Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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 midnight tonight.

25 comments:

Tabitha said...

1. The relationship between the subjects looks awkward and that they are not happy. They have blank faces and some what frowns.
2. The image of America that i see in the picture is unfaithful and forced marriages. The couple is unhappy and will probably end up in divorce. Like a good portion of marriages end in divorce. The old people most likely want a divorce.

Trevor G said...

Because they are standing very closely I would say that they are merried, and that they have lived with each other for a long time. I think that the mood of the panting is very calm and slow. I think it shows the thought to be normal family in America and I don't think it is correct for our standerds now.

hilary l said...

1. The two people in this painting look like they are married but they do not look like they are very happy with their lives because they are frowning. It seems like they are tired and they are probably hard working farmers.
2. I think the painting is called “American Gothic” because it is a realistic painting of American farmers. This painting creates a worn out look of the American people. I agree with this painting because it looks like the couple work hard but they are still not satisfied and that I how many Americans act today.

nathanb said...

1. I definitely agree with Hilary. It seems like they are married but they don’t look very happy with it. I think that they are farmers. I think that because of the pitchfork thingy.

2. I think it’s called American Gothic because the Gothic period had it’s own architecture. The houses behind the people look of that era.

Whitney C said...

1. I agree with both Tabitha and Hilary. The people in this painting seem so be married but also like they have an awkward relationship between them.
2. I think this painting is called "Gothic America" because it seems to have taken place in the Gothic period and the painting is of people who show no great expression on their faces. This painting creates an image of hopelessness in a way. I do not agree with this image because there is hope.

KaylaL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KaylaL said...

1] I would say that the relationship is tense and very awkward. They look as if they are bored with each other. Their faces are blank and they are just staring either at you or off into the distance. Their mouthes are tight which makes them look very tense.
2] I agree with Hilary. The painting makes the American people look worn out. They work very hard but are never satisfied.

Tracim said...

1. The two people in the picture look like they are married becasue they are standing very close to each other. They also have the weird old married people tension going on.
2. I think the picture is named "American Gothic" becasue their clothes are gothical and the looks on their faces are unhappy which fits with the gothic time era. The image it gives of America is boring and unhappy depression. I guess i agree that sometimes farming is depressin?

jenniferb said...

1. The relationship between the people in this painting looks like they are married. The couple does not look very happy because they are both frowning so I assume they don't like being together.
2. Its called "American Gothic" because it is in the Gothic time period. Many people in this period are farming and working very hard.

Brookeg said...

1.I think that the people in this painting are a married couple. it looks as if they have been married for awhile and are unhappy with their lives.
2.This painting creates the image of American farmers. They work hard all day but it doesn't always pay off.

rachelf said...

1. I agree with both Tabitha and Hilary and everyone else who said that this couple is married, and unhappy. They are standing very close and the woman is standing behind the man. I think they’ve grown apart while they’ve been married and don’t love each other anymore; they both have stern looks on their face, and are frowning a little. They do look worn out like Hilary said.
2. I think this is called American Gothic because of the style of the painting and the architecture of the house behind them and their faces, like Whitey and Nathan pointed out. I think this painting creates the image that Americans are hardworking and it can wear them out and turn some people bitter about life. I don’t agree with it but in this case I think it’s true.

chadf said...

1. I would agree with most of the class. The couple looks really uncomfortable with each other.

2. I think it is call "American Gothic" because it shows how most americans were like during the gothic era.

Maria A. said...

1.) I would describe the relationship between these two people are married. The clues would be that they do not look so happy, it shows one house/barn in the background, and that they are standing close together as though they are married.
2.) I think this painting is called "American Gothic" because this picture reminds me of a while back when some families forced their daughters and sons to get married very young and do not get to choose who they marry to. Since the lady and man in this photo look unhappy that was my guess to why this picture would be considered "American Gothic". The image in America today, is that a large percentage rate in divorce occurs today and back then most couples were not happy. I agree with this image being considered as "American Gothic" because it tells a lot on how back in time there were many unhappy marriages and there is today also.

Keiko A said...

1. It looks like the two people are married because thet are standing close to each other.
2. I think that it is called American Gothic because it was in the gothic period, and because farming was a big part of this time period.

Travisg said...

The only thing I expect from you is that you teach us as best you know how and that you help us whenever it is possible. I also think that you should cater to all the different learning types so that all of us can learn and so we all have a fair chance at the information. I also expect myself to work hard and at the least get a low b in your class. If you see I am heading down the wrong road I would hope you could tell me if it looks like I am not getting it.

kaseyb said...

1. The relationship between these two characters seems like they are a very angry and almost annoyed husband and wife. Their faces look stern and unhappy almost.
2. I totally agree with hilary on why this painting is called "American Gothic." I think that they look like a old tired American couple who look worn out. I think it shows a correct representation of a family who farms all day and works hard yet doesn't get a lot in return and is distressed. Yet I don't think it is the image of America today, but it would be correct in the past.

Allison M. said...

