Friday, May 23, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Mrs. Gerber—I was absent the day we discussed this in class, so I also missed the blog assignment, hence the lateness :)
Upon looking at both paintings by Edward Hopper, the first noticeable similarity is the isolation of both characters. Each is the sole person in their environment, seemingly lost in their own thoughts and contemplation. The tight facial expressions and closed body language suggest that each is unhappy with their current position. However, there is a significant difference between “Morning Sun” and “Sunday.” The woman in “Morning Sun” is looking out of her window at the outside world, possibly wondering what possibilities, or people, lay outside her walls. This contrasts with the man in “Sunday,” who has already escaped his walls, yet still sits in isolation. Hopper may be trying to impress the idea of inescapable unhappiness, no matter your environment. In both paintings, the predominant aspect that creates the melancholy is the person, not the house. Although lacking excessive flowery detail, bright colors like yellow and orange are used in both paintings. Yet, the facial expressions and body language convey loneliness. This is similar to Hemingway’s ideas in “Soldier’s Home,” and “A Clean, Well-Lit, Place.” The men in both stories appear to have nothing completely wrong in their lives. Krebs is home from the war with his family and the old man sits in a “clean, well-lit, place.” Yet, both see happiness as unreachable, or do not posses the drive to find happiness. For example, Krebs wants a girlfriend, “but he did not want to have to spend a long time getting her” (Hemingway 2). Just as the environments are not the stifling forces in Hopper’s paintings, the people in Hemingway’s stories, rather than their environments, create their own unhappiness and nothingness through their own mentalities and actions.
In "A Clean and Well-lighted Place" Hemingway's character takes pleasure in the fact that he sits alone in an empty corner drinking. I found this piece to be slightly satirical in a sense because i think that Hemingway was trying to make a point. Maybe he was trying to convey his point that people need to sometimes be alone to be at peace with the world. In the same way that light and dark are contrasted in the "morning sun" these two states are also contrasted in Hemingway's writing. The lady that sits alone on her bed sits in the shadows even though sunlight is poring in upon her room. Her isolation in the picture continues the feeling from the first painting as well. The old man in the bar is very interesting because he is trying to become drunk to escape from the world around him. Even though the man is deaf Hemingway says that the old man can feel the difference by the sound of the silence. I think that the old man enjoys the "Nada" that the empty bar provides for him because it allows him peace and tranquility. In this sense I think that the old man in the bar is very different from both the paintings and the other writings because where he enjoys the nothingness and the Nada as his escape from the world around him, the other characters seem lost and isolated, confined without a clear sense of purpose. The isolation factor and the loss of purpose provide common ground for all of the objects collectively.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
In both "A Clean, Well Lighted Place" and "Soldier's Home," The old man drinking and the soldier both establish a place they enjoy. In "Soldier's Home," Hemingway describes Kreb's place of contentment as this, "He became bored and then walking down through the town to spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool dark of the pool room" (Hemingway 1). In "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" he conveys the same message when mentioning the significance of the cafe to the old man, "It is the light of course but it is necessary that the place be clean and light" (Hemingway 9). The nothingness one's soul desires can be found in the simplicity of the heart and is different for each individual. An old man sitting on the street may enjoy the nothingness while the young woman enjoys the state of nothing in her bedroom. Age has nothing to do with the desire to disconnect oneself from the world. The old man in the the first story hides from his troubles when they seem to be an immense burden while Krebs seeks joy in the pool house when the "heat" of the world feels too strong. Hemingway attempts to show the diversity in the way people "nothingness" participates in people's lives.
But focusing more specifically on "Sunday," Hopper creates a solemn and lonely mood through the effective use of the contrast between light and dark and the solitary man's expression. While our brains may immediately notice the contrast between the light of the natural sun and the darkness found inside the cafe, we must take note that the dark of the cafe, contained in a rectangle, is the largest object in the painting, even exceeding the size of the lonely man. In this way, we understand that the painting is not merely a painting of a man, but a painting of darkness. This connects well with Hemingway's "A Clean-Well Lighted Place" because rather than focusing on the development of characters, Hemingway concentrates on the development of the contrasts between light and dark and young and old. Hemingway demonstrates this through the lack of attributed dialogue. Because of the vagueness of the actual speaker, Hemingway creates a disconnect, which emphasizes the light and dark motif.
