The “Truth & Method” Book By Hans-Georg Gadamer University Essay Example

Basic Knowledge

The truth may be discovered via art, and the truth of art can elevate any way of comprehension. An experience can inspire a piece of art, which can then be produced to depict the event. In certain circumstances, the accuracy or correctness with which a piece of art portrays the experience can be used to establish its veracity (Gadamer). A work of art can contribute to the philosophy of communication in this way.

Secondly, to some extent, all understanding and truth is self-knowledge. When the genuine meaning of art is revealed, it opens up new possibilities and levels of human knowledge. It’s critical to figure out which biases or interpretations can lead to knowledge. Prejudices, on the other hand, contribute to misinterpretation (Gadamer). The capacity to experience and communicate is also required for hermeneutic awareness.

Thirdly, Gadamer rejects of historicism in relation to understanding. It leads to many false assumptions about how to evaluate discourse and communication. While historical awareness is concerned with the observations of the past, hermeneutic consciousness is concerned with both past and present consciousness (Gadamer). As a result, the scope of hermeneutic consciousness is way broader. The scope of our hermeneutic consciousness is moving and changing as our current consciousness blends with our prior consciousness.

Metaphors and Arguments

Truth & Method’s core premise is that scientific methods cannot properly describe the truth. Gadamer claims that hermeneutics is more than a means for defining truth; it is also an activity aimed at comprehending the conditions that allow truth to exist (Gadamer). Truth is not something that can be discovered via the application of a certain method or inquiry.

One of the key underlying themes is an issue of comprehension. For Gadamer developing a hermeneutic situation entails determining the most appropriate method for investigating the concerns generated by the encounter with tradition (Gadamer). Thus, the critical critique of the Enlightenment, romanticism, and historicism helps establish a universal basis for the hermeneutic dilemma. Understanding, interpretation, and application are all seen as part of one seamless process in the research. The book also looks at how language plays a role in hermeneutics. Although the language is a way of transmitting experience, the hermeneutic challenge is not accurate language mastery but proper comprehension of what happens when language is used.

Relevance

The hermeneutic tradition, which has always been related to other people’s interpretations, i.e., with the continuation of our tradition’s discussion, is relevant in today’s world. Since true knowledge encompasses not just certification and oversight but also interpretation and discussion, it becomes a crucial element in everyday life (Gadamer). In a number of settings, for instance, in the classroom or at the marketplace, interpretation, discussion, and getting an understanding is crucial.

Religious education, for example, is sometimes rejected as a topic purely concerned with faith and religion. By pushing students to understand the social context of them, it allows them to understand how their meaning may vary through time and for various audiences, and the hermeneutic paradigm helps bridge this distance. The classroom interactions are gaining a new level of interactions when utilizing hermeneutics concepts.

In the marketplace, the hermeneutic framework may be utilized to understand the experiences of consumers of goods, services, and purchases. Consumer needs may be identified using hermeneutics. Understanding and interpreting comments may have a beneficial impact on the market. Clients, on the other hand, maybe attentive to hermeneutic principles by engaging in their own sentence comprehension. The relevance of this approach in such a setting can lead to the mutual benefit of both sides.

Work Cited

Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Truth & method. A&C Black, 2013.

Legal Modernisation Of Colonial Algerian Courts

Legal modernization is a complex and multicomponent process with features in different countries. Algeria and Egypt are no exception, as the legislation of states was significantly changed under the influence of other cultures and the process of colonization. New state norms and institutions were created in both countries, directly impacting society. The 19th century was a period of significant legal transformations, which had both positive and negative impacts on the government’s development.

The colonization process had a multifaceted and complex impact on Algerian life. There is no doubt, however, that colonization, apart from the wishes of its creators, has had numerous benefits for Algeria. With its beginning, the Algerians began to learn about the achievements of European science and technology, the latest means of transport and communication, agricultural methods, industrial technology, education, and management culture established in the metropolis. It was also accurate jurisprudence since, in Algeria, from 1870 to 1930, assimilationist policies promoted colonial state intervention without violating the segregationist requirements of colonial rule (Ghabrial 293). Colonial ascidians and medical experts who came to Algeria tried to reinforce the new laws and regulations there.

It directed, above all, to a change in lawsuits, particularly divorce suits. Women’s voting rights have been expanded, and violence or consummation has become a common claim subject (Ghabrial 296). However, a paradoxical situation developed in which people in the same territory were subject to different laws. The new state systems contradicted the old norms, but Algerian women generally developed new legal strategies under the conditions of colonization. It led to legal pluralism that benefited women. French law became the basis that enabled Algeria to develop in a democratic direction.

