Images of Revolution

I think the third image captures best in both form and content the idea of revolution as considered by Richard Price, Edmund Burke, and Thomas Paine.

In form, through the lack of specific landscape in favor of individual images that coexist in the work conceptually, rather than merely physically, this work evokes immediately the universality that any consideration of the concept of revolution in itself, outside of time and place, requires.  This sense of universality is essential to discourse on the essence of revolution, since an understanding of revolution itself must be extracted and distilled from drastically different times and places to be practically re-applied to still other times and places.

The specific images of this drawing, as well, intimate issues of revolution as discussed by Richard Price, Edmund Burke, and Thomas Paine.  The river as a primary figure in this picture calls to mind the concepts of time and change and natural, unstoppable progression that are so central to considerations of revolution.   The fountain easily evokes the violent, chaotic rebirth of a nation in revolution, and the continuous repetition of revolutions throughout time.   The image perhaps most suggestive, however, of a central aspect of revolution that particularly occupied all three of our writers is that of the woman without eyes featured in the center of this piece.  The great phantom that haunts all revolution is anarchy.  What better way to represent the terrifying blindness of anarchy and the alien terrain of rebirth in revolution than a wailing, distressed figure without eyes?


~ by mahler1860 on September 20, 2012.

One Response to “Images of Revolution”

  1. mahler1860, great job on a concise and clear post, as you draw on only the parts of the image that pertain to your argument. I appreciated the tying together of all three authors through the river and woman without eyes, but the connections are perhaps a bit too universal and not allowing room for distinct differences. Not too much material in this post goes beyond classroom discussion, but the final anarchy theme is especially interesting and would be worth further discussion. How would Wordsworth weigh in on this?

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