Total War, Totalitarianism, and The Arts
3. What is the difference between “social realism” and “socialist realism”? Cite examples of each. Social Realism was essentially a way in which to criticize and protest the politics of the time. Socialist Realism, on the other hand, was used in order to glorify the socialist state. The main difference between Social Realism and Socialist Realism is that one attempted to work against the state, whereas the other worked for the state and its politics. An example of Social Realism is the book by John Steinbeck titled, “The Grapes of Wrath.” Steinbeck’s book is a great example because it deals with the issues of the government, economic depression and its overall affect on the people. An example of Socialist Realism is the political posters in Russia, namely, Emancipated Women Build Socialism! These posters backed the political agenda of leaders which reinforced the public’s belief in communism. 4. Define gallows humor and give examples. Why was this genre particularly appropriate to the subject of modern warfare? Gallows humor or, “Black humor” is the use of morbid or absurd situations for comical purposes in fiction or drama. Gallows humor was particularly fitting for the subject of modern warfare because many humorists of the time believed that war in general was the greatest of all hate jokes. Essentially, these humorists believed that war itself has no victors, only victims. In this mind set, the humorists find it comical that such world leaders would even consider themselves victorious, when the very act of war is pointless and therefore humorous. 5. What event prompted Picasso to paint Guernica? Did the artist represent the actual event in the painting? Picasso was prompted to paint Guernica when the German air force bombed and destroyed the small market town of Guernica in Spain. The painting itself does not represent the actual event of the bombing of Guernica. Instead, it...
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