. This calls to attention the boundaries between ethnicities and how these differences force separation and innate segregation. The idea of "the other" or "the out group" forces a stressed social climate, one that Esperanza can see and feel but do nothing about as a child following her elders. She knows that if she were to enter a different neighborhood, one that is not Latino or one that does not look like her, she will have to be afraid. It is a natural response to an unknown territory, it is the fear of being different, of being the minority, that subconsciously forces Esperanza to roll up her car windows and makes her knees go "shakity-shake."
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