Use the philosophies of realism to create your own evaluation of ordinary, everyday life in attempt to answer one big questions concerning realist writers: how much control does each person truly have over his or her own destiny? Document a day in either your own life or in the life of someone close to you via photographs. No animals on pictures. You cannot use pictures previously taken or pictures from the Internet. You will take “snapshots” of ten single moments in an attempt to address this big question. Focus on the following in your reflection: A thorough explanation of all ten images and why you made the choices you did for your camera shots, angles, movements, and particular moments. The ways in which your moments/photos reflect the realist perspective, an attempt to depict ordinary life accurately and authentically. Your viewpoint regarding how much control each person has over his or her own destiny, and how the choices that people make in everyday life affect this.

Expert Answers

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This is an interesting project and you should embrace it as opportunity to be creative.  Hopefully, these thoughts will help you succeed.

Since the assignment focuses on addressing the individual’s role in determining his or her destiny from a realistic viewpoint, you will want to take photos showing a person making choices and to take photos showing a person being affected by events which he or she cannot control.  These photos should also represent the daily life of an ordinary person; that is, do not attempt to stage a photo which would be beyond the realm of everyday life.  Your photos should be an “accurate” and “authentic” presentation of life. 

In literature the realist focuses on presenting things as they are (the Correspondence Theory of truth in philosophy) and is generally not interested in things or topics which cannot be demonstrated by scientific or physical evidence.  Thus the realist avoids supernatural or transcendent explanations for the events in a character’s experience.  (Realism, to some extent, was a reaction to these elements in Romanticism.)  The concept of destiny is foreign to realism, since it presupposes something transcendent at work in the individual’s life.

Your essay should emphasize how realistically your photos capture the individual – notice that you need to explain “angles, movements, and particular moments.”  (Is one angle, for example, better than another?)  Connect these to realism and evaluate whether your photos are realistic – in the sense of how the term is used in literature and art as well as philosophy.  Finally, explain your own view on the topic of freedom and destiny and try to tie that to the photos you used.

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