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Art of Being Human, The: The Humanities as a Technique for Living, 10th Edition

By Richard Janaro, Thelma Altshuler

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jun 24, 2011


The Art of Being Human, Tenth Edition, introduces students to the ways in which the humanities can broaden their perspectives, enhance their ability to think critically, and enrich their lives.


This well-respected book has been lauded for its scope, accessibility, and writing style.  Featuring a unique topical organization, Part I introduces the humanities as a technique for living, by connecting the arts to students’ daily lives, utilizing the humanities to foster critical thinking skills, and examining their mythic origins.  Part II explores the individual genres of literature, art, music, theater, musical theater, and cinema.  Part III looks at provocative themes in the humanities: religion, morality, happiness, love, life and death, nature, and freedom.

Table of Contents



1. The Humanities: A Shining Beacon

Overview of this Book

Gifts of the Humanities


            Beautiful Movement



            Deeper Sense of the Past

Becoming an “Infinite” Person

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion


2. The Humanities and Critical Thinking


Apollonian and Dionysian Responses to the Humanities

            The Popcorn Syndrome

            Empathy and Alienation

            The Importance of Knowing when a Purely Emotional Response is Appropriate

            The Importance of Responding Critically

Exercising the Mind

            Solving Problems

            Challenging Assumptions

            Recognizing Contexts

A Guide to Critical Viewing: Professional and Personal

            Role of the Professional Critic

            The Personal Critical Response

Literalists and Figuratists

            Literalist Speech

            Figuratist Speech

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion


3. Myth and the Origin of the Humanities

Archetypes in Mythology

            The Hero as World Myth

            The Power of Words

            The Power of Numbers

            The Circle

            The Journey

            The Garden

            Gods as Human Beings

Myth as Explanation


            The Natural World

            Human Suffering

            Cursed by Fate

Myths of Childhood

            How We Get Our values

            The Importance of Being Attractive and Rich

            The Importance of Names

            The Dark Side

Popular Mythology

            Common Sayings

How Myth Influences the Humanities

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion




4. Literature

Literature as History

            The Basic Literary Impulse: Identity

            The First Epic: Gilgamesh

            An Early Masterpiece: Homer’s Iliad


            Lyrical Poetry

            The Sonnet

            Metaphors and Conceits

            A Modern Love Sonnet


            Simple Forms, Profound Meaning: William Blake

            Religious Poetry

            Modernism Moves Forward: Emily Dickinson

            Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance

            Poetry in Our Time

The Novel

            Early Western Novels

            The Novel in America

            The Coming-of-Age Novel

The Short Story

            Magazine Fiction


            The Short Story Today: John Updike

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion

Take a Closer Look: Collier’s “The Chaser”


5. Art

The Need to Imitate

            Let Me See!

            Styles and Media

Creating Likeness in Different Styles

            Classical Art

            Medieval Art

            Renaissance Art

A Rebellion against Perfect Likeness



            Post-Impressionism: Van Gogh

Art as Alternation

            The Sixty-Ninth Regiment Armory Show, 1913

            Cubism: Picasso and Braque

            Unreal Realism


            Camera and Computer Art

            Pop Art

            Performance, Prank, and Installation Art


            Religious Architecture

            Secular Architecture

            Frank Lloyd Wright

            Frank O. Gehry

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion

Take a Closer Look: Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait on the Border Between Mexico and the United States”



6. Music

The Basic Elements of Music


            The Scale



            Harmony and the Orchestra


The Varieties of Musical Experience

            A Bach Fugue

            A Beethoven Symphony

            Art Songs

            Folk Songs

            The Spiritual

            Gospel Songs

            Ragtime, Jazz, Blues

            Popular Songs


            Contemporary Non-Western Music

            The Musical Avant-Garde

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion

 Take a Closer Look: DeBussy’s “Clair de Lune”


7. Theater

Major Tragic and Serious Plays in Theater History

            Greek Classical Theater and Elizabethan Theater: A Comparison

             The Recognition Scene in Sophocles and Shakespeare

            Aristotle on the Nature of Tragedy

            Shakespeare and Dramatic Verse

            Neoclassic Tragedy

            Realism and Naturalism           

            Modern Genres and Conventions

            Modern Tragedy

            Melodrama and Tragedy

Comedy in Theatre History


            Shakespeare’s Comedy of Character


            Contemporary Anti-Middle-Class Comedy

            Contemporary Serious Comedy


Theater of Ideas





            The Family Theme

A Theatrical Century of Dynamic Change

            The Modern Theater of Ideas

            Theatre of Cruelty

            Racial Themes

            Gay Rights


            The Director


Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion

 Take a Closer Look: Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”



