The Ranakpur Jain Temple, located in India, stands tall with intricately carved pillars
that depict awe-inspiring deities. The Ranakpur Temple serves to honor the religion of
Jainism and is one of five pilgrimage sites for the followers of Jainism (“Ranakpur
Temple”). The Ranakpur Temple was built in the 15th century by Jain businessman
Seth Dharna Shah and the king Rana Kumbha, whom the temple is named after. The
temple is expansive; at over 48,000 square feet, the temple sits above what are known
as the Aravalli hills and is a vision of light marble that shifts colors as the sun sets. The
Ranakpur Temple further encompasses four smaller temples dedicated to various Jain
Lords. The most prominent of these is the Chaumukha Temple, which is dedicated to
Lord Adinath, who appears as a four-faced image. This shows how the Lord and
through him Jainism, attempts to expand to all corners of the earth and cosmos
This example of architecture I originally discovered while exploring the internet and
trying to compile works of architecture that inspire me or seem to evoke emotions. I
chose this piece, among cathedrals such as Notre Dame and the architectural style of
the Taj Mahal, because it is unique in how it represents the culture it hails from. The
major element of architecture that is visible at once in the Rankpur Jain Temple is the
use of post and lintels. Post and lintel is a type of architectural that uses strong
columns, or posts, to hold up larger horizontal beams called lintels (Rinck). In Greek
architecture, these columns were in the Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian styles, all of which
had varying levels of detail. In the Rankapur Temple, the columns are closest to the
Corinthian style of having ornate carved capitals but stand out due to how they feature
extensive detail in the fluting or scalloped-out parts of the columns (Rinck). The columns
of the temple display figures of Jain’s religious figures and nature symbols such as
carved leaves in intricate detail. The Rankapur Temple further stands out due to how it
is carved from marble. Lines move across the Ranakpur Temple, and the light color of
the marble allows it to reflect light differently throughout the day. This shows how
the context of the Jain Temple further causes it to move the viewer. The context of a
building is the natural surroundings of a building, and the history in which the building
was created. The building was built to appear “celestial” yet still to stand as part of the
natural landscape (“Ranakpur Temple”). The surrounding greenery around the temple
emphasize how Jainism was founded by spiritual leaders who achieved liberation and
perfection (“Jainism”). Due to how the temple stands out from the surrounding hills, the
temple appears to contrast against the natural world, which in turn shows how the
temple is meant to stand out from the real world as a spiritual dwelling. This all shows
how the architecture of the Ranakpur Temple emphasize the social angle of culture.
The Ranakpur Temple emphasizes culture because it maintains the unique architectural
style of its region of India- the columns bear carvings of symbols of the Jain faith, which
originates in India. The Temple also bears intricate carvings of snakes, prayer bells, and
geometric patterns that reflect the importance of various motifs to the Jain culture
(“Jainism”). This cultural identity is also seen in the people who visit the Temple. It
stands as a symbol of the Jain faith, and its lines work to connect visitors to the Jain
ideals of discipline and purification through their organized structure. Furthermore, the
Jain Temple represents the cultural identity of the Jain religion because it shows the
importance of sacred imagery to the Jain religion (“Jainism”).
At first glance, the Ranakpur Temple is opposite to the image “ちえ” (or “Knowledge”)
by Hitoshi Kobayashi that I explored in Module 1. The image “Knowledge” is
demonstrative of Japanese architecture in the modern city of Tokyo while the Ranakpur
Temple seems to stand away from time and is also more permanent. However, the two
pieces are both representative of the cultural identity of the area they are associated
with and the importance of documenting that identity. In the image “Knowledge” you can
see the national identity of Japan as a modernized country that is transitioning through
industrialization. The image “Knowledge” appears to represent the exchange of older
knowledge to the newer environment that the building in the image looks to represent.
In a similar way, the Ranakpur Temple represents the national identity of India as a
country with countless cultural traditions and as a country with deeply rooted religious
customs that extend past a thousand years before the modern age.
