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Look at my essays, pretty please! cherry on top


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Hi! It looks like many others are doing this, so I'm going to try my chances! I'd really like to see what you think of my essays and what scoring range you would give it.


Issues prompt: "In order for any work of art - for example, a film, a novel, a poem, or a song - to have merit, it must be understandable to most people"

My response:


    The misunderstood artist is a great trope, to the point of cliche, when reviewing art history. The romantic notion of the starving artist secretly creating great work despite all odds is a compelling one, and we have many examples in history of artists who have sacrificed recognition and support in favor of the calling to produce their art. The reason why this redundancy exists and is widely known is because great art often is not something that can be grasped by the masses. If art can be defined as portrayal of human emotion and experience, not all such realities will naturally coincide with whatever audience consumes it. The merit of a piece of art may have historical, emotional, and or social merits without being palatable and enticing for every layman and critic. 
    Art's purpose is realized when it is the purest expression of human emotion and a subjectively accurate reflection of true experience. On many occasions, the most interesting and relevant art is that which reflects a unique experience or a yet uncharted emotion. If art is defined as that which is an resonant capture of the ineffable, then one must reject the notion that art must be understandable by the majority. If the artist has achieved something by capturing something unusual, then that art has tremendous merit and it most often will be misunderstood by the masses. Political art, for example, can express a specific subjective struggle of an underclass, and those unprivileged enough to not relate to the nuances of this experience will not find merit in the art. Unless they take the effort to experience the art on its own terms, and through the lens of an unfamiliar experience, whole contingencies of consumers will miss the many merits it may have to offer. Conforming to what is immediately consumable and superficially relatable should not be a requirement for a pieces' merit; to the contrary, the more nuance a piece of art may have, the more merits it may have as coming as close as possible to expressing a singular experience.
    Additionally, art may be understandable to different types of people in different ways. Art may be understood on an aesthetic, intellectual, or visceral level. It may speak to a person for its beauty or raw emotion, or it may convey a complex emotional idea. An artist of a particular nationality or religious background may see undertones in a biblically inclined picture, while another may only see the technique with which the biblical apple was crafted without appreciating the history and subtext. Along these lines, a piece of art may be misunderstood or overlooked by the majority of people, while conveying something of great signficance to a more specialized, trained, or experienced eye. Some may take the time to look at a piece of art or read a particular novel multiple times throughout a lifetime and others may give in a brief glance before dismissing its import. So, while art may not be universally understood, it may be tremendously meaningful and meritorious considering the right audience and context.
    Merit can similarly have complext and layered meaning. Some art carries with it great historical significance, as it could substitute itself for written history or the experience of the every people of a given time and place. A piece of art may offer itself as a portal into a different experience that is uncomfortable for the masses to try and understand, such as art by those who experienced slavery or genocide. These types of merit may not be easily digestible or recognizable by masses that may prefer to utilize art as an escape or validation of their own experiences. Merit, nonetheless, exists for these works. It may not be recognized or identified until a much later date or until the appropriate audience is found, but the inheret merit of the art can nonetheless exist.
    Meritorious art can have its purpose realized through mass consumption as well. Art that speaks to the the most universal of human experiences may even be the best art, as the artist has managed to capture something about his or her experience that is human. Part of great art may even be finding a way to appeal to someone who isn't looking at art through any particular lens but nonetheless is open to be entertained and provoked, populist artists who convey their art through whatever means necessarily (be it a television sit-com or a scatological Greek comedy) have captured something truer and more effective than the misunderstood Picassos. However, merit is a broad thing, and art can serve many different purposes. Whether understood by all or by the elite few, art's merit lies in the depth of truth it conveys, not merely in the volume of standing ovations it can achieve in a limited range of history.


Argument Prompt: 

SuperCorp recently moved its headquarters to Corporateville. Te recent surge in the number of homeowners in Corporateville prove that Corporateville is a superior place to live than Middlesburg, the home of SuperCorp's current headquarters. Moreover, Middlesburg is a predominately urban area and according to an employee survey, SuperCorp has determined that its workers prefer to live in an area that is not urban. Finally, Corporateville has lower taxes than MIddlesburg, making it not only a safer place to work but also a cheaper one. Therefore, Supercorp clearly made the best decision.


Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted."


SuperCorp's move to Corporateville is assumed to be superior, cheaper, and safer than its previous home in Middlesburg. One is to assume that they made the "best decision" because of the state of taxes, homeowners, and an employee survey.
    A surge in homeownership in an area does not necessarily convey any great superiority for a corporation's location. Depending on what the corporation does, homeowners may protest its existence in a residential area. Home desirability may indicate good schools, attractively low homeowner expenses, and homeowner-friendly regulations; these very perks may prevent such a corporation from achieving success in that area. An urban location may have the advantge of friendlier laws relating to businesses and corporations, as well as proximity to the resources a corporation may need, such as supplies and commuting availability for employees. A residential area such as Corporateville may lack these advantages.
    Generally speaking, lower taxes similiarly do not indicate a superior location for the company. There may be lower property taxes for homeowners and more prohibitive taxes for businesses; these distinctions are not indicated, therefore one cannot assume that taxes would make Corporateville a cheaper location specifically for a business. The statement that Corporateville has lower taxes are too vague to necessarily speak to a distinct advantage for a business. 
    There is also no indication as to the quality, content, and scope of the employee survey that was mentioned. The survey may have asked leading questions, interviewed very few or very select employees, and failed to take into consideration any number of nuances or conditions to a statement an employee makes about his or her desire for different living conditions and places. It could be that the employees of SuperCorp do not have an interest in living in a remote suburban area, for example, which may very well be what Corporateville is. Perhaps it is undesirable for their lifestyle because it doesn't have the right kind of schools, religious communities, or is too cheap or expensive for the lifestyle they desire. Even if one is to assume that the majority of employees would desire to live outside of an urban area, there is no indication from the survey or information provided that Corporateville is precisely the area the in which SuperCorp's employees would most like to live.

    Corporateville's seeming advantages have not been linked in a satisfactory way with advantages that would specifically benefit SuperCorps and make it a superior choice to Middlesburg. Essentially, the flaws in the argument fail to specify what advantages homeownership would provide to the company, which taxes are lower than Middlesburg's and if that would posivitely affect the business operations of SuperCorps, and fails to provide more details concerning the survey they conducted. The lack of information on the survey fails to pursuade the reader that it is an accurate portrayal of the employee's preference to moving the company. It is unclear from the information provided what clear advantages Corporateville has over Middlesburg.


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