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Word Count: 818
An interpretation of a piece of art can be applied to yourself and also to the society viewing it In this paper I am going to discuss how John Berger and Leo Tolstoy talk about issues relating to art how they are similar and different in their arguments To do this I will use ideas contained in Bergers essay Ways of Seeing and Tolstoys essay What is Art to interpret Joseph Pennells painting Hail America First and most obvious is the gloomy setting of Hail America and the dark coloring used to draw it Tolstoy would describe this quality with the quote by means of art he transmits his feelings He would see the gloomy aura of the painting as a way for the artist to express his feelings about society He may also suggest that the darkness of the painting helps to incite revolutionary ideas in the viewers of the painting This is because Tolstoy focuses on arts impact on society Berger would be more concerned with the political ideas contained in the artist work and not with what feelings are expressed Berger views the art as it relates to his own life and the freedom of the people seeing the art These values are shown in Bergers quote on page 127 A people or a class cut off from its own past is far less free to chose and to act as a people or class than one that has been able to situate itself in history In other words relating to Hail America Berger feels that if a people or class was cut off from the darkness of Pennells painting they may not be able to realize the dark side of the city Not being able to situate them in the history of the painting would make them blind to the damage done by the city The next part of the picture that I think would bring the most controversy to
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