The piece of art from module one that the Ranakpur Temple is similar to is the
“Guardians of Time” sculpture by Manfred Kielnhofer that was explored by Tien Pham.
At face value, the Ranakpur Temple is vastly different, not only in size, but also in
permanence. The “Guardians of Time” are statues covered by hoods that are placed
temporarily in places such as Stonehenge or beside a beach (“Guardians of Time:
Sculptures by Manfred Kielnhofer”). As stated by Tien Pham, “…these Guardians depict
how they are the protectors of the universe even though humans are the sole danger to
their existence in time.” The Guardians move from place to place temporarily, but much
like the Temple they represent the importance of protection of the universe, much as the
Jain Temple shows the importance of protecting the Jain faith. Furthermore, both the
sculptures and the carved figures of the Jain Temple seek to emphasize the role
humans play in the passage of time and how humans are meant to make active
decisions concerning their fate (Pham). In the case of the sculptures, this decision
making is enforced by the existence of “guardians” who are meant to watch over
humans and play a role in human actions. In the Ranakpur Temple, the process of
decision making is of religious importance. The architecture of the Ranakpur Temple
seeks to connect the visitors to a higher power and also works to remind visitors of how
higher powers are there to watch over humans’ actions.
Word Count: 1038
“Guardians of Time: Sculptures by Manfred Kielnhofer.” The Inspiration Grid RSS,
Inspiration Grid, 28 Aug. 2015, theinspirationgrid.com/guardians-of-time-sculptures-bymanfred-kielnhofer/.
“Jainism.” ReligionFacts.com. 17 Nov. 2016, www.religionfacts.com/jainism.
Narayanan, Sathya. “Ranakpur Jain Temple - The Four Faced Temple of the First
Tirtankara.” Speakingtree.in, Speaking Tree, 11 May 2016,
“Ranakpur Temple.” Ranakpur Temple - Ranakpur Jain Temple, Ranakpur Temples
Rajasthan, Ranakpur Jain Temple India, Cultural India, www.culturalindia.net/indiantemples/ranakpur-temple.html.
Rinck, Christie. "Architecture." HUM 1020: Introduction to Humanities, Spring 2018,
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.
Pham, Tien. “Module 1 Discussion.” 13 Jan. 2018.
For this contextual analysis I decided to analysis the book 1984. The author of 1984
was George Orwell who was born on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, India (Biography.com).
Before he began his writing career, Orwell joined the India Imperial Police Force. After
five years of working in the police force, he returned to England and began his writing
career by writing about his experience in India. With the end of World War II, Orwell was
afraid of the possibility of nations becoming totalitarian. Due to this fear, he
wrote 1984while he was severely ill with tuberculosis in 1949. Orwell later succumb to
tuberculosis and died on January 1, 1950 (Biography.com). The purpose of
writing 1984 was to give a warning to the future generation and onward of the dangers
1984 could be classified as a psychological novel, a novel that mainly focuses on the
psychological issues that dwell with the main character, due to story being heavily
focused on the main character and his thoughts about the society he lives in (Rinck).
The plot of this book, or structure of the story in a book, focuses on the life of
the protagonist, or the main character in the book or film, Winston Smith living in a
totalitarian-like society called the Party which controls every aspect of its citizen,
including their thoughts (Rinck). Winston is not a single minded individual and does not
agree with everything the Party believes or stands for. Not agreeing to anything or
believing in anything that the Party says is considered treason and any thought of
betraying the Party is considered a thought crime. Anyone caught committing a thought
crime will be reported to the Thought Police and will be killed (Orwell 3). Winston has
committed several thought crimes and other crimes that progressively continue. One
crime he commits is having an intimate romantic relationship and sex with a girl name
Julia, which is considered a crime to do in the Party (Orwell 126). Another crime
Winston commits is that he begins to read a book that was written Goldstein who is a
rebel trying to overthrow the government (Orwell 184). Winston and Julia are later
captured by the Thought Police and are tortured until they are assimilated back into the
Party. In the end, Winston comes to except the rules and lifestyle of the Party and
becomes assimilated back into the Party.