A peculiarity of the transformations in Egypt was typical of the whole East of that time, namely that they were initiated by the rulers themselves, not by society. It explains their radicalism and leapfrogging, as well as the instant backlash caused by the change of the ruler-reformer (Fahmy 376). The reforms were accompanied by constant forceful actions of England and France, which eventually largely prevented the establishment of an independent sovereign state of Egypt. A Westernized stratum of national secular intellectuals and a Westernized way of life emerged in society, but mostly not among the indigenous population. At the same time, the police played a crucial role in effectively controlling severe crime in both urban and rural areas.

The legal system allowed residents to create petitions and appeals, a positive change. Indeed, in the police station rather than the courthouse, Egyptians first encountered the confusing legal system introduced in the nineteenth century. Its functioning changed, and crimes and penalties were clearly defined (Fahmy 375). Essential practices, such as post-mortem examinations and criminal records, were also introduced, greatly enhancing the ability of the police to maintain public safety. The updated legislation replaced the old legislation, but the influence of other countries hindered Egypt’s rapid development.

On the one hand, Egypt and Algeria had undergone significant changes in the 19th century and could even rank among the advanced countries. However, the loss of independence seriously hindered the socio-economic development of countries and the formation of national industry and identity. Positive aspects can likewise be highlighted, as the legal system of Algeria took a more democratic direction. Whereas in Egypt, the institution of the police became the main controlling body of the population. At the same time, residents were also able to appeal, which thus meant that society and the police had a mutual influence. Hence it is no coincidence that by the middle of the twentieth century, have started on the path of modernization. However, s the example of nations shows, complete national sovereignty plays far from the last role in the success of modernization and the development of legislation.

Works Cited

Ghabrial, Sarah. “The Traumas and Truths of the Body: Medical Evidence and Divorce in Colonial Algerian Courts, 1870–1930.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, vol. 11, no. 3, 2015, pp. 283-305.

Fahmy, Khaled. “The Police and the People in Nineteenth-Century Egypt.” Die Welt des Islams vol. 39, no. 3, 1999, pp. 340-377.

Feminist Practices And Representation Of Women Characters In Little Women

Abstract

This essay focuses on Alcott’s Little Women as a feminist novel and explores the representations of feminism in the text. In that, my exploration is on three areas to showcase Alcott’s feminism in the novel. First, I argue Little Women is a novel that presents writing as a feminist practice that shifts from a coming-of-age, Bildungsroman towards a Kunstler Roman, which highlights Jo March’s subversive feminism at the time. Next, the essay also focuses on the gender fluidity in the novel to tie into the feminist Bildungsroman focus. Finally, my essay also goes beyond Jo March’s character to show how forgotten characters like Beth March are a reminder of how patriarchy erases women who do not seem to fit into the stereotypes of the time.

Summary

Bildungsroman, or coming-of-age novel, refers to a genre of books that depicts the main character’s development. However, while many works of this genre focus on male characters, a female bildungsroman is not as widespread (Maier 320). Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott in 1868, is one such coming-of-age novel. In the book, the author illuminates challenges in the characters’ lives, pressing gender issues, and questions about the place and role of women. Among the evident themes are those of family, work, and gender stereotypes pertaining to both men and women. The author depicts four sisters with different characters and paths in the given novel. Such an approach allowed Alcott to present four different ways of questioning social norms, pressures, and expectations in the 19th century. The paths available for women included either marrying young, remaining obedient to one’s parents, dedicating one’s life to pleasure, or seeking one’s true calling.

Jo March is the last sister who chooses to explore her abilities and pursue her ambitions. Since the beginning of the novel, Jo shows her nonconforming personality, making her different from the rest of the sisters. Her character is traced as a hot-tempered, goal-oriented, persistent 15-year-old girl who skillfully combines both stereotypical ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ personality traits the way they are traditionally perceived in society. Even the girl’s approach to her name indicates the binaries that are deconstructed in her name since her full name is Josephine, but she prefers a masculine-sounding version, Jo, thus subverting the feminization of her self. Throughout the plot, it is clear that Jo strives to achieve great heights in her life and not be conformed to the patriarchal yardsticks mapped out for women in her time. While not acting as a conventional woman of her century, Jo March chooses to defy traditional gender standards and desires to write a novel.

