Describe the aesthetic components of the image first (as if the reader cannot see the art).

Analysis of Visual Text

Our second unit of the semester considers the idea of “the other” in our society, dealing with issues of race and gender (people in the margins). For this essay, you will choose a work of art and interpret how the piece speaks to the idea of the other, considering who the intended audience might be – answer the question(s), how is the painting representing the person in the margins? Or how is the painting othering the person in the margins? (Your answer/conclusion should serve as the thesis).

*Your largest source of evidence must be elements of the painting, so avoid making          sweeping generalizations about historical contexts or backgrounds of the painting.



  1. Choose a work of art from the PDF of artwork provided to you by the professor (If you would like to choose one that’s not from the document, please email the professor for approval).
  2. Describe the aesthetic components of the image first (as if the reader cannot see the art).
  3. Then analyze the piece according to your description of it (every detail you mention must serve to support your argumentative thesis – e.g. if you mention that a woman’s head is turned away, you must interpret/analyze what that detail implies).
  4. Incorporate ONE of the texts from our unit, incorporating at least two or three quotes (block quotes are not allowed).


Texts from the unit:

  • “The Bad Feminist Manifesto,” Roxane Gay (BB)
  • “Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples (BB)
  • “Ways of Seeing,” John Berger (BB)
  • “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” Jose Antonio Vargas (BB)
  • “Framework of Otherness,” Jonell Logan (BB)
  • “Being a Man,” Paul Theroux (BB)


General Requirements:

  1. 4-5 pages
  2. Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, double spaced (no extra space between paragraphs!), 1” margins all around
  3. Adherence to all MLA style and formatting rules, including those for headings, page numbers, in-text citations, and Works Cited page (The Little Seagull Handbook)
  4. Strict use of third person only! (No “I,” “me,” “we,” “our,” “you,” etc.)
  5. No block quotes allowed
  6. Include an interesting/correlating title.
  7. Include the painting at the end of your Works Cited
  8. One text from the Syllabus from this unit


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