This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Response To Rain, Steam And Speed By Joseph Mallord William Turner

3630 words - 15 pages

Response to Rain, Steam and Speed by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Turner has out-prodiged almost all former prodigies. He has made a picture with real rain, behind which is real sunshine, and you expect a rainbow every minute. Meanwhile, there comes a train down upon you, really moving at the rate of fifty miles a hour, and which the reader had best make haste to see, lest it should dash out of the picture....as for the manner in which 'Speed' is done, of that the less is said the better, -only it is a positive fact that there is a steam coach going fifty miles and hour. The world has never seen anything like this picture .

This was Thackeray's response to Turner's Rain, Steam and Speed upon seeing it at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1844. A large canvas displayed in the place of honour on the back wall of the East room of the exhibition, the painting was at the time and important and provocative comment on modern technology in general and more specifically on the steam locomotive and the Great Western Railway that was featured so prominently in the title. This painting was significant because although this was not the first time railways had been the depicted in art, it was the first time for this kind of subject matter to be taken up on such a large scale and for public display.
Both Ian Carter and Gerald Finley assert that despite the criticism already written about this complex work it remains engaging and still retains layers of meaning that have not been brought to light. Rain, Steam and Speed can be read as a celebration of new technology and the new Britain that was forming in its wake, a lament for a passing 'golden' age, or as Carter suggests as a combination of the two, it "is about loss but also about progress. To be more precise it is about the casualties of progress and the impossibility of not changing.'; In other words, this painting presents the viewer with a visual metaphor depicting the dialectic, between change and stasis, between the old and the new, that arises in the condition of modernity. Using this perspective as a starting point, this paper will explore some of the themes of this difficult work and examine some of the issues that surround this still evocative painting.

The "history of former ages exhibits nothing to be compared with the mental activity of the present. Steam which annihilates time and space, fills mankind with schemes for advantage or defense';.

The British public's response to advances made in the field of science and to the new technology of the Industrial Revolution was mixed. Gerald Finley says that for those who considered these new developments in a positive light it was reassuring that the "laws of science and technology were, after all rooted in nature and these developments seemed to promise widespread economic and social improvement.'; At the same time there were detractors and this was because of the perceived threat of further encroachment on what some considered to be the...

Find Another Essay On Response to Rain, Steam and Speed by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Audience's Response to Lady Capulet and the Nurse in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

4204 words - 17 pages Audience's Response to Lady Capulet and the Nurse in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet In 'Romeo and Juliet', Shakespeare presents the audience with two very different but equally significant female characters. By the end of the play Juliet turns her back on both characters but due to Shakespeare's clever presentation of the characters, one the audience agrees with and one they do not. Shakespeare shapes the audience's

How to Drive in Snow and Rain

722 words - 3 pages properly drive a vehicle in snow and rain. Before you even get out to the road during the winter, you need to make sure our vehicles are ready to safely take us where you need to go. One way this can be achieved is by making sure the vehicle’s tires still have sufficient tread on them. Trying to stretch out the life of a tire may have serious consequences when the roads are wet or frozen because, as the treads are worn by the use, the tires start

Outline to Developing Cardio-respiratory Endurance, Speed and Reaction Time

1585 words - 7 pages 7– tap ball Short Term Goal – improving on speed, endurance, and agility Number of Students – 12 Warm Up – 3 laps around the gym and jump rope Equipment’s- , jerseys, 1 foam ball, and 2 lacrosse nets Activities – Begin by splitting the students into teams and give them jerseys. Start the game by throw the ball in middle of the gym with a jump ball. After that, the student may run with the ball, but if the student chooses to run they have to tap

As One Listens to the Rain by Octavio Paz

693 words - 3 pages As One Listens to the Rain by Octavio Paz I am writing about Octavio Paz’s poem entitled, “As one Listens to the Rain,” I don’t know why I chose to write about this poem. I chose it mainly because I don’t know what it means but I like what it is saying. I guess you can interpret it in many ways. I asked a couple of my friends and they thought he was speaking to a woman, or speaking of life or even death. The part I like most about the

Critique of Chinua Achebe's response to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

1282 words - 5 pages fond of critical writing, especially on topics such as post colonialism and imperialism. Nowhere does he better convey his feelings than in his essayed response to Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness". Beginning his text with his own motivations for writing this response, Achebe is quick to ask the big questions: "Can such a book, really be considered among the half dozen greatest short story novels in English literature, read and reviewed by serious

