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Clothing And Body Language In Literary Works And Art

1874 words - 7 pages

Clothing and Body Language in Literary Works and Art

     Throughout life, clothing and body language are often utilized as
sources of emotional expression. These emotions can also be portrayed in
literaray works and artisitic displays, such as those of Poe, Baudelaire, Manet,
and Warhol. In Poe's “Man of the Crowd,” there are several descriptions of
different types of people based on their appearances, but one particular man is
focused on by the narrator due to his unique appearance. Baudelaire's “The
Painter of Modern Life” emphasizes the emotional expressions of beauty and
fashion expressed in art. Manet is an artist who paints scenes to his liking.
All of his works were done in his studio and set up the way that he wanted them.
He holds a particular focus on men and women and the relationship between them.
The positions and clothing that the men and women are set up in hold strong
emotional implications about their feelings towards one another and the emotions
involved in the social setting.

     The opening of “The Man of the Crowd,” describes the emotions involved
in untold secrets and the deepest of crimes; there are internal conflicts,
struggles, anxieties, and agonous results due to the horror of the unsolvable
crimes. The possibility of these crimes is introduced through the man of the
crowd through his unseemingly unidentifiable expression The narrator describes
his thoughts of this man as:

There arose confusedly and paradoxically within my mind, the ideas of vast
mental power, of caution, of penuriousness, of avarice, of coolness, of malice,
of blood-thirtstiness, of triumph, of merriment, of excessive terror, of intense
- of supreme despair. I felt singularly aroused, startled, fascinated. “How
wild a history,” I said to myself, “is written within that bosom!”

Although the narrator had never spoken to this man of the crowd, he was
compelled to follow him based on his expression that had never been viewed by
the narrator. He continued to follow the man of the crowd, noticing his
patterns of following people by the mass and his shambled cloting and he
concluded that he “[was] the type and genious of deep crime. He refuses to be

     Prior to viewing the man of the crowd, the narrator observed several
different types of people, all of which were able to be “read” through their
outward appearances.. The most numerous amount of individuals were business men.
The first type of business men “[had] brows [that were knit, and their eyes
rolled quickly.” They were also not distracted nor distraught when they were
pushed around by men of their sort. It was concluded by the narrator from these
characteristics that those men were content and “seemed to be thinking only of
making their way through the press.” The second type of business men conveyed a
different type of body language; they were restless, had flushed faces, and
talked and motioned to thesmselves. Their motions would...

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