8. The Musical Stage: Opera, Music Drama, Dance

Early History of Musical Theater


            Classical and Baroque Opera


           Verdi and Romantic Opera


Modern Opera and Operetta


            Showboat: An Operetta

            Porgy and Bess

            Other Modern Operas of Note

The Broadway Musical

            Of Thee I Sing

            The Musical Play

            Pal Joey


            West Side Story

            Spring Awakening

            Next to Normal


            Early History


                        French Ballet: Giselle

                        Russian Ballet: Tchaikovsky and Diaghilev

            Modern Dance

                        Martha Graham

                        Other Schools of Modern Dance

            Folkloric Dance

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion

  Take a Closer Look: La Boehme and Rent


9. Cinema

Conventions of Film


            The Camera



            Challenging Conventions          

Some Early Milestones

            Early Filmmakers: D.W. Griffith

           Early Filmmakers: Sergei Eisenstein

Major Film Genres

            Slapstick Comedy: Sennet and Chaplin

            Farce: The Marx Brothers

            Enduring Appeal of the Animated Film

            Film Noir

            Romantic Comedy

            The Screen Musical

            The Western

            Social Issues


            Fictionalized Biography

            Loosely Based on the Original

Two American Film Classics

            Citizen Kane


The Film Auteur

            Ingmar Bergman

            Federico Fellini

            Alfred Hitchcock

            Akira Kurosawa

            Stanley Kubrick

            Francis Ford Coppola

A Word of Critical Viewing

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion

  Take a Closer Look: Saving Private Ryan




10. Religion


The Belief in Many Gods



            Polytheism in Greece and Rome

            Native American Religions

The Belief in an Impersonal Divinity

            How Hinduism led to Buddhism



            Socrates and Plato

            Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover

The Belief in One God




            The Protestant Reformation




Religion and the Arts

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion


11. Morality

Morality and the Arts

Morality and Philosophy

            Moral Systems

The Morality of Self-Interest

            Glaucon versus Socrates

            The Philosopher King

            Government and Self-Interest

            Rebellions against Self-Interest

            Satirical Praise for Self-Interest

            “Enlightened” Self-Interest: Machiavelli

            “Enlightened” Self-Interest: Thomas Hobbes

            Econonomics and Self-Interest: Adam Smith

            Econonomics and Self-Interest: Ayn Rand

            Transcending Self-Interest: Altruism

                        A Philosophical Defense of Altruism

Utilitarianism: Bentham and Mill

            Bentham’s Moral Mathematics

            Utilitarianism Modified: John Stuart Mill

The Categorical Imperative of Immanuel Kant

Religion and Morality

            The Influence of Dante and Milton on Western Morality

The Morality of Work

            Studs Terkel on Work

Moral Relativism

            The Global View

            Feminist Morality

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion


12. Happiness

Hedonism: Happiness as Pleasure

            Literary Hedonism: Poetry of Seduction

            Hedonist Assumptions

            Hedonism Reconsidered

Epicureanism: Happiness is Avoiding Pain

            Epicurean Assumptions

            Epicureanism Reconsidered

Stoicism: Happiness as a Strategy for Survival

            Stoic Assumptions

            Stoicism Reconsidered

Aristotle on Happiness

            Reason and Virtue

            Happiness A Government’s Responsibility

            Aristotle Reconsidered

The Humanities and Unhappiness

            Models of the Happy Life

            Anne Frank

            Martin Luther King, Jr.


            Buddhist Paths to Happiness

            The Dalai Lama

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion


13. Love

Body and Soul


            Lust in Classical Myth

            Lust on the Shakespearean Stage

            Eros in Eastern Culture



            The Platonic Ideal

            Platonic Love Evaluated

Family Love

            Family Conflicts

            The Family in Religion

            Matriarchs and Patriarchs


Romantic Love


            Romance and Chivalry

           Dante and the Divine Comedy

Love as Amusement

            Courtly Love

            Love as a Game

Love and Conflict

            Mirabell and Millamant

            Tracy and Hepburn

Love and Marriage

            The Victorian Model

            New Versions

            Love in a Time of Health Hazards

            Love and Older People

            Imagining a World in Which Only Sex Exists

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion


14. Life-Affirmation

Images of Death

            A Memorable Heroic Image

            Death in the Popular Arts

            Dearth at a Distance


Strategies for Dealing with Death

            Death in Real Terms

            Avoidance of Death Talk


            Magnifying and Beautifying Death

            The Medicalization of Death

Death in Literature

            Death and Children

            Facing the Inevitable Before It Happens

Death in Music

Death in Philosophy

            Death and An Afterlife

            Death and Fate

Symbolic Death


            Symbolic Suicide

            Symbolic Murder

Models of Life Affirmation

            The Phoenix

            There is Only Now

            Reinventing Ourselves

            Guilt and Forgiveness

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion



Need MS for these chapters


15. Nature


Romantic Views of Nature

        Early Warnings

        The Forest of Arden

        The Decay of Nature

        The Urban Attitude


        Nature as an Awesome Force

        The Frankenstein Monster

        Nature and Native Americans

        Joseph Conrad


Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion


16. Freedom


Determinism: The View that all People are Limited in their Choices

            Past and Present Limitations

            Institutional Determinism

            Economic Determinism

            Character Consistency




Free Will

            A Pessimist’s Definition of the Will

            Regret and Relief as Signs of Free Will

            Psychoanalysis: Freedom through the Conscious Ego


            Religious existentialism

            Secular existentialism

Freedom within Limitations

Learning Objectives

Key Terms

Topics for Writing and Discussion


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