Samples of Writing Assignment II

The following are sample A and B Writing Assignment II's submitted by recent students. They are from several of my classes, but all are the format for Writing Assignment II.


(History 111)

World War II came at a costly price in both tangible and intangible ways. With the rampant destruction all over the globe, money and bodies were poured into the war effort by nearly all those capable. America, though initially not involved in the war, jumped in at full throttle when it felt necessary. With this, domestic life shifted rapidly, with men leaving home for the battlefield, industries gearing up for war production, and women left behind to take care of the rest. WWII brought with it a cultural shift, in which domestic life challenged the norms of the era, pushing different groups into positions antithetical to the time.

 Women, whose lives tended to be confined to the tasks at home, now had to take roles in public to fill the shoes of the men who had gone overseas. Desiree posted an image of four women sewing parachutes under the employ of the Pacific Parachute Company in San Diego, CA (Russell Lee, April 1942, http://womenshistory.about.com/od/warwwii/ig/World-War-II-Rosies--Pictures/Fair-Employment-Practices.html). Women did not typically hold jobs outside of their roles at home, but with a shortage of workers came the need for adaptation. Society had to accept that the help of women in the workplace was necessary for the strengthening of the war effort. Ashley posted a painting of the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” seated before an American flag, looking powerful and dignified (Norman Rockwell, 1943, http://www.rosietheriveter.org/painting.htm). This particular picture not only depicts a woman as a worker in a uniform typically worn by a man, but it also shows her muscular arms and powerful presence. Women were no longer meek, fragile creatures, but powerful people who had something great to contribute.

 America, a land rooted in ideas of freedom and liberty, actively sought to intern an entire population based on the suspicion of spies. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, paranoia and fear were at an all-time high. Racism against the Japanese was prevalent, despite many of those interned having been born in America. Katelyn posted a flyer instructing “all persons of Japanese ancestry” to relocate to a determined location by a certain time (City of San Francisco, 1942, http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/assets/300px-Instructions_to_japanese.png). Despite the rights offered to all American citizens by law, the wartime fervor led to the internment of thousands of Japanese, putting these people into a position as less-than-American. Jerica posted an image of two young boys waving goodbye, as they waited for a bus to take them to a “War Relocation Camp” (US Army Signal Corps, 1942, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004669768/). Even the domestic lives of children changed, as the government rounded them up and forced a new life for them.

 With America desperate for workers to fill the roles of the men who had left for battle, minorities that were often the targets of segregation were now accepted into roles they weren’t before. David posted an flyer of two men, one white, the other black, working on machinery for the war with the words “United We Win” in bold letters beneath (distributed by US Government, 1943, http://www.amistadresource.org/plantation_to_ghetto/end_of_world_war_two.html). Despite the still-standing “Jim Crow” laws of the time, even the US government made a push to unify the races, to have all supporting the war effort. Deanna posted an image of three women (one white, two black) working on submarine grommets together at Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard (African American Historical and Cultural Society, 1943,http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=WWII_In-migration_%26_Rising_Bigotry). Though racism and segregation were still prevalent in American life, the domestic lives of minorities underwent a cultural shift, as it was more useful to have all working together, rather than segregated. This new unification between the races, however slight, stood in contrast to the laws and attitudes of America pre-WWII.

 As America’s role in the Second World War shifted, so did the society at home. With many men being drafted to fight abroad, the country was left with in a position of dire straits, of desperation. From this came the need for change, for cultural adaptation, and many of these changes challenged the accepted notions of the time. Whether it be that women’s role was in the home, that all citizens should be free, or that the races should be divided, WWII domestic life challenged the accepted roles of all.


(History 103)

Compared to Greek imaginative works of art, Roman sculptures lacked imagination and only focused on capturing the likeness of a figure who had been physically seen before.