I acquired this book through a friend who lend me the book. As I was reading the book I
decided that this book would be the type of medium that I would analysis for this
assignment. When I was reading 1984, I was getting a sense of dread and
hopelessness that Winston was feeling. As though I was put into his perspective and
was trying to think of ways to overthrow the Party and of ways to commit more crimes in
private of the Party. The lives of the mindless citizens brainwashed by the Party also
allowed me to realize the amount of control the government has and what little control I
have if I were to live in a society like this. Compare this society to the United States is
very different since we have more liberty to do what we want unlike the Party.
For module 1, I analyzed The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso. A similarity between the
painting and the book is that they both give a feeling of sadness. While both give the
same emotion to the viewer or reader, both works do for a certain reason. Picasso
painted The Old Guitarist when he was going through a depression of losing his friend.
The painting was a way to express his feeling of sadness and show others how he felt
through this artwork. Orwell wrote 1984 in order to warn the future generation of the
dangers of totalitarianism. By doing this, Orwell creates a depressing tone, or an
emotion that the work conveys, in his book by writing about the daily life of Winston who
is conflicted with the laws of his society.
Another piece that I decided to analyze from module 1 is Guernica. While one can
interpret both pieces differently, they both represent a similar time period. Both works
were done around the time of World War II in order to convey how chaotic the war
was. Guernica illustrates this through the different amounts of shapes and shades of
white and black used. 1984interprets the possibility of the aftermath of a war by talking
about a future without free will and under totalitarian rule.
There are two social angles which I identified in this novel which are class and the mind.
In 1984, class can be divided into three segments: the inner party, the outer party, and
the proles. The inner party are people working for Big Brother, or the government.
People of the inner party are considered the upper class citizens in the society and get
more benefits because of it. The outer party are considered the “regular citizens” of this
society that follow everything the Party supports. People of the outer party are
considered middle class citizens in the society. The proles are citizens that are treated
poorly and sometimes considered to be not human in the book. The proles are
considered lower class and working class citizens in the society which comprises most
of the population of the Party and have more freedom than anyone in the Party.
Although the more freedom in the Party, the inner party has been instilled with the rules
of the Party and hate the proles for not living up to the rules which is a reason why they
are looked down upon. The class system had an important role in the story since it
shows how differently each class lives on a daily bases that is described through the
perspective of Winston. The mind is the other social angle identified in 1984. There are
many moments in the book that question morality and if there are things that are
subjectively or objectively right. There are also moments in the book that questions truth
and lies and the knowledge that we gain from other is true or not. The reader will
experience the same type of philosophical and moral questions that Winston asks
throughout the book which helps fully immerse the reader to the same psychological
dilemmas that face Winston. I believe this was the intension that Orwell tried to achieve
by making the reader experience these same questions that Winston faces. Before he
died, he wanted people to know the value of free will through this book. The entire book
shows the reader what the absence of free will in hopes of safeguarding the future and
prevent a society similar to the Party to rise.
Word Count: 1133
“George Orwell.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 15 Feb. 2018,
Orwell, George, and Erich Fromm. 1984. Signet Classics, 2017.
Rinck, Christie. Literature. HUM1020.001S18 Introduction to
I am going to analyze One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey for this
Contextual Analysis discussion. Ken Kesey was born in Colorado in 1935. While doing
a graduate fellowship in creative writing at Stanford University, he volunteered to take
part in what turned out to be a CIA-financed study called Project MKULTRA. The project
studied the effects of psychoactive drugs, such as LSD, cocaine, DMT, etc. on people.
His part in this study and his stint working at the Veteran’s Administration hospital
inspired him to write One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. While working at the hospital,
he spent time talking to a lot of patients, sometimes under the influence of the
hallucinogenic drugs he had to take as part of the study. He believed that the patients
were not actually insane and were just cast aside by society because they did not fit the
conventional ideas of how a person was supposed to act and behave. These beliefs of
his are represented in the book.
