slice of my life

Monday, June 27, 2011

What is the person in The Scream screaming about?

The Scream

by Edvard Munch

(in Norwegian, it's Skrik)

created 1893-1910

I know wikipedia is much decried for inaccuracies, but I used it for information and the article is here.

This painting has always given me a creepy feeling if I study it long enough. I think the screaming figure is especially weird because he's bald. No one in real life looks like this, so it's otherworldly. He looks afraid. There are two people coming toward him, but he's looking off to the right and something there is scaring him. The transliteration of the Norwegian word is "shriek," and that seems even more appropriate for the picture. A scream of surprise.

I often have dreams about the end of the world. I am trying to deal with people chasing me, dangerous terrain, aliens, natural catastrophes. My family is in danger and I'm trying to help get us all to safety. I guess watching shows like Falling Skies on TNT doesn't help me at night!

The scenery in The Scream is the kind of imaginary world I might see in my dreams of the end of the world. One of the theories about the red sky is that there was a volcano eruption that spewed a lot of ash into the sky and gave Edvard a red sky at sunset which inspired him to paint this painting. The sky seems almost to be moving around like the stream going under the bridge, or even as the body seems to be moving. I feel like the screamer is about to slip down to the ground, melting down with fright.

But the question today is, "What is he screaming about?" I think something is just off the other side of the bridge. Something is coming out of the water. Something so scary and threatening that it scared the hair off him! It's a man with a knife and a heavy brow, storming his way up the bank of the river, coming right at the screamer. The two people coming up behind him are going to catch him if he tries to run the other way. There is no escape . . .

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