Written Justification: I decided to sketch this picture to represent Honor in the novel The Honor Code:How Moral Revolutions Happen. Specifically, I wanted to capture the chapter in relation to dueling among British gentlemen. A quote that stuck out to me in this chapter was on page 48 when Kwame Anthony Appiah said “A duel was an affair of honor. It depended on the existence of a powerful class whose members could establish their status by getting away with a practice contrary to law that others could not.” I found it interesting that dueling began as away to defend one’s honor as someone who was rich and powerful in the upper class. However, later on we find out that this practice that went on for so long died because of honor.
As dueling became a practice of more middle to lower class citizens in Britain, it lost its value. A gentleman became not someone who defended their honor, but someone who never inflicted pain. This inspired me to sketch this picture. I decided to recreate a basic finish to a duel,however, I labeled the dead body as ‘dueling’ and the sword that killed this man as ‘honor.’ Quite clearly, I wanted to show how the value that started this practice is what ended up killing it in the end.
Through my art, I wanted to display the weight and social pressure of honor
and its counterparts has on individuals and societies. I accomplished this by symbolically placing rocks on the shoulders of people as they walk on a winding and changing path. On page 16, Appiah talks about honor is an entitlement to respect and shames comes when you lose that title. That passage shows a burden to one’s self and to society to keep that honor always and thus the depiction of carrying the “burden” through time. On page 63, Appiah talks about social identity as it relates to conformity and the strive to go beyond the call of duty. This passage inspired the people walking one in front of the other on the winding path, it symbolizes tough measures one needs to take to keep honor and leading one on the track to keep their social identity pure. Finally, on page 129, Appiah talks about how dignity now is different of dignity in the past and the close connection dignity and honor have. This idea is represented in the winding path, I wanted to depict the many curves as the change of honor over time and the continuous need for those to conform to their honor codes. Overall, honor carries a great burden on every individual and society and honor is a key element to human dignity and respect which Appiah so wonderfully shows is valued in almost every culture and society.