Practice in Context: Value

(1906) Henrique Alvim CorrĂȘa’s “Martian Gas Cannon, from War of the Worlds” by H G Wells

This illustration has several different values but all within the context of culture. The illustration holds aesthetic value in its composition and use of tone and line work, and the way it sets a tone and atmosphere of the book and its associated science fiction/  borderline horror culture.

Other values apparent in the piece are literary value and historical value. The literary value comes from its context as an illustration for a novel; this value is only applicable in the context of the book as without it, it is just an illustration. One could also say that this has historical value as the illustration is from a novel written in 1898 and can be called a classic novel. It could also be said to hold historical value in giving an insight into what the 1890’s thoughts on not just the culture science fiction genre but also their thoughts on the ideas alien invasions in general.

War of the Worlds holds cultural value as well historical value within its status as a classic novel. War of the Worlds also holds a title of cult science fiction classic. The novel is a popular piece of science fiction literacy and thus, by proxy, illustrations associated with it hold a similar value within the culture surrounding the science fiction genre as a whole.

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