How Effective Is The Author At Creating Sympathy For Dale Hammock And Ultimately For Getting Us To Support The Idea That He Deserves A Second Chance, As Our Neighbor?
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Fame is a vulnerable asset an individual achieves in a lifetime. It may take decades to build fame, but to lose it can take merely a few moments. The life of an artist is usually more complex than other people because he/she is relatively more sensitive to the realities of life. An artist has a broad vision, sharp hearing, alive heart, receptive senses, and active brains. The protagonist under discussion possesses the same attributes and displays a complex character that deserves sympathy for what he endured in his life.
The protagonist is an artist and he paints a specific genre of art. The author has given a narrative of ten years of his life. These years are the most remarkable years of his professional years. There are also scattered elements of war, society’s issues, love, tragedy, and glamor. The protagonist inherited wealth from his parents who were self-made and worked as textile merchants in Nantes. He went to Paris for studying the art of painting in 1856, where he debuted at the Salon as James Tissot. His painting garnered positive reviews from the critiques, and earned a handsome amount in return. He was successful in gaining the attraction of masses of people very soon as compared to his struggling friends for years (Marshall & Warner, 1999). The artist displayed his other paintings in the Salon later. These paintings demonstrated a prolific skill of capturing modernity. He soon established himself as a radical artist who has unrivaled potential for creating stylish and modern paintings.
The protagonist served in the artists' brigade as a sharpshooter when Paris was attacked by the Prussians. He moved to London amidst these social upheavals because the Communist rebellious groups started bloodshed in his close neighborhood. While in London, he became suspicious of being a Communist. He strived hard to rebuild his fame in this city, and engaged in an intimate relationship with an Irish girl. After some time, he made himself isolated from society by shifting to his garden paradise with his mistress. He intended to paint her in seclusion. He stayed there with her for around three years and emerged with several portraits of her eventually (Marshall et al., 1999). Unfortunately, the paintings were not well-received by the authorities in the field of art. The British art establishment opposed his works and deprived him of his titles and honors. The protagonist had to suffer an unexpected debacle in his profession. This is the reason that the artist has not been remembered by anyone except the historians of art.
The author has presented a psychological portrait of the protagonist, which appeals for understanding the complexities of his personality, life, and career. The reader goes through a deep experience of living along the protagonist on the roads of struggle, success, and eventual debacle. The story provokes sympathy about the artist, as he did in his life what life offered him to respond. His disturbed mind could not bring peace to him in the middle of the routine busy life of the city. He went into isolation to bring the best out of him. His brisk maneuver allowed him to portray modernity and style at the edge of his skills, and he excelled among all his contemporary artists in his particular field of work. The author wants to give him a second chance to regain what he has lost. This seems to be an unnatural favor of the artist. He reaps what he sows. He transcends the norms and traditions of his society. He went too far in pursuing his ideals. The artists have to pay the price usually for demonstrating works of excellence or innovation. The protagonist should also pay the price for his liberalism and this can only be realized if he gets his due reward of being defamed.
Marshall, N. R., & Warner, M. (1999). James Tissot: Victorian Life, Modern Love. Yale University Press.
Marshall, N. R., Arscott, C., Maeder, E., Garb, T., Silver, C. G., Saddlemyer, A., … Keshavjee, S. (1999). Seductive surfaces: The art of Tissot. New Haven, CT; London; Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for ….
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