Friday, August 22, 2008

Your Discerning Eyes...



In class today we discussed using small but significant clues to sneak your way into a "text." Please peruse the above painting, titled "American Gothic," and respond to the following questions:


1. How would you describe the relationship between the subjects of this painting, and what clues helped you figure this out?


2. Why do you think the painting is called "American Gothic"? What image of America does this painting create? Do you agree with this image?


Remember to read the other posts to avoid repeating someone else word for word. Instead, focus on having a conversation with your classmates. Posts are due by 10 pm Sunday.

30 comments:

jamma! said...

1. They are a couple based on how close they are standing rogether and they look around the same age.

2. This image comes across as boring and might symbolize the standard american way of living, I think that’s what the artist is trying to say with this painting.

Nicole said...

1.) I agree with you Jamma, but from the looks of their faces they are a very serious couple. Not a lot of laughter in that household.

2.) "Gothic" has a lot of meanings. One of them is "pertaining to the Middle Ages; medieval." It could be saying that this is a very old-fashioned couple. As it would make sense in looking at the picture.

michellev said...

1. These couple seem to have very serious faces, and don't seem too happy. Seems like they don't have to much of a happy love life.

2. I agree with Jamma on this on it seems to just show the standard way of living in America, on their farms.

RachelK said...

1. I agree with you Nicole. This couple does look very serious and they don't look like people who mess around at all when they've got work to do.

2. I think this image shows how hard work in standard American living can really get to some people, & end up making them really serious about getting things done. I think the author is saying that American life isn't always the American dream. It can be really hard, especially on the farms.

Aaron H. said...

1.From looking at the couple you can see that their life has had plenty of hardships. Therefore, you can conclude that they are all business and no play. I agree with Nicole that there is not a lot of laughter that comes from that household.

2.Once again I agree with Nicole about the couple being old-fashioned. I think the image the painting creates is that life for this couple is hard; this is why they appear to be so serious. I also concluded that the painting is based off of life in the Great Depression which was very serious and there was not a lot of laughter in that time.

Jake H said...

1. They look to be a married couple who aren't very happy together, like aaron said all buisness no play looks to be very true. THey look like they were forced into a marrige.

2. I think it is called "Anerican Gothic" because it is showing how some people in America don't know how to live or be happy. It's sort of creating America to be boring and dull, like there is no happiness here, and like Michelle said its showing an old fashion couple living on a farm. I don't agree with this image i think the author should have created more of an exciting way to show how hard life can be.

Macy said...

1. The man and woman look like they might be the same age, but I am not sure. The woman looks annoyed and is staring at the man. The man seems like he is very serious about his work.

2. This painting is called American Gothic because this is how standard American living was. It was old fashion and hard work. People made a living working on their farms. But I defintely agree with Jamma on this being a boring way of showing America. I also kind of think it is a creepy painting because of the peoples expressions. Haha

allison t said...

1. The 2 seem like a couple because they look around the same age, but they don't look very happy together. Since the man is holding a pitchfork, I would guess that he is really into his work.

2. I think that the painting is called "American Gothic" because it portrays a serious and old-fashion American couple, and it shows that Americans are so caught up in their work that they don't really have time for a happy social life. I don't really agree with this painting because I know of plenty of happy American couples that work all day for 5 days a week, but I also think that these days jobs aren't as demanding as jobs like farming back in the time this took place.

CASSIE D said...

To point out the obvious these two seem to be a married couple that has worked of the farm their whole lives. Their eyes look tired the woman’s eyes are off to the side perhaps glaring at her husband. They do not look happy. The painting may be called American gothic because of the gothic architecture in the background. I think this picture represents that hardships and hard work in America.

ellenj said...

1. I would say these two people are a couple because they are standing very close to each other, but I think they aren't happy together based on how the woman is looking at the man and how he is focused only on his work.

2. I think this is called American Gothic because of how old fashioned they seem to be, like Nicole said, or because they are trying to fit in with the American way of living.

Allie~J said...

1)The relationship between the woman and the man is probably a marriage that may or may not have been arranged or they might have at one time been in love but they look board and annoyed with each other they look not interested anymore. The couple also looks tired and worn out from all of the years of farming.
2)I agree with Cassie the painting may be called “American Gothic” because of the architecture in the background but also maybe because of their clothes and the way that their clothes are really boring and the colors are so dark. The American part is probably from them being farmers and that is the one of the typical American jobs at the time.

angelicao said...

1.I agree with you Aaron, because of the way they are looking off into the distance and the sad looks on their faces, it shows that these two have been though many hardships and that has left them miserable. Michelle, I also think that you are right when you say that their love life is not happy, they just don't look in love. They might have been when they were younger though.

2.It symbolizes what happens to most Americans. Gothic can mean several different things but in this painting I think it symbolizes the sadness and symplicity of America.

AprilH said...

1. It looks like the couple is very serious about what ever they are doing. They probably work on a farm and are having hard times with it. It looks like they also have a nice house in the background.

2. I agree with Rachel. The image about America that the painting is creating is that the American dream isn't always wonderful for some people. I agree with this image because basically that's what people were doing. They were working.

Emma said...

1. The couple in this image looks like they are around the same age. I agree with Nicole, the couple in this picture looks very serious. Like they don’t have much fun and they are very serious about their work.
2. I don’t really know what they mean in the name of the picture by “American Gothic.” But I agree with Nicole again that they look like a very old fashion couple. It shows that back then work was very important to people. That there was a lot of work and no play.

KaleighD said...

1. I agree with everyone who has said that they think they are a couple but i also think that they are like an old married couple who aren't exactly happy with each other and as in love as they used to be when they first met.

