John ruskin for children of bharath


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Sarvodaya of Gandhiji and Ruskin

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John ruskin for children of bharath

  1. 1. Compiled by a Non- graduate in Literature *
  2. 2. John Ruskin (8 February 1819 – 20 January 1900) John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era. He was also  an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist,  a prominent social thinker and  philanthropist. 2
  3. 3.  Ruskin wrote on subjects ranging from  geology to architecture,  myth to ornithology,  literature to education, and  botany to political economy. 3
  4. 4. 4 His writing styles and literary forms were equally varied. Ruskin penned  essays and  treatises,  poetry and lectures,  travel guides and manuals,  letters and even a fairy tale.
  5. 5. An elaborate style characterized his earliest writing on art. Later he preferred a plainer language designed to communicate his ideas more effectively. In all of his writing, he emphasized the connections between nature, art and society. He also made detailed sketches and paintings of rocks, plants, birds, landscapes, and architectural structures and ornamentation. 5
  6. 6. 6 Ruskin first came to widespread attention with the first volume of Modern Painters (1843), an extended essay in defence of the work of J. M. W. Turner in which he argued that the principal role of the artist is "truth to nature". His work increasingly focused on social and political issues. Unto This Last (1860, 1862) marked the shift in emphasis. In 1869, Ruskin became the first Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford, where he established the Ruskin School of Drawing.
  7. 7. 7 In 1871, he began his monthly "letters to the workmen and labourers of Great Britain", published under the title Fors Clavigera (1871– 1884). In the course of this complex and deeply personal work, he developed the principles underlying his ideal society. As a result, he founded the Guild of St George, an organization that endures today.
  8. 8. 8 * Unto This Last In a chapter in his Autobiography (Part IV, Chapter XVIII) entitled 'The Magic Spell of a Book' Gandhiji wrote how he read Ruskin's Unto This Last on the twenty-four hours' journey from Johannesburg to Durban. 'The train reached there in the evening. I could not get any sleep that night. I determined to change my life in accordance with the ideals of the book.... I translated it later into Gujarati, entitling it Sarvodaya.'
  9. 9. 9 At the end Gandhiji gave us a summary of the teachings of Unto This Last as he understood it: 1. The good of the individual is contained in the good of all. 2. A lawyer's work has the same value as the barber's, as all have the same right of earning their livelihood from their work. 3. A life of labour, i.e. the life of the tiller of the soil and the handicraftsman is the life worth living.
  10. 10. 10 Swaraj really means self-control. Only he is capable of self-control who observes the rules of morality, does not cheat or give up truth, and does his duty to his parents, wife and children, servants and neighbours. Such a man is in enjoyment of Swaraj, no matter where he lives. A State enjoys Swaraj if it can boast of a large number of such good citizens.
  11. 11. 11 * * British rule in India is an evil, but let us not run away with the idea that all will be well when the British quit India. *The existence of British rule in the country is due to our disunity, immorality and ignorance. If these national defects were overcome, not only would the British leave India without a shot being fired but we would be enjoying real Swaraj.
  12. 12. 12 Gandhiji wrote… Let us pray that India is saved from the fate that has overtaken Europe, where the nations are poised for an attack on one another, and are silent only because of the stockpiling of armaments. Some day there will be an explosion, and then Europe will be a veritable hell on earth. Non-white races are looked upon as legitimate prey by every European State. What else can we expect where covetousness is the ruling passion in the breasts of men?
  13. 13. 13 Gandhiji wrote… India must indeed have Swaraj but she must have it by righteous methods. Our Swaraj must be real Swaraj, which cannot be attained by either violence or industrialization. India is a desert because we are corrupt. It can become a land of gold again only if the base metal of our present national character is transmuted into gold. What can transform this is a little word of two syllables – Satya (Truth). If every Indian sticks to truth, Swaraj will come to us of its own accord.
  14. 14. 14 Gandhiji wrote _ We thus see that money is only an instrument which makes for misery as well as happiness. In the hands of a good man it helps in the cultivation of land and the harvesting of crops. Cultivators work in innocent contentment and the nation is happy. But in the hands of a bad man, money helps to produce say gunpowder which works havoc among its manufacturers as well as among its victims. Therefore THERE IS NO WEALTH BUT LIFE.
  15. 15. 15 Gandhiji wrote… That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest who, having perfected the functions of his own life to the utmost, has also the widest helpful influence, both personal and by means of his possessions, over the lives of others.
  16. 16. 16 Ruskin made the connection from individual creativity to the ‘big picture’ of social stability. He showed that societies may establish apparently rational systems, which are intended to ‘cure’ inefficiencies, but which as a side effect silence individual voice and strangle independent creativity, and so ultimately create a much greater sickness.
  17. 17. 17 John Ruskin and William Morris, as I want to reiterate their core points and connect them with today’s issues. Then everything else is boiled down into a set of five key principles, namely: 1. A new understanding of creativity as process, emotion, and presence 2. The drive to make and share 3. Happiness through creativity and community 4. A middle layer of creativity as social glue 5. Making your mark, and making the world your own
  18. 18. 18 THERE IS NO WEALTH BUT LIFE. Life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration. That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest who, having perfected the functions of his own life to the utmost, has also the widest helpful influence, both personal and by means of his possessions, over the lives of others (Ruskin, pp.125-26).
  19. 19. 19 The desire of the heart is also the light of the eyes. No scene is continually untiringly loved, but one rich by joyful human labour; smooth in field, fair in garden; trim, sweet, and frequent in homestead; ringing with voices of vivid existence. . . . As the art of life is learned, it be found at last that all lovely things are also necessary—the wild flower by the wayside, as well as the tended corn; and the wild birds and creatures of the forest, as well as the tended cattle; because man doth not live by bread only, but also by the desert manna; by every word and work of God (Ruskin, p. 134).
  20. 20. 20 Consider whether luxury would be desired by any of us, if we saw clearly at our sides suffering which accompanies it. Luxury is indeed possible in the future—innocent and exquisite; luxury for all, and by the help of all; but luxury at present can only be enjoyed by the ignorant; the cruelest man living could not sit at his feast, unless he sat blindfold. Raise the veil boldly; face the light; and if, as yet, the light of the eye can only be through tears, and the light of the body through sackcloth, go thou forth weeping, bearing precious seed, until the time come, and the kingdom, when Christ’s gift of bread and bequest of peace shall be Unto this last as unto thee. . . (Ruskin, p. 138).
  21. 21. 21 In insisting that there is no wealth but life, and that the only economics worth its name is the one that extends the blessings of wealth to all, even the least and the last, Ruskin poses the same challenge to us today that he posed to the Manchester School 150 years ago. And by insisting that the good of the individual is contained in the good of all—indeed, is bound up with the fate of the poorest, the most despised, the most oppressed— Gandhi brings us an even greater challenge.