Jesus Was an Indian: A Response Essay to Joseph Bruchac's "Our Stories Remembered"

1217 words - 5 pages required reading. It was Joseph Bruchac's "Our Stories Remembered." As I read the introduction, tears came to my eyes. Overwhelming humanity and compassion were somehow conveyed in a story that spanned less than two pages. I knew that I was in the right place.In the first week, I finished the book and took part in some classroom discussions. I had originally assumed that native Americans spirituality was somehow based on nature. In the readings

Audience's Response to Shylock in William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice

1334 words - 5 pages Audience's Response to Shylock in William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice As the opening scene of the third Act opens, Solanio and Salerio are used as a chorus by Shakespeare to inform the reader of the events that will be discussed in the scene. News is learnt of Antonio's ships "wreaked on the narrow seas" (Line 3). With this comment, Shakespeare instantly

A Response to Embroidery by Ray Bradbury

1427 words - 6 pages A Response to Embroidery by Ray Bradbury The short story 'Embroidery', written by Ray Bradbury is one, which could be classed as a science fiction story with some political aspects to it. 'Embroidery' ends in apocalyptic terms, where an atom bomb is dropped. Written in the 1960's meant that the cold war was still going on and being hit by an atomic bomb was highly possible. I think that because of this a general reader

Response to Salvation by Langston Hughes

772 words - 3 pages Since the beginning of time, many words in the English language have been controversial. Although in the English dictionary, "saved" is defined as many different, meanings such as to rescue or deliver from danger or harm. To relate to this story, "saved" is defined as "to deliver from sin." This young boy, Langston, in "Salvation," by Langston Hughes, could not experience the true meaning of being saved. I, on the other hand, can.Langston's aunt

Response to Robert Frost's "Education by poetry"

663 words - 3 pages In his address “Education by Poetry” given at Amherst College in 1930, Robert Frost introduces the two roles of poetry in education. The first role is that through poetry we cultivate our taste. The second role, which is said to be more crucial, is that poetry teaches us how to discern and understand metaphor in our life. Having read that poetry helps us with our handling metaphor, I naturally reached one simple question. Why is it

Reader Response to "Canterbury Tales" by Chaucer

688 words - 3 pages equivalent.The Knight, Chaucer tells us, possessed good horses, 'but he was not gaily dressed'. Indeed, the Knight is dressed in a common shirt 'much stained' by where his armor had left its mark. In other words, Chaucer is telling us that the Knight has just arrived home from service and is in such a hurry to go on his pilgrimage that he has not even paused before embarking on it to change his clothes.Additionally, the Knight has led a very busy life as

Similar Essays

Speed Racer By Andy And Larry Wachowski

2061 words - 8 pages Many people who grew up in 1960s and 70s with watching the Japanese animated television series by Tatsuo Yoshida would be very familiar with Speed Racer by Andy and Larry Wachowski in 2008 (American Film Institute Catalog, 2008). As a big hit in the summer of 2008, Speed Racer was considered as a box office bomb because it failed to break even at the box office and received generally negative reviews from film critics such as A.O. Scott and Jim

A Comparison Of Lord Of The Flies By William Golding To Heart Of Darkness By Joseph Conrad

2774 words - 11 pages Golding to Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The novels contain a great deal in common and the similarities between these two novels begin with their authors. The personal experiences of both Golding and Conrad encouraged them to write their novels. William Golding was greatly influenced by the violence and cruelty he witnessed during WWII, which forced him to realize the innate evil in man and his disgusted view of human

Response To The Poem She Dwelt Among The Untrodden Ways By William Wordsworth

1884 words - 8 pages Response to the Poem She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways by William Wordsworth The poem for me, illustrates a beautiful image of timelessness being interrupted. Lucy is almost portrayed as immortal; her beauty was so breath-taking. When she died, or "ceased to be", the author is just left astounded - "what has happened here?" My main inspiration for my story was the last paragraph. The character of Edward is ruled by

"Light In August" By William Faulkner: Response To Excerpt From Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

1603 words - 6 pages Excerpt: "The problems of the human heart in conflict with itself alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat."William Faulkner argued convincingly, in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, that human struggle makes for good writing. "Light in August" is a perfect example of this theory. In this novel, all the characters are affected by and involved in very basic and human conflicts: race