Tag Archives: aesthetic

Light: Experience

21 Apr

The Giving Tree offers much that represents the characteristic of being light and most of this lightness is in an aesthetic sense in terms of text and pictures. Each page is full of open, white space with the exception of a few words and lines that make the outlines of the tree and the boy. Not only is there a great deal of white space, but everything is in black and white- there is no color to be found, save for on the cover of the book. This lack of abundant text, art and color on each page leaves no option but to leave the reader with a sense of weightlessness- that this book is truly a light read.

Not only do the pages provide a sense of lightness, the quality of being light, but this book can also be read in less than three minutes- a “light” experience and not a cumbersome or daunting task. Calvino expresses what he feels to be light in terms of its antonym form- weightlessness. And while I do feel this book does provide lightness through its aesthetic attributes, it does weigh heavily on the heart in terms of emotions. This story is such that Silverstein ropes in the reader with just the right expression and wording in a most simple form. The connection developed between the tree and the boy, the boy and the tree and the reader and these characters is such a strong bond that one feels as though they are a part of the story. The reader experiences the sense of love, loyalty and imagination that is prevalent throughout the story through these relationships, and as these are some of the strongest emotions that humans can feel, an immense sense of weight, or heavy heartedness is felt when the boy is gone for such an extended period of time. When he comes back and takes and takes, multiple times, one feels a sense of empathy for the tree because we know that the tree cannot really be happy in her lonesome state.

From these observations, it is apparent that Silverstein has created a paradox through the juxtaposition of the sense of lightness prevalent in the aesthetics of the story and the great sense of weight from the emotional involvement invested by the reader. I feel as though the combination of these two attributes really contribute to the success of this story because of its ability to appeal to children as a story to which they can relate because of the boy’s active imagination and playful spirit, as well as the ability to appeal to adults because of its deeper meaning and emotional relevance to the characteristic of unconditional giving that we learn to develop as we love those around us.

E-Lit Example

22 Feb

The E-Lit example I chose to demonstrate Visibility is “Entre Ville” by J.R. Carpenter.

This short narration is about what is assumed to be a group of children who live next toand play in an alleyway and have done so for eight and a half years. They own a dog who sniffs his way up and down the alley, chasing after and retrieving an orange ball. The way in which the story is told is through the most vivid of details to the point where a great sense of Visibility is achieved.

For example:

“Let’s say our dog walk us up and down this alleyway three times a day. That’s eight-and-a-half years up and eight-and-a-half years down. Nine thousand three hundred laps of toenails clicking on the cracked concrete. Tail zigzagging, long tail wagging, long tongue lolling, dog tags clacking. Ears open, eyes darting, nose to the ground.”

Just within this short excerpt the reader gets a sense for what this dog does every day, how he does it and what he looks like doing it. Almost every sense is employed by the reader because of the implied and explicit details. The smell of the ally, the sound of the dog’s nails clicking and tags clacking, the prance of the dog, and one can almost feel the wind blowing through the ally.

The aesthetic I feel from this piece of E-Lit is almost a sense of nostalgia. Memories can be so vivid that clothes, places, patterns, colors, scents, weather and any ¬†number of other elements can be remembered because they are ingrained into our memories through their vivid presence and therefore represent Visibility in our mind’s eye or imagination.

http://collection.eliterature.org/2/works/carpenter_entreville/index.html