Edward Hopper


On the picture you can see a bar or a little café. It is the background of an American city in the year 1942. It is situated in the corner of a streets' crossing. And the bar has a huge window which allows you to see everything that happens inside. So can also see the light shining out of the bar. This is a fact which gives us some evidence that it is night. No car is on the street, no people passing by. So it may be very late. If we take a look inside the tiny café our eyes are able to perceive four people. One of them is the barman, which is very obvious because he is standing behind the counter. And it seems   that there is also a couple in the bar - a man with a hat smoking a cigarette and a lady who may be his wife. The fourth person in the bar is a single man. He is also wearing a hat. Some may say that this man looks a bit like a gangster.

I'm not really well - informed concerning hawks but as far as my knowledge about these birds is concerned  I can say that I regard hawks as some sort of "lonesome fighters". They choose to hunt alone maybe because they like to be independent and free. For their enemies hawks pose a strong danger. One of their attacks may end in the death of the victim. So, if I take a look at Edward Hopper's painting I have to point out that - from my point of view - the people in that bar late in the night are also lonesome fighters just like the hawks. I cannot say what they are fighting against. Maybe it is that they just want to escape from everyday life or the monotony of reality. Maybe they like the feeling of being alone perhaps because this feeling is able to create an impression of freedom and independence.

I don't think this is true concerning this picture. It may be the case that the huge glass window of the bar is a symbol of spectatorship. And to a certain degree it is also true that we are interested in the stories of the people inside. But John Updike mentions the expression "past and future action". The word which doesn't really fit is "action". I think that "Nighthawks" doesn't provide anything that has to do with action. From my point of view it expresses a very strong image of passivity.

Barman: Why don't they just leave and go to bed? I would really like to close the pub now. I'm really tired. My wife is waiting at home. I haven't seen her since seven o' clock in the morning. So, what about this buddy over there? Oh no, not another beer! Well think it will be a hard time till these guys go home.

Single Man: Think it was too much alcohol today. But does this really matter? Well, let's order another drink. Or, wait a minutehell and damnation it's really late. I gotta get up early to meet the cocaine - man. He'll be angry if I don't appear. OK, one more good-night-beer and then I go to bed.

Dialogue between the man and the woman

You have got to understand it, darling. I won't have time for you tomorrow. I gotta work till late in the evening. How can I survive a whole day without you? Can't I visit you in the office? Look, honey, it's better for you to stay at home. I promise that I won't come too late. And I'm going to wake you up when I arrive. At what time do you think you can be at home? Well, maybe at midnight. So, I'm going to prepare a midnight's dinner for us. With a bottle of wine and the dim light of a candle. Wow, sounds great! I'm really looking forward to finishing my work tomorrow. But to achieve that we gotta go home soon, what do you think, sweetheart? Yeah, you're right. Let's just stay another five minutes and then leave, OK? Whatever you like, babe.

I think the painting by Edward hopper doesn't break down barriers. But from my point of view it really achieves to give life the shape and meaning Emily Auerbach is talking about. I've been thinking a lot about this question number six and actually I have come to the conclusion that you may compare the picture "Nighthawks" to a desert. Not the picture as a whole but the framework which is the streets of that American town and the loneliness provided by the emptiness of these streets. Whereas - as it came to my mind - the people can be compared to a flower in this desert. I think they bring some life and colour into the scene. They are the aspects which give the picture a meaning or which reinforce a certain idea.

Haupt | Fügen Sie Referat | Kontakt | Impressum | Nutzungsbedingungen

Neu artikel