But the reoccurring light and dark theme proves important in that it highlights the lonely yet peaceful natures of both the man in the painting and the old man and old waiter in the story. All of these characters experience a certain degree of peace when in the light. However, while the man in Hopper's painting sits outside, Hemingway's characters feel sheltered inside the cafe. Some may argue that this discrepancy may represent a lack of connection between the painting and the story, but with a careful look at Hopper's painting, we see that the man is indeed enclosed within the painting. Instead of leaving empty room for the sky or natural land which may indicate openness, Hopper entraps the man within the buildings. In essence, all of the men are sheltered and enclosed by a light that provides them with a place in which they can keep to themselves.
But most interesting is the man's countenance in the Hopper painting. After spending time staring at his face, we want to know more and ask questions. What is he thinking? Why is he thinking? How old is he? Does he have family? Friends? Does he enjoy his job? Does he even have a job? The same occurs for Hemingway's story but through the dialogue and the afterthought at the end of the story. Why does the old man prefer the cafe? Does the old waiter really have insomnia? What does the "nada" represent? Both circumstances are confusing but never awkward. Usually, awkward situations arise when simply staring at a single person, as in the Hopper painting. However, the viewers do not experience awkwardness but a certain level of calmness and inquisitiveness. The same occurs in the Hemingway story because the quotes are rarely attributed. While we may experience a significant disconnect with the characters, we never feel awkward. We are neither intruding upon the established peace nor the solitude because of the great amount of disconnect effectifely created.
Unlike the woman in the first picture, the man in "Sunday" puts himself in the public eye. This picture reminded me of the old man in "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" because he, too, likes to sit alone but in a public area, like the bar. This man also seems older, contrasting any ideas of possible hopefulness or hiding from the public eye in the first picture. The themes of loneliness and nothingness are still here, however. What I first noticed when I looked at this picture was how barren and empty the street seemed to be, especially in the middle of a road that looks to be in a bigger city. All the windows are drawn up and closed and the title, "Sunday" implies that it is a day meant to be spent with family and not out on the streets. Because this man choose to go to the streets instead of bonding with family, he is showing isolation from other people. Although he looks to be dressed nicely, as if he might have been going or gone to church earlier that day, the fact that he is sitting by himself instead of with his family on a Sunday shows his loss in religion and faith, the same thing that happned to Krebs in "Soldier's Home". His body language is also very similar to the woman's in the first picture. They both have knees and arms drawn close to their bodies, showing their confinement and isolation from the outside world and other people. This also helps to show their feeling of loneliness towards the world. While both picture use time of day and lighting to portray a happy and bright mood, like Hemingway's story's do, the people portrayed in these pictures and stories all have a contrasting feeling of loneliness and despair that is emphasized from the bareness and empty feeling of nobody else and nothing else being around them.
The girl's want of control parallels that of Kreb's when he says that he does not want any girls because he does not want to go through the courting process. Krebs appears to be lazy in his search for women, but he could actually fear the lack of control he has over their emotions. He is afraid of rejection which is shown through his insesant lying about his war stories. Krebs cannot allow himself to fall below the expectations of others and when he does he pulls away from the world. Krebs even turns away from religion denying being in God's kingdom, which shows his rejection of the uncontrollable. He finds it easier to disconnect from society than have to face daily hassels. Krebs shows this when he tells his mother he does not love her or anyone. After seeing her cry he most again lie which he feels is worse than just departing from the grace of society.
Also, as mentioned before, the woman in the Sunrise painting has little to see outside her window, much like the older waiter has little to see or experience outside his quiet, clean life. Even though he is content, he is lonely as well. Everything is nothing to him, but this doesn't seem to bother him much. Likewise, the woman in the picture is staring in a melancholic state out the window, but she does not seem upset. It is as if the only thing both of them look forward to is another sunrise, one more bright light in their world to stave off their dispair. This contentment leaves them in a state of tranquil complancency, neither joyous nor tragic, simply at peace with living; with being. The sunrise keeps them from their nada, yet upon its passing, the former sunrise is just a part of the bigger picture of nada, ready to be chased away by another sunrise.
The same analysis could be made about Krebs and the woman in "Morning Sun," although a stronger comparison is made between her and the old waiter in "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place." Although she is not smiling, she radiates a peaceful acceptance of her existence. Her coral dress and pink cheeks speak to her inner calm, and she stares into the light of the day. In this way she is similar to the old waiter because both characters like to be in the light - it is one of life's greatest, yet simplest, pleasures. Hopper's paintings reflect Hemingway's themes because both mediums translate the same message - for some, living is simply enough.