1] I would agree with everyone that stated these two people to be married. They do look rather unhappy and uncomfortable. This suggests to me that they are not satisfied with their marriage and lifestyle. Their expressions seem to be a bit dazed, like they are living in a routine, stressful and hardworking enviroment.
2] I would also agree with everyone in saying, this painting resembles todays average marriage. It would seem that nobody is ever quite satisfied or happy with their life. It could be because of their marriage, job, or many other reasons. The couple in this picture just looks very dazed, worn out, and distressed. They could also be expressing their concern for their marriage and life. I think these things contribute to the name of this painting "American Gothic".

jake a. said...

1. I agree with everyone else about their marriage but I think they are having trouble in their relationship because of the looks on their faces. They are also living in an older time.
2. I think the painting is called American Gothic because the house in the background has some gothic features such as the arched windows and the roof style.

Christine said...

1) I agree with what everyone is saying because it looks like the two people are in an unhappy married relationship with each other. The man is holding a pitch fork and there is a barn in the background next to the house which shows that they live on a farm. The daughter almost looks like she is staring past her father looking for a better place.

2) I agree with most everybody because the painting does show the gothic time ere by the way they are dressed and the expressions on their faces.

amandab said...

1. I think that the subjects in the picture are the typic old farming couple way back when. I noticed this clue because of the pitch for and they look like they would be an married old couple that run a farm.
2. It is probably called the "American Gothic" because the poeple are just two Americans wearing black. I think this picture kind of paints a picture that sterio types Americans, like it's sort of making fun of how boring our lives are or maybe how we work, I don't really know I'm just throughing that out there. I don't agree with this image really, because in my mind i think it's rude.

JennaF said...

1)The two people in the picture are both farmers judging by the pitch fork the man is holding and the house and possible barn like structure in the upper right corner. Their clothes were also another indication that they were farmers. They are old and tattered but look like they could be easily moved in and are easy to keep clean. The relationship between them is probably of a wife and her husband. I would say this was farley far back in time because the woman seems to be behind the man taking a back row seat in the photo. Like times back then, the woman was probably arranged to marry the man as neither of them look to happy about the picture. I agree with Kayla's description of the man and woman. They do look rather tense.

2)I believe this picture is called "American Gothic" because the farmers are sad and depressed. They seem to have a rather dark look on their faces, maybe stemming from the fact that they are disappointed in their lives in America. Even though this picture paints a negative image, I would have to agree with it. People of that time period came to America to have their dreams come true with very little effort. What they found instead was not their dreams, but the exact opposite. These people were forced to work harder than most can imagine to just stay alive. This picture represents the hard ships that people who immigrated to America faced and paints an extremely accurate portrait (haha) of what America was like. It was a place you go to achieve your dreams and instead you find that you have to work harder than could be imagined to get them.

allie f. said...

1.The relationship between the two subjects is that they are a married couple, but they seem unhappy. The reason you can tell that they are unhappy is by one the woman is frowning which seems like she is saying she isnt happy with her life at the moment and the man's facial expression is serious. It seems that they are tired devoted working farmers.

2. I strongly agree with Hilary. That is exactly how the American people are, they are never satisfied and thats why they put so much effort into their jobs into making things bette

Bandido said...

I would say that these two people have been married for a long time. So long, in fact, that the flames have just burned out and they are so bored with life that they just wish to end it all, preferably with a nearby pitchfork. Also they are standing so close to each not because they want to but because they have to. Back in ye olden times there was no such thing as widescreen so the painter could only paint within a screen ration of 4:3 or 1:1.33 not the standard widescreen ratio of 16:9. And besides the fact that whenever I think of something Gothic the farm life comes my mind I think, and I repeat just think (I mean in no way would I actually believe what I am about to type.) that back en ye olden tymes, Gothic did not mean to sit around and write a song about ravens landing on a cold gray shoulder during a ye olde mourning fog but something even more grotesque and dark, like American farmers. Look at those people, if you up with the pixels on that image you can see the blood of Native Americans on them. sickos.

TylerF said...

1.The relationship between the subjects looks much like a tired marriage. The pair though they may not be sick of each other, they look very emotionally drained in most everything. Between their blank stares and empty faces, it looks like they have lived long, physically demanding lives and are just ready to be done.
2. Though I have looked at this image many times over, the thought of it being called American Gothic never even passed my mind. I always knew the name, but just never thought twice about it. I believe the word gothic didn't carry the same meaning when it was painted as it does now. I do believe it still did refer to something darker than normal though. Which is intensely personified in this picture. The two look so blank and empty, one might wonder if they even still have souls. Or if they are just bodies going through the motions of everyday life without think or feeling. Which then causes me to agree with this painting, as sad as it may sound. I believe many Americans just "go through the motions." Many people need to wake up and live. God only gave us so many days, why waste them? So I believe America can learn from this painting and maybe we will wake up and start taking risks. As a wise man once said, " What would you attempt to do, if you knew that you couldn't fail?"-Anonymous.

chelsea* said...

1. the to people in the painting look unhappy and depressed. They both look to be farmers and married people.
2. The image that this painting protrays america to be like is sad and boring. It makes america look like not a free nation but a forced nation. The people have bank looks on their faces that say to me there is not hope for freedom or happiness. I agree that the painting was a symbol for how people use to feel back then but i do not agree with it now because the majority do not feel that way anymore