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GRE Argument Essay: Collectors Prize The Ancient Life-size Clay Statues Of Human Figures Made On Kali - With A Free Essay Review



“Collectors prize the ancient life-size clay statues of human figures made on Kali Island but have long wondered how Kalinese artists were able to depict bodies with such realistic precision. Since archaeologists have recently discovered molds of human heads and hands on Kali, we can now conclude that the ancient Kalinese artists used molds of actual bodies, not sculpting tools and techniques, to create these statues. This discovery explains why Kalinese miniature statues were abstract and entirely different in style: molds could be used only for life-size sculptures. It also explains why few ancient Kalinese sculpting tools have been found. In light of this discovery, collectors predict that the life-size sculptures will decrease in value while the miniatures increase in value. - Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the prediction and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the prediction.”

First of all, the author asserts that ancient Kalinese statues were made by molds instead of sculpting tools, since archaeologists have discovered molds of human heads and hands on Kali. However, it is possible that these discovered molds were made by later people, or made kalinese artists who were trying to make molds of these statues. Therefore, the first question that need to be answered is if these molds were dated before Kalinese statues. If these molds were dated years after the date in which statues were made, then , it is conceivable that these molds were made by later people, who were trying to make molds for these statues, and the author’s argument would be weakened. Whereas, if these molds were dated before Kalinese statues, or other eivdence on Kalinese statues emerged showing that these statues were not sculptured but instead Kalinese artists indeed used molds to make them, then, the evidence would strengthen the author’s argument.

In addition, the author also mentions that the discovery of molds explains why Kalinese miniature statues are different in style since molds could be used only for life-sized sculptures. However, it is possible that both statues were made by artists using sculpting tools with different styles, and the difference in style is not enough to support the claim that these statues were made differently since styles are easy to change, and they are completely based on the preference of the artist. Therefore, the second question that needs to be asnwered is that are styles of miniatures typical for sculpting or styles for life-size statues typical for molding. If the evidence shows that styles are interchangeable, then, the author’s claim would be weakened.

Finally, the author mentions that collectors predict that the life-size sculptures will decrease in value while the miniatures increase in value, since life-size sculptures were made by molds. However, whether the statues were made by molds or sculpted is only one factor that affects the overall value of statues. The beauty of these statues, the completeness of the statues, and the availability of these statues can also determine the value of life-size statues. Thus, the third question needs to be answered is how collectors assess the value of sculptures; in other words is how the sculptures were made the most important or the only factor that determines the value of statues. If it is found that other factors mentioned earlier can also determine the value of the life-size sculptures, then, the author’s conclusion would be weakened.

To sum up, in order to evaluate the argument, several questions need to be answered molds were made before statues, artists usually only change the style statue significantly when they made the statue with different tools, and the value of sculptures only depends on how they were made.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Your first argument is reasonable, if a bit laborious (at least as far as your speculations about possible reasons for the molds not being coeval with the ancient statues are concerned).

The second argument is less compelling, in part because the question you here want answered is poorly worded, and so your point is unclear. It is not clear, for instance, what you mean by "style," or what you imagine you might learn exactly about it that you don't already know (i.e., that the large statues are realistic; the small ones, abstract) and how you think that would help assess the argument.

Your final argument is quite good. Your discussion of the factors that might affect the relative value of the sculptures is reasonable enough, and I think the only thing missing here is a consideration of why the value of the small sculptures would be impacted by information concerning the large sculptures. I suppose the idea is that their artistic merit was judged relative to the artistic merit of the realistic statues. So I suppose one would want to know whether that is true in order to assess the likelihood of the value of the abstract sculptures increasing.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: uofr6460
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