However, it is reasonably arguable that Jo March wants to only fight solely for equality, independence, and minority rights. What is frequently omitted in many analyses of the character and the novel itself is the fascinating writing path of Jo. Thus, it is worth considering the writing path and how it impacts Jo March and the writing of the self and the novel as a Bildungsroman. The young, ambitious girl finds her ultimate life goal “to do something very splendid” and develop her writing skills (Alcott 60). Writing, thus, becomes a space to create a feminist voice for Jo March as a metanarrative for Alcott herself in the novel.

Frame of Study

It is vital to point out that the phenomenon of feminism occurred not decades ago but hundreds of years ago, making the literature pieces that touched upon this topic, especially essential. In this case, the novel Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott, and its diversity of characters help the readers understand the attitude of women toward societal pressure and expectations in the 19th century, contributing to the significance of this study in modern days. The popularity and relevance of the novel can be seen through various cinematic versions of Little Women, with the first interpretation first being released in 1949 and the last in 2019.

It can be seen that the novel has been relevant for centuries since it alludes to an obsolete patriarchal system that permeates the lives of both men and women and establishes societal expectations, and, thus, encourages a feminist vision. Hence, this study aims to analyze the phenomenon of feminism in Little Women through the gender fluidity in Jo March, as well as observe shifts from BildungsRoman to KunstlerRoman. In order to do this, the determinants of Jo’s binary identity and how such binary elements are constantly questioned, along with various feminist practices in the novel, will be examined.

Background of the Novel

While some readers might consider Little Women a simple novel, the book written by Louisa May Alcott transcends such plots and represents a feminist Bildungsroman. It illuminates the struggles of women and the establishment of their characters in a conservative, patriarchal world. The March daughters have big dreams at the beginning of the novel. For example, Josephine, the second child, aspires to be a writer. Meanwhile, Amy, the youngest daughter, wants to be an artist. However, as the girls reach adulthood and expectations for the young women rise, they find themselves having to forget about their wildest fantasies about what life could have been like.

While analyzing the plot, it is also noteworthy to illuminate the background of the novel. The story depicted in the book is intertwined with the life and experience of the author. Alcott, just like Jo, was the second daughter who also aspired to become a writer. The resemblance between the creator, Alcott, and the heroine, Jo, goes deeper. As Harriet Reisen states, “Jo March resembles her creator most in the fertility of her imagination” (Reisen 4). The author believed that both women shared the same rich imagination, which allowed them to create narratives with bits of violence and betrayal in one moment and fairy tales and emotional poems in the next (Reisen 4). Nevertheless, the paths of two genius women part when the topic of personal life as a writer is touched upon. In this respect, while Alcott became a prolific, dedicated, and successful author while remaining unmarried, Jo settled for family life in the end of the novel, which could be as rewriting as a response to the readership pressure and expected narrative of the age. Critics also generally agree that Alcott’s own life could be a probable scenario for Jo, who also grew up with three of her sisters in Concord.

It is also vital to mention that despite the fact that the renowned novel Little Women made Alcott one of the most recognized and praised writers, the woman initially hesitated to work on it. It was her publisher, Thomas Niles, who suggested the novelist write a book for young girls (Cheever 2). Consequently, Alcott decided to write about something that tended to be familiar, such as her personal experience with her sisters (Cheever 2). The writer was satisfied with the unpretentious and genuine book, which was completed in ten weeks. According to Alcott, her sister and lived through most of the events and experiences depicted in the book, which accounted for its success (Cheever 2). As a result, the work can be considered an autobiography due to the plot’s resemblance to the author’s life and Alcott’s voice. However, from this perspective, the novel can be seen as a metanarrative, giving a comprehensive account of 19th-century society, feminism, and gender fluidity.

Theoretical Framework

In order to understand rebellious women, the subversion of ossified dogmas of the conservative society, and gender fluidity in the novel, it is of critical importance to give an in-depth analysis of feminist practices and Bildungsroman. This involves considering the writing from the perspective of feminist practice and the general features of Bildungsroman. These two are not only intertwined but also shape the book’s perceptions and allow the reader to gain an insight into the influence of Jo’s character.