The first piece, Morning Sun, makes me feel sad. Not like, emotional and cry-my-eyes-out sad, but more of a melancholic, I'm-going-to-die-in-a-place-where-they-don't-know-my-name sort of sad. I'm not sure if Morning Sun connects at all with either of the two pieces because the woman looks like shes longing for something and neither of the main characters were really after anything. I guess she could be in that "young waiter" stage where she just wants stuff but doesn't have any stuff or worries about stuff that's really nothing. So I guess here, the "nothingness" still exists, it just seems to be portrayed in a much more negative light whereas the two characters from the stories both held dear or found comfort in that idea of nothingness; that you don't necessarily need anything to, not necessarily be happy, but at least content and alive. I also can't tell if she's wearing any pants. Maybe that alludes to her sexual promiscuity and the fact that she seems to be in front of a window with no glass may say something about her past actions. Perhaps this has to deal with the love concept explored today during the second discussion? Maybe she is also in the "young waiter" stage of love where she's either been rejected or is longing for that certain someone. Either way, this concept of deep emotional feeling may give way to a preference towards solitude and connects back to our concept of "nothingness" and its usage as a state of mind which either discourages or outright disallows a desire for anything and a pretty Nihilistic outlook if you ask me.
The second piece, Sunday, looks about the same. Though I guess this one isn't as depressing. I'm guess the man is a bartender (based upon his surroundings) or a butler of some sort, or maybe he just got off work from a racetrack, whatever. Maybe he's a hitman? Yeah, lets run with that. We'll say he's a hitman (in disguise as a butler/bartender, duh) and is deeply contemplating his next hit. Though he could have pretty much anything due to his various skills with firearms and nunchaku and pointy-stabby things, he just wants out of this whole underworld thing. You know, go outside, sit in a lawn chair sometimes, and trade that Jack Daniels for some lemonade. Point I'm trying to make is this: while the woman in the first painting looks depressed, this guy seems more in despair. His arms are folded and he looks out as if contemplating some sort of heavy decision. Maybe instead of killing the target, he'll kill his superiors to get free; or not. He is surrounded in the picture by buildings which are inanimate objects which may as well be nothing to him; they're of no importance because he cannot relate to them nor do they help him in any way. Maybe he despairs because he has nothing real to hold onto in this world. All the hard liquor, prostitutes, and shiny toys in the world can't fill the endless void that is his heart. So instead of believing in the "nothing" he wants something. Settle down with some normal girl, get a legal job, and live a happy rest of his life. But that isn't his reality and this "nothingness" that surrounds him makes him sad. He's got no support and he can't do what he wants without facing outrageous odds and, if he fails, serious consequences. He's got feelings too!
Sum giftz for joor tiem:
Amidoinitrite? Kitteh have "nothingness" too.
In the second painting, "Sunday," an old man sits on the steps outside of a dark, empty building. The building surrounding him are simple and lonley. they look old and unoccupied. The man sits outside with his arms crossed and head looking towrds the ground ahead of him. Unlike, "Morning Sun," the light is not directed towrd the person. In this case, there is light but the light casts a shadow of the man. He is sad and gloomy. His colthes show that he has money, but his facial expression demonstrates that he is not content with his life and is lonley. The younger, more materialistic waiter in "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," believed that since the old man was rich he had no reason to commit suicide. This painting demonstrates that a person can have money but can still be depressed. Similar to Kerbs, the man sits outside and thinks about his conflicts. Kerbs sits outside on his porch and thinks about women and his life and how it has no value. This painting resembles the idea of wealth and that sorrow arises in darkness, but a person can be peaceful in light and escape lonliness suchas in the "Morning Sun".