2. I think this painting is called "American Gothic" because it pertrays to Ameica's standard way of life in the late 1800's where American's way of life was revolved around their work and farms and it was very serious times and not alot of happiness.

Pye said...

they look like a couple but based on their facial expressions it looks like somewhat of a loveless marrige and that their relationship has become more work than fun

I think it is trying to show that American lives have lost their fun and spark and that even loving your spouse has become a chore

Conor R said...

1.I would imagine that both people in the painting are married. I beleive this because as jamma said they are around the same age and they seem to fit together which i think the painter was trying to pursue.

2. I think the painting represents a plain and simple way of life. If you look at the faces and background you dont get overwhelmed by anything in the picture. Meaning nothing really stnds out and life is just simple.

adamc said...

1.I would say that the people are married like conor said and that they have had a long and stressful life seeing that they both have a lot of wrinkles and neither one of them is smiling.

2.I think it has the name "Gothic" because it doesn't show the happy part of life as much as it does the sad, gloomy, and stressful part of life.

Shay N said...

I agree with Arron that they seem very depressed and that they have had to work hard for everything.

I think that they are married but are very serious about their life. Although that is how it was before all the technology came around. I also think that the pitch fork is a symbol for hard work because farmers have some of the hardest lives.

BrianW said...

These people look like they are a married old couple, they don’t look very excited. They both look very serious in the picture. The women’s eyes are glazing off to the side and the man is holding a pitch fork, which is symbolizing a hard working American family, in the time this painting was created.

I agree with Cassie D. about the American gothic architecture because if you look at the window in the back ground it look like some cathedral windows and I think on top of the building I kind of looks like a cross.

nilec said...

1. I agree that they are a couple, but their facial expressions tell me that they aren't very happy with one another and don't show much affection for one another.

2. I agree with Adam, this picture seems sad and lifeless. It doesn't really show any emotion or pleasantness.

elizabeth k said...

1. I'm assuming that they are a couple and have been married for a long time. they look very distressed and unhappy. The pitch fork indicates that he is a farmer and they look like they are in a rough time based on the looks on their faces.

2. I think that this is called "American Gothem" because this was a dull and dark time for them and they work a lot harder for what they have than we do.

Nicole said...

I've noticed a lot of people say that the wife is glaring at her husband. But I don't think that's necessarily the case. If you really look at her facial expression it seems... it's a mixture of irritation and worry. Like when people say "Don't worry, I'm fine." You're irritated because they won't tell you the truth and worried about what is really bothering them.
I think she's worried about her husbands health, since he works so much, which is symbolized by the pitch fork (Thanks Shay for bringing that up). And she's most likely irritated because he won't say or do anything about it because he needs to keep working so that they have money to buy food and such.

JeniC said...

1. As most have said already, I think that this is a couple who aren't very pleased with each other. I believe the reason they aren't pleased with each other pertains to their living style, which seems to affect their love life. The man seems almost obsessed with his work because he is holding his pitch fork, even in a picture. I think that relates to the second question.

2. I like how Nicole put a definition of Gothic: "pertaining to the Middle Ages; medieval." It really helps back up the idea of this couple being very old-fashioned. I think that the couple was just trying to live up to the American dream and working standard at the time. Of course being hard working would have bad effects on their love life. This couple just seems to be working with what they have in life, happy or not.

NowlanS said...

1. I agree with Elizabeth. The people in the image look like a old southern couple during the time of the Great Depression. They look like have lived long and stressful lives and are at a moment of large turmoil judging by the looks on their faces. Everything in this picture seems dry, barren, and dull which give me the impression that this picture was portraying the Great Depression through the lives of American farmers.

2. The definition of gothic I feel portrayed the image well was: of or pertaining to a style of literature characterized by a gloomy setting, grotesque, mysterious, or violent events, and an atmosphere of degeneration and decay (definition from dictionary.com). I believe that this picture was portraying the life of Americans living through the times of the Great Depression. It was a dull a barren time as shown in the picture.

vick said...

Ok so i think the two people are husband and wife.
They both look unhappy,
but i noticed that the women has a more sad face, rather the man looks out of it.


The name "American Gothic" means that maybe like jamma said,
It is a standerd way of living, maybe boring?

meghank said...

1. I agree that they are a couple and that they are also unhappy. The woman seems to be staring off someplace else not really paying any attention to what’s going on, almost like she is thinking really hard about something. The man seems more into what is going on but he still has a glazed over expression like the woman's.

2. I think this painting is called "American Gothic" because it has a depressing feel to it, like most have already said it seems like this picture is supposed to portray a boring and sad image of American life. I think that at one point life in America could have been that way but even still I don’t think America has ever been boring.

annies said...

1. It looks like they could be brother and sister, they don't look interested enough in each other to be a couple.

2. I also agree with Nicole and Jamma. This isn't really a good thing that symbolizes America. It shows we're boring and are bored with our lives.

alenav said...

1. I agree with most people that have commented that have said that they look like a couple. They look very similar in age, and they look like they are bored with each other. The women looks angry or upset with the man.

2. I think its called "American Gothis" because the setting looks like that time period. The background, clothing, and farm land show that it was in that century.It also shows that American life is dull.

JasonV said...

1. They are husband and wife. I saw the house in the background, the shed, the pitchfork in the man's hand, the way their expressions are, and the way they are standing next to each other. It just seems like he is a farmer and she is a wife that cooks and cleans the house, which is a classic example of marriage during the time period I think this is in.

2. I think it is called American Gothic because Gothic is an old form of building style if I'm not mistaken, and this paintings symbolizes Old America in a way. I think the title literally means Old-time America. I agree with this image somewhat because it does encompass what I have learned in school thus far about America back in the day, but it doesn't paint the whole picture of what it was like. I think it is a very good representation of America during the time period for a simple painting.