Text and Visual Resource in History – Essay Example

The paper "Text and Visual Resource in History" is a delightful example of a history essay. Language and literature are crucial in understanding a culture. It is the mechanism by which it is transmitted and preserved. This is also true in the case of visual arts, but instead of oral or written depictions, culture is recorded and articulated using images. It illuminates what was a common practice of people in a particular society within a particular period of time. This is the reason why besides providing a chronology of events, cultural historians could offer deeper insights on a particular historical event or historical figure because they understand the mentality and the way of life of people, giving additional dimensions to historical facts. The texts and paintings used by Strayer are excellent demonstrations of this particular argument. For example, when he employs his concept of the “big picture essay”, he augments a historical narrative by providing it with context. They also allow contemporary readers to compare historical developments across cultures and understand points of divergence and instances of similarities. In addition, it also provides an opportunity to determine the link of the past to the present. The texts that document social practices and norms lead to a better understanding of historical events, particularly when the contemporary reader or researcher could identify with them or, at least, understand what they must have been like back then based on their present circumstance and experiences. The paintings achieve the same way. The objects and themes in visual art are records about those people who drew or painted them as well the times by which they were created. All in all, the texts and images present in various periods of history are records that are critical in corroborating historical accounts. More importantly, however, they fill the gaps in historical narratives by addressing abstract themes such norms, motivations, practices, way of life, among others. Hence, both of these devices help effectively transmit and depict the humanity of peoples as well as their differences and similarities.