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The "Scream"

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sjwyers0018
Words 777
Pages 4
The Scream is a classic art piece. This piece is classic because of how simple it is, yet how effective it is at evoking emotions in the viewer, particularly with its unease and fear. It's a striking piece because of its abstract nature. The lack of details leaves much to the imagination. Why is the figure screaming? Where are they? Who are they? They seem to be on a bridge, but even that much is vague. Why are there other people, seemingly calm in the background? This piece can be the topic of endless debate. Additionally, as we cannot hear the scream, this seems to add yet another level of eeriness to this picture. The figure to me seems to be Munch, himself, he’s portraying himself in an uncomfortable situation that happens in everyday life for everyone but he’s fueling the emotion right now. Munch is using art to portray his feelings towards a certain situation, it cries out in his painting because there is a lot of angst, hurt and pain through the scream. The background of the picture looks very calm and eerie, almost as if death is approaching the figure or something in its life. There is an array of colors that go from warm to dreary that add tension to the picture depicting change in passion. The ships are coming in to wash away the weak. They’re sitting in the sunset waiting for the right time to move in, do the job and move out.
The figures in the back are glum because the screamer isn’t keeping this a secret; it’s just not affecting any of the other people in the picture because they have emotions that relate to the screamers situation but aren’t being experienced at this particular time. It shows strife all around but the figures are not concerned with the drama that the figure is bringing to the picture with the scream because they cannot see the hurt in the Screamer’s thoughts because it’s a silent scream and the emotion is compelled in his head. They don’t recognize the emotion of the screamer because they do not have the uncomforting experience like the screamer does at this particular time. His personal experiences, issues and conflicts are making his thought processes and emotions come alive in this painting
What strike’s the viewer most effectively is the agonized face of the figure and the violence of the background. The head is painted very simply, almost as a cartoon shape with very little detail, and the hands are completely unreal in their lack of proportion, but it is the posture that conveys the horror. By being such a generic image, every viewer can relate to it in their own way, so that it speaks to their own inner pain. With nothing to save him from the terrible forces that are outside his control, the figure cannot do anything other than perform the silent scream and hope to release the emotion that’s flooding his mental state.
“The Scream” just like any other written text is capable of communicating its meaning through visual text deeply beyond the mere literal implication. The painting attains this characteristic through the settings of its environment which can be compared to a person suffering from experiences related to the personal disorders. Such feelings can be felt as a result of misrepresentation of one’s self and the environment in general. “The Scream” is a painting which has properly utilized the purpose of symbolism and expressionism through showing emotions which Edvard felt in his hopes that any viewer looking at the artistic work would in turn become stirred and have the same feelings as well. The emotions and inner nature aroused in this painting are therefore given priority as opposed to reality as it is depicted. Edvard Munch achieves this in “The Scream” by frequently distorting; altering and exaggerating so as to stress experiences in an emotional manner through the most concentrated and intense form.
In summary, this painting is an exemplary piece of art by Munch. It has a universal appeal in that it has become a means of expression between soul-searching by the artist and the current pop culture, which has evolved over the years. Munch’s painting is a clear reminder of how visual text can be used in communicating situations which cannot be described through the use of verbal words. The painting is a full proven point that some situations and emotions are better expressed through paintings rather than through facial expressions or other forms. It’s easily relatable and can be used by anyone for description to express the feelings of anything that is happening in life.

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