Kesey continued using drugs, particularly LSD and marijuana, after the study was over.
He would throw parties called Acid Tests in which he and friends would take
psychoactive drugs such as LSD. He even drew some illustrations for One Flew Over
the Cuckoo’s Nest while under the influence of LSD. His drug use got him in trouble with
the law for which he was imprisoned for five months. After his release, he led a
secluded family-oriented life while teaching at University of Oregon. He passed away in
2001 at the age of 66 due to complications from an operation.
I had to read this book for my Junior English class in high school and I fell in
love with it. It became my favourite book. I selected this work because, to me, it is one
of the best pieces of literature ever written. The thing that appealed to me the most
about this book was the author’s clever use of symbolism, metaphor/allegory and
foreshadowing. The book was full of hidden meanings and really required opening up
your brain and seeing beyond the surface level to understand it completely.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is about a mental ward run by the
tyrannical Nurse Ratched, and its inhabitants. The mental ward and its habitants are an
allegory for people who are considered outcasts by society. Nurse Ratched and her
goons represent the society trying to control these “outcasts” and trying to make them
more “normal.” This book contains the elements of a picaresque novel where the main
character (R.P. McMurphy) is a roguish hero of low social class in a corrupt society (the
mental ward). McMurphy decides to finish his sentence for his criminal charges in the
mental ward instead of jail because he thinks it’ll be easier. After seeing how harsh
Nurse Ratched is with the patients, he starts rebelling against her. At first the other
patients in the ward are too scared to go against her. They’re okay with the way she
treats them because that’s the way it has always been. All the patients remain quiet and
demure all the time. It isn’t until McMurphy comes into the picture that they start
showing emotions. They laugh for the first time in years, they start enjoying themselves,
and they also start getting angry at Nurse Ratched whenever she treats them unfairly.
The author uses a lot of symbolism to show McMurphy as a Christ figure and to
also foreshadow his death. He uses biblical imagery to achieve the former. McMurphy
arranges a fishing trip for the patients. This is alluding to how Jesus told his disciples
that if they followed him, he would make them “fishers of men.” When McMurphy gets
electroshock therapy, they restrain him to the bed in the same position that Jesus was
on the crucifix. They also put on a contraption on his head that resembles the crown of
thorns that Jesus was wearing as he was crucified. A symbol that the author used to
foreshadow his death was that he had a tattoo that depicted the poker hand called
“dead man’s hand.” Though McMurphy was overpowered by Nurse Ratched and
eventually died, he still ended up being the victorious hero because he left a legacy
behind. He caused change in the mental ward. Many of the patients signed out of the
ward and the remaining patients stopped being afraid of Nurse Ratched, which reduced
her power considerably.
The social angle most prominent in the book is culture. It particularly shows how
culturally we are very intolerant in our acceptance of “others.” Anyone who behaves or
acts in a way that is unusual or different from what we consider “normal” is thrown aside
as an outcast. We, as a society, try to get these individuals who are “different” to
conform to our conventions. This novel was very different from the piece of art that I
analyzed in the previous discussion. The Ice Arch by Andy Goldsworthy, a threedimensional piece of ephemeral and environmental art, related to nature and was made
to bring awareness to the hard work that farmers put into the upkeep of their farms. One
Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, however, is about culture and society, and its need to
shun people who are different. They were similar in one aspect. In the creation of both
works, the artist and the author were heavily influenced by their personal experiences. I
found that The Son of Man by René Magritte, a work that a peer analyzed in the
previous discussion, was a bit more similar to this novel than the Ice Arch was. It shows
a man dressed in very nondescript clothing with an apple covering his face. The
painting represents a loss of identity at the hands of one’s beliefs/religion. One Flew
Over the Cuckoo’s Nest represents the loss of identity at the hands of a society that
strives for conformity.
Word count: 988
Fried, Joshua. “What a Trip.” Stanford Magazine - Article, Stanford University,
“Ken Kesey.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Mar. 2018,
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