Writing as Feminist Practice and BildungsRoman

The first aspect that needs to be analyzed is the essence of Bildungsroman and how it is correlated with writing as a feminist practice. When it comes to the roots of the traditional Bildungsroman, also known as the coming-of-age narrative, they are linked to the 18th-century German Enlightenment’s constrictive gender and hierarchical class levels (Graham 200). The concept has changed into a literary classification for written works whose plot revolves mainly around the main character’s development and spiritual growth. The traditional Bildungsroman’s coming-of-age path is built on the idea of the male individual as the “universal self” (Graham 202). Thus, the pursuit of a central character, whether geographical or internal, in search of enlightenment or wisdom is a fundamental aspect of most works regarded as Bildungsroman.

Considering this aforementioned aspect, feminist critics have proposed a re-definition of the given style, asserting that the female main character’s growth varies substantially from the conventionally anticipated process of development of a man. In this case, a range of attributes of the female character development was introduced, including self-realization, internal and external goal orientations, schooling, profession, a shift in gender norms, perception of marriage, philosophical and religious views, and autobiographical aspects. All of these factors allowed female protagonists to attune to their true developmental courses. In many Bildungsroman works, female protagonists are expected to conform to norms and follow the standards established by society until the characters find their true selves and become conscious of their identities.

Traditionally, until the end of the 19th century, the hegemony of patriarchy played a dominant role in literature. Nevertheless, since the 19th century, questioning society’s preconceptions about the correctness of marriage, particularly for middle-class women with hopes and dreams, was later documented. In this respect, the 19th century can be considered the time that laid the foundation for writing as feminist practice (Howell 23). The reform concerning urban life and the journalist sphere allowed women to take on more prominent roles in society and voice their opinions and values with the help of their writings (Howell 23). Among the writers who contributed to the establishment of feminist writing was Sarah Willis Parton, also known as Fanny Fern (Howell 23). The work of this author addresses the concerns about gender discrimination and women’s autonomy (Howell 23). Moreover, the writer discussed the unfair and negative criticism directed at women writers by male authors. Thus, at this time, writing was not only a way to express oneself but a way to rebel against the prevailing brutal injustice.

Since the 19th century, writing as a feminist practice has shifted, becoming more widespread. Now, a significant number of feminist debates concentrate on whether women can “appropriate language and literature for a liberatory end” (Kaplan 339) because language is not only a means of obtaining cultural transformation, but it is also part of the issue that women face. Patricia Yaeger, a feminist writer, also advocates for a feminist theory by challenging four assertions that she claims to have too potently controlled feminist writing.

According to Yaeger, one of the first issues that feminist writing underscores is that men’s work is encouraged while feminist work is devalued. As a result, another issue of feminist writing involves masculine language that is believed to have complete authority “to restrict women’s identities” (Kaplan 346). The third aspect when it comes to women’s writing is that women have “a single relation to language” (Kaplan 346). This implies that “emancipatory strategies” are not accessible to the woman writer (Kaplan 346). In this field, language is defined chiefly as either masculine or feminine (Kaplan 346). Consequently, such ruling viewpoints become overbearing, forcing women writers to seek conventional textual distortions, incorporating Avangard approaches to indicate their beliefs.

Hence, writing as a feminist practice has always received backlash for freethinking or due to overbearing societal preconceptions. However, in the present society, a diverse range of feminist writers has contributed a great deal to literature by illuminating the struggles and aspirations of women. Even though feminist writers express many similar opinions, such as questioning gender roles, the variety of current work necessitates the concept of feminism rather than a solitary framework philosophy. In this regard, many feminist writers expose the dominant gender dichotomy while also subverting the existing limits. A feminist Bildungsroman is a genre that encompasses the given theme while focusing on the protagonist’s path. In this respect, Alcott’s novel pertains to feminist writing, covering the phenomena of feminism through the story of Jo March and her sisters.

Works Cited

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. Penguin Books, 2013.

Cheever, Susan. Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography. Simon & Schuster, 2011.

Graham, Sarah, ed. A History of the Bildungsroman. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Howell, Samantha. “The Evolution of Female Writers: An Exploration of Their Issues and Concerns from the 19th Century to Today.” University of Hawaii at Hilo HOHONU, vol. 13, 2015.

Kaplan, Carla. “Women’s Writing and Feminist Strategy.” American Literary History, vol. 2, no. 2, 1990, pp. 339-357.

Maier, Sarah E. “Portraits of the Girl‐Child: Female Bildungsroman in Victorian Fiction.” Literature Compass, vol. 4, no.1, 2007, pp. 317-335.

Reisen, Harriet. Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women. Henry Holt and Company, 2009.

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