the self: a societal construct

The self is not anything on it's own. We draw describe ourselves by making differentiations between us and those around us. From gender to socioeconomic status, we would not define ourselves in roles if not for human society. But society has grown past a natural state. What happens when machines become equivalent to people. What then? What happens when it's the very communities we live in that cause us to feel so alone, so unwanted. That's when people break. We learned from Kafka not to build our lives around the expectations of others, we learned from Voltaire not to make fake expectations of the world, and from powers the pain that is to be expected if one does. Our texts where tragic and violent. Many were about war, many others were about suffering. Underneath it all, they were about being human. From cryogenics to bots, wizened veterans to naive characters of satire, we have explored and debated what sort of experiance  and functioning truly make one human and which strip away our humanity. What makes one human? Well, from the readings and my own life experience, i would have to say that a "human" is a being with a beginning and an end who can process both thought and emotion. We make mistakes, get lost, and society is not always kind. There are things that come naturally to use and others that do not. There are things in the world that can hurt us and others we need to move past the hurt. Humanity is a collective. My gallery focuses on pieces like "The Metamorphosis",  "Civilization and Its Discontents", "Gilgamesh", and "The Daodejing of Laozi" due to their emphasis on what is and is not natural and the influence of society one one's self, but I have certainly drawn themes from "Candied" "The yellow birds" as well.

"People model themselves on the earth. The earth models itself on heaven. Heaven models itself on the Way. The way models itself on what is natural" (The Daodejing of Laozi, Chapter 25).
“We shall therefore content ourselves with saying once more that the word “civilization” describes the whole sum of the achievements and regulations which distinguish our lives for those of our animal ancestors and which serve two purposes- namely to protect men against nature and to adjust their mutual relations.” -Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud, page 63
Hollyhocks are a symbol of Fecundity. Fecundity: producing or capable of producing an abundance of growth.
Azaleas symbolize temperance.
"The way is smooth and easy, yet people love to take shortcuts! …The granaries are empty; yet some wear elegant clothes …They are stuffed with food and drink; And posses wealth in gross abundance. This is known as taking pride in robbery" -The Daodejing of Laozi, Chapter 53 Coxcomb represent, singularity, foppery, affectation. Spiderwort on the other hand are a symbol of "Esteem not love" or momentary happiness.
"On the road day in, day out. It's much more irritating work than doing the actual business in the home office, and on top of that there's the trouble of constant traveling, worrying about train connections, the bad food and irregular meals, casual acquaintances that are always new and never become intimate friends. The devil take it all.” -The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka, Page 54
"Men... must have corrupted nature a little, for they were not born wolves, and they have become wolves. God did not give them twenty-four-pounder cannons or bayonets, and they have made bayonets and cannons to destroy each other." - Voltaire, Candide, Chapter 4
"The time comes when each one of us has to give up as illusions the expectations which, in his youth, he punned upon his fellow-men, and when he may learn how much difficulty and pain has been added to his life by their ill-will." -Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud, Page 96
Garden Anemones symbolize forsakeness.
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