After reading the Supplemental reading I found that they focus on the similar ideas such as finding the importance of the object, ways to identify an object to get ideas from, and using the right vocabulary. in addition, it mentions that one must imagine and create meaningful insights and experience with the object in order to begin able to write about. This provides on the impact thoughts of the reader so that he/she can create questions that they might not understand and explore with research in order to answer there own questions. This might create a new discovery with their findings using resources. As a result, it made me taken a different way when interpreting an object using experience, relationship, physical aspects, and word choice to form a complete description of an object when one is trying to describe an object.



In his essay “Essays on Material Culture”, Haltman explains how and where to find the inspiration and value to find the significance of that object. He requires the scholars and students using his pedagogic sampler and his prownian analysis methodology to connect and compose our thoughts on the object. The questions that he explained in the text provide a window of letting the reader know that’s the method of thinking when analyzing that object importance. “What questions are most fruitful to ask in one’s work with an object and how might one best go about asking them?” (Haltman Pg1) This method really makes the reader engage in this style of critical thinking for the importance of the object. Next, He intrigues the reader interest by giving examples of everyday common objects that we see as normal. For example cigarette lighter, parlor stove, quilt, and telephone…etc. So that Haltman can put emphasis on the reader of using, his principles to allow the reader to find any significance pertaining to themselves such as a household a common object. As a result, he provided the reader a snippet of how to identify these objects and values from the reading and the models. This transition his main idea of the essay on few questionings that the serves of a factor that drives the reader to wonder what to look for. Questions:  why do these cultural objects exist and their importance of our lives? How would one identify the significance object relating to life /death, history, and culture? Furthermore, this trains our brains to develop a deep analytical thinking. All in all, Hartman’s provides an analysis of his own formula of classifying an object to interpret the significance of the object by embracing the four procedures such as intellectual, physical, emotional, and cultural.


Haltman’s text explains the definition and characteristics of material culture. In addition, the article provides detailed accurate methods to the reader on ways to identify and analyze the object, which relates back to material culture. The text talks about the psychological and in-depth thinking that is necessary to apply when evaluating material culture. For example: how it affects our daily lives, the polarities (smooth, hot/cold, light /dark, straight/ Curve…Etc.)  and surroundings that the object is in, life and death, and fear.  Hartman’s summarizes that with these four themes intellectual, physical, emotional, and cultural the reader will get a lucid concept on discerning the significance of an object. On the other hand, from my point of view will it provide the capability to explain and connect with the object why is it important to us without providing a negative opinion or a biased response on the audience. As we’re trying to comprehend a material we need to translate material culture characteristics into our object. This explains that it is crucial to ponder a physical and a psychological connection that we have in common with the object. This includes of having an actual life experience or that object has affected us in some way that creates a memory that is embedded into our long-term memory. This will create the reader to answer its own questions “Why was this significant? “Why did I remember this? Then we would distinguish the importance and recognize the symbols that the object represent which submerged deeply hidden in our subconscious. We used active verbs to describe our actions rather just looking at it and describing the object. However, each scenario is diverse because it depends on the person what they perceive important.  On the contrary, this creates a conflict because Haltman’s mentions that sometimes we require a lot of time and patience on the researching and observing the object that it takes a long period to time to discover the importance and meaning. Moreover, we might have a chance of missing or leaving details out resulting in losing it forever. “While too much information can be almost as bad as too little, anything left out of description is lost to interpretation forever. The longer and harder one looks, the better one sees; the better one sees, the subtler the connections one finds oneself able to make.”

On the positive side, Haltman has included four steps to analyze objects more effectively and efficiently. The four steps are first: evaluating the object using intellectual, emotional and sensory responses, second: Organize your thoughts on the response and find the relationships that fall into the category of the object. Next, provide a Research Prospectus that is a clear understanding of what is the object interpreting with the research. Lastly, polished interpretive analysis, which creates a claim what the object represents. The primary step we focus on is evaluating intellectual, sensory, and emotional responses on our object. In order to achieve that, first, we need to narrow the focus on an object that develops meaning and substantial ties and relationship between the perceiver and the object. Next, we engage in our research by first writing down acquire knowledge about the object then search information about the object history, origins, and significance goes the community. After that, you consider the five basic human senses, which include sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. In addition, also consider the details such as polarity like feelings (love/hate), object physical appearance (texture), and the environment. Then, we have tackled the emotional side of the object. We have to answer the question how does the object influences the interpreter feelings and the significances of it. Another key point is Identify what you grasp that object how does it make you feel and why while comparing to the author meaning that he/she wants you to perceive their personal meaning towards that object. This generates a general connection about the meaning of that object. It could very simple such as relating to the reader cultural roots. For instance, the object that represents my traditional Chinese Culture is an object widely used to eat which is a white pair of chopsticks. This object signifies the family bond because chopsticks always a pair and the concepts of ying-yang (black and white)  that affect the Chinese people way of life. The way of holding the position of the chopstick represents the big three: heaven, earth, and humankind(Timm Pg2) . Lastly with the all the emotional, intellectual, sensory, cultural responses. These ties together bring up our own interpretations and opinions including the relationship that related to the written literature to illustrate what the meaning that the object is projecting. In addition, it is necessary to include a variety of dreams, visions, and imaginations (includes metaphors) that are easy to discern. While evaluating from the research and evidence, it has to be carefully and critically thought-out not to provide negative insight and ideas that might affect the audience, therefore, constructing the wrong conclusion could create biases in the responses. The last two steps are to provide a clear understanding of what is the object interpreting with the research and using the evidence and specific details to create claims that support the references of the object and the context to fully explain what the object fully represent. It has to be in the range of the subject and it has to be a solid correct claim through the research.

In Conclusion, Haltman expounds in the Essays in Material Culture and went in great in depth of understanding how an individual interprets an object and created a masterpiece model. He created a lucid essay by using a variety of huge vocabulary that really brings the subject together. He provides steps to the reader on utilizing correct methodology to analyze that object which relates back to material culture. In addition, he provides extra feedback on how to convey your own response to have a non-biased opinion and improving the transition and flow of your interpretation. As a result, the audience will not view you as biased and will grasp the article very well. Also developing questions that might lead us to future research to answer the questions that we might produce when observing an article or an object. From the evaluating this essay, there was a valuable lesson to be taught.  The lessons conclude that since people currently can comprehend objects from various cultures with accurate research and consideration. Humankind will provide more respect for others people culture thus spreading more positivity around the world.


Work Cited Page

Timm, Leo. “Chopsticks: Their Origin and Significance.”, 22 Dec. 2015.