What do you see?

The painting that stood out the most to me was “Evening: Landscape with an Aqueduct” by Theodore Gericault. This painting compared to the others is very clear, this is important because it shows the immense effort (shading, shapes, colors and geometry) put in to it the. The other paintings are very vague, which for the viewer is a good thing because then they (the viewer) use their own interpretation of what it means, and every viewer has a different story. But it also makes it hard for them to understand what the artist’s intentions were. For me “Evening” tells a story of a traveler, who wishes to understand the this world where society is slowly taking over nature, and in understanding it there comes a realization that humans are becoming dependent on nature.

The use of imagery in “The Tables Turned” reminds a lot of this picture. The colors in this pictures stick out to me the most, so when the poem mentions….

“The sun above the mountain’s head,

A freshening lustre mellow

Through all the long green fields has spread,

His first sweet evening yellow.”

It gives a perfect interpretation of sky in the “Evening”. Also something I notice in the picture is how there are only certain parts of the landscape that are hit by the sunlight, one of them being a small tree to the right. This tree serves as a parallel to the “wisdom” that the speaker compares with the books.

“Books! ‘tis a dull and endless strife:…

Come forth into the light of things,

Let Nature be your teacher.”

The tree in the picture represents the mind, so when you let your mind open and “into the light” you (the tree) grow intellectually. Another part of this poem that corresponds well with this image is..

“Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:-

We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;”

These lines really resonate with my initial idea of human dependence on nature. In the middle of the image we see buildings and an aqueduct which represent human colonization on this land. And behind the small village there is a mountain, which has a distinctly perfect rectangular shape, which counter argues the line “mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things” in satiric way, because nature is supposed to random and irregular not perfectly symmetrical.

-Ravneet Dhillon


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