The second piece by Edward Hopper is significant of the stories in a completely different way. In "Morning Sun" the light shines directly on the girl, while the girl looks hopefully out the window. However, one must notice that she too, is completely alone on the fully made bed-looking out at a scene which does not seem to have much movement either. This also supports Hemingway's theme of isolation and nothing. However, this picture puts this nothingness in a positive light, unlike "Sunday" which has a more gloomy tone. When I first looked at "Morning Sun" it reminded me of the old waiter in "A Clean, Well Lighted Place" in that he only slept during the day, because that is when he could be at peace. This picture is symbolic of that idea, with the girl sitting on her bed, while everything else in the picture seems still and peaceful. I also thought that this piece was symbolic of Krebs, and the constant day light in the story, aloong this certain feeling of hope for Kreb's future and everything will work out. This picture represents that daylight and with the colors, mixed with the girl's facial expression and position, which seem like shes eager to see something, seems to reflect Kreb's hope for the future.
"Morning Sun" continously depicts a lonely, isolated sense as a woman is shown waking up to a bright day, and meditating upon her bed. I felt as if this painting represented Krebs in a very similar sense. "Soldier's Home" holds numerous scenes in which Krebs wakes up in the morning, and very rarely do we get a glimpse at physical darkness or lack of lighting, as morning and daytime seem to take up the story. "During this time, it was late summer, he was sleeping late in bed, getting up to walk down town to the library to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the front porch until he became bored and then walking down through the town to spend the hottest hours of the day[...]"(Hemingway 1) In the painting, the woman looks both relaxed and distressed in her position, as she has her legs drawn near her, normally representing gloom or lack of joy. The most interesting aspect of the picture is that sunlight is fully shining through the window, and that there is also a lack of darkness in the environment, just the way Krebs is in the story. However, the fact that there is plenty of light is misleading to the true emotions of the subjects. The woman looks as if she has something they want, but cannot find the motive to go at it, just as Krebs seeks love, but cannot find it. Both Krebs and the woman are obviously either missing something very much or can find nothing to do with a beautiful new day. I also noticed the fact that there are no other objects within the room besides her bed, showing the theme of "nothingness." Overall, just the fact that the painting is so simple also embodies the theme of "nothingness."
In my opinion, "Sunday" represents Hemingway's "A clean well-lighted place" in numerous ways. First of all, the obvious fact that the old man in the painting is sitting in front of a dark building which may represent a cafe draws the similarities. The man is giving off an aura of gloom, and even looks as if he just got kicked out of the building behind him. As in the story where the deaf old man gets kicked out by the young waiter, when all he wanted was a clean well lit place to spend his time doing virtually nothing, this old man in the painting looks as if he has nowhere else to go but the darkness itself. In my opinion, the attire of the man in the painting looks as if it is a waiter's(the older waiter), or even of wealthy background(the old man). He is obviously contemplating something, with a slumped body form, thinnking away into emptiness. There is virtually nothing around him besides a "dark" feeling, with no "well-lit" place to go.
The paintings embody the sense in the stories that at some level, the people are isolated and introspective. In “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”, the old man sits alone at the table drinking, and is further separated from others by his deafness. The soldier in the other story is set apart by his experiences in war and his simple inability to relate to anybody else, despite their efforts and his continued contact with them. In the paintings, the characters are not isolated by communication barriers, rather by the fact that there is only one person in each painting. They literally have nobody to communicate with, but in the end that creates the same problem as the one that the characters in the short stories have. Left alone, they perceive only a feeling of nothingness. The interesting thing is that this feeling comes with experience in both stories and supposedly both paintings. While negative on the surface, the artists portray the feeling of nothingness as a symbol of wisdom.
The second piece, Sunday, looks as if it takes place in the afternoon. The sun is casting a shadow and is not as bright as a rising sun. The building behind the old man is darker in comparison to the building on the right. This can be significant in that the old man is also casting a shadow on everything behind him. He sits on the edge of the curb with his arms crossed. Usually, crossed arms means as if one is hiding something, not trying to show emotion, or feels an emptiness. He is looking downwards and his back is slumped forward. He dresses wealthy but he looks unhappy. This explains that even though one may be extremely wealthy, like the old man in "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," he or she may not be content with it. Likewise, there is an empty aura around the man in the picture. In "Soldier's Home," Harold also gives off an empty aura. He is present but his presence is unseen.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
MANILA ENVELOPE INCLUDES
- Final Draft with Works Cited
- 2nd draft edited by anonymous peer
- Graded 1st draft
- Graded Outline and Revised Outline (if necessary)
- Graded Note Cards
*Step 6 available on Mrs. Gerber's school website under 319 research handouts
**Make sure your name is on the outside of your envelope
Late Papers will lose 100 points a day
More than three grammatical errors result in 15 points off per page