First looking at Roman sculptures, art was created to specifically represent a powerful emperor that lived during that time period. As it is seen in the sculpture of Augustus of Prima Porta created in 20BCE (http://web.mit.edu/21h.402/www/primaporta/), the emperor is portrayed as an authoritative, realistic figure. Now the Greek influence is clearly seen in the sculpture considering he has the exact same pose as the Spear Bearer, but he is still a representation of how he looked in reality. The second example is, the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius made around 176-180 AD (https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/classroom-content/teaching-and-learning-in-the-digital-age/images-of-power-art-as-an-historiographic-tool/equestrian-statue-of-marcus-aurelius). In this sculpture of one of the last “great” emperors, Aurelius is seen as a normal, but over the top grand emperor with a calm but firm outstretched hand demonstrating his own power.

In Greek sculptures there was a consistent theme of attempting to portray the physical form of a god or goddess. Ares the Greek god of war sculpted around 420BCE (http://www.ushistory.org/civ/5a.asp). Although Greeks were unsure of their loyalty to Ares because of his destructive, man-slaughtering, dangerous, and overwhelming nature, sculptors still found it necessary to develop a physical representation of what Ares would look like. Then there is the Head of Hermes created around 2nd century AD (http://www.windows2universe.org/mythology/hermes.html). Hermes was the god’s messenger, god of storytelling, and the god of games. While the Hermes sculpture is on a head, the art is still an attempt to giving the god a physical representation.

Lastly, Greeks and Romans both sculpted figures to represent war or victory, but only the Greeks could create something that had no physical form before. The Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpted between 200 and 190BCE (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/winged_victory_of_samothrace), is a representation of the goddess Nike’s battle with the sea. Then the sculpture of Pompey the Great created sometime between 60 and 50BCE (http://www.britannica.com/biography/Pompey-the-Great), is a depiction of one of Rome’s most valuable generals. The sculpture was developed shortly after Pompey died, so the artist may have seen this artwork as a representation of Pompey the Great’s overall life and military success.  

In conclusion, although Roman art had Greek influence, the Romans valued Greek realism over their imaginative interpretations of gods or goddesses.


(History 104)

Urbanization, influenced by the industrial revolution, exploited working class families of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Family units became disconnected by the changes of urbanization. Women of the Working Class (19th century, photographer unknown), http://historiana.eu/case-study/womens-voting-rights/industrial-revolution-women-and-work, is evident of changes made towards the roles of women. At times women were forced to dislocate from the role of a housewife and work in vigorous conditions in the city to maintain sustainability in a newly urbanizing culture. Young Carers (1890, photographer unknown), http://www.hiddenlives.org.uk/articles/poverty.html, is a photo of children during the industrial revolution. Child poverty was common due to broken family structures influenced by the demands of urbanization. Adults and some children worked long strenuous hours six days a week for very little pay.

Children were abused under workforces lacking labor laws. Lewis Hine’s, A view of the Pennsylvania Breaker (1911), http://www.eiu.edu/eiutps/newsletter_childlabor.php, depicts child labor conditions causing health hazards. Children working near coal mines were prone to lung disease and sometimes death. Jacob Riis’s, Street Arabs in Sleeping Quarters (1890), https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/politics-reform/essays/politics-reform, is a photo of three working class boys in conditions undesirable for anybody let alone children of their ages. Children were subject to exploitation of the industrial revolution alongside adult men and women.

Unbearable living conditions drastically arose due to over population in newly urbanized areas. Gustave Dore’s, Over London by rail (1870), https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution#/media/File%3ADore_London.jpg, is a visual of what living conditions were like in the late 19th century as migrants fled to cities for work abandoning their families for long periods of time in order to maintain sustainability. Filth polluted the streets and the working class were forced to live in cramped dwellings. Jacob Riis’s, Five Cents Lodging (1889), https://www.tenement.org/blog/todays-other-half/, depicts what these dwellings looked like with max occupancy to every room due to overpopulation and lack of housing reform.

The Industrial Revolution eventually sped up productivity which then developed a fast pace workforce and strained the main resources of production, the people. The flexibility and slower paces of pre-industrial society slowly diminished and an urbanized culture arose.