Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Aqua Vitae: Reflections

Aqua Vitae [Re]flections Unit--Honors Summary [RAGAN & YOUNG]
The water of life can be viewed and further extracted to reflect this unit in a more abstract sense. We viewed this sense of life meets water through the war, Industrial Revolution and this rebirth of antiquity. If one thinks of life and the qualities of water, then our abstraction makes perfect sense. Water is fluid and spreads quickly, touching everything in its path. Water is easily manuvered and can sometimes soak up and ruin any the things it interacts with. For example, the news, advancements in travel and so forth, can be viewed as the living water of America in the 18th-19th century. Faster travel led to more news about life and the news spread FAST.
Another example of this transportation and travel reflecting water and was of the east meets west idea of the times. The Silk Road and other such trade routes began blooming from all angles of the world. These routes led to the desire for “exotic” artifacts to be apart of European design. The World’s Fair of 1851 in London showcased many cultures and allowed for them to learn from each other, to intermingle and to influence and inspiring each other.
To switch gears within this unit, we discussed the French middle and upper classes and their relationship to one another. These classes were completely different, however, in the 18th-19th century, the middle class began to construct homes and have them resemble that of the wealthy upper class palaces. They created meager ponds in the center of their clustered homes in the middle class to try to reflect the large fountains and lakes of the upper class royalty.

Crystal Palace, 1851  Cultural mixing

Cites for images:  www.crystalpalace51.org/

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